Horned Gopher

Ceratogaulus rhinocerus

Resurrected on:

Genus information

Horned gophers were large rodents that mostly lived in underground burrows. The striking feature of this species are its horns. Horned gophers are the only known rodents to have actual horns on their head. They were large, in comparison to their body, paired next to each other and both male and female gophers had them. There are several theories for the usage of these horns: some believe they used it for digging upwards or used it for display, but the most promising theory is that they used it for defence. When horned gophers were chased by predators and tried to be dug out, they would lash out with their horns from their burrows to fend them off.

Family:

Distribution:

Epoch:

Mylagaulidae

North America

Miocene to Pliocene

Species information

The genus Ceratogaulus consists of five species of horned gophers, all found in North America. Clear differences between the species are not specified. In 2013, the latest addition of the horned gopher family was discovered and named C. robustus.

Species:

Paleontologist:

Distribution:

Epoch:

Ceratogaulus rhinocerus

Matthew, 1902

North America

Miocene to Pliocene

Length:

Height:

Weight:

30 cm

n/a

3 kg

Reference:

Hopkins, S. S. (2005). The evolution of fossoriality and the adaptive role of horns in the Mylagaulidae (Mammalia: Rodentia). Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 272(1573), 1705-1713.

Size comparison

Distribution map

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