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Star-nosed Mole Condylura cristata


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Star-nosed Mole
credit: NPS

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Family: Talpidae, Moles view all from this family

Description Unmistakable, snout has 22 fleshy, tentacle-like appendages surrounding the nostrils. Pelage is dense, coarse, and ranges from blackish brown to black, with slightly paler undersides. Tail about as long as head and body, scaly, constricted at base, and covered sparsely with black hair.

Dimensions 132-230mm, 48-99mm, 40-85g

Habitat Cities, suburbs & towns, Swamps, marshes & bogs, Lakes, ponds, rivers & streams, Forests & woodlands, Meadows & fields

Range Plains, Great Lakes, New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Eastern Canada

Discussion Most aquatic of the moles, they forage both in the water, and in the usual mole tunnels. They swim by using the enlarged forepaws as paddles. Tunnels are about 3cm in diameter and range in depth from 3 to 60cm. Tails thicken in winter for fat storage. Animals are active year-round and both day and night. They are more active above ground than other moles, although aboveground activity is more common at night. May be gregarious or even possibly colonial. Prefers wet areas, including moist fields, meadows, woods, and marshes.