From Academic Kids
The tree shrews are small, squirrel-like mammals native to the tropical forests of South-east Asia. They make up the family Tupaiidae and the entire order Scandentia. There are 18 species in 6 genera. Tree shrews have the highest brain to body mass ratio, even higher than human.
Although called tree shrews, they are not shrews (although they were previously classified in the Insectivora), and are not all arboreal. They are most notable for their mothering practices: the mother runs around all over for two days, then visits her children for only two minutes. They are also paranoid, never taking the same route to their home or their children's. Among other things, they eat Rafflesia fruit.
Tree shrews were moved from Insectivora to the Primates order, because of certain internal similarities to the latter, and classified as a primitive prosimian. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies have demonstrated that tree shrews belong to the clade Euarchonta along with the flying lemurs (order Dermoptera) and the primates. The Euarchonta are sister to the Glires (lagomorphs and rodents), and the two groups are combined into the clade Euarchontoglires.
Euarchontoglires |--Glires | |--rodents (Rodentia) | \--rabbits, hares, pikas (Lagomorpha) | \--Euarchonta |--tree shrews (Scandentia) \--N.N. |--flying lemurs (Dermoptera) \--primates (Primates)
- ORDER SCANDENTIA
Placentalia: Xenarthra | Dermoptera | Desmostylia | Scandentia | Primates | Rodentia | Lagomorpha | Insectivora | Chiroptera | Pholidota | Carnivora | Perissodactyla | Artiodactyla | Cetacea | Afrosoricida | Macroscelidea | Tubulidentata | Hyracoidea | Proboscidea | Sirenia