Hairy-tailed mole

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Hairy-tailed mole[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Talpidae
Tribe: Scalopini
Genus: Parascalops
True, 1894
Species: P. breweri
Binomial name
Parascalops breweri
(Bachman, 1842)
Hairy-tailed Mole area.png
Hairy-tailed mole range

The hairy-tailed mole (Parascalops breweri), also known as Brewer's mole, is a medium-sized North American mole. It is the only member of the genus Parascalops.

It is found in forested and open areas with dry loose soils in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.

This animal has dark grey fur with lighter underparts, a pointed nose and a short, hairy tail. It is about 15 centimeters (5.9 in) in length, including a 3-centimeter-long (1.2 in) tail, and weighs about 55 grams (1.9 oz). Its front paws are broad and spade-shaped, specialized for digging. It has 44 teeth. Its eyes are covered by fur and its ears are not external. Its feet and snout are pinkish, but become white in older animals.

This mole spends most of its time underground, foraging in shallow burrows for insects and their larvae and earthworms. It emerges at night to feed. It is active year round. Predators include owls, foxes and large snakes.

This animal is mainly solitary except during mating in early spring. The female has a litter of 4 to 5 young in a deep underground burrow. This mole may live 4 to 5 years.

The species epithet breweri refers to Thomas Mayo Brewer, an American naturalist.

Diet[edit]

The hairy-tailed mole's diet is mostly grubs, earthworms, small rodents, and slugs. Like all moles, the hairy-tailed mole is blind, and normally uses its sense of touch and smell. Sometimes, it might swim in a pond and hunt for fish, leeches, and snails. The hairy-tailed mole has a toxic saliva, similar to that of its cousin, the short-tailed shrew, although not poisonous. These shrews use their saliva to paralyze invertebrates.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ Hammerson, G. (2008). "Parascalops breweri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 9 February 2010.