The Evolution of the Common Mole

In this study, researchers examine the evolutionary history of the common mole (Talpa europaea) by combining molecular analysis with species distribution models using GBIF-mediated occurrences.

European Mole (Talpa europaea) by Wildlife Wanderer licensed under CC NC-ND 2.0

European Mole (Talpa europaea) by Wildlife Wanderer licensed under CC NC-ND 2.0

The effect of climatic changes on subterranean mammals during the Pleistocene epoch is largely unknown. In this study, researchers examine the evolutionary history of the common mole (Talpa europaea) by combining molecular analysis with species distribution models using GBIF-mediated occurrences. Their results reveal three different lineages with specific ranges in Spain, Italy, and the rest of Europe, respectively. The phylogeographical structure of the latter two lines suggests a distinct break from the last Pleistocene glaciation. During phases when most of the current ranges were unsuitable, the mole appears to have been confined to refuges in southern Europe.

Citations

Feuda, R., Bannikova, A. A., Zemlemerova, E. D., Di Febbraro, M., Loy, A., Hutterer, R., … Colangelo, P. (2015). Tracing the evolutionary history of the mole, Talpa europaea , through mitochondrial DNA phylogeography and species distribution modelling. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 114(3), 495–512. doi:10.1111/bij.12459

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