average head and body length of B. brevicauda is 75-105
mm, tail length is 17-30 mm. Weights range between 15-30. Upper
parts are slate gray with slightly lighter underparts. The eyes
are small and the snout is pointed and the ears are hidden by
the thick furcoat. Females have six mammae, and both sexes have
submaxillary glands which, when a bite is inflicted by B.
brevicauda, secrete a poison that effects the nervous system
of its victim.
They are found in nearly all land habitats and use their stout
noses and forepaws to create burrows, but will also use surface
and subsurface pathways made by moles and other rodents. The
diet of B. brevicauda consists of Invertebrates, small
vertebrates, and plant material. When prey is readily available,
they occupy relatively small stationary areas, but these can
quickly change to larger shifting areas when food becomes scarce.
They are diurnal and nest under rocks or logs, or in tunnels,
which they line with grasses and leaves. Breeding season extends
from early spring to early fall with gestation averaging 21
days. Litter size is 3-10, usually 5-7. Young leave the nest
at 18-20 days, weaning occurs a few days later. Females reach
sexual maturity at 6 weeks, males at 12.
Geographic range is S Canada west to C Saskatchewan and east
to SE Canada, south to Nebraska and N Virginia (USA).