Star-nose mole Condylura cristata

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Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Soriocomorpha

Family: Talpidae
Genus: Condylura
Species: cristata





Description



The star-nosed mole has thick, dark, water repellent fur. It has large, scaly feet and a long, thick tail which appears to be a storage place for fat during the spring breeding season. Star Nosed moles are generally 6-8 inches in length and 2 ounces in weight once they reach adulthood. It has short limbs, and the front feet are paddle-like with long claws. Their most distinctive feature is a circle of twenty two pink, fleshy tentacles at the base of the snout. It is from these tentacles that the star-nosed mole gets its name.

Habitat\



The star nosed mole lives in or around wet areas. They are semi aquatic. In most cases, it inhabits stream beds, or the edges of lakes. Although it typically lives around the water, the star nosed mole goes in the water to hunt aquatic insects. The star nosed mole prefers swampy, marshy areas.





Predators and Prey





Aquatic insects are the bulk of the diet with, small amphibians and fish making up the remainder. Aquatic invertebrates that live on the bottom are the primary winter foods of the star nosed mole. They will readily enter the water, even beneath ice, sifting through bottom sediment. Its predators are raptors, including screech owls, horned owls, barn owls, and red-tailed hawks. Some mammals that prey on the star nosed mole are striped skunks, minks, weasels, and foxes.



Native or Invasive



I could not find out whether the star nosed mole was native or invasive (I searched thoroughly)






Form vs. Function



One thing that helps the star nosed mole survive is it’s tail: the tail is long and flesh colored. During the winter, it gets swollen in size and it serves as a fat storage organ. Another thing on the star nosed moles body that helps it survive is it’s nose. The mole does not have very good eyesight, but the tentacles that come out of the base of the nose have sensors. These make it easier to find food.





Interesting Facts


INTERESTING FACTS!!!!!!! (IN PINK!)


  • The nose of these species act, as a powerful sensory organ because these help them to see.
  • The Guinness Book of World Record has stated that these species are in the list of one of the fastest hunters.
  • It is said that these species hunt and have their victim so fast that it is almost impossible for even humans to follow it.
  • The tentacles of these species are six times faster when compared to the human hand.
  • New born star nosed moles are pale pink, wrinkled, hairless, and blind






Resources



http://www.esf.edu/aec/adks/mammals/starnosed_mole.htm

http://www.animalplace.net/mammals/star-nosed-mole-facts-characteristics-habitat-and-more/

http://www.wild-facts.com/tag/star-nosed-mole/

news.nationalgeographic.com