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MOLES

Moles

 

Identification:

Moles are small mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have cylindrical bodies, velvety fur, very small, inconspicuous ears and eyes, reduced hind limbs and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws adapted for digging.

 

Other Identifying Features:

Moles have polydactyl forepaws; each has an extra thumb next to the regular thumb. While the mole’s other digits have multiple joints, the prepollex has a single, sickle-shaped bone that develops later.

Diet:

A mole’s diet primarily consists of earthworms and other small invertebrates found in the soil, and a variety of nuts. The mole runs are in reality ‘worm traps’, the mole sensing when a worm falls into the tunnel and quickly running along to kill and eat it. Because their saliva contains a toxin that can paralyze earthworms, moles are able to store their still-living prey for later consumption.

 

Breeding:

Breeding season for a mole depends on species but is generally February through May. Males search for females by letting out high-pitched squeals and tunneling through foreign areas.