Exploring Life in the Fast Lane

Shrews are voracious, energetic little mammals. So much so that they have even been cast as evil creatures in the 1959 cult classic “The Killer Shrews.” Hollywood depictions aside, shrews do have among the highest basal metabolic rates (BMR) and appear to forage constantly to sustain their high energetic demands. However, there is much variation in activity and energetics even among shrew species.

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Shrew Digestive Enzyme Repurposed into Venom

The diminutive short-tailed shrew (Blarina brevicauda) has long been known to possess toxic saliva. Early reports indicated that humans bitten by short-tailed shrews suffered swelling and burning sensations in the region surrounding the bite. While not lethal to humans, the venom Read More...