A small, semiaquatic European mammal related to the mole, with a long, tubular muzzle and webbed toes.
- Family Talpidae: the Russian desman (Desmana moschata) and the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus).
- The family Talpidae consists of moles and desmans; currently, its approximately 42 species are grouped into 17 genera.
- Moles are from the family Talpidae which includes moles, desmans, and shrew-moles.
- Primarily an insectivore, the desman's diet consists of aquatic insects and their larvae, along with snails and small, slow-moving fish, which are attracted to its trenches by the musk smell and aerated water it leaves in its wake.
Late 18th century: via French and German from Swedish desman-råtta 'muskrat', from desman 'musk'.
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