Star-nosed mole crawling through the leaf litter

Star-nosed mole

Star-nosed moles are distinctive mammals with a bizarre set of tentacles surrounding the nose. The 22 tentacles are extremely sensitive to touch and to electrical impulses and allow the moles to find and identify their invertebrate prey without using sight. This multifunctional 'star' is also used to keep soil and food from entering the nose. Native to eastern north America, star-nosed moles dig a network of tunnels, some as long as 270m, through poorly drained moist soil. They're also surprisingly good swimmers.

Did you know?
The 22 tentacles on a star-nosed mole bear more than 25,000 receptive organs in a space smaller than one square centimetre.

Scientific name: Condylura cristata

Rank: Species

Common names:

Star nosed mole

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Map showing the distribution of the Star-nosed mole taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Star-nosed mole can be found in a number of locations including: North America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Star-nosed mole distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Star-nosed mole

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