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WikiProject Rodents[edit]

This is a notice to inform interested editors of a new WikiProject being proposed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Rodents --ΖαππερΝαππερ BabelAlexandria 02:05, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Gopher? Really?[edit]

Since when has the term "gopher" been used as a catch-all for any and all small burrowing rodents? I always considered a gopher as a specific animal. A squirrel should definately not be considered gophers since they don't meet the qualification of ground burrower with a network of tunnels. and if we use that definition, should we include moles, and shrews? Prairie dogs are not gophers, and ground hogs are not gophers. If this term continues to be used this way it will lead to continued confusion. Evidently there are approx. 40 species of true gophers (Geomyidae), which should be addressed here.Flight Risk (talk) 19:25, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

I noticed these problems as well, and I am going to try and fix some of them now.Simplysavvy (talk) 10:55, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
I also noticed some other contradictory information. One source I looked at said that gophers can live 12 years, but in this article it says the longest lived gopher only lived for 7 years. What do we do with information like this? I dont really know that much about gophers to be sure who is right.Simplysavvy (talk) 11:12, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Here are two links to info about gophers. Which do you think is reliable? and (talk) 11:13, 16 January 2014 (UTC)


This page has a great deal of general information about "gophers", but there is no indication as to what "gopher" it is referring to. This should clearly be a disambiguation page. There is almost nothing to unite Richardson's ground squirrel with the geomyids except for being rodents that burrow. It's a bit bold, but I am returning this page to a disambiguation as it would require guessing the initial editors' intents to have a hope of cleaning this up. --Aranae (talk) 21:53, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Alright, I guess there already is a disambiguation page for gopher. It's clear this should just redirect there, but I will wait to see if there are objections. --Aranae (talk) 21:57, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
The page as it is is clearly insufficient; I agree that geomyids and Spermophilus sensu lato don't have much in common (except for being burrowers). We should redirect this page to gopher, which I just edited to list the three animal groups "gopher" can refer to in a clearer way. Ucucha 19:14, 15 November 2009 (UTC)


I have a good picture of a gopher, here is the link Gopher Pic —Preceding unsigned comment added by JTchagbele (talkcontribs) 16:58, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

This article should be primary topic[edit]

I think it's really bizarre that gopher is a disambig page. Sure, there are different sorts of gophers, but fish are not even monophyletic, and that's not a dab page!

Move the existing gopher to gopher (disambiguation), delete the redirect, and move this page to gopher. --Trovatore (talk) 08:27, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

No objections, articles were merged. --NickPenguin(contribs) 17:03, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

