The Relationships, Origin and Dispersal of the Hystricognathous Rodents

  • Albert E. Wood
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes (ASI) Series book series (NSSA, volume 92)


My topic — the relationships, origin and dispersal of hystricognathous rodents — is complicated by a very considerable amount of confusion among authors as to what should be included in the Suborder Hystricognathi. This confusion results, at least in part, from the fact that simplicity of arrangment of taxa has a great appeal, but that simplicity of arrangement does not necessarily reflect either what must have been the facts of the evolution of rodents, or our less than perfect knowledge of these facts.


Late Miocene Deciduous Tooth Middle Eocene Masseter Muscle Late Eocene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adrover, R. and Hugueney, M. 1976. Des Rongeurs (Mammalia) africains dans une faune de l’Oligocène élevé de Majorque (Baléares, Espagne). Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. nat. Lyon 13(suppl.): 11–13.Google Scholar
  2. Adrover, R., Hugueney, M. and Mein, P. 1977. Fauna Africana Oligocena y nuevas formas endemicas entre los micromamiferos de Mallorca (Nota preliminar). Bol. Soc. Hist. Nat. Baleares 22: 137–149.Google Scholar
  3. Black, C. C. 1972. Review of fossil rodents from the Neogene Siwalik beds of India and Pakistan. Palaeontology 15: 238–266.Google Scholar
  4. Black, C. C. and Sutton, J. F. 1984. Paleocene and Eocene rodents of North America. In: Papers in Vertebrate Paleontology Honoring Robert Warren Wilson, R. M. Mengel, ed., pp. 67–84, Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist., Spec. Publ. 9, Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  5. Bohlin, B. 1946. The fossil mammals from the Tertiary deposits of Taben-Buluk. Part II: Simplicidentata, Carnivora, Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla, and Primates. Paleont. Sinica n. s. C (8b): 1–259.Google Scholar
  6. Brandt, J. F. 1855. Beiträge zur nähern Kenntniss der Säugethiere Russlands. Mém. Acad. Imp. St.-Pétersbourg (6) 9: 1–375.Google Scholar
  7. Bruijn, H. de and Rümke, C. G. 1974. On a peculiar mammalian association from the Miocene of Oschiri (Sardinia). I, II. Proc. Kon. Ned. Akad. Wetensch., Ser. B, 77: 48–79.Google Scholar
  8. Bugge, J. 1971. The cephalic arterial system in New and Old World hystricomorphs, and in bathyergoids, with special reference to the classification of rodents. Acta anat. 80: 516–536.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bugge, J. 1974a. The cephalic arterial system in insectivores, primates, rodents and lagomorphs, with special reference to the systematic classification. Acta anat. 87(Suppl. 62): 1–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bugge, J. 1974b. The cephalic arteries of hystricomorph rodents. Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond. 34: 61–78.Google Scholar
  11. Burke, J. J. 1935. Pseudocylindrodon, a new rodent genus from the Pipestone Springs Oligocene of Montana. Ann. Carneg. Mus. 25: 1–4.Google Scholar
  12. Chaline, J. and Mein, P. 1979. Les Rongeurs et l’Evolution. Doin Editeurs, Paris.Google Scholar
  13. Croizat, L. 1979. Review of: Biogeographie: Fauna und Flora der Erde und ihre geschichtliche Entwicklung, by P. Bǎnǎrescu and N. Boscaiu. Syst. Zool. 28: 250–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dawson, M. R. 1977. Late Eocene rodent radiations: North America, Europe and Asia. Géobios Mém. Spéc. 1: 195–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dawson, M. R., Li, C.-K. and Qi, T. 1984. Eocene ctenodactyloid rodents (Mammalia) of eastern and central Asia. In: Papers in Vertebrate Paleontology Honoring Robert Warren Wilson, R. M. Mengel, ed., pp. 138–150, Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist., Spec. Publ. 9, Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  16. Durette-Desset, M.-C. 1971. Essai de classification des nématodes héligmosomes. Corrélations avec la paléobiogéographie des hôtes. Mém. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. (A) 69: 1–136.Google Scholar
