Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Lesser Mole Rat Mounds

The Lesser Mole Rat Nanospalax leucodon is one of Europe's most mysterious mammals. It is rare, blind and subterranean and often regarded as an agricultural pest. Is steppe and grassland habitat has for centuries been ploughed up and/or planted with forest. It is mainly restricted to lowlands in Hungary, Romania and Serbia. This photo shows a fresh mound (with a mobile phone and human feet in the background for size comparison) in the Subotica Sandlands, Serbia in November 2008. These mounds, created when the mole rats throw up earth after digging their tunnels, can be 4 or 5 times bigger than those of true moles (which are not related). Such mounds run in lines or clusters.

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