Beast

Mole


Latin name: Talpa
Other names: Talpe, Taupe, Topinara

A blind animal that lives in the earth

General Attributes

The mole lives in constant darkness, and so is blind. It digs in the earth, eating roots and piling up soil. Its hearing is so acute that it cannot be taken by surprise.

Sources

Aristotle [ca. 350 BCE] (De animalibus Book 4, chapter 8.2): [The mole] has no sight, it has no apparent eyes, but when the thick skin which surrounds the head is taken away, in the place where the eyes ought to be on the outside, are the undeveloped internal eyes, which have all the parts of true eyes, for they have both the iris of the eye, and within the iris the part called the pupil, and the white; but all these are less than in true eyes. On the outside there is no appearance of these parts, from the thickness of the skin, as if the nature of the eye had been destroyed at birth... - [Cresswell translation, 1887]

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 10, 88): Moles have very keen hearing; even buried in the earth they can overhear people talking, and will run away if they hear people talking about them.

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 3:5): The mole is blind, having no eyes, and lives in constant darkness, digging in the ground and eating roots.