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Temporal range: Palaeocene – Recent
1.Orycteropus 2.Dugong 3.Rhynchocyon 4.Trichechus sp. 5.Chrysochloridae sp. 6.Procavia 7.Loxodonta africana 8.Tenrec
Scientific classification

The Afrotheria is a group of mammals, (a superorder or a clade). It includes the golden moles, elephant shrews, tenrecs, aardvarks, hyraxes, elephants and manatees.

Biologists made this group based on DNA sequence analysis.[1] Afrotheria are one of four major groups in the Eutheria (placental mammals). Afrotheria means "African animals", "afro" for Africa and "theria" for animals.

More recent genomics suggests that Afrotheria and Xenarthra are sister taxa at the base of the placental mammal radiation.[2]

Relations between the various afrotherian orders are still being studied. Elephants and manatees seem to be related, and likewise elephant shrews and aardvarks.[3] These findings are compatible with the work of earlier anatomists.[4][5]

Organization[change | change source]

Afrotheria is a clade of placental mammals.[6][7]

References[change | change source]

  1. Stanhope M.J. et al 1998. Molecular evidence for multiple origins of Insectivora and for a new order of endemic African insectivore mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 95 (17): 9967–9972. [1]
  2. Prasad A.B; Allard M.W; NISC Comparative Sequencing Program and Green E.D. 2008. Confirming the phylogeny of mammals by use of large comparative sequence data sets. Mol Biol Evol 25: 1795–1808
  3. Svartman M. & Stanyon R. 2012. The chromosomes of Afrotheria and their bearing on mammalian genome evolution. Cytogenet Genome Res. [2]
  4. Simpson G.G. 1945. The principles of classification and a classification of mammals. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 85: 1-350.
  5. Tabuce R; Asher R.J. & Lehmann T. 2008. Afrotherian mammals: a review of current data. Mammalia 72: 2-14.
  6. "Afrosoricida". Mammal Species of the World, 3rd edition. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  7. McDowell, S. B. 1958. The Greater Antillean insectivores. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 115: 115--213.
  8. Gheerbrant, Emmanuel et al 2014. Ocepeia (Middle Paleocene of Morocco): the oldest skull of an Afrotherian mammal. PLoS ONE 9 (2): e89739. [3]
  9. Tabuce, Rodolphe et al 2007. Early Tertiary mammals from North Africa reinforce the molecular Afrotheria clade. Proc. R. Soc. B 2007 274, doi: 10.1098/rspb.2006.0229
  10. Seiffert, Erik R (2007). "A new estimate of afrotherian phylogeny based on simultaneous analysis of genomic, morphological, and fossil evidence". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 7 (1): 224. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-224. PMC 2248600. PMID 17999766.
  11. Horovitz, Ines et al 2005. Ankle structure in Eocene pholidotan mammal Eomanis krebsi and its taxonomic implications. Acta Palaeontol. Pol. 50 (3): 545–548