Marsupial moles of Australia

This video shows a marsupial mole.

From ABC in Australia:

Hidden microphones to track desert’s elusive mole

Posted Sat Jun 28, 2008 12:47pm AEST

Microphones hidden in the desert may help scientists learn more about the mysterious creature sometimes called the marsupial mole.

A research project is about to begin in central Australia to find and track the animals as they tunnel through the sand.

Itjaritjari is one of the Aboriginal names for the southern species of marsupial mole, an elusive creature that tunnels through Australia’s inland.

La Trobe University researcher Joe Benshemesh has been studying them for years.

“They’re whitish and they have an iridescent sort of sheen to their fur,” he said.

“Their body size is probably not much larger than that of a medium-size rat, they have a stubby little tail.

“Their foreclaws, rather than being little hands are like little shovels, and they have no eyes and they don’t have any flappy bits on their ears, they do have ears.

“So they are a pretty bizarre-looking creature.

“What we’re listening to is the sound of an Itjaritjari that is tunnelling underground and you can hear the shh, shh as it cuts the ground with its forelegs, with those little spades that it has for forelegs.”

The moles are not really moles, they are marsupials with backward-facing pouches and Mr Benshemesh says they are so unusual that the two species make up their own order of mammals.

“Well they are marsupials but they’re not moles,” he said.

Searching for the marsupial mole: here.

Using an infra-red camera trap, project officer Phil Lewis captured footage of a little long-tailed dunnart, a small mouse-like animal found in parts of Western Australia and South Australia: here.

2 thoughts on “Marsupial moles of Australia

  1. Pingback: Australian marsupial mole fossil discovery | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Australian lizards, frog new species discoveries | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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