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Recent additions to the fossil record of tenrecs and golden moles

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Tenrecs (Tenrecidae) are a diverse clade of small afrotherians, with slightly over 30 species in eight genera on the island of Madagascar, and three species in two genera distributed in the African tropics, from Liberia in the west to Kenya in the east. Golden moles (Chrysochloridae) are the extant sister clade of tenrecs, and are less ecologically and taxonomically diverse, consisting of just over 20 small, subterranean species throughout subsaharan Africa, most of which are in Southern Africa and few (3 spp.) in central and eastern Africa. Phylogenetic estimates exist for both groups, although more data have been published for tenrecids (e.g., Olson & Goodman 2003; Asher & Hofreiter 2006; Poux et al. 2008; Everson et al. 2016) than chrysochlorids (Bronner 1995; Asher et al. 2010). Unfortunately, the nomenclature for the two clades and the subgroups within each varies among authors. Here, for reasons outlined in Asher & Helgen (2010) and in contrast to some of my esteemed colleagues in the IUCN Afrotheria specialist group, I use Tenrecoidea (McDowell 1958) for the clade consisting of all descendants of the last common ancestor of extant tenrecs and golden moles, Chrysochloridae for the clade of golden moles, and Tenrecidae for the clade of tenrecs, including extant African (Potamogale and Micropotamogale) and Malagasy species (i.e., Tenrecinae following Asher & Helgen 2010: figs. 1, 2 and pp. 6-7).



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Afrotherian Conservation

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