[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

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
swimmers.]).

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.                                   
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
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
U.S.A.