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No. 33: May-Jun 1984

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Mima Mounds In The Kenya Highlands

Mima Mounds are rarely reported outside the western United States. But Kenya has them, too. At elevations of 1500-3600 meters on Mt. Kenya, fields of mounds up to 6 meters in diameter and 1.5 meters high have been described. Cox and Gakahu have studied some of these African mounds and find them much like the North American Mima Mounds. They are found well above the range of the rhizomyid mole rat, a rodent similar to the North American pocket gopher in size and behavior. Quantitative measurements indicate the mounds to be constructed from dirt immediately surrounding the mounds. In short, the African mounds and probably those of North America seem to be the products of industrious rodents.

(Cox, George W., and Gakahu, Christopher G.; "The Formation of Mima Mounds in the Kenya Highlands: A Test of the Dalquest-Scheffer Hypothesis," Journal of Mammalogy, 65:149, 1984.)

From Science Frontiers #33, MAY-JUN 1984. � 1984-2000 William R. Corliss