The Shinto shrew (Sorex shinto ) is a species of shrew of the genus Sorex that lives only on the islands of Japan. It is a mole-like mammal with a pointed snout, very small ears, and a relatively long tail. Like most shrews, it is tiny, has poor eyesight, and a very good sense of hearing and smell which it uses to locate its prey, mainly insects.Show More
At one time, the Shinto shrew was classified as a subspecies of the Sorex caecutiens, or Laxmann's shrew, however as scientists collected new data on these shrews, such as genetic testing, it was decided that they should be classified as a separate species.
There are three distinct populations of Shinto shrew living on the islands of Japan. Living as isolated groups on their respective islands prevents the populations from interbreeding and can allow variations to develop between the groups over time. Because of these differences, the three groups have been classified as subspecies of S. shinto. Those living on Sado Island are S. shinto sadonis, those living on Shikoku Island are S. shinto shikokensis, and those living on Japan's main island of Honshu are S. shinto shinto.Show Less
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