Scientists Rediscover Long-Lost Species of Mammal: Somali Sengi | Biology


A team of researchers from the United States and the Republic of Djibouti has rediscovered the elusive Somali sengi (‘Elephantulus’ revoilii) over 50 years after it was last recorded. While this species, also known as the Somali elephant-shrew, is historically documented as endemic to Somalia, the new records are from the neighboring Republic of Djibouti and thus expand the species’ known range in the Horn of Africa.

A Somali sengi (Galegeeska revoilii) at the Assamo locality in Djibouti. As is observed in other sengi species, Somali sengis have some variation in pelage colors. These differences seem to correspond to the color variation of substrates between occurrence localities. At the Assamo site, in the extreme southeastern corner of Djibouti, sengi habitats are comprised of rocks with more rusty coloration than elsewhere in the country. Compared to other Djiboutian sites, sengis from Assamo have dorsal pelage hairs with more pronounced reds. Image credit: Steven Heritage.

A Somali sengi (Galegeeska revoilii) at the Assamo locality in Djibouti. As is observed in other sengi species, Somali sengis have some variation in pelage colors….



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