Gopher

 
By: Deonna Sainz

YouTube Video Gopher

                                                                                 
INTRODUCTION:
Today you will be learning about the desert wildlife! I am just one of the many types of animals that live in the Sonoran desert. I am known as a burrowing animal and I get my name from the fur-lined, external cheek pouches, or pockets. Can you guess who I am? Well let me introduce myself, Hi I am a Gopher and I live in the Sonoran desert. I am a small animal, about 7 to 12 inches and can be found digging underground tunnels. I cant see very well so I rely on touching objects. I love to eat roots and berries. I usual travel alone but I don’t mind sharing with my mate and babies. Now that you know a little about me scroll down to find out more information about me! You will find interesting facts, complete a fun activity, and then test your knowledge on a quiz. Are you stilll here? Go on get going and have fun!
 
WHO AM I?
I have brown fur and I enjoy digging tunnels, and my life span is between 3 to 5 years. I often get confused with a squirrel and mole. Can you guess who I am? That’s right I am a Pocket gopher I can be identified by my long, hard front teeth, tiny ears, small eyes, and short tail.

WHERE DO I LIVE?
I can be found in North America and Central America. I am known for digging, and building complex underground tunnel systems. I use my front legs and long teeth to push dirt out of the tunnels and onto the grass above. My tunnels can stretch for long distances through mountain terrain and I live alone unless my mate has had babies.
 WHAT DO I EAT?
I am a vegetarian and enjoy eating roots, trees, shrubs, grass, plants, nuts, seeds, and berries. Grain and insects is where I get the majority of my protein from. I am a hoarding animal; I store food I find in my cheek pouches before I take the food back to the burrow. I am known for collecting a large amount of food.
HOW DO I LOOK?
I have four legs, my fur is very soft, fine, and can be different colors from black to brown to very nearly white. I am a very small animal between 7 to 12 inches. I can weight anywhere from a ½ to one pound. My eyes are very small which leaves me with poor sight and sound; I rely heavily on my sense of touch. My whiskers function as a part of sense of touch, they are very small and help aid me in my subterranean travel. I have a bald tail that help me navigate when I move in reverse, it also help me regulate my body temperature.
HOW DO I REPRODUCE?
I am usually a solitary animal but during mating season I don’t mind sharing my tunnel with my mate and babies. Breeding season is from the end of winter to spring. My litter size can range from 1 to 10 babies but usually on average 3 to 4 young’s per litter.
 
FUN FACTS ABOUT ME?
The name "pocket gopher" comes from this animal's fur-lined cheek pouches or "pockets", which open up on the outside of each side of the mouth and extend all the way back to the shoulders. Did you know the term gopher means tortoise. I also bring 2 ¼ tons of soil to the surface each year. One more cool fact about me is that my Cheek pouches turn completely inside out for cleaning.

Activities

 
Kindergarten: Draw a picture of a Gopher in its habitat and color it. Once you are finished come tell the teacher or parent an interesting fact you learned. After you finish the activity please complete the assessment quiz.

First Grade: Draw a picture of a Gopher in its habitat and color it. Once you are finished write two sentences explaining your picture, or a fact you learned. After you finish the activity please complete the assessment quiz.
 
Second Grade: Fill in the blanks to the questions and then find all the words in the word search. There is a word box to help you out! Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on download to view the Gopher Word Search. Once it’s downloaded please print the activity. After you finish the activity please complete the assessment quiz.

Third Grade: Read the questions and answer them while filling in the crossword puzzle. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on download to view the Gopher Crossword puzzle. Once it’s downloaded please print the activity. After you finish the activity please complete the assessment quiz.
 
Assesment Time!
WHERE CAN YOU FIND INFORMATION ABOUT ME? LOOK BLEOW!
 
Pestworld for kids
This website has a variety of different pests; this has basic information about gophers.
http://www.pestworldforkids.org/gophers.html

Gophers and Gopher Control
Have you ever had a gopher in your yard? This shows how to identify and catch one. Along with great information.

 
What to know about: Gophers
Lots of facts about gophers!
http://www.outwitcritters.com/gopher/facts.html
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Deonna Sainz,
Sep 28, 2011, 5:30 PM
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Deonna Sainz,
Sep 28, 2011, 5:30 PM
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