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Sandshrew is a bipedal Pokémon, but it has been known to run on all fours in in the anime. It is mostly covered in a dry, tough hide colored to blend in with the sands of the desert, but has a white or cream underbelly. It has two pointed claws on each foot and three small, sharp claws on its forepaws, which are used to burrow.
Sandshrew spends much of its time hidden underground arid environments in deep burrows. It only emerges for hunting, in which it waits within its burrow and instantly lunges out to drag in passing prey. Sandshrew can quickly curl into a tight ball to protect itself from great falls and opponents, but may also throw sand at attackers. Its body absorbs water without waste to facilitate life in the desert. Sandshrew is found in deserts, grasslands, and caves.