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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Soricomorpha · Talpidae · Condylura cristata

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Condylura cristata

Star-nosed Mole

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Talpidae

Image of Condylura cristata
Click to enlarge. (96 kb)

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:

None

Length:

Range: 132-230 mm

Weight:

Range: 40-85 g

References:

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.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account * (opens in a new window).
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Condylura cristata

Image of Condylura cristata
Click to enlarge. (111kb)

Image of Condylura cristata
View of mole swimming in an aquarium.
Click to enlarge. (95kb)

 
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