Giant golden mole
|Giant Golden Mole|
Giant Golden mole, a small mammal found in Africa. The Giant Golden Mole is classified in Chrysochloridae family (Chrysospalax trevelyani), it is 23 centimetres in length, the largest of the Golden Mole species. The Giant Golden Mole has dark, glossy brown fur, different to their name, ‘golden’ comes from green-gold Greek word of Chrysochloridae, the family name.
The Giant Golden mole lives a subterranean lifestyle. They have the large claws, powerful fore limbs, no external tail or ears, wedge-shaped head, leather pad, and skin covering the eyes. It is approximately 208-235 millimetres in length and 410-500 grams in weight. Dark and brown skin on the upperparts and faded on the underparts. The hair of the Giant Golden Mole is longer and coarser than any other species of golden mole, also thick with dense, woolly underfur.
The largest, rarest, and most endangered of all 17 species of golden moles, the giant golden mole spends most time underneath ground and is blind and deaf. The giant golden mole is nocturnal, hunting at night, but also in some cool and cloudy daytime. The Giant Golden mole is likely to be solitary; it does not form groups, despite some social behavior such as hibernating in other burrows among the roots of trees in winter, only moving slightly to keep its body temperature in range and twitching to maintain body temperature while sleeping. Female Giant Golden moles give birth to one or two offspring at a time while it has stocks of food supply.
The giant golden mole digs semi-permanent tunnels for hunting food. It feeds on the surface hiding in the leaf litter. The giant golden mole mainly looks for millipedes and giant earthworms as diet, also crickets, cockroaches, grasshoppers, worms, and snails.
The Giant Golden Mole is a subterranean small mammal, living in chambers and passages underneath a very specific habitat, forest with soft soils, deep leaf litter layers and well-developed undergrowth. The Giant Golden mole is endemic to South Africa, mostly in a restricted area in the Eastern Cape.
The Giant Golden mole is classified as Endangered (EN) in 2010 on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The population of the Giant Golden mole is decreasing due to habitat loss mainly from human activities effected to their habitat such as firewood collection, bark stripping, cutting for construction, overgrazing of livestock, and clearance of forest. Moreover, the Giant Golden mole is preyed to the domestic dogs in that area.
Nowadays, the Giant Golden mole receives few protections, but they are not a main conservation target. The research is needed to protect this species to be able to assess the status and viability of the remaining populations.
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- Bronner, G. "Chrysospalax trevelyani (Giant Golden Mole)". www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved 2017-11-11.