The Proboscidea (from the Greekπροβοσκίς and the Latinproboscis) are a taxonomicorder containing one living family, Elephantidae, and several extinct families. This order, first described by J. Illiger in 1811, encompasses the trunked mammals. Later proboscideans are distinguished by tusks and long, muscular trunks; these features are less developed or absent in early proboscideans.
The classification of proboscideans is unstable and frequently revised, and some relationships within the order remain unclear. As of 2005, at least 177 species and subspecies of proboscideans, classified in 43 genera, are recognized; the order is summarized as:
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^Shoshani, Jeheskel; Robert C. Walter, Michael Abraha, Seife Berhe, Pascal Tassy, William J. Sanders, Gary H. Marchant, Yosief Libsekal, Tesfalidet Ghirmai and Dietmar Zinner (2006). "A proboscidean from the late Oligocene of Eritrea, a "missing link" between early Elephantiformes and Elephantimorpha, and biogeographic implications". PNAS103 (46). doi:10.1073/pnas.0603689103.Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help);|accessdate= requires |url= (help)