Terrestrial Life - Shrews
Overview ("Shrew," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2003)
-Shrews are small mouselike mammals, related to the mole, with a long, pointed
snout and soft, gray-brown, velvety fur
nocturnal animals that feed primarily on insects and worms but also eat mice
equal to their own size, as well as plants and occasionally fish and other
-Many species have glands from which a fluid with a disagreeable odor is
secreted, and some species have a poisonous saliva.
-Members of one subfamily of shrews hunt by means of echolocation, although
this sense is relatively crude compared to its development in bats.
Common Characteristics ("Shrew," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia
-In the United States:
- most common are the long-tailed shrews
- slightly less than 7.5 cm (less than 3 in) long.
- ears are larger than in some other shrews, and the teeth are brown at the
- five to seven young are produced in a litter each spring.
- mole shrew, the most common shrew in the eastern United States,
- about 11.4 cm (about 4.5 in) long.
1. John Whitaker Jr. (1996). The National Audubon Society
Field Guide to North American Mammals
2. "Shrew," Microsoft® Encarta® Online
Encyclopedia 2003, http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761555846/Shrew.html