The Distribution of Mammals:
Mammal Families Distribution Maps

by Charles H. Smith, Ph.D.

     Some years ago I started drafting up a series of family-level distribution maps for a number of mammal, reptile, and amphibian groups. At the time I did a reasonably thorough review of the existing literature; the related bibliographies I compiled eventually became the MAMMFAUN and HERPFAUN resources that I have put up online. Many of the maps were nearly completed at the time, and as time permits and I have a chance to review some newer sources and finish them I intend to start making these available.

     Many of these distribution maps are more precisely rendered than is usually the case for family-level maps, and while it is true that attempts at greater precision sometimes bring their own new sources of error, I hope that these efforts will in general provide students of distribution with an additional resource. I of course welcome any leads on corrections that may be warranted.

     The maps as produced represent an attempt at a compromise between "original distribution" estimates and an exact documentation of current presence. More specifically, I aspire to a view that might be termed "potential current distribution"--that is, what the distribution would look like if, given the constraints of human domination of habitat, mammalian forms were allowed to persist within areas they have been known to inhabit within the past fifty years or so. The "actual" limits of distribution of the families represented are therefore in reality somewhat more restricted (especially, discontinuous) than I show, but given the fact that I have attempted to integrate information found in both dot maps and shaded map estimates (themselves sometimes describing "original" range, and sometimes incorporating estimates of full range based on access, conservation, and habitat conditions), this hardly could be avoided.

     The authority for the systematics employed, with but few exceptions, is Mammal Species of the World, third edition (2005), edited by Don E. Wilson and DeeAnn M. Reeder. In a few cases I have broken down particular families into their subfamilial divisions, or mapped older classification units if the data were handy.

