Lesser white-toothed shrew

Also known as the “musk shrew” due to the strong scent they secrete to mark their territories

A fascinating small mammal that earns its name from its distinctive dental characteristic: unlike many of its relatives, which feature red-tipped teeth, this species boasts entirely unpigmented teeth.

Adorned with a coat that varies in color from reddish-brown to greyish, the lesser white-toothed shrew showcases a gradient that gently fades into a lighter shade on its belly, blending seamlessly into its natural environment. Adding to its intriguing appearance, the tail of this tiny creature is covered with short, bristly hairs punctuated by longer white hairs, providing an aesthetic feature and a sensory tool. The shrew’s physique is further characterized by a pointy snout and a pair of rounded ears, features that enhance its foraging efficiency and spatial awareness in its habitat.

In terms of diet, the lesser white-toothed shrew exhibits remarkable versatility. It preys on small crustaceans along the shorelines of islands, showcasing an ability to exploit the coastal ecosystem’s resources. Away from the seaside, its diet diversifies to include a variety of invertebrates such as flies, worms, snails, and beetles. This dietary flexibility allows the lesser white-toothed shrew to thrive in a wide range of environments and showcases its important role in controlling insect populations and maintaining ecological balance.

A noteworthy aspect of the lesser white-toothed shrew’s biology is its ability to survive longer periods without food compared to other shrew species. This resilience is particularly crucial given the shrew’s high metabolic rate, which typically necessitates frequent feeding intervals. Such endurance supports the shrew’s survival in environments where food sources may temporarily fluctuate or become scarce.

The construction of their nests is another testament to the lesser white-toothed shrew’s adaptability. Using tightly woven grass and other vegetation, these shrews create their nests within suitable cavities. These nests provide shelter and warmth and serve as a secure location for raising their young.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Presence Uncertain
Albania
2016
Algeria
2016
Armenia
2016
Austria
2016
Azerbaijan
2016
Belarus
2016
Bosnia And Herz.
2016
Bulgaria
2016
China
2016
Croatia
2016
Cyprus
2016
Czechia
2016
Egypt
2016
Presence Uncertain
France
2016
Georgia
2016
Germany
2016
Greece
2016
Hungary
2016
Iran
2016
Iraq
2016
Israel
2016
Italy
2016
Jordan
2016
Kazakhstan
2016
Kyrgyzstan
2016
Presence Uncertain
Lebanon
2016
Liechtenstein
2016
Moldova
2016
Montenegro
2016
Morocco
2016
North Macedonia
2016
Poland
2016
Portugal
2016
Presence Uncertain
Romania
2016
Russia
2016
Saudi Arabia
2016
Serbia
2016
Slovakia
2016
Slovenia
2016
Spain
2016
Switzerland
2016
Syria
2016
Turkey
2016
Turkmenistan
2016
Presence Uncertain
Ukraine
2016
United Kingdom
2016
Uzbekistan
2016
Presence Uncertain

Anything we've missed?

Help us improve this page by suggesting edits. Glory never dies!

Suggest an edit

Get to know me

Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No