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Q&A

Would the Muroid Niche Be Occupied by Just One Clade?

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The muroids are a superfamily of rodents consisting today of mice, rats, voles, hamsters, lemmings and gerbils. There are at least 1750 different species of them, proof apparent of their environmental versatility. That, for me, is the problem. Rodents like the muroids are so successful that in a speculative evolution scenario, they've become one of the subgenre's most tiring cliches. In my observation, no one else has explored the possibility on how life might look if rodents never existed in the first place.

Today, we're exploring one possibility, one that was around long enough to witness the collapse of the dinosaur empire 66 million years ago--Eulipotyphla, the order consisting nowadays of hedgehogs, shrews, moles and solenodons. They are similarly small, and though primarily insectivorous, they are known to tackle other food items.

Considering that we are talking a minimum of 1750 species here, the question isn't whether or not it's possible for eulipotyphlans to occupy the muroid niche, but would they be the only clade to fill it?

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This post was sourced from https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/169224. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

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