Star-nosed moles are a particular type of moles easily identified by the eleven pairs of  fleshy appendages sorrounding their nose.

Star-nosed moles live most of their time underground, and as there is not much light down there, their sense of view is not as developed as the rest of senses. In return, they have developed an enormously sensitive sense of touch, leading to this appendages around their nose. Star-nosed moles live in wet lands where the earth is soft and they can dig easily with their hard and rough claws at the end of their legs. As they live mainly thanks to their sense of smell, their ears are not very usefull and have almost disappeared.

The incredibly sensitive nasal tentacles are covered with minute touch receptors known as Eimer’s organs. The nose is approximately one centimeter in diameter with approximately 25,000 Eimer’s organs distributed on 22 appendages.Recent reports give this animal the title of fastest-eating mmamal,  taking as short as 120 milliseconds to identify and consume individual food items. Its brain decides in the ultra short time of 8 ms if a prey is comestible or not. This speed is at the limit of the speed of neurons.

Star-nosed moles are really good swimmers and they also possess the ability to smell underwater. It is done by exhaling air bubbles onto objects or scent trails and then inhaling the bubbles to carry scents back through the nose.

Well, deducing that starting from a ancestral mole, an (or some) individual may have had a significant variation (due to sexual reproduction or a mutation), these new mole may have evolved into what we now know as the star-nosed mole, giving these an advantage when hunting by making a 3d picture of the surroundings (as shown on the videos below). Everything is well explained in this videos, for example, the advantage of the star-nosed with their tiny size and advanced nose. We deduce that with this advantages, the first star-nosed moles began to survive in this “survival of the fittest” in the wetlands, where they lived. These first star-nosed were able to hunt and eat much more (underground) than bigger animals in the surface.

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Video in spanish: visit this page

(Source: wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star-nosed_Mole)

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