Ferungulata is a traditional clade within the cohort of placental mammals. Established by George Gaylord Simpson in 1945, it includes the extant Carnivora, Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla as well as Tubulidentata and a superorder, Paenungulata, plus a number of orders known only as fossils. Although Simpson placed whales (Cetacea) in a separate cohort, recent evidence linking them to Artiodactyla would mean that they belong here as well.
Simpson established the grouping on the basis of morphological criteria, but this traditional understanding of Ferungulata has been challenged by a more recent classification, relying upon genetic criteria, in which his ferungulate orders are divided between two distinct cohorts, Afrotheria and Laurasiatheria. Advocates of this newer system redefine Ferungulata as a clade within Laurasiatheria, comprising the larger portion of the former Ferungulata and including 'true' ungulates (Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla), whales and Carnivora, with the addition of pangolins (Pholidota), but excluding Tubulidentata and paenungulates; a newer clade name, Scrotifera, has thus been proposed.
- Simpson, George Gaylord. 1945. "The principles of classification and a classification of mammals". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 85:1–350. (pdf version)
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