This Furry Creature Hasn’t Been Seen In 90 Years
According to Goodnet, recently a creature was found by scientists that hasn’t been seen in 90 years!
This creature is a tiny mole that is part of a species so good at hiding they have not been seen by a scientist in 90 years. The mole, called a De Winton’s golden mole, was found using environmental DNA.
This type of mole was last seen in 1937, along the north-western coast of South Africa.
These types of moles burrow through sand which usually collapses, making them hard to locate. They also spend most of their lives underground and will only rarely come out of the sand during the night to hunt bugs.
Mining that has caused population decline near where these moles live made many people fear they might be extinct.
Five scientists started looking for this mole in July 2022 with the aid of a border collie. They found evidence of tunnels made by the mole. From these tunnels, they collected soil samples that had hair, skin cells, and excretions.
The samples that the scientist collected were sent to a lab and the DNA was sequenced. They compared the DNA to a 2010 De Winton’s mole specimen from a museum. From this, they found out that it was in fact the De Winton’s mole.
After this, the scientists were even able to capture two of these moles for research after this discovery.
In November of 2023, this group’s findings were published in Biodiversity and Conservation. In this, they talked about just how powerful environmental DNA is as an investigational tool.