Meet Tansy, the New Creation Museum Tenrec

on July 20, 2023

The number of God’s creatures in the Eden Animal Experience at the Creation Museum recently grew with a lesser-known animal that poses many questions for the evolutionist community. Meet Tansy, a lesser hedgehog tenrec!


Tansy will act as an animal ambassador in our daily live animal programs at the zoo to teach guests about God’s unique design in animals.

We asked Karina, our talented zoo animal programs manager at the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, to tell us more about the tenrecs.

The ~30 species of tenrecs from Africa and its island of Madagascar may resemble hedgehogs, moles, opossums, rodents, or shrews, but they are not in the same created kind as any of those animals. Tenrecs are also similar to platypuses in that they have cloacas and very low body temperatures (86–95°F), but they’re unrelated.


Five tenrec species (including Tansy’s) have spines, some with barbs like New World porcupines, but they’re not related to porcupines. There is evidence that Tansy’s species can echolocate like bats or cetaceans—but she’s certainly not a bat or cetacean (whale, dolphin, porpoise).

The lowland streaked tenrecs are the only mammals known to stridulate, which is the act of producing sound by rubbing together anatomical structures. Stridulation is mostly seen in arthropods (think crickets) and venomous snakes—but tenrecs clearly aren’t snakes or insects!


With this hodgepodge of odd features, it’s difficult to explain tenrecs within an evolutionary worldview. However, the Bible gives us a perfect explanation for their design! While our research is unclear as to whether all tenrecs are in the same created kind due to the drastic differences between each species, we do know they are land animals and would have been created on day six of creation week (Genesis 1:24–25).

They also would have qualified to board Noah’s ark under God’s instructions in Genesis 6 and 7. After the flood, tenrecs likely spread to Africa and rafted to Madagascar, where they now fill almost every biome and ecological niche. This phenomenon is called adaptive radiation, where organisms diversify rapidly from an ancestral form (the kinds coming off the ark) to a variety of new species occupying different environmental niches.


Tenrecs can be arboreal, terrestrial, fossorial (living underground), and even aquatic. Adaptive radiation is often used as “proof” of molecules-to-man evolution. However, this would require gaining new genetic traits and one kind turning into another. But the adaptive radiation we observe simply manifests genetic possibilities already within the genetics of the kinds created by God. The tenrecs are still tenrecs—they haven’t turned into anything else.

Fascinating creatures, aren’t they?


We hope you’ll attend one of our live animal programs at the Creation Museum during your visit so you can meet Tansy in person. Start planning your visit today!