We are going to switch gears after talking about the Hammerkop yesterday. That’s right, we are heading back to land where we will try and find the Dwarf Gymnure but I have to warn you, this may not be an easy task. Not only is this animal tiny but they are also listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN list due to having a restricted home range. The good thing about them only being found at Mount Kerinci in Indonesia is we know exactly where we need to go to track down this little rat-like hedgehog.
That Hedgehog is a Rat! I Mean…That Rat is a Hedgehog?!
Yes, you read that right! The 10 cm (4″) long Dwarf Gymnure is in the same family as the infamous Hedgehog, however, their appearance definitely resembles that of the much loved Rat. Unlike their hedgehog family members the Dwarf Gymnure has a rust-brown coloured coach that contains soft, silky fur instead of those sharp, prickly spines. I know, I know! How can they be closely related to Sonic the Hedgehog if this little rat-like creature doesn’t have spines? I guess you can blame evolution and genetics for causing that confusion.
The Gymnure Diet Fad
The Dwarf Gymnure is an insectivore meaning they love feasting on…yep, you guessed it…..INVERTEBRATES! What?!? You can’t expect them to limit their diet just to insects when there are scrumptious creatures like worms kicking around your house. Occasionally the Gymnure may even supplement their diet by eating a variety of fruit. I know, how could they possibly eat disgusting fruit when there are potential insects and worms hanging around?
Protected by Tigers and Rhinos
As mentioned, the Dwarf Gymnure is Critically Endangered since they are restricted to such a specific and limited home range. Unlike other species of Gymnure it doesn’t appear that their habitat is being further destroyed by human development. No, it isn’t because humans are so fond of this little critter that they decided to postpone growing crops, instead it is a result of their mountain homerange being in the middle of a National Park. The same park that protects endangered animals such as the Sumatran Tiger and the Sumatran Rhinoceros. Naturally, this should help our cute and cuddly rat-like, hedgehog – there’s a sentence you don’t hear every day. Let’s just hope this doesn’t change anytime soon and people continue to realize the importance of National Parks.