New Phylogenetic Analysis of the Family Elephantidae Based on Cranial-Dental Morphology - Todd - 2009 - The Anatomical Record - Wiley Online Library
New Phylogenetic Analysis of the Family Elephantidae Based on Cranial-Dental Morphology
Nancy E. Todd
Article first published online: 20 NOV 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
The Anatomical Record Volume 293, Issue 1, pages 74–90, January 2010
Abstract: In 1973, Vincent Maglio published a seminal monograph on the evolution of the Elephantidae, in which he revised and condensed the 100+ species named by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1931. Michel Beden further revised the African Elephantidae in 1979, but little systematic work has been done on the family since this publication. With addition of new specimens and species and revisions of chronology, a new analysis of the phylogeny and systematics of this family is warranted. A new, descriptive character dataset was generated from studies of modern elephants for use with fossil species. Parallel evolution in cranial and dental characters in all three lineages of elephants creates homoplastic noise in cladistic analysis, but new inferences about evolutionary relationships are possible. In this analysis, early Loxodonta and early African Mammuthus are virtually indistinguishable in dental morphology. The Elephas lineage is not monophyletic, and results from this analysis suggest multiple migration events out of Africa into Eurasia, and possibly back into Africa. New insight into the origin of the three lineages is also proposed, with Stegotetrabelodon leading to the Mammuthus lineage, and Primelephas as the ancestor of Loxodonta and Elephas. These new results suggest a much more complex picture of elephantid origins, evolution, and paleogeography. Anat Rec, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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