tribe of small insectivorous mammals

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Temporal range: Late Oligocene–Recent
Russian desman (Desmana moschata)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Eulipotyphla
Family: Talpidae
Subfamily: Talpinae
Tribe: Desmanini
Thomas, 1912
Genera and species

The desman, a snouted and naked-tailed diving insectivore of the tribe Desmanini (also considered a subfamily, Desmaninae), belongs to one of two Eurasian species of the mole family, Talpidae.

This tribe consists of two monotypic genera of semiaquatic insectivores found in Europe: one in Russia and the other in the northwest of the Iberian peninsula and Pyrenees. Both species are considered to be vulnerable. They have webbed paws and their front paws are not well-adapted for digging. Desmans were much more diverse and widespread during the Miocene, with one genus, Gaillardia, being present in North America.[2] Both living species are thought to have derived from the fossil genus Archaeodesmana.[3]

The list of species is:

In the media

  • Morelle, Rebecca (2012-09-04). "Pyrenean desman: On the trail of Europe's weirdest beast". BBC News Online. Retrieved 2012-09-05. video report
  • "Russians rally for water mammal". BBC News Online. 2006-06-09. Retrieved 2012-09-05.


  1. ^ Hutterer, R. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 303. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Martin, James E. (2017). "A rare occurrence of the fossil water mole Gaillardia (Desmanini, Talpidae) from the Neogene in North America" (PDF). Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science. 96: 95–98.
  3. ^ Minwer-Barakat, Raef; García-Alix, Antonio; Martín-Suárez, Elvira; Freudenthal, Matthijs (2020-12-01). "Early Pliocene Desmaninae (Mammalia, Talpidae) from Southern Spain and the Origin of the Genus Desmana". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 40 (5): e1835936. doi:10.1080/02724634.2020.1835936. ISSN 0272-4634.
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