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PLoS One. 2014 Oct 8;9(10):e109232. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109232. eCollection 2014.

Anthracobunids from the middle eocene of India and pakistan are stem perissodactyls.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio, United States of America; School of Biomedical Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, United States of America.
Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, United States of America.
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States of America.
Department of Biology, Hiram University, Hiram, Ohio, United States of America.
Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India.
Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America.


Anthracobunidae is an Eocene family of large mammals from south Asia that is commonly considered to be part of the radiation that gave rise to elephants (proboscideans) and sea cows (sirenians). We describe a new collection of anthracobunid fossils from Middle Eocene rocks of Indo-Pakistan that more than doubles the number of known anthracobunid fossils and challenges their putative relationships, instead implying that they are stem perissodactyls. Cranial, dental, and postcranial elements allow a revision of species and the recognition of a new anthracobunid genus. Analyses of stable isotopes and long bone geometry together suggest that most anthracobunids fed on land, but spent a considerable amount of time near water. This new evidence expands our understanding of stem perissodactyl diversity and sheds new light on perissodactyl origins.

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