; suborder Lipotyphla, superfamily Soricoidea)
A family of insectivores in which there are no external ears and the eyes are covered with skin. The fur has a metallic appearance. The tail is rudimentary. The fore limbs and paws are modified for digging, the second and third digits bear large claws, and the fifth digit is absent. They are distributed in Africa from the Equator south. There are five genera, with 11 species. Their mole-like adaptations have been evolved independently of those of the Talpidae (true moles) and it has recently been proposed, on molecular grounds, that golden moles do not belong to Lipotyphla at all, but are part of a clade of African mammals that includes Proboscidea, Sirenia, Hyracoidea, and Tubulidentata.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.