Nesophontes edithae


 
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Puerto Rican Nesophontes
(Nesophontes edithae)

 
syn. -

 
distribution:

Puerto Rico: Isla Vieques, Puerto Rico
US Virgin Islands: St. John, St. Thomas

 
native name: -

 
size: ?

extinction date: ?

 
The species of the genus Nesophontes are only known from the Larger Antilles islands except Jamaica, about ten species are known.

These animals reached sizes from those of a mouse to those of a squirrel. Their behaviour may have been similar to that of shrews. They may have been omnivorous and ate insects and other small animals.

Most species died out in the 15-th century, at the same time when Europeans begun to settle the caribbean islands, and with them also rats.

This species from Puerto Rico may have been the largest member of its genus, it is only known from subfossil bones, found in owl pellets.

Not quite much can be said about the animals appearence in life.

 
 
above:

Puerto Rican Nesophontes (Nesophontes edithae)


depiction: Alexander Lang

 
References:

- Charles Arthur Woods; Florence E. Sergile: 'Biogeography of the West Indies' (2001)
- Gary S. Morgan; Charles A. Woods: 'Extinction and the zoogeography of West Indian land mammals' (1986)
- Richard J. Huggett: 'Fundamentals of Biogeography' (2004)
- R. D. E. MacPhee; Clare Flemming; Darrin P. Lunde: '"Last occurrence" of the Antillean insectivoran Nesophontes : new radiometric dates and their interpretation.' (1999)
- S. T. Turvey; J. R. Oliver; Y. M. Narganes Storde; P. Rye: 'Late Holocene extinction of Puerto Rican native land mammals' (2007)
- Donald A. McFarlane: 'Late Quaternary Fossil Mammals and Last Occurence Dates from Caves at Barahona, Puerto Rico' (1999)