Gophers are burrowing rodents that range in North and Central America. There are a total of 37 species of gophers, nearly half of which live in the United states. One such species, the plains pocket gopher, grows up to 12 inches long.
The gopher lives the majority of its life underground, moving through burrows and tunnels. It has small ears and eyes with impressive teeth and front legs. The front legs are equipped with claws that help the gopher dig through the ground. Its teeth cut through vegetation and aid in digging.
It feeds largely on the roots and leaves of plants, although its preferred foods are alfalfa and dandelions. It stores its food in pouches in its cheeks until it can reach one of its storage holes. A gopher's nest consists of a main chamber and several side chambers. The main chamber is lined with grass, while the side chambers act as storage facilities for food.
A gopher runs as fast backwards as it does forwards. It has surprising gymnastic abilities, flipping over in its tunnels for a speedy getaway. It never hibernates, remaining active all winter. When females mate, they give birth to a litter of between 2 and 10 young.