Common tenrec Facts

Common tenrec Facts
Common tenrec, also known as tailless tenrec, is a type of mammal with unusual characteristics. This creature lives on the Madagascar and on the nearby islands. Common tenrec can be found in subtropical and tropical forests, savannas, scrublands, pastures and urban areas. Tenrecs prefer areas near the water. Indigenous people hunt tenrec because of its meat. Introduction of rats to the island increased competition for food and resulted in minor decrease in the number of tenrec in the wild. Luckily, their number is still large and they are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Common tenrec Facts:
Common tenrec can reach 10 to 15 ½ inches in length and weigh between 3 ¼ and 5 ½ pounds.
Body of common tenrec is covered with medium sized fur. Color of the fur depends on the habitat (it provides camouflage). Fur is usually reddish or grey in color.
Even though it is known as "tailless", common tenrec has very short tail. It usually reaches ½ inches in length and can be detected only after detailed inspection.
Unlike other mammals, common tenrec does not have separate openings for excretion of urine, feces and reproductive fluids. Instead, tenrec excretes all these products via single opening called "cloaca".
Another feature, uncharacteristic for mammals, is ability to lower its body temperature during periods of rest. Females are also able to change their body temperature during pregnancy.
Common tenrec has sharp spines on the back side of the body. Spines are used for protection against predators and for communication. When tenrec rubs its spines, specific sound is produced. It alerts other members about potential danger. It can also help in locating missing members of the group.
Common tenrec has excellent eyesight. Besides that, tenrec has sensitive whiskers which easily detect vibration of the moving prey.
Common tenrec is an omnivore (eats both plant- and meat-based diet). Its diet consists of fruit, various plants, invertebrates, reptiles and small mammals.
Common tenrec is nocturnal animal (active during the night).
Common tenrec hibernates during the warmest periods of the year when the food sources are scarce. Hibernation takes place from May to September.
Common tenrec digs Y-shaped burrows near the water. Burrows provide protection against predators and extreme weather conditions.
When common tenrec is faced with danger, it starts to hiss, erects its spines and tries to bite its opponent.
Common tenrec is a solitary creature except during the mating season and period of nursing. Mating season of tenrects lasts from October to November.
Female can have 29 teats. She is able to deliver 32 babies after pregnancy of 56 to 64 days. Litter of that size is rarely seen in mammals.
Common tenrec can survive up to 6 years in captivity.

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