Moles are torpedo-shaped mammals with velvety grayish fur, no neck, tiny eyes and ears, and spade-like front feet. The naked, pointed snout is a sensitive probe by which the mole senses its dark, underground world. The animals are about six inches long, including the short tail.
Range: There is just one species of mole in Colorado, and it is restricted to the eastern plains, where it lives in sand hills, on sandy flood plains, fields, lawns, cemeteries and golf courses.
Habitat: Moles have permanent burrows, which contain a nest of grass, are deeper. Excavated soil is thrown from a vertical hole, which forms a circular mound. Because of their burrowing habits, moles help build soils, mixing rich material from near the surface with mineral soil from deeper tunnels. They can be a nuisance in lawns, however.
Diet: Moles are insectivores (insect eaters); they have sharp, white front teeth, unlike the yellow-faced nipping incisors of pocket gophers and other burrowing rodents (the only mammals with which moles might be confused). Moles search for earthworms, insects and other food along feeding tunnels near the surface of the soil, often pushing up a ridge of sod that marks their passing.
Reproduction: Moles breed in late winter, and after a gestation period of about five weeks, females have a littler of about four naked young in March or April.
By David M. Armstrong
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Environmental Studies Program, University Museum of Natural History
University of Colorado-Bouldermausmann@aol.com