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Haberl, W. (1996): Fostering in European Common Shrews, Sorex araneus (Soricidae, Insectivora). Acta Theriologica 41(4): 433-438.

The successful rearing of young Sorex araneus Linnaeus, 1758 by conspecific foster mothers is reported. Nursing shrews showed no aversion towards the presence of strange young in the nest, irrespective of age and size differences, as well as non-familiar odours of these young. Two adults put in the same container with their young showed no signs of aggression, even after successive removal of the young. The observed phenomena suggest that either olfactory cues are not effective at this stage of development or that maternal instinct inhibits the contradictory information of these cues.

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Dr. Werner Haberl. Address: Hamburgerstrasse 11, A-1050 Vienna, Austria.