Tenrecs range from the size of shrews, weighing just 5 g, to the
largest, the common tenrec, which can weigh over a 1 kg.
• they have a cloaca.
• they have a low body temperature, sufficiently low that they do not
require a scrotum to cool their sperm, and are also heterothermic.
Invertebrates form the largest part
of the diet.
One species from Madagascar: the web-footed tenrec is semi-aquatic
The common tenrec, Tenrec ecaudatus, is one of the world's largest insectivores. It is tail-less,
body length of 12 to 16 in. Its coat is a mixture of hair, bristles, and spines.
The common tenrec not only eats small invertebrates among leaves, but also scavenges and hunts frogs and mice. If threatened,
this tenrec will scream, erect its spiny hairs to a crest, jump, buck and bite.
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec (Echinops telfairi)
one of 16 mammalian species that is having
its genome sequenced as part of the Mammalian Genome Project.
It is increasingly popular in the pet trade, and in the future may
serve as an important model organism in biomedicine.
tenrecs and otter shrews
- otter shrews resemble river otters in many ways and the
African water shrew is the largest living "insectivore" even though technically it is a carnivore
- flaps covering their nostrils act as valves when the animal is
submerged, but their feet are not webbed
- they commonly feed on freshwater crabs, fish, and amphibians
- although giant otter shrews are somewhat clumsy on land, they can
Tenrec Gestation Period
Tenrecs have a gestation period of from 50 to 64 days, and give birth to a number of relatively undeveloped young
Tenrec Litter Size
the Common Tenrec can have as many as 32, and females possess up to 29 teats, more than any other mammal.
The short-haired rice tenrecs
molelike animals whose tunneling causes much damage in rice fields
The hedgehog tenrec
Setifer setosus, resembles a true hedgehog.
The long-tailed tenrec
Microgale dobsoni, is mouse-like in size and appearance, with a tail two and a half times its body length