Today's Dust :: Pocket Gopher Pocket Hole
Then I saw this photograph of a wild PG hole. That made me think they were so-named because they lived in pockets in the ground. That would make sense. Those hole-pockets are obviously dangerous to approach, hence this action-shot! This explanation seemed to fit the bill, but DID peeve me slightly because I then realised that I would have even more pockets to search for Inky.
Millions and millions more, given that each pocket gopher can dig 300 holes in a year.
But noooooooo! Imagine how humiliated I felt, Director of one of the world’s finest natural history collections as I am, to have not known that they get their name because they have pockets. And I don’t mean pouches to gestate their kittens in. No, I mean real honest-to-dog pockets. Sure they’re fur-lined and the pockets are on their cheeks and run across to their shoulders, so not entirely conventional. But their purpose is solely to store and carry things. Lots and lots of thing because PGs are hoarders. They also have very poor eyesight, long sharp teeth ‘n claws, and a propensity to bite if provoked. I think I’d get along with them very well! I’m almost looking forward to searching each of their pockets for Inky…
More information and videos in various formats of a PG in pocket-hole creating action from DesertUSA >>
Wikipedia on PGs >>
Other little-known facts about PGs..they shift about 4 ton of soil each a year and they are the state emblem of Minnesota.
Valley Pocket Gopher, Marina del Rey, 18th April
More by Dave Appleton >>