The extremely sensitive star-like structure is covered with minute touch receptors known as Eimer’s organs. The nose is about 1 cm in diameter with roughly 25,000 Eimer’s organs distributed on 22 appendages. Eimer’s organs were first described in the European mole in 1871 by German zoologist Theodor Eimer.
When was the star-nosed mole discovered?
But if you look closely at each of its waving feelers—under a microscope—you’ll notice that they’re covered in approximately 25,000 papillae that look a lot like tiny taste buds. These sensory receptors are known as Eimer’s organs, so-named for the German scientist who discovered them in 1871.
What does the star-nosed mole use its nose for?
Function trumps beauty in the star-nosed mole, whose tentacled snout is incomparably sensitive. Packed with 100,000 nerve endings, fingerlike rays on the nose help the mole find prey at lightning speed.
How is it different from that of a star-nosed mole?
species of mole
The star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata) has the body form and anatomical specializations of typical moles but possesses a longer tail and slightly smaller forefeet.
How long do star-nosed moles live?
This conclusion is based on the female mole only produceing one litter per year; they must live long enough to produce a sufficient number of offspring to sustain their population (Kurta 1995). They have been known to live up to two years in captivity (Baker 1983).
Why do moles have no eyes?
In moles, PAX6 stays on too long and loses its tight grasp on the genome. This causes a breakdown in the choreography of eye cell development. Although their eyelids stay closed, the skin is thin enough to let some light shine through.
Can a star-nosed mole see?
Living as it does, in complete darkness, the star-nosed mole relies heavily on the mechanical information of its remarkable specialized nose to find and identify their invertebrate prey without using sight (since moles have small eyes and a tiny optic nerve).
Can Star-nosed moles smell underwater?
The star-nosed mole has several unusual abilities. One of them is “sniffing” underwater by blowing bubbles and quickly re-inhaling them, detecting odors of its prey through the water. The moles’ “star” nose features a ring of tiny, pink tentacles and is the most sensitive known touch organ of any mammal.
Do moles go underwater?
Some moles even swim underwater and can hold their breath for up to 10 seconds at a time. The star-nosed mole, for example, is semi-aquatic and obtains some of its food underwater. Moles use this swimming ability to get to safety in times of flooding.
What are a star-nosed mole interesting facts?
Star-Nosed Mole Facts
- Star-Nosed Mole Facts Overview. …
- Their ‘nose’ isn’t used for smelling, it’s used for touch to feel around, and hunt prey in darkness. …
- Their star-nose rays are in constant motion when exploring. …
- Their star is the most sensitive touch organ known in any mammal. …
- Star-nosed moles are functionally blind.
Are star-nosed moles rare?
Star-nosed moles are not uncommon, just uncommonly seen, said Catania. The species’ range stretches along the Eastern portions of the U.S. and Canada.
Where does a star-nosed mole eat?
Star-nosed Moles are found in a variety of habitats with moist soil, including woods, bogs, marshes, and fields. Frequently adjacent to water and in higher elevations. Diet: Earthworms and aquatic insects are the primary foods, but it also eats snails, crayfish, small amphibians, and fish.
How fast does a star-nosed mole eat?
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have found that the star-nosed mole can eat 10 mouthful-size chunks of earthworm, one at a time, in 2.3 seconds, or 0.23 second a chunk. That is over 26 times as fast as Ms. Thomas in her record-shattering performance. In fact, it is the fastest eating ever measured in any mammal.
Do star-nosed moles live together?
Social Interaction: Most moles are solitary animals, only socializing when they reproduce. The star-nosed mole is the only species thought to live in colonies.
How big can a star-nosed mole get?
What is a mole hole called?
A molehill (or mole-hill, mole mound) is a conical mound of loose soil raised by small burrowing mammals, including moles, but also similar animals such as mole-rats, and voles.