Squee Sunday: Desman

A desman is a semi aquatic mammal in the mole family. There are two kinds: the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) is 11 to 16 cm (4.3 to 6.3 in) long with a rounded tail about the same length, and it lives in Northern Spain, northern Portugal and southern France. Since they spend much of their time hunting for invertebrates in rivers at, they have webbed rear feet, ears and nostrils they can close (to keep the water out) and a long nose. It’s quite a fancy nose – they use it to find prey in the dark, and sometimes use it as a snorkel.

The Russian desman (Desmana moschata) lives along the Volga, Don and Ural River basins in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. They’re larger with a body 18 to 21 cm (7.1 to 8.3 in) long, which makes them the biggest animals in the mole family. Like the Pyrenean desman, they have webbed hind feet and a remarkable nose.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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