#149 De Winton's Golden Mole

Critically Endangered

These have not been seen since 1936. They are classified as critically endangered but possibly extinct. Even golden moles that are not as rare as these are difficult to find. They move through the sand by sort of swimming. Scientists trying to find them essentially watch the sand to see if it has shifted indicating that it has been disturbed. They are talking about using tracking dogs to try and find them. These are 3 1/2 inch long carnivores. There is not much known about this particular kind, having not been studied much. Golden moles as a whole have a kind of iridescent sheen to them which is how they got their name, not because of the colouring. Iridescence in mammals is very rare. De Winton's is a slate grey toned with yellow, having a lighter underside, though was said to have fairly yellow cheeks and lips.


I remember going to Idaho with some friends of the family. We stayed with someone of their family. I don't know who it was, but there was a farm. They had a dog there who was amazing at catching moles/voles/fuzzy rodents (moles aren't rodents by the way, they are insectivores). It wasn't a terrier but some lab mix if I remember right. It was fascinating but also quite disturbing to watch it wait by a hole then grab and kill the unsuspecting thing. Thankfully it was very quick and I doubt the animals really even realized what was happening. It was a great vacation in spite of the rodent genocide going on. My sister, the oldest son, and I made a fort out of the top of a huge stack of hay bales. We kept his younger brothers off the hay. It was a fantastic fort. I was the sort of kid who was always making forts. I would build tents out of blankets on the roof of the garage, in my room, encompassing our hide-a-bed couch, taking over the cupboard under the stairs, anywhere I could really. My best friend and I turned the holly bush into a fort, but that was a tough one because of the ouch factor. I used to make forts for my kids whenever we visited my parents by using the mattresses of the beds, blankets, and other furniture then they'd sleep on spare foam mattresses or just on the floor. Now they are too old for that I guess, but I'm not too old to want to build a fort!

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