Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Sengis: Macroscelidea - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Checkered Sengi (rhynchocyon Cirnei): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, SENGIS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Sengis: Macroscelidea - Behavior And Reproduction

species meaning elephant females

Sengis are mainly diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day, but during hot weather, they can be nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. Several species are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during early morning and twilight. They have well developed senses of sight, hearing, and smell. Most species are territorial, meaning they are protective of an area they consider home and claim exclusively for themselves. Pairs of males and females usually have separate but overlapping and sometimes identical territories.

IDENTITY CRISIS

Sengis or elephant shrews have been one of the most often misclassified species of animals. Scientists who first classified the mammal in the mid 1800s placed it in the order Insectivora along with true shrews (family Soricidae). It got its name because its long down-turned nosed resembled an elephant's trunk and physically looked like a shrew. It was reclassified in the order Scandentia (tree shrews) and then reclassified again as an ungulate, a group of mammals with hooves that include horses and giraffes. Later, it was classified as a lagomorph, along with rabbits and hares. More recently, examination of the elephant shrew's molecular structure indicates it is a distinct order and the order Macroscelidea was established. Based on genetic evidence, the elephant shrew, now called the sengi, is related to the proposed superorder Afrotheria composed of six orders, whose members include elephants, manatees, and aardvarks.

Most species of sengis are believed to be monogamous (muh-NAH-guh-mus), meaning they have only one sexual partner during a breeding season or lifetime. Several species are solitary and males and females get together for only several days to mate. Females usually produce several litters a year, each with usually one or two babies, but more rarely with three or four. The gestation period, the time the female carries the young in her womb, is about sixty days.

Sengis: Macroscelidea - Checkered Sengi (rhynchocyon Cirnei): Species Account [next] [back] Sengis: Macroscelidea - Physical Characteristics

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