Pronghorns Antilocapra americana photographed by Courtney Milne.

Belongs within: Ruminantia.
Contains: Giraffoidea, Bovidae, Cervidae, Palaeomerycidae.

The Pecora are the clade containing most modern ruminants except for the chevrotains. Relationships within the Pecora have long been debated, but most recent studies support a monophyletic grouping of Bovidae, Moschidae and Cervidae, with Giraffidae and Antilocapra outside this clade. The centre of modern diversity for the Pecora is the Old World; the pronghorn Antilocapra americana is, however, native to North America (as are some species of Bovidae and Cervidae). Horns or other horn-like cranial appendages are characteristic of most living families of pecorans; however, the musk deer Moschus of central Asia lack horns and males instead have prominent enlarged canines.

Synapomorphies (from Janis & Scott 1988): Compact, parallel-sided astragalus; stapedial artery absent; enlarged fossa for stapedial muscle on petrosal; subarcuate fossa reduced; broadened basioccipital with strong flexion stops on condyles; laterally enclosed postglenoid foramen; fore- and hindlimbs almost equal in length; four-chambered stomach with omasum.

<==Pecora [Cervoidea, Dremotheriidae, Eucervoidea, Eupecora, Gelocidae, Moschina]
    |  i. s.: Ligeromeryx HD03
    |         Stephanocemas HD03
    |         Hypsodontus JS88
    |         Kubanotragus JS88
    |--Gelocus JS88
    |    |--G. communis JS88
    |    `--G. whitworthi Hamilton 1973 G78a
    `--+--Gobiomeryx JS88
       |--Notomeryx JS88
       |--+--Giraffoidea HD03
       |  `--+--+--Capromeryx minor FS15
       |     |  `--+--Tetrameryx shuleri FS15
       |     |     `--Stockoceros conklingi FS15
       |     `--Antilocapridae HD03
       |          |--Alticornis JJ84
       |          |--Paracosoryx wilsoni MJ11, MHL03
       |          |--Merycodus Leidy 1854 C77 [Merycodontinae HD03]
       |          |    |--M. nevadensis D07
       |          |    `--M. sabulonis MHL03
       |          `--Antilocapra [Antilocaprinae] GRH06
       |               `--A. americana (Ord in Guthrie 1815) B75 (see below for synonymy)
       |                    |--A. a. americana K84
       |                    |--A. a. mexicana Merriam 1901 MB86
       |                    |--A. a. peninsularis K84
       |                    `--A. a. sonoriensis K84
       `--+--Prodremotherium JS88
          `--+--Eumeryx JS88
             |--Rutitherium JS88
             `--+--Walangania JS88 [incl. Kenyameryx Ginsburg  & Heintz 1966 H78]
                |    `--W. africanus (Whitworth 1958) G78b (see below for synonymy)
                `--+--+--+--Bovidae HD03
                   |  |  `--Hoplitomerycidae HD03
                   |  |       |--Amphimoschus JS88
                   |  |       `--Hoplitomeryx Leinders 1983 D07
                   |  |            `--H. matthei D07
                   |  `--+--Moschidae HD03
                   |     |    |  i. s.: Dremotherium feignouxi MJ11, BLB05
                   |     |    |         Hispanomeryx JS88
                   |     |    |         Micromeryx MJ11
                   |     |    |--Blastomerycinae [Blastomerycini] JS88
                   |     |    |    |--Blastomeryx JS88
                   |     |    |    |--Machaeromeryx JS88
                   |     |    |    |--Longirostromeryx JS88
                   |     |    |    |--Parablastomeryx JS88
                   |     |    |    `--Problastomeryx JS88
                   |     |    `--Moschus Linnaeus 1758 L58 [Moschinae JS88]
                   |     |         |  i. s.: M. sifanicus BP87
                   |     |         |--+--M. anhuiensis FS15
                   |     |         |  `--M. berezovskii FS15
                   |     |         `--+--+--M. chrysogaster FS15
                   |     |            |  `--M. fuscus FS15
                   |     |            `--+--*M. moschiferus Linnaeus 1758 L58, FS15, L58
                   |     |               `--+--M. cupreus FS15
                   |     |                  `--M. leucogaster FS15
                   |     `--+--Hypertragulidae [Hypertraguloidea] JS88
                   |        |    |--Hypertragulus TC07
                   |        |    |--Simimeryx HD03
                   |        |    |--Hypisodus JS88
                   |        |    |--Nanotragulus JS88
                   |        |    `--Parvitragulus JS88
                   |        `--Leptomerycidae JS88
                   |             |--Leptomeryx SOG09
                   |             |--Hendryomeryx JS88
                   |             |--Miomeryx JS88
                   |             |--Pronodens JS88
                   |             |--Pseudoparablastomeryx JS88
                   |             `--Xinjiangmeryx JS88
                   `--+--+--Cervidae HD03
                      |  `--Lagomerycidae GRH06
                      |       |--Lagomeryx Roger 1904 JS88, H78
                      |       `--Procervulus Gaudry 1878 GRH06, H78
                      `--Palaeomerycidae JS88

