Is It Really a Mammal?

Image result for images of tenrec

Hi, Mr. Nature here, with a critter a lot of folks have never heard of–the tenrec.

There are a bunch of different species of these little guys, living on Madagascar, Mauritius, and a few other out-of-the-way places in the Indian Ocean. And the thing about them is… are they really mammals?

We ask this because they maintain rather low body temperatures, and unlike all other mammals, but like birds and reptiles and amphibians, they have a cloaca instead of separate urine and genital tracts. That means one little hole for everything, as you’d find on a lizard or a canary. But at least they don’t lay eggs like the platypus or the spiny anteater (echidna).

God’s stuff is very complicated. We’ve been studying it for centuries and are still nowhere near to understanding all of it. We want all our living things sorted into nice, neat categories, and along comes some animal like the tenrec and muddies the waters. I mean, really, what’s a mammal doing with a cloaca?

King Solomon thought one could acquire wisdom by studying the intricacies and mysteries of nature. I’m sure he was right.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations.

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