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Armored Shrew - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Armored Shrew facts and info. Know Armored Shrew food plan, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and so forth See fascinating facts of Armored Shrew in our animal facts archive.

Scientific title: Scutisorex somereni
Scientific classification: Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Insectivora, Family: Soricidae

What does it seem like? The armored shrew has a physique size of 12–15 cm and a tail measuring 6.8–9.5 cm. It weighs between 30 and 115 g. The fur of the shrew is dense, coarse, and grey in coloration. The animal possesses the everyday shrew options: quick legs, slender snout, and tiny eyes.

Where does it dwell? This shrew is discovered within the forest belt of Africa in locations similar to southwestern Uganda, jap Zaire, and northern Rwanda. Little if something is thought of its precise habitat preferences, however it's present in moist, waterlogged lowland forest with bushes, palms, and dense undergrowth.

Characteristics

The armored shrew, often known as the hero shrew, is a small, unassuming insectivorous mammal, and for a few years, it was thought to be an unremarkable, but giant African shrew. T at was till its skeleton was examined. The backbone of this animal has been referred to as a “large bony buttress,” and it's the mosThelaborate of any backboned animal. Normally, mammals have 5 lumbar vertebrae; but the shrew has 11.

The construction of the bones within the vertebral column, between the rib cage and hips, can also be distinctive as they sport interlocking spines on their sides and decrease surfaces. These spines mesh with the projections on the vertebrae behind and in entrance, creating an extremely sturdy, but fl exible construction. The ribs of the shrew are additionally thicker than these of different small mammals.

The backbone is so sturdy that this tiny animal can take the complete weight of a person on its again, round 70 kg. This is roughly 1,000 occasions higher than the shrew’s physique weight and is equal to a human bearing the load of 10 elephants. Balancing with one foot on some other small mammal would kill it because the backbone would merely collapse, crushing the inner organs, however the construction of the armored shrew’s backbone is so sturdy that it may bear an enormous weight and defend the fragile organs.

Although the backbone may be very sturdy, additionally it is very fl exible. One of these shrews in a tube or burrow little wider than its physique can by some means flip 180°.

The backbone is so elaborate and modified that it accounts for four % of the shrew’s physique weight. For different small mammals, the backbone usually accounts for 0.5–1.6 % of the general mass. Ironically, different elements of the shrew’s skeleton, such because the limbs, are usually not modified in any respect. They are usually not strong just like the backbone and ribs, however seem like the limbs of some other shrew.

Along with the vertebral column, the spinal muscle groups are additionally tremendously modifi ed. The transverse muscle groups are decreased, whereas the muscle groups that reach and fl ex the backbone are properly developed, inflicting the shrew to stroll in a somewhat snakelike fashion. In different animals, the transverse muscle groups decrease spinal twisting, however within the armored shrew, the tremendously modified backbone in all probability fulfi lls this position. In vertebrates, the spine is usually probably the most conserved a part of the skeleton, displaying solely minor modifications from one species to the following. 

Why, then, does this shrew have such a tremendously modified vertebral column? No one is aware of. There is just no believable rationalization for why the shrew has such a powerful backbone, however nature isn't extravagant with out motive, so there could also be some side of the shrew’s life, as but unseen, through which the wonderful backbone is vitally essential.

Key Facts

  • Like different shrews, the armored shrew is a secretive animal, scuttling round within the forest undergrowth. There are few people in these areas, so it's not stunning that this animal is so not often seen and so poorly identified by scientists.
  • In the wild, the armored shrew feeds on earthworms, bugs, and small amphibians. In captivity, it can eat fowl and mammal meat.
  • In its homeland, the shrew is revered by native tribes. They imagine it to have magical powers due to its capability to assist the load of a grown man with out being squashed. They imagine the animal will bestow upon them powers of bravery and make them invulnerable in battle. Any a part of the animal, even a tiny quantity of its ashes, is sacred, and warriors will go into battle with a part of the armored shrew about their particular person.
  • There are two kinds of hair on the shrew’s again. Some hairs are sensory in perform, whereas others are used to mark territory and will be actively ejected. This scent marking is one thing the armored shrew does virtually repeatedly. If the animal is placed in a cage, it can frantically scent mark its new territory, which is completed by contorting its physique into uncommon positions. The scent is produced in giant portions, staining the fur yellow. It is believed that the odor produced by the glands alongside the fl anks of the shrew is repellent to others of its personal species, demarcating its residence territory the place trespassers are usually not welcome.
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