The prestigious Behavioral Ecology has just published an article (online for now) by Leszek Rychlik and colleagues from Portugal (University of Lisbon) on the differences in metabolism and behavior of greater white-toothed shrews (Crocidura russula) from urban and rural populations. Wild-trapped shrews were brought to lab where their RMR, boldness, and exploration rate were measured. The authors found that shrews from the city were bolder and more explorative than rural shrews but (contrary to expectations) they had a lower metabolic rate. Then they tested if metabolic rate and behavioral performance were positively associated in shrews from both sites, a strategy commonly observed in other species. Surprisingly, they found in both urban and rural shrew populations, that individuals with a higher metabolic rate were shier and less explorative. So, the shrews did not “follow” the performance energy management model.


The paper is available at: