Erinaceidae

Taxobox
name = ErinaceomorphaMSW3 Hutterer | pages = 212-219]
fossil_range = Eocene to Recent



image_caption = "Erinaceus europaeus"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
infraclassis = Eutheria
superordo = Laurasiatheria
ordo = Erinaceomorpha
ordo_authority = Gregory, 1910
familia = Erinaceidae
familia_authority = G. Fischer, 1814
subdivision_ranks = Subfamilies & Genera
subdivision =
*Erinaceinae
**"Atelerix"
**"Erinaceus"
**"Hemiechinus"
**"Mesechinus"
**"Paraechinus"
*Galericinae
**"Echinosorex"
**"Hylomys"
**"Neohylomys"
**"Neotetracus"
**"Podogymnura"

Erinaceidae is the only living family in the order of the Erinaceomorpha. It 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.

Characteristics

Erinaceids are generally shrew-like in form, with long snouts and short tails. They are, however, much larger than shrews, ranging from 10-15 cm in body length and 40-60 grams in weight, in the case of the Short-tailed Gymnure, up to 26-45 cm and 1-1.4 kilograms in the Greater Moonrat. All but one species have five toes in each foot, in some cases with strong claws for digging, and they have large eyes and ears. Hedgehogs possess hair modified into sharp spines to form a protective covering over the upper body and flanks, while gymnures have only normal hair. All species have anal scent glands, but these are far better developed in gymnures, which can have a powerful odorcite book |editor=Macdonald, D.|author= Wroot, Andrew|year=1984 |title= The Encyclopedia of Mammals|publisher= Facts on File|location=New York|pages= 750-757|isbn= 0-87196-871-1] .

Erinaceids are omnivorous, with the major part of their diet consisting of insects, earthworms, and other small invertebrates. They also eat seeds and fruit, and occasionally bird's eggs, along with any carrion they come across. Their teeth are sharp and suited for impaling invertebrate prey. The dental formula for erinaceids is:dentition2|2-3.1.4-4.3|3.1.2-4.3

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, but gymnures are less so, and may be active during the day. Many species live in simple burrows, while others construct temporary nests on the surface from leaves and grass, or shelter in hollow logs or similar hiding places. Erinaceids are solitary animals outside the breeding season, and the father plays no role in raising the young.

Female erinaceids give birth a gestation period of around six to seven weeks. The young are born blind and hairless, although hedgehogs begin to sprout their spines within 36 hours of birth.

Evolution

Erinaceids are a relatively primitive group of placental mammals, having changed little since their origin in the Eocene. The so-called 'giant hedgehog' (actually a gymnure) "Deinogalerix", from the Miocene of Italy, was the size of a large rabbit, and may have eaten vertebrate prey or carrion, rather than insectscite book |author= Savage, RJG, & Long, MR|year=1986 |title= Mammal Evolution: an illustrated guide|publisher= Facts on File|location=New York|pages= 48-49|isbn= 0-8160-1194-X] .

Classification

There are 10 genera and 24 species of erinaceid.

*ORDER ERINACEOMORPHA
**Family Erinaceidae
*** Subfamily Erinaceinae (Hedgehogs)
**** Genus "Atelerix"
***** Four-toed Hedgehog, "Atelerix albiventris"
***** North African Hedgehog, "Atelerix algirus"
***** Southern African Hedgehog, "Atelerix frontalis"
***** Somali Hedgehog, "Atelerix sclateri"
**** Genus "Erinaceus"
***** Amur Hedgehog, "Erinaceus amurensis"
***** Southern White-breasted Hedgehog, "Erinaceus concolor"
***** West European Hedgehog, "Erinaceus europaeus"
***** Northern White-breasted Hedgehog, "Erinaceus roumanicus"
**** Genus "Hemiechinus"
***** Long-eared Hedgehog, "Hemiechinus auritus"
***** Indian Long-eared Hedgehog, "Hemiechinus collaris"
**** Genus "Mesechinus"
***** Daurian Hedgehog, "Mesechinus dauuricus"
***** Hugh's Hedgehog, "Mesechinus hughi"
**** Genus "Paraechinus"
***** Desert Hedgehog, "Paraechinus aethiopicus"
***** Brandt's Hedgehog, "Paraechinus hypomelas"
***** Indian Hedgehog, "Paraechinus micropus "
***** Bare-bellied Hedgehog, "Paraechinus nudiventris"
*** Subfamily Galericinae (Gymnures, or Moonrats)
**** Genus "Echinosorex"
***** Greater Moonrat, "Echinosorex gymnura"
**** Genus "Hylomys"
***** Long-eared Gymnure, "Hylomys megalotis"
***** Dwarf Gymnure, "Hylomys parvus"
***** Short-tailed Gymnure or Lesser Moonrat, "Hylomys suillus"
**** Genus "Neohylomys"
***** Hainan Gymnure, "Neonylomys hainanensis"
**** Genus "Neotetracus"
***** Shrew Gymnure, "Neotetracus sinensis"
**** Genus "Podogymnura"
***** Dinagat Gymnure, "Podogymnura aureospinula"
***** Mindanao Gymnure, "Podogymnura truei"

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Erinaceidae — n. a natural family including the true hedgehogs. Syn: family {Erinaceidae}. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Erinaceidae — noun true hedgehogs • Syn: ↑family Erinaceidae • Hypernyms: ↑mammal family • Member Holonyms: ↑Insectivora, ↑order Insectivora • Member Meronyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Erinaceidae — …   Википедия

  • Семейство Ежовые (Erinaceidae) —          В это семейство объединяется менее десятка видов, внешне похожих на обыкновенного ежа. Тело их сверху и с боков покрыто твердыми иглами. Ушные раковины и глаза относительно хорошо развиты. В строении черепа характерно сильное развитие… …   Биологическая энциклопедия

  • family Erinaceidae — noun true hedgehogs • Syn: ↑Erinaceidae • Hypernyms: ↑mammal family • Member Holonyms: ↑Insectivora, ↑order Insectivora • Member Meronyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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