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Newly Described Mammals Week: Gray-Faced Sengi (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis)

Posted on Feb 15, 2008 by in Other Orders, Theme Weeks | 2 comments

Rhynchocyon udzungwensis
Number 0124

In 2005, scientists studying giant elephant-shrews (another name for sengis) in Tanzania set a camera trap that caught (on film) a creature they weren’t expecting. Long-snouted and furry, it looked a lot like the black-and-rufous sengi, only bigger and with a gray face and a black behind. Sure enough, it turned out to be a brand-new species, first described in a scientific journal in 2006. It’s the first new sengi species to be found in the last 126 years.

The gray-faced sengi is the largest (known) sengi. It lives in a very small forested area of Tanzania’s mountains. Sengis were originally thought to be related to shrews, but now scientists seem to think they are actually related to elephants, aardvarks, and sea cows! Amazing! I think they’re beautiful and I love to draw their colors. I hope science finds many more of these guys in the next 14 years.

Conservation International: “Scientists Discover New Species of Giant Elephant-Shrew”
California Academy of Sciences: “A new species of giant sengi (genus Rhynchocyon)”


  1. I love it. What a great drawing.

  2. Thank you, Fishing Guy! I’m pretty pleased with this one, too. I’m using it as the desktop wallpaper for my computer at work. (I just realized what a mixed metaphor the concept of “desktop wallpaper” is.)

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