  17. Fields, R. W. 1957. Hystricomorph rodents from the late Miocene of Columbia, South America. Univ. Cal. Publ. Geol. Sci. 32: 273–404.Google Scholar
  18. George, W. 1981. Blood vascular patterns in rodents: contributions to an analysis of rodent family relationships. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 73: 287–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grassé, P.-P. and Dekeyser, P. L. 1955. Ordre des Rongeurs. In: Traité de Zoologie. Anatomie, Systématique, Biologie, Vol. 17 (2), P.-P. Grassé, ed., pp. 1321–1525, Masson et Cie, Paris.Google Scholar
  20. Hartenberger, J.-L. 1980. Données et hypothèses sur la radiation initiale des Rongeurs. Palaeovertebrata, Mém. Jubil. R. Lavocat: 285-301.Google Scholar
  21. Hinton, M. A. C. 1933. Diagnoses of new genera and species of rodents from the Indian Tertiary deposits. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (10) 12: 620–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hopwood, A. T. 1929. New and little known mammals from the Miocene of Africa. Amer. Mus. Novit. 344: 1–9.Google Scholar
  23. Hussain, S. T., Bruijn, H. de and Leinders, J. M. 1978. Middle Eocene rodents from the Kala Chitta Range (Punjab, Pakistan). Proc. Kon. Ned. Akad. Wetensch., Ser. B, 81: 74–112.Google Scholar
  24. Korth, W. W. 1984. Earliest Tertiary evolution and radiation of rodents in North America. Bull. Carneg. Mus. 24: 1–71.Google Scholar
  25. Korvenkontio, V. A. 1934. Mikroskopische Untersuchungen an Nagerincisiven unter Hinweis auf die Schmelzstruktur der Backenzähne. Histologisch-phyletische Studie. Ann. Zool. Soc. Zool.-Bot. Fennicae Vanamo 2: 1–274.Google Scholar
  26. Landry, S. O., Jr. 1957. The interrelationships of the New and Old World hystricomorph rodents. Univ. Calif. Publ. Zool. 56: 1–118.Google Scholar
  27. Lavocat, R. 1961. Etude systématique de la faune de mammifères. La gisement de vertébrés Miocènes de Beni Mellal (Maroc). Etude géologique. Notes et Méms. Serv. Géolog. Royaume de Maroc 155: 29–95.Google Scholar
  28. Lavocat, R. 1962. Réflexions sur l’origine et la structure du groupe des Rongeurs. Colloque Internat. C.N.R.S. 163: 287–299.Google Scholar
  29. Lavocat, R. 1967. Observations sur la région auditive des rongeurs théridomorphes. Problèmes actuels de Paläontologie, Colloque Internat. C.N.R.S. 611: 491–501.Google Scholar
  30. Lavocat, R. 1971. Affinités systématiques des caviomorphes et des phiomorphes et origine Africaine des caviomorphes. An. Acad. Bras. Cienc. 43 (Supl.): 515–522.Google Scholar
  31. Lavocat, R. 1973. Les rongeurs du Miocéne d’Afrique Orientale. I. Miocène inférieur. E.P.H.E., Inst. Montpellier, Mém. 1: 1–284.Google Scholar
  32. Lavocat, R. 1976. Rongeurs caviomorphes de l’Oligocène de Bolivie. II. Rongeurs du Bassin Déséadien de Salla-Luribay. Palaeovertebrata 7: 15–90.Google Scholar
  33. Lavocat, R. 1978. Rodentia and Lagomorpha. In: Evolution of African Mammals, V. S. Maglio and H. B. S. Cooke, eds., pp. 69–89, Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  34. Lavocat, R. 1980. The implications of rodent paleontology and biogeography to the geographical sources and origin of platyrrhine primates. In: Evolutionary Biology of the New World Monkeys and Continental Drift, R. L. Ciochon and A. B. Chiarelli, eds., pp. 93–102, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lavocat, R. and Michaux, J. 1966. Interpretation de la structure dentaire des rongeurs africains de la famille des Pédétidés. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 262: 1677–1679Google Scholar
