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article imageNew species of shrew discovered

By Tim Sandle     Jul 27, 2013 in Environment
A new species of shrew, dubbed Thor’s hero shrew, has been discovered. The shrew has an unusually thick spine with interlocking vertebrae.
Rainer Hutterer of the Alexander Koenig Zoological Research Museum in Bonn, Germany, and colleagues discovered the new species of shrew in the Republic of Congo. The shrew is a sister species the large, woolly hero shrew (Scutisorex somereni). The 'original' large, woolly hero shrew (Scutisorex somereni) was discovered more than a century ago in equatorial Africa.
The new shrew, according to Nature, has been described as Thor’s hero shrew (Scutisorex thori). The shrew, according to Wired, has been name after the Norse god Thor because its spine stronger than that of any other vertebrate relative to its body mass. The reason that biologists think that it is a new species is because its flattened ribs and fewer lower vertebrae a remarkably different compared to the original hero shrew.
The new species has been proposed in the journal Biology Letters. The article is titled "A new hero emerges: another exceptional mammalian spine and its potential adaptive significance."
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