COMMON TREE SHREW – Tupaia glis

COMMON TREE SHREW

Physical characteristics: Common tree shrews have a head and body length of about 7.5 inches (19.5 centimeters). They have a long, pointed snout. Their fur is darker on the upper side of their body than on their bellies. Upper side fur can be dark brown, pale brown, blackish gray or it can appear almost black. Their undersides are whitish, orange or rusty red, or a light or dark brown. Common tree shrews that live in northern areas with less rainfall are typically lighter than those in southern areas with greater rainfall.

They often have a pale stripe along their shoulder. Similar to a squirrel, common tree shrews have a long, bushy tail. It can be about as long as the length of the head and body. These animals have relatively small ears, with their lower lobe smaller than the upper one.

Geographic range: Common tree shrews are found in Thailand, the Malayan Peninsula, and in Sumatra, Java, and surrounding islands.

Where do shrews live: Common tree shrews live in evergreen tropical rainforests.

What do shrews eat: Common tree shrews eat a varied diet that they collect primarily from the ground. Their food includes insects, particularly ants, as well as spiders, seeds, buds, leaves, and fruit. They can also eat lizards.

Behavior and reproduction: Active during the day, common tree shrews are extremely energetic. They spend a great deal of their time on the ground, yet they can also easily climb trees. They typically live alone or with a mate. Field studies in Malaysia have shown that breeding may occur at any time of year. Gestation periods last roughly forty-six to fifty days, and families produce one to three offspring.

The newborn young are hairless, with closed eyes. The young are ready to leave the nest about thirty-three days after birth. The young are reared in a nest separated from that of the mother and are suckled every other day.

Common tree shrews and people: There is no known connection between common tree shrews and people.

Conservation status: Common tree shrews are not considered threatened.