| The name of the genus, Cratogeomys, was cobbled together from three Greek words, “kratos”, (strong), “geo” (earth), and “mys” (mouse), in 1895 by a naturalist impressed with these mammals' sturdy front legs. Like all pocket gophers in the family Geomyidae, the Smoky Pocket Gopher digs with its powerful forelegs.
It eats plant matter, especially roots, tubers, but also some aboveground stems and leaves. People who garden where pocket gophers burrow sometimes see an entire plant suddenly disappear, yanked down from underneath. Snakes and weasels, which can enter their tunnels, prey on pocket gophers.
At some point in the future, a list of the Cratogeomys pocket gophers found in Mexico might be shorter than the current list, because mammalogists studying these animals think it's likely that Cratogeomys fumosus, gymnurus, neglectus, tylorhinus, and zinseri are all one and the same species.
Head and Body: 335-582 mm; Tail: 60-125 mm
Merriam, C.H., 1892. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 7:165.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).