A breakaway from Africa, East Africa, or Zinj Land, took with them the highest peaks of the continent. In Neocene the top of Earth's mountains Zinj
are still kind of condenser water vapor, and with them running down numerous streams merging into a turbulent river rapids. In cold water, water mosses grow, the shoots that trail over the river. Stones and plants are populated with numerous larvae of insects - mayflies, caddis flies, midges and mosquitoes. Some of them are scraped from the rocks and plants the bacterial plaque, while others eat the plants themselves, and still others are predators and prey not only on invertebrates, but also on the fish fry. And they themselves hunt insects, in turn, serve as food peculiar representative of elephant shrew, adapted to life in water.
This species, the stream elephant shrew, is doing very well in cold water and is easy to cope with the fast-flowing streams. It is derived from one species of elephant shrew kind Elephantulus, widely distributed in East Africa. the steam elephant shrew is a small species: the size of it with a young brown rat. The fur of this animal repellent, very thick and velvety. Painting black fur - it helps the animal to quickly warm up in the sun, which is very important for life in the cold water of mountain streams. small mammal under water seems silvery due to the layer of air that is trapped among the hairs. To maintain the water-repellent fur, brook elephant shrew carefully looks after him, brushing his claws and lubricates the oily secretions of the glands, developed in the armpits. The front legs of the animal moving, with sharp claws. Hind legs much longer than the front, and the animal moves by land jumps like a jerboa. If necessary, the stream elephant shrew is able to make jumps of up to three meters long, and a few jumps over the rocks easily cross the river to escape from predators. This animal swims using the hind legs, front paws pressed to his chest. The edges of the feet covered with long stiff hairs that bend while swimming, rowing increasing surface. When swimming, the animal makes the bumps while the two rear legs. The tail is long and thick animal - there stock of fat that is consumed in the case of starvation.
stream elephant shrew has a very small ears. The outer ear of the animal seems absorbed in the skin, and the upper edge of the auricle underwater overlaps the auditory meatus as a valve. The movable proboscis helps the animal to search for food in the water. Due to a large brook elephant shrew's eyes see well both on land and under water.
This highly carnivorous species is a like desman in the mountainous areas of Zinj Land. Its diet consists of insects and their larvae, snails, crustaceans and small fish. During the day, the animal eats the food in an amount equal to about two thirds of its own weight. Brooks elephant shrew leads exclusively solitary lifestyle, live together only by the female and her offspring to reach sexual maturity. Animal strictly territorial and marks its territory by the same discharge, which lubricates the hair. For this small animal simply pinches blade of grass between the body and the front paw, and drags him through the armpit.
The breeding season of this species is not expressed, and the offspring appear at any time of the year. Male looking for females ready to mate, the smell of their territorial markers. At this time, it is extremely aggressive towards opponents, and often kills them bite to the head. Three times a year, after a pregnancy lasting about seven weeks, the female gives birth to offspring - 2 - 3 cubs, blind and helpless, covered with dense hair. The female secretes a brood in the nest - usually in a hole she digs under stones and lined with dry leaves. Within a month, the cubs grow up and learn to get food, and then the female ceases to feed them milk and makes it possible to only sleep in her nest. Bi cub already lead an independent life, and the first four months of the female is ready to mate.
In a particularly cold time of this kind can indulge in short-term hibernation, which is characterized by slowing of the physiological processes and the body temperature drops to + 10 - 12 ° C,. Thanks to this feature, the animal's body is aging less rapidly, as in constantly active animals with a similar physiology. stream elephant shrew of mountainous areas can survive 8 - 9 years, and individuals from warmer areas - no more than 4 years.