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European Mole image
European Mole

European Mole

(Mammal)

European Mole Baby
European Mole Baby

European Mole Habits

Moles are active during the day and and night, digging their tunnels and searching for food. Mole tunnels vary in depth from just below the surface to 28 inches beneath the ground. When moles dig close to the surface, they make piles of dirt called molehills.
The presence of moles can be confirmed by their tell-tale molehills. The molehills are mounds of fresh earth, up to a foot in diameter. Sometimes a mole will come out of its tunnel for a few seconds.
In hot, dry summer weather, moles are sometimes seen on the surface for extended periods, forced above ground to look for water. In very dry weather, they can die of dehydration.

European Mole Communication

Although moles have no vision, they may be able to detect the presence or absence of light. Their ears are also covered by a layer of skin but they may be able to detect sounds and vibrations. Moles find their way around and detect prey by their acute sense of touch.

European Mole Breeding

Moles have an exceptionally short breeding season; the male goes to the female's tunnel, where mating takes place. He then leaves the female and she raises the young alone.
Birth takes place from April to June, and the young are born in a special nest chamber dug by the female. Naked at birth, the young develop rapidly, feeding on their mother's milk. They are covered with fur after 14 days and are ready to leave the nest after 35 days.

European Mole Food & Feeding

Earthworms are the mole's staple food, although it also eats large quantities of insect larvae and slugs. It locates food by traveling along its tunnels and feeding on whatever worms or insects it finds.
A mole requires a very large intake of food, eating half of its body weight in food every day. During the fall and winter, when earthworms are plentiful, the mole catches them, bites off their heads, and pushes them into the ground to eat later.
The mole does not have a good sense of smell, nor can it hear very well. Instead, it is extremely sensitive to touch and is able to sense minute vibrations in the soil around it. Its snout is covered by thousands of tiny hairs that transmit information about its surroundings.

European Mole Key Facts

        Size 
              Height: Length: 4 to 6 inches
              Weight: About 4 oz. (Males are bigger than females)
       Breeding
             Sexual maturity: About 10 months
             Mating: March-May
             Gestation: 30 days
             Number of young: 2-7 (Average 4)
       Lifestyle 
            Habit: Solitary, except in breeding season
            Diet: Earthworms and insect larvae
            Lifespan: Up to 3 years

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Moles will avoid very wet ground when possible, yet they are strong swimmers.
  • When moles are feeding entirely on earthworms, they do not need to drink because earthworms consist of 85 percent water.
  • A mole's skin is more sensitive to touch than that of any other mammal.
  • Eastern moles spend 99% of their time in their underground tunnels, there are few predators that can find and catch them there.
  • Moles makes various noises, including squeaks and purrs.

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