Southern short-tailed shrew
|Southern short-tailed shrew|
|Southern short-tailed shrew range|
The southern short-tailed shrew (Blarina carolinensis) is a small, gray, short-tailed mammal that inhabits the eastern United States. The overall appearance is somewhat like a rodent, but is a member of the order Soricomorpha and should not be confused with a member of the order Rodentia. This shrew has a long, pointed snout and ears that are nearly concealed by its soft, dense fur. This shrew is found in forests and meadows where food and cover are plentiful.
Its burrows are built in two layers, one near the surface, and a deeper one joined below it. The burrows are often built below logs, which can be penetrated and honeycombed if the log is rotten. The southern short-tailed shrew is a social animal; it has been known to share its burrow systems with several individuals. The male and female live together during the prebreeding season.
The southern short-tailed shrew's diet consists of insects, annelids, vegetable matter, centipedes, spiders, scorpions, mollusks, rodents and reptiles, and it has been known to store snails for the winter. The saliva is venomous and is injected into the wounds of its prey by the teeth. Its venom is strong enough to kill mice, but is not lethal to humans,though it causes severe pain.
The breeding season lasts from February to November, and females have two or three litters per year. The gestation period lasts from 21 to 30 days, and each litter consists of two to six young. The young are reared in nests of grasses and leaves by which entry is gained through a tunnel. These nests for the young are much larger than their resting nests.
- Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Hammerson, G. (2008). "Blarina carolinensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
- Foust, Desirae. "Blarina carolinensis". Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
- The Mammals of Texas Revised Edition by David J. Schmidly
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