Mole | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Mole | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Mole Overview


Moles are small, burrowing mammals with cylindrical bodies and velvety, dark gray to black fur. They typically measure around 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) in length. Mole has strong, spade-like front limbs adapted for digging and broad, clawed feet.

Their eyes are tiny and often hidden beneath their fur, and they possess sensitive snouts with whiskers for navigation underground. Mole species may vary slightly in size and fur coloration.

Origins And Evolution

Moles are part of the family Talpidae and have evolutionary origins dating back tens of millions of years. Their ancestors, early insectivores, likely appeared during the Paleocene epoch. Moles evolved specialized adaptations for a subterranean lifestyle, including their powerful forelimbs, shovel-like hands, and strong claws for digging tunnels.

Over time, these adaptations allowed moles to exploit underground environments for food and protection. Their evolution involved a reduction in size and loss of certain features, such as external ears and functional eyes, as they became highly adapted to life below ground.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Moles are solitary, subterranean mammals that spend most of their lives underground. They are highly adapted for burrowing, with their powerful forelimbs and sharp claws allowing them to create intricate tunnel systems.

Moles are primarily insectivorous, preying on earthworms, insects, and larvae found in the soil. They construct underground nests and storage chambers within their tunnels. Moles are territorial and maintain exclusive territories, avoiding encounters with other moles whenever possible.

Mole Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Eulipotyphla
  • Family: Talpidae

Mole Locations

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • South America
  • Australia

Fast Facts

  • Name: Eastern Mole
  • Scientific Name: Scalopus aquaticus
  • Habitat: Underground Burrows
  • Diet: Insectivorous Hunter
  • Physical Features: Velvety Fur
  • Nocturnal: Active Nightly
  • Solitary: Often Solitary
  • Unique Order: Eulipotyphla Order
  • Lifespan: 3-6 Years
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern
  • Fun Facts: Excellent Diggers

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Dark Fur
  • Skin Type: Velvet Coat
  • Top Speed: Slow Mover
  • Lifespan: 3-6 Years
  • Weight: Small Body
  • Length: Short Limbs
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 1 Year
  • Age of Weaning: 4 Weeks

Mole FAQs

Are moles blind?

No, moles are not blind. While their eyes are tiny and often hidden beneath fur, they can detect light and movement.

Do moles eat plant roots?

Moles primarily feed on earthworms, insects, and larvae, not plant roots.

Are moles rodents?

No, moles are not rodents. They belong to the order Eulipotyphla and are more closely related to shrews.

Why do moles create molehills in lawns and gardens?

Moles create molehills as they dig their tunnel systems, pushing up soil and debris to the surface.

Do moles hibernate during the winter?

Moles do not hibernate but may move deeper into their tunnels during very cold weather.


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