It’s small, spiny and feeds its babies with milk

The ancestors of the Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec lived with Dinosaurs, and although this ancient and typical Madagascan mammal is not yet threatened with extinction, its original habitat is almost gone, the dry deciduous forest of western Madagascar. The local people consider it a culinary delicacy, although its body weight is 150-200 gr – and most of it sharp spines – hardly a mouthful of bush meat! An interesting detail of the Echinops telfairi or Tambotriky as it is locally known, is the single urogenital opening, just like birds and reptiles have.

At Zazamalala we discover them often as spiny balls, stiff and sleeping during the relatively cold summer. During the rainy season they are active at night and feed on insects and small reptiles.

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