Scientists do not know much about the mole, this is probably because moles spend most of their lives underground and are very difficult to keep in captivity.
The mole is 12 to 18 cm long and weighs 60 to 130 grams. Its teeth are sharp, similar to a cat. It has a long moveable snout that is almost completely bare except for a few hairs; from this the mole gets most of its sensory information.
Its extremely small eyes are situated at the top of its snout, hidden by the fur. The mole’s eyes can only detect light and dark.
Although moles have no ears, just a pair of holes covered by the skin, their hearing is very sharp.
The mole has strong, robust front legs with large 'hands' in the shape of paddles facing outwards. Its fingers and nails are strong and well-equipped to dig into anything. The hind legs are less developed, and are only used for walking and running at up to 80ft per minute along their tunnels.
Thanks to the specialised bone and muscle structure, the mole can project a lateral force when it is digging equivalent to 32 times its own bodyweight (Arlton 1936).
The mole’s diet consists of earthworms, however it also eats other insects and grubs.
The mole is active both during the day and at night. Moles can eat between 70% and 100% of their own bodyweight every day, hence their reputation for having an 'insatiable appetite'.
Young are born from April to May, after a gestation period that lasts between 4 and 6 weeks. A mole can live for 3 to 5 years, producing up to 8 young every year.
Moles can swim well, and accordingly are not deterred by water...
Moles can cause Listeria in cattle and sheep when livestock graze on heavily soiled pasture, or if soil is present in grass silage.
A mole has only two predators, the Weasel, and Shropshire Mole Control!
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