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Shrews: Soricidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Shrews And People, Conservation Status, American Least Shrew (cryptotis Parva): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET


Shrews can be found nearly worldwide, including North America, Central America, northern South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

This is a very wide-ranging family, but most species tend to prefer areas with at least some moisture. Many scuttle along the damp earth under leaf litter, but a few will climb trees in search of food. The aquatic species naturally seek out water sources that may range from bogs and swamps to streams and rivers. A few species survive well in the desert.

Shrews are not picky eaters. While insects and other invertebrates (animals without backbones) make up the bulk of their diet, they will also eat fruit and seeds, as well as small mammals, lizards, frogs, and even other shrews if food is scarce. They burn energy very quickly, so many shrews spend just about every waking moment either eating or looking for their next meal. Many species eat at least their body weight, and sometimes up to four times that amount in food every day.

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Animal Life ResourceMammals