* Fur lead-gray, very short.
* Eyes nearly invisible, external ears nonexistent.
* Tail 3/4-1 1/5".
* Head and body length: 3-4".
* Habitat: Forests, grasslands, marshes. Builds nests of leaves, grass,
and hair beneath logs and rocks, or uses old nests of other animals.
Also build tunnels in ground or snow.
* Range: Eastern United States, southeastern Canada.
* Behavior: Active day and night throughout the year. In fact, it is
not known to sleep! Feeds on insects, worms, and snails, other invertebrates,
and most anything it can subdue.
* Lifespan: 18-20 months, some survive up to 3 years.
* Short-tailed shrews actually have two kinds of nests; a resting nest
and a mating nest. Both are made of shredded leaves, grass, and plant
* Shrew hearts beat at a rate of 760 beats per minute. They
have low eyesight (due to their being underground so much) but
high hearing and touch sensitivities.
* The saliva of the short-tailed shrew is poisonous - it is
the only mammal with such an adaptation. The poison can kill
a rabbit and cause a burning sensation and severe swelling in
* Shrews have such a high metabolic rate that they must eat
almost constantly in order to survive. Hence, shrews caught in "live" traps
often die before release, due to starvation. They can live only
a few hours without food.