As the previous poster notes, it is very strange that this article would not be located at gopher. It also becomes apparent to me that this article subject is solely about the pocket gopher. Although other animals are mistakenly referred to as gophers, clearly the primary subject here is the pocket gopher, referred to in this article as a true gopher. Thus I propose that this article and pocket gopher be merged, and the combined article be located at Gopher, per WP:COMMONNAME. --NickPenguin(contribs) 05:26, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Moved per consensus. bd2412 T 20:47, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Gopher (animal)Gopher – Per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, the common usage of the word gopher refers to the animal. The current Gopher page would be moved to Gopher (disambiguation). NickPenguin(contribs) 05:28, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Comment this is a malformed multimove request, someone please fix it. -- (talk) 05:47, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per what NickPenguin said! -Newyorkadam (talk) 06:02, 17 January 2014 (UTC)Newyorkadam
  • Oppose - the nomination says "the common usage of the word gopher refers to the animal" but no evidence has been provided that this is the case. I'd have thought the protocol is quite a common usage too, as well as the fact that this is an alternative spelling of gofer. I'm open to persausion though, if the evidence is provided!  — Amakuru (talk) 10:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Gopher_(protocol) has been viewed 13834 times in the last 30 days. This is what comes up first when you Google "Gopher".[1]
Gopher has been viewed 1076 times in the last 30 days. This is the disambiguation page.[1]
Gopher (animal) has been viewed 5540 times in the last 30 days.[1]
So, maybe we should move 'Gopher (protocol)' to 'Gopher' and move 'Gopher' to 'Gopher (disambiguation)'? -Newyorkadam (talk) 12:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)Newyorkadam
[1]: Statistics are from
The bias toward computing topics is natural when using a computer. Wikipedia strives to be a general encyclopedia. As far as "gopher" meaning "gofer" goes, gofer is a borderline DICDEF and is not all that encyclopedically notable.  AjaxSmack  19:05, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Exactly, we should be a general encyclopedia. So we don't favour the animal because of some unproven theory on common usage, and we don't favour the computing term just because it has more page views. We go for neutrality, which is the disambiguation page. As I said, I would be happy to be convinced that the animal is the primary topic in common use, but there is still no evidence presented in any of the comments on this page. So it still looks like there is no primary topic here.  — Amakuru (talk) 16:35, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Without even looking at page views it satisfies WP:PRIMARYTOPIC as A topic is primary for a term, with respect to long-term significance, if it has substantially greater enduring notability and educational value than any other topic associated with that term. Zarcadia (talk) 13:39, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The animal is surely the primary topic here. In the unlikely event supporting evidence is needed, hile some dictionaries, for example, do mention the protocol as well, it seems to be the animal that is always definition #1. Anaxial (talk) 00:06, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oh my stars. Wow. Wow. This is humiliating for an encyclopedia. Very, very strong support Red Slash 16:19, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose – this is only slightly less silly than Newyorkadam's proposal to make Gopher (protocol) the primarytopic. There's nothing wrong with using disambig pages for ambiguous terms. Dicklyon (talk) 18:55, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support It seems really strange that the protocol has more views than the animal (could it be some kind of automated access?). But in terms of which has greater long-term significance and what viewers expect specifically at an article titled "Gopher", it has to be the animal as primary topic. benmoore 19:27, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support It seems that a Gopher is an animal which should have its own article in an encyclopedia. If there are many kinds of gophers, and one of them is a pocket gopher, than a section on the pocket gopher should be included and merged into this article. It sems strange that there is so much discussion on this subject. Simplysavvy (talk) 12:18, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. Primary topic. -- Necrothesp (talk) 14:44, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Comment - following my comments above, and having looked at this article further, it seems like that the scope of Gopher (animal), apparently all animals of the family Geomyidae, is identical to the scope of Pocket gopher - there are no true gophers that are not pocket gophers. Although there are the squirrel like animals not in Geomyidae that are called gophers in some areas, of course. So in fact it may be the case that Gopher (animal) should merged into Pocket gopher and then redirected to either Pocket gopher or to Gopher (the disambiguation page). I think there's enough confusion, even in the animal sense of the word, that the disambiguation page at the main topic page serves our readers better than any other arrangement.  — Amakuru (talk) 17:14, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - I support a merger. When I first looked at the article I found it quite confusing. Under the heading "Gopher" there should be the entire discussion of pocket gophers, and all other animals that are mistakenly called gophers, but there should be a way to send people to a different article about these other "gopher-like" creatures. Good luck.Simplysavvy (talk) 11:40, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

What's the scientific name?[edit]

Shouldn't this page have one of those scientific name/conservation status sidebars that most other animal articles have?

You're right, I'll work on that now! -Newyorkadam (talk) 16:28, 19 January 2014 (UTC)Newyorkadam

In popular culture section[edit]

I reverted the removal of this section, as I could see no valid reason to do so. As far as I can see, all of the references are to significant elements of a work of fiction, or self evident references (Gainer the Gopher, self evident example of gophers in popular culture). --NickPenguin(contribs) 01:57, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

