Desman, an aquatic, insect-eating mammal. Desmans are from 9 to 17 inches (23 to 43 cm) long, including a 5- to 8-inch (13- to 20--cm) tail. The desman has a long, pointed, flexible snout. The feet are adapted for burrowing and swimming. Dense, silky, gray fur covers the stout body.
There are two species of desmans. The Russian desman is found along rivers in eastern Europe. The Pyrenean desman, the smaller of the two species, is found along mountain streams and lakes of northern Portugal and Spain.
Desmans belong to the mole family, Talpidae. The Russian desman is Desmana moschata; the Pyrenean desman, Galemys pyrenaicus.