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A Reassessment of Morphological Specializations for Digging in Pocket Gophers
Enrique P. Lessa and Charles S. Thaeler, Jr.
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 70, No. 4 (Nov., 1989), pp. 689-700
Published by: American Society of Mammalogists
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1381704
Page Count: 12
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An analysis of structural variation of the digging apparatus in pocket gophers of the genera Geomys, Thomomys, and Cratogeomys shows various degrees of specializations for tooth and claw digging. Thomomys is relatively more specialized for tooth digging, whereas Geomys specializes in claw digging and Cratogeomys is intermediate. It is suggested that claw diggers are restricted to sandy soils, whereas modifications for tooth digging allow exploitation of a broad range of soil types.
Journal of Mammalogy © 1989 American Society of Mammalogists