The Vertebrates Erinaceomorpha

Insectivora: Erinaceomorpha


Abbreviated Dendrogram
Eutheria │ ├─Insectivora │ ├─Micropternodontidae │ └─┬─Erinaceomorpha │ │ ├─Hylomyinae │ │ └─Erinaceinae │ └─Soricomorpha │ ├─Tenrecoidea │ └─┬─Solenodontidae │ └─┬─Talpoidea │ └─Soricoidea │ ├─Apternodontidae │ └─Soricidae │ ├─Crocidurinae │ └─Soricinae └─┬─Chrysochloroidea └─Afrotheria

Insectivora and Molecular phylogeny

Taxa on This Page

  1. Erinaceomorpha
  2. Hylomyinae


Reconstruction of MacrocranionErinaceomorpha: hedgehogs > shrews. Brachyerix, Litolestes, Macrocranion.

Range: from the mid-Paleocene of North America, Europe (Paleocene), Asia Eocene), Africa (Miocene). [N99] [V+00].

Phylogeny: Insectivora::: Soricomorpha + *: Hylomyinae + Erinaceinae.

Characters: skull proportions quite variable (some actually short & wide) [N99]; snout usually long [V+00]; snout blunt [N99];  lacrimal fused to maxilla in adults [F+91$]; orbits moderately large for insectivores) [N99] [V+00]; infraorbital foramina at least as anterior as P4 [F+91$?]; jugal present; zygomatic process of maxilla present, large & distinct [F+91$?]; zygomatic arch complete [V+00]; basioccipital suture with petrosal closed [F+91]; pinnae conspicuous [N99] [V+00]; mastoid tubercle formed largely from petromastoid [A+02$];  bulla incomplete; basioccipital- petrosal suture closed, forming distinct posterior lacerate foramen [F+91$]; braincase small [N99]; anterior palatine foramina at least somewhat elongate [F+91$?]; palatines have posteriorly-directed median spine [A+02$]; epipterygoid process of pterygoid present [F+91$]; dental formula 2-3/2-3, 1/1, 3-4/2-4, 3/3 [V+00] (compare [N99]: incisors 2-3/3); I1 & sometimes i1 enlarged [N99] [V+00]; C1 reduced, slightly larger than adjacent teeth [F+91$?]; anterior premolars with two roots [A+02$]; P2 with single root or two, fused roots [F+91$]; P3 small [F+91$?]; P4 with two lingual roots (which may be fused) [F+91]; P4 quadrate (hypocone present and substantial) [F+91$?]; P4 with 2, fused lingual roots [F+91$?]; p1 absent [F+91$]; p3 with single root [F+91$?]; upper molars with simple, nonsectorial cusps with paracone & metacone near buccal margin [V+00]; molars quadrate hypocone present) [F+91] [V+00]; M3 metacone reduced or absent [F+91$];  lower molars generally quadrate, with well-developed trigonid and talonid [F+91$] [V+00]; lower molars with low trigonids & expanded talonid [F+91]; m1 & m2 rectangular [F+91]; m2 trigonid > m3 trigonid [A+02$]; m3 "shorter" (mesiodistally?) than m2 [A+02$]; m3 paraconid replaced by anterior crest running mesiolingually from protoconid [A+02$]; m3 mesial cingulid extends to buccal edge [A+02$]; 3 sacral vertebrae articulate with ilium [A+02$]; ulna articulates broadly with carpus [A+02$]; digits 5/5 (one exception) [N99] [V+00]; plantigrade [N99] [V+00] tibia & fibula fused [N99]; female urogenital opening well separated from anus [N99].

Note: [1] At the moment, we do not cover anything in the phylospace between the stem group and the two main taxa of living hedgehogs. Unfortunately, this means that the characters listed here confound the characteristics of Erinaceidae (living crown group) with its stem groups. [2] Both morphological and molecular studies place this clade at a very basal position on the eutherian tree. [M+00a].

Image: Right: Macrocranion -- one of several great images from the Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg (former site). Left: from Prof. Edward J. Heske's IB 336 - Mammalogy site (former page).

