Tupaiidae


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Related to Tupaiidae: Tarsiidae, Daubentoniidae, Cynocephalidae

Tupaiidae

[tü′pī·ə‚dē]
(vertebrate zoology)
The tree shrews, a family of mammals in the order Insectivora.

Tupaiidae

 

a family of the suborder Prosimii, order Primates. The body measures 10–25 cm in length, and the tail 14–20 cm. The weight varies from 30–60 g (squirrel shrew) to 350 g (the genus Uragale). The extremities are short, and the thumbs are not arranged opposite the other digits; there are sickle-shaped claws on the digits. Tupaiids have 38 teeth. The thick fur is most often dark brown. The animals are closely related to lemurs, but in several ways resemble elephant shrews (Macroscelididae); for this reason many scientists have assigned them to the order Insectívora. There are five genera, encompassing 18 species.

The tupaiids inhabit tropical rain and mountain forests of Hindustan, Indochina, the island of Hainan, and many islands of the Malay Archipelago as far as the western Philippines. Tupaiids are diurnal animals that live in couples or singly in trees or shrub thickets or often on the ground. They feed on insects and fruits. They bear one to four young.