Lowland Streaked Tenrec

The lowland-streaked tenrec is a small, spiny mammal from Madagascar that mainly eats insects. It has a long, pointy snout. Two main features distinguish them: a long, black nose and yellow stripes down their back. 

They also have a bright yellow crest on top of their head to help ward off predators and are very spiky like a porcupine with their barbed quills. These tenrecs, unfortunately, are among several animals in Madagascar that are threatened by the loss of their natural habitats as a result of deforestation.

Natural Habitat

These animals are naturally found in the northern and eastern parts of Madagascar, where they can be found in tropical lowland rain forests,  scrubland, rural gardens, and agricultural land. Up to 20 animals grouped together comprise a family unit of these animals.

You can find them on the ground, in shallow bodies of water, or underground. Whenever the temperature starts to drop, tenrecs lower their body temperature to match the air around them. They stay active despite this. But if it gets too chilly, they will enter a state of torpor until conditions improve.

Diet

The lowland-streaked tenrec is a meat-eating (vermivorous or worm-eater) mammal. Not only do these animals consume earthworms, but they also feast upon a variety of insects.

Defense Mechanism

Members of a group tunnel underground, connecting their burrows to form one complex system that belongs to the entire group. They communicate with each other by rubbing their special quills together to create a sound. If they feel threatened, tenrecs will raise the quills on their neck. If this doesn’t intimidate the opponent, they’ll try to prick them with their quills while violently shaking their head.

Final Thoughts

The lowland-streaked tenrec is a weird but wonderful creature that is sure to fascinate anyone lucky enough to encounter one. This tenrec is native to Madagascar and is easily distinguished from other tenrecs by its unique striped coat. Lowland-streaked tenrecs are small animals, but they sure are terrible with their spiky quills!