Species in News: Somali Sengi-Elephant Shrew


  • A little-known mammal related to an elephant but as small as a mouse has been rediscovered in Africa after 50 years of obscurity.
  • The creature was found alive and well in Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa, during a scientific expedition.

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About Sengis

  • Elephant shrews, or sengis, are neither elephants nor shrews, but related to aardvarks, elephants and manatees.
  • They have distinctive trunk-like noses, which they use to feast on insects.
  • There are 20 species of sengis in the world, and the Somali sengi (Elephantulus revoilii) is one of the most mysterious, known to science only from 39 individuals collected decades ago and stored in museums.
  • The species was previously known only from Somalia, hence its name.
  • The Somali sengi is one of the 25 “most wanted lost species” of the charity, Global Wildlife Conservation.
  • IUCN-Data Deficient

About Horn of Africa

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