Chapter

Bovidae

Alan W. Gentry

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/9780520257214.003.0038
Bovidae

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Bovidae contain the cattle, sheep, goats, and antelopes. The word “antelope” is used for bovids outside Europe, mostly in Africa, or not domesticated before Carl Linnaeus' lifetime. It does not correspond with a formal taxonomic category. Most phylogenies postulate bovids being closer to cervids than to giraffids. Unlike the cervoid Moschus in relation to Cervidae, there is no living hornless pecoran thought to be a bovoid (member of a superfamily Bovoidea including Bovidae and any related families, the latter as yet unknown). In Eurasia, tiny bovid-like dental remains are known well back to the early Oligocene of Mongolia, but nothing is known of pre-Miocene ruminants in Africa. Pecorans such as Walangania, Propalaeoryx, and Namibiomeryx do appear in the early Miocene, and the last has been claimed to be a bovid. Subfamilies of Bovidae include Hypsodontinae, Bovinae, Antilopinae, Reduncinae, Oiocerinae, Hippotraginae, and Caprinae. This chapter discusses the overall classification of Bovidae and their evolutionary relationships.

Keywords: Bovidae; bovids; antelopes; cattle; sheep; goats; Africa; cervids; pecorans; Hypsodontinae

Chapter.  48058 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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