gopher

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gopher

or

pocket gopher,

name for the burrowing rodentsrodent,
member of the mammalian order Rodentia, characterized by front teeth adapted for gnawing and cheek teeth adapted for chewing. The Rodentia is by far the largest mammalian order; nearly half of all mammal species are rodents.
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 of the family Geomyidae, found in North America and Central America. The gopher is gray, buff, or dark brown. Its combined head and body length is 5 to 12 in. (13–30 cm) depending on the species; its tail is short. The name pocket gopher refers to the fur-lined pouches that open on the outside of its cheeks and are used for carrying food and nesting material. The gopher has extremely long upper and lower teeth, which are always exposed, and broad forepaws armed with enormous claws; it uses its teeth as picks and its forepaws as shovels as it tunnels through the ground. Because gophers do not hibernate, they must accumulate stores of food for the winter. They live and do most of their foraging underground, feeding chiefly on roots and tubers. Except for brief pairing during the mating season, gophers are solitary—a single animal occupies each tunnel system. Although their extensive, ramifying tunnels sometimes damage earth dams and banks, gophers are of some value as agents of soil aeration and in forming humus by burying organic matter. Eastern pocket gophers, species of the genus Geomys, are found in the United States from the Rocky Mts. to the Mississippi valley and on the Gulf Coast. Western pocket gophers, species of Thomomys, are found from the Rocky Mts. to the Pacific and from S Canada to the Mexican border. The Mexican pocket gopher, Cratogeomys castanops, ranges from the SW United States to central Mexico. Other genera are found in Mexico and Central America. The name gopher is also applied to the ground squirrelground squirrel,
name applied to certain terrestrial rodents of the squirrel family. In North America the name refers to members of the genus Citellus and sometimes to the closely related genera Tamias (chipmunk), Cynomys (prairie dog), and Marmota
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 in some regions. Gophers are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Geomyidae.

gopher

[′gō·fər]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for North American rodents composing the family Geomyidae. Also known as pocket gopher.

Gopher

[′gō·fər]
(computer science)
A menu-based program for browsing the Internet and finding and gaining access to files, programs, definitions, and other Internet resources.

gopher

1. any burrowing rodent of the family Geomyidae, of North and Central America, having a thickset body, short legs, and cheek pouches
2. another name for ground squirrel
3. any burrowing tortoise of the genus Gopherus, of SE North America
4. gopher snake another name for bull snake

gopher

(networking, protocol)
A distributed document retrieval system which started as a Campus Wide Information System at the University of Minnesota, and which was popular in the early 1990s.

Gopher is defined in RFC 1436. The protocol is like a primitive form of HTTP (which came later). Gopher lacks the MIME features of HTTP, but expressed the equivalent of a document's MIME type with a one-character code for the "Gopher object type". At time of writing (2001), all Web browers should be able to access gopher servers, although few gopher servers exist anymore.

Tim Berners-Lee, in his book "Weaving The Web" (pp.72-73), related his opinion that it was not so much the protocol limitations of gopher that made people abandon it in favor of HTTP/HTML, but instead the legal missteps on the part of the university where it was developed:

"It was just about this time, spring 1993, that the University of Minnesota decided that it would ask for a license fee from certain classes of users who wanted to use gopher. Since the gopher software being picked up so widely, the university was going to charge an annual fee. The browser, and the act of browsing, would be free, and the server software would remain free to nonprofit and educational institutions. But any other users, notably companies, would have to pay to use gopher server software.

"This was an act of treason in the academic community and the Internet community. Even if the university never charged anyone a dime, the fact that the school had announced it was reserving the right to charge people for the use of the gopher protocols meant it had crossed the line. To use the technology was too risky. Industry dropped gopher like a hot potato."

Gopher

A protocol for searching file names and resources on the Internet that presents hierarchical menus to the user. As users select options, they are moved to different Gopher servers. Where links have been established, Usenet news and other information can be read directly from Gopher.

Thousand of Servers in its Heyday
Originally introduced in 1991 at the University of Minnesota, there were more than 7,000 Gopher servers on the Internet at one time. Gopher popularity declined as content on the Web increased throughout the 1990s, and by 2007, there were barely 100 servers remaining. Gopher client support was added to Web browsers for a while, but was not always complete and later abandoned in most cases. See Veronica, Archie, Jughead, WAIS and World Wide Web.


When Gopher Reigned
When it was introduced in 1993, the Mosaic Web browser came equipped with a list of Gopher and FTP servers (see Mosaic). (Image courtesy of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.)
References in periodicals archive ?
2005) and Wood (1949) reported female-biased sex ratios in Baird's pocket gophers of 57% males and 60% females, respectively.
A Minnesota mother and son have been accused of stealing thousands of dollars' worth of gopher feet 6 a serious crime in Harmony Township, located 120 miles outside of Minneapolis.
The grassland physiographic regions of Indiana are the only portions of the state where gophers have been located (Conaway 1947: Tuszynski 1971; Thorne 1989).
Fifteen immature pocket gophers from nine nests were collected from Arkansas between 27 March 2009 and 25 April 2009.
Although they're cute, gophers can wreak havoc in the garden.
COUNTRYSIDE: I was reading about Larry's problem with pocket gophers.
Meanwhile, Sinikka Crosland, president of Vancouver's Responsible Animal Care Society, suggests deploying sonic devices, light deterrents and plastic owls to create disturbances, to discourage gophers from entering neighbouring crops.
Carroll and four other finalists competed for the driveway before the Minnesota Golden Gopher football team's final home game.
In Wednesday's Sun Bowl, the Gophers finished with their third-fewest rushing yards of the season, 241.
Cayley's bill to provide for the destruction of wolves by the offer of a bounty for each animal killed was a bold attempt to settle the question, but it was met by a demand for similar legislation for the destruction of gophers from the members representing purely agricultural districts.
To access a gopher server, users log on to their Internet provider, then type "gopher" at the system prompt.
However, the inbred individuals readily rejected skin taken from gophers outside of their population, which demonstrated that their immune systems were functioning reasonably well.