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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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(p.741) Thirty-Eight Bovidae
Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Alan W. Gentry

University of California Press

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

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