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Madagascar tenrec, Madagascar hedgehog
A tenrec's coat is made up of thick, stiff hairs that look very much like spines or quills. Its belly is covered with short, soft fur.
Head & body length: approximately 15-20 cm (6-8 in.)
Tail length: approximately 1.5-1.6 cm (0.6 in.)
Approximately 500 g (1.1 lb.)
Insectivore; feeds primarily on insects. Also observed scavenging carrion or at garbage dumps.
Approximately 51-69 days (tends to be in the shorter end of the range at higher ambient temperatures). Gives birth to 3 young on average.
After 15-30 days (wean)
Approximately 6 months
Maximum of about 10 years
Found in dry, sandy regions
Lower Risk/least concern
Tenrecs are nocturnal and quite shy.
They spend their time foraging for insects and vegetation or sleeping in an underground burrow.
When scared, tenrecs curl up in a ball with their spines erect to protect them from predators.
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
Tenrecs are useful to humans because they consume large quantities of insects and small invertebrates.
Nowak, Ronald M. (ed.).
Walker's Mammals of the World. Vol. I
. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
Parker, S. (ed.).
Grizmek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Vol. IV
. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1990.