The purpose of this study was to compare the morphology of the hind limb of the pocket gopher with that of the kangaroo rat and to determine their differences. This was accomplished by first, obtaining the specimens; second, preparation of the specimens for preservation and dissection; third, photographing and tracing the muscles; fourth, noting the origin and insertion of each muscle and their general morphology; and fifth, preparation and photographing of the bones. Comparative volumetric measurements were made of the muscles of the two animals to determine the differences between them. These two families, Geomyidae and Heteromyidae, are closely related but show great morphological differences which are adaptive due to their different environments and habits. The volumetric measurements of the two animals showed the shank of the kangaroo rat to be twice the size of that of the pocket gopher. The muscles used by the kangaroo rat in jumping are longer and larger as indicated by the volumetric displacement and linear measurements. Also, linear measurements were made of the various muscles and bones, These measurements also showed the variation in lenth and width, with those muscles of the kangaroo rat baing longer and wider. In the study of the bones, the general outlines of the two forms were vastly different. The location of tuberosities, size of the tuberosities for muscle attachment, bone length and width made up these differences. Origins, insertion, actions and description of the muscles are given for each animal.
College and Department
Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Price, Nancy S., "A comparative study of the osteology and myology of the hind limb of the pocket gopher and kangaroo rat" (1963). Theses and Dissertations. 7853.
Pocket gophers; Kangaroo rats