Erinaceus skullLinks: Basal Erinaceomorpha Mikko's Phylogeny); Volume 20 No. 2 unfortunately brief abstract of an important paper); Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews - Status Survey and ... brief taxonomic history, with references); Mitogenomic analyses of eutherian relationships Mitochondrial Madness!); Mammalian mitogenomic relationships and the root of the eutherian ... More Mitochondrial Madness!); Molecular evidence for multiple origins of Insectivora and for a ...  hedgehogs, an Afrocentric analysis); INHALT Die Vorfahren Lokale Fotowettbewerb- Acker- German semi-popular article); Untersuchungen am Auge von erkrankten und gesunden Igeln ( ... German: comprehensive study of the European hedgehog); Basal Erinaceomorpha Mikko's Phylogeny); 食虫目 Chinese: brief discussion of diversity); Animal Diversity Web: Erinaceidae Family.

References: Asher et al. 2002) [A+02]; Frost et al. 1991) [F+91]; Mouchaty et al. (2000a) [M+00a]; Nowak (1999) [N99]; Vaughan et al. 2000) [V+00]. ATW030727.

Hylomys parvusHylomyinae: = Galercinae = Echinosoricinae [N99] = Galerices = Gymnurinae = Hylomyidae = Galericini [F+91] (gymnures or moonrats) Echinosorex, Hylomys, Podogymnura.

Range: South China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia

Phylogeny:  Erinaceomorpha: Erinaceinae + *.

Characters: rostrum > 42% of skull length [F+91]; lacrimal foramen covered by antorbital flange in lateral view [F+91$]; suboptic foramen anterior to sphenorbital fissure  [F+91]; "sphenopalatine foramen anterodorsal or slightly posterodorsal to palatine transverse torus" [F+91] [2]; anterior process of alisphenoid absent [F+91] [1]; jugal does not reach posteroventral process of zygoma [F+91]; zygomatic process of squamosal not elevated posteriorly [F+91]; postglenoid foramen posterior to glenoid fossa [F+91]; squamosal, suprameatal foramen absent [F+91]; paroccipital process small [F+91]; occipital condyle emarginated, appearing lobate [F+91]; basioccipital, condylar foramen anterior to ventral lip of condyle [F+91]; squamosal participates in bullar roof [F+91$]; epitympanic recess formed by squamosal [F+91]; ectotympanic slender & annular [F+91]; basisphenoid flat, with nasopharyngeal fossa absent [F+91]; anterior palatine foramina somewhat elongated, but not including middle palatine foramina [F+91]; I2 larger than I3 [F+91]; i1 Erinaceus alisphenoid anterior process present [F+91]; i2 size roughly equal to other incisors [F+91]; P4 with 2 unfused lingual roots [F+91$?]; p3 present [F+91]; M3 hypocone & metacone well developed [F+91$]; axis with posteroventral keel [F+91$]; sacral vertebrae not fused into longitudinal plate [F+91]; tail long & hairless [V+00]; scapula, metacromion process elongate, fusiform [F+91]; ischium, posteroventral process greatly elongated [F+91$]; tibia with strongly developed lateral flange on anterodorsal surface [F+91$]; spines absent [F+91] [V+00]; some species diurnal [N99]; some are partially aquatic [N99]; odor defense; facultative omnivores [N99].

Notes: [1]  This character is not figured by Frost et al. [F+91]. The alisphenoid anterior process, when present, is said to join with a like posterior process of the maxilla to create a shelf between the sphenorbital and sphenopalatine foramina. This all looks suspiciously like the ethmoidal crest of the palatine to us. See figure from Gray's Anatomy. Whether this is the alisphenoid or the palatine, the figure on the left shows such a structure in an erinaceine, Erinaceus. [2] We have no confidence that we understand what this means. The "palatine transverse torus" is not standard nomenclature. It may refer to the pyramidal process of the palatine. The "sphenopalatine foramen" is standard anatomical nomenclature, but we are not sure that it has been applied here in a standard way.

Image: Right: Hylomys from the MUSEUM D'HISTOIRE NATURELLE DE LA VILLE DE GENEVE: département de Mammalogie et Ornithologie; Collections. Left: Erinaceus (an erinaceine) detail from the Mammalian Crania Picture Archive of the Department of Anatomy, Tokyo University School of Medicine.

Hylomys palatal skull from Frost et al. (1991).

Links: Eurasian Insectivores and Tree Shrews - Status Survey and ... conservation site, strong on diversity); Animal Diversity Web: Echinosorex gymnura (Moon Rat, Gymnure): Narrative-- very good species account of Echinosorex with detailed images of skull anatomy).

References: Frost et al. 1991) [F+91]; Nowak (1999) [N99]; Vaughan et al. 2000) [V+00]. ATW030723.

checked ATW050623