Ethiopian: Restricted to remaining pockets of suitable forest in coastal Kenya.
Golden-rumped elephant shrews, like all elephant shrews, have a long, flexible snout. They are distinguished from other elephant shrews by their golden rump patch and grizzled gold forehead. There is an area of thickened skin (a dermal shield) under the rump patch. This dermal shield is thicker in males than in females and is thought to provide protection from the biting attacks of hostile males. The feet, ears, and legs are black. The tail is black, execpt the distal 1/3 which is white with a black tip. The fur is fine, stiff and glossy; the ears are naked; the tail is sparsely furred. All elephant shrews are semi-digitigrade (i.e. they walk on their finger/toe-tips). Golden-rumped elephant shrews have sexually dimorphic canines (6.6mm in males; 4.6mm in females). It is thought that males use these canines in attacks on other males during territory defense. Measurements: Total Length: 526mm; Tail: 243mm; Hind Foot: 74mm; Ear: 34mm.
Insectivorous. The elephant shrew uses its long, flexible nose to overturn leaf-litter where it finds and eats a wide variety of invertebrates including earthworms, millipedes, insects and spiders.
Golden-Rumped Elephant Shrews breed throughout the year. Females give birth to a single young after a 42 day gestation period. Young remain in the nest for two weeks and emerge fully weaned. After emerging, the young follows its mother on her foraging runs but becomes completely independent after about 5 days. The young remains on its parents' home range until it defines its own range (5-20 weeks post emergence). Elephant shrews live an average of 4-5 years.
These elephant shrews live in stable, monogamous pairs that change only if one partner dies. Pairs establish neighboring home ranges of about 1.7 ha. Home ranges are defended on a sex-specific basis, i.e. females will chase off intruding females, males will chase off other males. If threatened, either by a predator or a congeneric intruder, elephant shrews will display tail-slapping behavior where they repeatedly slap the forest floor with their tail. If further disturbed, they will run while slapping the ground with their hind legs. These auditory cues may help to warn other elephant shrews of the presence of a predator. Elephant shrews are diurnal and sleep at night in nests on the forest floor. Nests are always constructed in the early morning by excavating a hollow in the soil, lining it with leaves and layering over the top with dry leaves. New nests are constructed every 1-3 days and take about 2 hours to build.
Lives in moist, dense, coastal scrub forest and in lowland semi-deciduous forest along coastal Kenya.
Biomes: tropical deciduous forest, tropical scrub forest
Family Elephantulus brachyrhynchus Family Elephantulus rufescens (East African Long-Eared Elephant Shrew) Family Rhynchocyon chrysopygus (Golden-Rumped Elephant Shrew)
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