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Truteal

The truteal uses its long beaklike teeth to probe deep into the earth for earthworms and insect grubs.

The truteal, Terebradens tubauris, is a small, nocturnal, temperate woodland-dwelling white-toothed shrew from Asia that provides food for nocturnal birds of prey. It is closely related to the arboreal, diurnal, chisel-toothed tree drummer.

The incisors of both the upper and lower jaws of this animal are extended forward to form a structure like a bird's beak, which acts as a probe to catch earthworms and burrowing insects in soft earth and leaf litter. The truteal is completely blind and retains no vestiges of eyes. It is, however, equipped with a large number of sensory whiskers and extremely acute hearing. Its ears, which are enormous for the size of its body, can be rolled into trumpets by a unique set of muscles located at their base and then pressed to the ground to listen for sounds of burrowing.

The truteal has an overall length of about 12 centimeters; its ears are about 2.5 centimeters long.

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