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Re: Colored skin continued.
>Good summary, Mickey. I _think_ the elephants share Proboscidia (sp?)
>with hyraxes, and possibly with sea cows, but I'd have to look it
>up, and I won't be able to report back until Monday (assuming I remember,
>and nobody else has posted sooner).
Proboscidea includes the two living genera of elephants, and many extinct
elephant-like forms. However, Vicki is correct in that sirenians (or sea
cows = manatees & dugons) are the closest living group to proboscideans.
Together, proboscideans, sirenians, and some bizarre extinct groups (the
arsinotheres and the desmostylians) form the Tethytheria. (The name
"Tethytheria" is a pun - the group seems to have evolved in the region of
the ancient Tethys Sea, and the group is characterized by an aquatic habit
[elephants are basically secondarily terrestrial, and are quite good
The hyraxes may be the sister group to Tethytheria (together forming a
group called Paenungulata), but they might also be allied to some of the
other hoofed mammals.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile Phone: 703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey FAX: 703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA 22092