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American pygmy shrew facts for kids

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American pygmy shrew
Conservation status
Scientific classification
American Pygmy Shrew area.png
American pygmy shrew range

The American pygmy shrew (Sorex hoyi) is a type of shrew. It found in Northern Alaska, Canada, and the northern and southern United States.

It is found in northern coniferous and deciduous forests of North America. It is believed to be the second-smallest mammal in the world. Because of its fast metabolism, it is always eating.


The American pygmy shrew is the smallest mammal native to North America. Its is about 5 cm (2 in) long. It weighs about 2.0 to 4.5 g (0.07 to 0.16 oz). Its fur is reddish or grayish brown during the summer. It is white-gray during the winter. It molts about two times a year. It has a narrow head with a pointed nose, and whiskers. The eyes are small.


They are found from Northern Alaska, to the Rocky Mountains. They are also found from the Great Lakes region, to the Appalachians, to the eastern side of Canada. Even though the American pygmy shrew prefers wet habitats, it has been seen in places with both wet and dry soil.


It mainly eats insects and insect larvae, and worms. To stay alive, the American pygmy shrew has to eat every 15 to 30 minutes, day and night.


Predators of the American pygmy shrew include hawks, brook trout, owls, snakes, and domestic cats.


Little is known about the reproduction of American pygmy shrews. They appear to mate all year round. The gestation period is estimated to be 18 days. Females give birth to three to eight young ones. They usually leave the family at the age of 25 days. The maximum lifespan of an American pygmy shrew is believed to be about 16–17 months.


Pygmy shrews dig through soil to look for food. They can use tunnel made by other animals to help them look for food. They do not sleep or rest for a long time. They have great senses of smell and hearing to help them find their food.

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