Facts The star-nosed mole, as is the case with most species of moles, is an excellent digger. Their broad front feet are equipped with large claws perfect for excavating and manipulating dirt. Uniquely, star-nosed moles are semiaquatic, and their feet also make excellent rudders, steering their bodies as they swim through water. In fact, their tunnel systems often open up under the surface of streams and lakes. These pests primarily feed on arthropods and annelids, but star-nosed moles will also eat leeches, midges, crane flies, mollusks, and other aquatic creatures. Identifying Features These moles grow between seven and eight inches, weigh approximately two ounces, and tend to appear either dark brown or black in color. Their most prominent characteristic is by far the unique appearance of their noses. As their common name suggests, star-nosed moles have star-shaped noses made up of 22 finger-like appendages that work as extrasensory organs. These tendrils can fold in to cover up the nostrils of the nose, keeping dirt out when the animal is underground and holding in air bubbles when the animal is swimming. Finally, star-nosed moles have hairy tales that can swell up to three or four times its normal size, storing fat for the purpose of surviving winter months.