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Sudamericungulata - a new group of Afrotheria

In their newly published research, paleontologists Leonardo Avilla and Dimila Mothé performed the most comprehensive phylogenetic analysis to date with South American native ungulate ("SANUs") and other Eutheria mammals, finding important results for their classification. The phylogeny of these animals was further clarified, and a new lineage of South American native ungulates was identified within Afrotheria: the Sudamericungulata.

In the image, South America and Africa are shown with the paleogeography from 50 MA, during the Lower Eocene, including the Atlantogea model island route connecting the Continents. The Sudamericungulata illustrated are Astrapotherium burmeisteri, Carodnia vierai and Toxodon platensis, and the other Afrotheria are Arsinoitherium zitteli and living species of hyrax (Procavia capensis), elephant (Loxodonta africana) and tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinus).

Under commission and supervision of the authors Leonardo and Dimila, I had the pleasure of producing this illustration about the research!

Be sure to check the full article on:
Avilla, L. S., & Mothé, D. (2021). Out of Africa: A New Afrotheria Lineage Rises From Extinct South American Mammals. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9.