[14] According to mammalogist Donald Pattie, they can "scull on the surface like whirligig beetles". Gestation is about three weeks, and the female has a litter of three or four young. They occurred in many riparian habitats, including rivers, streams, canals and ditches, with a range of physical and biotic characteristics. Working off-campus? It was first described in the scientific literature in 1884 by Clinton Hart Merriam with its original name, Atophyrax bendirii (a monotypic taxon at the time). [3], During spring and summer 1983, biologists in western Oregon studied small-mammal distribution (including marsh shrews) near streams and along the riparian fringes of coniferous forests. The marsh shrew (Sorex bendirii), also known as the Pacific water shrew, Bendire's water shrew, Bendire's shrew and Jesus shrew is the largest North American member of the genus Sorex (long-tailed shrews). Fieldwork for the survey was carried out over four seasons between April 2004 and September 2005, with volunteers using the bait tube method to detect the presence of water shrews in riparian habitats of their choice. and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. [16] In 1992, Carlos Galindo-Leal and Gustavo Zuleta trapped 1,000 small mammals at 55 locations in a large area of southwestern British Columbia; only three were Pacific water shrews. [3] Its dental formula is incisors: 1/1; unicuspids: 5/1; premolars: 1/1; molars: 3/3. b . Fast‐flowing shallow waters had a significant positive effect on their presence, whereas scarce herbaceous vegetation and a bank of low incline had a significant negative effect. The North American deermouse was caught in greater numbers than any other mammal, representing around 80% of all captures. The American water shrew is more widely distributed across the western mountains and through the subarctic regions of Canada and the eastern U.S.[12] The species' ranges are primarily allopatric; although they may overlap (sympatry) in coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest, differences in elevation tend to separate them. [14] Similar to other shrews, they have poor eyesight. They prefer hiding underground or beneath piles of vegetation. Even a single species can occupy an immense range of habitat types. Although the shrew is considered a rare mammal and its numbers are thought to be in decline, no population estimates are currently provided and its rate of decline is not considered fast enough to warrant placing it in a more-threatened category. The marsh shrew is the largest member of the genus Sorex in North America,[2] and mammalogist David Nagorsen described it as "an attractive mammal". [12] Findley hypothesized that in the early Pleistocene, the ancestors of masked and vagrant shrews (Sorex cinereus and Sorex vagrans, respectively) diverged;[13] during the Yarmouth interglacial, the American water shrew and marsh shrew diverged from their vagrant-shrew ancestors. 1 0 obj [1] Although no breeding data exist for British Columbia, the breeding season elsewhere is from late January to late August; most young are born in March. [18] A study of the gastric contents of marsh shrews in Oregon indicated that at least 25% of their diet is aquatic,[19] including insect larvae, slugs and snails, mayfly naiads and other, unidentified invertebrates. [10] Merriam reported that the animal represented a new genus, Atophyrax, deriving from the Greek and meaning "anomalous sorex". Primarily covered in dark-brown fur, it is found near aquatic habitats along the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia to northern California. They are rare; their populations are thought to be in decline, and they are considered endangered in parts of their range. Unlimited viewing of the article/chapter PDF and any associated supplements and figures. [4] The American water shrew has a smaller skull, without the marsh shrew's characteristic curvature, and its upper incisors have less-distinct medial tines. ����e+�a���WNI���4b'Q#1Sɺ� The total length of a water shrew can range between 130 and 170 mm, and the weight ranges from 8 to 18 grams. [11] The marsh shrew was later reclassified in the genus Sorex. [14] The subspecies S. b. albiventer is found on the Olympic Peninsula. 2 0 obj The full text of this article hosted at iucr.org is unavailable due to technical difficulties. [3] Its fur is primarily dark brown, and it has a long tail. Water shrews can have tails varying from 57 to 89 mm in length. Although in some areas the marsh shrew is sympatric with other members of the genus Sorex,[7] no other large, velvety, gray-black shrew shares this geographic range. "Riparian fringe" was defined as at least 15–20 m from a stream. Primarily covered in dark-brown fur, it is found near aquatic habitats along the Pacific coast from southern British Columbia to northern California. Division of Life Sciences, King’s College London, Franklin‐Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NN, UK, Search for more papers by this author. With air trapped in its fur for buoyancy, marsh shrews can run for three to five seconds on top of the water. [12] Early taxonomists placed these mammals into separate subgenera; Merriam assigned the marsh shrew to Atophyrax, and Jackson (1928) assigned the Pacific water shrew to Neosorex. The purpose of this study was to determine occurrence and associated habitat preferences of water shrews, a species of conservation concern, by comparing populations in central England freshwater habitats.


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