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gopher

gopher or pocket gopher, name for the burrowing rodents of the family Geomyidae, found in North America and Central America. The gopher is gray, buff, or dark brown. Its combined head and body length is 5 to 12 in. (13–30 cm) depending on the species; its tail is short. The name pocket gopher refers to the fur-lined pouches that open on the outside of its cheeks and are used for carrying food and nesting material. The gopher has extremely long upper and lower teeth, which are always exposed, and broad forepaws armed with enormous claws; it uses its teeth as picks and its forepaws as shovels as it tunnels through the ground. Because gophers do not hibernate, they must accumulate stores of food for the winter. They live and do most of their foraging underground, feeding chiefly on roots and tubers. Except for brief pairing during the mating season, gophers are solitary—a single animal occupies each tunnel system. Although their extensive, ramifying tunnels sometimes damage earth dams and banks, gophers are of some value as agents of soil aeration and in forming humus by burying organic matter. Eastern pocket gophers, species of the genus Geomys, are found in the United States from the Rocky Mts. to the Mississippi valley and on the Gulf Coast. Western pocket gophers, species of Thomomys, are found from the Rocky Mts. to the Pacific and from S Canada to the Mexican border. The Mexican pocket gopher, Cratogeomys castanops, ranges from the SW United States to central Mexico. Other genera are found in Mexico and Central America. The name gopher is also applied to the ground squirrel in some regions. Gophers are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Geomyidae.

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gopher

go·pher1 / ˈgōfər/ • n. 1. (also pocket gopher) a burrowing rodent (family Geomyidae) with fur-lined pouches on the outside of the cheeks, found in North and Central America. ∎ inf. another term for ground squirrel. 2. (also gopher tortoise) a tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus, family Testudinidae) of dry sandy regions that excavates tunnels as shelter from the sun, native to the southern US. go·pher 2 • n. variant spelling of gofer.

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gopher

gopher a burrowing rodent of North and Central America. The word may come from Canadian French gaufre ‘honeycomb’, because the gopher ‘honeycombs’ the ground with its burrows.

Gopher is the name of a menu-based system which allows users of the Internet to search for and retrieve documents on topics of interest. The name comes from the gopher mascot of the University of Minnesota, US, where the system was invented.
Gopher State an informal name for Minnesota.

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gopher

gopher Small, stout, burrowing rodent of North and Central America. It has fur-lined external cheek pouches and long incisor teeth outside the lips. It lives underground, digging tunnels to find roots and tubers and for shelter and food storage. Length: 13–46cm (5–18in). Family Geomyidae.

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gopher

gopher2 (orig. U.S.) land tortoise XVIII (also †magofer); pouched rat; ground squirrel XIX. of uncert. orig.

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gopher

gopher1 the wood of which Noah's Ark was built. XVII. — Heb. gōpher.

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gopher

gopherchaffer, gaffer, Jaffa, kafir, Staffaalfalfa, alpha, Balfour, Wadi Halfa •camphor, chamfer •Luftwaffe •laugher, staffer •heifer, zephyr •chafer, trefa, wafer •cockchafer •feoffor, reefer •differ, sniffer •pilfer • titfer • umbellifer • Jennifer •conifer • apocrypha • thurifer •crucifer, Lucifer •Potiphar • aquifer •cipher, encipher, fifer, Haifa, knifer, lifer •coffer, cougher, Offa, offer, proffer, quaffer, scoffer •golfer • phosphor • Forfar • Altdorfer •chauffeur, gofer, goffer, gopher, loafer, Nuku'alofa, Ophir, shofar, sofa •Fraunhofer •hoofer, loofah, opera buffa, roofer, spoofer, tufa, woofer •waterproofer •bluffer, buffer, duffer, puffer, snuffer, suffer •sulphur (US sulfur) • telegrapher •calligrapher, serigrapher •autobiographer, bibliographer, biographer, cartographer, choreographer, cinematographer, crystallographer, geographer, Hagiographa, hagiographer, iconographer, lexicographer, lithographer, oceanographer, palaeographer (US paleographer), photographer, pornographer, radiographer, stenographer, topographer, typographer •philosopher, theosopher •metaphor • Christopher • surfer •Bonhoeffer • windsurfer

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