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Russian Journal of Theriology

Peculiarities of the thoracic-lumbar vertebral morphology in common mole, Talpa europaea (Lipotyphla, Talpidae) in connection with its burrowing activity // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.1 (for 2002). No.2: 111115 [in English].

Morphology of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae is described. During digging and moving through the tunnel mole can turn anterior part of its body relative to the posterior part up to 90. An original method to estimate the rotation angle between two vertebrae was devised. It was revealed that the main twisting range occur in the thorax region, and in the lumbar region it comes to naught. The absence or weak development of the spinous process in the anterior thoracic vertebrae indicate weakness of the musculature responsible for the head raising. Based on this observation it is asserted that mole can not use its head for throwing out the soil. Key Words : Talpa europaea , vertebral column, morphology, burrowing.