The fur varies exceedingly in character, - in some, like the chinchillas and hares, being fine and soft, while in others it is more or less replaced by spines on the upper surface, as in spiny rats and porcupines; these spines in several genera, as Xerus, Acomys, Platacanthomys, Echinothrix, Loncheres and Echinomys, being flattened.
None of the members of the typical sub-family extend into India, where the group is represented by Platacanthomys, typifying the sub-family Platacanthomyinae, characterized by the absence of premolars; the other being the Chinese Typhlomys.
A second subfamily is represented by the Indian Platacanthomys and the Chinese Typhlomys, in which there are only three pairs of cheek-teeth; thus connecting the more typical members of the family with the Muridae.
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