Epidermal Sensory Organs of Moles, Shrew Moles, and Desmans: A Study of the Family Talpidae with Comments on the Function and Evolution of Eimer’s Organ

  title={Epidermal Sensory Organs of Moles, Shrew Moles, and Desmans: A Study of the Family Talpidae with Comments on the Function and Evolution of Eimer’s Organ},
  author={Kenneth C Catania},
  journal={Brain, Behavior and Evolution},
  pages={146 - 174}
  • K. Catania
  • Published 1 September 2000
  • Biology
  • Brain, Behavior and Evolution
The epidermal sensory organs of members of the family Talpidae (moles, shrew-moles, and desmans) were investigated and compared to determine the range of sensory specializations and better understand how they evolved. Small domed mechanosensory organs called ‘Eimer’s organs’ were present on the rhinarium of nearly all species of talpids, but not among the sister group of shrews (Soricidae) or other insectivore families. This suggests that the common ancestor to the talpids possessed Eimer’s… 

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This work began its studies by examining the sensory organs on the nose and by observing how the mole uses its nose to explore the environment, and it is covered with tens of thousands of complex touch sensors called Eimer's organs.