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Groups of animals insectivores


Insectivores (Insectivora Bowdich, 1821) - the most primitive detachment of modern placental mammals. It includes 2 suborders (hedgehog and shrew), 6 families, about 60 genera and about 400 species, in Russia - 3, 10-11 and about 44, respectively, known from the Upper Cretaceous. Small sizes: body length 3-45 cm. The appearance is diverse. The head is usually with an elongated proboscis muzzle, eyes and ears are small. The limbs are 4-5-toed, stop-walking, usually proportional, in digging forms (moles) the forelimbs are enlarged, in floating (muskrats, cudors) hind limbs are increased. The tail is usually long, less often reduced. The hairline is short, with some hedgehogs and tenreks on the back of the needle. Often there are glands with a foul-smelling secret. The collarbone is almost always present. A skull with an elongated facial and rounded brain is usually weakly sculpted in representatives of a number of families without a zygomatic arch (for example, shrews, tenreks, Tenrec>

They mainly inhabit forests, less often arid regions in Eurasia, Africa, North and Central America, and the Caribbean. Terrestrial, underground or semi-aquatic animals, keep solitary, usually active at night. Ultrasounds emit and perceive, possibly capable of echolocation. They feed mainly on invertebrates and small vertebrates, with their shortage - soft fruits and seeds of plants. In small forms (shrews), the amount of food consumed per day can be several times the body weight. Propagate 1-3 times a year, year-round or in warm time. Pregnancy is 11-43 days, in a litter up to 14 cubs. Life expectancy is 1.5-6 years. Most species are numerous, few are rare and protected (for example, Russian desman). The value for humans is small (some moles are hunted for the sake of the skin).

See what the "Insectivorous Squad" is in other dictionaries:

Insectivorous Squad - 1. Detachment Insectivorous Insectivora What do we know about the rustles of the forest, about the secrets of the underground? In these fallen leaves, perhaps serious passions boil and the struggle is fierce. Mikhail Prishvin. Pantry of the Sun. Insectivores are the oldest group ... ... Animals of Russia. Directory

Small and very small animals predominate in the squad. The head of most is wedge-shaped, pointed, with a nose that is elongated in the form of a proboscis. The body of most animals is covered with even thick thick velvety fur, and few have stiff bristle-like fur ... ... Biological Encyclopedia

- (Insectivora), a squad of mammals. The oldest and most primitive of the placental, appeared, apparently, at the beginning of the Cretaceous, descended from pantotherium. The ancestors of N. are the possible ancestors of all other placental. Extremities of the majority ... ... Biological Encyclopedic Dictionary

Marsupials, with the exception of American possums, are common on the mainland of Australia, New Guinea and nearby islands. About 200 species from 9 families belong to this order. Among marsupials there are insectivores, ... ... Biological Encyclopedia

Termites are often called "white ants." Termites got this name due to the fact that they, like ants, lead a “public” way of life, often construct conical structures, like n ants, are characterized by polymorphism (by the way ... Biological Encyclopedia

Almost all snails belonging to this detachment lead a land-based lifestyle and constitute the most highly organized group among all gastropods. All of them are characterized by the presence of a pair of retractable tentacles, at the end of which there are ... ... Biological Encyclopedia

- (Insectivora), a detachment of mammals, includes 7–8 families, including: crab, tenreks, hedgehogs, shrews, moles, muskrats, about 300 species in total. These are the most ancient and primitive of placental mammals. The body length of insectivores is from 3 to 45 ... Encyclopedic Dictionary

Of all mammals, primates (monkeys and semi-monkeys) differ, perhaps, in the greatest variety and richness of forms. But, despite the external differences, they are united by many common features of the body structure that were developed in the process ... ... Biological Encyclopedia

Bats are small or medium sized animals capable of real long flight. Their forelimbs are modified into wings: forearm, metacarpal (metacarpal) bones and phalanges of all fingers, except the first, are very elongated, ... ... Biological Encyclopedia

Squad of mammals. The most ancient and primitive of placental mammals. Body length from 3 to 45 cm. 7 8 families, approx. 300 species. Widespread (absent in Australia and almost all of America). The insectivores include scabies, ... ... Big Encyclopedic Dictionary

The amazing world of nature is striking in its diversity and beauty. One of the most interesting animals are insectivores. To expand their knowledge of biology, it is necessary to study these animals. A detailed description of insectivorous animals will help to learn about their features.

