elephant shrew

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English[edit]

A black and rufous elephant shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi)

Noun[edit]

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elephant shrew (plural elephant shrews)

  1. Any of several small, insectivorous long-nosed mammals, of the order Macroscelidea, native to Africa.
    • 1997, M. G. L. Mills, Lex Hes, The Complete Book of Southern African Mammals, page 62,
      For many years elephant shrews, represented here by the rock elephant shrew, were placed wifhin the Order Insectivora. Today they are separated from that group by virtue of their long snouts, heibivotous dentition and different digestive tract.
    • 2007, Patricia A. Holroyd, Jason C. Mussell, 6: Macroscelidea and Tubulidentata, Kenneth D. Rose, J. David Archibald (editors), The Rise of Placental Mammals: Origins and Relationships of the Major Extant Clades, page 73,
      The recognition of elephant shrews as a distinct clade of eutherian mammals and the discovery of their earliest representatives has not simplified the problem of their higher-order affinities.
    • 2011, Louise H Emmons, Tupai: A Field Study of Bornean Treeshrews, page 221,
      Like treeshrews, elephant shrews are active for half of the twenty-four-hour day, implying that this type of general invertebrate gleaning requires long foraging times in both families. Certain elephant shrews are nearly entirely insectivorous (95-100%; Rathbun 1979), and they are cursorial, not scansorial, so they are in some ecological aspects quite unlike treeshrews.

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