Researchers at LSU have discovered a new species of shrew, which they have named the hairy-tailed shrew, or Crocidura caudipilosa.
“There was no doubt that this was a new species,” said LSU Museum of Natural Science Mammal Curator Jake Esselstyn whose work on Sulawesi Island in Indonesia led to the discovery published in the Journal of Mammalogy. “There isn’t another species on the island that has as much hair on its tail, in terms of shrews.”
The newly discovered shrew is slender with grey-brown fur on its back and silver-grey fur on its belly. Its tail is slightly longer than the combined length of its head and body and is covered with long bristles and hair, which make the distinctive tail very hirsute. In fact, no other shrew species in Indonesia, Malaysia or the Philippines is known to have such thick, long hair on its tail; however, some shrew species in Africa have very hairy tails. The scientists were also surprised to discover that this shrew climbs trees whereas most shrews live primarily on the ground, as far as anyone knows. MORE
Header image: Kevin Rowe, Museums Victoria.