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a family of mammals of the order Insectívora. The body measures 4–40 cm in length and the tail 1–16 cm. Different species bear a physical resemblance to shrews, moles, or hedgehogs. The body is covered with soft or setaceous hairs and sometimes with spines. The web-footed tenrec has a web on the hind paws.
The family comprises ten genera, which include approximately 20 species. Members of the family are distributed in Madagascar and on the Comoro Islands, and a few species have been acclimatized on certain other islands of the Indian Ocean. They inhabit tropical rain forests, shrub thickets, and steppes. The Tenrecidae are terrestrial animals, except for the web-footed tenrec. Active at night, they feed on animal and sometimes plant matter. They reproduce once a year; a litter consists of one to four young or as many as 25. The flesh of large species, for example, the tenrec and large Madagascar hedgehog (Setifer setosus), is used as food by the local population.