Talpa is a genus in the mole family Talpidae. Among the first taxa in science, Carolus Linnaeus used the Latin word for "moles", talpa, in his Regnum Animale to refer to the commonly known European form of mole. The group has since been expanded to include 11 extant species, found primarily in Europe and western Asia. The European mole, found throughout most of Europe, is a member of this genus, as are several species restricted to small ranges. One species, Père David's mole, is critically endangered. One fossil species, the Tyrrhenian mole, is known from the Pleistocene of Corsica and Sardinia. These moles eat earthworms, insects, and other invertebrates found in the soil.
|European mole (Talpa europaea)|
The females of this genus have rudimentary male features such as Cowper's glands and a two-lobed prostate. A group of scientists has suggested that they are true hermaphrodites; however, others state that they are fully functional females.
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- Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 307–309. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Sánchez, A; Bullejos, M; Burgos, M; Hera, C; Stamatopoulos, C; Diaz De la Guardia R; Jiménez, R (1998-12-07). "Females of four mole species of genus Talpa (Insectivora, mammalia) are true hermaphrodites with ovotestes". Molecular Reproduction and Development. 44 (3): 289–294. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2795(199607)44:3<289::AID-MRD2>3.0.CO;2-I. PMID 8858598.
- Beolchini, F; Rebecchi, L; Capanna, E; Bertolani, R (2000-06-01). "Female gonad of moles, genus Talpa (Insectivora, mammalia): ovary or ovotestis?". J Exp Zool. 286 (1): 745–54. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-010X(20000601)286:7<745::AID-JEZ9>3.0.CO;2-F. PMID 10797327.
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