Star-nosed Mole

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Related to star-nosed moles: Condylurini

Star-nosed Mole

 

(Condylura cristata), an insectivorous mammal of the family Talpidae. In appearance it resembles the common mole. The length of the body is 100–127 mm, and that of the tail, 55–85 mm. The animal weighs 40–80 g. Its forefeet are weaker than those of other moles. At the tip of the muzzle there is a bare oval disk with fleshy, fringed edges resembling a many-rayed star (hence the name). The fur is dark brown or black. The star-nosed mole is distributed in North America (southeastern Canada and northeastern United States). A burrowing animal, it leads an underground mode of existence. It inhabits meadows, kitchen gardens, gardens, and the borders of forests, where the soil is soft and suitable for burrowing, and feeds on earthworms and insects in the soil. The star-nosed mole bears one litter of two to seven young per year.

References in periodicals archive ?
Each of the 22 fleshy feelers on the star-nosed mole's snout is covered with more than 1,000 tiny sensory structures called Elmer's organs.
Star-nosed moles prefer swamps, bogs, and low, wet meadows (they've even been seen swimming under ice in the winter) but can manage in somewhat drier locales.
But while Catania now doubts that star-nosed moles can detect electric fields, that doesn't mean that the creature's strange appendage is any less remarkable.
The star-nosed mole has an incredible sense of touch that we humans can only envy
His quarry is the little-known, aptly named star-nosed mole. The animal for the most part is like a normal mole, except that surrounding its nostrils are 22 fleshy rays.
Ranging from Canada down through the eastern United States as far south as Georgia, the star-nosed mole is remarkable for being the only mole that lives in wetlands.
To locate food, a star-nosed mole uses its tentacles, which work like
Catania of Vanderbilt University in Nashville finds that sensory nerves of the star-nosed mole may race to occupy brain space early in development.
Similarly, Catania found that the input from two small appendages, or rays, of this star-nosed mole's elaborate schnozzle takes 25 percent of the area in the mole's brain that represents the star.