Lowland streaked tenrec
|Lowland streaked tenrec|
G. Cuvier, 1798
|Lowland streaked tenrec range|
Distribution and habitat
The species is found in tropical lowland rain forest, in the northern and eastern parts of Madagascar.
It is a small animal, with a long snout and limbs, and a vestigial tail. Pelage black with yellow longitudinal stripes dorsally, light beneath; scattered quills, some barbed and detachable.
Length and weight
The head and body are 12.2-16.5 cm (4.8-6.5 inches) in length. The weight is about 200 grams (approx. 7 ounces).
It is active during day and night, feeding primarily mainly insects, and many of them have a long snout for poking about in the ground among the leaves and plants to find their food, and they can also eat worms and fruits. Some species of Tenrec's live in the water, and they can eat small fish and frogs.
Breeding takes place during October to December and possibly at other times, depending upon local food supply and temperature. The gestation period lasts 58 days, and the female gives birth to usually between 5 and 8 young. The young are weaned at 18 to 25 days.
The streaked tenrec lives in long, shallow burrows which are usually occupied by family groups.
Spines as tools
If threatened by a predator (most commonly a fossa or Malagasy mongoose), a streaked tenrec erects the barbed quills on its back and on the crest around its head, pointing them completely forward, and drives them in to the attacker's nose or paws with body and head movements. The nonbarbed quills are clustered in the middle of the back, and produce a faint chattering sound when vibrated, and are used to communicate within family groups.
- Afrotheria Specialist Group (Tenrec Section), Jenkins, P. & Goodman, S. (2008). Hemicentetes semispinosus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
- World’s loudest animal is recorded for the time
- Bizarre mammals filmed calling using their quills and spiders
- Simon and Schuster's Guide to Mammals