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Some old inquiries:

Inquiry by Jukka Savolainen, April 1997
Diaphragm anatomy in shrews: Whereas in mammals the diaphragm is described to be a dome like muscle with central tendon, this tendon is totally absent in those species which I have studied (Sorex araneus, S. minutus, Neomys fodiens, Crocidura russula).
I have not seen this in other mammals and could not find any literature with a comparative approach to diaphragm anatomy. Also I have not found muscle weights of diaphragm for different species. Do you happen to have knowledge on this issue?

Inquiry by Jack Mitenbuler, Feb. 1997
Venom in shrews: I am particularly interested in the short-tailed shrew as Mr. Nelson described it, "This large and fairly common shrew is unusual because its saliva is toxic, allowing them to kill prey that is larger than themselves. They have been known to kill garter snakes and even young rabbits in the summer. .." (Boundary Water's Journal: Pukak: Life Under The Snow, by Jon Nelson) "...I am interested in potential human allergies or dangerous reactions as I frequently travel in the wilderness where this shrew lives. I am wondering if there would be potential for anaphylactic shock or what the first aid might be. I am also interested in potential medical uses such as anaesthetics. I would be interested in any direction that you could provide.

Inquiry by Wayne Van Devender, Feb. 1997
Is there anyone interested in swapping shrew skulls? I have Blarina and Sorex fumeus specimens.
I have kept numerous individuals of Blarina and have found them to be odoriferous, but fairly quiet. Last year I kept one that was positively noisy. It screamed when the cage was disturbed - even to add food and water. I have heard about them being "noisy mice" on a number of occasions, but had never really experienced it.

Inquiry by Sylvia Donato, Feb. 1997
Is it possible that large numbers of shrews (Sorex cinereus, and a few Blarina brevicauda) one year could result in low numbers of Microtines the following year? My trapping methods are as follows: Each trap station contains three snap traps and one pitfall trap (to target shrews). When I consider numbers of trapnights, do I include the pitfall traps in the count?

Inquiry by Hirofumi Hirakawa & W. Haberl, Feb. 1997
The behaviour of licking the everted rectum in shrews has hitherto been referred to as "coprophagy" or "refection". To avoid confusion with "true" faeces-eating, we propose to persistently use the descriptive term "rectum-licking" when referring to this phenomenon. The behaviour is characterized by the animal everting the rectum by a series of abdominal contractions and licking it in a curled-up posture, apparently ingesting a yet undetermined substance often described as a "milky white fluid".
This strange behaviour has hitherto been observed in 6 genera of shrews: Crocidura, Myosorex, Neomys, Notiosorex, Sorex, and Suncus.
Has anybody observed this behaviour in other genera (e.g. Blarina or Cryptotis) or in other insectivore groups?
Please answer to or (subject: shrew coprophagy)

What is a shrew in your language (singular /plural)?
Please answer to (subject: language)
Inquiry by Sue Ruff and Don E. Wilson
(Biodiversity Programs at the Smithsonian Instiutution)
October 1996
Photos of North American Soricidae for "The Complete Book of North American Mammals"
Please answer to (subject: shrew slides)

Inquiry by Gregory E. Gurri Glass
(Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 21205 USA)
November 1996
I am studying various viral and bacterial infections of small mammals and am trying to locate someone who has any blood, serum or plasma samples that they would be willing to use in a collaborative study. I need approximately 50 microliters to testper specimen. If you know of anyone please have them contact me at GURRIGLASS@MSN.COM or fax me at (410)955-0105 in the U.S.A. I would be happy to work out details with them.

Inquiry by Jason Sutter
November 1996

Information on montane shrews:
I am interested in knowing if the montane shrew (Sorex monticolus) has ever been recorded for Owyhee county, southwestern Idaho. We recently trapped two specimens in a shrubsteppe community in the Owyhee desert at 5880 feet. I also am interested in any information on published studies of habitat association of the montane shrew. I am seeking this information as it has been suggested to me that the shrews occurrence in our study area, although not entirely unexpected, is unusual.
Thank you Jason Sutter

Inquiry by Kartik Shanker
November 1996

I have been working on small mammal communities in tropical forests in south India for the past three years. My work has been in the high altitude forest grassland systems that are a feature of this system. We have looked at population dynamics, community structure, habitat use, competition and molecular genetics.
Iwould like to get in touch with others who are working in the same or similar fields. Are there any related web sites ? Since small mammals in tropical systems is a relatively unworked area of research, I would particularly like to discuss it with others who are doing the same thing.
Inquiry by Chuck Bellamy
"GB:'X0B$4fAB92GB5" <76711.1261@COMPUSERVE.COM>
November 1996

The Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, South Africa and the Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria have begun an intiative to account for the faunal biodiversity of southern Africa. We need to have our first list of taxa reviewed by as many interested animal systematists with expertise in southern African taxa as possible.
Please visit our list at the following URL:
Chuck Bellamy Coleoptera Dept. Transvaal Museum Pretoria 0001 RSA
phone: 27 12 322 7632 fax: 27 12 322 7939 email: WWW:

This web site was created by
Dr. Werner Haberl. Address: Hamburgerstrasse 11, A-1050 Vienna, Austria.