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Afroinsectiphilia

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Title: Afroinsectiphilia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Phylogenetics, Elephant shrew, Ungulate, Aardvark, Mammal
Collection: Mammals of Africa, Phylogenetics
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Afroinsectiphilia

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Temporal range: Late Paleocene - Recent
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The Afroinsectiphilia (African insectivores) is a clade that has been proposed based on the results of recent molecular studies.[1] Many of the taxa within it were once regarded as part of the order Insectivora, but Insectivora is now considered to be polyphyletic and obsolete. This proposed classification is based on molecular studies only, and there is no morphological evidence for it.[2]

The golden moles and tenrecs are part of this clade. Some also regard the elephant shrews and aardvarks as part of it, although these two order are traditionally seen as primitive ungulates. The sister group of the Afroinsectiphilia is the Paenungulata, which were also traditionally regarded as ungulates.

If the clade of Afrotheria is genuine, then the Afroinsectiphilia are the closest relatives of the Pseudungulata (here regarded as part of Afroinsectiphilia) and the Paenungulata. In a classification governed by morphological data, both the Pseudungulata and Paenungulata are seen as true ungulates, thus not related to Afroinsectiphilia. However, DNA research is thought to provide a more fundamental classification.

Additionally, there might be some dental synapomorphies uniting afroinsectiphilians: p4 talonid and trigonid of similar breadth, a prominent p4 hypoconid, presence of a P4 metacone and absence of parastyles on M1–2. Additional features uniting ptolemaiidans and tubulidentates specifically include hypsodont molars that wear down to a flat surface; a long and shallow mandible with an elongated symphyseal region; and trigonids and talonids that are separated by lateral constrictions.[3][4]

Taxonomic tree

  • INFRACLASS EUTHERIA: placental mammals
    • Superorder Afrotheria
      • Clade Afroinsectiphilia
        • Order Afrosoricida
          • Suborder Tenrecomorpha
            • Family Tenrecidae: tenrecs and otter shrews; 30 species in 10 genera
          • Suborder Chrysochloridea
          • †Clade Bibymalagasia: The bibymalagasy, an extinct genus of insectivorous mammal from the Late Pleistocene/Holocene of Madagascar, now thought to be closely related to tenrecs.[5]
        • Order Macroscelidea: elephant shrews (according to some recent data part of Afroinsectiphilia)
        • Order Tubulidentata: Aardvark (according to some recent data part of Afroinsectiphilia)
        • †Order Ptolemaiida: Extinct carnivorous mammals, probably closely related to aardvarks.
      • Clade Paenungulata

References

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0059614
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