Elephant shrews

Elephant shrews

Order : Macroscelidea
Family : Macroscelididae
Genus : Elephantulus

 

Facts about the genus Elephantulus, the elephant shrews

Some scientists think elephant shrews are related to, well, elephants!

Elephant shrews are endemic to Africa.

Elephant shrews are found in many habitats, from deserts and dry regions to grasslands and tropical forests.

Elephant shrews are terrestrial and are active during the day.

Elephant-shrews inhabit various areas: Elephantulus is living in savannas, Rhynchocyon in mountain and lowland forests with dense underbush and Pedrodomus in thickets and undergrowth of forests in central Africa and at the east coast.

Four types of giant elephant shrews are found in East Africa and are mainly distinguished by their distinct color patterns; some have contrasting patches of color and others have bold white spots and black stripes.

In some (constituting the genus Rhyncocyon) the muzzle is so much prolonged as to resemble a proboscis, whence the name elephant-shrews is sometimes applied to the members of the family.

One species of Elephantulus is found only along the northwestern edge of the continent, separated from all other sengis by the Sahara.

Taxonomy The 15 living species of elephant-shrews are well-defined, and their taxonomy is considered nearly definitive (Corbet and Hanks 1968, Nicoll and Rathbun 1990).

The pregnancy period of elephant shrews is: smaller shrews, 1 12 months and larger shrews, 2 months.

We present here a molecular phylogeny for members of the endemic African mammalian order Macroscelidea (elephant shrews) with molecular-clock calculations; this molecular phylogeny provides convincing evidence that the genus Elephantulus is diphyletic.

The small insectivorous mammals native to Africa known as elephant shrews are neither elephants nor shrews and, more formally, are the members of the biological order Macroscelidea. (Wiki)

In some (constituting the genus Rhyncocyon) the muzzle is so much prolonged as to resemble a See also:PROBOSCISproboscis, whence, the name See also:ELEPHANTelephant-shrews is sometimes applied to the members of the family. (Full text)

This also indicates that the classification of elephant-shrews is not really clarified yet. (Full text)

Another striking feature of short-eared elephant-shrews is their long mobile snout (the "elephant trunk"). (Full text)

Short-eared elephant-shrews are small shrew-like looking animals, which belong to an own order of mammals (Macroscelidea). (Full text)

The majority of Elephant shrews are forest dwellers that often live in burrows, ground depressions, rock crevices, termite mound crevices or under logs. (Full text)

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