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Elephantidae
Elephantidae
is a family of large, herbivorous mammals collectively called elephants and mammoths. These are terrestrial large mammals with a snout modified into a trunk and teeth modified into tusks. Most genera and species in the family are extinct. Only two genera, Loxodonta
Loxodonta
(African elephants) and Elephas
Elephas
(Asiatic elephants), are living. The family was first described by John Edward Gray
John Edward Gray
in 1821,[3] and later assigned to taxonomic ranks within the order Proboscidea. Elephantidae
Elephantidae
have also been revised by various authors to include or exclude other extinct proboscidean genera.

Contents

1 Classification 2 Evolutionary history 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Classification[edit]

"Man, and the elephant" plate from Hawkins A comparative view of the human and animal frame, 1860

See also: List of elephant species
List of elephant species
and Elephants The family diverged from a common ancestor of the mastodons of Mammutidae. The classification of proboscideans is unstable and has been frequently revised.

The most accurate phylogenetic tree of the elephants and mammoths as of 2010

The following cladogram shows the placement of the genus Mammuthus among other proboscideans, based on hyoid characteristics:[1]

Elephantidae

Elephantinae

Loxodontini

Loxodonta
Loxodonta
(African elephants)

Elephantini

Palaeoloxodontina

†Palaeoloxodon

Elephantina

Elephas
Elephas
(Asian elephants)

Mammuthus
Mammuthus
(Mammoths)

The systematics of the living subspecies and species, the modern elephants, has undergone several revisions. A list of the extant Elephantidae, excluding the extinct species of the two genera, includes:[4]

Elephantidae

Elephas
Elephas
(Asiatic)

E. maximus Asian elephant

E. m. maximus Sri Lankan elephant E. m. borneensis Borneo elephant E. m. indicus Indian elephant E. m. sumatranus Sumatran elephant E. m. sondaicus Javan elephant†

Loxodonta
Loxodonta
(African)

L. africana African bush elephant L. cyclotis African forest elephant

Skeleton of Mammuthus
Mammuthus
meridionalis at MNHN

Scientific classification of Elephantidae
Elephantidae
taxa embraces an extensive record of fossil specimens, over millions of years, some of which existed until the end of the last ice age. Some species were extirpated more recently. The discovery of new specimens and proposed cladistics have resulted in systematic revisions of the family and related proboscideans. Elephantids are classified informally as the elephant family, or in a paleobiological context as elephants and mammoths. The common name elephant primarily refers to the living taxa, the modern elephants, but may also refer to a variety of extinct species, both within this family and in others (see Elephant
Elephant
(other)). Other members of the Elephantidae, especially members of Mammuthus, are referred to by the common name mammoth. Evolutionary history[edit]

Evolution of elephants from the ancient Eocene
Eocene
(bottom) to the modern day (top)

Although the fossil evidence is uncertain, by comparing genes, scientists have discovered evidence that elephantids and other proboscideans share a distant ancestry with Sirenia
Sirenia
(sea cows) and Hyracoidea
Hyracoidea
(hyraxes).[5] These have been assigned with the demostylians to the clade Proboscidea. In the distant past, members of the various hyrax families grew to large sizes, and the common ancestor of all three modern families is thought to have been some kind of amphibious hyracoid.[citation needed] One hypothesis is that these animals spent most of their time under water, using their trunks like snorkels for breathing.[6][7] Modern elephants have this ability and are known to swim in that manner for up to six hours and 50 km (31 mi). In the past, a much wider variety of genera and species was found, including the mammoths and stegodons.[8][9] See also[edit]

Deinotherium Embrithopoda Eritherium
Eritherium
azzouzorum Life timeline Mammut borsoni Palaeoloxodon
Palaeoloxodon
namadicus

References[edit]

