Northern treeshrew

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Northern treeshrew
Tupaia belangeri.JPG
Tupaia belangeri
Scientific classification
T. belangeri
Binomial name
Tupaia belangeri
(Wagner, 1841)
Northern Treeshrew area.png
Northern treeshrew range

The northern treeshrew (Tupaia belangeri) is a treeshrew species native to Southeast Asia.[1]

In 1841, the German zoologist Johann Andreas Wagner first used the specific name Cladobates belangeri for treeshrews that had been collected in Pegu during a French expedition to Southeast Asia. These specimens were described by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1834 in whose opinion they did not differ sufficiently from Tupaia tana to assign a specific rank.[2][3]


Results of a telemetry study involving northern treeshrews showed that their body temperature varies from 35 °C (95 °F) during the night to 40 °C (104 °F) during the day. This difference is larger than in other endotherms, and indicates that the circadian rhythms of body temperature and locomotor activity are synchronized.[4]

Complete mitochondrial genome data support the hypothesis of a closer phylogenetic relationship of Tupaia to rabbits than to primates.[5] The northern treeshrew was one of 16 mammals whose genomes were sequenced by staff of the Broad Institute, which released a low-coverage assembly of the genome in June 2006. The genome[6] will be useful in comparisons with the other genomes to identify gene function.

Adult weight: 0.2 kg (0.44 lbs) Maximum longevity: 11 years

In medical research[edit]

Tupaia belangeri has attained growing interest for use as a medical model. In 2002, an article was published describing that the primary hepatocytes of T. belangeri could be used as a model for studying the Hepatitis C virus, which is a major cause of chronic hepatitis worldwide.[7] Other scientists used Tupaia belangeri to study the development of photo reception,[8] investigation of retinal cones,[9] and refractive state and ocular component dimensions of the eye.[10] Many studies have been done regarding eye structure, development, and vision using the Tupaia belangeri model because of the similarity to human eye structure and sight that is uncharacteristic of conventional small lab animals, such as rodents.[11]


  1. ^ a b Han, K. H.; Duckworth, J. W.; Molur, S. (2016). "Tupaia belangeri". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T41492A22280884. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T41492A22280884.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ Wagner, J. A. (1841). Das peguanische Spitzhörnchen. In: Die Säugethiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen. Supplementband 2. Erlangen: Expedition des Schreber'schen Säugethier- und des Esper'schen Schmetterlingswerkes. Pp. 42–43.
  3. ^ Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, I. (1834). Insectivores vivant dans le continent de l’Inde ou dans le grand Archipel indien. Les Tupaias In: Bélanger, C. P., Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, I., Lesson, R. P., Valenciennes, M., Deshayes, G, P., Guérin, F. E. (eds.) Voyage aux Indes orientales, pendant les années 1825 a 1829 par M. Charles Bélanger. Zoologie, Mammifères. Paris: Arthus Bertrand. Pp. 103–107.
  4. ^ Refinetti, R., Menaker, M. (1992). Body temperature rhythm of the tree shrew, Tupaia belangeri. Journal of Experimental Zoology 263(4): 453–457.
  5. ^ Schmitz, J., Ohme, M., Zischler, H. (2000). The complete mitochondrial genome of Tupaia belangeri and the phylogenetic affiliation of Scandentia to other eutherian orders. Molecular Biology and Evolution 17(9): 1334–1343.
  6. ^ Tree Shrew (Tupaia belangeri)
  7. ^ Zhao, X., Tang, Z. Y., Klumpp, B., Wolff-Vorbeck, G., Barth, H., Levy, S., von Weizsäcker, F. , Blum, H. E., Baumert, T. F. (2002). Primary hepatocytes of Tupaia belangeri as a potential model for hepatitis C virus infection. Journal of Clinical Investigation 109(2): 221−232.
  8. ^ [author missing] (1998.) Localization and properties of voltage-gated calcium channels in cone photoreceptors of Tupaia belangeri. Visual Neuroscience 15 (03): 541−552.
  9. ^ Knabe, W., Skatchkov, S., Kuhn, H.-J. (1997.) Lens Mitochondria in the Retinal Cones of the Tree-shrew Tupaia belangeri. Vision Research 37 (3): 267–271.
  10. ^ Norton, T. T., McBrien, N. A. (1992.) Normal development of refractive state and ocular component dimensions in the tree shrew (Tupaia belangeri). Vision Research 32 (5): 833–842.
  11. ^ Shriver, J .G., Noback, C. R. (1967). "Color Vision in the Tree Shrew (Tupaia glis)". Folia Primatologia 6: 161−169.

External links[edit]