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Scandentia (Tree Shrews)

  1. Chris Beard

Published Online: 30 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001559



How to Cite

Beard, C. 2001. Scandentia (Tree Shrews). eLS. .

Author Information

  1. Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAY 2001


Tree shrews constitute an order of placental mammals known as Scandentia, represented by about 18 living species native to southern and southeastern Asia. Roughly similar in appearance to squirrels, tree shrews are scansorial omnivores that are equally adept on the ground and in the trees. Although tree shrews have often been considered the nearest living relatives of primates, this distinction may belong to dermopterans instead.


  • scansorial climbing;
  • phylogeny