Mole

Mole, common name for 20-29 species of predominantly burrowing insectivores of family Talpidae restricted to Eurasia and N America. Six species occur in Canada.

Mole Distribution
Mole, Star-nosed
The star-nosed mole spends part of its time in the water (artwork by Jan Sovak, 1989).
Mole, Coast
Like all moles, this coast mole spends most of its life underground. It eats its body weight in insects every day (artwork by Jan Sovak, 1989).

Mole, common name for 20-29 species of predominantly burrowing insectivores of family Talpidae restricted to Eurasia and N America. Six species occur in Canada.

Distribution and Habitat

Shrew, coast and Townsend's moles (Neurotrichus gibbsii, Scapanus orarius, S. townsendii respectively) live in extreme southwestern BC; eastern mole (S. aquaticus) in Essex County, Ont; hairy-tailed mole (Parascalops breweri) in forests of Ont and Qué; and the somewhat aquatic star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata) from the Maritimes to Man and N to the boreal forest.

Description

Moles have cylindrical bodies; dense, velvetlike fur; pointed, mobile snouts (with fingerlike appendages in the star-nosed mole); minute eyes and external ears greatly reduced or lacking. The 5-toed feet show varying degrees of adaptation for swimming (Old World water moles) or burrowing.

Reproduction and Development

Moles usually mate in spring; gestation lasts 4-6 weeks; litters average 2-5 young. They may live 3-4 years.

Diet

Canadian species are largely subterranean, preying mainly on soil invertebrates. They may eat their own weight in food daily.


Interested in wildlife?

External Links