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Eastern rock elephant-shrew

Eastern rock elephant-shrew
Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-04
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Karatash's other favorite -I- [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-08-21 13:02
Viewed: 10042
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Eastern rock elephant-shrew Elephantulus myurus

To the best of my knowledge, this is the Eastern rock elephant-shrew, but I stand to be corrected. I took this near Thabazimbi on the top of a high mountain.

Geographic Range

Elephantulus myurus is primarily distributed across the Southern African Subregion with its northern limits in Mozambique and southern limits in Orange Free State. They occur in southern Zimbabwe, western Mozambique, eastern Botswana and throughout the Transvaal (Skinner & Smithers 1990, Elephant-Shrew Website 2001).


The Rock Elephant Shrew lives primarily in the rocky outcroppings of boulders (koppies) in hilly terrain. Rock Elephant shrews only inhabit formations with plenty of cracks and crevices as they do not nest or burrow. Typically they inhabit areas within or near the boulders that provide adequate cover from predators with either vegetation or overhanging ledges. Another elephant shrew, Elephantulus brachyrhyncus is found in the same region but only among the neighboring sandy flat ground; their habitats rarely overlap (Skinner & Smithers 1990). The climate of the habitat of the rock elephant shrew is semi-arid 8 months of the year (35-40įC in hot summer months) and subzero in winter (Perrin 1995). (Perrin, 1995; Skinner and Smithers, 1990)

Breeding season July - January
Number of offspring 1 to 3; avg. 2
Gestation period 49 to 56 days; avg. 52.50 days
Age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female) 5 to 6 weeks; avg. 5.50 weeks
Age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male) 5 to 6 weeks; avg. 5.50 weeks

The mating system of the rock elephant shrew is thought to be monogamous as with other species within Elephantulus. The relatively small size of the male testis suggests limited sperm competition, and this morphology follows patterns of monogamy in other species (or alternatively, a single male breeding with all females in the group). (Woodall and Skinner, 1989)

The lifespan of the Rock Elephant Shrew is not generally well known though the general lifespan of some Elephantulus species is thought to be near 4 to 6 years in the wild and 1.5 to 3 years in captivity (Rathbun & Fons 1990).

The Rock Elephant Shrew is primarily diurnal with a good deal of activity at sunrise and sunset. Studies have shown that this species is also partially nocturnal though most of the activity occurs during the day, perhaps because the rocky outcroppings of the habitat provide adequate cover against predators. Typically the Rock Shrew avoids activity during the afternoon, the hottest time in the animalís semi-arid habitat.

Food Habits
As with all living Macroscelidea, the rock elephant shrew is primarily an insectivore though it may also feed on some plant material (Skinner & Smithers 1990).

Source: eastern rock elephant-shrew


† † † † † † ††††Camera: Canon 20D
†††† † †† †Camera mode: Av
†††† † † † Time of day: 16H07
††††††††† † † † † Date: 4 August 2007
††††††††† † † † † Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS USM
† † † † † Focal Length: 400mm
†† † † † Shutter Speed: 1/1250 sec
††††††† † † † † F-Stop: F/5.6
†††††† † † † † Support: Hand Held
†††††††††† † † † † ISO: 200
††††Original file type: Raw (CR2)

Proframe, mirceax, herptwerp, rousettus, petrudamsa, anel, SelenE, martic, uleko, Debz, NellyD, vanderschelden, valy67, cicindela, Maite has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To vanderschelden: Nose for everythingjanhendrik 1 08-22 10:15
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2007-08-21 13:29]

Hi Jan
fantastic picture of a strange but cute animal
perfect compo and sharpness, great colours and lovely catchlight.

hi jan,
excellent and beautiful capture of this cute and interesting little fellow.
perfect sharpness and absolute natural colours.
the composition is great and very well framed, with lovely soft BG.
TFS - carole

Hello Jan Hendrik,
This surely looks like a lovely Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew or Eastern Rock Sengi (Elephantulus myurus).
Beautiful shot with great sharpness and exposure.
You've nailed it wonderfully on top of that rock.
Excellent composition and beautiful details in the fur, light in the eye and patterns at the rock.
Thanks for sharing and the great note.
Best wishes,

Hi Jan,
Super capture with excelents details, composition and colours.


This is excellent. Sharpness and exposure are great. I can't get over those skinny little legs. His "trunk" is wonderful as is the pattern in the out of focus background.

Evelynn ; )

WHAT A GREAT CATCH!!! Most of the time these little critters don't stand still long enough for the camera to focus .. You did a super job with the overall layout od the shot .. your DOF is spot on with the background out of focus just right ..

