SPECIES: Crocidura trichura — Christmas Island Shrew

CLASSIFICATION: Critically endangered

Perhaps the saying should be: as blind as a rat (or shrew, in this case)! The critically endangered Christmas Island Shrew in fact, has quite poor eyesight and instead, relies on echolocation (in a similar way that bats do) as well as its super-sensitive snout to locate bugs and insects. As a species, a shrew differs from a rat as it has small eyes and ears, a short tail and a pointed snout.

The Chrismas Island Shrew is endemic to the Island - which is only 135km2 in size. Recent surveys have failed to locate existing populations on the Island, and it is a dangerous reality that this supspecies may have succumed due to disease, habitat loss and predation by cats, snakes and birds.

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