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North American Least Shrew

Shrews    North American Least Shrew    Picture of North American Least Shrew

One of the smallest mammals, the North American Least Shrew will grow to be three inches long while its tail will grow not more than two times the length of its hind foot, which is pretty small to begin with.  It has a white belly and grayish to reddish brown fur that grown lighter in the summer and darker in the winter.  They have poor eyesight and hearing so they use echolocation using a multitude of clicks and sounds to help find their way around.

Found in the grasslands of Eastern United States and Central America, the least shrew uses runways created in the leaves and grass by rodents larger than themselves.  Because their eyesight and hearing is bad, they hunt by their smell and touch, digging through leaf litter for their prey.  They also tunnel through moist soil like moles do.  The North American Least Shrew eats insects, from the corpses of dead animals, seeds and fruit.  They bite the heads off crickets and grasshoppers in order to eat their internal organs.  When face to face with a larger creature, they will aim for the legs in order to cripple them.  They bite off the tails of lizards, providing them with ample meat while the lizard escapes.  The North American Least shrew has been known to live inside beehives so they can eat all the larvae and often shares its food with other shrews before storing the leftovers.North American Least Shrew

The North American Least Shrew builds its home in burrows and shallow runways under flat stones and fallen logs. This very social creature lines its nests with leaves and grass.  Adults breed March to November and usually produce two litters per season with three to six young per litter.  Predators of the North American Least Shrew are owls, hawks, the red fox, raccoons, skunks and snakes.

 

Pest Control Supplies    Pest Control Information    Shrews    North American Least Shrew