Northern marsupial mole

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Northern marsupial mole[1]
Scientific classification
N. caurinus
Binomial name
Notoryctes caurinus
Thomas, 1920
Northern Marsupial Mole area.png
Northern marsupial mole range

The northern marsupial mole, northwestern marsupial mole or Kakarratul (Notoryctes caurinus) is a species of marsupial in the family Notoryctidae. It is endemic to Australia. Its natural habitat is the hot north-western deserts of country.[2] The northern marsupial mole is yellow-pink in color. Its diet consists of insect pupae and larvae. It lacks eyes and barely has ears [3] due to its fossorial lifestyle. Although it does live underground it does not build tunnels as the soil it lives in is too soft and are often described to 'swim' in the soil.[2]


The northern marsupial mole was first described in detail in 1910 by Oldfield Thomas after it being posted to him from Wollal in north-western Australia. He described it as looking much like the southern marsupial mole but smaller, particularly its claws and muzzle/nose but with larger auditory bulla. Thomas also described the northern marsupial mole as having different dentition to the southern species, especially in the lower jaw.[4]


The species eats the larvae and pupae of ants, beetles and other insects. It catches and eats them underground and therefore rarely comes to the surface. It is commonly preyed upon by red foxes and dingos as well as some birds, snakes and goannas.[2]

As no member of this species has been successfully held in captivity for an extended period of time, very little is known about the breeding and reproduction habits of the northern marsupial mole. However they have been recorded as having around 1-2 offspring at a time.[2]


  1. ^ Groves, C.P. (2005). "Order Notoryctemorphia". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c d e Benshemesh, J. & Burbidge, A. (2008). "Notoryctes caurinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is data deficient
  3. ^ Northern Marsupial Mole
  4. ^ Thomas, Oldfield (1920). "XI.—Notoryctes in North-west Australia". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 6 (31): 111–113. doi:10.1080/00222932008632418. ISSN 0374-5481.

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