Copies of two repetitive elements of the genome of common tree shrew (Tupaia glis) were cloned and sequenced. The first element, Tu III, is a approximately 260 bp long short interspersed element (SINE) with the 5'-end derived from glycine RNA. Tu III carries long polypurine- and polypyrimidine-rich tracts, which may contribute to the specific secondary structure of Tu III RNA. This SINE was also found in the genome of smooth-tailed tree shrew of another genus (Dendrogale). Tu III seems to be confined to the order Scandentia (tree shrews) since it was not found in DNA of other tested mammals. The second element Tu-SAT1 is a tandem repeat with a monomer length of 365 bp. Some properties of its nucleotide sequence suggest that Tu-SAT1 is a centromeric satellite.