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Description"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."
Adaptation: The eastern mole, Scalopus aquaticus, is a highly specialized digger. A flattened head makes pushing through soil easier. The breastbone, on the underside of the ribcage, is shaped like a keel, to anchor the powerful muscles that drive the digging arms. The stocky, short arm bones and the enormous, clawed hand extend open and fold back like the powerful booms and shovel of a dirt-moving backhoe.
Mammal Species of the World
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