Introduction Small mammals, and especially insectivores, long have been the stepchildren in Austrian palaeontology, although Hofmann described an insectivore species, Plesiosorex styriacus, from two Styrian sites as early as 1892. In 1893 the same author described and figured an erinaceid tooth, now known as Lantanotherium sp., from Göriach in Styria. Thenius (1949) presented a revision of the insectivores of the Styrian Tertiary, that is the Miocene. No insectivores were known from other parts of Austria at that time, partly because research was centred in Vienna and Graz; many more fossil sites are known from the eastern parts of Austria, which, however, mainly yielded large mammals. Systematic searches for small mammals by means of screen washing techniques only began in the middle of the 20th century. Until then, finds of small mammals were more or less a side-product of the search for large mammals. The first large-scale excavations, which also yielded lots of small mammals, among them insectivores, started in 1955 in the Kohfidisch caves and fissures in Burgenland, and in the 1960s at the Eichkogel site near Mödling in the Vienna Basin. Bachmayer, Zapfe, Thenius and their students initiated and conducted the excavations at these sites. The Kohfidisch fauna, including the insectivores, was presented by Bachmayer & Wilson (1970, 1978, 1980), but not all of the material was taken into account in these contributions. Some insectivores from the Eichkogel were published by Rabeder (1973). The rodents of this site have been published in a number of papers by Daxner-Höck (e.g. 1972, 1977, 1981). Excavations of the Pliocene

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Journal Scripta Geologica. Special Issue

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Ziegler, R, & Daxner-Höck, G. (2005). [The fossil record of the Eurasian Neogene insectivores (Erinaceomorpha, Soricomorpha, Mammalia) : Part I / L.W. van den Hoek Ostende, C.S. Doukas and J.W.F. Reumer (editors)]: Austria. Scripta Geologica. Special Issue, 5(2), 11–29.