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Southern and Southwestern Madagascar

Lesser Madagascar Tenrec

While it may look similar to a hedgehog the tenrec is not closely related.  In fact, recent DNA studies found that it is more closely related to the African elephant!

Its main form of defense is obvious- spines.  When disturbed it curls up in a ball to protect its vulnerable head and belly so a predator is presented with a ball of spines.  Luckily for mom, newborn tenrecs don't have spines at birth.  The spines start to come in at 5 days of age.

HABITATDry forests, dry coastal regions and semi-desert
DIETInsects and fruits
LIFE Expectancy6-9 years

Fun Fact
The national animal symbol for Botswana is the zebra.
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