Elephant Shrew, a tiny creature that hunts ants with its nose, was found in an area in the neighborhood of Somalia after 50 years of uncertainty.
With climate change and pollution taking over the way we live, more and more species are going extinct. Hence, whenever the news of a specie thriving or coming out of the ‘endangered’ category reaches us, it brings nothing but immense happiness. One such creature that was recently rediscovered is the Elephant Shrew, also called the Somali Sengi.
Back in the 1960s, it seemed that scientists had learned a lot about the Somali sengi.
These tiny creatures’ mate for life, can run at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour and are known to catch ants with its nose. Since their habits are similar to aardvarks and elephants, they are called the Elephant Shrew.
Unfortunately, the scientists were not able to figure out was where exactly the sengis had gone after 1968. However, only recently, a research team set out for the Horn of Africa in 2019 after receiving reports of sightings of the long-lost creature.
According to BBC, the problem was that all of the 39 Elephant Shrew specimens now in museums were located in Somalia. But while that nation doesn’t appear to have any, the same wasn’t true in neighboring Djibouti.
The sengi was never lost in the country. Even an ecologist who joined this expedition named Houssein Rayaleh believed he had seen one before. Of course, there’s a difference been possibly sighting an elephant shrew and actually catching one.
Hence, the scientists went on an expedition and set over 1,000 traps in 12 spots across the nation’s rocky wilderness and used a mixture of peanut butter, yeast, and oatmeal as bait. Soon they caught one of the tiny creatures in the very first trap they set.
In total, they caught 12 sengis, which gave them the opportunity for the world’s first photos and footage of live specimens.
After some DNA analysis, these elephant shrews were also found to be related to other sengi species found in Morocco and South Africa.
The research team’s findings suggest that the specie is thriving which is an amazing news.
Article Source: Diply