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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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Primitive Ungulates (“Condylarthra” and Stem Paenungulata)

Primitive Ungulates (“Condylarthra” and Stem Paenungulata)

(p.563) Twenty-Eight Primitive Ungulates (“Condylarthra” and Stem Paenungulata)
Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Emmanuel Gheerbrant

University of California Press

Africa is probably the most poorly known paleobiogeographic province in the evolutionary history of the primitive ungulates collectively called “Condylarthra.” This is related to the more general problem of the very poor fossil record of mammals in the early Paleogene of Africa. The few described African condylarths have been found in the Paleocene and early Eocene of Morocco, and in the middle Eocene of Senegal. The best-preserved condylarth material comes from the Ouled Abdoun Basin, Morocco. “Hyopsodontids” and phenacodonts have been especially advanced as potential stem groups of the endemic modern ungulates of Africa. The most robust current hypotheses involve a probable Laurasian “hyopsodontid” origin for the macroscelideans. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of primitive ungulates (“Condylarthra” and stem Paenungulata) and follows Archibald's (1998) systematics of condylarths, with the Zack et al. (2005b) emendations for the “Hyopsodontidae,” “Mioclaenidae,” and Apheliscidae. “Mioclaenidae” is considered a junior synonym of Hyopsodontidae, and includes Mioclaeninae, Kollpaniinae, Pleuraspidotheriinae, and Hyopsodontinae, which is restricted to Hyopsodus. Classical “Hyopsodontidae” are referred to Apheliscidae, which includes Apheliscinae, Louisininae and several genera incertae sedis.

Keywords:   Africa, primitive ungulates, Condylarthra, Paenungulata, paleontology, condylarths, hyopsodontids, phenacodonts, Mioclaenidae, Apheliscidae

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