This order, containing the single family Macroscelididae with 4 recent genera and 15 species, inhabits Africa, including the island of Zanzibar. Although long assigned to the Insectivora by many mammalogists, the Macroscelididae are now generally considered to represent an entirely separate order. The long and slender tail is usallly covered with bristles. A naked black gland in the undersurface of the tail exudes small beads of moisture that have a musky odor, especially in the males. The pelage, which is soft, is lacking in the rump region. The long, narrow snout, broadest at the base, is extremely sensitive, it is not retractile, but is somewhat flexible and movable in a circular manner at the base. The nostrils are located at the end of the snout. The eyes and ears are well developed. The hind leg is much longer than the forelimb. Habitats include thornbush country, grassy plains, thickets, the undergrowth of forests, and rocky outcrops. They are active mainly during the day, but are nocturnal during hot weather. They usually reside singly or in pairs. They have a jumping locomotion, except when moving slowly.

Family Macroscelididae






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