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Aug 09 2014

Lowland Streaked Tenrec

The lowland streaked tenrec is another strange animal that happens to live in Madagascar, an island in Africa. They look like a shrew, and a hedgehog decided to have babies.

No their not like Ligers, they just LOOK like a cross breed, though they are unique among tenrecs because they’re active night AND day, but what makes them really special is how they communicate.

Meet the Lowland Streaked Tenrec


They look like a shrew, and a hedgehog decided to have babies. No their not like Ligers, they just LOOK like a cross breed, though they are unique among tenrecs because they’re active night AND day, but what makes them really special is how they communicate.

Have you ever heard of stridulation? It’s the term used when an animal produces sound by rubbing together body parts, like a cricket’s chirp. These tenrec are the only mammals that can do it, no human snapping doesn’t count. With their stubby little legs they definitely don’t do it grasshopper style, so how then? Actually they use there quills.

They can rub their quills together and it makes a high pithed ultrasound that can only be heard by humans using microphones specially designed to hear bat sonar. The tenrecs sound is believed to be part communication and POSSIBLY, part navigation at night, similar to the way bats use their sonar.

Those same quills act as a defense mechanism to. But these guys don’t just roll up into a ball like a hedgehog when predators come by. They’re nice enough to give predators a little warning.

First Lowland Streaked Tenrec will make a “crunch” and “putt-putt” sound when they get agitated. Next they’ll raise the spines around their neck and point them at the predator, which is often a fossa or Malagasy Mongoose, then Step 3, which is the best, , this little 5 to 6.5 inch, 7 oz animal will charge its attacker and head butts it!, driving it’s quills into its opponents nose or paws, owe. So if you’re ever in Madagascar don’t surprise one of these guys or you may end up in a bit of pain yourself.

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