Checkered Elephant Shrew, Rhynchocyon cirnei

The checkered elephant shrew (Rhynchocyon cirnei) is a type of shrew that is native to Africa. Its range includes the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, and Uganda, among other areas. It prefers habitats within tropical or subtropical arid forests, lowland moist forests, montane forests, and dry shrub land.

The checkered elephant shrew will choose one mate and the pair will remain together for their entire lives, living within a territory of a few acres. They will consume mainly insects, including ants, centipedes, termites, and beetles. They have been known to eat mollusks, small mammals, amphibians, birds, and eggs as well. The checkered elephant shrew is in danger by habitat loss, and has been given a conservation status of “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List.

Image Caption: Rhynchocyon (Musée africain, Ile d’Aix). Credit: Ji-Elle/Wikipedia(CC BY-SA 3.0)