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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Bathyergidae (mole-rats)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Synapsida (mammal-like reptiles) > Therapsida > Theriodontia >  Cynodontia > Mammalia (mammals) > Placentalia (placental mammals) > Euarchontaglires > Glires > Rodentia (rodents) > Hystricognathi

Species indigenous to southern Africa

Bathyergus suillus (Cape dune mole-rat)

The Cape Dune mole-rat is the largest completely subterranean mammal in Africa. It is an active excavator and can push as much as 500 kg of soil to the surface each month. Dune mole rats are solitary and aggressively territorial, each animal maintaining its own burrow system that is spaced apart from its neighbour. The animals rarely venture above ground, but are often forced above ground during the rainy season when the water table rises.

Bathyergus janetta (Namaqua dune mole-rat)


Cryptomys hottentotus (African mole-rat)


Cryptomys damarensis (Darnaraland mole-rat)

Cryptomys darlingi (Mashona mole-rat)


Georychus capensis (Cape mole-rat)