Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec Echinops telfairi

Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec male
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec female
Surprising as it may seem, the animals above are not hedgehogs and are not even closely related to hedgehogs. Tenrecs are endemic to the island of Madagascar and come in several diverse forms through convergent evolution to resemble shrews, hedgehogs, possums, mice and nothing on earth (in the case of the Yellow Streaked). They include terrestrial, arboreal and aquatic habitats.
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec Adult male
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec Adult female
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec Fully-grown adult male size compared to human hand.
The Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec of southern Madagascar is the only species in the Echinops genus; its relative, the similar-looking Greater Hedgehog Tenrec (link below), is the only species in its genus.
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec
The resemblance to the true hedgehog family is remarkable, with pointed snout, stuck-out ears, white-tipped brown spikes from crown to rump and the ability to curl up into a spiky ball when threatened. Also, like hedgehogs, they are nocturnal insectivores with poor eyesight but excellent senses of smell and hearing.
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec
Tenrecs' nearest living relatives, surprisingly, include elephants, hyraxes and elephant shrews. Lesser Hedgehog Tenrecs are threatened by habitat loss.