danger in a velvet package

my son found this little short tailed shrew in the tall grass beside the pond. shrews? who knew? we see a lot of field mice around here. and we have effectively handed sovereignty over our yard to the moles that dig networks of tunnels just under the grass. but shrews? they weren’t on my radar. apparently this little guy’s dusky beauty hides a voracious predatory appetite, as well as a little groove on the back side of each lower incisor that injects his poisonous saliva into his victims. and i just thought he was cute…

northern short tailed shrew found in my backyard

saint paul, minnesota

  • Tracie Storie says:

    What a lovely photo. I also found a dead shrew years ago near our door in tiny Orange, Texas. I thought what an interesting creature, but didn’t know about the poisonous incisors. I guess I’m glad he wasn’t as fat and velvet-y as the one your son found.

    • thanks tracie. it’s a strange kind of loveliness, but i do agree with you that he is a beautiful creature in his way. even in spite of the poisonous incisors and the voracious predation.


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