Tue . 19 Jun 2019


family orycteropodidae, orycteropodidae

Orycteropodidae is a family of afrotherian mammals Although there are many fossil species, the only species surviving today is the aardvark, Orycteropus afer Orycteropodidae is recognized as the only family within the order Tubulidentata, so the two are effectively synonyms

Only recently did scientists discover that the aardvark and the anteater evolved from two different families and separated the two species They were classified in the order Edentata due to their similar physical characteristics and diets The phylogeny of this family has never been fully analyzed, making it hard to trace back the evolutionary history, and the amount of unknown information limits the knowledge of the species

Orycteropodidae members are polygynous, the females providing care for the young They are territorial, and only cross paths to breed The males' genitals create a musk while females create this musk from glands in their elbows, this scent helps mating occur The gestation period lasts about 7 months, and they are dependent upon the mother until they are 6 months of age, becoming sexually mature at 2 years of age Breeding occurs once a year, they produce one offspring, and will have maybe one to two more in their lifetime

Representatives of the order Tubulidentata have been located from the Oligocene in what is now Europe, and it is believed that the order probably originated around 65–70 million years ago or in the Paleocene They are thought to be closely related to the now extinct Ptolemaiida, a lineage of carnivorous afrotheres The family arose in Africa in the Early Miocene Epoch, and spread to Eurasia later in the Miocene Most of the family's diversity had become extinct by the end of the Pliocene

Aardvarks are myrmecophagous, feeding almost exclusively on termites and ants They rely on their sense of smell to find most of their food and hunt at night


  • 1 Characteristics
  • 2 Classification
  • 3 Footnotes
  • 4 References
  • 5 Further reading


Orycteropodidae skeleton

A few anatomical characters unite the Orycteropodidae and Tubulidentata

  • the occipital region has extensive mastoid exposure
  • the teeth have a distinctive structure called tubulidentate microstructure These animals lack incisors and canines, and have between 20-22 teeth These teeth also lack enamel, and are just rounded structures of dentine The teeth are evergrowing, unrooted, and diphyodont Another unique trait is that their small milk teeth are lost before the animal is born
  • the femur has a pectineal tubercle
  • the diaphysis of the tibia is curved mediolaterally


This classification follows Lehmann 2009

  • Genus †Scotaeops Ameghino 1887
    • †S simplex Ameghino 1887
  • Genus †Archaeorycteropus Ameghino 1905
  • Genus †Palaeorycteropus Filhol 1893
    • †P quercyi Filhol 1893
  • Genus † Myorycteropus MacInnes, 1956
    • †M africanus MacInnes, 1956 type species
    • †aff M chemeldoi Pickford, 1975
    • †aff M minutus Pickford, 1975
  • Genus †Leptorycteropus Patterson, 1975
    • †L guilielmi Patterson, 1975
  • Genus †Amphiorycteropus Lehmann 2009
    • †A gaudryi Major, 1888 type species
    • †A abundulafus Lehmann et al, 2005
    • †A browni Colbert, 1933
    • †A depereti Helbing, 1933
    • †A mauritanicus Arambourg, 1959
    • †aff A pottieri Ozansoy, 1965
    • †aff A seni Tekkaya, 1993
  • Genus Orycteropus Geoffroy St Hilaire 1796
    • †O crassidens MacInnes, 1956
    • †O djourabensis Lehmann et al 2004
    • O afer Pallas 1776 Aardvark type species
      • O a capensis Gmelin 1788 Cape Aardvark
      • O a senegalensis Lesson 1840 Western/Senegambian Aardvark
      • O a haussanus Matschie 1900 Hausa Aardvark
      • O a adametzi Grote 1921
      • O a leptodon Hirst 1906 Cameroon Aardvark
      • O a erikssoni Lönnberg 1906 Eriksson's/North Congo Aardvark
      • O a albicaudus Rothschild 1907 South-western/Damara Aardvark
      • O a angolensis Zukowsky & Haltenorth 1957 Angolan Aardvark
      • O a afer Pallas 1776 Southern Aardvark
      • O a wardi Lydekker 1908 Congo/Ward's Aardvark
      • O a observandus Grote 1921
      • O a matschiei Grote 1921
      • O a lademanni Grote 1911
      • O a ruvanensis Grote 1921 Ruwana Aardvark
      • O a faradjius Hatt 1932 Faradje Aardvark
      • O a kordofanicus Rothschild 1927 Kordofan Aardvark
      • O a aethiopicus Sundevall 1843 Northeastern/Abyssinian Aardvark
      • O a somalicus Lydekker 1908 Somalia Aardvark


  1. ^ a b c d e Lehmann 2009
  2. ^ Schlitter 2005, p 86
  3. ^ Shoshani 2002, p 619
  4. ^ Shoshani 2002, p 620
  5. ^ Cote S, Werdelin L, Seiffert ER, Barry JC March 2007 "Additional material of the enigmatic Early Miocene mammal Kelba and its relationship to the order Ptolemaiida" Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104 13: 5510–5 Bibcode:2007PNAS1045510C doi:101073/pnas0700441104 PMC 1838468  PMID 17372202 
  6. ^ Seiffert, Erik R 2007 "A new estimate of afrotherian phylogeny based on simultaneous analysis of genomic, morphological, and fossil evidence" BMC Evolutionary Biology 7 1: 224 doi:101186/1471-2148-7-224 PMC 2248600  PMID 17999766 
  7. ^ Mikko's Phylogeny Archive Haaramo, Mikko 2007 "Tubulidentata – aardwarks" Retrieved 30 December 2015 
  8. ^ Lehmann et al 2005


  • Lehmann, Thomas 2009 "Phylogeny and systematics of the Orycteropodidae Mammalia, Tubulidentata" Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155: 649–702 doi:101111/j1096-3642200800460x 
  • Lehmann, Thomas; Vignaud, Patrick; Likius, Andossa; Brunet, Michel 2005 "A new species of Orycteropodidae Mammalia, Tubulidentata in the Mio-Pliocene of northern Chad" Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 143 1: 109–131 doi:101111/j1096-3642200400143x 
  • Schlitter, DA 2005 "Order Tubulidentata" In Wilson, DE; Reeder, DM Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference 3rd ed Johns Hopkins University Press p 86 ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0 OCLC 62265494 
  • Shoshani, Jeheskel 2002 "Tubulidentata" In Robertson, Sarah Encyclopedia of Life Sciences 18: Svedberg, Theodor to Two-hybrid and Related Systems London, UK: Nature Publishing Group ISBN 1-56159-274-9 

Further reading

  • "A sub-complete fossil aardvark Mammalia, Tubulidentata from the Upper Miocene of Chad" doi:101016/jcrpv200512016
  • MacInnes D G 1956 Fossil Tubulidentata from East Africa British Museum Natural History, London Fossil mammals of Africa series; no 10 46 pp

family orycteropodidae, orycteropodidae

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