Types of moles - Characteristics and examples

Moles are small mammals that, together with excesses, make up the family of weak of the order soricomorfos. Both are very similar animals, however, in this AnimalWised article we will talk about the characteristics and examples of moles.

Moles are known for their small size, which can range between 2 and 15 centimeters depending on the species. In addition, they are characterized by the presence of shovel-shaped forelimbs, adapted for excavation, large nails and little identifiable eyes that have always made us doubt about the ability to see of these animals. ¿You want to know more? ¡Keep reading this article about types of moles most popular that exist!

You may also be interested in: How to scare away moles? Index
  1. Types of moles - Photos and examples
  2. Where do moles live?
  3. How do moles reproduce and are born?

Types of moles - Photos and examples

In the subfamily of the Talpines or Talpinae, we can find a very extensive classification of moles, so we can group them into several types or "tribes ". Within these, we can differentiate some examples of mole species best known, although all of them follow a similar morphological pattern. They are as follows:

Types of Condylurini moles

His representative is the known star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata) which, as its name suggests, presents a star shaped nose and with great tactile sensitivity when searching for food. There are studies that affirm that this small animal is the fastest eating mammal due to its high metabolism. In addition, it has the ability, thanks to its large and wide forelimbs, to move very well digging underground or in aquatic environments..

Image: Pinterest

Types of Scalopini moles

Among the types of moles belonging to this group, we can find different species, such as:

  • Hairy-tailed mole (Parascalops breweri): it is characterized by its dark coat with lighter areas, its pointed snout and its small tail with hair.
  • North American mole (Scalopus aquaticus): it is very similar to the previous one, although we can differentiate it by its more brown colors and a somewhat larger size, since it can measure more than 15 centimeters.
  • Wide-footed mole (Scapanus latimanus): the broad-footed mole is characterized by its robust but small body, its brownish-brown coloration and its broad forelimbs.

In the following image we can see a specimen of North American mole.

Types of Scaptonychini moles

It includes the species of long-tailed mole (Scaptonyx fusicaudus). This has a similar appearance to the rest of known moles. However, it is known primarily for its longer tail, devoid of much hair and usually thin.

Image: Klop

Types of Talpini moles

This group includes species such as european mole (Talpa europaea), the Iberian mole (Talpa occidentalis) Y Talpa davidiana, a species of which not much is known today. The European mole and the Iberian mole are practically indistinguishable, as they both have a cylindrical body, a pointed snout, a small tail, and shovel-shaped limbs. However, they can be differentiated in some aspects, such as the larger size of the European mole, its somewhat wider limbs or its shorter snout..

Types of moles Urotrichinis

Among its representatives we can highlight the species Urotrichus talpoides, endemic to Japan and known for its shaggy, medium-sized tail, and the shrew mole (Dymecodon pilirostris) which, as its name suggests, has an appearance very similar to that of a shrew, highlighting its small body size and its grayish coloration..

Image: Diertjevandedag

Where do moles live?

The moles are typical of the Eurasian countries and North America. We will hardly have seen these solitary mammals in nature, since spend most of their lives underground digging tunnels up to 15 centimeters deep, where they rest and store food, which is why it has come to be thought that moles are blind, since they do not need the sense of sight to survive. This way of life also offers them greater protection against predators, as is the case with some birds, although from time to time they may come out of their hiding places to recognize the environment in which they are or look for some food. We can identify the presence of these mammals thanks to the mounds of earth that form in the ground as a result of the excavation of their tunnels. Therefore, if we see these elevations of the land we can think that we are near the home of a mole and we must respect it.

In some agricultural regions, this animal is not very welcome, as there is a belief that it destroys the soil, preventing the growth of plants. However, others think that moles offer benefits to farmers, since, when removing the earth with its feet, the necessary nutrients for the vegetables emerge and the ground is aerated. In addition, they eat insects preventing them from damaging crops as well..

But moles are not the only animals that live underground. In the article on Animals that live underground, we give you some examples.

How do moles reproduce and are born?

Depending on the species, the reproductive months of moles can vary, although they usually comprise the months between February and May.. Females present ovotestis, that is, a reproductive organ that consists of an ovarian area and a testicular area (hermaphroditism). In reproductive periods, the former develops more, so that the females can be fertilized by the males, and in non-reproductive periods the testicular develops without producing sperm, but it does have testosterone levels..

When the female is fertilized, it takes approximately a month to gestate their young, which are usually born in number of 3 or 6 and hairless. Later, the young spend another month lactating to finally become independent and search for food on their own..

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