Extant camelids (llamas and camels) are unique among wild mammals in their regular employment of a pacing gait. They also have a unique foot morphology, assumed to be an adaptation for this mode of locomotion: their feet are secondarily digitigrade, with the loss of hooves and the addition of a broad foot pad. We examined 22 measurements of the metapodials and phalanges of camelids and ruminants with bivariate and multivariate analyses, including 18 genera of extinct camelids from the Tertiary of North America. Extant camelids and ruminants were clearly distinguishable from each other. Most extinct camelids showed some morphological features typical of extant forms, five out of eighteen clustered with the extant camelids. Pacing may have evolved independently within the subfamilies Camelinae and Protolabinae. Additionally, evolutionary change towards a condition resembling that of extant camelids also occurred within the subfamilies Stenomylinae and Miolabinae. These parallel changes in camelid locomotor anatomy occurred in the late Oligocene or early Miocene, preceding the formation of widespread open grassland habitats in the late Miocene.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.