Eurasian pygmy shrew

Sorex (Sorex) minutus

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The Eurasian pygmy shrew is one of the smallest mammals in Europe. A fully-grown pygmy shrew weighs somewhere between 3 and 6 g - about the same weight as a 1 pence piece. This minute body size helps the shrew find a suitable home. The pygmy shrew however, will not dig them itself preferring to use abandoned tunnels and burrows laid by other mammals. Unlike mice, which tend to be vegetarian, pygmy shrews are predominantly carnivorous, feeding on insects and their lava, spiders and, less commonly, snails and earthworms. These small, active insect eaters require a lot of energy; they need to consume 1.25 times their own body weight daily. Growing juvenile animals have an even greater need for energy and can consume up to 160% of their body weight daily. An adolescent weighing 50 kg with the energy requirements of a Eurasian pygmy shrew would have to consume 80 kg of food every day!

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