Arctic Shrew

Arctic shrew, Sorex arcticus

The arctic shrew, also known as the saddle-backed or black-backed shrew, is a medium sized shrew that is found across Canada and the northern United States. Its current range extends from the Arctic circle down to South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, and from the southern Yukon to Newfoundland. During the late Pleistocene, these areas were covered by continental ice sheets, and fossil remains of this animal indicate that it had a much more southerly distribution during that time. Because this small insectivore prefers cool, wet, open habitats, its presence in the central United States during the late Pleistocene indicates that conditions were much cooler and wetter in that area during the last Ice Age. 

Arctic shrew

Arctic shrew, in Chippewa Co., Michigan (Sugar Island). Photo by Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan. Original source: Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2012. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed at http://animaldiversity.org. Reused under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Order: 
Insectivora (Soricomorpha - shrews and moles)
Family: 
Soricidae (shrews)
Statistics: 

Length:  body 6-8 cm (2.4-3.1 in); tail 4 cm (1.6 in)

Weight: 5-13 g (0.18-0.46 oz)

Status: 
Migrated