JUMPING-SHREW, a popular name for any of the terrestrial insectivora of the African family Macroscelididae, of which there are a number of species ranging over the African continent, representing the tree-shrews of Asia. They are small longsnouted gerbil-like animals, mainly nocturnal, feeding on insects, and characterized by the great length of the metatarsal bones, which have been modified in accordance with their leaping mode of progression. In some (constituting the genus Rhyncocyon) the muzzle is so much prolonged as to resemble a proboscis, whence the name elephant-shrews is sometimes applied to the members of the family.
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This page was last modified 29-SEP-18
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