Sandshrew is a tailed, bipedal, ground-dwelling pholidote notable for its defensive capabilities. Its body is mostly covered in a dry, tough hide, which is colored to blend in with the sands of the desert. It has two sharp claws on each foot and has three small but sharp claws on its paws, which are also useful for burrowing and can sometimes be poisonous. It can curl into a tight ball about the same size as a basketball to protect its soft underbelly.
Sandshrew's special abilities are extremely limited compared to other Pokémon. It has a greater control over the ground and sand than the average Pokémon, mostly derived from adaptation to its habitat.
In the wild, Sandshrew are mostly defensive by nature. They spend much of their time hidden underground in their burrows and will kick up sand or instantly roll into a ball to escape predators. They may venture out to hunt, taking advantage of the desert sands to hide themselves.
However, with the help of a Trainer, a Sandshrew can become bolder and much more daring, and can even be trained to swim despite the fact that the water weakens them. They are still fond of curling up, though, even if not for defense. Although Sandshrew are usually bipedal, they are able to run on all fours.
Disliking water, Sandshrew are adapted to dry, arid areas. Thus, they can be commonly found in deserts and grasslands, and sometimes in river valleys or the upper levels of caves as well. For the cave varieties, they also dry up if exposed to concentrated doses of light, particularly lights strung together in the cave. Wherever they are, they live underground in deep burrows. It can be found in Kanto and Johto.
Sandshrew do not require a lot of water, due to a very efficient system of staying hydrated with minimal moisture. They hunt for prey in the wild.
This Pokémon was unavailable prior to Generation I.