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Throughout most of its range in western Europe, the Pigmy shrew Sorex minutus is sympatricwith the Common shrew Sorex araneus but greatly outnumbered by it. This makes it difficult to explain the presence of the Pigmy shrew, in the absence of its congener, in Ireland. A limited pitfall trapping exercise in England has shown that in moorland on deep peat, the Pigmy shrew may in fact outnumber the Common shrew. Reference to the literature on the ecology of the two shrews shows that this result is readily explained by existing knowledge of their diet; earthworms are a major prey for Common shrews and are absent from waterlogged, acidic, peats. Further, evidence on the nature of the possible land bridge from Scotland to Ireland suggests that it was at best low-lying, and probably partly flooded. By analogy with moorland, such a land bridge might have been suitable for Pigmy shrews but not for Common shrews.