Eurasian Pygmy Shrew

Eurasian Pygmy Shrew

Pygmy shrew

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Sorex minutus
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
15 mos
WEIGHT
4 g
LENGTH
40-60 mm

The Eurasian pygmy shrew is a small mole-like mammal widespread in northern Eurasia. It has a pointed muzzle and gray-brown fur, which becomes paler on the underside. The tail is hairy and relatively long. The Eurasian pygmy shrew has one of the highest metabolic rates among animals and should eat every two hours. It also has red tooth tips formed by the deposition of iron, which provides protection against wear.

Di

Diurnal

No

Nocturnal

Cr

Crepuscular

Ca

Carnivore

In

Insectivores

Te

Terrestrial

Pr

Predator

Al

Altricial

Te

Territorial

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

E

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Eurasian pygmy shrews live in the British Isles and most of continental Europe, European Russia, and Siberia to Lake Baikal. The northern boundary of their range runs beyond the Arctic Circle. These tiny animals inhabit relatively humid shaded areas with dense vegetation. However, they can also be found in meadows, wetlands, steppes, shrubland, sand dunes, forests and forest edges, and rocky areas.

Eurasian Pygmy Shrew habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Eurasian pygmy shrews are solitary and territorial creatures. They are active throughout the day and night and live in undergrowth and leaf litter. As their eyesight is generally poor, shrews rely on hearing and smell to locate their prey.

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Eurasian pygmy shrews are carnivores (insectivores) that feed mainly on small insects and invertebrates.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
April-August
PREGNANCY DURATION
3 weeks
BABY CARRYING
2-8 young
INDEPENDENT AGE
22 days
FEMALE NAME
sow
MALE NAME
boar
BABY NAME
shrewlet

Eurasian pygmy shrews breed from April until August. Females usually produce between 2 and 8 young per litter and care for the young in an underground nest. Since the gestation period is just over 3 weeks, they can have up to 5 litters in one year. Baby shrews are born blind and helpless weighing less than 1 g. Weaning occurs in about 22 days after which they become independent and establish their own territories.

Population

Population threats

Eurasian pygmy shrews are not threatened at present but they suffer from habitat loss, the use of pesticides, and shortage of insect prey.

Population number

According to IUCN, the Eurasian pygmy shrew is common throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

References

1. Eurasian Pygmy Shrew on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_pygmy_shrew
2. Eurasian Pygmy Shrew on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/29667/115171222

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