; infra-order Pecora, superfamily Traguloidea)
A family of pecorans which exhibit certain relatively primitive features. The family appears in the fossil record in the early Miocene. They are derived from the Hypertragulidae, the ancestral pecorans, which range from the upper Eocene to the lower Miocene. Although ruminants, the subdivisions of the stomach are less complex than in other pecorans. Horns are absent. The upper incisors are absent, as in other pecorans, but the upper canines are large, especially in the male, and form tusks. The tibia and fibula are fused, but the fibula is not reduced. There are four digits on each limb, which are complete although small. The cannon bone, formed by the fusion of the middle metapodials of all limbs and characteristic of higher pecorans, is complete in the hind limbs but only partial in the fore limbs of the Asian genus and absent in the fore limbs of the African genus. Chevrotains are small animals found in the forests of tropical Africa and Asia. There are four species in two genera, Tragulus (Asian) and Hyemoschus (African).
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.