where hypotheses come to die (madman101) wrote,
where hypotheses come to die

Our Mole In China

Here is a scientific puzzle.  What is a New World  mole doing living in the middle of China, surrounded by Old World creatures?

Among zoologists who study moles, the Gansu mole is of great interest. For a reason that can only be speculated, it is taxologically a New World mole living among Old Word moles; that is to say an American mole living in a sea of Euro-Asians.

The Gansu mole (Scapanulus oweni) is the only member of a tribe of genera commonly known as "New World moles", the Scalopini, not to live in North America.[3] All other scalopines are distributed in Central America and Mexico. To see a freaky picture of one of those relatives, the Eastern Mole, go to SCALOPINES.

So, how did little Oweni diverge so completely from his homeland? He lives in a cold, barren, montanus area, while his siblings live in a lush tropical paradise. Was the migration due to some climatic event? Or maybe Oweni was the progenitor, and Asian humans brought his subsequent descendants to America? We may never know, because moles usually don't like to talk about themselves.
Tags: animals - moles, countries - china, scientific puzzles
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