islands are much safer than the mainland, expressed the phenomenon of adaptive radiation: from a few ancestral forms occur closely related species, occupying all the available ecological niches. This is what happened in Madagascar: local insectivorous mammals the tenrecs have vario
us types similar to hedgehogs, shrews, opossums and other small mammals. But after the mass extinction only a few species survived the extinction and their descendants have become even more diverse , successfully competing with other inhabitants of the island.
One of the most notable inhabitants of Madagascar savanna - a huge (though not the largest) member of the family Tenrecidae , the Back-spiked tenrec. it is a direct descendant of the modern Greater hedgehog tenrec - an animal resembling a large urchin with a long snout. the Back-spiked tenrec - heavily folded mammal, weighing up to 40 kg. When a giant wanders among herbs, from a distance it looks like some kind of giant hedgehog.
the Back-spiked tenrec limbs are plantigrade and relatively short. its forepaws grow thick sharp claws adapted for digging. Hind feet in length approximately equal to the front and back of the beast arched upward. it lacks a tail . The body is covered with short gray hair. The belly fur lighter, and often a white patch on the chest and throat.
It is clear that that this animal is very slow ,but the Back-spiked tenrec is heavily protected . The back of this beast is covered with a relatively thick skin, and on the hips, lower back and rump among the wool grow numerous yellowish-white needles to protect against attacks from behind. The animal can freely raise and lower the needles depending on the situation.
One only passive protection from enemies is sometimes not enough. Back-spiked tenrec , despite the massive addition has other qualities, helps to protect: it is agile and quite aggressive. Caught off guard, it could defend himself not only with the help of needles: it is an animal with sharp teeth that causes the aggressor deep bites. And thanks to the short, muscular legs Back-spiked tenrecs can make short throws and sharp turns, sudden attack of the enemy.
Shipospiny tenrecs are solitary animals. To communicate with relatives, they are mostly fragrances, without coming into direct contact. These animals have large musk gland on the hips. Their secretions beast marks territory. Each gland has a pouch of musk surrounded by circular muscle. Reducing these muscles, animal musk sprinkles for a short distance, spraying them with high stalks of grasses and shrubs that serve as natural markers of its territory.
Back-spiked tenrecs Head is elongated, the snout is mobile and flexible, elongated into a proboscis. its front theeth are sharp (fangs longer than the incisors), the indigenous - lumpy. This tenrec is omnivorous, feeding mainly on insects and plant food. For obtaining food it uses claws of forepaws. If it smell or insects edible roots, the animal is diligently digging soil. Sometimes, after feeding a few square meters of soil are completely dug up, and vegetation - destroyed. In addition, it willingly eats carrion, even badly decomposed.
During the mating season (stretched for several months) male actively cares for the selected female: he runs after her, it partitions off the road, sprinkles on the grass musk gland secretions. It is larger than the female, and sometimes can be aggressive if the female does not accept his courtship. If the female is ready to accept them, it demonstrates submission, dropping needles. After mating, the male leaves the female and looking for a new one, without taking part in the care of the offspring. The female gives birth to cubs every year.
Pregnancy lasts up to 2 months. The litter may be up to 5 cubs. They are born helpless, naked and blind. The female hides them in the shelter - among the thorn bushes. It conceals the nest location, abundant marking territory at a great distance from him, to distract potential predators.