Incredibly Rare, Blind Marsupial Mole Spotted - Hope 103.2

Incredibly Rare, Blind Marsupial Mole Spotted

Due to the fact that they burrow underground - and inhabit parts of the desert with minimal human presence, sightings are incredibly rare.

By Joni BoydTuesday 23 Apr 2024NewsReading Time: 2 minutes

Its tiny little face could be mistaken for a mouse, but this little creature is actually a Katarratul (marsupial mole).
Key points
  • Usually only seen a few times a decade, the Katarratul has been spotted twice in the past six months.
  • The Katarratul “swims” through the sand of Australia’s western deserts.

Native to the hottest, driest parts of Australia in the Western Desert area of Western Australia, its siting is always met with jubilation.

The Katarratul is so incredibly rare that it’s only usually seen a handful of times each decade. Recently though, KJ Martu rangers have reported seeing the little fellas twice in just six months.

Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa (KJ) is a Martu organisation which works to build strong, sustainable communities. KJ does this by supporting Martu as they care for culture and country, building pathways for young Martu and a healthy future, and building a viable economy in Martu communities.

Usually only seen a few times a decade, the Katarratul has been spotted twice in the past six months.

When KJ rangers recently sited a Katarratul, only six months after the last siting, there was a lot of excitement.

“The Kakarratul is a fascinating creature that “swims” through the sand of Australia’s western deserts,” KJ said in a Facebook post.

“Unlike most burrowing mammals that leave hollow tunnels behind, Kakarratul carve a path and fill it in as they go, squeezing their body forward through the sand.

The Katarratul “swims” through the sand of Australia’s western deserts.

“Despite being blind, they expertly navigate the underground and use their calloused nose and forehead as a ram to burrow.”

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The palm sized Kakarratul has no eyes, which is why their underground navigation system involving use of their calloused nose and forehead comes in handy.

“Such a crazy-looking little thing. Almost looks like a miniature monkey at first glance. How wonderful to find another one,” a comment said.

Some people thought the photos of the kakarratul were an April Fools’ Day joke, ABC reports.

Due to the fact that they burrow underground – and inhabit parts of the desert with minimal human presence, sightings are incredibly rare.


Feature image: Photos sourced from facebook/Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa