Shrews (Blarina, Neomys, and Solenodon) are some of the only mammals still alive that are capable of secreting venom. Another animal is that venomous is Ornithorhynchus anatinus (the platypus). 

With the use of venom its venomous saliva, the Eurasian water shrew is capable of capturing organisms that are more than twice its size.

Shrews are active throughout the day, but primarily at night. That is when much of their nutrient acquisition takes place. The peak of their activities takes place right before dawn.

Because of their small body size and high metabolic rates, shrews need to eat constantly throughout the day or otherwise they will starve to death.

Under experimental conditions Blarina toxin was injected intravenously into animals in order to observe the effects of the toxin. Not long after the venom was injected, the animals depression, abnormal breathing, paralysis of their limbs, seizures, and even death.  

Once the Eurasian water shrews has returned to land, they go into their burrow and return momentarily and mostly dry.

There has been a significant decrease in the shrew population due to pollution of various wet lands, lakes, rivers, and streams that these shrews inhabit.

Home                          References