Like other moles, the star-nosed mole is very powerful in relation to its size. Using its paddle-shaped hands together with a twisting motion of its compact body, it constructs a network of tunnels about 50 cm (1.5 ft.) beneath the surface of the ground, but above the water table. Its nests are made of dried grass and other vegetation.
Found over most of eastern Canada as far north as James Bay, this bizarre animal is about 20 cm (8 in.) in length, approximately one-third of which is tail. The tip of the snout is expanded into a naked pink disc which supports 22 finger-like tentacles, or feelers, which give this creature its common name.
The star-nosed mole is active all year round. Even in winter it spends a good deal of its time in the water, where it is an able swimmer. The star-nosed mole prefers wet, swampy ground and subsists on a diet of worms, insects and crustaceans. It has few natural enemies but sometimes falls prey to the Great Horned Owl and larger fish.