We start our final ‘Mole Month’ article in an unusual place: looking at the world’s largest nocturnal primate, the aye-aye. This peculiar lemur almost seems to have been assembled using the body parts of various other animals: the big, leathery ears of a bat, the gnawing teeth of a beaver, the long, bushy tail of a squirrel.
Today’s What Animal Is It? is a creature that few people have heard of, and even fewer have seen. In my opinion, it’s one of the strangest animals in Europe and the last in an evolutionary line that, long ago, was fairly common and widespread. But what exactly is it? The fact that The Nature Nook has turned January into ‘Mole Month’ should give you a clue as to what this animal might be…
If you read our previous article on the European mole, you’ll know that The Nature Nook is celebrating moles of all kinds throughout January. Today, we’ll be looking at a mole that happens to be a record holder. It’s the iconically bizarre star-nosed mole, and it has been named the fastest eating mammal in the world.
With an estimated population of over 40 million, the European mole is one of the most common mammals in the British Isles. Yet it is one that we hardly, if ever, see. The only clues that might give away its presence are the odd clumps of soil that we call molehills. Of course, it’s hardly surprising that the mole is so elusive because it spends virtually the whole of its short but active life underground, safely hidden from predators above.