Elephant shrew on a sandy rock

Elephant shrews

You may be mistaken for thinking that elephant shrews belong to the shrew family - they don't. Unbelievably, these small furry insect-eating animals, also known as sengis, are more closely related to elephants! Their long, flexible snouts can twist and turn in search of food just like an elephant's trunk. The 17 species of elephant shrew are found all across the southern half of Africa, but aren't common in any one place. Find out more about some of the different species of elephant shrew below, including the newly discovered grey-faced sengi in nose-twisting action.

Scientific name: Macroscelididae

Rank: Family

Common names:

  • Jumping shrews,
  • Sengis


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Macroscelidea
  6. Elephant shrews

BBC News about Elephant shrews

  • Camera spots 'new' elephant shrew A mystery animal with a long snout is discovered in a remote African forest, and scientists say it may be a new species of elephant shrew.