Recent palaeontological research has significantly enhanced our knowledge of the evolution of proboscideans, especially the beginning of their evolutionary history. New discoveries in the Early Eocene support, in particular, a lophodont ancestral morphotype for the Proboscidea and the African origin of the order, from which the Asiatic Anthracobunidae are excluded. The primitive Eocene proboscideans remain, however, poorly known. Other important discoveries have been made on the question of the origin of the moeritheres, of the deinotheres and elephantimorphs, and on the differentiation of elephantids. Palaeontology demonstrates in the Proboscidea a remarkably rich history, unsuspected from the extant relictual diversity, and one of the most spectacular morphological evolutions in the Mammalia.
Proboscidea, Elephants, Darwin, Evolution, Origin, Africa