Monday, December 24, 2007

Star-nosed mole

With a mug like that, the star-nosed mole might seem to be in danger of scaring away all its food.� Luckily, these bizarre-looking creatures can detect a snack and gulp it down all under a quarter of a second.

"Most predators take times ranging from minutes to seconds to handle their prey," said Ken Catania of Vanderbilt University. "The only things I've found that come even close are some species of fish."

The secret to the mole's impressive foraging ability is the 22 appendages that ring its nose.� Nearly blind, the animal uses this sensitive, star-shaped flesh to feel around in its dark, underground environment.

This mysterious mole has moves that put the best magician to shame: The energetic burrower can detect small prey animals and gulp them down with a speed that is literally too fast for the human eye to follow.

for more on the star-nosed mole:

No comments: