The Tailless tenrec is the largest land-dwelling species of the tenrec family. They have medium-sized, coarse grey to reddish-grey fur and long, sharp spines along their body. The fur of these animals is not dense. It is a combination of hairs and blunt spines. Despite being sometimes known as Tailless tenrecs, they have a small tail.
Tailless tenrecs are native to Madagascar. They are also found in the Comoros, Mauritius, Réunion, and Seychelles, where these animals have been introduced. Tailless tenresc inhabit subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, dry savanna, moist savanna, subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, arable land, pastureland, plantations, rural gardens, and urban areas.
Tailless tenrecs are solitary creatures. They forage and hibernate alone. When males meet during the breeding season they will fight one another. These tenrecs are often seen swimming in rice paddies during forages. The burrows of Tailless tenrecs are usually located near streams. They use two types of burrows: a hibernating burrow and a burrow of an active animal. Tailless tenrecs are the first known tropical mammals that hibernate for long stretches without waking up. They can hibernate for up to nine months at a time. If threatened, Tailless tenrecs will scream, erect their spiny hairs to a crest, jump, buck, hiss and bite.
Tailless tenrecs exhibit a polygynandrous (promiscuous) mating system. This means that both, males and females have multiple partners during a breeding season. These animals breed in October and November. Females give birth to a litter of 32 young, with an average litter between 15-20. The gestation period lasts around 50-60 days. At birth little hoglets have a black-and-white striped appearance. Their eyes open between 9-14 days. At three weeks they begin to forage with their mother. At around 4 weeks hoglets nurse less and beging to take solid food. The young molt their characteristic stripes at 36 days, and leave the nest shortly after. They continue forage with mother for some time after leaving the nest.
There are no major threats to Tailless tenrecs. They locally suffer from hunting in some parts of their range and by fires, particularly in lowland dry deciduous areas.
According to IUCN, the Tailless tenrec is relatively common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.