On January 22, two baby short-eared elephant shrews were born at ZOOM Erlebniswelt in Germany.
At birth, they were slightly smaller than your thumb tip. Elephant-shrews are precocial, which means they can open their eyes as soon as they are born. They can see and hear almost immediately and are running and jumping within hours. This is crucial for their survival in nature.
On the other hand, mice, for example, are altricial, and are completely helpless at birth. The young are born naked, deaf, and blind.
The shrew babies are usually hidden behind some foliage. As you can see in the video, they sometimes dare to venture out. The care is provided exclusively by their mother, who comes intermittently to nurse them in the separate cave. By next week they will already be eating solid food.
Short-eared elephant shrews develop very quickly. They are only nursed for about a week, are independent by 3 to 4 weeks and are sexually mature by 5 to 6 weeks.
To communicate with each other, the animals rarely use their voices, instead they drum their feet.
Many thanks for the great video recordings @marion.ruhland