Short-eared elephant-shrew - A "living fossil" from the Namib-desert

elephant shrew Somehow the small short-eared elephant-shrews (Macroscelides proboscideus) remind us of shrews, as indicated by their English name. So for a long time zoologists put them - together with the shrews - into the group of the insectivores. But nowadays it is known that elephant shrews form a very old order of mammals themselves. The Short-eared elephant shrew is one of 15 species of this order. Already 30 million years ago there have been mammals living in Africa, which were very similar to the elephant-shrews living nowadays. Species surviving such long periods without remarkable changes are known as "living fossils".

The Round-eared elephant shrew, round-eared sengi, short-eared elephant shrew is listed as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Some facts about the
Short-eared elephant shrew

Adult weight : 0.04 kg (0.088 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 9 years

Female maturity :44 days

Gestation : 65 days

Weaning : 19 days

Litter size : 2

Weight at birth : 0.007 kg (0.0154 lbs)

Body mass : 0.039 kg (0.0858 lbs)

Temperature : 35.85 °C (96.53 °F)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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