  36. Luckett, W. P. 1971. The development of the chorio-allantoic placenta of the African scaly-tailed squirrels (Family Anomaluridae). Amer. J. Anat. 130: 159–178.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Luckett, W. P. 1980. Monophyletic or diphyletic origins of Anthropoidea and Hystricognathi: evidence of the fetal membranes. In: Evolutionary Biology of the New World Monkeys and Continental Drift, R. L. Ciochon and A. B. Chiarelli, eds., pp. 347–368, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. MacInnes, D. G. 1957. A new Miocene rodent from East Africa. Fossil Mammals of Africa, Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) 12: 1–36.Google Scholar
  39. Matthew, W. D. and Granger, W. 1923. New Bathyergidae from the Oligocene of Mongolia. Amer. Mus. Novit. 101: 1–5.Google Scholar
  40. Matthew, W. D. and Granger, W. 1925. New creodonts and rodents from the Ardyn Obo Formation of Mongolia. Amer. Mus. Novit. 193: 1–7.Google Scholar
  41. Parent, J.-P. 1976. Disposition fondamentale et variabilité de la region auditive des rongeurs hystricognathes. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, D 283: 243–245.Google Scholar
  42. Parent, J.-P. 1980. Recherches sur l’oreille moyenne des rongeurs actuels et fossiles. Anatomie. Valeur systématique. E. P. H. E., Inst. Montpellier, Mém. 11: 1–286.Google Scholar
  43. Patterson, B. and Wood, A. E. 1982. Rodents from the Deseadan Oligocene of Bolivia and the relationships of the Caviomorpha. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 149: 371–543.Google Scholar
  44. Quentin, J.-C. 1973a. Affinités entre les Oxyures parasites des rongeurs Hystricidés, Erethizontidés et Dinomyidés. Intérêt paléobiogéographique. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 276: 2015–2017.Google Scholar
  45. Quentin, J.-C. 1973b. Morphologie et position systématique d’Oxyuris stossichi Setti, 1897. Intérêt paléobiogéographique de cette espèce. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. (3) 183: 1403–1408.Google Scholar
  46. Quentin, J.-C. 1973c. Les Oxyurinae des Rongeurs. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. (3) 167: 1046–1096.Google Scholar
  47. Sahni, A. 1980. SEM studies of Eocene and Siwalik rodent enamels. Geosci. J. 1: 21–30.Google Scholar
  48. Sahni, A., Bhatia, S. B., Hartenberger, J.-L., Jaeger, J.-J., Kumar, K., Sudre, J. and Vianey-Liaud, M. 1981. Vertebrates from the Subathu formation and comments on the biogeography of the Indian subcontinent during the early Paleogene. Bull. Soc. géol. France 23: 689–695.Google Scholar
  49. Sahni, A. and Khare, S. K. 1973. Additional Eocene mammals from the Subathu Formation of Jammu and Kashmir. J. Palaeont. Soc. India 17: 31–49.Google Scholar
  50. Sahni, A. and Srivastava, V. C. 1976. Eocene rodents and associated reptiles from the Subathu Formation of northwestern India. J. Paleontol. 50: 922–928.Google Scholar
  51. Schaub, S. 1953. Remarks on the distribution and classification of the “Hystricomorpha.” Verh. naturf. Ges. Basel 64: 389–400.Google Scholar
  52. Schaub, S. 1958. Simplicidentata (= Rodentia). In: Traité de Paléontologie, Vol. 6 (2), J. Piveteau, ed., pp. 659–818, Masson et Cie, Paris.Google Scholar
  53. Schlosser, M. 1884. Die Nager des europäischer Tertiärs nebst Betrachtungen über die Organisation und die geschichtliche Entwicklung der Nager überhaupt. Palaeontographica 31: 1–140.Google Scholar
  54. Sen, S. 1977. Megapedetes aegaeus n. sp. (Pedetidae) et à propos d’autres “rongeurs africains” dans le Miocene d’Anatolie. Géobios 10: 983–986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shevyreva, N. S. 1971. The first find of Eocene rodents in the U. S. S. R. Bull. Acad. Sci. Georgian S. S. R. 61: 745–747. [in Russian]Google Scholar
