Long-tailed tenrecs adjust to a variety of environments. They usually reside in humid forests where there is dense vegetation near the surface. (Garbutt, 1999; Goodman and Benstead, 2003; Nowak, 1999)is a surface forager and climber. The species can be found from low elevation forests (800 m) to montane forests (2300 m).
Microgale dobsoni), which can gain extensive amounts of fat during winter, does not appear to accumulate fat or become less active during winter.weighs between 31 and 47 g. It measures from 40 to 130 mm in length, and its tail adds an additional 43 to 160 mm to the total length. The tail can be as long as 1.5 times the length of the head and body. There is no obvious sexual dimorphism. Unlike other members of the genus (e.g.
The fur is short, dense, and soft. The dorsal side is dark brown, sometimes black, and the ventral side is usually gray. The long tail is prehensile. The forelimbs have five digits, but are not adapted for digging. These tenrecs have large ears. (Goodman and Benstead, 2003; Nowak, 1999; Stephenson, 1995)
Little is known about parental investment in this species. However, it is known that the young are small and probably altricial at birth, weighing only about 3.6 g. As in other mammals, it is likely the female who provides the bulk of parental care to offspring, nursing, cleaning, and protecting them as they grow. Young are weaned at about 28 to 30 days of age, and no data are available on the relationship between mother and offspring after this time. The role of the father in parental care is not known. (Nowak, 1999)
From a captivity study, the maximum longevity is 5 years and 10 months. (Nowak, 1999)
The home range of these animals has not been reported.
Little is known about (Nowak, 1999)communication. Other members of the genus are reported to make several vocalizations during agonstic encounters, and it is likely that is similar.
Although not reported for this species, it is likely thatuses other forms of communication. It is likely that scent cues are important, especially in individual identification and reproduction. Tactile communication is also probably important between mates, as well as between mothers and their offspring. The role of visual signals in these animals has not been reported.
Because (Goodman and Benstead, 2003)is small and lacks spines in its fur to deter predators, this species is potential prey for any larger animals, especially snakes and myriapods. Specific details on predation upon these tenrecs are lacking.
Little is know about the role ofin its ecosystem. However, it is reasonable to assume that as predators, these tenrecs have some impact on populations of insects and other invertebrates. As a prey species, influences predator populations.
There are no known negative economic impacts which these tenrecs have upon human populations.
Although Microgale are listed as conservation concerns.is not listed by any major conservation organizations as threatened or endangered, it does inhabit forests which are under pressure from expanding human populations. Other members of the genus
Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Maureen Belknap (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.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
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
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.
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.
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 one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
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.
Garbutt, N. 1999. "Talazac's Shrew Tenrec" (On-line). Accessed November 11, 2004 at http://info.bio.sunysb.edu/rano.biodiv/Mammals/Microgale-talazaci.
Goodman, S., J. Benstead. 2003. The Natural History of Madagascar. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Jenkins, , MacPhee. 1988. "Walker's Mammals of the World" (On-line). Long-tailed Tenrecs. Accessed February 08, 2004 at http://www.press.jhu.edu/book/walkers_mammals_of_the_world/insectivora/insectivora.edu.
Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, Sixth Edition. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Stephenson, P. 1995. Small mammal microhabitat use in lowland rain forest of north-east Madagascar. ACTA Theriologica, 40/4: 425-438.
Stephenson, P., P. Racey. 1993. Reproductive Energetics of the Tenrecidae . Physiological Zoology, 66/5: 664-685.