What Is Yellow and Black and Spiked All Over? Zoo Welcomes Bizarre-Looking Mammal
In addition to being striped just like a bumblebee, the lowland streaked tenrecs are also have spines on their bodies, like a hedgehog.
What is yellow and black and spiked all over? The four lowland streaked tenrecs that have made their debut at the Chester Zoo in England.
The four lowland streaked tenrecs, native to tropical Madagascar, are believed to be the only group found in any zoo around the world.
In addition to being yellow and black striped, like a bumblebee, the mammal also have spines all over their bodies, resembling a hedgehog.
While the quills add to their unique appearance, team manager Dave White of the Chester Zoo explained they are primarily used in communication, similar to how a grasshopper or a cricket might use their body parts to communicate.
"Much like a violinist rubbing their bow across their violin strings, they have special quills on their backs which they brush together to produce high pitched squeaks," White said in a statement. "They are the only mammals in the world that are known to do this."
The buzzing sound made by the quills is at a much higher frequency than humans capable of hearing.
The lowland streaked tenrecs also use echolocation to make up for their poor eyesight, and only eat soft insects like worms and larvae due to their weak jawbones.
“Lowland streaked tenrecs are spectacularly peculiar and have some incredible traits,” White said.
The group of four are currently being cared for behind-the scenes due to how rare they are.
The zoo reported that their species is being threatened by deforestation.
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