Sunday, May 8, 2011

Southern Marsupial Mole

Marsupials are so amazing because they are their own separate group of mammals that evolved independently from the mammals found elsewhere in the world. Yet, at the same time, they are strikingly similar. The Southern Marsupial Mole is a fantastic example of convergent evolution, which is when two species develop the same or similar traits without actually being related.

Notoryctes typhlops
You see, though it looks like a Mole, has shoveling claws like a Mole, and burrows like a Mole, the Southern Marsupial Mole is no more closely related to placental Moles than it is to any other placental mammal.

Found in the sandy deserts of Australia, the Southern Marsupial Mole spends most of its time underground, though they do surface after rainfall. These amazing creatures have a few adaptations to make life in such a habitat workable. They have rear-opening pouches that prevent sand from being swept in while digging, they have ears that are hidden under layers of fur, and their eyes are only vestigial. Because why have eyes when you are underground all the time anyway?

Southern Marsupial Moles use their sense of smell to track out prey. They feed on insects and small reptiles.

IUCN Status :  Data Deficient
Location : Central Australia
Size : Body length up to 7in (18cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Infraclass : Marsupialia -- Order : Notoryctemorphia
Family : Notoryctidae -- Genus : Notoryctes -- Species : N. typhlops

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