Locomotion in Moles (Insectivora, Proscalopidae) from the Middle Tertiary of North America

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Apr 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4542, pp. 183-185
DOI: 10.1126/science.216.4542.183


The locomotion of proscalopid moles, an extinct group restricted to North America, differed from that of other animals. Analysis of a newly discovered and relatively complete and articulated skeleton shows that the digging technique of proscalopids involved a combination of motions that has not been observed in modern fossorial insectivores. The many anatomical peculiarities of proscalopids are related to their specialized digging technique and justify their assignment to a new family of insectivores, the Proscalopidae.