Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Condylura cristata

Star-nosed Mole

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Talpidae

Image of Condylura cristata
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

No other mammal in the world looks like the star-nosed mole, which has 22 fingerlike appendages surrounding its nostrils. It has recently been discovered that these very sensitive tactile organs are used for object manipulation, and perhaps even for detection of electrical signals emitted by prey in the water. Star-nosed moles are able swimmers, and often forage in water for small fish and aquatic invertebrates, including insects, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Range: 132-230 mm

Range: 40-85 g


Linnaeus, C., 1758.  Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classis, ordines, genera, species cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tenth Edition, Vol. 1, p.  53. Laurentii Salvii, Stockholm, 824 pp.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Condylura cristata

Image of Condylura cristata
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Image of Condylura cristata
View of mole swimming in an aquarium.
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