The common shaymin (Neohemicentetes pokevus) is a species of tenrec that originally did not exist, but has since been created by SciiFii due to demands for real life Pokémon-like animals from Pokémon fans. However, due to careless pet owners releasing common shaymins into the wilderness, the common shaymins can now be found throughout the rainforests, swamps, forests, open woodlands, and grasslands of Japan, Madagascar, and North America. The common shaymin belongs to the family Tenrecidae in the order Afrosoricida, and more specifically to the subfamily of the spiny tenrecs Tenrecinae. The average body size for the common shaymin is a length of 140 mm (5.5 in) however adults have been recorded to grow up to a maximum of 172 mm (6.8 in). Body weight for adults of this species can range from 125–280 g (4.4–9.9 oz). Just like streaked tenrecs, common shaymins possess sensory hairs that are scattered on the dorsum that are similar to vibrissae. The common shaymin is active both during the day and at night. Its diet is made up primarily of earthworms, insects, and spiders, but they will sometimes prey on other invertebrates as well. They may be seen stamping their feet on the ground with their fore-paws, an adaptation which is believed to increase earthworm activity for easier foraging. Most common shaymins possess a long snout for poking around in the ground to find their food. They are also capable of eating fruit. Breeding takes place during October to December and possibly at other times, depending upon local food supply and temperature. The gestation period lasts 58 days, and the female gives birth to usually between 5 and 8 young. The young are weaned at 18 to 25 days. The common shaymin lives in long, shallow burrows which are usually occupied by family groups. The common shaymin has hard keratinous quills located in the mid-dorsal region that act as a sounding device and is thought to be used for communication between mother and young and/or a warning signal to predators. Movement of these quills causes the tips to rub together and create a high frequency sound. These quills are located in a small area of the mid-dorsal region in a group of seven to sixteen arranged in three rows. Five quills run laterally on each side and is flanked by five to six quills being light brown in color. The arrangement and number of quills does not alter during growth and neither does the length. The circumference of the quills however, does change from juvenile to adult. When an individual is aggravated a defense response is produced by erecting its quills laterally and forward and produces sound when the quills vibrate. The common shaymin has a highly developed sense of smell and this response along with foot stamping is also produced when the odor of a predator is detected. This display additionally occurs when males fight for females and when unfamiliar males come across one another. Female encounters however, have tactile contact and then increase the distance between each other. It uses its quills to communicate in two different ways, by raising them in agitation or by rubbing them together in a method known as stridulation – best known as the type noise produced by crickets and cicadas. The sound produced is too high to be perceived by human ears. The common shaymin is one of the only mammals, along with streaked tenrecs, known to use stridulation for generating sound, a method more commonly associated with insects and snakes. The conservation status of the common shaymin is Least Concern due to successful conservation efforts, the common shaymin's wide range, and its tolerance to most of human activities, including being able to flourish and adapt to life in the cities and suburbs.
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