A small order of carnivorous mammals (class Mammalia) that includes the shrews, hedgehogs,and moles. Insectivores are the most primitive living mammals. All are small and have long skulls, pointed snouts, often with prominent whiskers, small brains, sharp teeth, and five-clawed feet. Three families are always placed in the order: Erinaceidae, comprising moon rats, gymures, and hedgehogs; comprising moles, shrew moles, and desmans; Talpidae, comprising moles, shrew moles, and desmans; and Soricidae, the shrews. Six other families – including tree shrews, tenrecs, and solenodons – are also often included in the order.
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