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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

Mole Star Nosed

Mole Star Nosed

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

Young 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

Star Nosed Mole Special Award

Star Nosed Mole Special Award

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.

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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!

Source: Exploration

Purple star award for this strange nosed mole

Purple star award for this strange nosed mole

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

  • Journal of Mammalogy
    E. Gould, W. McShea, T. Grand Function of the star in the star-nosed mole, Condylura cristata. Journal of Mammalogy, 74/1: 108-116.
  • Exploration
    David F. Salisbury; Star-nosed mole has moves that put the best magician to shame

Please share your thoughts about the star nosed mole. All comments are welcomed.

Star Nosed Mole Guestbook

DanielPotgieter on August 30, 2012:

These are such incredible creatures. A very good read!

anonymous on January 20, 2012:

Returning to bless a face only a mother could love...a mother star nosed mole!

anonymous on January 19, 2012:

I love star nosed moles! So cute!

Chocolate Pickney from Jamaica on December 13, 2011:

I've never heard of this animal before now, thanks.

anonymous on November 27, 2011:

How adorable are these little creatures ? Reminds me that our world is truly amazing !

anonymous on April 01, 2011:

I'm out and about for the Angels April Fools' Day Quest

~ Squidoo Angel Blessings ~

HubLens Admin on December 20, 2010:

What an amazing, curious-looking animal - thanks for this award-winning lens that introduces us to star nosed mole.

Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on December 15, 2010:

I have heard of star-nosed moles before but have never seen one. Lots of interesting facts I didn't know. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

irenemaria from Sweden on December 10, 2010:

I am amazed over so many animals there are on earth. Now I have met yet another little one thanks to you!

mywebcontent on December 05, 2010:

Oh, never mind, it's fastest eater in the world. Never would have guessed that one.

mywebcontent on December 05, 2010:

Now where did you get the idea to create a lens about this? Gotta love Squidoo LOL. BTW, what are they in Guinness World Records for?

brandonmotz lm (author) on November 24, 2010:

@xiaohuaz lm: Thank you for stopping by Xiaohuaz. I thought they were fake as well when I first saw this strange looking mole, but they are the Guinness world records with pictures as well. That is how I was finally convinced. :)

I have included a link in the heading titled "Star Nosed Mole Special Awards"

Hope this helps convince you :)

xiaohuaz lm on November 24, 2010:

Great lens, what an interesting animal. Still not 100% convinced it isn't photoshopped...

oztoo lm on November 14, 2010:

What a funny looking little animal. Thanks for the information about the star nosed mole. I love reading about animals and nature.

anonymous on October 28, 2010:

Cute little guy!

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on October 16, 2010:

Just back to bless this lens...**Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

kingkonglover on October 07, 2010:

cool I just learned about this animal. Thank you for share the star-nosed mole.

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on September 25, 2010:

Wow! What an amazing creature! A star for the star!

calmkoala on September 24, 2010:

Hee hee! I love the Star Nosed Mole, really informative lens, thanks. Congratulations to you and the mole on your purple star...

AlaskaHydro LM on September 18, 2010:

Congrats on the Purple Star! I bet you're glad you didn't sell it. Thanks for the help on SEO a few months back. I just got a Purple Star too, but I don't know who nominated it.

brandonmotz lm (author) on September 17, 2010:

@anonymous: I know! It would be great to be able to handle one these wonderful mammals. Thank you all for the congratulations and for stopping by.

Christine Larsen from South Australia on September 16, 2010:

Is there no end to the wonders or our beautiful world? Fascinating...thank you.

And congratulations on 'your' star for 'his' star - so well deserved.


anonymous on September 16, 2010:

Star Nosed Mole, I want one! What a conversation pet piece they would make. Congratulations on the Purple Star Award. I love this lens!!!

nebby from USA on September 16, 2010:

What a weird looking creature, I had never heard of them before. Congratulations on your purple star (are you going to share it with your unique looking friend?)

Anthony Godinho from Ontario, Canada on September 16, 2010:

Wow, I never knew this unique creature existed ~ you did a great job in presenting it! Well done...congratulations on your Purple Star, Brandon!

brandonmotz lm (author) on September 16, 2010:

Thanks all for the kind comments. How appropriate that the star nosed mole gets a purple star award!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 16, 2010:

I have never seen one before. Congrats for the purple star.

RedSportNiac on September 15, 2010:

Is that thing for real? It would look cuter with purple star instead of red. Anyway congrats for getting purple.

Kerri Bee from Upstate, NY on September 15, 2010:

I love the star nosed mole! I just lensrolled this to Mole Day: October 23.

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on September 15, 2010:

What an adorable little creature!

mrsquidoo on September 15, 2010:

Wow! What an interesting creature. I hope I never encounter one in person!!!

5orangepotatoes on September 14, 2010:

I LOVE star-nosed moles and this is a great tribute to them. Thanks so much for the link to my plush interpretation of the interesting critter.

brandonmotz lm (author) on September 11, 2010:

@joanhall: Thank you for the blessing the mole with the star shaped nose Joan :)

Joan Hall from Los Angeles on September 10, 2010:

What better way to start my day than by freaking out my children. This lens is receiving an Angel blessing and will be featured on my SquidAngel At Your Service lens.

Lisa Auch from Scotland on September 05, 2010:

Wow, fastest eater in the world and here I thought that was my husband! I never knew about this little beastie. Well deserved of a blessing Brandon

brandonmotz lm (author) on September 05, 2010:

Thank you both GreekGeek and Photahamirabel! Both the mole and myself say thank you :)

Lisa Marie Gabriel from United Kingdom on September 05, 2010:

Great lens about a beautiful little animal! Moles are great because they are both cute and fierce - this one steals the prize for cuteness. Also like your use of long tail keywords! Blessed by a Squid Angel today :)

Ellen Brundige from California on September 04, 2010:

Hooray! They've been one of my favorite critters since I was little. (Sea hares, star-nosed moles, jumping spiders -- you'd think I had scientists for parents or something).

I'm going to recommend to Ms. Hypatia that she featured this lens on the Squidoo Museum forthwith.

northamerica on August 17, 2010:

The pics really make the difference on this lens.

KarenTBTEN on August 10, 2010:

I had never heard of it either. Interesting facts. (Hmmm, and I thought some people were fast eaters...)

brandonmotz lm (author) on August 09, 2010:

@Bus Stop Toy Shop: It really makes you wonder how the star shaped nose could have evolved on this species of mole. I think it looks cool though and I would love to see one of these moles in person.

Bus Stop Toy Shop on August 09, 2010:

You're right - that is one unusual looking creature. I'd never heard of it...

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