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1 March 2011 Phylogeny of the Taeniodonta: Evidence from Dental Charactersand Stratigraphy
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The Taeniodonta is a group of eutherian mammals from the Paleogene of North America, which evolved rapidly in the Paleocene to achieve, in some forms, large body size, hypselodont (i.e., evergrowing) canine and postcanine teeth, and peculiar patterns of tooth wear. Eleven genera of taeniodonts occur in two subgroups, recognized at the level of families or subfamilies depending on author, the Conoryctidae and the Stylinodontidae. There has not been a comprehensive computer-assisted phylogenetic analysis of the taeniodonts, and questions have arisen over the monophyly of the taeniodonts and the conoryctids. Cladistic analyses based on thirty-seven dental characters using NONA and Winclada showed that two subclades of Taeniodonta are well supported, a clade consisting of the conoryctids exclusive of Onychodectes (i.e., Conoryctella, Conoryctes, and Huerfanodon) and a clade consisting of all the known stylinodontids (Wortmania, Schochia, Psittacotherium, Ectoganus, and Stylinodon). Stratocladistic analysis, which takes into account the temporal sequence of taxa in the fossil record, supports the results of the morphological analysis. The Late Cretaceous taeniodont Schowalteria occupies the most basal position in taeniodont phylogeny, pre-dating an inferred conoryctid-stylinodontid split in the early Paleocene, and establishing the taeniodonts as monophyletic.

© 2011 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Deborah L. Rook and John P. Hunter "Phylogeny of the Taeniodonta: Evidence from Dental Charactersand Stratigraphy," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31(2), (1 March 2011).
Received: 14 June 2010; Accepted: 26 October 2010; Published: 1 March 2011

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