Common Treeshrew
(Tupaia glis) #62-279




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Physical characteristics and distribution

The generic name derives from the Malaysian word "tupai" meaning squirrel. The Treeshrew has a longer nose and no long black whiskers like squirrels. It differs from other genera of Treeshrews as it has a tail covered with long hairs, a squared off patch of naked skin above the nose, and lower earlobe which is smaller than the top of the ear. The head and body length of tupai averages between 140 - 230 mm, and the tail is a little more than the length of the head and body. Weights range from 100-300 grams. Colors of the upper parts vary from ochre, reddish, olive or shades of brown and gray to almost black. Underparts are whitish to buff or dark brown. And there is sometimes a light shoulder stripe. There is a throat gland present in Tupaia glis which differs from the glands in primates, but occurs in some insectivores.

Treeshrews are diurnal. They spend much of their time on the ground and in bushes. They are always searching for food, mainly insects. They also eat fruits, seeds and leaves. When eating, they sit on their haunches and hold the food between their front paws.

Social groups consist of one dominant male with 1-3 females. Territories are well established with ranges of opposite sexes overlapping freely. Breeding appears to occur throughout the year. Nests are built in the hollows of trees. Estrous lasts from 8-39 days with gestations of between 40-52 days. Litter sizes range from 1 to 3 young who are kept in a separate "juvenile nesTupaia" The mother visits the infants to feed them until they are weaned at about 36 days. They then move to the "parental nesTupaia". Sexual maturity is achieved at about 3 months in both sexes.

Tupaia glis
is found in SE Asia, south of about 10 N latitude, from the vicinity of Hat-Yai, S Thailand through mainland Malaysia (and adjacent coastal isls) to Singapore; also Indonesia, including Siberut, Batu Isls, Sumatra, Java, Bangka, and the Riau, Lingga, and Anambas Isls.


Description of the brain


Animal source and preparation
All specimens collected followed the same preparation and histological procedure.

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