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SPECIES Malpaisomys insularis

Author:Hutterer, Lopez-Martinez, and Michaux, 1988.
Citation:Palaeovertebrata, 18: 246.
Common Name:Lava Mouse
Type Locality:Canary Isls, Fuerteventura Isl, Cueva Villaverde near La Oliva, at stratigraphic level dated about 1070 years before present (see Hutterer et al., 1988, for additional information).
Distribution:Isls of Fuerteventura, Lanzorote, and Graciosa in the Canary Isls (Hutterer et al., 1988).
Status:IUCN Extinct.
Comments:Malpaisomys insularis has been recorded from sediments dated from 25,000 and 32,000 years before present up to historical times when the species became extinct, sometime between 800 years before present and now (Hutterer et al., 1988; Michaux et al., 1991). Reconstruction and study of the postcranial skeleton suggest the species was adapted to living in lava fields (Boye et al., 1992). Boye et al. (1992) reported that about 2000 years before present, Mus musculus was apparently casually imported to the islands by humans who also arrived then, and from that time to the historical period, populations of M. insularis declined and were progressively replaced by house mice. This interaction between lava mice and house mice is the hypothesized causal reason for extinction of M. insularis. Malpaisomys insularis is part of a mammalian fauna endemic to the E Canary Isls that includes the shrew Crocidura canariensis (Hutterer et al., 1987a; Michaux et al., 1991; Boye et al., 1992).
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