Unlike the basal ganglia input from the midline and intralaminar nuclei, the origin and prominence of striatal projections arising in the lateral thalamus varies considerably among mammals being most restricted in the opossum and monkey, most extensive in the rat. To get further insight into the evolution of thalamo-striatal pathways the Madagascar lesser hedgehog tenrec (Afrotheria) was investigated using anterograde and retrograde flow techniques. An extensive medial thalamic region (including presumed equivalents to the paraventricular, parataenial and dorsomedial nuclei as well as the reuniens complex), the rostral (central) and caudal (parafascicular) intralaminar nuclei were shown to give rise to striatal projections. Additional projections originated in the ventral anterolateral nuclear group and regions within and around the medial geniculate complex. Similar to the rat there was also substantial projections from the lateral posterior-pulvinar complex and the ventral posterior nucleus. The fibers terminated extensively across the striatum in a mainly homogeneous fashion. Isolated patches of low-density terminations were found in the caudoputamen. This inhomogeneous labeling pattern appeared similar to one described in the cat with the unlabeled islands showing features of striosomes. The medial and intralaminar nuclei also projected heavily upon the olfactory tubercle. Differential innervation patterns were noted in the polymorphous layer, the deep and the superficial molecular layer.