Star Nosed Moles Views
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 tunneling 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.
THIS weird and wonderful creature is the star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata), a small, semi-aquatic mammal which inhabits the low wetlands of eastern North America. Like other moles, it ekes out an existence in a network of narrow underground tunnels, and digs shallow surface tunnels where it forages for insects, worms and molluscs. Living as it does in almost complete darkness, the star-nosed mole has poorly developed eyes, and is virtually blind. Instead, it relies heavily on its remarkable star-shaped nose. This organ enables the star-nosed mole to decide whether something is edible with astonishing speed - in fact, it recently entered the Guinness Book of Records as the world's fastest forager - and also to sniff out food underwater.
Star-nosed Moles are active all year. Theyy’re excellent swimmers and spend a lot of time in or near water, especially during the winter months when the grounds’s too hard to do any foraging in the soil. Because of their amazing nose, theyo’re the only known creature able to smell underwater. They accomplish this by blowing out tiny bubbles then re-inhaling them, detecting the scents that the bubbles pick up from the water. They have long, relatively thick tails that they use to store fat during the leaner winter months.
Star-nosed moles are distinctive mammals with a bizarre set of tentacles surrounding the nose. The 22 tentacles are extremely sensitive to touch and to electrical impulses and allow the moles to find and identify their invertebrate prey without using sight. This multifunctional 'star' is also used to keep soil and food from entering the nose. Native to eastern north America, star-nosed moles dig a network of tunnels, some as long as 270m, through poorly drained moist soil. They're also surprisingly good swimmers.