The taming of the shrew

Monday 19 July 2010, 13:37

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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Tony Llewellyn sent in an amazing photo of a shrew and caterpillar that I just had to share with you.

I've no idea how he managed to capture this shot but here it is, for you all to marvel over:

Shrews as you can see from this photo are tiny creatures, only around two to three inches long and weighing between 0.2 - 0.4 ounces. To put that into perspective - a small apple weighs around 3.7 ounces.

Shrews have a very fast metabolism and as a result need to consume a staggering 200-300% of their own body weight each day in order to survive, so dieting is not an option.

Hardly surprising then that they only live for around two years - the poor things must be completely burnt out by then.

A shrew can literally starve to death within a few hours if it doesn't find food, so this plump caterpillar would have provided some vital calories.

Shrews have very poor eyesight so rely on their long snout, acute sense of smell and excellent hearing to hunt down their prey.

Find out more about shrews on the BBC Wildlife Finder.


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