The water shrew is the largest of the five species of British shrews and like all shrews leads a hectic life, busy by day and night on the look-out for food. 

Overview

Illustration of a Water ShrewDistribution: widespread throughout Britain except for Ireland and some offshore islands. Also across most European countries and central Asia.

Habitat: usually lives near rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and marshes. Sometimes away from water, even on dry downland.

Description: short, glossy hair and silvery- white underparts. Eyebrows and ear-tips often white.

Size: length, 14cm of which tail is just under half.

Life-span: 14-19 months.

Food: worms, insect larvae, snails, crustaceans, spiders, fish, frogs and tadpoles.

The water shrew is the largest of the five species of British shrews and like all shrews leads a hectic life, busy by day and night on the look-out for food. A shrew is very small, so it quickly burns up its energy reserves. If it did not feed continuously, a shrew would die within a few hours.

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