  56. Shevyreva, N. S. 1972a. On the evolution of the rodent family Sci-uravidae. Dokladi Akad. Nauk SSSR 206: 1453–1454. [in Russian]Google Scholar
  57. Shevyreva, N. S. 1972b. New rodents from the Paleogene of Mongolia and Kazakhstan. Paleont. J. Moscow 3: 134–145. [in Russian]Google Scholar
  58. Simpson, G. G., Minoprio, J. L. and Patterson, B. 1962. The mammalian fauna of the Divisadero Largo Formation, Mendoza, Argentine. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 127: 237–293.Google Scholar
  59. Stehlin, H. G. and Schaub, S. 1951. Die Trigonodontie der simplicidentaten Nager. Schweiz. paläontol. Abhandl. 67: 1–385.Google Scholar
  60. Stromer, E. 1926. Reste Land-und Süsswasser-bewohnender Wirbeltiere aus den Diamantenfeldern Deutsch-Südwestafrikas. In: Die Diamantenwüste Südwestafrikas, by E. Kaiser, pp. 107–153, Vol. 2, Dietrich Reimer, Berlin.Google Scholar
  61. Thaler, L. 1966. Les rongeurs fossiles du Bas-Languedoc dans leurs rapports avec l’histoire des faunes et la stratigraphie du Tertiaire d’Europe. Mém. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat., n. s. (C) 17: 1–295.Google Scholar
  62. Tobien, H. 1968. Paläontologische Ausgrabungen nach jungtertiären Wirbeltieren auf den Insel Chios (Griechenland) und bei Maragheh (NW-Iran). Jahr. Vereinigung “Freunde d. Universität Mainz” 1968: 51–58.Google Scholar
  63. Traub, R. 1980. The zoogeography and evolution of some fleas, lice, and mammals. In: Fleas. Proc. Internat. Conference Fleas, R. Traub and H. Starcke, eds., pp. 93–172, A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam.Google Scholar
  64. Tullberg, T. 1899. Ueber das System der Nagethiere: eine phylogenetische Studie. Nova Acta Reg. Soc. Scient. Upsala (3) 18: 1–514.Google Scholar
  65. Vinogradov, B. C. and Gambarian, P. P. 1952. Oligocene cylindrodonts from Mongolia and Kazakhstan (Cylindrodontidae, Glires, Mammalia). Akad. Nauk SSSR, Trudi Paleontol. Inst. 41: 13–42. [in Russian]Google Scholar
  66. Vucetich, M. G. 1975. La anatomía del oído medio como indicadora de relaciones sistemáticas y filogenéticas en algunos grupos de roedores Caviomorpha. Actas Primero Congr. Argent. Paleontol. Bioestrat., Tucumán, Arg. 2: 477–494.Google Scholar
  67. Wahlert, J. H. 1973. Protoptychus, a hystricomorphous rodent from the late Eocene of North America. Mus. Comp. Zool., Breviora 419: 1–14.Google Scholar
  68. Wahlert, J. H. 1974. The cranial foramina of protrogomorphous rodents, an anatomical and phylogenetic study. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 146: 363–410.Google Scholar
  69. Walker, E. P. 1975. Mammals of the World, 3rd. Ed., Vol. 1 and 2. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  70. Waterhouse, G. E. 1839. Observations on the Rodentia, with a view to point out the groups, as indicated by the structure of the crania, in this order of Mammals. Mag. Nat. Hist. n. s. 3: 90–96.Google Scholar
  71. Wilson, R. W. 1972. Evolution and extinction in early Tertiary rodents. 24th Internat. Geol. Congr., Sec. 7: 217–224.Google Scholar
  72. Wood, A. E. 1937. The mammalian fauna of the White River Oligocene. Part II. Rodentia. Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. n. s. 28: 155–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Wood, A. E. 1949. A new Oligocene rodent genus from Patagonia. Amer. Mus. Novit. 1435: 1–54.Google Scholar
