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Golden Moles: Chrysochloridae


Because their eyes are buried beneath the skin, golden moles are blind and they must rely on other senses, like touch and smell, to get around and to find prey. Food items include ants, termites, beetles, earthworms, and other invertebrates (animals without backbones) that they hunt at night. Sometimes, they will feel above-ground vibrations, then burst out of their shallow tunnels to grab an insect on a blade of grass or a lizard moving along the ground. De Winton's golden mole is noted for its ability to kill a lizard with its enlarged front claws. The typical golden mole will alternate between periods of activity and rest throughout the night, spending a considerably greater amount of time resting. Most remain active only at night, but a few, like Sclater's golden moles, stay busy digging through the soil and looking for food both day and night.

When golden moles are confronted with a span of extreme temperatures, lengthy dry periods, and/or a lack of prey, golden moles can become inactive for a few days—a state called torpor— to conserve their energy until conditions become more favorable.


Although adult golden moles are typically described as loners that live a solitary life all year, except for mating season, the adults of one species are a little more friendly to one another. Among the species known as large golden moles, several adults may share a single burrow system in the winter months. This species, which is Endangered, lives in South Africa.

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