Navigation Menu+

Common Treeshrew (Tupaia glis)

Posted on Jun 7, 2008 by in Other Orders | 2 comments


Tupaia glis

Number 0174

Common treeshrews live in the rain forests of Thailand, Sumatra, Java, and thereabouts. Their generic name, Tupaia, comes from a Malayan word that means squirrel. They have sharp claws and little ears and they rustle around in the trees, darting about looking for insects and leaves to gobble up. The treeshrews’ place in the tree of life has been controversial; at times they’ve been placed in the Primates order. But the 20 treeshrew species are currently believed to be in their own order, Scandentia, which means we can mark one more order off the list!

Animal Diversity Web has some critical things to say about the common treeshrew’s child-rearing techniques. The male of a monogamous treeshrew couple makes two nests for the family: one master bedroom for the parents and a separate suite for the babies. And the mother treeshrew neglects her offspring as much as she can without their actually dying. She goes to their nest only once every two days and nurses them for only 10 or 15 minutes at a time! In fact, if you add up all the time a mother treeshrew spends with her children while they’re in the nest, it comes to only an hour and a half! It’s so bad that treeshrew parents wouldn’t even be able to identify their own offspring if they didn’t mark their babies with the scents they produce from glands in their sternum and abdomen.

I don’t mean to be judgmental, but maybe someone should call child protective services.

Consecutive days of mammals: 3
Record: 16


  1. I like these shrews and the mole. Very cool.
    Voles next?
    Like the video too.
    Thanks for the pix, links and all the info. I learn something everytime I visit
    And I love you

  2. Thanks, L! I guess I haven’t drawn a vole yet, have I? Well, there’s plenty of time for that! Glad you like the write-ups and links and whatnot! I’m learning a lot, too. Love you too!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.