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MAMMALIA


5. Rodentia (Gnawing Mammals) 1a.

Duplicidentata (Hares and Picas).-IJ.

Simplicidentata (Rats, Beavers, &c.).

6.*Tillodontia (Tillotherium).

7. Carnivora:-

a. Fissipedia (Cats, Dogs, Bears, &c.).

b. Pinnxpedia (Seals and Walruses).

c.*Creodonta (Hyaenodon, &c.).

8. Cetacea (Whales and Dolphins):-

a.*Archaeoceti (Zeuglodon, &c.).

b. Odontoceti (Spermwhales and Dolphins).

c. Mystacoceti (Whalebone Whales).

9. Sirenia (Dugongs and Manatis).

Ungulata (Hoo ed Mammals):-

a. Proboscidea (Elephants and Mastodons).

b. Hyracoidea (Hyraxes).

c. *Barypoda (A rsiniiilherium).

d.*Toxodontia (Toxodan, &c.).

e.*Amblypoda (Uintatherium, &c.).

f.*Litopterna (Macrauchenia, &c.).

g.*Ancylopoda (Chalicotherium, &c.).

h.*Condylarthra (Phenacodus, &c.).

i. Perissodactyla (Tapirs, Horses, &c.).

j. Artiodactyla (Ruminants, Swine, &c.).

II. Primates:-

a. Prosimiae (Lemurs and Galagos).

b. Anthropoidea (Monkeys, Apes and Man).

Separate articles are devoted to each of these orders, where references will be found to other articles dealing with some of the minor groups and a number of the more representative species. Relationships of the Groups.-As we recede in time we find the extinct representatives of many of these orders approximating more and more closely to a common generalized type, so that in a large number of early Eocene forms it is often difficult to decide to which group they should be assigned.

The Insectivora are certainly the lowest group of existing placental mammals, and exhibit many signs of affinity with marsupials; they may even be a more generalized group than the latter. From the Insectivora the bats, or Chiroptera, are evidently a specialized lateral offshoot; while the Dermoptera may be another branch from the same stock. As to the Edentata, it is still a matter of uncertainty whether the pangolin's (Pholidota) and the ant-bears (Tubulidentata) are rightly referred to an order typically represented, by the sloths, anteaters, and armadillos of South and Central America, or whether the two first-named groups have any close relationship with one another. Much uncertainty prevails with regard to the ancestry of the group as a whole, although some of the earlier South American forms have a comparatively full series of teeth, which are also of a less degenerate type than those of their modern representatives. An almost equal degree of doubt obtains with regard to the ancestry of that very compact and well-defined group the Rodentia. If, however, the so-called Proglires of the lower Eocene are really ancestral rodents, the order is brought into comparatively close connexion with the early generalized types of clawed, or unguiculate mammals. Whether the extinct Tillodontia are most nearly allied to the Rodentia, the Carnivora or the Ungulata, and whether they are really entitled to constitute an ordinal group by themselves, must remain for the present open questions. The Carnivora, as represented by the (mainly) Eocene Creodonta, are evidently an ancient and generalized type. As regards the number and form of their permanent teeth, at any rate, creodonts present such a marked similarity to carnivorous marsupials, that it is difficult to believe the two groups are not allied, although the nature of the relationship is not yet understood, and the minute internal structure of the teeth is unlike that of marsupials and similar to that of modern Carnivora. There is the further possibility that creodonts may be directly descended from the carnivorous reptiles; a descent which if proved might introduce some difficulty with regard to the above mentioned theory as to the arboreal ancestry of mammals generally. Be this as it may, there can be little doubt that the creodonts are related to the lnsectivora, which, as stated above, show decided signs of kinship with the marsupials.-A

much more interesting relationship of the creodont carnivore has, however, been established on the evidence of recent discoveries in Egypt. From remains of Eocene age in that country Dr E. F raas, of Stuttgart, has demonstrated the derivation of the whale-like Zeuglodon from the creodonts. Dr C. E. Andrews has, moreover, not only brought forward additional evidence in favour of this most remarkable line of descent, but is confident-which Professor Fraas was not—that Zeuglodon itself is an ancestral cetacean, and consequently that whales are the highly modified descendants of creodonts. It must be admitted, however, that the links between Zeuglodon and typical cetaceans are at present unknown; but it may be hoped that these will be eventually brought to light from the deposits of the Mokattam Range, near Cairo. Whales and dolphins being thus demonstrated to be nothing more than highly modified Carnivora, might almost be included in the same ordinal group. An analogous statement may be made with regard to the sea-cows, or Sirenia, which appear to be derivates from the great herbivorous order of Ungulata, and might consequently be included in that IO.

