So… What is a Shrew?

I recently read Shakespeare’s play, ‘The Taming of the Shrew.’ It is hilarious and I definitely recommend watching, if not reading, it.

Moving on.

So I was wondering, what even is a shrew? Other than a rodent, I mean. So naturally I go and look it up.

This is a shrew:

Rather mole like, isn’t it?

And now, I will present you with some knowledge on shrews.

  • They are generally 10.9 – 14 centimeters in length. That’s about the size of an average note card.
  • Apparently Tree Shrews and Elephant Shrews, among others, are not true shrews, since they do not belong to the same Family.
  • The Family of a true shrew is Soricidae.
  • They live mostly everywhere, excluding New Guinea, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Most rodents have teeth that continue growing, so they have to knaw them down. A shrews’ teeth will wear out over time.
  • They are born with adult teeth.
  • Shrews are easily frightened and will jump, faint or even drop dead at a sudden noise.
  • Some shrews, unlike most mammals, are venomous. They don’t have fangs, however. Instead, the poison is conducted through the grooves in the creature’s teeth.
  • They can eat 80-90% of their body weight.
  • They can’t survive without food for more than a few hours.

I now understand why it is called ‘The Taming of the Shrew‘.

  • Shrews only come together to mate. They are otherwise unsociable and vicious when confronted.
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