Who are insectivores?

These include one of the oldest groups of animals. Their remains were found by scientists in the deep strata of the Mesozoic era. The oldest of them is about 135 million years old. Representatives of this family include: moles, shrews, hedgehogs, muskrats, as well as several species of birds. They live on the ground, in freshwater bodies of water, forests, and also in the soil. Among the winged insectivores are: finches, orioles, sticks, cuckoos.

The most primitive and not susceptible to changes from the outside insectivorous is considered a hedgehog. The shrew and mole were almost the same as the hedgehogs, but at the end of the Eocene era they had to adapt to the new conditions of existence. Evolution has exposed these animals to external changes.

Signs of the Insectivore Family

Determining his representative is easy enough. The head of these animals is slightly elongated and always ends with a small proboscis, which sharply reacts to any smells. Some animals cannot see their eyes, as they are hidden under folds of skin. Of the sensory organs, the most active sense of smell and touch are. They help animals to get insect larvae from the most inaccessible places.

The number of teeth varies from 26 to 44. In the spaces between molars there are sharp ridges that form the letter W or V. It is such a dentition that is considered a special sign of insectivorous animals. The body shape of animals largely depends on their lifestyle. The limbs always have feet and fingers with claws. The hair on the skin is also quite different, it differs in thickness and softness. Some insectivorous animals carry spines on their bodies. The color of animals is mainly monochrome, gray, black, brown and brown predominate.

Where insectivores live

They live everywhere, excluding Antarctica, Australia, as well as some parts of South America. These animals can be found up to the nearest environs of the Arctic Ocean. Animals have nocturnal, elevated, underground or underwater lifestyles. Insectivorous birds live on trees and shrubs. In almost every city and village you can see starlings, finches, thrushes and hoopoe. On old trees, nests of cuckoos, froths, and kings often appear. The number of sparrows and tits also seems to increase every year - these little feathered buddies are regular guests of any park or city street.

Characteristic of the hedgehog family

The detachment contains a large number of insectivorous animals. The most common are common and eared hedgehogs. Each of these species has 5 varieties. Animals differ in medium forms. The body length of an ordinary hedgehog ranges from 13 to 27 cm. The entire back is covered with thin but sharp needles, which are also located on the sides of the animal. Between the needles, long and sparse wool grows. There are no needles on the abdomen of a hedgehog - it is completely covered with coarse hairs.

The head of the hedgehogs is oblong, slightly wedge-shaped. The muzzle is elongated and with a thin movable nose resembling a trunk. The color of the hedgehogs is always gray or brown, with black or brown spots. Nature ordered these animals to merge as much as possible in color with the earth. So it is easier for them to move around and collect food without falling into the sight of predators.

The smallest insectivorous animals - shrews

Another species of mammal that prefers to eat larvae of insects and worms. Due to their modest size, they have extraordinary dexterity and speed. Like many insectivorous animals, shrews do not like sunlight, dryness and heat. They live in different places. They can always be found in the forest, among dense shrubs, in meadows and fields. They are also permanent residents of any vegetable garden or garden. From there, they are trying to etch them in every possible way, since these animals can spoil the beautiful view of home beds.

Being unusually voracious, they constantly eat. The favorite delicacy of shrews is insects and worms. These animals lead an active life throughout the year. In winter, they dig tunnels under the snow, looking for insects that have hibernated there. Eating pests, shrews help people and save plants from destruction.

Endangered insectivore species - desman

This species of animals is listed in the Red Book and carefully preserved in protected areas and zoos. This is due to the fact that the number of desman decreases very quickly. If you do not protect them, the planet may lose these useful forest orderlies.

