Golden-rumped elephant-shrew (Rhynchocyon chrysopygus)
This large elephant-shrew, or sengi, gains its common name for the distinctive golden coloured fur on its rump. In common with other elephant-shrews the snout is long, pointed and flexible, and the tail is almost naked. The coat is coarse but glossy and a dark reddish-brown colour apart from the yellowish/golden rump and a white tip to the tail. There is a 'dermal shield' of thickened skin under the sengi's rump patch that is 3 times thicker than the skin on the middle of the back. This shield is thicker in males than in females and is thought to act as protection against the biting attacks of other males. The taxonomic relationship of this group has always been difficult to assess but elephant-shrews are not closely related to shrews, as their name would appear to suggest; recent molecular evidence places sengis (order Macroscelidea) in an ancient group of African mammals that also includes elephants, hyraxes and golden moles, amongst others.