Yup, order is in fact needed in the realm of animals for a new peculiar creature has recently been added to the growing list of animals. The mountains of Tanzania was the fitting venue for the discovery as scientists from California Academy of Sciences documented the existence of a previously unknown species of giant elephant shrew or sengi.
The newest member of Class Mammalia – Rhynochocyon udzungwensis – is the size of a cat and curiously looks like a cross between a small antelope and a small anteater. The animal has delicate thin legs and a flexible snout, thus the drawing the comparisons from the aforementioned larger animals. Unlike other small animals that commonly camouflage their way into the background, the elephant shrew are strikingly flashy with their fur. While most shrews would come in hues of grey and brown, the sengi seemingly breaks all conventions about blending in and keeping a low profile by showing a very rich shade of orange and amber.
The country of Tanzania has long been ground zero as far as the discovery of new species is concerned. New species of partridges, shrews and even primates have been documented in the Udzungwa Mountains making it the favored location for naturalists and zoologists for further enhancing the animal inventory.
Considering the wealth of information and unknown species that lie hidden in the untouched reaches of the jungles, it’s important that we all do our part to protect these areas. Once these areas open up, it’s possible that there will be little that we can find out from the yet-to-be-discovered species.