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Round-Eared Elephant Shrew

wildlife of Namibia

Introduction: Unlike the Bushveld elephant shrew, the round-eared elephant shrew (Macroscelides proboscideus) can survive in areas with a mean average rainfall of less than 250mm. They are found in desert and semi-desert regions, usually in rocky areas with low bushes and open thorn bush on gravel or sandy plains.

The round-eared elephant shrew store their food in their cheek pouches and head for cover to eat. The cheeks are an identification feature not found in other elephant shrews, but they do not have the characteristic eye rings of their counterparts. Their ears are very broad and round as well as being hairy on the inside. They do not need to drink, as they find sufficient moisture in their food intake. Foot-drumming is a common form of communication.

Distribution: Western and southern regions of Namibia in particular the Namib Desert.

Diet: Ants, termites and spiders. Fruit, soft shoots and green plant matter.

Colouring: Variable, but predominately brown fur.

Breeding: The round-eared elephant shrew breed from September to February with 1 or 2 young born after a gestation period of 8 weeks. Young are independent of the female from 3 to 4 weeks, when they become independent and seek their own territories.

Size: Total length of 230mm. Weight: 40g.

Wildlife Namibia

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Fly Drive Safari | Namibia