Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Northern Tree Shrew

Tupaia belangeri

Home Range

Eastern Nepal and Bangladesh to southeastern China, Indochina, and the Malay Peninsula


A wide variety of forests


Northern tree shrews have grayish, olive fur and are 5.5 to nine inches long (from nose to base of the tail), with a tail about as long as their body.


Mainly insects and fruit


Northern tree shrew parents build a nest for their young, in addition to their own nest. Females give birth to between two and four young. They nurse their young every two days and essentially ignore them between feedings—they do not groom them or care for their nest. The young will remain with the adults until sexual maturity.

Social Structure

Northern tree shrews typically live in monogamous pairs. One male and one female have overlapping territories; the male will defend his territory from other males, and the female will defend hers from other females.