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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Botta's Pocket Gopher (Thomomys bottae)




Botta's Pocket Gopher | Thomomys bottae photo
Botta's Pocket Gopher, California.

Photograph by Ken-ichi Ueda - used with permission.. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Botta's Pocket Gopher | Thomomys bottae photo
Botta's Pocket Gopher, Zion National Park, Utah

Photograph by M J Chalup. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

BOTTA'S POCKET GOPHER FACTS

Description
Botta's Pocket Gopher has smooth short fur. There is considerable color variation - they can be pale grey, brown, tan to almost black. The underside is slightly paler. The body is stocky with short legs with long front claws. The eyes and ears are small and the tail is bare at the tip. Pocket gophers have fur-lined external cheek pouches that are used for transporting food. The gopher can close its mouth behind its front teeth, so it can dig without getting dirt in its mouth.

Other Names
Valley Pocket Gopher

Size
Body length: 15cm - 28cm. Tail length: 4cm - 9.5 cm. Males are larger than females. Weight: males 140g; females 90g.

Environment
grassland, forest, mountain valleys, deserts, agricultural areas. Gophers dig a system of deep burrows and shallow tunnels. The deep burrows can be 1-3 meters below ground and contain nesting and storage chambers.

Food
roots, bulbs, tubers, plant stems and leaves.

Breeding
A litter of 3-7 (average 6) is born after a gestation period of 19 days. The young weigh 3g - 4g at birth and are weaned between 36 and 40 days.

Range
southern Oregon and central Colorado to central Mexico

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Geomyidae
Genus:Thomomys
Species:bottae
Common Name:Botta's Pocket Gopher


Relatives in same Genus
  Northern Pocket Gopher (T. talpoides)