The order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Soricomorpha ("shrew-form") is taxon
|thumb|270px|[[African elephants]] form a widely-accepted taxon, the [[genus]] LoxodontaA taxon is a group of organisms, which a taxonomist adjudges to be a unit. Usually a taxon is given a name and a rank, although neither is a requirement...

 within the class
Class (biology)
In biological classification, class is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, order, family, genus, and species, with class fitting between phylum and order...

 of mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s. In previous years it formed a significant group within the former order Insectivora
The order Insectivora is a now-abandoned biological grouping within the class of mammals...

. However, that order was shown to be polyphyletic
A polyphyletic group is one whose members' last common ancestor is not a member of the group.For example, the group consisting of warm-blooded animals is polyphyletic, because it contains both mammals and birds, but the most recent common ancestor of mammals and birds was cold-blooded...

 and various new orders were split off from it, including Afrosoricida
The order Afrosoricida contains the golden moles of southern Africa and the tenrecs of Madagascar and Africa, two families of small mammals that have traditionally been considered to be a part of the order Insectivora.Some biologists use Tenrecomorpha as the name for the tenrec-golden mole clade,...

Tenrecidae is a family of mammals found on Madagascar and parts of Africa. Tenrecs are widely diverse, resembling hedgehogs, shrews, opossums, mice and even otters, as a result of convergent evolution. They occupy aquatic, arboreal, terrestrial and fossorial environments...

 and golden mole
Golden mole
Golden moles are small, insectivorous burrowing mammals native to southern Africa. They form the family Chrysochloridae, and are taxonomically distinct from the true moles which they resemble due to convergence...

s), Macroscelidea
Elephant shrew
Elephant shrews or jumping shrews are small insectivorous mammals native to Africa, belonging to the family Macroscelididae, in the order Macroscelidea...

 (elephant shrews), and Erinaceomorpha
Erinaceidae is the only living family in the order Erinaceomorpha, which has recently been subsumed with Soricomorpha into the order Eulipotyphla...

A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae and the order Erinaceomorpha. There are 17 species of hedgehog in five genera, found through parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand . There are no hedgehogs native to Australia, and no living species native to the Americas...

s and gymnure
The gymnure, also called a hairy hedgehog or moonrat, is a type of mammal belonging to the subfamily Galericinae, in the family Erinaceidae and the order Erinaceomorpha...

s), leaving just four families
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 as shown here, leaving Insectivora empty and disbanded.

Subsequently, Soricomorpha itself was shown to be paraphyletic
A group of taxa is said to be paraphyletic if the group consists of all the descendants of a hypothetical closest common ancestor minus one or more monophyletic groups of descendants...

, because Soricidae shared a more recent common ancestor with Erinaceidae than with other soricomorphs. However, the combination of Soricomorpha and Erinaceidae, referred to as order Eulipotyphla, has been shown to be monophyletic.

Living members of the order range in size from the Etruscan Shrew, at about 3.5 cm and 2 grams, to the Cuban Solenodon
Cuban Solenodon
The Cuban Solenodon or Almiqui , is a species of soricomorph that is endemic to Cuba. It belongs to the family Solenodontidae along with a similar species, the Hispaniolan Solenodon...

, at about 32 cm and 1 kg.
    • Family Soricidae (shrews)
      • Subfamily Crocidurinae: (white-toothed shrews)
      • Subfamily Soricinae: (red-toothed shrews)
      • Subfamily Myosoricinae
        According to the current taxonomy, Myosoricinae is a subfamily of shrews. As such, they form one of three main types of shrew, the other two being the red-toothed shrews and the white-toothed shrews...

        : (African white-toothed shrews)
    • Family Talpidae
      The family Talpidae includes the moles, shrew moles, desmans, and other intermediate forms of small insectivorous mammals of the order Soricomorpha...

      : (moles
      Mole (animal)
      Moles are small cylindrical mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have velvety fur; tiny or invisible ears and eyes; and short, powerful limbs with large paws oriented for digging. The term is especially and most properly used for the true moles, those of the Talpidae family in the...

       and close relatives)
      • Subfamily Scalopinae
        The Scalopinae, or New World moles, are one of three subfamilies of the Talpidae family, which consists of moles and mole-like animals; the other two subfamilies being the Old World Talpids and the Chinese Shrew-like Moles...

         (New World moles and close relatives)
      • Subfamily Talpinae
        The subfamily Talpinae, sometimes called "Old World moles" or "Old World moles and relatives", is one of three subfamilies of the mole family Talpidae, the others being the Scalopinae, or New World moles, and the Uropsilinae, or shrew-like moles....

         (Old World moles and close relatives)
      • Subfamily Uropsilinae
        The Uropsilinae are shrew-like members of the mole family endemic to the forested, high-alpine region bordering China, Myanmar, and Vietnam. They possess a long snout, a long slender tail, external ears, and small forefeet unspecialized for burrowing...

         (Chinese shrew-like moles)
    • Family Solenodontidae
      Solenodons are venomous, nocturnal, burrowing, insectivorous mammals belonging to the family Solenodontidae. Only one genus, Solenodon, is known, although a few other genera were erected at one time and are now regarded as junior synonyms...

      : solenodons (rare primitive soricomorphs)
    • Family ‚ĆNesophontidae: West Indian shrews (extinct soricomorphs of the Caribbean)
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