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GOPHER (Testudo polyphemus), the only living representativ on the North American continent of the genus Testudo of th family Testudinidae or land tortoises; it occurs in the south eastern parts of the United States, from Florida in the south t< the river Savannah in the north. Its carapace, which is oblonj and remarkably compressed, measures from 12-18 in. in extrem length, the shields which cover it being grooved, and of a yellow brown colour. It is characterized by the shape of the front lob I of the plastron, which is bent upwards and extends beyond th carapace. The gopher abounds chiefly in the forests, bu occasionally visits the open plains, where it does great damage especially to the potato crops, on which it feeds. It is a nocturna animal, remaining concealed by day in its deep burrow, an coming forth at night to feed. The eggs, five in number, almos ound and 15 in. in diameter, are laid in a separate cavity near he entrance. The flesh of the gopher or mungofa, as it is also ailed, is considered excellent eating.

The name " gopher " is more commonly applied to certain mall rodent mammals, particularly the pocket-gopher.

GdPPINGEN, a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Wurttem- >erg, on the right bank of the Fils, 22 m. E.S.E. of Stuttgart on he railway to Friedrichshafen. Pop. (1905) 20,870. It possesses castle built, partly with stones from the ruined castle of Hohen- taufen, by Duke Christopher of Wurttemberg in the 16th century and now used as public offices, two Evangelical churches, a loman Catholic church, a synagogue, a classical school, and a modern school. The manufactures are considerable and include inen and woollen cloth, leather, glue, paper and toys. There are machine shops and tanneries in the town. Three m. N. of the own are the ruins of the castle of Hohenstaufen. Goppingen originally belonged to the house of Hohenstaufen, and in 1270 came into possession of the counts of Wurttemberg. It was surrounded by walls in 1129, and was almost entirely rebuilt after a fire in 1782.

See Pfeiffer, Beschreibung und Geschichte der Stadt Goppingen 1885).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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