Shrew mole Uropsilus sp., from here.

Belongs within: Eulipotyphla.
Contains: Talpini.

The Talpidae, moles, are burrowing lipotyphlans found in Eurasia and North America. Moles have a unique digging mode, where the humerus rotates around its long axis. This means that the hands move laterally alongside the body, rather than underneath it as in other animals. As well as the familiar subterranean species, the family also includes the aquatic desmans (Desmaninae) and the shrew-like Uropsilus. Species of Uropsilus, found in eastern Asia, are not strongly specialised for burrowing and have been suggested to occupy a basal position in mole phylogeny. Another contender for this position is the American shrew mole Neurotrichus gibbsii, found in the Pacific northwest of North America, which is also the smallest living member of the family. Talpids are first known in the fossil record by the Late Eocene Eotalpa from the UK; they are not known from North America until the Miocene (Butler 1988).

<==Talpidae [Myaladae, Orycteri, Talpomorpha]
    |--Oreotalpa florissantensis MJ11, HUG17
    |--Eotalpa Sige et al. 1977 MJ11, SM93
    |    `--E. belgica OB13
    `--+--Neurotrichus Günther 1880 FS15, V67
       |    `--N. gibbsii FS15
       `--+--Scaptonyx Milne-Edwards 1872 FS15, P04 [Scaptonychini]
          |    |--S. dolichochir A05
          |    |--S. edwardsi A05
          |    `--S. fusicaudus FS15
          `--+--+--Scapanulus Thomas 1912 FS15, V67
             |  |    `--S. oweni FS15
             |  `--+--Parascalops True 1894 FS15, V67
             |     |    `--P. breweri FS15
             |     `--Scalopinae [Scalopini, Scapanei] MJ11
             |          |--Scapanus Pomel 1848 [=Scapaneus Winge 1917] V67
             |          |    |--S. latimanus FS15
             |          |    `--+--S. orarius FS15
             |          |       `--S. townsendii FS15
             |          `--Scalopus Geoffroy Saint Hilaire 1803 FS15, V67 (see below for synonymy)
             |               `--S. aquaticus FS15
             |                    |--S. a. aquaticus B75
             |                    |--S. a. caryi F68
             |                    |--S. a. machrinoides Jackson 1914 B75
             |                    `--S. a. machrinus B75
             `--Talpinae MJ11
                  |--Urotrichini HO01
                  |    |--Dymecodon True 1886 V67
                  |    |    `--D. pilirostris FS15
                  |    |--Myxomygale Filhol 1890 HO01, V67
                  |    |--Urotrichus Temminck 1841 FS15, V67
                  |    |    |--U. pilirostris IT07
                  |    |    `--U. talpoides FS15
                  |    |--Paratalpa Lavocat 1951 MJ11, V67
                  |    |--Domninoides Green 1956 V67
                  |    |--Mydecodon Wilson 1960 V67
                  |    |--Scalopoides Wilson 1960 V67
                  |    `--Proscapanus Gaillard 1899 [=Proscapaneus Winge 1917] V67
                  |         `--P. sansaniensis A05
                  `--+--Talpini FS15
                     `--+--Desmaninae [Myogalina] B88
                        |    |--Mygalea Schreuder 1940 V67
                        |    |--Mygalinea Schreuder 1940 V67
                        |    |--Gaillardia Matthew 1932 [incl. Hydroscapheus Shotwell 1956; Gaillardiinae] V67
                        |    |--Geomana Brunner 1957 V67
                        |    |--Desmagale Kretzoi 1954 V67
                        |    |--Lemoynea G88
                        |    |--Desmana Gueldenstaedt 1777 FS15, P04 (see below for synonymy)
                        |    |    `--D. moschata FS15
                        |    `--Galemys Kaup 1829 [=Galomys Agassiz 1846; incl. Mygalina Geoffroy Saint Hilaire 1835] V67
                        |         `--G. pyrenaicus FS15
                        `--+--Condylura Illiger 1811 FS15, P04 (see below for synonymy)
                           |    `--C. cristata (Linnaeus 1758) B75
                           `--Uropsilinae HO01
                                |--Asthenoscaptor Hutchinson 1974 HO01
                                |--Mygatalpa Schreuder 1940 HO01, V67
                                |--Desmanella HO01
                                |--Mystipterus Hall 1930 HO01, V67
                                |--Theratiskos Hoek Ostende 2001 HO01
                                |    |--*T. mechteldae Hoek Ostende 2001 HO01
                                |    `--T. rutgeri Hoek Ostende 2001 HO01
                                `--Uropsilus Milne Edwards 1872 FS15, V67 (see below for synonymy)
                                     |--U. andersoni FS15
                                     |--U. gracilis FS15
                                     |--U. investigator FS15
                                     |--U. moschatus HUG17
                                     `--U. soricipes FS15

