Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Sorex tundrensis

Tundra Shrew

Order: Soricomorpha
Family: Soricidae

Image of Sorex tundrensis
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Many shrews have such uniformly grayish coats that separate species cannot easily be distinguished, but both the summer and winter coats of the Tundra Shrew are highly distinctive. Its summer pelage is tricolored, dark brown on the back, pale gray on the underparts, and brownish-gray or pale brown in between. Its longer winter fur is brown on the back and grayish on the sides and underparts. The Tundra Shrew is common, though limited, in distribution in Alaska and extreme northwestern Canada, where it inhabits hillsides and other well-drained areas with dense vegetation. Its food habits are not well known, but insects, earthworms, and parts of a small grass flower were found in the digestive tracts of some specimens. Embryo counts in a small sample of pregnant females averaged 10, which is high for shrews.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 94.9 mm
Range: 83-120 mm

Range: 5-10 g


Merriam, C.H., 1900.  Proceedings of the Washington Academy of Science, 2:16.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Sorex tundrensis