Deinogalerix

Name: Deinogalerix ‭(‬Terrible Shrew‭)‬.
Phonetic: Die-no-ga-le-rix.
Named By: Freudenthal‭ ‬-‭ ‬1972.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Erinaceomorpha,‭ ‬Erinaceidae,‭ ‬Galericinae.‭
Species: D.‭ ‬koenigswaldi,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬minor,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬intermedius,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬freudenthali,‭ ‬D.‭ ‬brevirostris.
Diet: Carnivore.
Size: 60‭ ‬centimetres long.‭ ‬Skull‭ ‬20‭ ‬centimetres long.
Known locations: Italy,‭ ‬Gargano region.
Time period: Late Miocene.
Fossil representation: Many known specimens.

       Fossils of Deinogalerix are known from the Gargano region of Italy,‭ ‬but it's important to remember that back in the‭ ‬Miocene Sea levels were much higher resulting in Gargano being an island that was cut off from the mainland.‭ ‬Deinogalerix grew to its large size due to a process called insular gigantism.‭ ‬This is where an isolated ecosystem such as an island has a distinct lack of large animal’s results in animals that are usually small growing large to take the larger animals places.‭
       Deinogalerix seems to have evolved to fill an ecological void left by the absence of medium sized predators such as cats and dogs.‭ ‬Given the reproductive rates of shrews they could have evolved into their larger sizes fairly quickly to take a position towards the tops of their food chain.‭ ‬Here they could have hunted any small animal of their choosing but may have also occasionally eaten invertebrates like their smaller shrew relatives.

Further reading
- Deinogalerix koenigswaldi nov. gen., nov. spec., a giant insectivore from the Neogene of Italy. - Scripta Geologica 14:1-19. - M. Freudenthal - 1972.
- New discoveries on the giant hedgehog Deinogalerix from the Miocene of Gargano (Apulia, Italy). - Geobios 46 (1-2): 63–75. - B. Villiera, L. W. Van Den Hoek Ostendeb, J. De Vosb & M. Paviaa - 2013.

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