Reconstruction of Phenacodus by Heinrich Harder.

Belongs within: Cetferungulata.

The Phenacodontidae are a family of herbivorous cursorial mammals from the Palaeocene and Eocene of North America and Europe. Size estimates for phenacodontids vary from about three or four kilograms for the smaller Ectocion and Copecion species, to well over fifty kilos for the larger Phenacodus species (Thewissen 1990), or about the size of a cat to that of a small sheep.

Characters (from Thewissen 1990): Teeth bunodont to bunolophodont. P4 with talonid basin and subequal protoconid and metaconid. Paraconid of lower molars absent or small. P3 with small protocone, P4 with paracone, metacone, and protocone. M1-2 with hypocone and often with mesostyle. Dental formula / Humerus with weak deltopectoral crest and supracondylar foramen. Ulna strong with anterior process distally. Five digits in hand and foot. Femur with third trochanter. Fibula complete. Astragalus with convex head.

    |  i. s.: Copecion brachypternus MC00
    |         Gidleyina Simpson 1935 S35b
    |           |--*G. montanensis Gidley in Simpson 1935 [=Ectocion montanensis, Euprotogonia montanensis] S35b
    |           `--G. silberlingi Gidley in Simpson 1935 [=Ectocion silberlingi, Euprotogonia silberlingi] S35b
    |         Lophocion HD04
    |--Tetraclaenodon MC00
    |    |--T. pliciferus S35b
    |    |--T. puercensis PMF88 [=Euprotogonia puercensis PMF88]
    |    |--T. superior Simpson 1935 S35b
    |    `--T. symbolicus Gidley in Simpson 1935 S35b
    `--+--+--Ectocion osbornianus PMF88, MC00
       |  `--Meniscotherium Cope 1874 PMF88, C76
       |       |--M. chamense Cope 1874 C76
       |       `--M. terraerubrae M94
       `--Phenacodus Cope 1873 PMF88, C76
            |--P. copei PMF88
            |--P. gidleyi S35a
            |--P. grangeri MC00
            |--P. matthewi S35a
            |--P. omnivorus Cope 1874 C76
            |--P. primaevus Cope 1873 C76
            |--P. sulcatus Cope 1874 C76
            `--P. wortmani ANG03

*Type species of generic name indicated


[ANG03] Asher, R. J., M. J. Novacek & J. H. Geisler. 2003. Relationships of endemic African mammals and their fossil relatives based on morphological and molecular evidence. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 10 (1-2): 131-194.

[C76] Cope, E. D. 1876. Report upon the extinct Vertebrata obtained in New Mexico by parties of the expedition of 1874. Geographical Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian 4(2): i-iv, 1-370.

[HD04] Hooker, J. J. & D. Dashzeveg. 2004. The origin of chalicotheres (Perissodactyla, Mammalia). Palaeontology 47 (6): 1363-1386.

[M94] MacPhee, R. D. E. 1994. Morphology, adaptations, and relationships of Plesiorycteropus, and a diagnosis of a new order of eutherian mammals. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 220: 1-214.

[MC00] Muizon, C. de, & R. L. Cifelli. 2000. The “condylarths” (archaic Ungulata, Mammalia) from the early Palaeocene of Tiupampa (Bolivia): Implications on the origin of the South American ungulates. Geodiversitas 22 (1): 47-150.

[PMF88] Prothero, D. R., E. M. Manning & M. Fischer. 1988. The phylogeny of the ungulates. In The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, vol. 2. Mammals (M. J. Benton, ed.) pp. 201-234. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[S35a] Simpson, G. G. 1935a. The Tiffany fauna, Upper Paleocene. I.–Multituberculata, Marsupialia, Insectivora, and ?Chiroptera. American Museum Novitates 795: 1-19.

[S35b] Simpson, G. G. 1935b. New Paleocene mammals from the Fort Union of Montana. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 83 (2981): 221-244.

Thewissen, J. G. M. 1990. Evolution of Paleocene and Eocene Phenacodontidae (Mammalia, Condylarthra). Museum of Paleontology, The University of Michigan, Papers on Paleontology 29: 1-107.

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