Mammals of Pennsylvania Online Resource

Common Name: Water Shrew




Scientific Name:
Sorex palustris  

Springs, lakes, and fast-moving streams with some quiet pools.

Carnivorous—insects, worms, aquatic larvae, small fish, and even trout eggs.

Interesting Facts:
This uncommon shrew has a fringe of stiff hairs on the outer side of each hind foot that is a direct adaptation to its aquatic lifestyle. Air bubbles trapped by its fur give this animal great buoyancy but only allow it to be submerged for about 15 seconds at a time.

Further Reading:
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