African giant shrew

African giant shrew
The Congo Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (1919) (20680539435).jpg
Scientific classification edit
C. olivieri
Binomial name
Crocidura olivieri
(Lesson, 1827)
African Giant Shrew area.png
African giant shrew range

The African giant shrew (Crocidura olivieri) is a species of white-toothed shrew. It also is known as, Mann's musk shrew, Euchareena's musk shrew,[2] or Olivier's shrew.[1] It is native to Africa, where it has a widespread distribution and occurs in many types of habitat. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, dry savanna, moist savanna, arable land, rural gardens, urban areas, and heavily degraded former forest. In the Nile Valley it is found near human habitation, where it is considered to be a pest. It is a common species and is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as being of "least concern".[1]


This species was first described from mummified specimens, found at Sakkara in Ancient Egyptian tombs,[3][4] and included in the genus Sorex, the neotype having been collected from near Giza. (To the ancient Egyptians, the shrew represented the nocturnal side of Horus; [5] [6] see Animal mummy #Miscellaneous animals.) The valid name is Crocidura olivieri. Large shrews of this type still live in Egypt and it is presumed that the holotype, which has been lost, resembled them closely. Now, the original name of Crocidura flavescens is used for a different species, found solely in South Africa. About fifteen subspecies have been proposed in the past and there are dark colour morphs and pale colour morphs, however, biochemical evidence shows that all are variations of a single, but highly variable species.[4]