Origins of Hippopotamidae (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla): towards resolution

@article{Boisserie2005OriginsOH,
  title={Origins of Hippopotamidae (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla): towards resolution},
  author={Jean-Renaud Boisserie and Fabrice Lihoreau and Michel Brunet},
  journal={Zoologica Scripta},
  year={2005},
  volume={34}
}
The old debate on hippopotamid origins is still unresolved, balancing between two main phylogenetic hypotheses: origins within the Anthracotheriidae vs. origins within the Tayassuidae. The characters used in the literature to support one, the other, or both hypotheses were re‐examined in light of a better known primitive hippopotamid morphology. A cladistic analysis was performed on the basis of these characters. On the one hand, although many features similar in hippopotamuses and… 
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Analysis of the coalification stage of the fossil-bearing coal samples indicates the Lower Miocene Moschopotamos coal pits (Katerini Basin) as the most probable site of origin and a revision of the old southern Balkan record together with parsimony analysis suggest that Bakalovia is a first stage within the evolutionary history of Elomeryx, which complicated phylogeography is further discussed.
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The earliest known hippopotamids, attributed to the subfamily Kenyapotaminae, are known essentially from dental remains of two species, and a cladistic analysis reinforces a scenario linking cetaceans to Hippopotamoidea (Hippopotamidae + Anthracotheriidae), possibly via other early Palaeogene artiodactyls.
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TLDR
The fossil record of the Hippopotamidae can shed light on three major issues in mammalian evolution, namely the sudden appearance of hippopotamines in the late Miocene, the subsequent rampant endemism in African basins, and the Pleistocene expansion of Hippopotamus.
The myth of the hippo-like anthracothere: The eternal problem of homology and convergence
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The possible role of anthracotheres in the evolution of hippopotamids is reviewed, concluding that they played no part in it, whereas palaeochoerids could well represent the ghost lineage that has evaded scientists for more than a century.
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