^ a b Shoshani, J.; Ferretti, M. P.; Lister, A. M.; Agenbroad, L. D.; Saegusa, H.; Mol, D.; Takahashi, K. (2007). "Relationships within the Elephantinae using hyoid characters". Quaternary International. 169-170: 174. Bibcode:2007QuInt.169..174S. doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2007.02.003.  ^ Maglio, Vincent J. (1973). "Origin and Evolution of the Elephantidae". Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. 63 (3): 16. JSTOR 1006229.  ^ Gray, John Edward (1821). "On the natural arrangement of vertebrose animals". London Medical Repository. 15: 297–310.  ^ Shoshani, J. (2005). "Order Proboscidea". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal
Mammal
Species
Species
of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.  ^ Ozawa, Tomowo; Hayashi, Seiji; Mikhelson, Victor M. (1997-04-24), "Phylogenetic Position of Mammoth
Mammoth
and Steller's Sea Cow Within Tethytheria Demonstrated by Mitochondrial DNA Sequences", Journal of Molecular Evolution, 44 (4): 406–413, doi:10.1007/PL00006160, PMID 9089080  ^ West, John B. (2001), "Snorkel breathing in the elephant explains the unique anatomy of its pleura", Respiratory Physiology, 126 (1): 1–8, doi:10.1016/S0034-5687(01)00203-1, PMID 11311306  ^ West, John B.; Fu, Zhenxing; Gaeth, Ann P.; Short, Roger V. (2003-11-14), "Fetal lung development in the elephant reflects the adaptations required for snorkeling in adult life" (PDF), Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology, 138 (2-3): 325–333, doi:10.1016/S1569-9048(03)00199-X  ^ Todd, N. E. (2001). African Elephas
Elephas
recki: time, space and taxonomy Archived 2008-12-16 at the Wayback Machine. (pdf). In: Cavarretta, G., P. Gioia, M. Mussi, and M. R. Palombo. The World of Elephants, Proceedings of the 1st International Congress. Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. Rome, Italy. ^ Todd, N. E. (2005). Reanalysis of African Elephas
Elephas
recki: implications for time, space and taxonomy. Quaternary International 126-128:65-72.

External links[edit]

Media related to Elephantidae
Elephantidae
at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Elephantidae
Elephantidae
at Wikispecies

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q2372824 ADW: Elephantidae EoL: 1644 EPPO: 1ELEPF Fossilworks: 43263 GBIF: 9427 ITIS: 584935 MSW: 11500002 NCBI: 9780

v t e

Genera of the Order Proboscidea

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Superorder: Afrotheria Clade: Paenungulata

†Basal proboscideans

†Eritherium †Moeritherium

†Plesielephantiformes

†Numidotheriidae

†Phosphatherium †Arcanotherium †Daouitherium †Numidotherium

†Barytheriidae

†Omanitherium †Barytherium

†Deinotheriidae

†Chilgatherium †Prodeinotherium †Deinotherium

Elephantiformes

†Basal elephantiforms

†Eritreum †Hemimastodon †Palaeomastodon †Phiomia

Elephantimorpha

†Mammutidae

†Losodokodon †Eozygodon †Zygolophodon †Sinomammut †Mammut

Elephantida

†Choerolophodontidae

†Afrochoerodon †Choerolophodon

†Amebelodontidae

†Afromastodon †Progomphotherium †Eurybelodon †Serbelodon †Archaeobelodon †Protanancus †Amebelodon †Konobelodon †Torynobelodon †Aphanobelodon †Platybelodon

†Gomphotheriidae

†Gomphotherium †Gnathabelodon †Eubelodon †Stegomastodon †Sinomastodon †Notiomastodon †Rhynchotherium †Cuvieronius

Elephantoidea

†Anancidae

†Anancus †Morrillia †Paratetralophodon †Pediolophodon †Tetralophodon

†Stegodontidae

†Stegolophodon †Stegodon

Elephantidae

†Stegotetrabelodontinae

†Stegodibelodon †Stegotetrabelodon †Selenotherium

Elephantinae ( Elephants
Elephants
and Mammoths)

†Primelephas Loxodonta †Palaeoloxodon †Mammu

.