The detail on the fur iscouldn't be any better .. 10 out of 10 in my book !!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-08-21 19:04]

Hello Jan

A beautiful capture of this shrew.The focus is spot on with wonderful details.The composition is excellent.The eye detail and catch light is very good.Nicely done.TFS


great close up, TFS Ori

Hi Jan

This is one of the finest photoportraits of an animal here on TN. Moreover, this is not a very often presented one here. Good job.

Cheers, Petru

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-08-22 0:05]

What an interesting animal, Jan Hendrik.
I can't say that I have ever seen one of these, even in pictures, so thanks for the introduction.
Details are exquisitely sharp.
Beautiful light and colors.
The POV is perfect to show off that "elephant trunk".
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-08-22 0:09]

Very nice picture of a small animal, detail and ficus are wonderful

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-08-22 0:18]

Hello Jan,
What a cute animal you show us here. I like its vivid eye and attentive pose. Excellent framing, beautiful warm colours. Interesting note too.
Thanks and best regards

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-08-22 0:56]

Hi Jan Hendrik,
What an interesting animal... I don't remember seeing this one before. Lovely :o) TFS
Best wishes,

Fantastic photo.Well balanced, perfect definition, and enhanced by the rock colouration. We so often ignore the smaller animals.Well done.

Hello Jan Hendrik,
This is one of the most original creatures that I have seen so far. What a particular specie... It is the first time I see this strange and lovely animal. This is an excellent capture with great details, exposure, POV and composition. I like the fact that you could caught its whole tail in the frame. Your notes are very interesting too and Iím amazed by the fact that they live longer in the wild than in captivity. What a stunning animal :) Thanks,

Hi Jan Hendrik!
Great colors, POV and DOF, excellent composition. Well done!

Hi jan-Hendrik,
perfect capture of Elaphantulus with great details and sharpness. from lichen on rocks to POV, everything great. Congratulations. thanks for show it us.
best wishes

Hi Jan,

Very nice shot with great POV and DOF, good details and colors

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-08-22 9:25]

Hello Jan.
Brilliant capture of this cute little Shrew in a fine pose. Very sharp details and fine colours. The lichens on the rock add beautiful colours and the soft background too.
Excellent composition too.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2007-08-22 10:55]

Hi Jan

what a really great shot with loads of detail and excellent sharpness and composition.


Hi Jan Hendrik,

That's an interesting and strange looking animal. I never seen this before and I like your capture. Great sharpness, beautiful colours and light.
Thanks for sharing!

Greetings, Nel

Hello Jan Hendrik,
Can you arrange an appointment with this one, please.
Seems to have a nose for everything:-)
Wonderful image!

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-08-23 12:43]

Hi Jan,
Splendid shot of this cute one with sharp details and a weird looking nosey. Superb natural lighting and glint on its eye looks great. Excellent POV to portray it and very nicely composed. Kudos.

Hello jan !
What a cute little animal ! I knew that these animals existed, but I never saw any picture, thank you for showing me ! :-) Nice sharp details, excellent composition and POV, eautiful exposrue and beautifulnatural colors, nice blurred BG, and I also like the pose of the Shrew, standing proud on the top of the rock. Very well done !

Hi Jan Hendrik
This is really cool and good looking little one :)
Nice details, pose and colours.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-10-20 1:36]

Hi Jan

Now this is terrific, interesting but also a bit funny :)
It's terrific because it's a splendid photo from all aspects. Beginning with the fact that you shot this handheld at 400mm and you managed such sharpness, continuing with the spot-on exposure and DOF, going all the way to the compsition...this is an impeccable result.
It's interesting because it's not a species we get to see everyday and it's great to read something about it from your note.
And suffy...well...do i need to explain this one :)) He is really cute!
Overall: wonderful work!

Bravo and TFS

Hello Jan!
Wonderful picture of very rarely presented mammal species! Its nose looks fantastic, and the entire picture has very good quality. Bravo for professional presentation and best wishes for 2008!

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-01-02 1:41]

Dear Jan
With this amazing and splendid shot of this curious creature that you captured so stunningly I want to take the opportunity to thank you for all the great moments enjoying your marvellous pictures and your pleasant comments. I hope to keep enjoying your presence at TN during the coming year.
Have a great Night and may 2008 will bring you great moments and lots of Happiness!!
With my best wishes

PT :)

I am but an amateur photographer and can't really comment about the technical aspects of this photo, which to me looks perfect. But I do know that you are very lucky to have seen this little critter, not to mention that you had your camera ready and was able to take such a good picture. Very well done.

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