  74. Wood, A. E. 1955. A revised classification of the rodents. J. Mammal. 36: 165–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wood, A. E. 1962. The early Tertiary rodents of the Family Paramyidae. Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 52: 1–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wood, A. E. 1965. Unworn teeth and relationships of the African rodent, Pedetes. J. Mammal. 46: 419–423.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wood, A. E. 1968. Early Cenozoic mammalian faunas, Fayum Province, Egypt. Part II. The African Oligocene Rodentia. Bull. Peabody Mus. Nat. Hist. 28: 23–105.Google Scholar
  78. Wood, A. E. 1972. An Eocene hystricognathous rodent from Texas: its significance in interpretations of continental drift. Science 175: 1250–1251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Wood, A. E. 1973. Eocene rodents, Pruett Formation, southwest Texas; their pertinence to the origin of the South American Caviomorpha. Texas Mem. Mus., Pearce-Sellards Ser. 20: 1–40.Google Scholar
  80. Wood, A. E. 1974a. Early Tertiary vertebrate faunas, Vieja Group, Trans-Pecos Texas: Rodentia. Texas Mem. Mus., Bull. 21: 1–112.Google Scholar
  81. Wood, A. E. 1974b. The evolution of the Old World and New World hystricomorphs. Symp. Zool. Soc. London 34: 21–60.Google Scholar
  82. Wood, A. E. 1975. The problem of the hystricognathous rodents. In: Studies on Cenozoic Paleontology and Stratigraphy in honor of Claude W. Hibbard, Claude W. Hibbard Memmorial Vol. 3, G. R. Smith and N. E. Friedland, eds., Univ. Mich. Papers Paleontol. no. 12, Ann Arbor, pp. 75–80.Google Scholar
  83. Wood, A. E. 1977. The evolution of the rodent Family Ctenodactylidae. J. Palaeontol. Soc. India 20: 120–137.Google Scholar
  84. Wood, A. E. 1980. The origin of the caviomorph rodents from a source in Middle America: a clue to the area of origin of the platyrrhine primates. In: Evolutionary Biology of the New World Monkeys and Continental Drift, R. L. Ciochon and A. B. Chiarelli, eds., pp. 79–91, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Wood, A. E. 1983. The radiation of the Order Rodentia in the southern continents; the dates, numbers and sources of the invasions. In: Wirbeltier-Evolution und Faunenwandel in Känozoicum, W.-D. Heinrich, ed., pp. 381–394, Schriftenr. geol. Wiss. 19/20, Berlin.Google Scholar
  86. Wood, A. E. 1984. Hystricognathy in the North American Oligocene rodent Cylindrodon and the origin of the Caviomorpha. In: Papers in Vertebrate Paleontology Honoring Robert Warren Wilson, R. M. Mengel, ed., pp. 151–160, Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist., Spec. Publ. 9, Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  87. Wood, A. E. in press. Northern waif primates and rodents. In: The Great American Biotic Interchange, S. D. Webb and F. S. Stehli, eds., Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  88. Wood, A. E. and Patterson, B. 1959. The rodents of the Deseadan Oligocene of Patagonia and the beginnings of South American rodent evolution. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 120: 279–428.Google Scholar
  89. Wood, A. E. and Wood, H. E., 2nd. 1933. The genetic and phylogenetic significance of the presence of a third upper molar in a modern dog. Amer. Midl. Nat. 14: 36–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Woods, C. A. 1972. Comparative myology of jaw, hyoid and pectoral appendicular regions of New and Old World hystricomorph rodents. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 147: 117–198.Google Scholar
  91. Woods, C. A. 1975. The hyoid, laryngeal and pharyngeal regions of bathyergid and other selected rodents. J. Morph. 147: 229–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Woods, C. A. 1984. Hystricognath rodents. In: Orders and Families of Recent Mammals of the World, S. Anderson and J. K. Jones, Jr., eds., pp. 389–446, John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Albert E. Wood
    • 1
  1. 1.Emeritus, Amherst CollegeAmherstUSA

Personalised recommendations