Chapter

Macroscelidea

Patricia A. Holroyd

in Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257214
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257214.003.0008
Macroscelidea

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The distribution and broader relationships of the Macroscelidea, or sengis, have been the subject of two recent reviews that discuss their interrelationships and the relationships of the order to other placental mammals. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Macroscelidea, focusing on the stratigraphic and geographic distribution of the individual genera within the order. It summarizes the morphologic characteristics that distinguish the subfamilies and genera that constitute the Macroscelidea. All known sengis are classified in the order Macroscelidea and family Macroscelididae. Currently, the order is comprised exclusively of fossil and recent taxa that occur in Africa, although some Holarctic taxa may ultimately be recognized as stem-macroscelideans or as more closely related to sengis than to other extant taxa. Non-crown forms are first recognized in the Eocene of North Africa. Taxa assignable to the extant subfamilies are subsequently known from the latest Paleogene to Pleistocene from East and southern Africa with scant undescribed Miocene-Pleistocene records in North Africa.

Keywords: Macroscelidea; paleontology; sengis; placental mammals; Africa; Eocene; Paleogene; Pleistocene; stem-macroscelideans

Chapter.  6527 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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