Norway Rat

Other Names: Water Shrew, Pygmy Shrew, Common Shrew

A shrew is about the same size as a mouse or a vole and can be recognized it by its long pointy nose and very sharp teeth. Ounce for ounce, a shrew is the most voracious animal on the planet. It hunts constantly, eating animals five times larger than itself. It will even go after birds at feeders and attack family pets.


Description | Reproduction | Diet | Habitat

Description of the Shrew 


Dusty gray

½-1 ounce

3-4 inches

As long as body - up to 4 inches

Small head & slender body; elongated snout

Furry & do not stick out much above the hair on the head

Relatively large eyes

1-2 years

¼ inch long; corkscrew shaped; dark color

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Reproduction of the Shrew 

4-6 pups per litter

3-4 litters per year

3 months

21 days

Outdoors: Spring & Fall; shrews are solitary except when breeding

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Diet of the Shrew 

1/2 ounce; can eat an amount equal to its weight in 24 hours

Utilizes moisture in food

Insects, beetles, spiders, meats, birds, mice, snakes

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Habitat of the Shrew 

Different shrew species are located all over North America

Outdoor burrows near low-lying shrubbery; globular nests made of shredded leaves

Up to 1.5 acres

More active at night than during the day

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