Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Eastern Africa, where it is found from southern and eastern Ethiopia, Kenya, eastern Uganda, southern Sudan, north, central, and western Tanzania, through Somalia (Corbet and Hanks 1968).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Geographic Range

Elephantulus rufescens is restricted to Africa. They are most common in southern Africa, specifically in Nambia, the Cape province of South Africa, and extreme southern Botswana. They can also be found from southeastern Sudan and northeastern Somalia to central Tanzania (Nowak 1997). See map in media section for illustration.

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Although the common name of Elephantulus rufescens is 'elephant shrew', it is not a shrew nor is it related to elephants. It gets its name from its long mobile snout, which it can move around rather like an elephant’s trunk. It uses its snout to search for worms, ants, termites and other inverterbrates. Its legs are long and thin; its hindlimbs are longer than its forelimbs, allowing it to jump and hop. It has a long tail, and large eyes and ears. It also has long, soft fur; the upper parts are sandy brown, buffy gray or buffy orange and the underparts are white, or grayish (Corbet and Hanks 1968).

Range mass: 25 to 60 g.

Range length: 170 to 310 mm.

Average basal metabolic rate: 0.317 W.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Dry woodlands and steppe areas (Corbet and Hanks 1968; Kingdon 1974).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Elephantulus rufescens are found in a variety of habitats including open plains, arid lowlands, savannas, deserts, thornbush, and tropical forests. Most will take over old rodent burrows. The majority of Elephant shrews are forest dwellers that often live in burrows, ground depressions, rock crevices, termite mound crevices or under logs. Some elephant shrews construct nests on the forest floor, in which they sleep when not active. They also construct a network of paths to help them move around their territory. These trails are also used as escape routes from predators, such as snakes and small mammals (Smithers 1971).

Habitat Regions: terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

The diet consists mainly of termites and ants, but also includes shoots, berries and roots (Vaughan 2000). In captivity they accept various foods, including fruits and vegetables (Nowak 1997).

Animal Foods: insects

Plant Foods: wood, bark, or stems; fruit

Primary Diet: omnivore

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Elephantulus rufescens has a very limited role in the ecosystem. One reason for this is that it rarely ever creates new habitat due to the fact that it uses old, abondoned burrows and piles of leaves to build its nest.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Predation

Elephantulus rufescens have a keen sense of smell that helps them to sense food and danger. When pursued, they hide in any available shelter. They also make a series of escape routes radiating out from their nests to feeding areas so that they can quickly escape if being pursued by a predator. Few predators actually raid their nest sites perhaps because the young mature quickly and leave the nest (Smithers 1971).

Known Predators:

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Known predators

Elephantulus rufescens is prey of:
Strigiformes
Serpentes
Accipitridae
Falconiformes

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

There are different estimates of the life span of these animals. Animals living in the wild might reach an age of 1 to 1.5 years; those in captivity live about 3.5 years.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
1 to 1.5 years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
3 to 4 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
1 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
3 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
6.0 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
1.6 years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 7.9 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen lived for 7.9 years (Richard Weigl 2005).
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

The pair does not spend much time together. Females are usually dominant to males. Each individual defends the mating teritory sex-specifically; males ward off males and females ward off females. Boundary encounters are characterized by drumming of one or both hind feet, ritualized gestures, and high speed chases (Rathbun 1995).

Mating System: monogamous

Elephantulus rufescens form monogamous pairs when they mate and share a territory of about 0.34 ha. The pair makes trails through this area and mate at established points they mark. These markings are made by scent-marking, including rubbing a sternal gland on the substrate and probably by urination and defecation (Koontz and Roeper 1983). Females may have several liters annually; recorded interbirth intervals range from 56 to 145 days. There is no seasonal time for reproduction- mating takes place year round (Koontz and Roeper 1983).

Breeding season: No reproductive seasonality has been observed in the wild or in captivity (Koontz and Roeper 1983).

Range number of offspring: 1 to 2.

Range gestation period: 57 to 65 days.

Range weaning age: 18 to 36 days.

Average weaning age: 25 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 50 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 50 days.

