European water shrew on rocks smelling the air

Shrews, moles and relatives

Shrews, moles and their relatives are an order of small insect-eating mammals with long flexible snouts. This mammalian order also includes the endangered solenodons of Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The solenodons make up the smallest family with only two species, whereas the shrew family, known as true shrews, are the largest with nearly 400 species and a worldwide distribution. Unusually for mammals, the soricomorpha order contains a few species with venomous saliva and two of only three terrestrial mammals known to echolocate.

Scientific name: Soricomorpha

Rank: Order


Map showing the distribution of the Shrews, moles and relatives taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Shrews, moles and relatives can be found in a number of locations including: United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Shrews, moles and relatives