"Self-evident references" and the "citations" currently in that section do not qualify as reliable secondary sources; without any proper indication of significance, the section as it stands is contrary to WP:NOT and WP:UNDUE/WP:OR (as there is no contextualization of the mentions). Nikkimaria (talk) 05:36, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Several of the items were backed up by sources, and others linked to WP articles with Gopher in the name, which were presumably judged to be notable. I removed a few items that were not. Dicklyon (talk) 05:46, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
{edit conflict} The (essay) Wikipedia:When to cite makes a valid point that statements don't need to be cited when they are "General common knowledge: Statements that the average adult recognizes as true." We don't need a citation that the sky is blue, and we don't need a citation to state that Gainer the Gopher is a gopher. What kind of criteria would we even use to determine if a source stated this fact? Would it actually have to say "Gainer the Gopher is a gopher."? Also, (the essay) WP:IPC describes bad examples of in popular culture content to be "[e]xhaustive, indiscriminate lists [... that] are passing references to the article subject." None of these examples provides a "passing" reference, as the "gopher" element is either essential to the essence of that subject, or actually in the name of that subject. Finally, (the guideline) Wikipedia:N#NCONTENT states that "The criteria applied to article creation/retention are not the same as those applied to article content." and since it can be demonstrated that gophers are represented in popular culture (by the specific, discriminate examples given), then the wholesale removal of this section of content would be unacceptable. --NickPenguin(contribs) 06:01, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Dickylon, two of the items have non-independent sources; no items have any indication of why they might be "judged" notable or significant to the broader topic, or any appropriate sourcing to support such a judgement. NickPenguin, "while information must be verifiable in order to be included in an article, this does not mean that all verifiable information must be included in an article" (WP:V); "to provide encyclopedic value, data should be put in context with explanations referenced to independent sources" (WP:IINFO). Furthermore, if you would continue reading WP:IPC, you would note such guidance as "If a cultural reference is genuinely significant it should be possible to find a reliable secondary source that supports that judgment". Can you present any such sources? If not, the content does not merit inclusion. Nikkimaria (talk) 06:10, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Gainer the Gopher - [1] [2]
Go programming language: [3] [4]
Winnie the Pooh's Gopher: [5] [6] (not the best source in my opinion)
No Good Gofers: [7] [8]
Tee'd Off: [9] [10] (brief mention of gophers)
University of Minnesota mascot: [11] [12] [13]
Gordon the Gopher: [14] [15]
Gopher (protocal): [16] (starts at 2:40 mark in video)
Caddyshack: [17] [18]
These links should demonstrate that sources can be found for each example. --NickPenguin(contribs) 16:45, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Sources, perhaps; sources supporting the judgement that "a cultural reference is genuinely significant", not so much. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:09, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm usually the one pruning and removing trivia sections, but in this case I think your standards are too high. We don't need notability. Look at the first ref above for Gainer: it's practically enough for notability, certainly enough for inclusion in a cultural references section. If some are less good (which they are), make individual cases for why they should be removed. Dicklyon (talk) 01:44, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
When most of them are "less good", though, there's little point in making individual cases. From the above, only a couple clearly warrant inclusion. And none have independent sourcing or contextualization in the article itself, at this point. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:09, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Since this particular content is in dispute, and it has been reverted twice already, I felt it would be better to discuss this first before modifying the area in question. Since "only a couple clearly warrant inclusion", please be specific as to which ones, and why the other ones do not; then I can add the sources to the ones that we all agree are acceptable. Any others that are further in dispute I can either find different sources for, or we will all agree that they should be excluded. --NickPenguin(contribs) 01:18, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Gainer and Caddyshack. Possibly UofM. All three would require appropriate contextualization, though. Nikkimaria (talk) 00:29, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
@Nikkimaria: Your comment is unclear. Are those the ones that are acceptable or unacceptable? --NickPenguin(contribs) 20:25, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
Those are the ones that are acceptable, given the sources presented. Nikkimaria (talk) 21:36, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Gopher/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

It needs another picture of a gopher with its teeth showing...

Last edited at 20:48, 28 January 2014 (UTC). Substituted at 16:31, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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