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Shrew Facts You’ll Never Forget

Shrew facts about the small terrestrial mammal on earth

Shrews are terrestrial animals that belong to the family Soricidae. It has a life span of 1.5-3 years. They are small in size but aggressive in nature. That is why they prefer to stay alone except at the time of breeding. Shrews are active day and night and continuously search for food. They mainly prey on insects. The sharp teeth of the shrews carry a shrew poison which paralyzes its prey but keeps it alive. Shrews need more food in summer than in winter for their survival. In winter, they reduce their body mass by nearly 18%. During summer, they regain body mass to their original size. They reproduce more in summer as they prefer warm climatic conditions for breeding. Shrews carry their pups with the mouth when they move from one place to another. Shrews protect themselves from their predators by hiding in burrows. Shrews cannot be kept as pets because of their pungent body odor and the risk of their bite, especially for kids. Interested? Read on for more fascinating shrew facts.

If you love the common shrew facts we share here, you can also expand your knowledge about Cuban solenodon and greater bilby.

Shrew Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a shrew?

Shrew is a mammal with small eyes, round and large ears except in the Northern short-tailed shrew and water shrew. It is easy to get confused between a mouse and a shrew because of their resemblance, but its tail and long pointed snout will help you tell the difference.

What class of animal does a shrew belong to?

Shrews are small mammals with 385 recognized species. It is the most successful mammal family after few rodents and bat families. Some prominent shrew species are elephant shrew, tree shrew, masked shrew, Eurasian pygmy shrew, American pygmy shrew, and Etruscan shrew, aside from the common shrew.

How many shrews are there in the world?

Shrews are available abundant in number, i.e., nearly 100 billion as per the census.

Where does a shrew live?

The majority of the shrews live on the ground. Common shrew lives underground in bushes and beneath small trees. The other known species, like the water shrew, lives near small water bodies.

What is a shrew's habitat?

Shrews generally prefer to live in abandoned burrows and gardens with a better cover for protection from predators. They even stay by digging holes in the basement of houses or gaps between buildings.

Who do shrews live with?

Generally, shrews prefer to live alone during their lifetime. We can see them living with other shrews only during breeding. The rest of the time, they show aggressive behavior towards the other shrews. They do not co-exist with any other animals or humans.

How long does a shrew live?

Shrews have a varying life span depending on the species. Their life span ranges from 1.5-3 years. The common shrew has the shortest life span, whereas the water shrew has the longest life span.

How do they reproduce?

Shrews prefer breeding in warm climatic conditions. So, they reproduce more in summer than in any other season. They reproduce one to three times with a gestation period of 24 to 25 days in a year. After this period, the shrew gives birth to 4-10 shrew pups in each litter.

What is their conservation status?

As per the census, shrews are abundantly available and are not an endangered species.

Shrew Fun Facts

What do shrews look like?

Shrews look similar to rodents or mice but with a long pointed snout, red-tipped teeth, small eyes, round ears with cylindrical body completely covered with dark brown fur and pale at the bottom. Their tail is long without hair. Its pungent body odor can also identify its presence.

shrews look similar to mouse but with a long pointed snout.

How cute are they?

Shrews look cute with small eyes and ears with fur covered all over the body. They have a pointed snout with a beautiful mustache on it. The fun part is that for few shrews, their tail's size is longer than their body size.

How do they communicate?

Shrews are terrestrial mammals that make sounds and listen to the echoes to find their habitat.

How big is a shrew?

Shrews have varying sizes depending on the species. Typically, they are 2.5-3.8 cm tall and 3.5-15 cm long. They are small when compared with rodents or mice.

How fast can a shrew run?

Shrews run fast, and their speeds vary based on their age. The younger one runs faster than an elder shrew.

How much does a shrew weigh?

Shrew's body weight varies from 1.8-100 g. The lowest body weight is recorded for the Etruscan Shrew, whose weight is 1.3-2.5 g, and the largest is Asian House Shrew which weighs 100 g and is about 15 cm in length.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Shrews have no gender-specific names, but they are distinguished based on their behavioral aspect. Generally, male shrews look more aggressive compared to female shrews.

What would you call a baby shrew?

The shrew's baby is often referred to as a shrew pup. They live entirely in hiding and depend on their mother for food until they grow as adults. They usually take 22-25 days to become independent and find food on their own.

What do they eat?

Shrews mainly prey on small insects. They eat worms, nuts, vegetables, and fruits as well. Every day they need to consume two to three times their body weight. So, they continuously search for food and eat every two to three hours. Interestingly, their food intake varies with seasons, i.e., they eat more in summer than in winter.

Are shrews dangerous?

Shrew teeth are tiny and sharp. They can harm insects and small animals by injecting venom with their bite. Shrew bite will cause pain and swelling in humans, but soon it will fade without medication. There is no recorded evidence that shrew venom is dangerous to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

Shrews are aggressive and not human-friendly. Shrews are hyperactive throughout the day and night. If we have a shrew in-house, it will spoil everywhere with its urine and feces. Though it looks cute, it can't be a good pet like a dog or a cat.

Did you know...

Among the shrew facts are that this small and sharp tiny teeth mammal is venomous and can kill 200 mice, but they cannot kill a cat or a dog with its venom.

Can you have a pet shrew?

Shrews have a short life span. Their tiny sharp teeth are another concern for safety, especially for kids. Shrew smells like a skunk and this can be intolerable. So, you may not feel like having it as a pet.

What to do if you have a shrew in your house?

Shrews are short and fast-moving animals. They escape easily without being caught. The best way to get rid of shrews is trapping. Even cats can help in catching shrews. Before placing a trap, it is suggested to fill the shrew holes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including Chinese hamster, or Northern short-tailed shrew.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our shrew coloring pages.

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