Antilocapridae

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Antilocapridae
Temporal range: Early Miocene–recent
Pronghorn antelope.jpg
Pronghorns in Fort Keogh, Montana
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Superfamily: Giraffoidea
Family: Antilocapridae
J. E. Gray, 1866
Genera

Antilocapra
Capromeryx
Stockoceros
Tetrameryx
and see text.

The Antilocapridae are a family of artiodactyls endemic to North America. Their closest extant relatives are the giraffids[1] with which they comprise the superfamily Giraffoidea. Only one species, the pronghorn (Antilocapra americana), is living today; all other members of the family are extinct. The living pronghorn is a small ruminant mammal resembling an antelope.

In most respects, antilocaprids resemble other ruminants. They have a complex, four-chambered stomach for digesting tough plant matter, cloven hooves, and small, forked horns. Their horns resemble those of the bovids, in that they have a true horny sheath, but, uniquely, they are shed outside the breeding season, and subsequently regrown. Their lateral toes are even further diminished than in bovids, with the digits themselves being entirely lost, and only the cannon bones remaining. Antilocaprids have the same dental formula as most other ruminants: 0.0.3.33.1.3.3.

Evolution[edit]

The antilocaprids evolved in North America, where they filled a niche similar to that of the bovids that evolved in the Old World. During the Miocene and Pliocene, they were a diverse and successful group, with many different species. Some had horns with bizarre shapes, or had four, or even six, horns. Examples include Osbornoceros, with smooth, slightly curved horns, Paracosoryx, with flattened horns that widened to forked tips, Ramoceros, with fan-shaped horns, and Hayoceros, with four horns.[2][3]

Species[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) Fact Sheet: Taxonomy & History". International Environment Library Consortium. Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  2. ^ Savage, RJG; Long, MR (1986). Mammal Evolution: an illustrated guide. New York: Facts on File. pp. 232–233. ISBN 0-8160-1194-X.
  3. ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 280. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
  4. ^ Richards, G.D.; McCrossin, M.L. (1991). "A new species of Antilocapra from the late Quaternary of California". Geobios. 24 (5): 623–635. doi:10.1016/0016-6995(91)80027-W.
  5. ^ a b Davis, E.B.; Calède, J.J. (January 2012). "Extending the utility of artiodactyl postcrania for species-level identifications using multivariate morphometric analyses". Palaeontologia Electronica. 15 (1): 1A:22p. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e Semprebon, G.M.; Rivals, F. (September 2007). "Was grass more prevalent in the pronghorn past? An assessment of the dietary adaptations of Miocene to Recent Antilocapridae (Mammalia: Artiodactyla)". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 253 (3–4): 332–347. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.06.006.
  7. ^ Carranza-Castenada, O.; Aranda-Gomez, J.J.; et al. (April 2013). "The Early-Late Hemphillian (HH2) faunal assemblage from Juchipila Basin, State of Zacatecas, Mexico, and its biochronologic correlation with other Hemphillian faunas in central Mexico" (PDF). Contributions in Science. 521: 13–49. S2CID 53606726. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  8. ^ Beatty, B.L.; Martin, L.D. (June 2009). "The earliest North American record of the Antilocapridae (Artiodactyla, Mammalia)". PalaeoBios. 29 (1): 29–35. Retrieved 13 August 2020.