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Subungulates “almost ungulates” Three Crazy Orders!

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Presentation on theme: "Subungulates “almost ungulates” Three Crazy Orders!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Subungulates “almost ungulates” Three Crazy Orders!

2 Subungulates Three Orders: Hyraxes - resemble rodents Elephants Sirenians - ungainly aquatic mammals Based on appearance, no connection Common ancestral stock related to ungulates - supported by DNA and biochemical evidence

3 Order Proboscidea: Elephants Ancestor of elephants: Begins in Late Eocene of Egypt with Moeritherium - tapir-sized animal Second incisor modified to be a small tusk Lived in mangrove forests of late Eocene and filled role of hippo!

4 Moeritherium


6 Order Proboscidea Mastodons - different line than mammoths and elephants Resembled elephants but for their teeth Tusks on upper jaw- 2nd incisor Mammut americanus - may have been exterminated by early humans - Florida

7 Mastodon




11 Ice age: video clip

12 Mammuthus:

13 Order Proboscidea Wooly mammoth - lived in tundra and forests near icefields, Imperial mammoth - inhabited dryer areas of SW US; giant - 14 feet at shoulder! Tusks were 13 feet long and weighed a half ton.

14 Order Proboscidea Family Elephantidae Two living genera African and Asian Largest living land mammal Elongation of nose - long, dextrous proboscis (trunk) with one or two fingers at tip

15 Order Proboscidea Elephant dentition: Tusks, second upper incisor Cheek teeth - 6 cheek teeth but only one functional at a time; as teeth wear out, they are replaced by one that is posterior.

16 Elephant teeth:

17 Order Proboscidea Elephant morphology Skull short and high with air pockets; neck short Head weighs 12- 15% of body weight Protected braincase All limb bones lack marrow; filled with spongy bone Heel pad of dense connective tissue braces the toes and largely supports the weight of the animal


19 Order Proboscidea Elephant Habits: Lifespan: 70 average (69-77 documented) - potential for 80 years, teeth wear out Inhabit savanna and forests, must be relatively near water Reports of feeding range from 10 miles/day Feeds on trees, shrubs, grasses, and aquatic plants Can do great damage to crops - conflict Females for kinship groups - males excluded Two species: Elephas maximus - Indian elephant; and Loxodonta africana - African elephant

20 Order Proboscidea Asian or Indian Elephant: Height:10 feet Female average weight: 8,000 pounds Males up to 12,000 pounds True color is often masked by color of soil on skin Smaller ears, 4 nails Head is the highest point! Trunk with one finger-like projection

21 Asian or Indian Elephant

22 Order Proboscidea African Elephant: Height: 12-14 feet Weight: 8,000 females-16,000 males: pounds Forehead more convex, large ears Shoulders are the highest point! Trunk - two finger-like projections Two feeding peaks - morning and evening/night Drink at least once a day; never far from water Shade is essential; thermoregulate with ears Well-developed senses of smell, sight, and hearing surge.html surge.html

23 African Elephant


25 Asian compared to African The neck is low, and then curving up The skin is less wrinkled Ears are small, looks like Indian continent Head has two bumps Forehead is protruding The underlip is long, narrow and pointed Only about 50% of bulls wear long tusks (Sumatran subspecies) The front feet have five nails, the hind feet four (like the african forest elephant) The trunk tip has one prehensile protrusion

26 Order Proboscidea Reproduction Polyestrous - can give birth at any time of the year Gestation: 615-668 days Calf: 200 pounds Babies have a coat of sparse brown hair - halo effect Suckles from mouth and not trunk - mom or other lactating female Babies start eating vegetation at a few months, but nurse for about 18 months Graphic birth video w&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1 w&safety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1

27 Order Proboscidea Conservation of Asian Elephants Numbers: 16,595 to 22,261 (3,000 captivity) Sri Lanka: 1900 - 12,000; today - <1,000 1/2 jeopardized by agricultural development Keystone species - opens forests

