As no comprehensive field studies have yet been completed on the black and rufous elephant shrew, little is known about its biology (1). However, it may be similar to other species of elephant-shrews, which are monogamous, with each pair sharing and defending a territory of between 1 and 1.7 hectares (6). The pair builds up to ten nests within their territory in which to shelter. Measuring up to one metre wide, each nest is made from leaf litter, and several nests are in use at one time (6). However, despite this, a pair of elephant-shrews rarely spends time together, and the male plays no role in the rearing of the young (2).
The black and rufous elephant shrew is mostly active during the day, when it uses its long nose to forage through leaf litter in order to find beetles, ants and other invertebrates living on the forest floor (6). Smell is important to an elephant-shrew and its nose, like a rabbit’s, twitches continuously. An elephant-shrew’s main predators are snakes and birds of prey, so it also has to have a constant eye on the ground and the air for potential threats (2).