Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hottentot Golden Mole

For the last year or two I have had something digging up the lawn behind the house. It didn't push mole hills like I am used to, but rather tunnels just below the surface which you can actually see in the grass. But up to now the bugger as evaded me. Till the other day when I pulled up the driveway and found a figure lying motionless on the paving. Don't know how this little guy came to his end, but it probably wasn't a cat, otherwise there would not have been a body to inspect (and photograph).

I may be wrong, but from what I can gather, it is a Hottentot Golden Mole (Amblysomus hottentotus). The Hottentot Golden Mole survives with a skill for tunneling unsurpassed in the animal world. It never breaks the earth's surface and may have burrow systems extending in length to over 200 m. This mole is blind with no visible and has a smooth leathery pad on the nose helps the mole to penetrate through soft soil and four clawed toes on each forepaw which is used for digging.

So I thought the digging would be done now, but it seems that his son is following in his father's footstep, or digging borrows in this case, and the digging and tunneling has continues.

7 comments:

  1. They really are quite cute, but I have the ones who leave mole hills all over my lawn Grrrrrrrrr Diane

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  2. cant take a close look, I hate those things....

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  3. Aah shame - wonder how it died. We also had a dead Cape Golden Mole in the garden last week - and the gardener said it died of thirst but I cant imagine that it did. Perhaps its spring is a bad time for moles...
    Ernst van Jaarsveld of Kirstenbosch says they are good for the soil - they aerate it and eat lots of bad goggas.

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  4. I have never seen one of those before.
    Very interesting.

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  5. Oh my!! Maybe it was natural causes like old age or something. I have never seen one of these in real life only pictures of them.

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  6. They are a pain. I have a similar problem in my yard. I walk around and follow the caves, collapsing them all in. Of course they remake them. Are you sure it was not a cat kill? We had a cat that would offer a kill every now and then to us, just as you describe. A cat's way of saying thank you?

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  7. aww poor little guy! maybe old age?? im sure if ALL of his kind disappeared there would be a price to pat elsewhere in nature! =0D Fire.. I had NEVER seen one of these before! thank you!

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