Scientists find new mammal in Tanzania

Feb. 1, 2008 at 10:18 AM
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DODOMA, Tanzania, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Scientists have discovered a new mammal species in the Udzungwa Mountains in Tanzania.

The strange-looking animal, called, Rhynochocyon udzungwensis, is categorized as a large elephant shrew or sengi, BBC News reported Friday.

The animal has a gray face, an amber body, a black behind, a long, limber snout and is about the size of a cat.

"They are behaviorally fairly simple -- they are not like a dog or cat you can interact with -- but they are so bizarre-looking and a lot of their behavioral ecology is so unique and interesting, you kind of get wrapped up with them," Galen Rathbun of the California Academy of Arts said.

In spite of how it is named, the animal has no relation to the shrew. It is similar to African elephants, aardvarks and sea cows, scientists said.

The animal was first filmed in 2005 in the mountains of Tanzania, which contain a range of recently discovered animals.

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