Though perhaps few people in today's busy world pause to think or to meditate, the truth remains that even the smallest life on our beautiful planet is a veritable miracle- testimony to the Almighty God’s Power, Wisdom, Beauty, and Creativity. Even in its current, sin-affected condition, I do believe God derives pleasure from the beauty of His creation, and I do believe He appreciates the beauty of each flower, bird, and fish that is in it. It would not surprise me at all to one day find out that the most beautiful of all His flowers had been placed in total isolation from the business of man, existing solely for the pleasure of God’s eyes alone. These articles, however, are written for those few of you out there who do intend to discover the intricacies of the created world, and who do have such a mind as would like to separate from common fools in order to attain wisdom in all manner of things. (Please note, I do not mean to say that all wise people will necessarily love my articles; but rather that all wise people will find learning itself fascinating, though they may choose to attain knowledge from a loftier source than my simple “blogs.”)
One such intricacy of the animal kingdom is that of the difference between the shrew and the mole. While moles and shrews seem quite similar, here are a few of the most obvious distinctions:
Shrews are more akin to the mouse in their body shape and are sometimes even smaller than most mice. Moles are usually fatter in their shape and larger in their overall body size.
Shrews have a thinner tail than a mole. The Shrew’s tail is usually about an inch long (though in the case of the Masked Shrew it is often 2 inches long) and is thin, causing it to appear longer. In addition to the thinner appearance, the Shrew usually has some hair growing on his tail. A mole, however, has a stubbier-looking tail with little to no hair on it depending on the exact species.
The eyes of both the Shrew and the Mole are quite tiny. However, in the case of the Mole, the eyes are even more diminutive, with some species being totally blind, having skin covering their eyes.
Both Moles and Shrews also have a long snout; but the Shrew’s snout is more mouse-like and has hair almost entirely to the tip while the mole’s snout is hairless and pink in colour.
The feet are perhaps the most striking difference, Whie a shrew has claws that are suitable for creating burrows, his feet are not too unlike those of many small mammals. A mole, on the other hand, is completely unique, being equipped with special feet designed for two purposes only- burrowing quickly through soil and paddling quickly through water. Unlike the Shrew, the soles of the Mole’s feet face outward, causing him to appear as though his feet were put on backwards!
Here at Rising K Ranch, we will likely be too busy riding horses all over the hills and enjoying Utah’s beautiful red peaks and pine-covered mountains to be looking down at tiny little moles and shrews; but it is nonetheless amazing to ponder upon the many types of wildlife that dwell, not only on ground level with us, but above us in the trees and sky and even beneath us in the ground and streams!