Talpidae incertae sedis:
  Nesoscaptor uchidai IT07
  Camphotherium Filhol 1884 V67 [=Comphotherium V67, Gomphotherium non Burmeister 1837 M66]
  Galeospalax Pomel 1848 V67
  Hyporyssus Pomel 1848 V67
  Scaptogale Trouessart 1879 [incl. Echinogale Pomel 1848 non Wagner 1841] V67
  Suleimania Hoek Ostende 2001 [Suleimaninae] HO01
    `--*S. ruemkae Hoek Ostende 2001 HO01
  Veratalpa Ameghino 1905 A05
    `--*V. lugdunensiana Ameghino 1905 A05
  Desmanodon HO01

Condylura Illiger 1811 FS15, P04 [incl. Astromycter Harris 1825 V67, Rhinaster Wagler 1830 V67, Talpasorex Schinz 1821 V67; Condylurini]

Desmana Gueldenstaedt 1777 FS15, P04 [=Desman Lacépède 1799 V67, Desmanus Rafinesque 1815 V67; incl. Caprios Wagler 1830 V67, Mygale Cuvier 1800 V67, Myogale Brandt 1836 V67, Myogalea Fischer 1829 V67, Palaeospalax Owen 1846 V67]

Scalopus Geoffroy Saint Hilaire 1803 FS15, V67 [=Scalops Illiger 1811 V67; incl. Hesperoscalops Hibbard 1941 V67, Talpasorex Lesson 1827 non Schinz 1821 V67]

Uropsilus Milne Edwards 1872 FS15, V67 [incl. Nasillus Thomas 1911 V67, Rhynchonax Thomas 1912 V67; Uropsilinae MJ11]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A05] Ameghino, F. 1905. La perforation astragalienne sur quelques mammifères du Miocène moyen de France. Anales del Museo Nacional de Buenos Aires, serie 3, 6: 41–58.

[B75] Bowles, J. B. 1975. Distribution and biogeography of mammals of Iowa. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 9: 1–184.

[B88] Butler, P. M. 1988. Phylogeny of the insectivores. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods vol. 2. Mammals pp. 117–141. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[F68] Fisher, D. R. 1968. A study of faunal resemblance using numerical taxonomy and factor analysis. Systematic Zoology 18 (4): 48–63.

[G88] Gray, J. 1988. Evolution of the freshwater ecosystem: the fossil record. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 62: 1–214.

[HUG17] Halliday, T. J. D., P. Upchurch & A. Goswami. 2017. Resolving the relationships of Paleocene placental mammals. Biological Reviews 92 (1): 521–550.

[HO01] Hoek Ostende, L. W. van den. 2001. Insectivore faunas from the Lower Miocene of Anatolia—part 5: Talpidae. Zoologica Scripta 122: 1–45.

[IT07] Isaac, N. J. B., S. T. Turvey, B. Collen, C. Waterman & J. E. M. Baillie. 2007. Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PloS One 2 (3): e296.

[M66] McKenna, M. C. 1966. Synopsis of Whitneyan and Arikareean camelid phylogeny. American Museum Novitates 2253: 1–11.

[MJ11] Meredith, R. W., J. E. Janečka, J. Gatesy, O. A. Ryder, C. A. Fisher, E. C. Teeling, A. Goodbla, E. Eizirik, T. L. L. Simão, T. Stadler, D. L. Rabosky, R. L. Honeycutt, J. J. Flynn, C. M. Ingram, C. Steiner, T. L. Williams, T. J. Robinson, A. Burk-Herrick, M. Westerman, N. A. Ayoub, M. S. Springer & W. J. Murphy. 2011. Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification. Science 334: 521–524.

[OB13] O'Leary, M. A., J. I. Bloch, J. J. Flynn, T. J. Gaudin, A. Giallombardo, N. P. Giannini, S. L. Goldberg, B. P. Kraatz, Z.-X. Luo, J. Meng, X. Ni, M. J. Novacek, F. A. Perini, Z. S. Randall, G. W. Rougier, E. J. Sargis, M. T. Silcox, N. B. Simmons, M. Spaulding, P. M. Velazco, M. Weksler, J. R. Wible & A. L. Cirranello. 2013. The placental mammal ancestor and the post-K-Pg radiation of placentals. Science 339: 662–667.

[P04] Popov, V. V. 2004. Pliocene small mammals (Mammalia, Lipotyphla, Chiroptera, Lagomorpha, Rodentia) from Muselievo (north Bulgaria). Geodiversitas 26 (3): 403–491.

[SM93] Stucky, R. K., & M. C. McKenna. 1993. Mammalia. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 739–771. Chapman & Hall: London.

[V67] Van Valen, L. 1967. New Paleocene insectivores and insectivore classification. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 135 (5): 217–284.

Last updated: 9 February 2022.

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