|Lesser hedgehog tenrec © Peter J Stephenson|
After human and mouse the tenrec was one of the first mammals to be sequenced (link here). When this was still in the works, the popular science magazine ScienceNews put a tenrec on the cover. The caption to the article read, "They're sequencing a what?" (here).
Sadly the tenrec has had it's 15 minutes of fame. When Nature News and Comment ran a report on a recent study from the Chavan lab., it was headlined, "Armadillo, hedgehog and rabbit genes reveal how pregnancy evolved." Once the editors realized Echinops telfairi was a tenrec, this was shortened to "Armadillo and rabbit genes..."
The irony to this was that a previous paper from the lab. (OA here) wrote that their hypothesis - about implantation evolving from an inflammatory reaction - could be tested by looking at the basal eutherian clades Afrotheria and Xenarthra. The lecture on which Nature News and Comment was reporting showed this had now been addressed in a tenrec (Afrotheria) and an armadillo (Xenarthra).
The temerity of a tenrec dressing up like a hedgehog!