Chapter

Lagomorpha

Alisa J. Winkler and D. Margaret Avery

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/9780520257214.003.0018
Lagomorpha

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Our knowledge of fossil African lagomorphs has expanded tremendously since Lavocat's one-paragraph summary of the group in Maglio and Cooke's (1978) Evolution of African Mammals. Although there have been many new discoveries since 1978, Lagomorpha has still received relatively little attention. The earliest records of leporids, in particular, are sparse and greatly need detailed comparative study. Premolar morphology is usually considered the most important criterion for taxonomic assignment of fossil lagomorphs. This chapter describes dental terminology for p3 and P3 for ochotonids and p3 and P2 for leporids. It also discusses the known occurrences of fossil lagomorphs from northern (including Chad), eastern, and southern Africa. Ochotonids are not present in the extant African fauna. Worldwide, this family is represented today by only one genus, Ochotona, restricted to Eurasia and western North America. There are five genera of Lagomorpha: Bunolagus (bushman or riverine rabbit), Lepus (hare), Oryctolagus (European, Old World, or domestic rabbit), Poelagus (bunyoro rabbit, Central African rabbit, or Uganda grass-hare), and Pronolagus (red hare or red rock hare).

Keywords: Lagomorpha; Bunolagus; Lepus; Oryctolagus; Poelagus; Pronolagus; lagomorphs; leporids; ochotonids; Africa

Chapter.  11073 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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