Meet this marvellous chap and his rather splendid nose… said to be the most sensitive appendage in the entire animal kingdom.
The star nosed mole lives in swamps in Northern America and swims through the sloshy mud. He’s a good swimmer and is often found skedaddling around the bottom of streams and ponds looking for some grub. This chaps magnificent hooter doesn’t really give anything a chance either that fleshy star will feel anything that wiggles by. What it doesn’t feel it will certainly smell… even underwater… incredibly the star nosed mole is in fact the only mammal that can smell underwater. It does this by blowing large bubbles out of its nose and quickly snuffling them back up along with any smelly smells. His eyes for the record are about as much use as Turkish cricket team… in fact they can only just perceive the difference between light and dark.
He may be blind-as-a-bat-that-has-been-buried-in-a-swamp-with-a big-distracting-nose-in-front-of-its-next-to-useless-eyes… but this mole’s stupendous nose more than makes up for that. It has twenty-two wee pink fleshy tentacles, which grow as if a bud unfurling like a wibbly flower. His superb conk is covered in incredibly sensitive organs called eimer’s organs… 25,000 highly acute little nodules that relay information back to his brain. There are 100,000 nerves connecting his nose to his brain, six times as many as there between the human brain and the hand, which gives you an inkling as to just how much they can feel around a swamp. In fact it would be fair to say the star nosed mole’s nose is in fact its eyes… it even waves it around constantly much like we gaze around looking for food and mates and our pipe tobacco and what not.
One more thing on this terrific chap, it turns out he’s the fastest eater in the animal kingdom. In eight milliseconds it can figure out if something is food, and if it is indeed edible it will be slurped up within 120 milliseconds, three times faster than the blink of an eye. Of course only the Scots have been recorded eating faster, it’s just that no one in their right mind could define their cuisine as edible.