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The ruminantia (mammalia, cetartiodactyla) from the oligocene to the early miocene of Western Europe: systematics, plaeoecology and palaeobiogeography

Nowadays, the ruminants are the most ecologically diverse hoofed mammals of the world. All the extent of families (including related species from the Burdigalian) and feeding habits can be deduced from the mandible shape. The Tragulidae possess a small coronoid process, a shortened diastema, and a weak incisura vasorum. The Eupecora have an elongated diastema (extremely extended within the Giraffidae), the coronoid process is elongated. The Cervidae are generally more slender than the Bovidae. A trend from the massive mandible

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The interrelationships of higher ruminant families with special emphasis on the members of the cervoidea

We analyze the interrelationships of the higher (Pecoran) ruminants, and suggest possible relationships between these families and the various genera of the polyphyletic assemblage “Gelocidae.” We also review the developmental processes of the cranial appendages of the living homed ruminant families, and conclude that giraffid ossicones, bovid horns, and cervid antlers cannot be considered to be homologous with each other. The characters that have been used in the past and in this paper to distinguish pecoran families are discussed and

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Comparisons of Schansitherium tafeli with Samotherium boissieri (Giraffidae, Mammalia) from the Late Miocene of Gansu Province, China

We are describing and figuring for the first time skulls of Schansitherium tafeli, which are abundant in the Gansu area of China from the Late Miocene. They were animals about the size of Samotherium with shorter necks that had two pairs of ossicones that merge at the base, which is unlike Samotherium. The anterior ossicones consist of anterior lineations, which may represent growth lines. They were likely mixed feeders similar to Samotherium. Schansitherium is tentatively placed in a very close

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Old world ruminant morphophysiology, life history, and fossil record: exploring key innovations of a diversification sequence

The omasum of pecoran ruminants (which is absent in tragulids) and shorter gestation periods in non-giraffid crown pecorans (as opposed to giraffids) could represent cases of key innovations that caused disparity in species diversity in extant ruminants. Literature suggests that the different ruminant groups inhabited similar niche spectra at different times, supporting the ‘increased fitness’ interpretation where a key innovation does not mainly open new niches, but allows more efficient use of existing ones. In this respect, we explored data

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Key innovations in ruminant evolution: A paleontological perspective

Key innovations are newly acquired structures that permit the performance of a new function and open new adaptive zones, and are, therefore, of paramount significance for understanding the history of the Ruminantia, particularly its diversification through the Miocene. Here we review and discuss what is known about these evolutionary novelties, with special emphasis on the appearance and evolution of cranial appendages and highcrowned (or hypsodont) teeth. Cranial appendages probably favored the diversification of pecorans by being structures strongly related to

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Dietary innovations spurred the diversification of ruminants during the Caenozoic

Global climate shifts and ecological flexibility are two major factors that may affect rates of speciation and extinction across clades. Here, we connect past climate to changes in diet and diversification dynamics of ruminant mammals. Using novel versions of Multi-State Speciation and Extinction models, we explore the most likely scenarios for evolutionary transitions among diets in this clade and ask whether ruminant lineages with different feeding styles (browsing, grazing and mixed feeding) underwent differential rates of diversification concomitant with global

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The Giraffe Biology, Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour (Book)

In one form or another, giraffes have been around for a very long time. And so has Homo sapiens. The interaction between giraffes and humans starts way back in prehistory, and rock art (paintings and engravings) is found all over Africa from Morocco, Algeria and Libya in the north, through Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania in the east, to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique in the south (Le Quellec 1993, 2004; Muzzolini 1995). Wherever, in fact, there has been savannah.

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Hypsodonty and tooth facet development in relation to diet and habitat in herbivorous ungulates: implications for understanding tooth wear

1. The evolution of high-crowned teeth or hypsodonty in herbivorous mammals is widely interpreted as a species specific adaptation to increasingly wear-inducing diets and environments at evolutionary time scales, with internal abrasives (such as phytoliths in grasses) and/or external abrasives (such as dust or grit) as putative causative factors. The mesowear score (MS) instead describes tooth wear experienced by individual animals during their lifetime. 2. Under the assumption that the abrasiveness that causes the MS in individuals is the same

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Large-scale ruminant genome sequencing provides insights into their evolution and distinct traits

The ruminants are one of the most successful mammalian lineages, exhibiting morphological and habitat diversity and containing several key livestock species. To better understand their evolution, we generated and analyzed de novo assembled genomes of 44 ruminant species, representing all six Ruminantia families. We used these genomes to create a time-calibrated phylogeny to resolve topological controversies, overcoming the challenges of incomplete lineage sorting. Population dynamic analyses show that population declines commenced between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, which is concomitant

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A complete estimate of the phylogenetic relationships in Ruminantia: a dated species-level supertree of the extant ruminants

This paper presents the first complete estimate of the phylogenetic relationships among all 197 species of extant and recently extinct ruminants combining morphological, ethological and molecular information. The composite tree is derived by applying matrix representation using parsimony analysis to 164 previous partial estimates, and is remarkably well resolved, containing 159 nodes (>80% of the potential nodes in the completely resolved phylogeny). Bremer decay index has been used to indicate the degree of certainty associated with each clade. The ages

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