Chordates •

Russian desman

(Desmana moschata)



The Russian desman ( Desmana moschata ) ( Russian : выхухоль) is a small semi-aquatic mammal that lives in the Volga,Don and Ural basins in Russia,Ukraine and Kazakhstan.It is the only species of the genus Desmana.Despite the external resemblance with the musk rat (a rodent ),the Russian desman is currently classified in the family of moles ( Talpidae ) of the order Soricomorpha.The hind feet are webbed and the tail is flattened sideways,adaptations,these,to an aquatic environment.The body is 18-21 cm long,while the tail measures 17-20 cm.With a weight of 400-520 g,it is the largest mole species.Like other moles,it is physiologically blind,and perceives most of the sensory signals from the tactile organs of Eimer at the end of its long bilobed snout.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Mammalia
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