Friday, July 06, 2012

Mole Trivia

European Moles, that is.

1. Contrary to popular belief the mole is not blind.
2. Except at breeding time moles are solitary and very territorial animals.
3. A mole can dig about 30 metres of new tunnels in 24 hours.
4. Moles eat worms and other invertebrates found in the soil.
5. Moles have to eat the equivalent of about two thirds of their own body weight of food every day.
6. Moles find their food in the tunnels they excavate.
7. Molehills are excess material created by tunnel excavation simply "dumped" on the surface of the ground.
8. A mole will defend its territory to the death.
9. The fox, owl, stoat, crow, cat and weasel are natural predators of the mole.
10. There are an estimated 33 million moles in Britain.
11. Moles weigh about 120g - 130g with the males being slightly larger than the females.
12. The gestation period of the mole is about 28 days.
13. The female mole gives birth in an underground nest, usually grass lined, in one of her tunnels.
14. The young moles leave the nest to fend for themselves in a new territory at about 40 days old.
15. Moles live for between three and five years.
16. Moles can move at speeds up to 2 miles per hour in their tunnels.
17. Moles occasionally travel overland but only where this is absolutely necessary for speed. Moving overland increases exposure to predators. Often, when travelling, they will make tunnels just under the surface of the ground.
18. In the labyrinth of tunnels, the mole senses its environment by signals received through vibrissae (sensitive hairs on its face, feet and the tip of its tail) and Eimer's organs (minute papillae on the mole's nose).
19. The mole has a highly developed kinaesthetic sense (a spatial memory) that allows it to remember the exact layout and precise detail of its entire tunnel system.
20. Living underground, the mole can survive in air containing about 6% oxygen - about half of the minimum level required by humans.

From the British Professional Molecatchers site.


bs king said...

I love that there's a British Professional Molecatchers website.

Gringo said...

Good educational piece.
I am trying to think of some pun regarding the spy use of "mole."

Texan99 said...

We have some kind of burrowing critter here that I've always assumed was a mole. I watched one pull a five-foot tall coriander plant down into his burrow one day in little 4-inch tugs every 20 seconds or so. It looked like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Our cats are, indeed, very focused on them.

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