The largest land mammal in Massachusetts is the moose. Moose can stand as high as six-foot-11 at the shoulder and weigh 1,500 pounds. One of the best places to see a moose in Massachusetts is the Quabbin Reservoir.

Mammals of all shapes and sizes call Massachusetts home, including beavers, chipmunks, mice, squirrels, woodchucks, muskrats, porcupines, jackrabbits and more.

The moose is the tallest land mammal in Massachusetts, so what would the smallest land mammal be?

That would be the American pygmy shrew.

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The pygmy shrew has only been found once in Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife). MassWildlife says, "The only specimen documented in Massachusetts was found drowned in a discarded beer bottle in 1991 on Mt. Greylock."

Similar to the rock shrew, "this species is likely secure in areas of protected habitat."

Getty Images via Canva
Getty Images via Canva

The American pygmy shrew, discovered in 1831 in Ontario, Canada, is found in Northern Alaska, Canada, and the northern United States, south through the Appalachian Mountains.

Massachusetts shrews have been found mainly in the western counties and on Mt. Greylock. They live below ground most of the time.

An adult American pygmy shrew has a mass of 0.12 ounces and can grow to 2.1 inches in length. Their lifespan is 11-13 months. This shrew has several predators, including hawks, brook trout, snakes and domestic cats. The pygmy shrew's diet consists of insects and insect larvae.

When they feel threatened, shrews make a sharp squeaking noise and then run away. They love the nightlife but spend the night and day foraging for food. Shrews do not require much sleep.

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