Medicine: Pocket Gophers & Pregnancy

When Kansas State College hired Freddie Hisaw as an assistant professor of zoology and mammalogist in 1919, he "didn't even know what a mammalogist was. It turned out to be a fancy name for rodent exterminator," says Frederick Lee Hisaw, now 64, "and one of the rodents I was to exterminate was the pocket gopher. But I soon became more interested in live pocket gophers than in dead ones."

What made the little critter (Geomys bursarius) so fascinating to Scientist Hisaw was the nature of its pregnancy. To get around in its narrow burrows the animal has to...

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