Endangered Species Detected!!

I found an Ord’s kangaroo rat (endangered in Canada) alongside a northern pocket gopher in one sample from Sceptre, Saskatchewan. The skulls and teeth from both species look very similar, but one diagnostic difference is the indented premolars forming an “8” shape of the northern pocket gopher. The Ord’s kangaroo rat lacks these indents. This difference is visible in the root cavities of the skulls in the figure below (northern pocket gopher on the left, Ord’s kangaroo rat on the right). Another diagnostic feature (not shown here) are the grooved incisors of the Ord’s kangaroo rat. Northern pocket gophers lack this groove. Very exciting find 🙂

Comparison of skulls of northern pocket gopher (left) and ord's kangaroo rat (right).

Comparison of skulls of northern pocket gopher (left) and ord’s kangaroo rat (right).

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