The tasting of the shrew

If you like shrews, especially if you like them parboiled, you’ll want to devour a study published not long ago in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Called Human Digestive Effects on a Micromammalian Skeleton, it explains how and why one of its authors – either Brian D Crandall or Peter W Stahl; we are not told which – ate and excreted a 90mm-long (excluding the tail, which added another 24mm) northern short-tailed shrew (species name: Blarina brevicauda)

This was, in technical terms, “a preliminary study of human digestive effects on a small insectivore skeleton”, with “a brief discussion of the results and their archaeological implications”….

So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

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