Golden Mole Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tammie Mihet

Tammie has taught elementary school for 14 yrs. and holds an MA in Instructional Technology

They may look cute and cuddly, but these creatures are tough hardy predators. In this lesson, discover the world of the blind and tremendously shy golden mole.

The Golden Mole

Imagine a creature so small that it could fit in the palm of your hand. Now, imagine that same creature totally blind, but able to burrow down into the earth and find food! Want to know how this is possible? Well, keep reading and let's find out together as we delve into the world of the golden mole, a small mammal with fur that varies in color from yellow-brown to orange-brown to dark gray.

African Burrowers

There are actually about 18 different species, or types, of golden moles. Each species of golden mole has its own unique characteristics, but there are many things that all golden moles have in common.

Golden moles are native to Southern Africa, and there you can find them living in many different terrains. However, if you travel to see these moles, don't think they will be easy to find, as they live most of their life underground! Golden moles burrow into the ground and live solitary lives, interacting with other golden moles only during mating season. The only time these moles are active is at night when they come out to feed. Therefore, scientists find these shy creatures very challenging to study. However, scientists have discovered what makes the golden mole so amazingly adapted to living a life underground.

Map showing Southern Africa

Body Structure

Golden moles are like little underground warriors! Everything about them makes them thrive in their subterranean, or underground, lifestyle. They have torpedo-shaped bodies, pointed noses, no external ears, and no tail, which allows them to move swiftly through the ground. They are covered with thick, tough skin that protects them while they squeeze and scrape through tight spots. Their short but strong front legs with curved claws make them very effective diggers. They even have webbed back feet that act like shovels to push dirt backwards.

Drawing of a golden mole

Food Detection

Golden moles spend so much time underground that they don't have any eyes! The eyes of these creatures are covered by skin so that they are totally blind. How is it possible for them to find food?

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