Baby moles are astounding animals with many interesting things about them. Did you know that they are completely colorblind or that baby moles are called pups? Keep reading to check out five cool facts about mole pups that you may not know.
#1: Baby Moles are Called a Pups!
A baby mole is called a pup! When you think of the word pup, baby dogs probably come to mind. But did you know that baby moles are also called pups? The name also isn’t exclusive to them. Other baby animals such as bats, coyotes, and even dolphins!
#2: There are No Baby Moles in Ireland
Baby moles are solitary, simple creatures that are mostly found in areas of Europe, Asia, and North America. They love to dig and spend nearly their entire lives in burrows that they create underground.
Even though moles are present in most parts of Europe, you won’t find a single one in Ireland. This is despite the fact that neighboring countries have populations of moles.
It is not known exactly why moles haven’t taken up a home in Ireland. However, scientists theorize that during the Ice Age, a drastic rise in sea level made it impossible for moles to travel to the country. This same phenomenon is likely responsible for the absence of other animals in Ireland, too, like weasels and certain types of bats.
#3: Male Moles Prepare for Mating Season in a Unique Way
Baby moles are almost exclusively conceived during the late winter months. Since moles spend nearly all of their lives underground, they go to unique measures to get ready for babies. Phase one begins when a male is attempting to find more females, and phase two occurs when it’s time to make a nest.
During the first phase of preparation, male moles begin gearing up for the mating season. To do this, they begin enlarging the size of their underground tunnels. But why do they do this? The answer is simple: to make it easier to connect with multiple female moles. He also connects his tunnels to other underground territories to make a way for females to find their way to him.
Once a baby is conceived, phase two of preparation for the babies begins. During this stage, both the mother and father moles prepare a place for their babies. To do this, they dig out a sphere-shaped underground chamber. Then, they use dry plant material to form a cozy nest for their little bundles of joy.
When female moles give birth, they typically have anywhere from three to four babies at a time. The mole babies are born with no hair and depend exclusively on their mother’s milk for survival. By the time they are five to six weeks old, they are fully weaned and ready to venture off on their own, so they leave their families to lead their own lives.
#4: Mole Pups Seriously Love Earthworms
Many people believe that baby moles are after the roots in the gardens that they burrow under. This is so widely believed that many people use mole repellant and killers because they believe it will protect their garden from ruin.
However, mole pups are not interested in the roots of plants. Instead, they are on the hunt for their favorite food: earthworms. Since earthworms feed on plant matter, they are plentiful in gardens, which is a major reason why moles are so commonly found there. The reason why gardens die when moles are present is that they destroy the soil, not because they eat plant roots.
Moles take their love for earthworms very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they’re known to consume their body weight in worms in a single day. For a fully-grown adult mole, that equates to around 75 grams of wormy goodness. Talk about a ton of food!
#5: Mole Babies Have Tiny Eyes
At first glance, it might appear that baby moles have no eyes. It makes sense, too, right? Since moles live in the dark underground, why would they need eyes? While mole pups do have eyes, they’re unique from other animals’.
A mole pup’s eyes are located behind its snout. They are extremely tiny and are behind a thin membrane, which is part of the reason why they’re so difficult to see. Despite these eyes existing, moles are completely colorblind. They also have horrible eyesight, but their eyes allow them to see changes in light.
Since their eyesight is so poor, moles must rely on other senses to survive. They can sense vibrations in the ground, which helps them to identify when a threat is near. Though they are not considered nocturnal or diurnal, they are more active in the early morning hours and overnight, since fewer vibrations in the ground occur during those hours.
Scientists say that moles sleep in four-hour shifts and don’t seem to mind being up when their nap is over, no matter what time of day it is.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © tchara/Shutterstock.com
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are baby moles called?
Like baby hedgehogs, otters, and rats, baby moles are called pups.
How much do baby moles weigh?
Baby moles are seriously tiny. As newborns, they usually weigh a tiny 2.5 to 4.5 ounces.
What do baby moles eat?
Mole pups are mammals, which means they only drink their mother’s milk for around their first month. Then, they enjoy a diet of insects, with their favorite food being earthworms.
Where do baby moles live?
Baby moles live in parts of North America, Europe, and Asia.
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