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Temporal range: Late Miocene to recent
Cinereous shrew (Sorex cinereus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Eulipotyphla
Family: Soricidae
Subfamily: Soricinae
Tribe: Soricini
G. Fischer, 1814
Genus: Sorex
Linnaeus, 1758
Type species
Sorex araneus
Linnaeus, 1758

See text

The genus Sorex includes many of the common shrews of Eurasia and North America, and contains at least 142 known species and subspecies. Members of this genus, known as long-tailed shrews, are the only members of the tribe Soricini of the subfamily Soricinae (red-toothed shrews). They have 32 teeth.

These animals have long, pointed snouts, small ears, which are often not visible, and scent glands located on the sides of their bodies. As their eyesight is generally poor, they rely on hearing and smell to locate their prey, mainly insects. Some species also use echolocation. Distinguishing between species without examining the dental pattern is often difficult.

In some species, a female shrew and her dependent young form "caravans", in which each shrew grasps the rear of the shrew in front, when changing location.



  1. ^ Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 282–300. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.