The Naming of the Shrew

That is, is it a Common or a Pygmy?


We think its a Pygmy Shrew, rather than a Common one. They are smaller with a body of 4-6cms and a tail that is 2/3 of its body length:

Off it goes.

Found this morning under a reptile sampling square, we have not seen a Shrew here before. There are probably many of them in the meadows but they forage in dense cover, under long grass and brambles. They are active night and day, resting for only a couple of hours at a time.

The  Pygmy Shrew takes spiders, woodlice and smaller insects – thats probably the sort of thing it was looking for under the sampling square, actually. There is a lot of that sort of thing under there.

Another interesting thing about Shrews is that they have scent glands on their flanks which mammals find distasteful and so they are not eaten by mammals – however, unfortunately for Shrews, birds have no sense of smell and so they form a significant part of Owls and Kestrels diet.

Well, I thought it was interesting.



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