Pocket gopher

Geomys pinetis

Pocket gophers are sometimes called "salamanders" but they are not amphibians! These industrious small rodents use their claws and teeth to dig tunnels with up to 500 ft long and make sandy mounds with the diggings. Thus these "sandy mounders" have been nicked named "salamanders." Their common name "pocket gophers" refers to large cheek "pockets" that are used to carry food and nesting material.

Pocket gophers build their underground homes in soils that are sandy and dry, and thus easier to dig in, like sandhills and sand pine scrub. They eat roots and tubers and are the favorite food of the Florida pine snake.

Photo credit: Gabriel Miller

 

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