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Blind Mole Believed Extinct, Not Seen Since 1936, Turns Up On Beach

The blind mole, thought to be extinct, has reappeared for the first time in almost 90 years on a South African coast where it had not been seen since 1936, a study published last week revealed.

De Winton’s golden mole was discovered by researchers on the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. according to To the Associated Press. The blind mole is small and golden, with “super hearing” and the ability to “swim” through sand dunes.

Traces of the mole’s tunnel were discovered by sniffer dogs in 2021, which ultimately led to the mole’s discovery, the paper said. But researchers took the time to confirm the exact type of mole among 21 possibilities before declaring it de Winton’s disease.

“This has been a very exciting project with many challenges,” said Estelle Matthews, senior field officer at the Endangered Wildlife Trust. “Fortunately, we have a great team full of enthusiasm and innovative ideas. Exactly what is needed.”

The report said environmental DNA samples were taken to determine the species of mole, and a match was later determined. The remaining skin cells, hair and excrement helped scientists reach this conclusion, but he had to wait until 2022 before his DNA sample from De Winton was available for comparison. Ta. (Related: Bison introduced to Russia’s Arctic to replace species that went extinct 4,000 years ago)

“We had high hopes, but sometimes our hopes were dashed by a small group of people,” researcher Samantha Minhart told The Associated Press. She said: “One de Winton expert told us: ‘You’ll never find that mole. It’s extinct.’

De Winton’s golden mole is listed by wildlife conservation groups as a “most wanted lost species”, the newspaper said. Since then, two of De Winton’s golden moles have been seen and photographed in Port Nolan, Minhardt said.

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