The common shrew is one of Britain's smallest mammals and is closely related to the mole and hedgehog.

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Overview

Illustration of a Common ShrewOrder: Eulipotyphla

Family: Soricidae

Species: Sorex araneus

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Population Trend: stable

Distribution: Widespread throughout Britain but absent from Ireland.

Habitat: Common in hedgerows, fields and woods but scarce on moorland.

Description: Long, pointed nose, tiny eyes and small, rounded ears set close to its head. Short, dark brown velvety fur, lighter flanks and grey underparts.

Size: Head and body about 76mm (3in), tail 40mm (1in). Weight about 7g.

Life-span: Up to about 20 months; most die before they are a year old.

Food: Earthworms, insects, slugs, snails, woodlice and some carrion.

The common shrew is one of Britain's smallest mammals (the pygmy shrew is the smallest mammal of all) and is closely related to the mole and hedgehog - not the mice, as people sometimes think. Its pointed nose distinguishes it easily from mice.

Read More: Daily Life

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