The shrew's metabolic rate is very high. It
has a tendency to eat more than its own body weight. It cannot
remain without eating for more than a few hours. If it cannot locate
its regular food, it turns cannibal. When it comes feeding on
shrews, there are few mammals that will touch it, thanks to a smell
that emits from its glands. Birds of prey and snakes will eat
The female shrew
The life span of a female shrew is about eighteen months. It
produces two to ten young ones in its lifetime, in one or more
Among the varieties of shrews, some interesting ones are the
hero shrew that we've mentioned earlier, the tree shrew and the
elephant shrew. Tree shrews are any of the small, squirrel-like
mammals that constitute the family Tupaiidae. Interestingly, tree
shrews are either terrestrial or arboreal.
Tree shrews are grey, brown or reddish
brown in color. Sporting long tails, pointed noses and sharp curved
claws, the creatures vary in length from twenty centimeters to
thirty-five or forty centimeters.
There are about fifteen species of tree
shrews. The staple food for tree shrews includes insects, fruit and
some small animals. They make their homes in tree hollows or holes
in the ground.
Elephant shrews are named for their elongated, flexible snouts.
They are swift and active mammals that feed mainly on insects. They
have long hind legs, large ears and eyes, and long, thin tails,
which lend them an appearance that is similar to a kangaroo rat.
Depending upon the variety, the body length of an elephant shrew
varies from seven inches to twenty inches. The chequered-backed
elephant shrew is the largest species, with a total length of
seventeen to twenty three inches.