Everyone is aware of mole hills commonly found in South Africa, North America and other countries. Moles are small animals that live in tunnels under the ground and belong to the mammal species.
Fact 1 Where Are Moles Found?
Moles belong to the Talpidae family. They are small insectivorous animals that burrow into the soil and spend a lot of time in their tunnels only away from human sight. These animals are commonly found in temperate Northern Hemisphere and also in Europe and Asia. But they are not seen in Ireland at all.
Fact 2 Description Of Moles
Moles have a specific body shape. The bodies are rounded and are 15.2 cm long that are covered with gray and black soft fur. They do not have external ears but pointed nozzles. The end of the nose and tail has keen sense of touch and hearing. The eyes are hardly visible because they are mostly covered with fur or skin but react to light easily. Their legs are short and the front feet are broad with sharp claws with which they dig their tunnels. The legs being very strong, moles can move extremely fast both forwards and backwards. They often escape from enemies as they can do somersaults. Most moles can swim well. The color of their bodies varies from brown which is full of fur or pink that is without fur.
Fact 3 Different Species Of Moles
There are about 20 species of moles that live in their natural environment while there are some that spend some of their time in water also. The common European mole is known as Talpa Europaea, the garden mole of North America is the Scalopus Aquaticus. In North America the largest moles are found known as Scapanus, while the smallest mole is the shrew mole. The NeurotrichusGibbsii species are seen in the Northwest Pacific and they love the forests and spend a lot of time roaming about the forest ground. The star-nosed mole of northeastern North America has a ring of protuberances that are moble around the snout that gives them a strange look. It is used to water and can dive well.
Fact 4 Lifestyle Of Moles
Most mole species live in tunnels just below the surface of the ground. This is their hunting ground. One can spot mounds and ridges in fields, lawns and gardens which are the homes of these moles. It is an industrious creature and can dig about 18m in a single day. The walls of the tunnel are firm and it is like a network which is accessible only by the moles.
Fact 5 Their Food Habits
Moles are mostly omnivores and their main diet consists of earthworms. Their saliva easily paralyzes small animals which makes it easy for them to catch their prey. They eat profusely and their food consists of insects and earthworms like mice and sometimes even kill each other for food. They build special larders where they store food to eat later.
Fact 6 Reproduction System Of Moles
During breeding season in early spring the male and female moles meet and travel together to build new homes for their young ones. The gestation period is only a month and she gives birth to 2 to 6 babies. The mother does not have to take care of them for long as they become quite independent within a month. Moles usually live for 6 to 7 years.
Fact 7 Enemies Of Moles
The biggest enemies of moles are birds, reptiles and bigger mammals. Humans too kill them as pests and also for their fur.