Brief discussion on Anthracobunid phylogeny and paleobiology:

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Oxyaena

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Dec 23, 2014, 7:23:38 PM12/23/14
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Turns out that Anthracobunids are stem-perissodactyls, as are the
Desmostylians, which have been also re-evaluated as stem-perissodactyls.
If this is the case, then much convergent evolution must have happened
between Anthracobunids and early Proboscideans (e.g. /Numidotherium/,
/Eritherium/, /Phosphatherium/, /Daoutherium/, /Barytherium/,
/Moerotherium/), which given the similar habitats at the time of
deposition, isn't at all surprising.

What is surprising is that for over 30 years, it has long been regarded
(based on some rather fragmentary remains), that they were either
relatives of Proboscideans or /very/ early Proboscideans. Another
surprising find is that Desmostylia, which was long regarded as a member
Paeunungulates, which given the recent revision of Anthracobunid
phylogeny, we find that they are stem-perissodactyls!

What lies in store for the rest of the so-called "Paenungulates", such
as /Ocepeia/ or Embrithopoda?


--
--- Lord Creodont, FRCS.

nyi...@bellsouth.net

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Feb 6, 2015, 11:06:16 PM2/6/15
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On Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 7:23:38 PM UTC-5, Oxyaena wrote:
> Turns out that Anthracobunids are stem-perissodactyls, as are the
> Desmostylians, which have been also re-evaluated as stem-perissodactyls.
> If this is the case, then much convergent evolution must have happened
> between Anthracobunids and early Proboscideans (e.g. /Numidotherium/,
> /Eritherium/, /Phosphatherium/, /Daoutherium/, /Barytherium/,
> /Moerotherium/), which given the similar habitats at the time of
> deposition, isn't at all surprising.
>
> What is surprising is that for over 30 years, it has long been regarded
> (based on some rather fragmentary remains), that they were either
> relatives of Proboscideans or /very/ early Proboscideans. Another
> surprising find is that Desmostylia, which was long regarded as a member
> Paeunungulates, which given the recent revision of Anthracobunid
> phylogeny, we find that they are stem-perissodactyls!

How well supported is this finding? And what happened to the huge
Afrotheria-Laurasiatheria split, with perissodactyls in the latter and
paenungulates in the former? See the very detailed tree in:

r_anthracobunid_phylogeny.png
I always was suspicious of "Afrotheria": might there not have been a
lot of lateral transfer of genes by retroviruses, with insect vectors
endemic to Africa playing a big role?

> What lies in store for the rest of the so-called "Paenungulates", such
> as /Ocepeia/ or Embrithopoda?

Lots of revisions and revisions of revisions...of phylogenetic trees,
is my guess.

Peter Nyikos
Professor, Dept. of Mathematics -- standard disclaimer--
University of South Carolina
http://www.math.sc.edu/~nyikos/

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