L’origine et l’évolution des éléphants

Emmanuel GHEERBRANT & Pascal TASSY

fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 8 (2-3) - Pages 281-294

Published on 30 April 2009

This article is a part of the thematic issue Evolutionary history of Life

Origin and evolution of proboscideans

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

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