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Short-Eared Elephant Shrew

Short-Eared Elephant Shrew Video

Short-Eared Elephant Shrew
Short-Eared Elephant Shrew
at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, Milnthorpe,
Cumbria, UK. © theanimalfiles.com

Short-Eared Elephant Shrew

Short-Eared Elephant Shrew Range Map (South Africa)
Short-Eared Elephant Shrew Range Map
(South Africa)
Latin Name Macroscelides proboscideus
Conservation Status Least Concern
Location Southern Africa
Colour Brown
Length 10 - 12 cms (3.9 - 4.7 inches)
Tail 12 - 13 cms (4.7 - 5.1 inches)
Weight 40 - 50 g (1.4 - 1.8 oz)
Life Expectancy

1 - 1.5 Yrs (wild)
Up to 3.25 Yrs (In captivity)

Main Characteristics

Short-Eared Elephant Shrews are between 10 and 12 cms (3.9 - 4.7 inches) in length, they have a tail length between 12 and 13 cms (4.7 - 5.1 inches), and they weigh between 40 and 50 g (1.4 - 1.8 oz).

They have soft fur which is brown/grey in colour and they have small rounded ears. They lack a white ring around their eye which is typical of elephant shrews. They have a long, pointed snout which is flexible and very sensitive, thus giving them their name.

Their hind legs are long and powerful so they are able to run swiftly around and they are mainly active during the day. They have a good sense of hearing and vision.


Short-Eared Elephant Shrews are found in grasslands, stony grounds, semi-arid areas and forest undergrowth in southern Africa.

They are solitary and they have an undefended home range of up to 1 Sq Km (0.62 Sq Miles). Within their home range they have hunting areas and hiding places, which are mainly under stones, bushes, or roots and they are able to very quickly dig themselves underground if they feel threatened.

Their hunting areas and hiding places are connected by a network of trails which they keep clean of debris, to enable swift movement between areas.


Short-Eared Elephant Shrews are omnivores and they mainly feed upon invertebrates, shoots, roots and fruit.


Short-Eared Elephant Shrews breed during August and September and a female may have more than one pregnancy in a breeding season. After a gestation period of approximately 56 days, 1 - 2 young are born.

The young are quite large at birth and they have fur and their eyes open when they are born. Within a few hours of being born they are able to run around and their mother does not guard them, she spends most of her time away from her litter, only returning to feed them once a day.

The young are weaned when they are between 16 and 25 days old and they reach sexual maturity when they are approximately 43 days old.


Predators of Short-Eared Elephant Shrews include birds of prey.


Subspecies of the Short-Eared Elephant Shrew are:

Macroscelides proboscideus flavicaudatus
Macroscelides proboscideus proboscideus

Interesting Facts

Short-Eared Elephant Shrews are also known as:
Round-Eared Elephant Shrew
Round-Eared Sengi
Short-Eared Elephant Sengi
Jumping Shrew

Elephant Shrews are only found in Africa.

They can run at speeds of up to 20 Km/Hr (12 mph).

Similar Animals

Rufous Elephant Shrew
Golden-Rumped Elephant Shrew
Four-Toed Elephant Shrew
Black & Rufous Elephant Shrew


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