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Cenozoic Mammals of Africa$
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Lars Werdelin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257214

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2019

Creodonta

Creodonta

Chapter:
(p.542) (p.543) Twenty-Six Creodonta
Source:
Cenozoic Mammals of Africa
Author(s):

Margaret E. Lewis

Michael Morlo

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520257214.003.0026

The order Creodonta was first named by Cope (1875) and removed from its original placement in the order Carnivora. Some researchers still maintain that creodonts and carnivorans (or carnivoramorphans) are sister taxa, though not all agree. While creodonts and carnivorans share an ossified tentorium and a few basicranial and tarsal features, their possible synapomorphies are few. Like carnivorans, creodonts vary greatly in their postcranial adaptations. Unlike carnivorans, most creodonts have fissured terminal phalanges, with the exception of the European Proviverrinae, and an unfused scaphoid and lunate. All known Afro-Arabian creodonts belong to the family Hyaenodontidae and range in age from the Eocene (and possibly Paleocene) to the middle Miocene. While the earliest African members of this family are found in the north, this family eventually spread southward into eastern and southern Africa. In Africa, as elsewhere, this family is diverse both in body size and morphology, with body size ranging from some of the smallest of forms to the largest hyaenodontid known (Megistotherium). This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Creodonta.

Keywords:   Africa, paleontology, Creodonta, creodonts, carnivorans, Hyaenodontidae, Eocene, Miocene, Megistotherium

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