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Mammal Common Shrew

Common Shrew - Photo  Copyright 2008 G. Bradley

Latin name: Sorex araneus

Size: Head to tail approx. 70mm - 80mm. Tail up to 50mm.

Distribution:
Found throughout Britain. Absent from N.I.

Months seen: All year round.

Life Span: Up to 15 months

Habitat: Meadows, downs, dunes and cliffs.

Food: Insects, spiders, woodlice, snails and worms. Common shrews eat almost their own weight of food every day.

Special features: The Common Shrew has three toned fur. On the back and head it is dark brown. On the sides it's a lighter orange-brown. The belly fur is beige. The tips of the teeth are red and the tail is at least half the length of the body, and thicker than the legs.

Common shrews breed between April and August. They can have several litters of up to seven young in their short lifetime.

Their constant search for food makes them extremely active animals. They need to eat every couple of hours in order to maintain their body temperature. Sleep and rest periods last for less than an hour before resuming the hunt for food.

The common shrew is about half the size of a house mouse and about twice the size of a pygmy shrew.



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This fact filled fold-out chart will help you identify all the footprints, droppings, nests and food remains left by British mammals. Buy one now!
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Click for more infoKey to British Land Mammals

This fact-filled and fully illustrated fold-out chart will help you identify all the terrestrial mammal species found in mainland Britain. Buy one now!
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  2008 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved