Sunday, March 23, 2014
Creature Feature #156: Desman
The Desman is a small Insectivore, closely related to the mole. She leads a semi-aquatic existence, living in and around overgrown ponds, in groups of 2-5 individuals. Here she dives through the water in pursuit of insects, amphibians and crayfish. Her tail is long and muscular, laterally flattened, to propel her through the water. Like the mole, she is functionally blind, using the touch-sensitive tip of her nose (called Eimer's organ) for most of her sensory input. Her thick, waterproof fur had found her favour with fur traders, and lead to her decline. Now fully protected, she still suffers from habitat loss, pollution, predation by invasive species and illegal fishing nets.