Setifer, the Madagascar hedgehog, enters the LRT with other hedgehogs

Evidently the Madagascar tenrec issue
is still not resolved. Wikipedia reports Setifer. the greater hedgehog tenrec. is not close to hedghogs. The author of that Wiki page considers Setifer a tenrec.

By contrast
the large reptile tree (LRT, 2042+ taxa) recovers Setifer with hedgehogs like Echinops, not with Tenrec and Hemicentetes. So, we need to do a little updating in the literature based on traits, not genomics.

The problem goes back to geographic viruses
affecting genes in geographic areas (think Afrotheria). Both Setifer and Tenrec live in close contact on Madagascar, apart from European hedgehogs. Their genes were affected by the same viruses. Similarly the dissimilar aye-aye (Daubentonia) and lemur (Lemur), both from Madagascar, share enough genes to fool genomicists. These genes are also due to endemic viruses. Don’t trust genes in deep time studies. Trust skeletons and PAUP.

Figure 1. Setifer, the hedgehog ‘tenrec’ museum mount. Closer to hedgehogs, not close to tenrecs.
Figure 2. Setifer skeleton from Mivart 1871. Colors added here. Look at those lower incisors.

Setifer setosus
(von Schreber 1778, Madagascar; 18.5cm) is the extant greater hedgehog tenrec. It nests with hedgehogs in the LRT, not with tenrecs, based on skeletal data. Note the digitigrade digits. The molars are premolarized as in archaeocete whales by convergence. Note the lateral incisors erupting deep on the anterior face of the dentary.

Mivart St G J 1871. The genesis of species. Macmillan and Co. London and New York.
von Schreber JCD 1778. Die Saugethiere in Abbildungen nach Natur mit Beschreibungen. Erlangen. 1774- 1855, 1789. Theil 1-17 suppl, vol 1-5.

wiki/Greater_hedgehog_tenrec – Setifer


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