➲ Shrew comes from the Middle English word “shrewe” which translates to mean an evil or scolding person.
➲ There are over 300 difference species of shrews in the world on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.
➲ Lifespan of shrews is very short, between 12 and 30 months.
➲ Whereas rodents have gnawing incisors that grow throughout life, the teeth of shrews wear down throughout life.
➲ Shrews are solitary animals (live on their own) that can be seen together only during mating season and aggressively chases away other shrews from its territory during non-breeding season.
➲ Shrews has the fastest metabolic rate of all known animals (even higher than hummingbird) with a heart rate that averages 700 beats per minute. Because its heart beating so fast, this animals are easily startled and faint with deadly consequences.
➲ Due to high energetic needs, shrew must eat 80-90 % of their own body weight in food daily. They eat anything available, but prefer small animals. Short period of food deprivation (half a day) will leads to death. Shrews also have been known to die of fright after a loud burst of thunder.
➲ Shrews has poor eyesight, but excellent sense of smell and hearing. Last two senses help shrews to locate its prey and avoid predators. Shrews are also very smart animals. Their brain weighs 10% of the total body weight.
➲ Shrews excrete a musky smell from scent glands located on the belly and sides. The smell is so foul that while shrews are often killed, they are rarely eaten.
Sources: http://goo.gl/8u4W5X | http://goo.gl/yJSjgX
Full article at http://neurosciencenews.com/staining-method-brain-mapping-1953/.
Staining method brings the reconstruction of all nerve cells and their connections within reach.
The research is in Nature Methods. (full access paywall)
Research: "High-resolution whole-brain staining for electron microscopic circuit reconstruction" by Shawn Mikula and Winfried Denk in Nature Methods doi:10.1038/nmeth.3361
Image: A new staining method closes one of the last methodological gaps: Now it's possible to map every nerve cell and its synapses in a mouse brain. Image credit: MPI of Neurobiology/ S. Mikula.
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