Chrysochloridae


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Chrysochloridae

[¦kris·ə′klȯr·ə‚dē]
(paleontology)
The golden moles, a family of extinct lipotyphlan mammals in the order Insectivora.

Chrysochloridae

 

(golden moles), a family of mammals of the order Insectivora. In appearance and way of life the Chrysochloridae resemble moles, but they are closer to otter shrews and tenrecs. The body is cylindrical and covered with short red, yellow, green, or purple fur with an attractive metallic sheen. It measures from 75 to 235 mm long; the tail is rudimentary. The bare tip of the snout is cornified, which aids the animal in burrowing. The third toe of the forefoot is very large, with an enormous claw. There are five genera, comprising 15–20 species. The Chrysochlorids inhabit dry steppes, sandy deserts, forests, and cultivated fields of South Africa, leading an underground and burrowing way of life. They feed on soil insects and their larvae and on other invertebrates.

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