In Journal of Mammalogy (Q1 in Zoology), Krzysztof Kowalski and Leszek Rychlik (Department of Systematic Zoology) published a paper on the role of venom in hunting larger prey and food hoarding by the Eurasian water shrew Neomys fodiens (Soricidae). Authors showed, among others, that N. fodiens required significantly less time than the common shrew Sorex araneus (used in control tests) to subdue prey of proportionally similar sizes and this difference grew with the increase in prey mass. Authors conclude, that (1) relatively weak venom of N. fodiens is helpful in overpowering mainly medium-sized prey and hoarding them in a comatose state; (2) in accordance with the optimal foraging theory, venomousness helps N. fodiens to optimize its foraging as it reduces prey handling time, enables it to gain larger energy portions, and facilitates food hoarding, which reduces foraging time.

Kowalski K. & RYCHLIK L. (2018): The role of venom in the hunting and hoarding of prey differing in body size by the Eurasian water shrew, Neomys fodiens. Journal of Mammalogy 99(2): 351–362.

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