Giant mole rat: description, photo. Rare animal species

Giant mole rat: description, photo. Rare animal species
Giant mole rat: description, photo. Rare animal species

This unusual and rare animal in nature belongs to the class of mammals, the order of rodents.

The features that this strange animal called the giant mole rat has (where it lives, distribution areas, habits, etc.) will be discussed in this article.

What are rare animal species?

A huge number of the most diverse living forms includes the planet Earth. Today, many of them have already died out, and the remaining ones are very difficult to count.

As a rule, the attention of a person is attracted most of all by beautiful animals, they can be seen in zoos, or you can read about them in books. But there are creatures on Earth that are difficult to meet in nature and that not everyone knows about. These types of animals are on the verge of extinction. It is especially difficult to see animals living underground. Among them are the rarest species of animals. One of them is a giant mole rat.

Many do not even imagine how amazing and diverse the world of wild animals that are the inhabitants of the underground soil world. Most of them began their kind from the most ancient times,one of these is the amazing giant mole rat.

Giant mole rat description

It is relatively gigantic, since its total weight is only from 0.7 to 1 kg, the body is 25-30 cm long, the tail length is up to 4 cm. common, sandy and many other species, whose body weight is 200-300 grams lighter.

The mole rat has a light color, gray-yellow or ocher-brown in the upper part of the body (photo below). In older animals, the top of the head is almost white. The color of the fur of the ventral part has predominant dark gray tones. Some specimens have white spots on the forehead and belly (this is partial albinism). The color of the fur on the belly is dominated by dark gray tones. The skin of this animal is fragile and of little value.

giant mole rat

The facial part of the skull is wide, the nasal bones and the bony palate are shorter than in other species of its family. The occipital region of the mole rat is also different, located slightly lower. The anterior part of the upper incisors is convex.

The eyeballs of the giant mole rat are hidden under the skin, and their nerves are very poorly developed, so this animal can hardly see anything.


The giant mole rat is widespread in the desert sandy areas of Ciscaucasia and the Volga region. It is endemic to the semi-deserts of the Caspian regions and lives in the lower reaches of the Terek, Kuma and Sulak rivers.

In the south, their habitats reach the line Gudermes - Makhachkala. In the Republic of Dagestan, they are found in the lowlands: Terek-Kuma and Sulak.Once there was also a small habitat of these animals in the very south of Kalmykia, but now, apparently, they have disappeared there. Mole rats, living separately behind the lower reaches of the river. Ural (floodplains of the rivers Wil, Emba and Temir - Kazakhstan), stand out as a separate species - the Ural mole rat.

In other countries, the giant digger does not live.


Usually, the giant mole rat lives in hilly sands, adhering to relatively humid territories along river valleys and lake shores. In addition, they are found in wormwood and grass-forb steppes. Also, this animal can use favorable anthropogenic biotopes: gardens, fields of alfalfa and other fodder grasses, household plots. It is known that in Kazakhstan the mole rat settles even in forest clearings and forest edges.

Giant mole rat: where it lives

Lifestyle features

The behavior of this amazing animal is little studied.

Giant mole rat leads a sedentary underground life, constructing multi-tiered complex systems of passages underground in layers of sand. Its incisors are the primary tool for digging passages laid at a depth of 20-50 cm, with a diameter of 11-15 cm. The peak of digging activity is spring (from March to April).

The surface of the earth in these places is indicated by soil emissions in the form of piles 30-50 cm high with a diameter of up to 1.5 meters. The total length of the tunnels is several hundred meters, and the pantries and nesting chambers are located at a depth of 0.9-3 meters.

The distance between the settlements of animals is 150-250 m.surface. The giant mole rat is active all year round and around the clock. He does not hibernate.

Reproduction occurs once a year in early spring. Usually from 2 to 6 cubs are born, which at first are with their mother, and by autumn they settle. The mole rat (photo below represents a calf) reaches sexual maturity by their 2nd year of life.

Giant mole rat: description


This strange animal has features that are characteristic of all mammals: warm-blooded, breathing is light, covered with hair, bear their children "by the rules". There is one but. The cubs are born not into the light, but into the underground darkness. And so they live until the end of their days in the thickness of the earth, not appearing on its surface into the light.

What does a mole rat eat?

The main food of the animal is the underground parts of plants (tubers, rhizomes and bulbs). Usually a mole rat stores up to 2-2.5 kg of food in one pantry chamber.

Mole rat: photo

Mole rat's enemies

The giant mole rat has almost no competitors and enemies in nature due to its secretive lifestyle. Only foxes, birds of prey and cats are rarely attacked by settling young.

Giant mole rat: The Red Book

In conclusion, the main thing - the status of conservation

A rare species of rodents in nature - a giant mole rat. The Red Book of Russia and the IUCN Red List of Rare Animals include this rare animal.

Due to the little knowledge of this type of exact data on itsthere is no quantity. This is a rather rare and little-studied animal with a low reproductive potential.

Their numbers are either stable or declining.

Moreover, the distribution of the mole rat within its small range is rather uneven. It represents separate settlements, often confined to massive sands. There is also a decrease in populations and fragmentation of the habitat under the influence of anthropogenic processes: works related to land reclamation (plowing of fallow and virgin lands, the use of pesticides, the construction of irrigation canals), overgrazing in animal habitats and other economic activities that do not take into account the need to preserve such a rare underground animal like the giant mole rat.

There is no reliable information on the number of this species of animals in nature due to the conditions of their life (underground). The total number of this amazing animal, perhaps, is determined by only a few thousand copies.

It should be noted that the production of the giant mole rat is prohibited.

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