The common shrew's carnivorous and insectivorous diet consists of insects, slugs, spiders, worms, amphibians and small rodents. Simply put, shrews aren't really that picky when it comes to their dietary preferences. Shrews may be fierce predators, but they’re small, which means they in turn become prey. Empower Her. Occasional Carrion Consumption. They do not hibernate in the winter because their bodies are too small to store sufficient fat reserves and as they have a short fasting duration. Domestic felines frequently kill shrews but typically refrain from eating them due to the unpleasant smells their scent glands give off. Despite shrews' small size, they have immense appetites. Without food for just a mere day, they can pass away due to starvation. In some instances, shrews also eat carrion, which is essentially … The staples of the shrew diet are earthworms, arthropods, spiders, wood lice, snails, slugs, small rodents, worms and a large array of insects including beetles. The Feeding Habits of the Black-Footed Ferret, A List of the Predators of the Gila Monster. In fact, the little guys are fully capable of eating upwards of two times their full weight in just the span of a single day, BBC Nature reports. Shrews live primarily on insects. Some of the predators of the common shrew include barn owls, tawny owls, magpies, hawks, jackdaws and snakes. Most are omnivores or carnivores, which means that they eat plant and animal matter, or just animal matter. PART OF WILD SKY MEDIA | FAMILY & PARENTING, Young People's Trust for the Environment: Shrew (Common), University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Sorex araneus, Encyclopedia of Life: Facts about Common Shrew. That means the creature is willing to consume pretty much anything he comes across. Since shrews are capable of eating so much, they eat very frequently throughout the day -- think once every two or three hours or so. Some of the different animals that they hunt include spiders, worms, ants, flies, beetles, slugs, and more. A shrew must eat every 2 to 3 hours to achieve this goal. Be Her Village. Shrews need to consume 200 to 300% of their body weight in food each day in order to survive. However, they will also eat mice, small birds, snakes and slugs. Fish and Wildlife Service. When they consume these prey, they have the possibility of contracting or carrying specific bacteria, parasites, or diseases that may be transmitted to humans through bites. They will readily eat grasshoppers, wasps, crickets, snails and earthworms. However, plant consumption is relatively uncommon in these animals. In some instances, shrews also eat carrion, which is essentially the rotting meat of animals that have died. Shrews eat everything from plants, mice, snakes, frogs, pigeons, salamanders, and even other shrews. When it comes to worms, terrestrial bugs and many other things, the shrew appetite is pretty persistent. Shrews have extremely rapid metabolic rates. Although common shrews consume very high levels of invertebrates and other animal-based foods, they also occasionally eat some plant-based meals -- think conifer seeds, for example. The shrew-eating trout of Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. In terms of mealtime, these little creatures are opportunists, happily chowing down on everything from earthworms to bugs. Many mammalian predators, including red foxes, raccoons and cats, will … The pests are voracious eaters and feed on a variety of plants, insects, small mammals, and grubs. All shrews are tiny, most no larger than a mouse. Photo: U.S. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Shrews will also feed on seeds around bird feeders, eggs in bird houses and all kinds of flowers, fruits, vegetables and plant bulbs. The largest species is the Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus) of tropical Asia, which is about 15 cm (6 in) long and weighs around 100 g (4 oz) several are very small, notably the Etruscan shrew (Suncus etruscus), which at about 3.5 cm (1.4 in) and 1.8 g (0.063 oz) is the smallest known living terrestrial mammal. If they are found inside the home, individuals should not corner or trap them as shrews are aggressive and will bite when they feel threatened. Their small size restricts their potential prey to mostly invertebrates. Shrews need to constantly eat and rely on their sense of smell and echolocation to find food. A shrew will starve if it goes without food for more than a few hours. There's no fasting for these little animals. How Many Pounds of Bamboo Can a Giant Panda Eat Each Day? A lot of larger animals feed on shrews. © 2020 WILD SKY MEDIA. Shape The World. If you catch a wee mammal out of the corner of your eye that kind of resembles a fusion of a mouse and a mole, it may be the common shrew. Common shrews are opportunistic feeders, according to the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web. Compared with the other major components of the shrew diet, however, consumption of carcasses is not as common.
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