Most people’s perception of the mole is that they are blind or have poor sight but this is not so, living in an almost permanently dark world it would seem logical that they would have little use of good eyesight. However, they have two perfectly formed eyes like you and me and can see different parts of the light spectrum, unlike you and me. Light is made up of a mixture of colours, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. These colours have energy and red has the most and violet the least. We can see these colours reveal themselves when rainbows form, or for the modern way, to look at a reflection of a LED light in the screen of a Led TV. Some creatures can actually see the light spectrums we cannot without the aid of rainbows, and moles have the ability to see both Ultra violet and infrared light. I discovered this when filming them in the tunnels.

 For our cameras to see in the total darkness of the moles kingdom, I need to use special cameras with infra red lights. Although we cannot see in the darkness, the cameras aided by the Infrared lights provided us with the evidence that the moles can clearly see this light spectrum. They respond to the source of light, immediately close down the source of the light by filling the tunnel with soil, and return it to the comfort of the darkness they know so well. Light from the sun will penetrate into the surface of the ground a short distance and this is determined by many factors, one being the type of substrate. When a mole is creating very shallow runs, just below the surface light from the sun will possibly enter the tunnel, the mole will be able to determine this as they can detect the Ultraviolet light of the spectrum. The ultraviolet light can penetrate only a short distance down maybe a little as 30 mm but enough to illuminate the tunnels for the moles to see.

This still photograph taken from video footage of a mole working in the tunnels clearly shows the mole’s eye open, having discovered the source of the infrared light this mole immediately filled the tunnel with soil blocking out the unwanted light. Moles like other animals that have the ability to see in different levels of the light spectrum, are referred to as having have scotopic vision
[able to see in locations with little or no ambient light level]

{ the moles eye is marked by the red arrow }

They have just like us in the retina of their eyes photoreceptors called cones and rods, cones are responsible for higher light levels and the rods enable vision in low light levels. The moles retina has approximately 100.000 photoreceptors and only approximately 10% are cones, which confirm the moles eyes have developed for its life in a dark world. The constant response to closing down any spectrum of light required for our equipment to view this world clearly defers claims of their blindness and fuels the evidence of their ability to see better then us under such conditions.