These adorable images show newborn twin baby elephant shrews – born for the first time in a European zoo.
The tiny creatures, which will weigh just half a kilogram when fully grown, were pictured safely tucked away in an underground burrow at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium.
They were born on November 14 but staff are yet to determine which sex they are.
Keeper Natalie said: “It’s a first for Zoo Antwerp because we are the only European zoo where Elephant Shrew have been born.”
Black and Rufous Elephant Shrews are small insectivorous mammals, native to Africa.
The twins are currently under the care of their parents, Guusje and Olli, and when they are old enough to be weaned, staff will examine them to determine their sex and give them names.
Elephant Shrews have been recorded to reach speeds of 28.8 km/h.
They mainly eat insects, spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and earthworms and use their nose to find prey and their tongue to flick small food into its mouth, much like an anteater.
Some Elephant Shrews also feed on small amounts of plant matter, especially new leaves, seeds, and small fruits.
Female Elephant Shrews undergo a menstrual cycle similar to that of human females, and the species is one of the few non-primate mammals to do so.
They will bear litters of one to three young, several times a year. The young are born relatively well developed, but remain in the nest for several days before venturing outside.
The Black and Rufous Elephant Shrew is currently listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. It was still listed as “Vulnerable” in 2008.
However, its numbers are reportedly still under threat from severe forest fragmentation and degradation from human expansion.