Inorganic: Moschus moshipus minilorientalus Okamura 1987 O87

Antilocapra americana (Ord in Guthrie 1815) B75 [=Antilope americanus B75; incl. Antilope furcifera H04]

Walangania africanus (Whitworth 1958) G78b [=Palaeomeryx africanus G78b, *Kenyameryx africanus H78; incl. Walangania gracilis G78b]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[B75] Bowles, J. B. 1975. Distribution and biogeography of mammals of Iowa. Special Publications, The Museum, Texas Tech University 9: 1–184.

[BP87] Burton, J. A., & B. Pearson. 1987. Collins Guide to the Rare Mammals of the World. Collins: London.

[C77] Cope, E. D. 1877. 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.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[FS15] Faurby, S., & J.-C. Svenning. 2015. A species-level phylogeny of all extant and late Quaternary extinct mammals using a novel heuristic-hierarchical Bayesian approach. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 84: 14–26.

[G78a] Gentry, A. W. 1978a. Tragulidae and Camelidae. In: Maglio, V. J., & H. B. S. Cooke (eds) Evolution of African Mammals pp. 536–539. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[G78b] Gentry, A. W. 1978b. Bovidae. In: Maglio, V. J., & H. B. S. Cooke (eds) Evolution of African Mammals pp. 540–572. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[GRH06] Gilbert, C., A. Ropiquet & A. Hassanin. 2006. Mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenies of Cervidae (Mammalia, Ruminantia): systematics, morphology, and biogeography. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40 (1): 101–117.

[H04] Haeckel, E. 1899–1904. Kunstformen der Natur. Bibliographisches Institut: Leipzig und Wien.

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[HD03] Hassanin, A., & E. J. P. Douzery. 2003. Molecular and morphological phylogenies of Ruminantia and the alternative position of the Moschidae. Systematic Biology 52 (2): 206–228.

[JJ84] Janis, C., & P. J. Jarman. 1984. The hoofed mammals. In: Macdonald, D. (ed.) All the World’s Animals: Hoofed Mammals pp. 28–39. Torstar Books: New York.

[JS88] Janis, C. M., & K. M. Scott. 1988. The phylogeny of the Ruminantia (Artiodactyla, Mammalia). In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods vol. 2. Mammals pp. 273–282. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[K84] Kitchen, D. W. 1984. Pronghorn. In: Macdonald, D. (ed.) All the World’s Animals: Hoofed Mammals pp. 102–103. Torstar Books: New York.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[MB86] Matson, J. O., & R. H. Baker. 1986. Mammals of Zacatecas. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 24: 1–88.

[MHL03] Meng, J., Y. Hu & C. Li. 2003. The osteology of Rhombomylus (Mammalia, Glires): implications for phylogeny and evolution of Glires. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 275: 1–247.

[MJ11] Meredith, R. W., J. E. Janečka, J. Gatesy, O. A. Ryder, C. A. Fisher, E. C. Teeling, A. Goodbla, E. Eizirik, T. L. L. Simão, T. Stadler, D. L. Rabosky, R. L. Honeycutt, J. J. Flynn, C. M. Ingram, C. Steiner, T. L. Williams, T. J. Robinson, A. Burk-Herrick, M. Westerman, N. A. Ayoub, M. S. Springer & W. J. Murphy. 2011. Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification. Science 334: 521–524.

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[SOG09] Spaulding, M., M. A. O'Leary & J. Gatesy. 2009. Relationships of Cetacea (Artiodactyla) among mammals: increased taxon sampling alters interpretation of key fossils and character evolution. PLoS One 4 (9): e7062.

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