Shrews

390 species

Shrews are tiny mole-like mammals distributed almost worldwide. Although their external appearance is generally that of a long-nosed mouse, shrews are not rodents, as mice are. They are, in fact, much closer relatives of hedgehogs and moles. Shrews are unusual among mammals in a number of respects. Unlike most mammals, some species of shrews are venomous. Their venom is not conducted into the wound by fangs, but by grooves in the teeth. Also, along with the bats and toothed whales, some species of shrews use echolocation. In general, shrews are terrestrial creatures that forage in leaf litter and dense vegetation, but some specialize in climbing trees, living underground, living under snow, or even hunting in water. They have small eyes and generally poor vision but have excellent senses of hearing and smell. They are very active animals, with voracious appetites. Shrews do not hibernate but are capable of entering torpor. They are fiercely territorial, driving off rivals, and come together only to mate. Many species may dig burrows for catching food and hiding from predators. Shrews can have up to 10 litters a year and live only 12 to 30 months.
Shrews are tiny mole-like mammals distributed almost worldwide. Although their external appearance is generally that of a long-nosed mouse, shrews are not rodents, as mice are. They are, in fact, much closer relatives of hedgehogs and moles. Shrews are unusual among mammals in a number of respects. Unlike most mammals, some species of shrews are venomous. Their venom is not conducted into the wound by fangs, but by grooves in the teeth. Also, along with the bats and toothed whales, some species of shrews use echolocation. In general, shrews are terrestrial creatures that forage in leaf litter and dense vegetation, but some specialize in climbing trees, living underground, living under snow, or even hunting in water. They have small eyes and generally poor vision but have excellent senses of hearing and smell. They are very active animals, with voracious appetites. Shrews do not hibernate but are capable of entering torpor. They are fiercely territorial, driving off rivals, and come together only to mate. Many species may dig burrows for catching food and hiding from predators. Shrews can have up to 10 litters a year and live only 12 to 30 months.