Cyrenaica shrew

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Cyrenaica shrew
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Eulipotyphla
Family: Soricidae
Genus: Crocidura
Species: C. aleksandrisi
Binomial name
Crocidura aleksandrisi
Vesmanis, 1977[2]
Cyrenaica Shrew area.png
Cyrenaica shrew range

The Cyrenaica shrew or Alexander's shrew (Crocidura aleksandrisi) is a species of white-toothed shrew in the family Soricidae which is endemic to Libya.

The Cyrenaica shrew is a small shrew which is very similar to the widespread lesser white-toothed shrew of Europe and Asia, both species have teeth which lack the red colouration on the crowns of the teeth. They are small mammals with paler fur underneath and a pointed muzzle and a long tail.[3]

The Cyrenaica shrew is endemic to Libya, specifically to the province of Cyrenaica where it is found from sea level up to 200 to 300 m. Specimens were collected from the 1960s through the 1990s, and there were no signs that the population had declined or that there were any major threats to the species in its restricted range and is therefore assessed as Least Concern.[1]

The Cyrenaica shrew is found in Mediterranean vegetation such as scrub and also in littoral and rocky areas. It is thought to occur in degraded habitats, and to be largely terrestrial and nocturnal.[1] It is very closely related to the lesser white-toothed shrew and is likely to share that species rather sociable habits and to "caravan", i.e. the young follow their mother in a line holding their predecessor's tail in their mouth so that the family stays together while foraging or seeking shelter.[4] It seems to be relatively common and its skulls are frequently found in the pellets of owls collected from within their range.[1] The group of shrews this species belongs to are also known as "musk shrews" because of the musky scented secretions they produce and use to scent mark their territories by dragging their bellies along the ground.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hutterer, R. (2008). "Crocidura aleksandrisi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "Crocidura aleksandrisi Vesmanis, 1977". Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (http://www.itis.gov). Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  3. ^ Anders Bjärvall; Staffan Ullström (1986). The Mammals of Britain and Europe. Croom Helm. p. 30. ISBN 0-7099-3268-5. 
  4. ^ a b "Lesser white-toothed shrew". ARKive. Retrieved 21 December 2010.