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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Did You Know? 15 Incredible Long-Tailed Shrew Facts

Long-tailed shrew facts such as it is the most active mammal.

These mostly solitary animals are a part of a large shrew clan consisting of several other shrews like the Sri Lankan long-tailed shrew, short-tailed shrew, Mexican long-tailed shrew, and lesser long-tailed shrew. Often found foraging in the rocks, these shrews tend to remain concealed under the debris of the forest floor. They are known for their small body size and rapid movements, making them synonymous with living a fast life. You may think that it is because this shrew is scared, but no, this is just its nature!

What more lies in the life of this type of shrew? Scroll down to find out! For more engaging content, do check out water vole facts and field vole facts as well.

Long-Tailed Shrew Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a long-tailed shrew?

A long-tailed shrew, or the rock shrew, is a type of shrew.

What class of animal does a long-tailed shrew belong to?

The rock shrew belongs to the class Mammalia.

How many long-tailed shrews are there in the world?

Although the exact number of long-tailed shrews is not known, the number of shrews in the world is about a hundred billion.

Where does a long-tailed shrew live?

The Sorex dispar is found abundantly in forested areas and mountainous regions. Its distribution ranges from Canada to the Appalachian Mountains, Nova Scotia, and North Carolina to Eastern Tennessee.

What is a long-tailed shrew's habitat?

Long-tailed shrews prefer living in cool moist forest areas and higher elevations. These slate gray species live in mountains, streams in the mountains, and amid debris surrounding rocky crevices, rock slides, and rocks. Notably, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, they are found in good numbers in the Appalachian Mountains.

Who do long-tailed shrews live with?

Specifically, not much is known about the long-tailed rock shrew; however, shrews are known as solitary animals. They are also known to be aggressive against other shrews and even people.

How long does a long-tailed shrew live?

The long-tailed forest shrew has a lifespan of two years only as shrews generically have a short lifespan in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Long-tail shrews are known to have their reproduction period between April to August and have multiple litters each year during their reproduction cycles. When born, the young Sorex dispar as well as another of their species, the Sorex gaspensis, has no fur, and its habitat temporarily is a nest made of grass and leaves. They stay there for about four to five weeks near their mother until they are weaned. After this, they do gain some independence but spend the next few weeks foraging with their mother.

What is their conservation status?

The long-tailed mountain shrew has a conservation status of Least Concern according to the IUCN.

Long-Tailed Shrew Fun Facts

What do long-tailed shrews look like?

Long-tailed shrews interesting facts.
*Please note that this is an image of Narcondam shrew, one of the species similar to Sorex dispar. If you have an image of Sorex dispar please let us know at [email protected].

This particular shrew species is known for its slender body and long, thick tail. These species living in the rocks have small eyes and long snouts. They have slightly paler underparts with dark gray pelage. Their teeth are pointy, sharp, and often stained.

How cute are they?

These slate gray species of mammals have a very adorable side to themselves due to their small size and small body weight. Living in rocky crevices and parts of mountain streams, they often appear playing peek-a-boo with nature as they rapidly keep running around, making them all the cuter!

How do they communicate?

Long-tailed shrews' specific means of communication is not known; however, shrews, generally use reverberations and echoes of their call to identifying their habitat type navigating through their habitat.

How big is a long-tailed shrew?

The long-tailed shrew range of body length ranges from 1.88-3.11 in (47.7-79 mm), with a tail length in the range of 0.98-3.22 in (24.8-81.7 mm). These species of mammals are often confused with a smoky shrew for their similar looks and behavior.

How fast can a long-tailed shrew run?

Due to the rock shrew's relatively rare nature, the status on their running aspect is still hazy. Still, if you're lucky enough to actually spot a usual slate gray-looking shrew, you'll notice that these species of mammals are always on the move. With their rapid and jerky movements throughout their rocky habitat, this rock shrew can give stiff competition to your most highly caffeinated colleague as well! These slender-looking shrews even have a faster heartbeat than a hummingbird.

How much does a long-tailed shrew weigh?

The bodyweight of the rock shrew is in the range of 0.006-0.017 lb (2.7-7.7 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both males and females are called long-tailed shrews. There are no unique sex-specific names given to these animals.

What would you call a baby long-tailed shrew?

Definitely, one of the cutest baby animals you could ever see, the baby rock shrew is one of the cuddliest animals to exist and is often referred to as a young shrew. With a mole-like size, the young ones are usually placed in a ball of vegetation directly after birth and are pretty close to their mother for the next four to five weeks until becoming independent.

What do they eat?

If you thought that rock shrew is tiny, so their diet requirements are on the same line, then readers, let us reveal a fact, these long-tail creatures from New York have a diet capacity to consume twice their body weight! It makes sense as their ravenous need for food comes from their highly active lifestyle. Their foraging is mainly focused on small invertebrates and plant materials. However, they also continuously feed on insects, worms, spiders, beetles, house centipedes, and other tiny insects.

Are they dangerous?

These animals have no intention to harm us in any possible way. The shrew venom may be nasty to small animals but not us. While their bite may result in some swelling and pain on the affected location, it's not life-threatening.

Would they make a good pet?

No, having shrews as your pet might not be a good idea. Here's why, firstly, this shrew is nocturnal. Secondly, despite not having any severe effects of biting, these New York natives still have sharp teeth, which you should avoid if you have small kids around or live among them.

Did you know...

These poor animals have been misunderstood due to their similarity to rats, sometimes also called long-tailed shrew rats, but these shrews are not bad for us; all they would do is probably feed on some of your stored food but nothing more!

Shrews are known to have poor eyesight.

What's the difference between a long-tailed shrew and a mole?

Appearance-wise, they have a pointed snout similar to a mole, but unlike a mole, a shrew's front feet aren't enlarged. In addition, the shrew's eyes and ears are also quite visible, unlike the mole's.

A mole's habitat is a tunnel, whereas the shrew's habitat varies, depending on the species. Moles are predators by nature and aren't as active as the long-tailed shrew. Their food also consists of spiders, beetles among other creatures from the soil, all year round. Shrews food, on the other hand, has a similar diet of a wide range of small invertebrates, spiders among the other tiny creatures of the earth which they have all year round.

What is unique about a long-tailed shrew?

What's unique about the long-tailed shrew is that it has a very narrow skull along with large incisors that makes it easy for the shrew to extract worms, insects, and spiders from the rocks and crevices of its habitat.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these rice rat facts and gopher facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable pygmy shrew coloring pages.

*Please note that the main image is of an American shrew, one of the species similar to the long-tailed shrew. If you have an image of a long-tailed shrew please let us know at [email protected].

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