SHOWING RECORD: 8 of 12 Northern Short-Tailed Shrew
Northern Short-Tailed Shrew
April 7, 1805; shipped from Fort Mandan to Washington, D.C.
The largest shrew in North America. Solid gray. Length: 3.8–5 in (9.6–12.7 cm); tail: 0.8–1 in (2–2.5 cm). Weight: 0.05 oz (14–29 g).
In the north, a variety of habitats; in warmer, drier parts of range, more confined to woods and wet areas.
Southeastern Canada and northeastern U.S. south to Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, and in mountains to Alabama. Isolated populations in northeastern North Carolina and west-central Florida.
Shrews of the genus Blarina are unique among mammals in producing poison in their salivary glands. The saliva is not dangerous to humans, but a bite may swell and be painful for days. The poison is apparently used to paralyze prey, such as snails and earthworms, which can then be stored for future use.