Home Forum Resources Shop Journey Log Back to map


Lewis and Clark
SHOWING RECORD: 8 of 12   Northern Short-Tailed Shrew
PreviousNextJournals and Maps
Northern Short-Tailed Shrew

Blarina brevicauda

First Noted by Expedition
April 7, 1805; shipped from Fort Mandan to Washington, D.C.

The largest shrew in North America. Solid gray. Length: 3.85 in (9.612.7 cm); tail: 0.81 in (22.5 cm). Weight: 0.05 oz (1429 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.

Species information from enature.com

Subscribe Online
Your subscriptions help National Geographic conservation efforts worldwide >>

Audubon's Mountain Sheep
Grizzly Bear
Montana Great Horned Owl
North American Porcupine
Northern Bobcat
Northern Flicker
Northern Pocket Gopher
Northern Short-Tailed Shrew
Prairie Horned Lark
Purple Coneflower
Montana prairie