| American Water Shrews are almost invariably found near streams or other bodies of water, where they find food and also escape from predators. These shrews readily dive to stream bottoms, paddling furiously to keep from bobbing to the surface—their fur, full of trapped air, makes them buoyant. They feed on aquatic invertebrates, insect larvae, and even small fish. In the water they are susceptible to predation from larger fish and snakes. On land, American Water Shrews have a more typical shrew diet, feeding on a variety of invertebrates, including earthworms, snails, and insects. They also eat fungi and green vegetation.
Also known as:
Northern Water Shrew, Water Shrew
Males average slightly heavier and longer than females.
Richardson, J., 1828. Short characters of a few quadrupeds procured on Capt. Franklin’s late expedition, p. 517. The Zoological Journal, 3:516-520.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account (opens in a new window).
Click to enlarge this image.