Eastern Mole
Scalopus aquaticus

The Eastern Mole measures about 4.5 inches in length with a tail measuring about 1 inch. The body is covered with soft, velvety fur, gray to golden to dark brown in color. The tail is hairless. Its preferred habitat is moist, sandy soils or grassy areas.

The mole spends most of its life beneath the surface of the earth. After a rail it moves through shallow tunnels, searching for earthworms, insect larvae, and other prey. Its permanent passageway, which lies 10 inches or more beneath the surface, is also a retreat during drought or cold spells. Moles are not hibernators, and remain active throughout the winter. Notorious for their inability to tolerate others of their kind (chance encounters sometimes lead to death), they are solitary except during the breeding season. Eastern Moles mate in the spring. Four weeks later the female, which is slightly smaller than the male, gives birth in an underground nest lined with dried plant material. Raised ridges in the soil (pushed up as the mole tunnels along) and molehills (mounds of excavated earth) are more likely to be seen than the animal itself. Though moles may wreck havoc on a lawn, they do accomplish some good by eating insects and aerating the soil.

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