Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weird Animals - The Star-Nosed Mole

Star-nosed Mole
For today's post, I was intrigued by some of the weird and unusual looking animals we have on this planet of ours. Today, I chose the Star-nosed Mole for its unique look.

Star-nosed Mole

These moles are not rodents but belong to the mammalian Order Insectivora. Insectivora means insect eater, and this group includes moles, shrews, and hedgehogs. The most notable aspect of the mole is its large, powerful front feet, designed for pushing soil out of its way. The mole has an average total length of 5½ - 6 inches (14 - 15 cm) and a short, sparsely haired tail 1 - 1½ inch (2.5 - 3.8 cm) long. The fur is very soft and differs from that of most mammals because it does not project toward the tail. With their fur pointing up, moles can move forward or backward within their tunnels without rubbing their fur the wrong way and trapping soil in their coats. The coat is so fine and dense that it keeps out water and dirt. The fur is slate gray with a velvety sheen. Moles living in red clay soils sometimes appear rusty in color. Their bellies may be slightly lighter in color, and some may have tan or orange blotches on their bellies.

Star-nosed Mole

I'm not sure about their scientific name as I've found some conflicting information, or perhaps just different species of the same type of mole (who knows?). In one instance, I found that its scientific name is "scalopus aquaticus." Other times, I found it listed as "condylura cristata."

According to Wikipedia ...
The Star-nosed Mole (Condylura cristata) is a small North American mole found in eastern Canada and the north-eastern United States . It is the only member of the tribe Condylurini and the genus Condylura.

[It] lives in wet lowland areas and eats small invertebrates, aquatic insects, worms and molluscs. 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 and has 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. These are used to identify food by touch, such as worms, insects and crustaceans.

In my research about this creature, I found a good PBS video on YouTube that I thought was worth sharing.

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totally photoshop
not real
only see this kind of animal in movies
really dumb

Lethe said...

Really? I saw these critters in my backyard all the time.

congoux said...

NONE OF UR BUISNESS then you lack a lot of culture the star-nosed mole do exist their is proof that's not even discussed, but I suppose you're the kind of guy who say "why did someone stick a duck beak on this beaver !?" when you see a platypus.

Anonymous said...

did you know when they first found the platypus. scientists thought is was fake and tryed to take it apart but that was when people were a lot more simple like you none of your buisness... :D

Anonymous said...

8-) :* :* =-O =-X :-[ :-P :-P *DONT_KNOW* :'(

Anonymous said...

Star nosed moles are soooo weird but strangely fascinating :-P :-P :-P