TOM MCHUGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TOM MCHUGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Botta's pocket gopher. View of a Botta's pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae) showing its teeth. This animal can close its lips behind its teeth to allow it to use them for burrowing without getting earth in its mouth. Burrow systems, usually occupied by a single gopher, may cover an area as large as 200 square metres. The tunnels are usually around 20 centimetres beneath the surface, although nests and food storage chambers may be as deep as 2 metres. These gophers eat plants, mainly the roots and fleshy parts of plants they find while digging. They find food using their well- developed sense of smell. They rarely venture onto the surface, and never stray far from their holes.
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