Tuesday, August 17, 2010

E is for Elephant Shrew

This is a Short-eared Elephant Shrew (Macroscelides proboscideus). They are not related to shrews, elephant shrews belong to a completely different order.

They all have those long noses that gave them their name, but other elephant shrews may look very differently when it comes to size and colour, the biggest can reach a height of 30 cms and weigh up to 500 gramms. These big elephant shrews are called Rüsselhündchen in German (trunk doggies) and the Golden-rumped Elephant Shrew is called Goldrücken-Rüsselhündchen (gold-backd trunk doggie). Which is one of my favourite German animal names ever.

Short-eared Elephant Shrews are about the size of a gerbil, with very soft fur and spindly legs and a nose that can smell around the corner. They eat all kinds of thing: plants, berries, insects.
Field studies suggest that they are monogamous, one of only very few animal species who are. The male will guard the female and chase away any other males.
Some stretching just after a huge yawn...look at those legs, its hard to believe that they can run so quickly on them. Some elephant shrew species have tracks in the underbrush that they use to get around and that are kept clean and free of any twigs or other obstacles.
The photos were taken in the Tierpark Berlin.
See what else E stands for over at ABC Wednesday


Sylvia K said...

What an interesting little guy! And, wow, what a nose!! I can see why he's called an Elephant Shrew! Fun post for the E Day! Have a great week!


Roger Owen Green said...

Now that's a nose! Good info!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

MorningAJ said...

How cute is that? What a lovely animal

Leo said...

lolz, the elephant shrew looks very sleepy.. :D

jokes apart, thank u for that very informative E post :) i'm liking this series a lot :)


Manang Kim said...

Ewww the nose is like Pinocchio ^_^
ABC Wednesday~E

Carver said...

What an interesting post and photographs for the letter E. I wasn't familiar with elephant shrews before I read this.

photowannabe said...

Well, I again learned something new today. What a fascinating little critter. Thanks for sharing.

Wanda said...

Wonder if he's begging his mom for a nose job.

Actually he rather cute.

Cheryl said...

What a fabulous choice for E. I love both the German and English versions of its name. Even though it appears to be a rodent, it's awfully darn cute.

Vernz said...

interesting.. another unique specie ... My ABC Wednesday here

Rinkly Rimes said...

Here in Oz we have a tiny kangaroo with vey much the same face!

jay said...

What a cute and interesting little guy! Such great photos, too - you surely must be one of very few of us who have pictures of this animal!

ABC Team

brenda w said...

These are the oddest little critters! I remember the first time I saw one dart across the trail. It's nose startled me, and I was certain it was an alien creature. Ha! My dad told me it was a shrew. Great pics&info. Thanks.

ChrisJ said...

I love these little creatures! How sweet and soft -- never mind the nose. And the German name -- wonderful!!

Edelweisspirat said...

It's sooooooo sweetie!