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Golden Moles: Chrysochloridae

Physical Characteristics

Generally, a golden mole looks like little more than a round to oblong lump of fur with a tiny, naked nose poking out at one end. Adults range from 2.7 to 9 inches (7 to 23.5 centimeters) long, and 0.5 to 17.6 ounces (16 to 500 grams). The fur is generally brown to gray, but it shines golden, bronze, and even purple and blue when the light hits it just right. Their small ears and tails are typically buried under their silky, thick fur, and their eyes are covered with skin beneath the fur. They have four short legs, the front two of which often have enlarged claws they use for digging. Their back legs are more slender than their powerful forelimbs and their back feet have webbing between the toes—a big help when kicking away the soil they've just dug. One species, the yellow golden mole, can tunnel through the soil so quickly and efficiently that it is sometimes called a "sand swimmer." Many of the other species, like the Grant's desert golden mole, also almost appear to be swimming when they travel through the loose sand in dunes.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsGolden Moles: Chrysochloridae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Grant's Desert Golden Mole (eremitalpa Granti): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, GOLDEN MOLES AND PEOPLE