gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate), The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. Their typical aquatic prey include caddis fly larvae, freshwater shrimps, water skaters, small fish, tadpoles and water beetles though they also hunt on land where they take worms, larvae and beetles. As the name would suggest, water shrews are often found around streams and other aquatic habitats. It has been suggested that water shrews can walk on water because they can trap air bubbles in the stiff hairs of their feet (Jackson, 1928). Habitat: The Northern water shrew is usually associated with high elevation forests. [5] Its feet have a fringe of hairs, more visible on the larger hind feet, which allow this animal to run on the water's surface. Range: The northern water shrew occupies a range that includes most of Canada, New England, the Appalachian Mountains, the upper Midwest and the mountainous regions of the western United States. Although water shrews are smaller than moles they are bigger than other species of shrew and are at home on both land and water. Water shrews can control their own metabolic demands so that they can dive year-round, even in winter-cold bodies of water (Boernke, 1977). Cats often choose not to eat shrews because they produce unpleasant, oily substances from scent glands which make them distasteful to predators. Like all female mammals, water shrew mothers provide their young with milk after they are born. The vibrissae and the muzzle are thought to serve the purpose of locating prey (Sorenson, 1962). Stream pollution, acidification and sedimentation may have negative impacts on the aquatic invertebrates on which water shrews depend for food. Vancouver: UBC Press. (Nagorsen, 1996; Wilson and Ruff, 1999). (Beneski and Stinson, 1987; Conaway, 1952; Nagorsen, 1996; Wilson and Ruff, 1999). The American water shrew tends to breed from December to September and females usually have a three-week gestation period, and offspring are born in the spring and summer. 1987. It typically attains a total length of 6.1 inches (15.5 centimeters). Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream). endobj The skull of the water shrew is large (21 to 23 mm and width 10 to 11 mm) with a dental formula of 1/1 5/1 1/1 3/3 = 32; the fourth upper unicuspid is characteristically smaller than the third. They use all four feet to swim, but most of the propulsive force comes from the hind feet. They are thought to use echolo… The water shrew has no known negative effects on humans. Mammals of the Eastern United States. Water shrews usually produce two litters per year, between April and September. (Sorenson, 1962), Water shrews are predominantly insectivores. <> Like to advertise with us? Breeding habits of the water shrew. The tail of this shrew commonly reaches 2.7 inches (7.0 centimeters), approximately 40 percent of its total body length. (Beneski and Stinson, 1987). Diving to the bottoms of streams or other water habitats, they forage for aquatic insects, especially for the larvae and nymphs of caddisflies, crane flies, mayflies, and stoneflies and occasionally for small fish (van Zyll de Jong, 1983). Water shrews are aggressive and fighting is common between conspecifics. This species lacks external ears entirely and is blind, its eyes covered by skin. Classification, To cite this page: Along the tail are four rows of fringes that coalesce toward the tip into a rudderlike shape. Jackson, H. 1928. Search in feature In West Virginia, the water shrew has been found in Preston, Tucker, Randolph, Pendleton and Pocahontas counties at locations over 2,000 feet in elevation. This animal is typically found along mountain streams characterized by cut banks, rocks, fallen logs, and abundant moss and leaf litter. Water shrews are common inhabitants of northern forests. reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female. Most encounters are short but may be intense. Some aspects of water shrew behavior. the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic. It forages on land and enters water to seek food and escape predators. Males reach sexual maturity in the winter following birth. Water shrew, any of 12 species of amphibious shrews that have a broad, fleshy muzzle, large chest, and long hind legs and digits. In Pennsylvania, West Virginia water shrews are found only on the Allegheny Plateau in a few southwestern counties. They are known to also feed on small fish, vegetation, and snails. For every 30 minutes of activity, the shrew spends the next hour resting (van Zyll de Jong, 1983).


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