Although there is little information available on the biology of Whittaker’s shrew, it is likely to be similar to be other Crocidura species. Crocidura shrews typically give birth to litters containing between one and ten young, which weigh just one gram each at birth. The young are hairless for their first week of life, and do not open their eyes until 13 days old, but are weaned after about 20 days and are sexually mature after just two to three months (5). If shrew families have to move before the young are fully grown they do so by ‘caravanning’; the immature shrews form a line behind the mother, with each one holding onto the hind end of the one in front with its teeth. The grip between individuals in the chain is so strong that if the mother is lifted off the ground then all of the family are lifted up too (2) (5).
Possessing an extremely high metabolism, shrews have to feed every two to three hours to meet the demands of this high energy requirement, and often eat more than their body weight in food every day (6). The diet of Crocidura shrews typically consists of invertebrates, frogs, toads and lizards, and the bodies of recently killed animals (5). Another consequence of a shrew’s high metabolism and resultant active lifestyle is a rather short life span (2); shrews rarely live longer than a year, making them the shortest lived mammals in the world (6).