• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Desert Shrew

desert shrew

desert shrew

NPS Photo

Desert Shrew
Notiosorex crawfordi

Body length: 2 – 2 3/5"
Diet: arthropods and vertebrate animals

Shrews are the smallest land mammals on earth, and the desert shrew is tiny indeed. An adult weighs 3 – 5 grams (1/10 - 1/7 of an ounce, or less than a nickel), while a newborn is only 1/4 of a gram.

Desert shrews spend a great deal of time underground, living among the roots of plants and in packrat nests. Like many desert animals, they apparently do not need to drink water. Shrews are aggressive hunters, taking spiders, scorpions, centipedes, moths, beetles, and even lizards. In captivity, they will even eat rodents and birds.

At Tonto National Monument, shrews have been found only in Cave Creek Canyon, but probably occur throughout the Monument.

Did You Know?

cotton fiber with spindle and whorl

One of the earliest known cotton farming communities, dating from approximately AD 100 - 600, is located near Tonto National Monument.