In appearance, it can be said that the desman is very similar to a shrew, but it is several times larger than it. The animal lives on rivers and leads a semi-aquatic existence. It can be found far from in every locality. This species prefers the rivers belonging to the basin of the Dnieper, Don, Urals and Volga. The tail at the desman is quite long, slightly compressed on the sides, and the limbs are equipped with membranes for quick movement under water. The fur of these animals is surprisingly soft, thick and silky. It has water repellent properties. The desman lives in minks, which he likes to create in floodplains. Usually they have only one exit under water.

Underground inhabitants - moles

These animals are also one of the most common insectivores. Moles live in underground burrows. For housing, they choose a forest or rural area with the presence of water currents. Moles dig their hole with their front paws. Their wide and twisted brushes can dig a deep tunnel in the shortest possible time. They push the excess earth with their faces, creating vertical passages at the top. Such slides on the surface are called molehills. They are a sign that a mole has settled nearby.

Insectivorous animals (moles, in particular) have very poorly developed eyes. From the outside, they completely resemble only small black dots. Also, moles do not have auricles. The ear is covered with a fold of skin so that the earth does not get into it. The coat is very thick short. For convenient movement underground, it is devoid of one direction. The wool adheres tightly to the skin of the mole and therefore does not prevent it from moving in different directions.

Long-term observation of mammals by insectivorous animals allowed us to highlight many interesting facts regarding their life and living conditions. Among the most unusual and amazing, the following can be distinguished:

Interesting facts about carnivores allow you to learn a lot about them. Each type of animal deserves a careful attitude. They cleanse the earth and plants from pests. That is why they need care and protection.

Physico-geographical features of the study region

The fauna of the reentry mammalian species in the study area includes 87 species belonging to 6 orders: insectivores - 9, bats - 13, carnivores - 11, artiodactyls - 6, rodents - 43 and hare-like - 5 species.

Order Insectivora Bowdich, 1821 - Insectivores. Insectivores in the Kazakh small-horned species are represented by 9 species belonging to 6 genera, including: 2 species of hedgehogs - common and eared, 4 species of shrews - small, ordinary, tundra and tiny, small shrew, pied pinto and common hen. All of them are characterized by stenotopicity, manifested in each of them to varying degrees. The only exception is the shrew, which is widespread in the region from north to south - from a strip of forest-steppes to deserts. The abundance of all these species is everywhere low. From anthropogenic influences and sharp changes in macroclimatic variables, such a highly specialized form as an ordinary cutter especially suffers. By and large, each of these species throughout their ranges needs a special protection regime.

Order Chiroptera Blumenbach, 1779 - Bats. According to the composition of the fauna of bats, the territory of Kazakhstan is very heterogeneous. P.P. Strelkov distinguishes two main faunistic complexes: a complex of forms inhabiting the mountain and arid regions of the southern part of the country, and a complex of boreal forms common in the north and extreme east of Kazakhstan. This group of animals, not only in this region, but in the republic as a whole, is very poorly studied. Their species composition, the nature of distribution throughout the territory, whether they winter here, the characteristics of biology, ecology, karyology, etc., are not fully understood. Order Carnivora Bowdich, 1821 - Predatory. In the Kazakh shoals there is a habitat of 11 species of carnivorous mammals belonging to 7 genera. The wolf is distributed almost everywhere, but is uneven: it is characterized by mosaic distribution, when areas with high concentration alternate with open spaces with low numbers. In the Kazakh small hills, manul is found in many areas of the southern part of the highland, in particular, in the mountains of Amantau, Karkaraly, Koshubay, Temirshi, Zhaksy-Abraly, on the western edge of the highland - the mountains of Aktau, Kyzyltau, Ortau, also lives in the mountains of Chingiztau. From other areas there is no reliable information.

Order Artiodactyla Owen, 1848 - Artiodactyls. Within the Kazakh shoals there are 6 species of artiodactyls belonging to 6 genera. Wild boars are common on the low mountains of the Kazakh small hills, where they prefer to stay mainly in swampy valleys covered with aspen, birch, dogrose, etc., and also choose overgrowths of reeds and shrubs that are difficult for humans to do in lake depressions and floodplains. Siberian roe deer within the hills are widespread in the mountains of Ermentau, Karkaraly, Kent, Kyzylarai, Ulytau, Bayanaul, Bektauat.

