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A grey-faced sengi (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis)
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From Swahili sengi. First used in print in English by Jonathan Kingdon in 1997.[1]


sengi ‎(plural sengis)

  1. An elephant shrew.
    • 2007, George A. Feldhamer, Lee C. Drickamer, Stephen H. Vessey, Joseph F. Merritt, Carey Krajewski, Mammalogy: Adaptation, Diversity, Ecology, 3rd Edition, page 251,
      Sengis feed on insects and other animal and plant material. [] Young sengis are highly precocial at birth—they will forage 1 day after birth (figure 12.14).
    • 2007, Marian Armstrong, Wildlife and Plants, Volume 9, page 540,
      The order formerly known as Insectivora included solenodons; shrews; moles and desmans; hedgehogs and moonrats or gymnures; golden moles, tenrecs, and otter shrews; and sengis or elephant shrews.
    • 2010, Joseph F. Merritt, The Biology of Small Mammals, page 237,
      Like small African antelopes, sengis spend their life exposed to the elements while relying on disruptive coloration to act as camouflage from the plethora of African predators.
  2. A former (1967-1993) monetary unit of Zaire, 1/100 of a likuta.


  1. ^ Rathbun, G. B. and Kingdon, J. 2006. The etymology of 'sengi'. Afrotherian Conservation — Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group 4:14-15