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Common Name: Desert Shrew

Scientific Name: Notiosorex crawfordi

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chrodata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Insectavora

Family: Soricomorpha

Genus: Notiosorex

Species: N. crawfordi


The Notiosorex crawfordi is a very interesting animal. It is about the size of an apple (1 and a half to 2 in long.) They are usually gray, brown, or black. The desert shrew has to adapt to hot, dry climates. Some details to identify a desert shrew are that they have a long tail and nose. It gets its water from the food it eats. The shrew does most of its stuff at night because of the hot climate it lives in. Now I will tell you about the shrew’s niche. They live in dry areas and make their nests in a hole. The reason it is in a hole is to get away from predators and the hot sun. A small hole also keeps it warm at night.


They do very well in this ecosystem because they are able to absorb water from their surroundings and the food they eat. The Notiosorex crawfordi is found in northern Mexico, and in the western parts of the United States. The shrew does not construct its own nest but it will take the old nest from other animals. The population of the desert shrew is growing. On the extinction graph, it shows they are at a low risk of going extinct. If they were to go extinct it would not play a big risk in the food chain.


The shrew only lives for a short amount of time. Also, they play a role in the food web. They eat small insects and compete with other animals like mice and other small insectivores. What allows them to compete for food is that some insectivores are not able to scavenge at night. When they are young their diet consists of milk.


When it is born the shrew is pink and hairless and is about the size of a honey bee. It is born in a litter of three to six. They are only with their mother for about a month then they are out of the nest and on their own in life. The shrew eats up to 75% of its own body weight. Some of the N. crawfordi’s predators consist of desert owls, snakes large lizards, and other reptiles.


One way the desert shrew avoids being eaten is it will go into its hole. Another way it doesn’t get eaten is its speed.


Author: Chassie B

Published: 02/2007



The Big Book of Animals; many authors






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