European mole Talpa europaea, photographed by Jiří Bohdal.

Belongs within: Eulipotyphla.

The Talpidae, moles, are burrowing lipotyphlans found in Eurasia and North America. As well as the familiar subterranean species, the family also includes the aquatic desmans (Desmaninae), and the shrew-like Uropsilus. It is generally agreed that Uropsilus, species of which are not strongly specialised for burrowing, represents the sister taxon to other living moles. Moles have a unique digging mode, where the humerus rotates around its long axis (Rose 2006). This means that the hands move laterally alongside the body, rather than underneath it as in other animals. 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).

Characters (from Rose 2006): Slender zygomatic arch present; eyes vestigial; basisphenoid auditory bulla present. Molars dilambdodont; M1/M2 shear; upper molars lacking hypocone (except Uropsilus; lower molars with crest joining entoconid and hypoconid; small accessory cusp usually present posterior to entoconid. Secondary articulation present between humerus and clavicle.

<==Talpidae [Talpomorpha]
    |--Geotrypus B74
    |--Eotalpa MJ11
    |--Oreotalpa MJ11
    `--+--Uropsilinae MJ11
       |    |--Mygatalpa B74
       |    `--Uropsilus B88
       |         |--U. andersoni IT07
       |         |--U. gracilis IT07
       |         |--U. investigator IT07
       |         `--U. soricipes IT07
       `--+--Scalopus [Scalopinae] MJ11
          |    `--S. aquaticus B75
          |         |--S. a. aquaticus B75
          |         |--S. a. caryi F68
          |         |--S. a. machrinoides Jackson 1914 B75
          |         `--S. a. machrinus B75
          `--Talpinae MJ11
               |--Desmaninae B88
               |    |--Desmana Gueldenstaedt 1777 P04 [incl. Myogale M58]
               |    |    `--D. moschata M94
               |    |--Galemys Kaup 1829 B74, P04
               |    |    `--G. pyrenaicus B74
               |    `--Mygalea MJ11
               `--Talpa Linnaeus 1758 [Talpini] P04
                    |--T. altaica IT07
                    |--T. caeca IT07
                    |--T. caucasica IT07
                    |--T. europaea Linnaeus 1758 P04
                    |--T. fossilis Petényi 1864 P04
                    |--T. levantis Thomas 1906 P04
                    |--T. micura M94
                    |--T. minor Freudenberg 1914 [incl. T. csarnotana Kretzoi 1959] P04
                    |--T. occidentalis IT07
                    |--T. romana IT07
                    |--T. stankovici IT07
                    `--T. streeti IT07

Talpidae incertae sedis:
  Scapanus M94
    |--S. latimanus M94
    |--S. orarius IT07
    `--S. townsendii IT07
  Mogera IT07
    |--M. etigo IT07
    |--M. insularis IT07
    |--M. kobeae IT07
    |--M. minor IT07
    |--M. robusta IT07 [=Talpa robusta BP87]
    |--M. tokudea Kuroda 1940 I92
    `--M. wogura Temminck 1842 M76 [=Talpa wogura BP87]
  Urotrichini MJ11
    |--Urotrichus IT07
    |    |--U. pilirostris IT07
    |    `--U. talpoides IT07
    |--Paratalpa MJ11
    `--Myxomygale MJ11
  Euroscaptor IT07
    |--E. grandis IT07
    |--E. klossi IT07
    |--E. longirostris IT07
    |--E. micrura IT07
    |--E. mizura (Günter 1880) I92
    |    |--E. m. mizura I92
    |    `--E. m. ohtai (Imaizumi 1955) I92
    `--E. parvidens IT07
  Nesoscaptor uchidai IT07
  Scaptonyx Milne-Edwards 1872 IT07, P04 [Scaptonychini]
    `--S. fusicaudus IT07
  Condylura Illiger 1811 B88, P04
    `--C. cristata (Linnaeus 1758) B75
  Neurotrichus gibbsii IT07
  Parascaptor leucura IT07
  Scapanulus oweni IT07
  Parascalops breweri M58, IT07
  Scaptochirus moschatus IT07
  Arctoryctes M58
  ‘Gomphotherium’ Filhol 1884 non Burmeister 1837 M66
  Desmanella MJ11

*Type species of generic name indicated


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

[B74] Bugge, J. 1974. The cephalic arterial system in insectivores, primates, rodents and lagomorphs, with special reference to the systematic classification. Acta Anatomica 87 (Suppl 62): 1-160.

[BP87] Burton, J. A., & B. Pearson. 1987. Collins Guide to the Rare Mammals of the World. Collins: London.

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

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

[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.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[M94] MacPhee, R. D. E. 1994. Morphology, adaptations, and relationships of Plesiorycteropus, and a diagnosis of a new order of eutherian mammals. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 220: 1-214.

[M76] Masui, M. 1976. Nihon no Doobutsu. Kogakukan: Tokyo.

[M58] McDowell, S. B., Jr. 1958. The Greater Antillean insectivores. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 115 (3): 113-214.

[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.

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

Rose, K. D. 2006. The Beginning of the Age of Mammals. JHU Press.

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