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Weird and Wacky Creatures: Africa

Hi guys! Today’s weird (and admittedly adorable) creature is the elephant shrew.

Elephant shrews are small mammals that hop around much like rabbits. They are quite common in most of Africa. Their long, peculiar noses is where they get the name “elephant” shrew.

Elephant Shrew

Elephant shrews are widely spread throughout Africa, some species even living in the Sahara. The four toed elephant shrew is the most common, though there are 19 species in total.

They prefer areas with close forest floors where they can find shelter, or the savannahs with large expanses of grass.

They claim their territory, and wander around it freely in pairs. If an unwanted visitor is found on their territory, they are often enraged, sparring and snapping until the offender leaves, fiercely protecting their young and their property.

Elephant shrews are insectivores, which means that they mainly eat bugs. They feed during the day, unlike many other small mammals, and munch on things like beetles, worms, and millipedes among other creatures. Their eating habits help control insect populations.

Like many other animals, habitat loss is one of their biggest threats. In recent years, their population has declined twenty to thirty percent, and they are generally considered endangered.

Funnily enough, elephant shrews are not actually shrews. They are more closely related to a group of mammals that includes elephants, manatees and aardvarks.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you think elephant shrews are cute, too? Let me know in the comments!

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