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Difference between Gopher and Groundhog

Difference between Gopher and Groundhog

There are many different types of animals that inhabit North America, and two of the most well-known are the gopher and groundhog. Though they may seem similar, there are actually several key differences between these two creatures. In this blog post, we will explore those differences and help you to understand which one is which.

What is Gopher?

Gophers are small burrowing animals that are closely related to ground squirrels. They have short legs and large front teeth, and they are proficient diggers, using their powerful claws to quickly excavate tunnels underground. Gophers are commonly found in North and Central America, and they typically live in dry, open areas such as prairies or fields.

Gophers are herbivores, and their diet consists primarily of plants and roots. Gophers rarely come to the surface, but when they do, they are generally solitary creatures. Although they are not considered a threat to humans, gophers can cause significant damage to crops and gardens by burrowing through the roots of plants.

What is Groundhog?

Groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Groundhogs are well-known for their tendency to emerge from their burrows on Groundhog Day (February 2) to look for their shadows.

  • If they see their shadow, they will return to their burrow, indicating that winter will last for six more weeks. Groundhogs are found in North America, specifically in the eastern and central United States and southern Canada.
  • Groundhogs are heavy-bodied and have short legs, small eyes, and short tails. Their fur is brownish-red in color and becomes darker in the winter.
  • Groundhogs are proficient diggers and can tunnel through the ground at a rate of 12 feet (3.7 meters) per minute. Groundhogs typically live for six years in the wild and up to 14 years in captivity.

Difference between Gopher and Groundhog

Gophers and groundhogs are both burrowing animals that can cause damage to gardens and yards. Gophers are small, stocky mammals with short legs, while groundhogs are slightly larger and have longer legs.

  • Gophers live in North and Central America and build extensive underground tunnel systems. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are found in North America and Europe and build dens that may be up to 4 feet deep.
  • Gophers typically eat plant roots and bark, while groundhogs eat a variety of plants, including grasses, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Gophers generally only come above ground to mate, while groundhogs may be seen sunning themselves or foraging for food during the day.
  • Both animals can be nuisances, but gophers are generally considered more destructive due to their underground tunneling.


Although they may look similar, there are a few key differences between gophers and groundhogs. For one, groundhogs typically live in colonies while gophers live alone. Groundhogs also hibernate during the winter, while gophers do not. Gophers are also more aggressive than groundhogs and have been known to attack people. If you’re ever faced with either of these creatures, it’s important to be able to tell them apart.

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