Hairy-tailed mole

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Hairy-tailed mole[1]
The quadrupeds of North America (Plate LXXIV) (7748318398).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Eulipotyphla
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.[3] The species epithet breweri refers to Thomas Mayo Brewer, an American naturalist.

Appearance[edit]

This animal has dark grey fur with lighter underparts, a pointed nose and a short, hairy tail.[4] 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).[4] Its front paws are broad and spade-shaped, specialized for digging.[5] It has 44 teeth. Its eyes are covered by fur and its ears are not external.[5] Its feet and snout are pinkish, but become white in older animals.[4] Several adaptations to living primarily underground can be seen in the hairy-tailed mole. Its pelage is very dense and silky, and its feet are broad, flat, and heavy.[5] Moles rely very little on their eyesight and have very small optic nerves.[6] To accommodate its lack of vision, the hairy-tailed mole has sensitive whiskers and hairs on the tip of its nose and feet to feel its surroundings.[5]

Habitat[edit]

It is found in forested and open areas with dry loose soils in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.[7] Since it is a fossorial mammal, it needs moist but well-drained soil so that it can dig easily.[4] The hairy-tailed mole prefers deciduous and coniferous woods, oldfields, and roadsides.[4][7]

Behavior[edit]

The hairy-tailed mole is cathemeral.[4] Since it lives primarily underground in shallow tunnels it can forage throughout the day and will also forage on the ground's surface at night.[4] The hairy-tailed mole is more active near the surface during warmer summer months and digs deeper underground in the cooler fall and winter months.[4]

This mole spends most of its time underground, foraging in shallow burrows for insects and their larvae and earthworms.[7] It emerges at night to feed. It is active year-round. Predators include owls, foxes and large snakes.[8]

This animal is mainly solitary except during mating in early spring.[8] The female has a litter of 4 to 5 young in a deep underground burrow.[4][7] This mole may live 3 to 4 years.[8]

Diet[edit]

Hairy-tailed moles are insectivores and have been shown to starve if vegetable matter is the only food source available.[8] The hairy-tailed mole's diet is mostly grubs, earthworms, beetle larvae, slugs, and ants, particularly when other food sources are not available.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (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. 
  3. ^ "Mammal Species of the World - Browse: breweri". www.departments.bucknell.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Reid, Fiona (2006). A field guide to mammals of North America (The Peterson field guide series) (4th ed.). New York, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 387–388. ISBN 978-0-395-93596-5. 
  5. ^ a b c d "North American Mammals: Parascalops breweri  : Image Information". naturalhistory.si.edu. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  6. ^ Leitch, Duncan B.; Sarko, Diana K.; Catania, Kenneth C. (2014-09-01). "Brain Mass and Cranial Nerve Size in Shrews and Moles". Scientific Reports. 4. doi:10.1038/srep06241. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 4150104Freely accessible. PMID 25174995. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Parascalops breweri (Hairy-tailed Mole)". www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Parascalops breweri (hairy-tailed mole)". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2016-12-08.