Elephantulus edwardii (Cape rock elephant-shrew)

Kaapse klipklaasneus [Afrikaans]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Synapsida (mammal-like reptiles) > Therapsida > Theriodontia >  Cynodontia > Mammalia (mammals) > Placentalia (placental mammals) > Afrotheria > Macroscelidea (elephant-shrews) > Macroscelididae

Elephant shrews derive their name from the elongated, highly mobile trunk-like snout. The nostrils are at the tip. They have a very long, thinly tapering, pink tongue, that can curl around the top of the muzzle to clean the fur. They have large thin rounded ears, and a fairly long tail that is sparely haired with a tuft at the end. They have large eyes that are surrounded by a white eye ring. The hindlegs and feet are much larger than the forelimbs. They walk around normally on all fours when searching for food, but are capable of large kangaroo-like leaps when alarmed or rapid locomotion is required.

Elephant-shrews occur singly or in pairs and are usually active at night with reduced activity during the day.


The southwestern and central parts of the Western Cape.


Rocky habitats


Body Length 220- 288 mm; weight range 36 - 65 g



Life span



Insects and other invertebrates, with a preference for ants and termites.


Currently this species is not threatened, but there are threats from natural predators and loss of habitat.


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