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Tree Shrews: Scandentia

Tree Shrews And People

With their close relationship to primates, and a well-developed sense of vision and hearing, tree shrews are being used by researchers as animal models for human diseases. An animal model is an animal studied that mimics human biological or psychological disease. Research studies have included hepatitis (hep-uh-TIE-tuhs), a disease of the liver, vision disorders, and psychosocial stress.


For years, scientists debated about who was the tree shrews' closest relative. In the 1920s, a scientist proposed that tree shrews were related to primates based on studies of primate and shrew skulls. Many accepted these findings and said the tree shrew belonged in the primate order. Other researchers said it was more similar to animals in the insectivore order, because of its resemblance to animals such as the shrew. In 1984, researchers decided the tree shrew was unique enough to have its own order.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsTree Shrews: Scandentia - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Tree Shrews And People, Conservation Status, Common Tree Shrew (tupaia Glis): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET