Eurasian Water Shrew

The Eurasian Water Shrew, known in British English as the water shrew, is a relatively large shrew. It is up to 3.94 inches (100 mm) long, with a tail up to three-quarters as long again. It has short dark fur, often with a few white tufts. It has a few stiff hairs around the feet and tail that act as a keel in the water. Its fur traps bubbles of air in the water that greatly aids its buoyancy, but requires it to anchor itself if it wishes to remain underwater for more than the briefest of dives.

The shrew has venomous saliva. It is not able to puncture the skin of large mammals such as humans. It is highly territorial. It lives a solitary life and is found throughout northern Eurasia, from Great Britain to the North Korea.