Russian Journal of Theriology. Main page    

Russian Journal of Theriology. Main page
Free access to the published articles
Information about online submission, Articles format, Instructions for authors etc
Instructions for reviewers
Subscription and prices

Русскоязычный вариант сайта
Peculiarities of the thoracic-lumbar vertebral morphology in common mole, Talpa europaea (Lipotyphla, Talpidae) in connection with its burrowing activity
Platonov V.V.
P. 111-115
Morphology of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae is described. During digging and moving through the tunnel mole can turn anterior part of its body relative to the posterior part up to 90°. An original method to estimate the rotation angle between two vertebrae was devised. It was revealed that the main twisting range occur in the thorax region, and in the lumbar region it comes to naught. The absence or weak development of the spinous process in the anterior thoracic vertebrae indicate weakness of the musculature responsible for the head raising. Based on this observation it is asserted that mole can not use its head for throwing out the soil.

DOI: 10.15298/rusjtheriol.1.2.04


  • Dobson G.E. 1882. A Monograph of the Insectivora, Systematics and Anatomy. London: P.I. John Van Voorst. 172 p.
  • Folitarek S.U., 1932. [Distribution, biology, and industry of the mole in Ukraine] // Byulleten' Moskovskogo Obshchestva Ispytatelei Prirody. Novaya Seriya. T.41. No.3-4. P.235-302 [in Russian].
  • Formozov A.N. 1952. [Companion of a Pathfinder]. Moskva: Moskovskoe Obshchestvo Ispytatelei Prirody. 360 p. [in Russian].
  • Gambaryan P.P. 1960. [Adaptive Features of the Locomotory Organs in Fossorial Mammals]. Erevan: Izdatel'stvo AN Armyanskoi SSR. 195 p. [In Russian].
  • Gambaryan P.P. & Gasc J.-P. 1993. Adaptive properties of the musculoskeletal system in the mole-rat Myospalax myospalax (Mammalia, Rodentia), cinefluorographical, anatomical, and biomechanical analyses of burrowing // Zoologiche Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Anatomie und Ontogenie der Thiere. Bd.123. Hf.4. P.363-401.
  • Gambaryan P.P., Gasc J.-P. & Renous S. 2002. Cinefluorographical study of the burrowing movements in the common mole, Talpa europaea (Lipotyphla, Talpidae) // Russian Journal of Theriology. Vol.1. No.2. P.00-00.
  • Hisaw F.L. 1923. Observations on the burrowing habits of mole (Scalopus aquaticus mahrinoides) // Journal of Mammalogy. Vol.4. No.2. P.79-88.
  • Reed C.A. 1951. Locomotion and appendicular anatomy in three soricoid insectivores // American Midland Naturalist. Vol.45. No.3. P.513-671.
  • Skoczen S. 1958. Tunnel digging by the mole (Talpa europaea Linne) // Acta Theriologica. Vol.2. No.11. P.235-249.
  • Stroganov S.U. 1948. [Systematics of moles (Talpidae)] // Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta AN SSSR. T.8. No.2. P.1-405 [in Russian].

Download PDF