Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Scalopus aquaticus

Eastern Mole

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Talpidae

Click to see adaptations.   
Image of Scalopus aquaticus
Scalopus aquaticus - northern form
Click to enlarge. (117 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Eastern Moles have the widest distribution of any North American mole, and are common throughout most of the eastern United States where soils are favorable. They prefer moist loamy or sandy soils and are scarce or absent in heavy clay, stony, or gravelly soils. They avoid areas that are too wet or too dry. Well-adapted to a fossorial (underground) life, the eastern mole has short, fine fur that can lie flat facing forward or backward, depending on whether the animal is moving forward or backward through a tunnel. Its eyes are covered by skin, there are no external ears; and the mole's body is streamlined and powerful, equipped with broad side-facing hands for digging.

Also known as:
Topos

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Length:
Average: 151 mm males; 149 mm females
Range: 103-208 mm males; 129-168 mm females

Weight:
Average: 90 g males; 70 g females
Range: 40-140 g males; 32-90 g females

References:

Linnaeus, C., 1758.  Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tenth Edition, Vol. 1, p. 53.  Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 824 pp.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Scalopus aquaticus

Skull of Scalopus aquaticus
Click to enlarge. (20kb)

Image of Scalopus aquaticus
Scalopus aquaticus - southern form
Click to enlarge. (71kb)

Image of Scalopus aquaticus
Click to enlarge. (166kb)

 
Bones and Teeth

Scalopus aquaticus
First and second lower left molars (right to left). Click to enlarge. (12kb)

Scalopus aquaticus
Forelimb and shoulder girdle, seen head-on from the front, including the collarbone, breastbone and humerus. Click to enlarge. (13kb)

 

Scalopus aquaticus
Side view showing natural carriage of the head and chest. Click to enlarge. (9kb)

Scalopus aquaticus
First and second upper right molars (right to left). Click to enlarge. (19kb)