New mouse-like mammal is related to elephant
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Hello science fans, today were talking about Macroskeledies Micas. Say what?
This mammal was discovered in Namibia by Galen Rathbun, a Research Associate and Fellow at the California Academy of Sciences. The hard-nosed creature is about 7 and a half inches long but is a real lightweight, weighing only 1 ounce. The discovery of a new species is always exciting, especially when it’s a mammal. Just ask Jack Dumbacher.
He’s the Curator at the California Academy of Sciences, “For some other groups of organisms that are very poorly known they are constantly describing new species but for mammals it’s relatively rare.”
But that’s not the weird part of this discovery.
Physically, this brown-nosing critter may look like it’s related to a mouse or shrew but it’s not. Dumbacher explains, “When we sequenced the DNA and looked at the characters a little more closely we said this thing is really different.”
“They are actually more closely related to elephants than they are to shrews or mice,” adds Rathbun.
It’s as plain as the nose on his face; this Tiny Tim has jumbo – or Dumbo DNA and a few unusual traits like eating termites and insects. They’re monogamous, which is unusual for mammals and when they give birth it’s usually only a couple- twins, sometimes three. And they’re fully furred and ready to run at birth.
An elephant shrew that’s born to run — now that’s weird!