Field Guide/Mammals/Eastern Mole
|Scalopus aquaticus (Eastern Mole)|
Size: Head and body length: 110mm to 170mm (4.33in to 6.96in)
Tail length range: 18mm to 36mm Range mass: 32g to 140g (1.13os tp 4.93oz)Average mass: 74.6g (2.63oz)
Description: The Eastern Mole’s body is covered with a thick velvety fur that varied from a color from silver to black to copper. Their short tail is round and almost hairless. As for their feet there are some hairs above or upper portion but naked or hairless below and the feet are quite large. There are web between the toes of each foot which are to help with all the diggings (Gorog, 1999). They don’t have any eyes or ears. But it’s thought that the poorly developed eye may be effective in detecting light (Gorog, 1999).
Habitat: These are found from eastern South Dakota, Michigan, southeastern Wyoming, Central Texas, south to the tip of Florida and north to Ontario and New England. There is a small amount of population found in southwestern Texas and in northwestern Mexico. They prefer fields, meadows, pastures and open woodland.
Diet: Eastern mole most likely eat earthworms and also eat insects and their larvae, some vegetation, and in captivity will eat ground beef, dog food, mice, and small birds. They eat up to 25%-100% of their own weight in food each day (Gorog, 1999).
Activity: The eastern moles are not solitary. They have high energy requirements and needs a considerable amount of food daily (Gorog, 1999). They can dig up to 4.5 meters in one hour with their powerful forefeet and are good swimmers. Even though they have no vision, they may be able to detect the presence or absence of light. Also their ears are cover by a layer of skin but again, they may be able to detect sounds and vibrations. They probably find their way around and detect prey by the use of their acute and senses of smell and touch (Gorog, 1999).
Reproduction: The female has a litter of around three to five young after about 44 days and the litters are born anytime from late February through early June. The eastern mole will have only one litter per year. Newborn don’t have any fur and are in a plant-like nest that are in one of the deeper chambers. This is where they will stay until about four weeks old. They will become adult size by three months and can breed at the end of year one.
Lifespan: One captive animal will usually live longer than 36 months but in the wild, these eastern moles likely live less than this (Gorog, 1999). But their average lifespan is 3 years.