11. A Contribution to the Biology of the Common Shrew, Sorex araneus Linnæus

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Summary.

Trapping and routine examinations carried out in the Oxford district between February 1926 and August 1927, show that:

  • 1Sores arameus is found in a wide range of habitats, varying from pure grass-land to dense conifer woods.
  • 2The breeding-season is from May to August, and no pregnant females are found outside this period. It is uncertain whether the females have more than one litter during a breeding-season.
  • 3It is suggested from the evidence available that neither male nor female shrews become sexually mature and breed during the year of their birth.
  • 4It appears that the young shrews reach a certain immature stage of growth by the late autumn of the year of their birth, and remain in that condition throughout the winter months. In the spring a marked increase in size takes place, and sexual maturity is reached.

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