group, as indeed has been already done in Dr Max Weber's classification. It is with the proboscidean su border of the Ungulata to which the Sirenia are most nearly related; the nature of this relationship being described by Dr Andrews as follows:-

“ In the first place, the occurrence of the most primitive Sirenians with which we are acquainted in the same region as the most generalized proboscidean, M aeritherium, is in favour of such a view, and this is further supported by the similarity of the brain-structure and, to some extent, of the pelvis in the earliest-known members of the two groups. Moreover, in the anatomy of the soft-parts of the recent forms there are a number of remarkable points of resemblance. Among the common characters may be noted the possession of: (I) pectoral mammae; (2) abdominal testes; (3) a bifld apex of the heart; (4) bilophodont molars with a tendency to the formation of an additional lobe from the posterior part of the cingulum. The peculiar mode of displacement of the teeth from behind forwards in some members of both groups may perhaps indicate a relationship, although in the case of the Sirenia the replacement takes place by meansof a succession of similar molars, while in the Proboscidea the molars remain the same numerically, but increase greatly in size and number of transverse ridges.”

These and certain other facts referred to by the same author point to the conclusion that not only are the Sirenia and the Proboscidea derived from a single ancestral stock, but that the Hyracoidea-and so Arsinditherium-are also derivatives from the same stock, which must necessarily have been Ethiopian.

Of the other suborders of ungulates, the Toxodontia and Litopterna are exclusively South American, and while the former may possibly be related to the Hyracoidea and Barypoda, the latter is perhaps more nearly akin to the Perissodactyla. The Amblypoda, on the other hand, are perhaps not far removed from the ancestral Proboscidea, which depart comparatively little from the generalized ungulate type. The latter is represented by the Eocene Condylarthra, which undoubtedly gave rise to the Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla, and probably to most, if not all, of the other groups. The Condylarthra, in their turn, approximate closely to the ancestral Carnivora, , as they also do in some degree to the ancestral Primates. As regards the latter order, although We are at present unacquainted with all the connecting links between the lemurs and the monkeys, there is little doubt that the ancestors of the former represent the stock from which the latter have originated. C. D. Earle, in the American Naturalist for 1897, observes that “ so far as the palaeontological evidence goes it is decidedly in favour of the view that apes and lemurs are closely related. Beginning with the earliest known lemur, Anaplomorphus, this genus shows tendencies towards the anthropoids, and, when we pass up into the Oligocene of the Old World, Adapis is a decidedly mixed type, and probably not far from the common stem-form which gave origin to both suborders of the Primates. In regard to Tarsius, it is evidently a type nearly between the lemurs and apes, but with many essential characters belonging to the former group.”

Distribution.-For an account of the “realms ” and “regions” into which the surface of the globe has been divided by those who have made a special study of the geographical distribution of animals, see ZOOLOGICAL DISTRIBUTION. For the purposes of such zoo-geographical divisions, mammals are much better adapted than birds, owing to their much more limited powers of dispersal; most of them (exclusive of the purely aquatic forms, such as seals, whales, dolphins and sea-cows) being unable to cross anything more than a very narrow arm of the sea. Consequently, the presence of nearly allied groups of mammals in areas now separated by considerable stretches of sea proves that at no very distant date such tracts must have had a land connexion. In the case of the southern continents the difficulty is, however, to determine whether allied groups of mammals (and other animals) have reached their present isolated habitats by dispersal from the north along widely sundered longitudinal lines, or whether such a distribution implies the former existence of equatorial land -Connexions. It may be added that even bats are unable to cross large tracts of sea; and the fact that fruit bats of the genus Pterapus are found in Madagascar and the Seychelles, as well as in India, while they are absent from Africa, is held to be an important link in the chain of evidence demonstrating a former land-connexion between Madagascar and India.

There is another point of view from which mammals are of especial importance in regard to geographical distribution, namely their comparatively late rise and dispersal, or “ radiation, ” as compared with reptiles.

As regards terrestrial mammals (with which alone we are at present concerned), one of. the most striking features in their distribution is their practical absence from oceanic islands; the