A tenrec is any species of mammal within the afrotherian family Tenrecidae endemic to Madagascar. Tenrecs are widely diverse; as a result of convergent evolution some resemble hedgehogs, shrews, opossums, rats, or mice. They occupy aquatic, arboreal, terrestrial and fossorial environments. Some of these species, including the greater hedgehog tenrec, can be found in the Madagascar dry deciduous forests. However, the speciation rate in this group has been higher in humid forests.
All tenrecs are believed to descend from a common ancestor that lived 29–37 million years (Ma) ago after rafting over from Africa. The split from their closest relatives, African otter shrews, is estimated to have occurred about 47–53 Ma ago.