American Water Shrew

Series of dimensioned side elevation illustrations of the American Water Shrew

The American Water Shrew (Sorex palustris), also referred to as the Northern Water Shrew, is 1 out of 12 species of shrews. They have a broad chest and black and brown fur that changes throughout the seasons. They are typically found in the mountain ranges of the northern United States, Canada, and Alaska.

Water shrews like to live along streams and heavy vegetation. The diet of the water shrew consists of roots, beechnuts, berries, sunflower seeds, and fungi. It can dive underwater for 15 seconds and are active both throughout the day and night.

American Water Shrews have a shoulder height of 1.4”-1.75” (3.6-4.4 cm), body length between 3”-3.9” (7.5-10 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .42-.63 oz (12-18 g). The tail of the American Water Shrew is 2.2”-2.8” (5.5-7 cm) in length. American Water Shrews have a typical lifespan of 1-3 years.


*Under Development*

1.4”-1.75” | 3.6-4.4 cm
3”-3.9” | 7.5-10 cm
.42-.63 oz | 12-18 g
Tail Length:
2.2”-2.8” | 5.5-7 cm
Scientific Name:
Sorex palustris
1-3 years


Drawings include:

American Water Shrew side elevation (standing), front (standing)


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Eulipotyphla is a mammalian order that includes moles, shrews, hedgehogs, and other species. These mammals are generally smaller, ground-dwelling, and feed on invertebrates. The Eulipotyphla are characterized by primitive teeth, poor intellect, small eyes, narrow muzzles, and good hearing and smell.