Reproductive biology

In general, moles in the family Talpidae mate from late winter to late spring, with a single litter born from mid- to early summer. The schedule within a species can be moved up by a month or so among populations in warmer climates. Some moles, such as the greater Japanese shrew mole (Urotrichus talpoides), have a second litter in the summer or early fall. Gestation typically lasts four to seven weeks, with the young weaned three to four weeks after birth. Litter size averages three or four young, but can range from just one to seven or more. The young attain sexual maturity within their first year. Life span averages three to four years. Mating system varies among species.

Moles Front Feet
A hairy-tailed mole (Parascalops breweri) showing front feet well suited for burrowing. (Photo by Animals Animals ┬ęZig Leszczynski. Reproduced by permission.)

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