Pantodonta

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Pantodonta
Temporal range: Paleocene–Oligocene
Barylambda
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Subphylum:Vertebrata
Class:Mammalia
Infraclass:Eutheria
Superorder:Laurasiatheria
Order:Cimolesta
Suborder:Pantodonta
Cope, 1873
Families
 
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Pantodonta
Temporal range: Paleocene–Oligocene
Barylambda
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Subphylum:Vertebrata
Class:Mammalia
Infraclass:Eutheria
Superorder:Laurasiatheria
Order:Cimolesta
Suborder:Pantodonta
Cope, 1873
Families
  • Wangliidae
  • Titanoideidae
  • Coryphodontidae
  • Pantolambdodontidae
  • Pantolambdidae
  • Barylambdidae
  • Cyriacotheriidae
  • Harpyodidae
  • Bemalambdidae
  • Pastoralodontidae

The Pantodonta are an order (or, according to some, a suborder) of now extinct placental mammals. Pantodonts are well known from the Paleocene of North America and Asia, and one early genus Alcidedorbignya, that was found in the Paleocene of South America. Pantodonts started out cat-sized in the early Paleocene, but by early Eocene, they had become cow-sized herbivores, the largest land mammals of their time. Then they abruptly died out by the middle Eocene.

Classification

Undescribed specimen

In the past, the species now classified as Pantodonta were, together with the Dinocerata and the Xenungulata species, unified in one order: the Amblypoda (which means "blunt foot"). But this old classification turned out to be incorrect, and the species it contained were reclassified into three separate orders. Note that a Cimolestan origin of Dinoceratans may still hold some truth.

Regardless, the pantodonts were almost certainly related to the Carnivora and pangolins and they are sometimes classified as a suborder of Cimolesta.

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