TEMPORARY CLOSURE: The zoo is closed until further notice following city and state recommendations to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Read More


Lesser Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Echinops telfairi
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    Southern Madagascar

  • Status

    Stable. However, like many Madagascar species, the ongoing destruction of forests for agriculture, charcoal, and cattle pasture poses a significant threat.

  • Habitat

    Both terrestrial (ground-dwelling) and arboreal (tree-dwelling), this species occupies savannas, forests and brush areas.

  • Niche

    This tenrec primarily eats insects, though it also gobbles fruit.

  • Life History

    Litters of as many as ten are delivered. These offspring become independent after about a month. Solitary creatures, tenrecs feed mainly at night. When food is scarce in winter, lesser Madagascar hedgehog tenrecs hibernate.

  • Special Adaptations

    When threatened, lesser Madagascar tenrecs roll into balls to protect their soft underbellies. They will also lunge backward to drive their spines into their enemies. They go into torpor—a hibernation-like state that conserves energy—for three to five months during the cold season.


Sign Up for ZooMail Weekly

Get the latest on upcoming events, new arrivals and more!

All Content © Lincoln Park Zoo.

2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

Get Map/Directions Call 312-742-2000

your zoo is...