The Star Nosed Mole – A Cross Between Shrew and Octopus Look-alike


The star-nosed mole has tentacles on its face, lives life underground, and has an unusual talent for speed eating.

It’s virtually blind

As they spend so much time underground, the moles have no need for acute vision and so they have small and beady eyes with weak eyesight. Their small size also means they are less likely to sustain an injury or suffer irritation from soil entering the eyes, which is especially important in their cramped underground habitat.

A star-shaped nose

A rosette of 22 fleshy tentacles surround the snout and form the ‘star’ that give the mole its name. The strange appendages have nothing to do with smell and actually assist with touch. Comprising more than 25,000 receptors, they can pick up electrical impulses given off by prey and allow the mole to sense its surroundings.


The star-nosed mole is covered in thick, blackish-brown, water-repellent fur, and has large scaled feet and a long, thick tail

A long, thick tail.

The star-nosed mole’s fleshy tail changes with the seasons, swelling in the winter to serve as a fat storage organ. It’s covered in short, coarse hairs and concentric rings and is nearly as long as the head and body length combined. As these moles are prolific swimmers, the large tail is also used as a rudder when they are underwater.

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Animal Encyclopedia