Order Rodentia Bowdich, 1821 - Rodents. In the fauna of the Kazakh shoals, 43 species of rodents belonging to 26 genera are found. Among them are typical steppe, semi-desert, desert species, representatives of boreal, nemoral and mountainous elements, as well as acclimatizing species. The common squirrel in the Kazakh small hills was acclimatized in the mountains of Bayanaul and Karkaraly at the end of the 30s of our century. Currently, this species has reached a high abundance in production areas, i.e. fishing level. In the territory

Order Lagomorpha Brandt, 1855 - Hare-like order The order of the hare-like in the Kazakh Shoal hive is represented by 5 species belonging to the two genera Lepus and Ochotona: hares: sandstone, brown and white hare, steppe and Mongolian pikas. A sandstone hare lives only in the extreme south of the Kazakh Highlands - in the Northern Balkhash and the clay-sandy desert of Betpak-Dala. The distribution of this species in this part of its range is of an island character. In the Kazakh small hills, the main habitats of the brown rifle are confined to landscapes in which there are large tracts of woody-shrubby vegetation.The abundance is quite high in the semi-desert zone of the Kazakh small hills with an even relief.

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See what the "INSECTIVORA Squad" is in other dictionaries:

Insectivorous Squad - 1. Detachment Insectivorous Insectivora What do we know about the rustles of the forest, about the secrets of the underground? In these fallen leaves, perhaps serious passions boil and the struggle is fierce. Mikhail Prishvin. Pantry of the Sun. Insectivores are the oldest group ... ... Animals of Russia. Directory

Insectivorous squad - (Insectivora) ** * * According to modern data, in the order of insectivores there are about 400 species, united in 6 families. This detachment is the third largest in the class of mammals after rodents and bats. A hallmark ... ... Animal life

Insectivores - (Insectivora) a detachment of mammals, relatively small, living mostly on the ground or in the ground, less often in water or on trees. Their body is covered with wool or, in addition, with needles. The end of the muzzle protrudes behind the lower jaw and often has the form ... ... F.A. Encyclopedic Dictionary Brockhaus and I.A. Efron

Insectivorous * - (Insectivora) a detachment of mammals, relatively small, living mostly on the ground or in the ground, less often in water or on trees. Their body is covered with wool or, in addition, with needles. The end of the muzzle protrudes behind the lower jaw and often has the form ... ... F.A. Encyclopedic Dictionary Brockhaus and I.A. Efron

ATTORNEYS - (Insectivora), a squad of mammals. The oldest and most primitive of the placental, appeared, apparently, at the beginning of the Cretaceous, descended from pantotherium. The ancestors of N. are the possible ancestors of all other placental. Extremities of the majority ... ... Biological Encyclopedic Dictionary

Insectivores - (Insectivora) a squad of mammals, relatively small, living, mostly on the ground or in the ground, less often in water or on trees. Their body is covered with wool or, in addition, with needles. The end of the muzzle is protruding from the lower jaw and often looks like ... ... Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedia

ATTORNEYS - INSECTIVES, a small detachment of Mammals (Insectivora), many of which eat insects. Distributed almost all over the world, some species live underground, others on the surface, as well as in rivers and ponds. Most ... ... Scientific and Technical Encyclopedic Dictionary

ATTORNEYS - INSECTIVES, Insectivora, the order of mammals (Mammalia), small or small stop-walking animals, have numerous small and sharp teeth, which are slightly differentiated, so fangs are often indistinguishable from incisors. Molar teeth with ... ... Big medical encyclopedia

Insectivores - (Insectivora) order of mammals. Body length from 3 (shrew shrew, small shrew) to 39 cm (tenrek). The head is elongated, usually ending in a movable proboscis. The eyes are small, some are hidden under the skin. The body is covered with a short ... ... Great Soviet Encyclopedia

ATTORNEYS - (Insectivora), a squad of primitive mammals. Usually small, diverse in appearance and lifestyle animals. Five-fingered limbs are equipped with claws. The muzzle is elongated and pointed, with an elongated nose, protruding far beyond the skull. Teeth so-called ... Collier Encyclopedia

