Common Tenrec (Tenrec ecaudatus)


Class: Mammalia
Order: Insectivora
Family:    Tenrecidae
Size:    Length: 11 to 15 inches (28 to 38 cm)
Weight: 2 to 5 pounds (0.90 to 2.3 kg)
Diet: Insects, worms, fruit and small animals
Distribution: Madagascar and the Comoro Islands
Young:  A yearly litter of up to 32
Animal Predators:  Unknown
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: No special terms
Lifespan: Up to 6 years in captivity



·       The common tenrec (Tenrec ecaudatus) is one of the largest living insectivores.

·       About 30 species of tenrecs are found in Madagascar and the Comoro Islands.

·       Tenrecs are also known as tendrecs or tanrecs.



Common tenrecs have a thick brown spiny coat and a long snout. They have short legs and have no tail. Tenrecs have a variety of sounds, including hisses, squeals and squeaks, and can even make sound by rubbing the bristles on their back together. 



Common tenrecs live on Madagascar as well as the smaller Comoro Islands, off the coast of Africa. They have also been introduced on the islands of Reunion, Mauritius, and the Seychelles. Tenrecs usually live in forested areas, near water.


Feeding Habits

Their long snout enables them to root out insects and worms to eat. They also eat fruit and small animals.



The only time tenrecs can be found together is during the mating season, from October to November. Gestation is approximately two months, with offspring born in December or January. Tenrecs are known for their large litter sizes—as high as 32, making them one of the most prolific mammals. The average litter size, however, ranges from 10 to 20. The young tenrecs are born with their eyes closed. Within the first two weeks, the eyes open and by three weeks, they begin to follow their mother as she forages. At four weeks, they can eat solid food. Sometime in their second month, the young tenrecs leave the nest. 



Outside mating season, tenrecs tend live solitary lives. They usually sleep in their burrows or under a rock during the heat of the day, coming out at night to search for food. They are adept swimmers and rock climbers, but rarely climb up into trees. During the cold season, tenrecs hibernate in their burrows.



Common tenrecs are not a conservation concern.