North American Least Shrew

North American Least Shrew

North American Least Shrew

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The North American Least Shrew (Cryptotis parva) is one of the smallest mammals, growing to be only up to 3 inches long. The North American Least Shrew has a long pointed snout and a tail never more than twice the length of their hind foot. It has a dense fur coat that is either grayish-brown or reddish-brown with a white belly. Its fur becomes lighter in the summer and darker in the winter. Although similar in appearance to several species of rodents, all shrews are members of the order Soricomorpha and should not be mistaken for a member of the Rodentia order. The North American Least Shrew's eyes are small and its ears are completely concealed within its short fur, giving the North American Least Shrew very poor eyesight and hearing.


It is found from the grasslands of southern Canada through the eastern and central United States and Mexico. In Canada, only a small population of this animal has been found at Long Point in Ontario.

The North American Least Shrew mostly dwells in mesic grasslands, marshes, and meadows. Most shrews prefer these wet habitats, but the least shrew will also inhabit dry upland regions. This species can be found in meadows, fields, and weedy areas, where the vegetation attracts its insect diet.<ref name=......
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