Madagascar Tenrec

Madagascar Tenrec

Mammalia

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: Madagascar tenrec, Madagascar hedgehog
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Insectivora
FAMILY: Tenrecidae
GENUS SPECIES: Setifer setosus

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: 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.
SIZE: Head & body length: approximately 15-20 cm (6-8 in.)
Tail length: approximately 1.5-1.6 cm (0.6 in.)
WEIGHT: Approximately 500 g (1.1 lb.)
DIET: Insectivore; feeds primarily on insects. Also observed scavenging carrion or at garbage dumps.
GESTATION: 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.
NURSING DURATION After 15-30 days (wean)
SEXUAL MATURITY: Approximately 6 months
LIFE SPAN: Maximum of about 10 years
RANGE: Madagascar
HABITAT: Found in dry, sandy regions
POPULATION: GLOBAL Unknown
STATUS: IUCN Lower Risk/least concern
CITES Not listed
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. Tenrecs are nocturnal and quite shy.
2. They spend their time foraging for insects and vegetation or sleeping in an underground burrow.
3. 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.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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.