Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Elephant Shrew

So, it's really easy to find creepy, strange organisms in the bathypelagic region of the ocean, and I feel like I've been cheating so far with this blogfest.

Today, I bring for your "aww"ing pleasure, the weirdly adorable elephant shrew.

Which is neither an elephant, nor a shrew. Silly English-speakers.

The elephant shrew is native to the southern region of Africa, and consists of many different species, none of which are very common to any particular area. Much like shrews, the elephant shrew is insectivorous, and much like elephants, they leave behind a wake of destruction wherever they go.

Well, a mini-wake. They are, in fact, more closely related to African elephants than they are to shrews.

Several species of elephant shrews will create paths and tunnels through the underbrush, and will spend the day trolling back and forth through these shrew-sized walkways, hunting for insects. When threatened, they will also use these routes as an obstacle-free escape route.

But don't underestimate the awesomeness of the plain old shrew just because they didn't make the cut yet; some of them are so venomous--yes, like a snake-- that a drop of their venom can kill up to 200 mice!

Photo courtesy of J. Makalintal


  1. Oh. My. That is the cutest little fella. I like your other posts. That coconut crab might give me nightmares.

    A-Z Fellow Challenger
    Holly Ruggiero’s POV

  2. Do you think an elephant would be scared of it, thinking it was a mouse? Tee-hee. Another gem Renee.

  3. Ahem. As the proud owner of two fuzzy rats, I do not condone the murder of rodents.