The species is the largest shrew in Europe. The snout-vent length is 70-96 mm and the tail length 47-77 mm. The animals weight 15-20, rarely up to 25 g. The coat is glossy black on top, the underpart is variably silvery white to blackish brown, often with a rusty brown overcoat. The species is well adapted to life in water. The fur is long and dense, the underpart of the tail has a bristled keel along its entire length, which serves as a rudder, and the hind feet have bristles that aid propulsion. The water shrew is one of the few poisonous mammals in Central Europe. The secretion produced by venom glands located under the tongue is lethal in animals up to mouse size.
The Eurasian water shrew inhabits near-natural shore areas of all kinds of water bodies including seashores, but also swamps, wet forests and meadows and in the north of its range even fields. The species occurs from the lowlands up to 2500 m altitude.
The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasserspitzmaus). On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 09 August 2021