Micro-CT Scans Give Clues About How Hero Shrews' Bizarre Backbones Evolved

May 11, 2020 | Biology

First released on Phys.Org, Lab.Equipment brings you this article to cover your everyday Biology industry news fix:

At first glance, hero shrews don't seem super exciting—they're small grayish-brown mammals, related to moles and hedgehogs, and they look a little bit like chubby, long-nosed rats. But under their fur, they have some of the strangest skeletons in the animal kingdom. Hero shrews have unique interlocking backbones that make their spines insanely strong—the shrews only weigh a quarter of a pound, but there are stories that their backs can support the weight of a full-grown man standing on them. Scientists aren't sure why these tiny animals developed such crazy backbones, but researchers looking for clues took CT scans of shrew spines to try to get a better sense of how the spines evolved.... More of this in the Phys.Org Blog.

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