Preliminary evidence for the use of microseismic cues for navigation by the Namib golden mole.


Insect prey of the Namib golden mole congregate beneath clumps of grass scattered among the sand dunes of the Namib Desert. In the presence of the light winds that typically blow over the Namib Desert, these grass clumps emit low-amplitude vibrations that are transmitted through the sand. While foraging in the sand-swimming mode (a few centimeters below the surface of the sand), some moles apparently were attracted toward manmade sources emitting vibrations matching those recorded from the grass clumps. This is the first direct evidence that these desert mammals use seismic cues for navigation.