Tenrec

Hurrah! We at The Proceedings doff our caps to this intriguing chap who is quite simply like no other… for starters he’s got no balls! No, he’s not French… he’s from Madagascar… what’s that you say… a former French colonial outpost… aah starting to make sense… apart from the bit where the French actually managed to conquer somewhere of course.

Tenrec

Grrrrrr....

He is really rather smashing isn’t he. Yes quite… he does look like a rather dapper hedgehog… and yes… you are forgiven for thinking that he’s some relative of a snail-eating creature with no road sense… no I told you not the blasted French… he’s not related to hedgehogs. His closest relatives are in fact the golden moles, elephants and hyraxes which causes a real kerfuffle when it comes to booking a venue for family get togethers.

This tenrec chap is quite amazing, there are 30 species of them dotted around Madagascar and South Africa. They inhabit a number of different ecological niches; some favour bobbing around in rivers, others scrabbling around in bushes, some are up trees and others are underground. Remarkably they’ve grown to look quite a lot like some rather more familiar species… some are the spitting image of hedgehogs…

tenrechedgehog

eeek

others are well adapted to water and look like otters…

tenrecotter

well hello

others bound around bearing a remarkable resemblance tree shrews…

tenrec3

hello

…and the lowland streaked tenrec appears to have evolved to look like a German transvestite.

streakedtenrec

Guten tag handsome

Time to talk balls, more so than usual, you see these chaps lack them. They have testes of course, but they are one of the few mammals that keep them inside their body. Testicles as you know produce sperm and hormones, for mating and producing “maleness” in the body… a number of factors including facial hair, libido and propensity for pipe smoking. As the testes don’t work very well in the hot temperatures inside the body, most animals have balls that hang out of the body. A few animals, such as the whales and dolphins, keep them inside their body and have adapted elaborate systems to keep them cool. The tenrecs however just have a cool body temperature.

There is another odd body feature about these chaps in that they have a single opening for all their weeing, pooing and hanky panky. Their bum and other bits are one and the same… one hole for all functions known as a cloaca… more commonly seen in birds, reptiles and amphibians.

So there it is quite remarkable isn’t it… no not that… that the French managed to conquer somewhere.

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Published in: on October 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great blog and another wonderful addition today with the Tenrec.

  2. Very kind of you to say so old bean!

  3. I’m pretty sure German transvestites are not that cute!

    Thanks for a great story, yet again. I just love your style!

    More, more, more!!!

  4. Dear You,

    I think you are great.
    <3 Molly

  5. Holy hell the French came out on top of a scrap?


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