- Other Geographic Terms
- island endemic
- Other Habitat Features
- Range elevation
- 1200 to 1500 m
- 3937.01 to 4921.26 ft
Both males and females have a cloaca. The male has a retractile penis with a baculum. For the genus Microgale the testes are located in the pelvis and that position does not change before mating. (Fons, 1988; Vaughan, et al., 2000; Walker, 1964)
Members of the family Tenrecidae do not have a complete zygomatic arch because the jugal bone is absent. These animals have W-shaped ectoloph molars and a dental formulaof 2/3, 1/1, 3/3, 4/3 for a total of 40 teeth. (Fons, 1988; Vaughan, et al., 2000; Walker, 1964)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
- Range mass
- 7 to 12 g
- 0.25 to 0.42 oz
- Range length
- 6.6 to 7 cm
- 2.60 to 2.76 in
- Mating System
- polygynandrous (promiscuous)
Very little is known about the reproductive behavior of Microgale have a gestation period of about 58 to 64 days and their young sexually matures at 8.5 to 14 weeks. M. brevicauda is probably similar to other members of the genus in this regard. (Fons, 1988; Garbutt, 1999; Walker, 1964). Some things yet to be researched are gestation period, weight of young per birth, age of sexual maturity, and age of weaning. The brood size can be 1 to 8. Members of the same genus have reproductive cycles that closely match the wet and dry seasons of Madagascar. Other members of the genus
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- The breeding interval of these animals has not been reported.
- Breeding season
- These tenrecs probably breed in November through December.
- Range number of offspring
- 1 to 8
There has been no specific research done on the parental investment for Microgale rely on the female for parental care. She provides milk, warmth, and protection for the young. In members of the same genus, the average age of weaning is 22 months. The role of males in parental care has not been reported. (Walker, 1964). However, members of the genus
Although the lifespan for (Walker, 1964)is not known, a member of the same genus lived to be 13 years in captivity. However, 5 to 6 years is more likely in the wild. It is likely that is similar to other members of the genus in this regard.
Tenrecidae use clicks for echolocation, however this has not been studied in . Like all mammals as small as , these tenrecs must eat constantly to survive. There is evidence that members of the same genus undergo torpor, however does not. Although some members of Microgale are aquatic, there is no evidence to suggest is. Most tenrecs are solitary creatures and interact only to mate and raise young. (Fons, 1988; Garbutt, 1999; Vaughan, et al., 2000; Walker, 1964)is active during the day and the night. There is some research that suggests that it is semi-fossorial. There is also some evidence to suggest that other members of the family
The size of the home range of these animals has not been reported.
Communication and Perception
Like other diurnal mammals, it is likley that these tenrecs use some visual signals to communicate. Tactile communication is probably used between mates, as well as between mothers and their offspring.
- Animal Foods
- terrestrial non-insect arthropods
There is no information regarding the impact of (Fons, 1988)on the ecosystem. However, since it is insectivorous, it may have an impact on the insect populations. To the extent that it serves as prey for other species, it may also affect predator populations.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
has no negative importance for human economies.
is under no special conservation status.
The family Tenrecidae is most closely related to the family Chrysochloridae. The genus Microgale is most closely related to its sister genus, Oryzorictes. This is according to the latest molecular data. (Grenyer and Purvis, 2002)
Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Adam Mileski (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor, instructor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
The process by which an animal locates itself with respect to other animals and objects by emitting sound waves and sensing the pattern of the reflected sound waves.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior, specialized for digging or burrowing.
An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.
- island endemic
animals that live only on an island or set of islands.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sound above the range of human hearing for either navigation or communication or both
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
Fons, R. 1988. Living Insectivores. Pp. 430-448 in Grzimek's Encylopedia of Mammals, Vol. 1, 1 Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing.
Garbutt, N. 1999. Mammals of Madagascar. Hong Kong: Pica Press.
Goodman, S., D. Rakotondravony. 1999. The effects of forest fragmentation and isolation on insectivorous small mammals (Lipotyphla) on the Central High Plateau of Madagascar. The Journal of Zoology, 250: 193-200.
Grandidier, G. 2003. "System Naturae 2000" (On-line). Accessed March 24, 2004 at http://sn2000.taxonomy.nl/Main/Classification/60694.htm.
Grenyer, R., A. Purvis. 2002. A composite species-level phylogeny of the 'Insectivora' (Mammalia: Order Lipotyphla Haeckel, 1866). The Journal of Zoology, 260: 245-257.
Olsen, L. 1997. Tenrecs---an example of evolution in isolation. In The Field, 68(3): 1.
Vaughan, T., J. Ryan, N. Czaplewski. 2000. Mammology Fourth Edition. United States of America: Thomson Learning.
Walker, E. 1964. Mammals of the World Volume 1. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press.