Chapter

Suoidea

Laura C. Bishop

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/9780520257214.003.0042
Suoidea

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The superfamily Suoidea, to which pigs (Suidae), peccaries (Tayassuidae), and the extinct family Sanitheriidae belong, most likely originated in Europe and Asia during the Eocene. The suoids are the sister group of all other Artiodactyls, including Hippopotamidae. Two of the families of suoids are the Sanitheriidae (now extinct) and the Suidae, which were the dominant family of suoids in Africa during the Cenozoic. The Tayassuidae are an exclusively American family, although early research originally attributed some small African suid specimens to this family. The true pigs, or Suidae, are far more common and are widespread through both time and space. The earliest known pigs are from Asia — the upper Eocene genera Siamochoerus from Thailand and Oidochoerus from China. African suids from the latest Miocene into the Pleistocene (and those who study them) have benefited from a series of revisions and rationalizations. Hylochoerus meinertzhageni, the giant forest hog, is the largest African suid. Phacochoerus aethiopicus, the warthog, is the most commonly seen Afrotropical suid. The bushpig Potamochoerus is the smallest indigenous African pig.

Keywords: Suoidea; pigs; peccaries; Tayassuidae; Sanitheriidae; Suidae; suoids; Africa; Cenozoic; Siamochoerus

Chapter.  20804 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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