Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi)
aka Black and Rufous Sengi
Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews are 20" (52cm) long, including the tail, which makes up half the body length. Rufous coloured on its front half, the rear is pure black. Oval shaped, rufous ears and black eyes, surrounded by a cream eye-ring.
The trunk-like nose is diagnostic of the Elephant Shrew family. These small mammals are in the Order of Macroscelidea, a word taken from the ancient Greek, meaning 'large thighs'. Again, diagnostic of Elephant Shrews or Sengis.
Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews are found in the south-east of Kenya, in particular, at Shimba Hills and other coastal regions, up to 2,300 metres. Seen in semi-deciduous woodlands, forests and scrubland, where there are dense trees or bushes, with leaf litter in which to forage.
Most Elephant Shrew species build nests and after a gestation period of approximately 6 weeks, drop two youngsters. Only the female tends to the young. Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews live for up to 4 years in the wild.
Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews main predators are snakes and birds of prey.
Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews are believed to mate for life and are territorial, although they are rarely seen together. Elephant Shrews have a territorial range of over a hectare, but pairs spend little time together, other than mating times.
Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews eat invertebrates, gathered from the forest floor, amongst leaf litter. Their most common food are Beetles and Ants. They will also supplement their diet with seeds and fruit. Elephant Shrews generally have an acute sense of smell and their long, trunk-like noses twitch continuously.
Other Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew Facts
Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews are extremely fast on their feet. They are also extremely shy. They use tracks in their territory, to run to any one of up to 10 nests, to hide. Each track having been 'marked' previously using scent glands.
Elephant Shrews are not Shrews. In fact, they are more closely related to Elephants, than Shrews.
Keywords:animal, black and rufous elephant shrew, black and rufous sengi, elephant shrew, elephant shrew facts, kenya, sengi, wildlife