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any of 17 Southeast Asian species of small mammals resembling squirrels and "true" shrews. Tree shrews, however, are neither rodents nor insectivores and differ from them to the extent that they constitute their own mammalian order. They have large eyes, conspicuous ears, and, like insectivores, a long muzzle. Tree shrews have slender bodies, long, slender limbs, and sharp, curved claws. Depending on the species, the tail is slightly shorter or much longer than the body. Tree shrews have acute senses of hearing and smell, along with good vision