| Not as well adapted for digging as other moles, Shrew-moles prefer habitats where the digging is easy, and where there is leaf litter or vegetation to provide cover. They usually eat earthworms, though they may take a variety of other invertebrates. They lack external ears and have very small eyes, both adaptations for burrowing. Their forepaws are slightly broad, for digging, but unlike moles in the genus Scapanus, whose very broad forepaws are oriented sideways (as though they were going to swim the breaststroke), Shrew-moles can place their front feet flat on the ground. This makes them more agile when moving about or even climbing than moles who spend all of their lives underground.
Also known as:
Gibb's Shrew Mole, Least Shrew Mole, American Shrew-mole
Baird, S.F., 1857 . Mammals. In Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, Vol. 8, Pt. 1. Mammals, p. 76. Beverly Tucker Printer, Washington, D.C., 8(1):1-757.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account (opens in a new window).
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