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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Superorder: Preptotheria
(unranked): Altungulata
Prothero & Schoch 1989
Franz 1924
Orders and suborders[2]

Altungulata or Pantomesaxonia (sensu Fischer 1986 and later authors) is a clade (mirorder) of ungulate mammals comprising the perissodactyls, hyracoids, and tethytheres (sirenians, proboscideans, and related extinct taxa.)[2]

The name "Pantomesaxonia" was originally introduced by Franz 1924, a German zoologist and racial theorist. It was resurrected by Fischer 1986 by including sirenians and excluding South American ungulates, phenacodontids, and meniscotheriids from the original concept.[3]

The name "Altungulata", introduced by Prothero & Schoch 1989 and revised by McKenna & Bell 1997,[2] was erected as an alternative because the updated concept of "Pantomesaxonia" was regarded too deviant from the original concept.[3]

Both names are still in use, and, to add to the confusion, various authors assign different ranks to the involved taxa. For example, according to Thewissen & Domning 1992, Phenacodonta (Phenacodontidae and Meniscotheriidae) and Pantomesaxonia (Sirenia, Desmostylia, Proboscidea, Hyracoidea, and Perissodactyla) are sister groups together making up the superorder Paenungulata.[4]

Altungulata is not supported by molecular evidence unless perissodactyls are excluded (thus dividing Altungulata into Laurasiatheria and Afrotheria), and the validity of the following uniting synapomorphies remain disputed:[2]

  • bilophodonty, two lophs or crests running transversally across the crown of the tooth
  • large third molars
  • molarization of posterior premolars
  • elongated thoracic region with at least 19 vertebrae
  • clavicle absent
  • similar development of fetal membranes


The classification below is from Rose 2006, p. 242. Paenungulata together with Macroscelidea, Tubulidentata, and the lipotyphlan families Tenrecidae and Chrysochloridae compose Afrotheria.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mirorder Altungulata". Systema Naturae 2000. Retrieved April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Rose 2006, pp. 241–4
  3. ^ a b Hooker 2005, pp. 201–2
  4. ^ "[Bibliography of] Thewissen, Johannes". Retrieved May 2013.