MUSK-SHREW, a name for any species of the genus Crocidura of the family Soricidae (see INSECTIVORA). The term is generally used of the common grey musk-shrew (C. coerulea) of India. Dr Dobson believed this to be a semi-domesticated variety of the brown musk-shrew (C. murina), which he considered the original wild type. The head and body of a full-grown specimen measure about 6 in.; the tail is rather more than half that length; and bluish-grey is the usual colour of the fur, which is paler on the under surface. Dr Blanford states that the story of wine or beer becoming impregnated with a musky taint in consequence of this shrew passing over the bottles, is less credited in India than formerly owing to the discovery that liquors bottled in Europe and exported to India are not liable to be thus tainted.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)