Elephant Shrew is the small insectivorous mammals which hold the native of Africa. These creatures belong to the Macroscelididae family, in the order Macroscelidea. Elephant Shrew is also called as jumping shrews or sengis. The long nose of the tiny creature resembles an elephants trunk and shrews. So it has got the name Elephant Shrew. These mammals widely live in the southern part of Africa, and it has the ability to live in any type of habitats like the Namib Desert, outcrops of South Africa and thick forest. The slim body, slender limbs, scaly tails, long snouts and long legs resemble rodents. The size & weight of these mammals may vary according to its species. Approximately the size of elephant shrew is 10 to 30 centimetres and the weight is around 50 to 500 grams. Some species of these animals will dig a hole in the soil to live but other related species use of natural crevices or make leaf nests.
Scientific name: Macroscelididae
Order: Macroscelidea; Butler, 1956
Family: Macroscelididae; Bonaparte, 1838
Weight: Rufous elephant shrew: 53 g
Species of Elephant Shrew
There are approximately 20 species of elephant shrew are comes under five different genera, two of them are monotypic.
- Short-snouted elephant shrew, E. brachyrhynchus
- Cape elephant shrew, E. edwardii
- Dusky-footed elephant shrew, E. fuscipes
- Dusky elephant shrew, E. fuscus
- Bushveld elephant shrew, E. intufi
- Eastern rock elephant shrew, E. myurus
- Karoo rock elephant shrew, E. pilicaudus
- Somali elephant shrew, E. revoili
- Rufous elephant shrew, E. rufescens
- Western rock elephant shrew, E. rupestris
- Namib round-eared sengi, M. flavicaudatus
- Etendeka round-eared sengi, M. micus
- Round-eared elephant shrew, M. proboscideus
- Four-toed elephant shrew, P. tetradactylus
- North African elephant shrew, P. rozeti
- Golden-rumped elephant shrew, R chrysopygus
- Checkered elephant shrew, R. cirnei
- Black and rufous elephant shrew, R. petersi
- Grey-faced sengi R. udzungwensis
Interesting facts about Elephant Shrew
- Elephant Shrew is one of the fastest running tiny mammals, it can run up to 28.8 km per hour.
- As it comes under insectivorous, these animals mainly eat insects, spiders, centipedes, millipedes and earthworms.
- The phylogenetic analysis has said that these creatures are not much related with trew shrews but they are much closely related to elephants than shrews.
- The colour of the creature may differ depends upon the species. Mostly, the animal was found in white, yellowish-brown, grey, brown or black in colours.
- It can jump nearly 3 feet high in the air. This is the reason for calling it as Jumping Shrew.
- Basically these animals are diurnal but in the hot weather, they may be nocturnal.
- To get the prey, it creates a series of tiny paths on the ground. It has a magnificent sense of hearing, eyesight and smell to detect both food and predators.
- The natural predators of these creatures are snakes, lizards and birds of prey.
- Elephant Shrew uses its scent glands under the tail to mark the area food and its territory.
- The mensuration cycle of these creatures is same as a human. It produces several litters per year.
- These animals hold birth for 45 to 60 days and it will give birth to 1 or 2 babies. The young elephant shrew will be in the nest for the first few days. On the fifth day it started to eat mashed insects. On 15th day it gets ready to search their food by its own. They start to reproduce at the age of 41 to 46 days.
- The average life span elephant shrew is 2 to 4 years.
Elephant Shrew Images
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