Pygmy shrew tenrec
|Pygmy shrew tenrec|
G. Grandidier, 1934
|Pygmy shrew tenrec range|
Microgale pulla Jenkins, 1988
The pygmy shrew tenrec (Microgale parvula) is a species of placental mammal in the family Tenrecidae. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. While it is not endangered, its population trend is slowing declining as it is threatened by habitat loss. This is of concern, though does not yet merit a higher protection level.
Habitat and Diet
This tenrec has a far-reaching habitat that stretches from the southern part of the island of Madagascar to the northern peninsula, making it one of the only rodent-like creatures to live in this particular part of the island where species diversity is reduced. It is restricted to intact forest areas for the most part and has an altitude range of between 100 and 1,990 m asl. Like most other tenrecs, the pygmy shrew tenrec is an insectivore, making its diet out of Madagascar's numerous bug and insect species.
Originally the species Tenrecidea was found and categorized in 1777. However, this little guy wasn't added to that list until quite a few years later. It was discovered by a mister G. Grandidier in the year 1934. While the exact parameters of the species and its populations were unknown until the mid 1990s, it was listed as "Endangered" in 1996 when scientists found sufficient data to back up the category. This was recently redacted and changed to "Least Concern" in 2006.
The pygmy shrew tenrec is a nocturnal hunter, using its keen senses of sight and hearing to find and capture prey. While it may also use scent to find the delicious insects it feasts on, this tiny mammal prefers to utilize the night vision evolution has granted it. Shrew tenrecs in general tend to have very large auditory structures and the pygmy shrew tenrec is no different. Large, swiveling ears listen intently for the minute sounds of insects nearby and diminutive but sharp teeth lash out to capture the tasty morsel.
Like most mammals, this tenrec is polygynous, meaning males mate with two or more females. This is to promote successful and plentiful offspring production. It is still unknown whether sexual selection occurs through male on male competition or through female choice, though given its relations' ways of choosing a mate, it can be assumed that it is done through female choice. Now, the question is simply, what makes the females of this species"go wild"?
- Bronner, G.N.; Jenkins, P.D. (2005). "Order Afrosoricida". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Afrotheria Specialist Group (Tenrec Section); Raherisehena, M.; Randriamanantsoa, H. M. & Goodman, S. (2008). "Microgale parvula". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
-  The terrestrial small mammals of the Parc National de Masoala, northeastern Madagascar. Vonjy Andrianjakarivelo, Emilienne Razafimahatratra, Yvette Razafindrakoto, Steven M. Goodman. Springer International Publishing. December 2005, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 537-549
-  The effects of forest fragmentation and isolation on insectivorous small mammals (Lipotyphla) on the Central High Plateau of Madagascar. Steven M. Goodman, Daniel Rakotondravony. Journal of Zoology. February 2000, Volume 250, Issue 02, pp 193-200.
-  African Insectivora and Elephant-shrews: An Action Plan for Their Conservation. Martin E. Nicoll, Galen B. Rathbun. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. 1990.