Shrews’ Heads Shrink and Grow With a Seasons


(Credit: Javier Lazaro)

Creating shrunken heads—small, severed tellurian heads that are widely compared with Voodoo and genealogical rituals—is a hideous process, apparently most some-more than what’s shown in Beetlejuice. But leave it to a animal dominion to infer there’s a natural, reduction sinister approach to cringe a head.

Red-toothed shrews’ heads seasonally retreat sizes once they’re adults, something called a Dehnel phenomenon, that was initial detected in 1949. We now have some-more information on how most a shrew’s skull indeed changes interjection to a new research report published Monday at Current Biology. This report is a first to entirely request a changes by following particular shrews via anniversary changes.

Researchers found termagant skulls cringe adult to 20 percent from summer to winter, according to a study. Studying these alterations could assistance us know how some formidable degenerative processes could be reversed.


A organisation of scientists prisoner 12 shrews and ingrained them with a microchip after conducting X-rays of their skulls. They prisoner a same shrews, documenting anniversary changes in their bodies.

Between summer and winter, these small muzzle nosed mammals’ heads were shown to diminution as most as 20 percent. Once a wintry continue cleared, their heads grew by about 15 percent. And as creature’s control fluctuates, so goes a rest of a body: viscera remove mass, a spine gets shorter, and a mind gets smaller.

“The morphological changes that we request are partial of an unusual adaptive routine that enables people to morph from a incomparable summer phenotype to winter phenotype by shortening a distance of a body,” a investigate states.

Scientists indicate out a timorous a mind competence assistance a small mammals store adult adequate appetite to tarry winter, as they don’t hibernate or migrate.

We still don’t know accurately why or how shrews seasonally shrink. We also don’t know if these changes means any cognitive problems. Scientists plan to control serve investigate to answer to those questions.

Short URL:

Posted by on Oct 23 2017. Filed under Living World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by hitechnews