28 Order Proboscidea Conservation of African Elephants L. africana cyclotis - smaller, darker forest elephant L. africana africana - paler bush or savanna elephant 1860-1930 - 25,000-100,000 shot per year; ivory sent to Indian carvers, and for piano keys to Europe and US Kenya population - 167,000 in 1973 to 70,000 in 1977 End of 1980s - at brink of extinction; >$100/kg ivory; 100,000 killed per year; illegally

29 Order Proboscidea Conservation of African Elephants Japan and US were the two largest importers! 1986, US imports = 32,000 dead elephants An additional 11,000 for skins and artifacts $100,000,000 industry in US alone 1979 - 1.3 million; by 1989 - 625,000: 2012:_______ Kenya: 65,000 to 19,000 Sudan:134,000 to 40,000 Tanzania:326,000 to 80,000 Zambia:150,000 to 40,000 afety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1 afety_mode=true&persist_safety_mode=1

30 Order Hyracoidea Single Family, Procaviidae, 3 genera Referred to in Bible as “rock badgers” Hyrax means “shrew mouse” Closely related to other “subungulates” Central and southern Africa Found in rocky outcrops, sea level to 4200 m

31 Order Hyracoidea Yellow spotted hyrax Rock Hyrax w/babies Tree hyrax

32 Order Hyracoidea

33 Order Hyracoidea: Unique advantages to avoid predators

34 Hyraxes are not rodents Why?________________

35 Order Hyracoidea Mainly eat plants, some poisonous. Colonial; live in groups of 25-80 Poor thermoregulators; huddle to conserve heat Very vocal, as are many colonial mammals:

36 Order Hyracoidea 1- 2 feet long, short, compact bodies with short tails 2-11 pounds weight 9-12 year life span Need good traction for climbing and jumping on rocks: Toes short with hoof-like nails Unlike elephants and manatees, dentition not replaced horizontally. Hunted for meat and fur; urine used as dye Not endangered

37 Order Sirenia Two Families: Dugongidae with one species, the dugong (Dugon dugon) Trichechidae with three species of manatees, Genus Trichechus Never leave the water Only marine mammal herbivores! Inhabits coastal areas, estuaries, bays, and inland river systems in tropical regions

38 Order Sirenia Live in water that is about 20 degrees C; poor ability to thermoregulate and low metabolic rate They face little or no competition from other herbivores The basis for the myth of Mermaids???? Large with a fusiform body shape No fur except stiff bristles around snout No external ear; nostrils valvular, top of rostrum

39 Order Sirenia Skeletal bones are dense (pachyostotic) to counter buoyant effects of living in shallow water Lungs are long and thin and extend through much of the body cavity Hunting has caused population reductions; all species are at least threatened Poaching, flood control gates, motorboat accidents Poor hearing sensitivity to low frequencies Habitat loss is continued threat

40 Family Dugongidae Average 12 feet, 800 pounds Tail fluke is notched! Rostrum is much more deflected downward Avoid freshwater more than manatees Forage by using forelimbs to “walk” on bottom

41 Family Dugongidae Found in coastal areas of Pacific Ocean throughout Micronesia, New Guinea, northern Australia, Philippines, Indonesia northward to Vietnam

42 Order Sirenia Family Dugongidae


44 Family Trichechidae West Indian manatee occurs from Florida south through the Caribbean sea to northeast Brazil; as far north as Rhode Island! Amazonian manatee does not tolerate saltwater West African manatee fresh- or saltwater rivers or estuaries along coast of Africa 7-12 feet; mass typically = 1200 pounds; record = 3500 pounds Rounded spatulate tails, and small nasal bones, unlike dugongs Only have cheek teeth, like elephants, they are replaced from the rear forward

45 Order Sirenia Family Trichechidae

46 West Indian Manatee Distribution

47 Amazonian Manatee Distribution

48 West African Manatee Distribution

49 Family Trichechidae Unlike elephants, they have 4-5 teeth at a time Indefinite number of teeth: between 10-30 This is known as “functional polyphyodonty,” important for animals that wear their teeth down quickly eating vascular plants in sand and mud Usually solitary individuals, or in small groups Sometimes form larger groups in winter near warm discharges of water Gestation = 13 months, Weaned 12-18 months; thus, low reproductive potential

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