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Lesser hedgehog tenrec
There are 25 species of tenrec which are mostly found on Madagascar, but some are native to mainland Africa. The name lesser hedgehog tenrec is misleading, as tenrecs are not related to hedgehogs. Their closest relatives are moles and shrews. However, like hedgehogs, tenrecs have spines covering much of their bodies. Although the underlying muscular structure is less specialized than a hedgehog’s, tenrecs have well-developed muscles under the skin that allow them to raise and lower their spines.
Eastern Indigo Snake
Eastern indigo snakes are the largest native non-venomous snake in the United States. Rather than relying on constriction to disable their wide variety of prey items, they simply overpower their prey with their muscular jaws and swallow it whole. Their conservation status is of concern because their preferred habitat, the longleaf pine forest, has been heavily fragmented by agricultural and logging practices.
Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth
Sloths are arboreal animals and are slow and deliberate rather than swift and agile. Specialized, enlarged claws enable them to hang upside down below the branches they traverse. Sloths derive their entire diet of leaves and some fruits in the trees, and they do almost everything upside down.
The diamondback terrapin is unique among all turtles, except sea turtles, in that it lives in coastal brackish waters (mixture of fresh and salt water). Their large beak and jaw muscles help them crush hard-bodied prey such as clams or shrimp. Diamondback terrapins were once overharvested for human consumption; today, they are largely at risk because of automobile collisions on roads, boat strikes in the water, and unattended crab traps. Conservation programs have allowed their populations to recover.