Shrew Facts

Shrew Facts
Shrew is a small mammal in the family Soricidae. This family includes 376 species organized in 26 genera. Although shrew looks like a mouse with its long and pointed nose, it is not related to rodents at all. Shrews live in all continents except Australia and Antarctica. They can survive in different types of ecosystems: forest, grasslands, rainforests, tropical and temperate land masses… Shrew is one of the first placental mammals that appeared on the Earth fifty million years ago. Some species of shrew are endangered due to habitat loss.
Interesting Shrew Facts:
Shrews vary in size. Smallest mammal on the planet is Etruscan Shrew which reaches 1.3 inches in length and 0.07 ounces in weight. Most shrews reach between 2.5 and 9.5 inches in length and weigh of up to 3.5 ounces.
Most shrews are terrestrial animals. Some of them live both on the ground and on the trees. Certain shrews are semi-aquatic (they live near the water). Those that live near the water have stiff hairs on the feet used for "running" across the water surface by trapping the bubbles of air.
Shrew is covered with fur that can be brown or gray in color. Fur is, short, soft and thick.
Shrew mainly eats insects, but it also consumes worms, fish, frogs, seed and nuts. It can also kill animals larger than its size, such as different kind of rodents. Shrews are beneficial for farmers because they eliminate insects, slugs and other pests from the crops.
Shrew is known as nocturnal animal (active at night), but it is actually active both during the day and night.
Shrew has the fastest metabolic rate of all known animals (even higher than hummingbird). Due to high energetic needs, shrew needs to eat almost during whole day and night. Short period of food deprivation (half a day) leads to death of the shrew.
Heart rate of shrew reaches incredible 700 beats per minute.
Shrew can be scared to death by a sudden noise, such as thunder.
Shrew has poor eyesight, but excellent sense of smell and hearing. Last two senses help shrew to locate its prey and avoid predators. Shrews are also very smart animals. Their brain weighs 10% of the total body weight.
Shrews are often killed by other animals, but they are rarely eaten afterwards, because they release smelly musk from the gland on the belly which is repulsive for most animals.
Shrew is one of the rare venomous mammals. Poisonous saliva is delivered to their enemies (or prey) by the grooves in their teeth. American short-tailed shrew contains enough venom to kill 200 mice.
Shrews are solitary animals (live on their own) that can be seen together only during mating season. Shrew aggressively chases away other shrews from its territory during non-breeding season.
Shrews reach sexual maturity early - just 3 to 4 months after birth. Those living the tropical areas often mate during whole year. Shrews that are living in temperate areas avoid breeding during cold winter time.
Pregnancy lasts between 17 and 32 days. Female can have up to 10 litters per year.
Lifespan of shrews is very short, between 12 and 30 months.

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