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Pen tailed treeshrew

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Scientific name

PtilocercusGray, 1848

Higher classification

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PtilocercidaeLyon, 1913

treeshrew, mammal, Tupaiidae, Common treeshrew, Dendrogale

The pen-tailed treeshrew (Ptilocercus lowii) is a treeshrew native to southern Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and some Indonesian islands.

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It is the only species in the genus Ptilocercus. All other treeshrew species are grouped in the family Tupaiidae. It is considered the closest relative of extant primates.

Pen-tailed treeshrew Animals Who Guzzle Alcohol Like Every Day Is A Mardi Gras Party

Pen-tailed treeshrews are the only known wild mammals that consume alcohol every night. According to a study of treeshrews in Malaysia, they spend several hours per night consuming the equivalent of 10 to 12 glasses of wine with an alcohol content up to 3.8% drinking naturally fermented nectar of the bertam palm. This nectar contains one of the highest alcohol concentrations of all natural foods. Pen-tailed treeshrews frequently consume large amounts of this nectar while showing no signs of intoxication. Measurements of a biomarker of ethanol breakdown suggest that they may be metabolizing it by a pathway that is not used as heavily by humans. Their ability to ingest high amounts of alcohol is hypothesized to have been an evolutionary adaptation in the phylogenic tree. However, how pen-tailed treeshrews benefit from this alcohol ingestion or what consequences of consistent high blood alcohol content might factor into their physiology is unclear.

Pen-tailed treeshrew newsnationalgeographiccomnewsimagesthumbs080

Taxonomy and evolutionary history

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The Ptilocercidae are a family within the order Scandentia. Numerous morphological and genetic differences support the classification of the Ptilocercidae as a separate family from the rest of the treeshrews which diverged around 63 million years ago. Interestingly, treeshrews were considered a close relative of primates, but recent genetic data have concluded that the Dermoptera, not the Ptilocercidae are the appropriate out-group for study of primates.

Pen-tailed treeshrew Way Kambas Sumatra mammal trip Aug 2014 Paul Carter

Pen-tailed treeshrew Pentailed treeshrew Ptilocercus lowii the only known wild


Pen-tailed treeshrew Wikipedia

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