What are shrews?
- Shrews are small and mouse-like mammals, and they live in sub-leaf stratum in the forests.
- They are insectivorous mammals having a mobile snout that is covered with long sensitive whiskers and overhangs the lower lip.
- Their large incisor teeth are used like forceps to grab prey. Shrews have a foul odour caused by scent glands on the flanks (between the ribs and the hip) as well as other parts of the body.
- Narcondam Island is a 6.8 km² oceanic island of volcanic origin located about 240 km northeast of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, in the Bay of Bengal.
- Here we find endemic Narcondam Hornbill which is found only in Narcondam.
Why in the news?
- The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has discovered a new species of insectivorous mammal, a white-toothed shrew, from Narcondam Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- With this discovery the number of mammals found in the country have increased from 429 to 430. Total number of shrews in India has increased to 12.