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The mole is a burrowing insectivore of the taxonomic family Talpidae. They are best known for their burrowing habits and their poor eyesight.
Moles are literally built for digging, typically having proportionately huge shovel-like forepaws turned outward. Their sense of smell is very keen while their ears and eyes are comparatively very small. The golden mole does not have eyes at all and along with the marsupial mole, despite both of these animals sharing similarities, are not related to true moles. A mole's home territory is usually in established tunnel systems, since digging new tunnels requires a tremendous energy output. Moles tend to be rather anti-social and territorial.
The way moles have been adopted into stories ironically has little or nothing to do with their real-life habits. Probably due to their soft fur and pudgy appearance, moles have historically been characterized as friendly, simple people (some notable exceptions include Marry from the fairy tale Thumbelina, who is the villain and Speckles from Disney's G-Force). They show up repeatedly in English literature. One of the main characters in Kenneth Graeme's The Wind in the Willows series is a mole, called "Mole" or "Moley"; they are also a staple in the Redwall series.
- "Mole Biology" at the MoleMan page
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