Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Cool, New Animal Discovery: the Tenrec!

I recently discovered a really cool animal while reading a book about Sea Otters (by John A.Love). The beginning chapter discusses aquatic mammal evolution, and mentions that some Tenrecs live in water. I had never heard of a "Tenrec" before, so I decided to do some research, and I found a super cute and cool animal! Tenrecs are mammals that look like Otters, Hedgehogs, Shrews, and Mice. Because Tenrecs are a pretty big group of animals, with lots of different features, I'm going to share one species in particular that are really great: the Lowland Streaked Tenrec.

spikey and furry!

These tiny mammals looks like a cross between a Hedgehog and a Shrew. It's black and yellow striped, with a mixture of spikey quills and fur! The yellow spikes on his head are for defense against animals trying to eat him! These quills will stick into the predator, and will be very ouchie, causing the predator to run away and leave this cute little guy alone.

nibbling on a worm.
These particular Tenrecs have long snouts for munching on earthworms, which are their favorite snack. The Lowland Streaked Tenrec is really tiny and likes to scurry around in Madagascar searching for food. The coolest thing about these tiny mammals is the way they talk to one another. You know how Crickets rub their legs together and make that high pitched noise? Well, these Tenrecs rub their quills together and produce an even higher pitched noise, so high that humans cannot hear it! They are the only mammal known to communicate this way.

Madagascar is an amazing island located to the East of Africa. While it is geographically part of Africa, the animals on the island differ dramatically and are some of the most unique animals in the world! Islands usually have very special and unique animals because they are so isolated from the rest of the world. It's easy for animals to move around on the continents, but pretty tricky for most animals to get to an island, unless they can swim, fly, or walk across if the water freezes. This means that the animals on Madagascar look and behave very differently from similiar animals in other parts of the world. The Lowland Streaked Tenrec is only found on Madagascar!

This particular Tenrec likes to snuggle with its family in burrows. These burrows are made by the animals themselves. Tenrec families can be pretty big, with up to 40 members spending time together! The Lowland Streaked Tenrec also likes to search for food with its family. I guess they really don't like to be lonely!

1 comment:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...