Mammal classification

Among this class, two subclasses and twenty-one detachments are distinguished. The first subclass is single pass. These include the platypus and the echidna. The peculiarity of these animals is that they do not give birth to cubs, but lay eggs, however, the offspring that appears from them are fed with milk. Representatives of the second subclass - viviparous - are divided into marsupials (lower) and placental (higher), the latter include the remaining nineteen orders. These are pinnipeds, bats, carnivores, cetaceans, non-toothed, damans, sirens, proboscis, artiodactyls, pipe-toothed, artiodactyls, woolly wings, rodents, callopods, lizards, hare-like, primates and insectivores. These are the last ones that interest us. Today we will talk about what Examples, names and basic habits of these mammals exist will also be considered in our article.

Brief description of the detachment

The vital organs of the representatives of this detachment retained primitive features that were inherent. Thus, the cerebral hemispheres of insectivores are almost free of gyrus, the skull is elongated, the teeth are sharp and tuberous, and it is difficult to divide them into groups. Most of the animals that belong to this group are small, the skin is represented by short soft hairs or short spines, and the legs have five fingers. Many of these creatures are mostly nocturnal, but some are active during the day. From the name of the detachment it is clear that the basis of their diet are various insects.


Not everyone knows which animals are insectivores. Their names, meanwhile, have been known to us since childhood. Although there are unfamiliar species, which we will also talk about a little later. In the meantime, dwell on the "old comrades."


The mole is also a prime example of insectivorous animals. These representatives of mammals have many characteristic features of this class, but there are also distinctive features. The skin of moles, in contrast to the hedgehogs discussed above, is presented in the form of short dark hair. The front legs of these animals have a rather specific appearance for insectivores - they are enlarged, long claws are located on them, as they are intended for convenient digging of the earth. Moles live in the ground, where they make holes with numerous nests and tunnels. Here it is convenient for them to find food in the form of larvae of various insects, etc. Another distinctive feature of the mole is underdeveloped eyes - since it lives underground, it practically does not need them, the main sensory organ is the nose.


Speaking about which animals are insectivores, we must also mention them. Each of us at least once heard about this funny animal. It is as common on the Eurasian continent as the “brethren” described above. These animals are found almost everywhere except Australia, South America and the Antarctic. These are small creatures covered with thin wool, active at any time of the day. They feed, of course, on insects. other small animals that are found in the ground, which is clear from their name. Sometimes they also eat seeds. The family of shrews includes shrews and shrews. They bring great benefits, like hedgehogs, destroying many harmful insects.

Little-known representatives of this squad

Now let's talk about those representatives of the detachment under consideration, which not everyone knows, so to speak, in person (well, or in the face). So, which animals are insectivores? For example, the family is tenrek. These creatures are very similar to hedgehogs, before they even belonged to the same family. Tenreks live in Madagascar and This is a very ancient family of insectivores, whose representatives have been known since the Cretaceous. Like hedgehogs, they have spines, usually dark in color. Some species have yellow spots on them. An interesting feature of these animals is the extremely low metabolism and absolutely low body temperature, which is usually not characteristic of mammals.

Another interesting and little known to ordinary people view is the crab. These are insectivorous animals that are quite large in size. Their habitat is Cuba and Haiti. They look like large shrews or rats, but have longer legs and, unlike rats, a longer muzzle like a proboscis. It is interesting that the crawfish belongs to a few poisonous mammals, the poison is secreted by the gland, the duct of which is located on the lower jaw. Listed in the Red Book.

The bouncer is also an example of insectivorous animals. Most of all, he resembles a jerboa, and lives in Africa. The basis of his diet is termites, other insects, seeds, small fruits.

The smallest mammal in the CIS

This can rightfully be called which also refers to the detachment considered in this article. Its dimensions are approximately 4-5 cm (including the tail), and its weight is only 2-4 grams.

Insectivores are a detachment of primitive placental mammals of the chordate type. These are the most ancient animals, the development of the embryos of which occurs through the formation of the placenta. They appeared on Earth during evolution at the beginning of the Cretaceous. Paleontologists consider the ancestors of the insectivorous ancestors of all placental mammals.

