Is the mole blind?
Mole blind, that's not true, they have eyes and can actually see with them. Now perhaps the question comes with you also, for what do moles have to see, if they live under the earth. This and other interesting questions about the allegedly blind mole we answer you in this article.
The blind mole, how the myth was created
The eyes of a mole are barely visible in the animals and are very small compared to other mammals. They are placed deep in the fur and untrained observers have to look very closely to even partially recognize them. The eyes in the mole are full-fledged visual organs, but they do not have the same vision as mammals that live above ground most of the time.
The eyes of the "blind" mole have weak vision and can only recognize large distinctive objects. A really sharp vision is not possible. They can recognize when an object moves in front of them and can of course detect brightness and darkness. Likewise, they can distinguish the primary colors (red, green and blue) from each other.
Why the mole is called blind?
Explained in the upper section, the mole can recognize certain things. However, because he cannot see sharply, he has a problem on the surface of the earth. If there should be a predator here that does not move, then he would recognize this also only as shadow and assign it to the environment. An example for it: A cat lies motionless in the grass and waits for prey.
The mole might not recognize this before it starts to jump. But then it is almost always too late. Another incident I have experienced myself testifies to the blindness of the mole. In a shady part of the garden, I suddenly saw a mole next to me, sniffing the ground with its tactile organs on its nose. I held out my hand and the mole bumped it briefly and ran on without panicking.
He was not in the least irritated by my hand, which I then placed 20 cm further in front of his nose. He also ran towards it, but then completely ignored it and simply ran past it. So it becomes clear why the mole is called blind. Much more important than his eyes, are his senses of touch, hearing and smell. Used in combination, these make the mole an effective hunter.
Mole blind - how he still finds his prey
The mole would almost stumble over a motionless earthworm. If it weren't for his extremely sensitive olfactory organs. With these, he can smell his prey through the earth. He can determine by smell which animal he is smelling and even what sex that animal is. In some cases, he can even find out the age of the insects by smelling them.
In addition to the extraordinary organ of smell, the mole also hears excellently. For example, it can hear a human running in the earth over a distance of 20-30 m and then does not move. This hearing is specialized to hear especially low-frequency vibrations. In this way, the mole can also detect whether an earthquake is about to occur.
Anticipating earthquakes, however, is not so important for the mole. It is more important that it hears enemies on the earth's surface, and it is especially important that it hears burrowing insects. This is because it needs them to meet its high energy requirements. The inner ear of the mole has a unique structure that is not found in any other mammal.
The blind mole has a third tool for finding food and these are special sensitive areas on the mole's nose. In the dark, these areas scan and examine the prey. They are responsible for tactile sensations and are very sensitive. These organs are located in the nose area and are used as needed in each case.
Why the mole must see something
The mole more and more rarely to the surface of the earth, usually these are situations where he is forced to do. There are different events for this. On the one hand, when his tunnel system is damaged, or he can not dig further. This can be, for example, when a large stone/rock would restrict his range of motion. Then the mole searches temporarily on the surface for a new territory.
During heavy rainfall, it can also happen that its tunnel system is partially flooded and, in order to save its life, it comes to the surface. At times, the supposedly blind mole must come to the surface to increase its food supply. There are times just when it is colder when the mole cannot find enough food in its tunnels.
Then he comes to the surface and here his weak but existing eyesight helps him to orientate himself. Another reason why moles need to see something is when the young animals become sexually mature and are driven out of the until then common burrow by the adults. I hope we have answered your question: Are moles blind? Now answered satisfactorily.
Garden animal - A life with nature
Welcome to my animal blog! My name is Dirk and I am happy to take you on my journey through the fascinating world of animals and gardening.
Born 54 years ago, I have had an insatiable curiosity for the animal world around me since childhood. Although I have moved professionally in other industries, my true passion has always been animals and nature. It is remarkable how a small garden has become such an important part of my life.
Many of my fondest memories are associated with the animals that share our home. Whether it's the curious squirrels that scurry across the trees in the morning, the colorful variety of birds that visit our feeders, or the busy bees and butterflies that pollinate our flowers, every moment with them is invaluable to me.
This blog is my contribution to share my experiences, discoveries and insights with like-minded people. Here I will share stories of unforgettable encounters with animals, give tips on gardening and creating wildlife-friendly habitats, and take you on my journeys through nature.
Thank you so much for being here!
Dirk aka garden animal