Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Marsupial Moles: Notoryctemorphia - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Marsupial Moles And People, Conservation Status, Southern Marsupial Mole (notoryctes Typhlops): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET

Marsupial Moles: Notoryctemorphia - Southern Marsupial Mole (notoryctes Typhlops): Species Account

australia university zoology range

Physical characteristics: The southern marsupial mole, sometimes called the greater marsupial mole or just the marsupial mole, has a total head and body length of 3.5 to 7 inches (9 to 18 centimeters) and a 1-inch (2-centimeter) tail. It weighs about 1.2 to 2.5 ounces (35 to 70 grams). Southern marsupial moles have short legs, spade-like claws on the front feet, and flat nose shields. They also lack eyes and external ears.

Geographic range: Southern marsupial moles are found in Western Australia, the southern Northern Territory, and northwestern South Australia. The northern part of its range may overlap with the range of the northern marsupial mole.

Habitat: Southern marsupial moles live underground in sandy plains and sand ridges.

Diet: This species eats mostly insects and insect larvae.

Behavior and reproduction: Marsupial moles "swim" rapidly through sand, living most of their lives underground. They appear to live alone. Almost nothing is known about their reproductive pattern.

Southern marsupial moles and people: Southern marsupial moles have little practical value to humans, but they are a symbol of the rare and unusual animals of Australia. Their bodies are an excellent example of adaptation to their environment.

Conservation status: These moles have been listed as Endangered, facing a very high risk of extinction, even though little is known about their abundance. It appears, however, as if their numbers are declining. One reason may be compacting of the soil they live in by vehicles or livestock. ∎



Menkhorst, Frank. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia, 2nd ed. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Nowak, Ronald M. Walker's Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.

Web sites:

Withers, Philip, and Graham Thompson. "Marsupial Moles (Notoryctes)." University of Western Australia Zoology Department. http://www.zoology.uwa.edu.au/staff/pwithers/marsupialmole/Default.htm (accessed on June 30, 2004).

University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. "Order Notoryctemorphia." Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Notoryctemorphia.html (accessed on June 30, 2004).

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