Pygmy Shrew Sorex hoyi

The Pygmy Shrew is one of the rarest North American mammals, and little is known of its behavior in the field. It forages among dead plant matter, probably feeding on insects and insect larvae, and other invertebrates. This tiny animals weighs no more than a dime. If you took a single claw of the Kodiak bear, it would provide more than enough space to cradle a pygmy shew, North America's smallest mammal that reaches only 3 1/8-3 7/8 inches in length.

The Pygmy Shrew is a tireless hunter foraging throughout deep woods of Alaska, most of Canada, and norhtern United States. It can also be found open and brushy fields. Though it may not appear threatening, for earthworms and grasshoppers it is a real predator. This short-legged, long-snouted meat eater moves so fast in its quest for food that its heart rate can reach 1,000 beats per minute. Hunting in all hours and seasons, a pygmy shrew must find and devour the equivalent of its body weight every 24 hours just to stay alive.

Pygmy Shrew (Sorex hoyi)
Pygmy Shrew (Sorex hoyi)
Photo credit: University of Michigan