GOPHER (Testudo gopher, Bartr.), the only living representative on the North American continent of the Testudinidce or family of land tortoises, where it occurs in the south-eastern parts of the United States, from Florida in the south to the river Savannah in the north. Its carapace, which is oblong and remarkably compressed, measures from 13 to 14 inches in extreme length, the shields which cover it being grooved, and of a yellow-brown colour. The gopher abounds chiefly in the forests, but occasionally visits the open plains, where it does great damage, especially to the potato crops, on which it feeds. It is a nocturnal animal, remaining concealed by day in its deep burrow, and coming forth at night to feed. Its strength in proportion to its size is said to be enormous, it being able, according to Dumeril and Bibron, to move along comfortably bearing a man on its back. The flesh of the gopher or mungofa, as it is also called, is considered excellent eating.