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Thread: Tapir Evolution

  1. #1 Tapir Evolution 
    Forum Masters Degree Golkarian's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Do paleontologists believe that tapirs lost two toes separately from horse evolution?

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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Not my area of expertise. How closely are tapirs and horses related? If their last common ancestor still had a full compliment of toes then clearly the loss of toes was a separate event. The more I think on it the less sense your quesiton makes. Perhaps in your response you can clarify things.

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  4. #3  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Cardiff, Wales
    i'm speaking from memory here, but i seem to remember that the common ancestor of the tapir-rhino lineage and the horse lineage lived some time in the Late Paleocene adn can be found amongst the Phenacodontidae who had 5 toes but with digits I and V already reduced - within the Phenacodontids Tetraclaenodon is thought to be closer to horse lineage, and Homogalax closer to the tapir lineage

    Hyracotherium (horse lineage) had 4 toes at the front foot and 3 at the hind foot, not sure about the earlies tapir ancestors
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  5. #4  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Washington State, USA
    You've covered it pretty well marnixR. The split was prior to the reduction in digits 2 and 4 in equines but after 1 and 5 had started to become reduced.
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