Tree shrew tenrecs, ("International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources", 2003; Crowley, 2001; Garbutt, 1999), have only been found at the Ambatovaky Special Reserve in north-eastern Madagascar. Ambatovaky is a nature reserve located 50km west of the town Soanierana-Ivongo on the eastern coast of Madagascar.
- Other Geographic Terms
- island endemic
- Range elevation
- 0 to 2300 m
- 0.00 to 7545.93 ft
Like other members of the genus Microgale, is shrew-like in appearance. Its pelage is soft, short, and dense. It ranges in length from 170 to 180 mm, and weighs an average of 40 g. It is somewhat smaller than closely related species like M. dobsoni and M. gracilis. can be distinguished from these species by its relatively short, grey tail and its distinctive pelage. The ventral pattern is generally reddish- or grey-brown. The dorsal pattern is unique because the guard hairs are long, with the mid-region of each hair flat and broad. (Garbutt, 1999; Goodman and Benstead, 2004)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
- Average mass
- 40 g
- 1.41 oz
- Range length
- 170 to 180 mm
- 6.69 to 7.09 in
Although specific information about general reproductive behavior of Microgale are described below.is unknown, the reproductive behaviors of other members of the genus
Reproduction generally begins with the onset of the rainy season in north-eastern Madagascar in September. Pregnancy lasts 2 to 3 months, and litters are generally born in November. There are generally between 1 and 4 offspring per litter. Females reproduce no more than twice in one year.
In M. talazaci, neonates weigh an average of 3.6 g. These young are weaned at about one month of age. Sexual maturity occurs at 21 months of age.
It is likely that (Grzimek, 2003)is like other members of the genus in these parameters.
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- Tree shrew tenrecs probably reproduce 1 to 2 times per year.
- Breeding season
- Matingin the genus Microgale usually occurs in September or October
- Range number of offspring
- 1 to 4
- Range gestation period
- 2 to 4 months
- Average weaning age
- 1 months
The specific parental investment and care patterns for Soricidae. Offspring are relatively helpless and remain in a nest guarded by the mother for about a month. Females of this genus care for the offspring, providing milk, grooming, and protection. The role of males in parental care has not been documented. (Grzimek, 2003; Grzimek, 2003; Grzimek, 2003)are not known. Information from related species in the same genus indicates that parental investment is similar to that of true shrews,
Little is known about the behavior of Microgale, and these may be similar to those of . These species tend to be terrestrial and insectivorous. They appear to be active at irregular intervals with foraging occurring during the day or at night. Some build nests for their young. They are generally solitary in the wild, and are aggressive toward unfamliar members of their species, but instances of pair-bonding have been documented in captive populations. (Garbutt, 1999; Grzimek, 2003; Nowak, 1999)because it is rarely seen and is critically endangered. However, some behavioral traits have been observed of more common members of the genus
The size of the home range of these animals is not known. However, other members of the genus are aggressive toward strangers, so it is likely that these animals are territorial. (Nowak, 1999)
Communication and Perception
Little is known about communication and perception of Microgale have shown the following traits. They tend to have a well-developed sense of smell as well as tactile sense, especially through their whiskers (vibrissae). Some members of the genus produce a sound that may be used for communication, but sense of smell is likely the most important channel for communication. Agonism between unfamiliar individuals is a form of tactile communication. It is not known whether these animals use visual signals for communication. (Grzimek, 2003; Nowak, 1999; Wilson and Reeder, 1993), however other species of the genus
- Animal Foods
- terrestrial non-insect arthropods
Predators of Madagascar red owl. It is possible that the nocturnal behavior of is an anti-predator adaptation. No other adaptations to avoid predation are known in this species. (Goodman and Benstead, 2004; Nowak, 1999; Wilson and Reeder, 1993)are likely larger sized mammals, reptiles, and birds. Evidence of was found in pellets from a
- Known Predators
- Madagascar red owls (Tyto soumagnei)
The role thathas in its ecosystem is unknown. It is not a common species, and has a very restricted range. Although it acts as predator for a variety of insects, it is not known how it impacts their populations. Similarly, although it may serve as prey to a number of other animals, it is not known whether it is an important prey item for these species, or how the availability of as a food source affects these other animals.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
There are no known benefits that ("International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources", 2003)has on humans. Because it is so rare, it is likely that it does not affect the ecosystem or humans greatly.
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse affects ofon humans.
Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Heather Gillespie (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
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 at dawn and dusk
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
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
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).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
- 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
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
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.
2003. "International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources" (On-line). Accessed April 15, 2004 at http://www.redlist.org/search/details.php?species=13356.
Crowley, H. 2001. "Madagascar lowland forests (AT0117)" (On-line). World Wildlife Federation. Accessed April 16, 2004 at http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/at/at0117_full.html.
Garbutt, N. 1999. Mammals of Madagascar. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Goodman, S., J. Benstead. 2004. The Natural History of Madagascar. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.
Grzimek, B. 2003. Tenrecs. Pp. 225-230 in Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia: Mammals, Vol. 13, 2nd Edition. Farmington Hills: Gale Group.
Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, Sixth Edition. Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press.
Wilson, D., D. Reeder. 1993. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press.