As OMNIVORES, tenrec live off insects and their larvae, spiders, eggs, and occasionally fruit
Forests and grasslands in mainland African
Each species of tenrec is adapted for living in WATER, trees or on the ground
Dave White, Team Leader:
“Although tenrec might look very similar in appearance to hedgehogs, they’re actually not related. They have merely evolved the same method of defence – rolling up into a ball so that would-be predators are met with their coat of spines.
This is a great example of convergent evolution, a process by which animals that are not related independently evolve to have similar traits to one another – a result of having to adapt to similar environments.”
Found in Madagascar and parts of the African mainland, tenrecs closely resemble hedgehogs but, in fact, they’re unrelated.
Greater hedgehog tenrec are found in southern and southwestern areas of Madagascar, where wild populations are steadily declining as a result of severe habitat loss on the island. The tenrec, like much of Madagascar’s unique wildlife, is coming under more and more pressure for survival as their forest habitat disappears to make way for fields of rice and other crops.
Tenrecs communicate in a variety of ways, such as smell, touch and sound. The lowland streaked tenrec uses a method called stridulation, in which it rubs specialised quills on its back to make an ultrasonic call.