Long-nosed mouse’s DNA akin to larger mammals – Maine News

A long-nosed mouse with red fur was spotted in the remote desert of western Africa. John Dumbacher, a researcher at the Academy’s Curator of Ornithology and Mammalogy and his team of biologists, were behind the discovery.

The scientific name given to this unique new species is Macroscelidesmicus and it was exactly located at an ancient volcanic formation in Namibia. Their red furs are supposed to help them at blending in with the color of its rocky surroundings.

Dumbacher and his colleagues collected the first invaluable specimens and further a genetic analysis of it confirmed the discovery of this new species. The DNA of this mouse with a trunk like nose is more akin to larger

mammals i. e. it was more related to elephants, sea cows, and aardvarks than they are to shrews. So, it is an all new species of elephant shrew.

“It turns out this thing that looks and acts like shrews that evolved in Africa are more closely related to elephants”, said Dumbacher.

In appearance, the creature weighs up to an ounce (28 grams) and measures 7.5 inches (19 cm) in length, including its tail. This creature has a lot like a small antelope in almost all aspects like: its physique and sleeping habits, behavior to a scaled-down anteater in hunting techniques and preferred prey. Further, just like an antelope the creature has long, spindly legs that are relative to its body size. It hunkers down next to bushes to sleep rather than burrowing. Also, it uses its extended nose to sweep the ground in search of ants and other insects.

All the above findings were published in the Journal of Mammalogy.

Biologists now plan to return to Africa in the coming months to put radio collars onto this new species of mammal so as to learn more about their habits.

Long-nosed mouse’s DNA akin to larger mammals – Maine News

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