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Interesting Facts About Desmans – Feeding Behavior, Nest Construction, and Habitat


A really completely different lifestyle is exhibited by the desmans, of which there are two species. The Pyrencan desman Galemys pyrenaicus is confined to everlasting, fast-flowing streams of the Pyrenees mountain vary and components of northern Iberia, the Russian desman Desmana moschata is discovered solely within the slower shifting waters and lakes of the western and central Soviet Union Simply as moles are fantastically tailored for a fossorial lifestyle, so too are the desmans for water.

The streamlined physique of the Pyrenean desman permits it to glide quickly via the water, propelled by highly effective webbed hindlimbs and steered, to some extent, by a protracted. broad tail.

For any animal residing within the snow-fed mountain streams, feeding and retaining physique warmth are prime priorities. In contrast to hedgehogs or tenrecs, desmans don’t endure intervals of hibernation or torpor and should, due to this fact, stay in optimum habitats to make sure their survival throughout the winter months when prey is most scarce.

What Do Desmans Eat?

Desmans feed on the larvae of aquatic bugs such because the stone fly and caddis fly, in addition to on small crustaceans, which they find by probing their proboscis-like snouts beneath small rocks and by clearing away particles from the stream mattress with their sharp elongated claws. Prey is consumed on the floor the place following every dive, a a rigorous physique grooming is carried out. That is a necessary exercise because it ensures that the fur will not be solely saved clear and in good situation but in addition maintains its water-repellent properties by oil all around the physique from sebaceous glands spreading.

How Do they Construct Nests?

Desmans assemble their nests within the banks of streams, The Russian desman really excavates a fancy burrow, which it might share with different desmans, whereas the smaller Pyrenean species occupies a strictly solitary nest, often created by enlarging an already present tunnel or crevice. Nests are composed of leaves and dried grasses and are all the time positioned above the water stage.

Breeding Season

Little is thought in regards to the breeding conduct of desmans. Within the Pyrenean desman, mating takes place in spring (March to April), and, as these animals often type a secure pair bond, competitors for mates by solitary males is usually fairly extreme. Right now of yr, an fascinating phenomenon happens for every pair of animals: males grow to be much more protecting, spending most of their energetic time on the higher and decrease reaches of their riverine territory. Power is thus spent on defending the feeding sources of that territory and, extra importantly, the feminine. Females, in distinction, spend most of their energetic time feeding, surveying for an acceptable nest web site, and gathering nesting supplies

Younger are born after a gestation interval of about 4 weeks and are cared for solely by the feminine. Juveniles first go away the nest at about seven weeks, at which stage they’re already proficient swimmers. Juveniles stay throughout the dad and mom territory till they’re about two and a half months previous, at which stage they go away with a view to safe a mate and breeding territory for the approaching yr.


Source by Waleed Khalid Shaikh

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