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Class Mammalia
Order Soricomorpha


Soricidae—Shrews // Talpidae—Moles

Soricomorpha—Shrews, Moles, and Relatives

Taxa treated here were long included in the Order Insectivora. With accumulating evidence that the Insectivora is polyphyletic, various other classification schemes have arisen. The classification followed here is that of Hutterer (2005), who noted that there are still many problems within the present organization that need clarification.

As used here, the order contains four families. Two of these are island forms that do not require discussion here. The other two are the Talpidae (moles) and Soricidae (shrews), both of which occur or occurred in the Southwest.

Moles currently occur along the West Coast and approach the eastern margins of our region, the intermediate region being devoid of talpids. In the east, they have been recorded as fossils only from the Blancan portion of the Pleistocene. However, Schmidly (2004) noted that moles currently extend in the Canadian River drainage to the New Mexico line in the northern Panhandle of Texas, and there apparently is (or historically was) a population in Presidio County, Texas. Thus the possibility of Rancholabrean fossils in the far eastern lands of our region appears strong.

The Soricidae is represented rather commonly by fossils in our region, though most species in the inland portion of the region are limited to montane regions.

Literature. Hutterer 2005; Schmidly 2004.


Last Update: 23 Jul 2014