10 March 2007

Endangered Species of the Week, 11 Mar 2007

Golden-rumped Sengi (Rhynchocyon chrysopygus)

©Galen Rathbun

The Golden-rumped Sengi lives in a very small piece of forest in Kenya. This species belongs to a group of animals called afrotherians, which includes hyraxes, tenrecs, aardvarks, and golden moles. One of the most interesting things I found about Golden-rumped Sengis, is that if they become aware of a predator, they will slap their tails on the leaf litter on the forest floor. This alerts the predator that they have been seen, and communicates that it's not worth trying to catch the Sengi. The vivid gold patch may also serve as a distraction to predators, causing it to react prematurely, and notifying the Sengi of its presence. Pretty cool, huh?

You can learn more about all kinds of Afrotherians here.

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