The insectivorous detachment unites seven families: mole, hedgehog, crevice-tooth, hopping, gold-mole, tenrek, and shrew. Squads, in turn, are divided into more than 60 genera, including more than 300 species. Representatives of insectivores - hedgehog, shrew, mole, muskrat.

Insectivores are widespread throughout the world, except for Antarctica, Greenland, Australia and most of South America. These animals inhabited different habitats: terrestrial (shrews, hedgehogs), aquatic (muskrat, otter shrews), soil (moles, gold moles). Insectivores are predominantly nocturnal. They are omnivorous, but prefer animal food, eating invertebrates (including insects - hence the name of the order) and small vertebrates. Many of the insectivores dig holes in which they hide from enemies. Some species are hiding in forest litter. Insectivorous animals are active throughout the year, rare species from the family of hedgehogs are able to hibernate for the winter.

Insectivorous mammals are usually small and medium sized. The cover of the body of shrews, moles is short dense wool, tenreks - bristles, hedgehogs - needles. The color of the coat is varied - from gray to black, sometimes spotty. The head of insectivores is elongated, often there is a movable proboscis with long sensitive hairs. The eyes and ears of these animals are small and almost invisible. They have a very well-developed sense of smell and touch. The teeth in all animals of this group are poorly differentiated. The extremities of most species of carnivorous carnivorous, on each there are five fingers with claws. The tail can be almost invisible, like a hedgehog, or equal in length to the size of the body, like a desman. In the skin of animals there are special skin glands, in some species they secrete a secret with a strong odor.

There are characteristic features in the structure of the brain. The cerebral hemispheres have a primitive structure without convolutions. They are small and do not cover the cerebellum, and the olfactory part of the brain is well developed.

Insectivores are polygamous animals. They breed 2-3 times a year, in the litter can be from one to twenty cubs.

The significance of insectivores is that they are members of various natural biocenoses. For humans, some types of insectivores serve as objects of fur trade (moles, muskrats). Insectivores eat arthropods - pests of agriculture and forestry. But they themselves can be dangerous for people, since some of them are intermediate hosts of ticks - carriers of serious diseases. Rare species of insectivores, such as muskrat, crab, are listed in the Red Book and are under protection.

The amazing world of nature is striking in its diversity and beauty. One of the most interesting animals are insectivores. To expand their knowledge of biology, it is necessary to study these animals. A detailed description of insectivorous animals will help to learn about their features.

Detachment insectivorous insectyvora bowdich, 1821

Insectivores are the oldest and most primitive group of mammals. Appeared at least 150 million years ago, apparently, back in the days of dinosaurs. Animals of small and medium sizes, in structure adapted to a land, underground burrowing, amphibian and arboreal lifestyle. At dwarf shrew body length from 3.5 cm with a mass of 2-3 g (the smallest size in the class of mammals), Afghan hedgehog - the largest representative - up to 30 cm. A common feature for all insectivores is a mobile muzzle stretched out into the proboscis (Fig. 12), which indicates a perfect sense of smell.

Figure 12 - The shape of the head of insectivores: a - hedgehog, b - shrew, c - mole, d - muskrat (according to Kuznetsov, 1975)

Hooky auricles are small, in some representatives may be absent. The eyes are small, sometimes at varying degrees of reduction. Vision is weak, so animals are guided mainly by smell and hearing. They can publish and perceive ultrasounds and, possibly, like to bats echolocation is used for orientation in space. The limbs are relatively short, stop-walking, four- or five-fingered, all fingers are armed with claws.

Body color is monophonic. The hairline is short, soft, slightly differentiated, sometimes the body is covered with thorns. The skin contains sebaceous, primitive sweat, anal and tail glands, the secret of which has a sharp musky smell and serves as a defense against enemies. Nipples from 6 to 12.

The teeth are small, cone-shaped with slightly pronounced differences in different categories. They have two changes of teeth: milk and permanent. Fangs can have two roots and look like incisors or pre-roots. The lower root ones are usually five-vertex, and the upper three - or four-vertex. The number of teeth varies from 26 to 44. Os penis is absent.