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RE: Afrotheria revisted

Christopher Taylor wrote:

It is worth noting that Tabuce et al. don't include Afrosoricida in
their analysis. While it seems to be possible to unite the other
afrotherian orders morphologically, Afrosoricida is the one that refuses
to sit down.

Yes, that's true. Zack et al. (2005) included two tenrecs and a golden mole in one of their morphological analyses. The Afrosoricida was recovered as the sister taxon to a clade that included all other afrotheres. However, this analysis only included "only afrotheres and their potential extinct relatives".

Of course, morphological studies involving both Afrotheria
and fossils are still few and far between, and heavily biased towards
paenungulates and/or "condylarths". What fossil insectivore-like taxa
would be worth investigating as basal afrotherians?

Yeah, good question. No idea. Maybe these basal afrotherians would be more ungulate-like than insectivore-like. Or at least something that used to be termed a "condylarth" (aside from apheliscine hyopsodontids).


Zack et al. (2005). Affinities of 'hyopsodontids' to elephant shrews and a Holarctic origin of Afrotheria. Nature 434: 497-501.



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