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Saturday, 11 June 2016

Mole

Moles are animals found in North America, Europe and Asia.

Moles have been found to tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide than other mammals, because their blood cells have a special and unique haemoglobin protein. They are able to reuse the oxygen inhaled when above ground, and as a result, are able to survive in low-oxygen environments such as underground burrows.



A mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet long in just one night.

The European mole Talpa europaea is capable of shifting 196,000 times its own weight (17 tonnes) in earth in the space of one year.

The mole used to be called moldiwarp or mouldwarp meaning earth-thrower.

When moles burrow they raise molehills, killing parts of lawns. They can undermine plant roots, causing damage to gardens and areas of grass (such as golf courses), and represent a minor safety hazard.

Moles are considered agricultural pests in some countries, while in others, such as Germany, moles are a protected species, but may be killed with a permit.

King William III of England and The Netherlands died when his horse stumbled over a mole hill in Richmond Park and he fell off. His enemies toasted the mole as ‘the little gentleman in the black velvet waistcoat’.


Moles are solitary creatures, coming together only to mate. Territories may overlap, but moles avoid each other and males may fight fiercely if they meet.

A group of moles is called a labor.

They eat insects, larvae or tiny worms.

Moles have worm "larders" where they keep up to 1000 worms. Their saliva paralyses the worms and they store their still-living prey for later consumption.

In one day, moles consume nearly their body weight in earthworms.

The star-nosed mole of eastern Canada and north-eastern U.S. is the fastest-eating mammal in the world. It has an average ‘handling time’ of 230 milliseconds — that’s identifying food and eating it. The star-nosed mole lives in marshy areas and likes aquatic insects, worms and small fish.

English theologian, geologist and palaeontologist William Buckland (March 12, 1784 – August 14, 1856) claimed to have eaten his way through the animal kingdom. He opined that mole meat tastes vile and was the most distasteful he consumed along with bluebottle.

William Buckland (1784-1856)

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