New research finds gophers are underground farmers

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Minnesota is known as the “Gopher State.”

New research published in the journal Current Biology shows gophers are farmers, harvesting crops of roots over time to survive underground.

The study conducted by University of Florida researchers says gophers manage, fertilize, and harvest roots for food.

Rick Huberty, owner of Metro Mole Control isn’t surprised by the research.

“Ninety-eight percent of the time they stay underground,” Huberty said. “It’s amazing how much vegetation there is underneath the ground, so they just have an awful lot there to sustain themselves.

“You’ll find gophers in just about every suburb of the metro. They’re survivalists. They’re very hardy animals.”

Researchers call gophers ecological engineers in a subterranean world.