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Since ancient times, the owners of agricultural land bad relationship with the shrew.
Previously, the epithets "dangerous", "aggressive" and even "poisonous" were applicable to it.
Over the years people managed to reconsider their attitude to a small animal and learn how to benefit from the neighborhood with him.
What kind of animal?
Often a shrew is identified with a mouse in view of the external similarity of these far from closely related animals. After revising their position in the animal kingdom scientists attributed these individuals to the detachment shrews, previously they were classified as insectivores. Mice are members of the order of rodents and have little in common with insectivores.
Relatives of shrews are moles and hedgehogs. With closer observation, you can find the similarities of these animals in terms of movement, nutrition and lifestyle.
Shrews - one of the smallest ubiquitous animals... Some of them have the honorary title - the smallest mammal on Earth.
The giant shrew is considered to be a giant shrew, reaching 12 cm in length. You can find out more about these animals in the article on the types of shrews.
Shrews - the most common subfamily of tiny underground insectivores, including many types: ordinary (forest), dwarf, tiny, brownie, water, elephant. The article devoted to common species of shrews, in addition to interesting information, contains many photographs of our little neighbors.
Appearance and structure
Shrew looks like a mouse: small head with tiny eyes, short neck, low-set body on thin legs, long tail. The dimensions of the animal are also "mouse" - its length rarely exceeds 10 cm... The entire body of the shrew is covered with short thick brown hair.
Fur cover the animal is constantly lubricated with the secret of special glandsproducing a greasy substance with a repulsive odor. This is another cunning acquisition of a defenseless shrew, protecting her from attack formidable predators.
The shrews lost their sharp eyesight during evolution. They are guided by the sense of smell.using a nose located at the end of an elongated pointed muzzle as a navigator compass. The ears, set wide apart and pressed to the head, are necessary for the animal for echolocation.
The ends of sharp teeth animal covered with strong protective enamel brown, which grinds off by the end of the shrew's life. It is not surprising, because the little animal leads most of its short life at a meal.
You can see what a shrew looks like in the photo below:
Shrews eat an incredible amount insect pests: beetles, beetles, caterpillars, wireworms, wood lice that live underground. In a day, an animal can destroy hundreds of grams of insects, which 4 times the weight of the little hard worker.
Interesting. Eating voracious pests, shrews bring undeniable benefits owners of summer cottages and gardens.
Moreover, underground passages, along which animal shrews move, provide drainage of plant roots.
Animals are not far-sighted: their food supplies for the winter they often plunder themselves in the warm season. Unable to withstand a long winter hunger, they die. You can find out more interesting information in the section on feeding amazing animals.
In its short life shrew leaves up to 6 litters... At one time, from 3 to 10 tiny blind babies are born.
Is a shrew a mammal or not? Without a doubt, the answer is yes, since Thoughtful mom carefully feeds her babies with milkgradually transferring to an adult diet. How long do shrews live?
Animals become completely independent by the end of the 3rd week, which is not surprising, because the maximum lifespan shrew is only 1.5 years.
Shrews have long ceased to be unknown and mysterious for humans, however controversy about the benefits and harms small insectivores are still going on. Is it worth destroying gluttonous neighbors - read the article on the fight against shrews.
A short video of what a shrew looks like: