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Pyrenean desman: On the trail of Europe's oddest beast

5 September 2012 Last updated at 00:43 BST

It is a creature that may not be familiar to many. But the Pyrenean desman, with its bizarre looks and strange behaviour, ranks as one of Europe's weirdest animals.

The small aquatic mammal is found in the mountains that border France and Spain and only comes out under the cover of darkness. But despite its unusual appeal, scientists know hardly anything about it.

Now one team of Spanish researchers want to change that, and they are carrying out some of the very first in-depth studies of this creature.

Science reporter Rebecca Morelle joined them on the trail of this extraordinary beast. She spoke to Dr Yolanda Melero who has been working with the University of Barcelona.

Video journalist: John Galliver