Hedgehogs and moonrats are quite primitive, and bear a certain resemblance in appearance and habits to the earliest mammals. Unlike those early mammals, they bear live young instead of laying eggs. Hedgehogs have spines, but moonrats (also known as gymnures) do not. They are all omnivores.
Scientific name: Erinaceidae
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.
Erinaceidae is the only living family in the order Erinaceomorpha, which has recently been subsumed with Soricomorpha into the order Eulipotyphla. Eulipotyphla has been shown to be monophyletic; Soricomorpha is paraphyletic because Soricidae shared a more recent common ancestor with Erinaceidae than with other soricomorphs.
Erinaceidae contains the well-known hedgehogs (subfamily Erinaceinae) of Eurasia and Africa and the gymnures or moonrats (subfamily Galericinae) of South-east Asia. This family was once considered part of the order Insectivora, but that polyphyletic order is now considered defunct.
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