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Marsupial Mole

Notoryctes caurinus, Notoryctes typhlops

Marsupial Mole
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Marsupial Mole • Notoryctes caurinus, Notoryctes typhlops
The Aboriginal name for the marsupial mole varies according to the locality in which it is found. In central Western Australia it is referred to as the blind sand burrower, ‘Arra-jarra-ja’ or ‘Kakarratul’ for the northern species (N. caurinus) and ‘Itjaritjari’ for the southern species (N. typhlops). Elsewhere in the southern Northern Territory, it is known as ‘Oor quamata’’; see also Burbidge et al. (1988) for other aboriginal names.

Source: Marsuplial Moles (Notoryctes)
by Philip Withers and Graham Thompson

The marsupial mole, a pouched species like many other marsupials, is about 10 - 15 cm long, weighing 40 - 60 grams and has soft, fine fur of a cream-yellow colour. It has no external sign of eyes, although there is a pigment spot and degenerate remnants of eyes hidden under the skin, and no sign of external ear pinnae but there are distinct ear openings buried beneath the fur and the ears are presumably functional for hearing. The nose (or muzzle) is a horny shield, or pad which is divided into a upper and lower portion by a transverse groove. The nostrils are small and slit like. The short tail, about 2 cm long, is encircled with rings and terminates in a horny knob; the tail leaves an undulating trail in the sand when the mole walks on the surface. The fore- and hindlimbs, and internal morphology, clearly indicate that the marsupial mole is a strong burrower.

References: Bolam (1927), Stirling (1891), Gadow (1892),
Johnson (1983), Johnson and Walton (1989)
Source: Marsuplial Moles (Notoryctes) by Philip Withers and Graham Thompson

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass Marsupialia
Order: Notoryctemorphia
Family: Notoryctidae
Genus: Notoryctes
Species: N. caurinus
Species: N. typhlops

Marsupial Mole • Other links

Lake Eyre Basin Coordinating Group
• 42 Plover St (PO Box 601), LONGREACH QLD 4730 • Ph: 07 4658 0600 • Fax: 07 4658 0122 • Email
Check out the Underground Activity page for information on the Marsupial Mole (Notoryctes typhlops).
Marsuplial Moles (Notoryctes)
• by Philip Withers • Ph: 08 9380 2235 • Fax: 08 9380 1029 • Email
• Graham Thompson • Ph: 08 9400 5427 • Fax: 08 9400 5440 • Email
Good site with information on the biology of the two living species of marsupial moles: Notoryctes typhlops and Notoryctes caurinus.
Marsupial Society of Australia
• GPO Box 2462, ADELAIDE SA 5001 • Ph: 08 8252 7800 • Email
Based in Adelaide, the MSA is dedicated to providing information and education regarding keeping and breeding our native Fauna in captivity. Although the Society does not rescue individual animals, it provides support and guidance to those who do. Check out their link to information on the Marsupial Mole.
Australian Museum Online
Riversleigh has revealed many fossils including the ancestral marsupial moles.
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