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Star Nosed Mole
Star Nosed Mole Description
Also called Condylura Cristata, the star nosed mole is a unique North American mammal that gets its name from the shape of its nose.
The star shaped nose is completely hairless with 22 tentacle-like appendages that are used to search out food. This mole is completely blind and therefore it has been theorized that the nose of the mole is able to identify electrical currents in its prey.
Source: Journal of Mammalogy
Each one of these "tentacles" contain great amounts of highly sensitive organs known as Eimer's organs. These Eimer's organs are supplied with large numbers of blood vessels and nerves which help to identify potential food items.
Star Nosed Mole Picture
When I first saw one of these strange looking animals, I thought that they were fake. Another hoax like the sea rabbit.
After further research however, I have come to realize that the mole with the star shaped nose is a real mammal.
Check out these cool pictures!
Star Nosed Mole Appearance and Behaviour
Wikipedia article excerpt
The star-nosed mole lives in wet lowland areas and eats small invertebrates, aquatic insects, worms and mollusks. It is a good swimmer and can forage along the bottoms of streams and ponds. Like other moles, this animal digs shallow surface tunnels for foraging; often, these tunnels exit underwater. It is active day and night and remains active in winter, when it has been observed tunnelling through the snow and swimming in ice-covered streams. Little is known about the social behavior of the species, but it is suspected that it is colonial.
The star-nosed mole is covered in thick blackish brown water-repellent fur, large scaled feet and a long thick tail, which appears to function as a fat storage reserve for the spring breeding season. Adults are 15 to 20 cm in length, weigh about 55 g, and have 44 teeth. The mole's most distinctive feature is a circle of 22 mobile, pink, fleshy tentacles at the end of the snout, from which they derive their name. These are used to identify food by touch, such as worms, insects and crustaceans.
The star-nosed mole mates in late winter or early spring, and the female has one litter of typically 4 or 5 young in late spring or early summer. However, females are known to have a second litter if their first is unsuccessful. At birth, each offspring is about 5 cm long, hairless, and weighs about 1.5 g. Their eyes, ears, and star are all sealed, only opening and becoming useful approximately 14 days after birth. They become independent after about 30 days, and are fully mature after 10 months. Predators include the Red-tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl, various skunks and mustelids, large fish as well as domestic cats.
Read the entire Wikipedia article about the star nosed mole
Young Star Nosed Mole
Star Nosed Mole Predators
The Star nosed mole has several natural predators. These predators include hawks, snakes, owls and carnivorous mammals such as skunks.
It has been recorded that a Condylura has been found in the stomach of a corn snake! It has also been reported that the mole with the star nose has been hunted by the common house cat.
Star Nosed Mole Video
Check out this video featuring the mole with the star shaped nose.
Star Nosed Mole Poll - Yup, the mole poll
Have you ever heard of the star nosed mole before today?
Star Nosed Mole Special Award
The star nosed mole has been given the prestigious award of fastest eater in the world by Guinness World Records.
According to a study published in 1995, it takes the mole 25 milliseconds to identify a food item and from that, it only takes a mere 12 milliseconds to put the food in its mouth.
This is compared to the average human reaction time of 650 milliseconds to hit the brake after seeing the traffic light ahead turn red.
Slow down buddy! Your food will not run away from you... Oh wait, it will!
Purple Star Award
On September 16, 2010 this lens about the mole with the star shaped nose received the coveted purple star award. This is my first purple star!
The mole and I would like to give a great big thank you to the purple star team. It is greatly appreciated to know that this lens was well liked.
Perfect award for the star nosed mole.
Star Nosed Mole References
Please share your thoughts about the star nosed mole. All comments are welcomed.