Tusked Mole

The tusked mole's strong limbs and powerful tusks enable it to burrow through the hardest and stoniest soils.

The tusked mole, Scalprodens talpiforme, is a bizarre talpine talpid from the undergrowth of temperate woodlands in Europe, descended from the European mole.

Looking very much like a mole from 50 million years before, it leads a burrowing existence and has adopted the streamlined shape, velvety fur and spade-like feet of its distant cousin. However, here any resemblance stops. It has two huge tusks extending from its jaws, and a paddle-shaped tail. As it burrows, the animal pushes forward with its feet in a rolling motion so that its tusks ream out the soil in front of it. The loose soil is pushed back by the feet and compacted to the tunnel walls by its tail. As well as eating earthworms and other burrowing invertebrates, it also preys on small surface-living fellow vertebrates, especially mice, voles and lizards.

Tusked mole

The tusked mole lies in wait just the soil surface listening for sounds of movement above. When it hears its prey approaching, it springs out, using its tail as a lever, grasping the lesser creature with its teeth.