Species Spotlight

Desman Mole

Size: These beefcakes are the biggest of the moles. They can grow as long as 42cm, though half of that is their tail, and they weigh as much as an apple! Ok, so they aren't huge, but trust us, that’s a big ol’ mole.

Scent or Smell: Pee-yew! There’s a reason they were almost hunted to extinction in the 50s and 60s – a unique and nose-bending musk perfect (or so it was thought) for perfumes and colognes. Thankfully, those days are over, and Eau de Desman has officially been discontinued.

Favourite hangout: Their estate agents have their work cut out. A water depth of between 2-6 metres, lush water-marsh vegetation, and a primary forest view – these fuzzy furballs have specific burrow requirements. They’ll also need a few rooms, including a nesting room, to snuggle up with their housemates over a clam or two. But that’s not all the fun. Russian Desmans create special household flumes to slip into the water when they’re ready to hunt. Legendary.

Desman Mole Stamp
Russian Stamp

Love Language: Desman moles find their kindred soul with a little sing-song, which is said to be somewhere between a violin and a pneumatic drill. DJ Moley Mole: classical meets industrial.

Threats: To be honest, a stiff breeze may be a threat to a Russian Desman. These poor fellows aren't the hardiest bunch, with reports that the smell of glue or the sound of machinery is enough to cause spontaneous death. And that's before we get to the threats of invasive minks and being hunted for their fur.

If you see them: Count yourself lucky. Besides being very rare, this species is also incredibly elusive and shy. They're nocturnal and mostly underwater when they're out of their burrows, so good luck unless you are doing some nighttime bog snorkelling!

Eating habits: A clam? Worm? Fish? Even a bit of shrub? All food to a Desman who loves nothing more than swimming through streams using their amazing snout to sniff out tasty morsels. You heard it, they smell underwater! By blowing out an air bubble from its nose, a Desman can press against objects, re-inhale and get a good whiff of what's out there.

Taxidermy Dusman Mole

Personality type: The adorable hermit and midnight fridge raider you only see if you live with them.

Pet peeve: Probably those pesky (and illegal) stationary fishing nets that fishermen keep leaving in the Desmans' habitats; not only are they unsightly, but they're a major drowning hazard and one of the main threats to Russian Desmans!

Fact: The Russian Desman’s nose is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it smell underwater and stand in for a pair of eyes (Desmans are practically blind), but it’s also a snorkel. They poke it above the surface so they can survey the stream for snacks – what a nose, what a mole.


Taxidermy Desman Mole

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