Where Do Moles Sleep?

November 14, 2023

Moles are solitary creatures, so they spend most of their lives alone. While they're often viewed as pests that ruin garden roots and create molehills, these insectivores are actually quite fascinating. Their soft black-grey fur and long, hairless snouts make them hard to see, but they also have powerful forepaws with an extra thumb and can dig a foot a minute. Moles are active foragers that eat 75%-80% of their body weight daily, including earthworms.

Even though they're loners, moles need plenty of rest to maintain their high metabolisms. To do that, they sleep in short bursts throughout the day. This helps them regulate their body temperature and conserve energy for foraging.

They have a special sleep state called paradoxical sleep. Similar to REM sleep in humans, moles experience dreaming and lack motor function while in this phase. Paradoxical sleep makes up about 25% of the time that moles are sleeping.

Mole tunnels are more than just underground highways. These insectivores have specialized rooms at the end of each tunnel that serve as bedrooms, birthing areas and kitchens. They have been known to live in a series of tunnels for generations before moving on. Their favorite food is earthworms, which they keep alive by biting their heads and storing them in tunnel chambers. They can hold up to 470 worms in one chamber before they need to release them for dinner.

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