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"SHREW TALK" - Vol. 1, No. 04 - 20June 1997

SHREW TALK - 20 June 1997 - Vol. 1, No. 4
Number of Recipients: > 174
Contents of this Issue
o Editorial
o Research 1. Diaphragm anatomy in shrews
2. Venom in shrews
3. Skulls and 'noisy mice'
4. Blood samples
o Shrew-mateur 1. Re: shrews vs. moles
o Whats New on the Shrew (ist's) Site?
o Shrew Talk Instructions
Dear Shrew-Fessionals and Shrew-Mateurs,
Due to the circumstance that the inquiry section on The Shrew Site has been replaced by the newsletter, this and the next issue of SHREW TALK will be a summary of old inquiries. This is done because many of you do not have access to the WWW and are restricted to e-mail information, which is especially the case in the 'eastern part' of Europe.
You might have noticed that the newsletter sections "Research" and "Shrew-Mateur" differ in tone. I hope that none of us will put down any descriptions or questions that 'appear' do be 'not scientific enough'. After all it is up to yourself to reply to inquiries or not.
Your's shrewly, Werner
Inquiry by Jukka Savolainen,
April 1997
Diaphragm anatomy in shrews: Whereas in mammals the diaphragm is described to be a dome-like muscle with a 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 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 test per 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.
From: audiojon@bellatlantic.net
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 16:57:23 -0700
Subject: Re: shrews vs. moles
I do appreciate your response! I do have moles, they've been in my yard YEARS before I was ever thought of (I have my grandparents home, built in 1932), and couldn't figure just WHY the 'mole' had come so close to me above ground. I was pulling weeds & he (or she-I'm not politically correct, please excuse me) was scampering on the ground at about an arms length away, as if it didn't know I was there! I have quite a lot of 'wildlife' in my yard even tho' I'm two blocks from N.E. Wash. D.C. and do get to notice quite a bit of activity. I think this must be 'hereditary" (smile), my grandfather worked at the Smithsonian and went out the field to collect info, mainly on birds. Again, I do thank you for your time and if I come across anything 'spectacular', I'll certainly let you know!
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Dr. Werner Haberl Editor, SHREW TALK (http://members.vienna.at/shrew/shrewtalk.html) Hamburgerstr. 11, A-1050 Vienna, Austria
Email: shrewbib@sorex.vienna.at URL: http://members.vienna.at/shrew (The Shrew (ist's) Site)
The Shrew Bibliography (> 6000 references) (available on CD ROM) ==================================================================

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