Proboscidea

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For the plant genus, see Proboscidea (plant).
Proboscidea
Temporal range: Paleocene – Recent, 60.0–0 Ma
AfricanElephant.jpg
African bush elephant, Loxodonta africana
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Clade: Paenungulata
Order: Proboscidea
Illiger, 1811
Families[1]

Elephantidae
Gomphotheriidae
Mammutidae
Stegodontidae
Barytheriidae
Deinotheriidae
Moeritheriidae
Numidotheriidae
Palaeomastodontidae
Phiomiidae

The Proboscidea (from the Greek προβοσκίς and the Latin proboscis) are a taxonomic order containing one living family, Elephantidae, and several extinct families. This order, first described by J. Illiger in 1811, encompasses the trunked mammals.[2][3] Later proboscideans are distinguished by tusks and long, muscular trunks; these features are less developed or absent in early proboscideans. Proboscideans produced the largest land mammals of all time in the form of Palaeoloxodon namadicus and Mammut borsoni, which weighting around 24 tons and reaching shoulder heights of over 5 meters surpassed several sauropod dinosaurs.[4]

The earliest known proboscidean is Eritherium,[5] followed by Phosphatherium, a small animal about the size of a fox. These both date from late Paleocene deposits of Morocco.

Proboscideans diversified during the Eocene and early Oligocene. Several primitive families from these epochs have been described, including Numidotheriidae, Moeritheriidae, and Barytheriidae in Africa. (Anthracobunidae from the Indian subcontinent has also been included, but was excluded from Proboscidea by Shoshani & Tassy (2005)[1] and has more recently been assigned to Perissodactyla.[6]) These were followed by the earliest Deinotheriidae, or "hoe tuskers", which thrived during the Miocene and into the early Quaternary. Proboscideans from the Miocene also included Stegolophodon, an early genus of the disputed family Stegodontidae; the diverse family of Gomphotheriidae, or "shovel tuskers", such as Platybelodon and Amebelodon; and the Mammutidae, or mastodons.

Most families of Proboscidea are now extinct, many since the end of the last glacial period. Recently extinct species include the last examples of gomphotheres in Central and South America, the American mastodon of family Mammutidae in North America, numerous stegodonts once found in Asia, the last of the mammoths, and several island species of dwarf elephants.[7]

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:[1]

Proboscidea
incertae sedis Moeritheriidae
Moeritherium
Plesielephantiformes
Numidotheriidae
Barytheriidae
Deinotheriidae
Elephantiformes
incertae sedis Hemimastodon
Palaeomastodontidae
Phiomiidae
Elephantimorpha
incertae sedis Eritreum [8]
Mammutida (mastodons)
Mammutoidea
Mammutidae
Elephantida
Gomphotherioidea
Gomphotheriidae (gomphotheres)
Elephantoidea
incertae sedis Tetralophodon
incertae sedis Morrillia
incertae sedis Anancus
incertae sedis Paratetralophodon
Stegodontidae
Elephantidae
Stegotetrabelodontinae
Stegotetrabelodon
Stegodibelodon
Elephantinae (elephants and mammoths)
Primelephas
Loxodontini
Loxodonta
Elephantini
Palaeoloxodon
Elephas
Mammuthus

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Shoshani, Jeheskel; Pascal Tassy (2005). "Advances in proboscidean taxonomy & classification, anatomy & physiology, and ecology & behavior". Quaternary International. 126-128: 5–20. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2004.04.011. 
  2. ^ Vergiev, S.; Markov, G. (2010). "A mandible of Deinotherium (Mammalia - Proboscidea) from Aksakovo near Varna, Northeast Bulgaria". Palaeodiversity 3: 241–247. 
  3. ^ "Proboscidea". Retrieved 13 September 2011. [better source needed]
  4. ^ Larramendi, A. (2015). "Shoulder height, body mass and shape of proboscideans" (PDF). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 60. doi:10.4202/app.00136.2014.  edit
  5. ^ Gheerbrant, E. (2009). "Paleocene emergence of elephant relatives and the rapid radiation of African ungulates". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (26): 10717–10721. doi:10.1073/pnas.0900251106. PMC 2705600. PMID 19549873. 
  6. ^ Cooper, L. N.; Seiffert, E. R.; Clementz, M.; Madar, S. I.; Bajpai, S.; Hussain, S. T.; Thewissen, J. G. M. (2014-10-08). "Anthracobunids from the Middle Eocene of India and Pakistan Are Stem Perissodactyls". PLoS ONE 9 (10): e109232. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0109232. PMID 25295875.  edit
  7. ^ Bjorn Kurten, Elaine Anderson (17 May 2005). Pleistocene mammals of North America - Google Books. Google Book Search. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 
  8. ^ Shoshani, Jeheskel; Robert C. Walter; Michael Abraha; Seife Berhe; Pascal Tassy; William J. Sanders; Gary H. Marchant; Yosief Libsekal; Tesfalidet Ghirmai; Dietmar Zinner (2006). "A proboscidean from the late Oligocene of Eritrea, a "missing link" between early Elephantiformes and Elephantimorpha, and biogeographic implications". PNAS 103 (46). doi:10.1073/pnas.0603689103.