Round-eared elephant shrew

Macroscelides proboscideus

A Round-eared elephant shrew eats various obs from its bowl at Hellabrunn Zoo. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Elephant shrews (Macrosalididae)
  • Weight
    35 – 50 g
  • Habitat
    Deserts and semi-deserts

Extraordinary nose

Elephant shrews derive their name from their distinctive long, trunk-like snout, which they can twist and turn insearch of food. They typically eat insects, roots and berries.

The black and white drawing of a Round-eared elephant shrew head.

The great escape

Round-eared elephant shrews are native to the thornbush steppes and stone deserts of southwestern Africa. They live in self-dug burrows, which have emergency exits to quickly escape when danger is imminent. In this labyrinth, knowing their way around gives them the advantage over their predators.

Genetic testing has confirmed that despite its size the round-eared elephant shrew is more closely related to elephants than shrews.