Behold, the star-nosed mole. According to this article in today’s New York Times, this little guy (actual size: 2” wide, 4-5” long) can eat a mouthful of food in one-fifth of a second. Let me repeat: one-fifth of a second. Shee-it, that’s some fast eating. For comparison’s sake, the article mentions that Sonya Thomas, The Black Widow of competitive eating, achieved record-setting status by downing 65 hard-boiled eggs in 6 minutes, 40 seconds. According to their math, this little critter eats 26 times faster than the estimable Ms. Thomas. Does this mean he could eat 1690 hard-boiled eggs in that same amount of time?
The way I see it, I’m pretty darn lucky not to have that fleshy, fingered appendage stuck on my nose. Seems it has 100,000 nerve fibers all over it, which help the mole to suss out super-duper fast whether something it touches is, in fact, edible, and then devour it in microseconds. Imagine if I ate that fast? I already hoover my food—it’s a constant struggle to remember to taste the meal in front of me—so if I had some evolutionary aid to make it go even faster, I’d be hard-pressed to do anything but eat, then eat some more.
No, all I have are two hands and a fork. And that does the trick just fine, thank you very much.