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The Golden Mole: and Other Living Treasure: 'A rare and magical book.' Bill Bryson

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Their skin is thick and tough, particularly on the head, which contains a wedge-shaped muzzle with a leathery nosepad that protects the nostrils. Residential burrows are relatively complex in form and may penetrate as far as 1 metre (3ft 3in) below ground and include deep chambers for use for refuge, and other chambers as latrines. Most of the species listed in threatened categories have restricted or fragmented distributions where populations are being subjected to increasing habitat degradation as a result of human activities, most notably mining, urbanization, agriculture and the poor management of indigenous forests.

The Golden Mole: and Other Living Treasure a book by

Rundell shows us that the human imagination often looks pedestrian next to nature’s real ingenuity; our fairytales can seem like mundane placeholders for more wonderful truths.When maintaining golden moles in captivity, room temperature is acceptable in moderate climates, but it is advisable to keep them in a temperature-controlled room if daily room temperatures drop below 15C or rise above 30C. There’s Grant’s golden mole (just 8 cm long, found only in the Namibian desert, known as the ‘dune shark’) and Marley’s golden mole (reddish-brown, found only on two small patches of land on the eastern slopes of the Lebombo Mountains), the robust golden mole (not robust at all: it’s dying out due to sweeping habitat loss in South Africa) and the largest species, the giant golden mole. Aseasonal reproduction in the Hottentot golden mole, Amblysomus hottentotus, from the summer rainfall region of South Africa. The giant golden mole is the only species showing any indication of sociality (Hickman 1990), based on an unconfirmed report of several adult individuals dug out of the same nest in midwinter, which suggests that small groups may hibernate together. Moles in torpor should not be handled excessively, as this awakens them, and seems to result in considerable stress, in extreme cases leading to the cessation of eating and physiological decline of the individual.

Golden Mole by Katherine Rundell, Talya Baldwin - Waterstones The Golden Mole by Katherine Rundell, Talya Baldwin - Waterstones

A lavishly illustrated compendium of the staggering lives of some of the world's most endangered animals, The Golden Mole is a chance to be awestruck and lovestruck - to fall for the likes of the wondrous Pygmy Hippo, the seahorse, the narwhal and, as astonishing and endangered as them all, the human. The position of the mother wombat’s pouch, facing down, with the baby wombat peering out from between her legs “explains why it was a kangaroo who got to be in Winnie-the-Pooh”.The fur varies from black to pale yellow or grey, and has an iridescent sheen of green, blue, violet or copper when viewed in light. The bone in the mole’s middle ear is so large and hypertrophied that it is immensely sensitive to underground vibrations; waiting under the soil or sand, the golden mole can hear the footsteps up above of birds and lizards; it can distinguish between the footfall of ants and termites. Three species (Congo golden mole, Calcochloris leucorhinus; Somali golden mole, Calcochloris tytonis; Visagie’s golden mole, Chrysochloris visagiei) are listed as Data Deficient as so little is known about these species that their conservation status cannot be objectively assessed.

Golden Mole: Celebrating natural Katherine Rundell’s The Golden Mole: Celebrating natural

and the Amblysominae, in which the malleus is not expanded and has the typical mammalian shape ( Amblysomus - 5 spp. We now know that unicorn horns were actually narwhal tusks, that hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, that drinking bats’ blood does not make you invisible. Iridescence occurs when an object’s physical structure causes lightwaves to combine, seeming to shift between multiple colours: the phenomenon is well represented in the natural world, but there always seems to be an obvious purpose for it. It’s told through the eyes of Domhildur, a midwife who has just delivered her one thousand nine hundred and twenty-second baby in the days before Christmas as a deadly storm approaches the island.Instead during the day, when they must seek shelter, they "swim" through the loose sand, using their broad claws to paddle, and dive down some 50 centimetres (20in) to where it is bearably cool.

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