Key Reproductive Features: year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); viviparous

Average birth mass: 10.6 g.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)

Sex: male:
50 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)

Sex: female:
50 days.

Elephantulus rufescens have a gestation period of about two months. The young are precocial, well developed at birth, covered with hair, and fairly large. . Their eyes are open at birth or soon thereafter and can walk almost immediately after they are born and thus, require minimal parental care. They are weaned by the time they are about 25 days old. At about 50 days they reach adult size, are sexually mature, and are driven from the parental territory.

Parental Investment: precocial ; male parental care ; female parental care

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Elephantulus rufescens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
FitzGibbon, C., Perrin, M. & Stuart, C. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group)

Reviewer/s
Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
The species is widespread and can be locally abundant. Although it tends to inhabit arid habitats, some of the denser woodland areas, especially when near sources of water for irrigation are significantly altered by agricultural activities of people. Overall, however, most of the habitats occupied by this species are probably not threatened by the activities of people because they are too arid. Livestock grazing may also have negative impacts on habitats used by this species, but it is not likely that these are widespread or serious at this time. Populations may vary through time, mostly because of natural variations in environmental conditions associated with arid habitats. The species is listed as Least Concern.

History
  • 2006
    Least Concern
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Least Concern
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

According to the "Red List of Threatened Animals" of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) in 1996 Elephantulus rufescens was classified as "vulnerable". The most important causes for decline of its populations are habitat loss and fragmentation by deforestation (Rathbun 1995).

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
Locally, numbers can be relatively large within the constraints of being monogamous (Rathbun 1979).

Population Trend
Stable
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
There are no known major threats.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species occurs in protected areas.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

These animals are not known to have a negative economic impact on humans.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

The East African long-eared elephant shrew (Elephantulus rufescens) carries a type of malaria that humans apparently cannot contract. Therefore, it has been used in malarial research and has contributed greatly to medical advancement in the curing and understanding of Malaria (Koontz and Roeper 1983).

Positive Impacts: research and education

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Rufous elephant shrew

The rufous elephant shrew or rufous sengi (Elephantulus rufescens) or East African long-eared elephant-shrew is a species of elephant shrew in the Macroscelididae family. It is found in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, but is most common in southern Africa, particularly Namibia and the Cape province of South Africa.[3] Its natural habitats are dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.[2]

Distribution[edit]

E. rufescens occupies the drywood land and grassland zone of East Africa and southern Africa.[4]

Characteristics[edit]

E. rufescens exhibited no secondary dimorphism. Its' probosis is long and flexible. The species' tails are dark-brown and can be long up to the its' head-to-tail length. Females E. refescens have three pair of teats and the males have internal testes. Both adults and juveniles E. rufescens are the same in color. However, adults E. rufescens have white feet while juveniles' feet are brown. [5]

Ecology, Diet, and Behavior[edit]

E. rufescens are active throughout the day. With peak in activity at dusk and dawn while having a midday rest. The males usually spend most of theirs time cleaning the foraging trails. Except for foraging, all activities are done in these trails. Trail acts as an important measure for escaping from predators. Insects form the major food resource of their diet in the dry season while seeds were consume during the period of rain.[6]
E. rufescens are found to be fair monogamous. However, members of a monogamous pair spend little time together and limited in social interaction. They live in a matriatric society in which the female, of the monogamous pair, usually dominate the male. [7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schlitter, D. A. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b FitzGibbon, C., Perrin, M. & Stuart, C. (2008). Elephantulus rufescens. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  3. ^ Rania Awaad. "Elephantulus rufescens East African long-eared elephant-shrew". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ B. R. NEAL. "http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2028.1984.tb00695.x/abstract". African Journal of Ecology. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ Fred W. Koontz and Nancy J. Koeper. "Elephantulus rufescens". The American Society of Mammalogists. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ B. R. NEAL. "http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2028.1984.tb00695.x/abstract". African Journal of Ecology. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ Lumpkin, Susan, and Fred W. Koontz. "Social and Sexual Behavior of the Rufous Elephant-Shrew (Elephantulus rufescens) in Captivity.". JSTOR. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!