American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several furry, short-limbed, tailless burrowing rodents of the genus Spalax, found in eastern Europe and the Middle East.
- n. Any of various similar molelike rodents of the family Bathyergidae and especially of the genus Bathyergus, found from South Africa to Kenya.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A myomorphic rodent quadruped of the family Spalacidæ (which see for technical characters): so called from its resemblance to a mole in appearance and habits. The mole-rats are stout-bodied rodents, with short, strong limbs (of which the fore ones are fossorial), short or rudimentary tail, and minute or rudimentary eyes and ears. They live under ground and burrow very extensively. All belong to the Old World. The best-known species is Spalax typhlus of Europe and Asia. Others are Indian and African, of the genera Heterocephalus and Rhizomys. The bathyergues are mole-rats of the subfamily Bathyerginæ, inhabiting Africa, as the strand mole-rat, Bathyergus maritimus, and species of the genera Heliophobus and Georychus.
- n. A fossorial murine rodent of the family Muridæ and subfamily Siphneinæ. It resembles the preceding superficially and in habits to some extent. These mole-rats are confined to the palearctic region, where they are represented by the genera Siphneus and Ellobius. The zokor, S. aspalax, is the best-known.
- n. The Australian duck-mole or duck-billed platypus, Ornithorhynchus paradoxus.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) any one of several species of Old World rodents of the genera Spalax, Georychus, and several allied genera. They are molelike in appearance and habits, and their eyes are small or rudimentary.
- n. African rodent resembling a mole in habits and appearance
- n. furry short-limbed tailless rodent resembling a true mole in habits and appearance; of eastern Europe and Middle East
- n. burrowing scaly-tailed rat of India and Ceylon
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