- Star-nosed mole
- United States (Vanderbilt University,Tennessee)
The fastest eater amongst mammals is the star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata). Research published in February 2005 by Dr Kenneth Catania (USA) at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, USA, recorded an average ‘handling time´ of 230 milliseconds with the fastest time being 120 milliseconds.
‘Handling time’ is defined as being from the point of identifying food as edible, capturing it and eating it, until moving on to search for the next piece of food. In the research, high-speed cameras were used to film the moles in slow motion. The prey was stationery.
The Star-nosed mole is a semi-aquatic animal, indigenous to North America and gets its name from its distinctive 22-probed nose - itself the most sensitive touch organ belonging to any mammal with five times the amount of touch sensitive nerve fibres than the human hand.
Comparatively it takes humans 650 milliseconds to respond to red light when driving.