Insectivores are found everywhere on Earth but Australia, Antarctica, and most of South America. The shrews (Sorici-dae) are the most widespread of all Insectivora families covering the entire planet except the poles, Australia, and the greater part of South America. Shrew mice (Soricidae) and moles (Talpidae) are the only families found in North America and a few wanderers have found their way from there to the northern edges of the South American continent. Hedgehogs and gymnures (Erinaceidae) are found in Africa, Eurasia, Southeast Asia, and Borneo. Hedgehogs were introduced to New Zealand where they are now flourishing. Solenodons, originally found in Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Cuba are now Endangered and found only in Haiti and Cuba. The West Indian shrews (Nesophontidae) are believed to have existed in the West Indies until the Spaniards settled there at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The 1930 discovery of West Indies shrew remains in Haitian barn owl pellets ignited hopes that they still existed but no further evidence of their presence has come to light. Moles (Talpidae) are not found in Africa. Tenrecs (Tenrecidae) inhabit Madagascar and are found, to a lesser extent, on the Comoro Islands and in western central Africa. The golden moles (Chrysochloridae) exist on the southern half of the African continent. Recent discoveries of tiny placental mammal-like fossils in Australia, are leading scientists to believe that insectivores may have been on the Australian section of Gondwana when it separated 115 mya.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment