desman

[des-muhn]
noun, plural desmans.
either of two aquatic, insectivorous mammals, Myogale moschata, of southeastern Russia, or M. pyrenaica, of the Pyrenees, related to shrews.

Origin:
1765–75; < Swedish, short for desman-råtta muskrat

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World English Dictionary
desman (ˈdɛsmən)
 
n , pl -mans
either of two molelike amphibious mammals Desmana moschata (Russian desman) or Galemys pyrenaicus (Pyrenean desman), having dense fur and webbed feet: family Talpidae, order Insectivora (insectivores)
 
[C18: from Swedish desmansråtta, from desman musk (of Germanic origin) + råtta rat]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

desman

either of two species of amphibious Eurasian moles that den on land but seek prey underwater instead of burrowing through soil. The protruding flexible snout is flat and grooved with a lobed tip. Desmans have tiny eyes and no external ears; the ear holes and nostrils close underwater. The forefeet are partially webbed and fringed with stiff hairs. The huge hind feet are webbed to the tips of the digits and are also fringed with hair. Claws are long, curved, and sharp. Both species have water-repellent fur that is long, soft, and dense

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Desman released plaintiff to return to work without restriction on that date and instructed her to return as needed.
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