Bibymalagasia (Mammalia Incertae Sedis)
The order Bibymalagasia consists of the single genus Plesiorycteropus, with two species, P. madagascariensis and P. germainepetterae. As suggested by the generic name, Plesiorycteropus has traditionally been considered a member of the order Tubulidentata, family Orycteropodidae (aardvarks) ever since its initial description by Filhol. However, MacPhee (1994) carried out an exhaustive anatomical and phylogenetic study of the available material of Plesiorycteropus and found significant cause to question this traditional assignment. Instead, he found that the systematic position of Plesiorycteropus was unstable in his analyses. This gave no reason to believe that Plesiorycteropus was any closer to Tubulidentata than to several other ungulates (sensu lato) and that many of the characters allying Plesiorycteropus with tubulidentates may be functional convergences due to a fossorial lifestyle. As a consequence, MacPhee erected the new order Bibymalagasia for Plesiorycteropus to highlight its uncertain phylogenetic position. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Bibymalagasia (Mammalia incertae sedis).
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