Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Cetartiodactyla is a group comprised of two orders of mammals that are superficially quite different and that, until recently, were recognized as two separate monophyletic clades. These orders are Artiodactyla, even-toed ungulates, including animals such as cows (Bovidae), camels (Camelidae), and deer (Cervidae), and Cetacea, a group of mammals that are highly specialized for an aquatic lifestyle, including baleen whales and toothed whales. Recent molecular evidence suggests that Cetacea evolved from artiodactyl ancestors, making Artiodactyla non-monophyletic unless Cetacea is included. Experts suggest the monophyletic clade representing artiodactyls and cetaceans be called Cetartiodactyla.