What is the difference between Gopher and Mole?
Gopher and mole are both rodents. Gopher belongs to the family Geomyidae while mole belongs to the Talpidae family. They both create unsightly mounds of dirt in your grass.
At first sight, you may think that it is the same animal but they differ both in physical appearance and behavior.
Gophers are medium-sized animals. Moles are smaller than gophers in body size.
The main difference between gophers and moles is that gophers are comparatively larger while moles are comparatively smaller.
Comparison Table (Gopher vs Mole)
|Size||They are comparatively larger in body size.||They are comparatively smaller in body size.|
|Teeth||Their teeth protrude from their mouth.||They have very small teeth and they do not protrude from their mouth.|
|Snout||They have muzzles.||They have long, tapering snouts.|
|Eyes||They have readily visible eyes.||The eyes can barely be seen.|
|Holes||The burrows are hard to see above the ground and are shaped like a crescent or heart.||Their burrows are above the ground, circular, and have holes directly in the center.|
|Damage||They cause damage to plants and disrupt underground water when burrowing.||They make ground unsuitable for mowing or walking.|
|What they feed on||They feed on plant matter such as roots and shrubs.||They feed on small insects underground.|
What is a Gopher?
The gopher is a mammal in the Geomyidae family. They are burrowing rodents. There are about 35 species and are mostly found in North and Central America.
They are well known for their ability to destroy plants and creating burrows along with the ways of underground water hence blocking the drainage channel.
Pocket gophers are the true gophers. They get their name from the cheek pouches they possess. They use the pouches to carry food to be used later.
The pouches are fur-lined and can be turned inside out and extend from the side of the mouth back on the shoulders.
They have small eyes and hairy tails which they use to feel around the tunnels when they walk backward.
They create tunnel systems that are meant for the protection and collection of food. The cheek pouches are used to carry food back to the burrows.
They live solitary lives and are rarely found above the ground. They like moist soil hence visit gardens and lawns.
They feed on plant roots, shrubs, and vegetables. They may breed throughout the year and each litter comprises 2 to 5 offspring. The young ones are born blind and helpless and maybe weaned after 40 days.
What is a Mole?
Mole belongs to the family Talpidae. It is one of the burrowing rodents. They are mostly found in North America, Asia, and Europe.
They are pests known to human activities such as agriculture. However, they do not eat plant roots. They eat earthworms and other small invertebrates in the soil.
They are beneficial as they eat small animals found in the soil that do not have any other predators and aerate the soil.
They have pointy snouts along with paddled-like forefeet. They have long claws which they use to dig the burrows. They have very small and nearly invisible eyes. They have soft fur and it varies from gray to brown.
Their breeding depends on the species. In most cases, it occurs between February and May. Their gestation period is approximately 42 days. The litter comprises 3 to 5 offspring.
They are solitary creatures. They only come together to mate then the males leave the females to take care of the young ones.
Main Differences between Gopher and Mole
- Gophers are comparatively larger while moles are comparatively smaller in body size.
- Gophers have muzzles while moles have long snouts.
- Gophers have teeth that protrude from their mouth while moles have small teeth that are covered in the mouth unless they open their mouth is when they become visible.
- Gophers have visible eyes while moles have eyes that can barely be seen.
- Gophers destroy plants and disrupt underground water while moles make ground unsuitable for walking and mowing.
- Gophers’ holes are hard to see above the ground while moles’ holes can be seen above the ground.
Similarities between Gopher and Mole
- Both are rodents.
- Both live in burrows.
- Both cause damage.
- They both have long claws.
- They both have small eyes.
Gophers and moles are both rodents that cause destruction to plants underground. They make their burrows underground hence causing damage to plant roots.
Gophers are larger and possess cheek pouches which they use to transport food to the burrow. Moles are comparatively smaller and they do not have cheek pouches.
The main feature that makes gophers different from moles is the cheek pouches possessed by the gophers.
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