Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ZooWeird 77

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Star-nosed mole. This small, weird-looking mole of the Talpidae family occurs in wet lowland areas of eastern Canada and the north-eastern United States. Records of the species extend along the Atlantic coast as far as extreme southeastern Georgia.Not much is known about their lifespan;  however, speculation is that they may live up to 4 years in the wild, with many specimens recorded to survive for up to two years in captivity. The species' most distinctive characteristic is the star-like structure that surrounds the snout. This “star” is made of 22 mobile, pink, fleshy tentacles, which are covered by minute touch receptors called “Eimer’s organs.” The star has a diameter of more or less 1 cm (0.4 in.) and contains about 25.000 Eimer’s organs. The star-nosed mole is virtually blind and is hypothesized that it uses the star like nose to detect electricity produced by prey when hunting. Some studies indicate that with the help of Eimer’s organs, these moles may also be able to detect seismic wave vibrations. These odd looking creatures are also known for their ability to smell underwater. They accomplish this by exhaling air bubbles onto objects and then inhaling the bubbles back again, thus carrying the scents to their nose! They are believed to be one of fastest eating mammals.  (All animal info from

He told the mole, “You’ll be a star!
Just sign with me—and you’ll go far!”

The mole was trusting—simple, too,
And told the agent: “I’m with you!”

And then he learned it was his nose
That was the feature. Then he froze

In horror and in disbelief—
And sought in pot some deep relief.

So now he’s called the “Star-Nosed Guy”—
And hears the cheers—although he’s high.

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