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Lesser Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Echinops telfairi
  • Class

    Mammals
  • Order

    Afrosoricida
  • Range

    Southern Madagascar

  • Status

    Stable. However, like many Madagascar species, the ongoing destruction of forests for agriculture, charcoal, and cattle pasture poses a significant threat.

  • Habitat

    Both terrestrial (ground-dwelling) and arboreal (tree-dwelling), this species occupies savannas, forests and brush areas.

  • Niche

    This tenrec primarily eats insects, though it also gobbles fruit.

  • Life History

    Litters of as many as ten are delivered. These offspring become independent after about a month. Solitary creatures, tenrecs feed mainly at night. When food is scarce in winter, lesser Madagascar hedgehog tenrecs hibernate.

  • Special Adaptations

    When threatened, lesser Madagascar tenrecs roll into balls to protect their soft underbellies. They will also lunge backward to drive their spines into their enemies. They go into torpor—a hibernation-like state that conserves energy—for three to five months during the cold season.

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 Get Map/Directions Call 312-742-2000