. Almost every year I find a dead wood shrew or house shrew. Usually they are undamaged and often they lay exposed in the middle of a bicycle or walking path. What’s up with that? Shrews are not mice at all. Mice are rodents and shrews are insectivores, just like hedgehogs and moles. But they don’t just eat insects, they actually eat any animal they can get their hands on, sometimes even mice and frogs bigger than themselves. Shrews are unbelievably tough supercritters. They are lightning fast and always hungry. Their metabolism is so fast that they have to eat every few hours or they will die instantly. Their brains and some organs shrink in winter to conserve energy, but it still remains a mystery to me how they survive the winter. Their bite is venomous and most predators except owls do not eat them because they are so unappetising. When the young are a bit bigger, one gently bites the base of mom’s tail and the rest does …
. Crayfish . One species of crayfish once occurred in the Netherlands. This has completely disappeared except for one isolated pond. We now have more than seven types of lobsters from abroad. Three types of them are doing well, we may already be talking about millions of copies. . Cute pets . My brother once brought marbled crayfish home from his son’s school aquarium. They had enough of those easy-to-keep critters anyway. I did not know the species and after investigation it turned out that no one knew the species; the animal was first discovered in an aquarium shop. Where he comes from is a mystery. The marbled crayfish is extra special, because he, or rather she, can reproduce without a man. So I was terrified that the marbled crayfish was going to be invasive here too. Fortunately it looked like a warm water species, but still; nature sometimes knows how to adapt surprisingly quickly. . Overland walkers . The red American crayfish (photo) can walk over land to colonize …
. New lapwing painting: ‘Butterfly flight’ . Click on the image for more information. .
. New painting of quarreling lapwings. Click on the image for the whole story. .
.. New painting of a hunting sea bass. Click on the image for the whole story. .
. So the first painting of 2021 is here; an alarming pair of avocets. Click on the image for the whole story. .
. . A new painting is finished; see here! . .