The Washington Times-Herald

Community

September 18, 2013

The shrews are poking their long noses out

Sometimes it is hard to tell some of our small Indiana mammals apart. Mice, moles, voles and shrews are all very similar in appearance.

Recently I have received some calls about little mammals that the callers had found dead in their yard, apparently killed by their cats but not eaten. From the description given me it was apparent they were shrews, one of our state’s most interesting little animals.

Webster’s Dictionary says a shrew is a “scolding woman,” and to be shrewish is “having an irritable disposition” or being “ill-tempered.” Well in humans this may be true, but in nature, while a shrew does have some of these characteristics, it is also an often overlooked segment of our Hoosier natural heritage.

Shrews are soft-furred, small, mouse-like animals with long noses. This is one way to tell them from mice. The trick is to tell one species of shrew from the other five species native to Indiana. Worldwide there are 312 kinds of shrews.

In Indiana we have the masked, smoky, pigmy, southeastern and northern short-tailed and least shrews. All look alike to me and it takes an expert to really tell what shrew you have found.

Shrews live to eat. They have such a high metabolic rate that they have to eat almost all the time or they will die. It is rare for a shrew to live longer than a year. Their heart rate can be as high as 1,100 beats a minute and respirations reach 250 a minute. Think what it would be like if ours were this rapid.

Shrews can be high strung and rather ill-tempered. They are always looking for something to eat and if you get in their way a shrew can be quite aggravated. There are some recorded cases of a shrew becoming so upset that they died of an apparent heart attack. This should be a good lesson for high-strung humans.

Text Only
Community
  • Friday's Area Briefs WHS band boosters to meet MondayWashington High School band boosters will meet Monday at 7 p.m. in the Washington High School band room.Quartet to perform at Kingdom LifeThe Revival Road Quartet will be in concert at Kingdom Life Assembly of God Chur

    August 1, 2014

  • JeffGumbel Carnegie Library hosts English high tea The Carnegie Public Library held its traditional closing English high tea for the participants of the Adult Summer Reading program. This is the fifth year for the program. There were 86 registered for the program and 77 finished the requirements to r

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DCH Aux holds July meeting The Daviess Community Hospital Auxiliary board met July 14. The meeting was called to order by reciting the Auxilian prayer and the pledge of allegiance. The minutes were read by the secretary and the treasurer’s report was given.Forty-eight voluntee

    July 31, 2014

  • Thursday's Area Briefs Right to Life paper driveThe Daviess County Right To Life will hold its bimonthly newspaper/aluminum can drive Saturday at the Old K-Mart parking lot in Washington from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.Drives are held the first Saturday of every other month (February

    July 31, 2014

  • What in the world is a glacial Esker? In a past column I featured a Dedicated State Nature Preserve with a very unique name. This was the Coastal Plain Ponds Nature Preserve in Jasper County. Another area also has a distinctive name. This is the Glacial Esker Nature Preserve in Noble Cou

    July 29, 2014

  • Tuesday's Area Briefs CorrectionThis year will be the 129th, not the 159th, Old Settlers celebration, as was printed in the Old Settlers story in the Friday edition of the Times Herald. Also David Beasley did not serve as the Grand Marshall. We regret the confusion.Counci

    July 29, 2014

  • Spry Anni. Van and Joy Spry celebrate 50th anniversary

    The children and grandchildren of Van and Joy Spry will host an open house to celebrate the couple's 50th wedding anniversary from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Simon Graber Complex. All friends and family are invited. No gifts please, just the hono

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Daviess County Court News Infractions James D. Allen, Washington, disregarding stop sign, $119.50. Donald R. Anderson, Evansville, speeding, $119.50. Kristi J. Barley, Washington, speeding, $119.50. Kaylee R. Bath, Washington, failure of occupant to use safety belt, $25. Jami

    July 26, 2014

  • Bledsoe makes dean's list at Anderson Megan Bledsoe of Washington has been named to the dean's list at Anderson University for the spring semester of the 2013-14 academic year. To be named to the dean's list, a student must earn a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a scale

    July 26, 2014

  • Capture.JPG MAP: Local Yard Sales

    Here are the local yard sales for this weekend. To get your yard sale on a future map, call 812-254-0480, ext. 111.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo