|This is not really our water shrew, but looks similar.|
Photo by James T M Towill
To see photos of a PNW water shrew, visit
The Pacific Northwest has two shrews that are as comfortable in the water as they are on land. The marsh shrew (also called the Pacific water shrew) inhabits lower-elevation waterways, particularly marshes and streams, while the water shrew takes the upper elevations.
Both species have "swimming fringes" on the sides of their feet. These stiff, short hairs not only aid the animal in swimming, they also trap air so that, for a few seconds, the shrew can literally run across the water's surface (!).
I've never chanced to see one of these, either running or submerged. How about you?