Two late middle Miocene to early late Miocene (12–11 Ma) soricid populations from Spain and Germany are re-described and assigned to Crusafontina and Darocasorex, gen. et sp. nov., primitive genera within the Anourosoricini. The relatively advanced morphology of these oldest Anourosoricini genera known suggest a much earlier date for the origin of the tribe. Molecular phylogenetics support an early origin (∼15 Ma), but ages up to ∼18 Ma are possible after re-evaluating the calibration points that use early-middle Miocene occurrences of Soricinae and their potential ancestors. Both molecular phylogenetics and paleontology consistently point to Anourosoricini being the sister clade of the combined Nectogalini and Notiosoricini. Synapomorphies in morphology relate to the condylar structure, the morphology of the lower premolar (p4) and reduction of the upper antemolars. The phylogenetic roots of the Anourosoricini within the Soricinae will remain elusive until more early-middle Miocene rests are found. The paucity of fossils is probably related to the lack of terrestrial sedimentary rocks at northern latitudes, where primitive Anourosoricini and their soricine ancestors might have been residing during the early-middle Miocene thermal optimum.
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Vol. 30 • No. 4