How have moles adapted to live underground?

Chris Packham observes moles in a man-made burrow and explores the ways that they are adapted for life underground.

Chris Packham uses a man-made burrow to observe the ways that moles have adapted for life underground.

He explains how they require less oxygen than other mammals and, though they have poor eyesight, their sensitive noses and tails are used to feel underground.

Their hands and feet are also well adapted for digging. Chris observes seals and describes how they also have their forelimbs on the sides of their body to help them push through water, much in the same way that moles push through the soil. An expert helps Chris to interpret skeletons from a seal and a mole to investigate the similarities in detail.

Teacher Notes

You could start by asking the class what they know about moles. Where do they live? What do they eat? What makes moles good at living underground?

After viewing the clip, you could ask the class what surprised them the most about moles? Ask them what moles and seals have in common, for example, they are both mammals.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching science at KS1 and KS2 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and at Early and 1st Level in Scotland.