Evolution and systematics

The family Talpidae includes the moles, shrew moles, and desmans. Some taxonomists consider the desmans (Desmana and Galemys spp.) different enough from the other talpids to deserve a separate family status, but this chapter discusses them with the talpids.

The Talpidae is usually divided into three subfamilies— Uropsilinae, Desmaninae, and Talpinae—as it is here. Two other subfamilies, Scalopinae and Condylurinae, are occasionally separated out of the talpins, which is the largest subfamily.

The talpins contain 14 genera. Among that number are several genera, including Mogera, Parascaptor, and Scaptochirus, which have recently been split from the large Talpa genus.

The subfamily Uropsilinae has one genus. Taxonomists now regard its formerly lone taxon as four separate species. The subfamily Desmaninae has two monotypic genera.

Evolutionarily, the talpids are believed to have originated in Europe, and spread from there throughout Eurasia and into North America.

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