Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences are living the dream of every scientists. Being a part of a new discovery. In this case, it is a new species of elephant shrew living in the Namib Desert.
As for looks, it is about the size of a mouse with round ears and a protruding snout. At least if your kid ever wants an elephant, this makes things a bit more manageable. The scientific name for the animal is Macroscelides micus.
Though the name implies that the mouse-sized animal is an elephant, it actually isn’t. The snout only looks like an elephant trunk, but its use is more similar to that of an anteater.
Having a new species discovered was time-consuming for the researchers. The team visited the the remote northwestern region of Namibia multiple times between 2005-2011. Collecting 16 specimens and researching the animal, they then compared the specimens and research against collections in London, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Using genetic testing, they were able to conclude that it was a new species that had eluded detection until this century.
Below is a picture of Macroscelides micus in its natural habitat. Being in a remote region of the world is one of the reasons it had remained unknown as a different species to scientists for so long. It makes you wonder what else is out there still undiscovered.