WWW: Tiny, Adorable, and Banned
Side note: for the record I’m pro Oxford Comma
As I was reading through my WNYC Morning Brief yesterday I came across an article called 8 Adorable Animals New Yorkers Aren’t Allowed to Own as Pets. I didn’t one of the animals and figured that was a fair enough standard as any for the operational definition of “weird,” and so here it goes.
Meet the tenrec.
Tenrec is an animal family containing several species ranging from 4.5cm to 39cm in length and native to Madagascar and certain parts of Africa. Their appearance is similar to that of a shrew or hedgehog though there is no close genetic relationship. Instead they share common ancestry with elephants, sea cows, and aardvarks.
They notably, and uncommonly for placental animals, have a cloaca, or a common opening for the anus, urinary, and reproductive tracts. This is a more typical trait of birds or reptiles. Male Tenrecs also do not have scrotums as their low body temperatures do not require a mechanism for keeping sperm cool.
This nocturnal species has a gestation period of 50-64 days and the little Tenrec babies are rather undeveloped, probably because some species of tenrec can give birth to as many as 32 young at once. The females may have up to 29 teats, the most of any mammal.
That’s a lot of boobs, folks.