Temporal range: early Miocene to Recent
Golden moles are small, insectivorous burrowing mammals native to southern Africa. They form the family Chrysochloridae. They are taxonomically distinct from the true moles. They look alike because of convergent evolution.
The golden moles bear a remarkable resemblance to the marsupial moles of Australia. They live almost exclusively underground, beneath grassland, forest, swamps, deserts, or mountainous terrain. Like several other burrowing mammals with similar habits, they have short legs with powerful digging claws, very dense fur that repels dirt and moisture, and tough skin, particularly on the head. Their eyes do not work, and covered with skin and fur. The ears are just tiny openings and, like the marsupial moles, they have an enlarged leather-like pad to protect their nostrils. Their main sense is that of touch, and they are particularly sensitive to vibrations that may indicate approaching danger.