Listen to Article
This new specimen was first spotted by a member of the Zoological Society of London. Unable to identify it, she prompted the society and the Kenya Wildlife Service to set up cameras in the vicinity, in the hope that it would appear again.
Besides catching this one on camera, the scientists have also managed to procure three dead specimens of the new species. While DNA tests are still being conducted, Dr. Raj Amin, who is leading the research team, is quite convinced that this is a new species, based on its color and size, which is much bigger than the ones found so far.
Elephant Shrews are tiny insectivore mammals that range from about 10cm to 30cm in length, and weigh anywhere from 50g to 500gms. The diurnal animals are not very social and difficult to find, because they are very active and also good at camouflage. Thanks to their constant activity, they need a lot of food and spend most of their day devouring invertebrates like ants, spiders, millipedes and worms. So far, scientists have been able to identify 17 different species of this ancient mammal that is believed to have been around for millions of years - This new gentle giant may just be the 18th!
Sources: www.wikipedia.org,care2.com, guardian.co.uk,awf.org