The Maps

Order Monotremata
      Family Tachyglossidae (echidnas)
      Family Ornithorhynchidae (platypuses)
Order Didelphimorphia
      Family Didelphidae (opossums and relatives)
            Subfamily Caluromyinae (woolly opossums, etc.)
            Subfamily Didelphinae (opossums)
Order Paucituberculata
      Family Caenolestidae (shrew opossums)
Order Microbiotheria
      Family Microbiotheriidae (Dromiciops gliroides)
Order Notoryctemorphia
      Family Notoryctidae (marsupial moles)
Order Dasyuromorphia
      Family Myrmecobiidae
      Family Dasyuridae
Order Peramelemorphia
      Family Thylacomyidae (bilbies)
      Family Chaeropodidae
      Family Peramelidae
Order Diprotodontia
      Family Phascolarctidae (koalas)
      Family Vombatidae (wombats)
      Family Burramyidae
      Family Phalangeridae
      Family Pseudocheiridae
      Family Petauridae
      Family Tarsipedidae (honey possums)
      Family Acrobatidae
      Family Hypsiprymnodontidae
      Family Potoroidae
      Family Macropodidae (kangaroos and wallabies)
Order Afrosoricida
      Family Tenrecidae (tenrecs and otter shrews)
      Family Chrysochloridae
Order Macroscelidea
      Family Macroscelididae (elephant shrews)
Order Tubulidentata
      Family Orycteropodidae
Order Hyracoidea
      Family Procaviidae
Order Proboscidea
      Family Elephantidae
Order Sirenia
      Family Dugongidae
      Family Trichechidae
Order Cingulata
      Family Dasypodidae (armadillos)
Order Pilosa
      Family Bradypodidae
      Family Megalonychidae
      Family Cyclopedidae
      Family Myrmecophagidae
Order Scandentia (treeshrews)
      Family Tupaiidae
      Family Ptilocercidae
Order Dermoptera
      Family Cynocephalidae
Order Primates
      Family Cheirogaleidae
      Family Lemuridae
      Family Lepilemuridae
      Family Indriidae
      Family Daubentoniidae
      Family Lorisidae (lorises and pottos)
      Family Galagidae (bushbabies and galagos)
      Family Tarsiidae
      Family Cebidae
      Family Aotidae
      Family Pitheciidae
      Family Atelidae
      Family Cercopithecidae (baboons and Old World monkeys)
      Family Hylobatidae
      Family Hominidae
Order Lagomorpha
      Family Ochotonidae
      Family Leporidae
Order Erinaceomorpha
      Family Erinaceidae (hedgehogs)
Order Soricomorpha
      Family Solenodontidae (solenodons)
      Family Soricidae (shrews)
      Family Talpidae (moles)
Order Chiroptera
      Family Pteropodidae (fruit bats / flying foxes)
      Family Rhinolophidae
      Family Megadermatidae (false vampire bats)
      Family Rhinopomatidae (mouse-tailed bats)
      Family Craseonycteridae
      Family Emballonuridae
      Family Nycteridae (slit-faced bats)
      Family Myzopodidae
      Family Mystacinidae (short-tailed bats)
      Family Phyllostomidae (New World leaf-nosed bats)
            Subfamily Desmodontinae (vampire bats)
      Family Mormoopidae
      Family Noctilionidae (bulldog or fishing bats)
      Family Furipteridae
      Family Thyropteridae (disk-winged bats)
      Family Natalidae (funnel-eared bats)
      Family Molossidae
      Family Vespertilionidae
Order Pholidota
      Family Manidae
Order Carnivora
      Family Felidae
      "Family Viverridae"
      Family Hyaenidae (hyenas)
      Family Canidae
      Family Ursidae
      Family Otariidae
      Family Odobenidae
      Family Phocidae
      Family Mustelidae (weasels, otters, badgers, skunks, etc.)
      Family Procyonidae
      Family Ailuridae (red pandas)
Order Perissodactyla
      Family Equidae
      Family Tapiridae
      Family Rhinocerotidae
Order Artiodactyla
      Family Suidae (Old World pigs)
      Family Tayassuidae (New World pigs: peccaries, or javelinas)
      Family Hippopotamidae
      Family Camelidae
      Family Tragulidae (chevrotains or mouse-deer)
      Family Moschidae
      Family Cervidae
      Family Antilocapridae
      Family Giraffidae
      Family Bovidae
Order Cetacea
      Family Balaenidae
      Family Balaenopteridae (rorquals)
      Family Eschrichtiidae (gray whales)
      Family Neobalaenidae
      Family Delphinidae
      Family Monodontidae
      Family Phocoenidae
      Family Physeteridae
      Family Platanistidae
      Family Iniidae
      Family Ziphiidae
Order Rodentia
      Family Aplodontiidae (mountain beaver)
      Family Sciuridae (squirrels and marmots)
      Family Gliridae (dormice)
      Family Castoridae
      Family Heteromyidae (kangaroo rats, pocket mice, etc.)
      Family Geomyidae (pocket gophers)
      Family Dipodidae
      Family Platacanthomyidae
      Family Spalacidae
            Subfamily Myospalacinae
            Subfamily Rhizomyinae
            Subfamily Spalacinae
            Subfamily Tachyoryctinae
      Family Calomyscidae
      Family Nesomyidae
      Family Cricetidae
            Subfamily Arvicolinae
      Family Muridae
      Family Anomaluridae (scaly-tailed flying squirrels)
      Family Pedetidae (springhares)
      Family Ctenodactylidae (gundis)
      Family Bathyergidae (blesmols/African mole rats)
      Family Hystricidae (Old World porcupines)
      Family Petromuridae (dassie rats)
      Family Thryonomyidae (cane rats)
      Family Erethizontidae (New World porcupines)
      Family Chinchillidae
      Family Dinomyidae (pacaranas)
      Family Caviidae
            Subfamily Caviinae (guinea pigs and cavies)
            Subfamily Dolichotinae (maras)
            Subfamily Hydrochoerinae (capybaras and rock cavies)
      Family Dasyproctidae
      Family Cuniculidae
      Family Ctenomyidae (tuco-tucos)
      Family Octodontidae
      Family Abrocomidae (chinchilla rats)
      Family Echimyidae (spiny rats)
      Family Myocastoridae
      Family Capromyidae (hutias)

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Site activated 6 August 2010.