The Common shrew (Sorex araneus) is among the most frequently found mammals in Northern Europe and Great Britain but doesn't occur in Ireland. It is one of the rare venomous mammals and lives for approximately 14 months.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A carnivore meaning 'meat eater' is an organism that derives its energy and nutrient requirements from a diet consisting mainly or exclusively of a...
An insectivore is a carnivorous plant or animal that eats insects. An alternative term is entomophage, which also refers to the human practice of e...
Vermivore (from Latin vermi, meaning "worm" and vorare, "to devour") is a zoological term for animals that eat worms (including annelids, nematodes...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one female lives and mates with multiple males but each male only mates with a single female.
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Common shrews have a 3-toned, beige-colored coat, which is dark brown on their back and head and lighter orange-brown on their sides. They have small eyes, a pointed, mobile snout, and red-tipped teeth. The tail of these mammals is at least half the length of their body and extremely thick, even thicker than their limbs. Juvenile shrews have lighter fur until their first molt.
As the name suggests, the Common shrew is truly the most abundant species of its family, occurring throughout Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Great Britain. Preferred types of habitat of this animal are woodlands, grassland, dunes, scree, heath as well as hedgerows. Overall, the Common shrew inhabits various environments up to the limit of the summer snow line.
The Common shrew is a solitary creature. This animal will fiercely defend its home range against outsiders. Although generally nocturnal, the Common shrew can be active during both day and night. It usually has alternating periods of rest and activity during the 24-hour day. Each period of activity lasts for 1 - 2 hours on average, after which the shrew will rest, generally in its nest. However, this animal can take a nap wherever it find suitable. When looking for food on the ground, it explores and sniffs the area with its snout and whiskers while giving out a characteristic high-pitched sound. Being a very small mammal, it cannot store enough winter fat and hence, doesn't undergo hibernation. The Common shrew is known to create system of runways in the vegetation. This animal may either dig a burrow or simply use one, abandoned by another small mammal.
The Common shrews are polyandrous animals, which means that one female mates with multiple males. They usually mate from April to August. Females may yield up to 4 litters per year, although they generally produce 1 - 2. About 6 - 7 babies are born after 19 - 21 days of gestation. As a result of their reproductive system, young from one litter may have 2 - 3 different fathers. Newborn shrews start venturing from the nest at 16 days old. During this period, they are known to follow their mother, forming a 'caravan'. This often happens, when their nest is disturbed. When moving around in a caravan, one of the babies holds its mother's tail while each baby grabs the tail of the one in front of it. Weaning occurs after 26 - 30 days old. The age of reproductive maturity is 9 - 10 months old.
The primary threats to the population of this species are pollution, use of agricultural pesticides as well as modification in farming practices.
According to IUCN, the Common shrew is common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. According to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species recourse, the UK population of this species is 41,700,000 individuals. Overall, Common shrews’ numbers are stable today, and the animals are currently classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.