The characteristics of camels and their systematic position are discussed under the headings Tylopoda and Artiodactyla.
For extinct camels see Tylopoda.
RUMINANTIA, a term employed by Cuvier to include all the existing artiodactyle ruminating ungulate mammals now classed under the groups Pecora, Tylopoda and Tragulina.
They derive their name of Tylopoda ("boss-footed") from the circumstance that the feet form large cushion-like pads, supporting the weight of the body, while the toes have broad nails on their upper surface only, instead of being encased in hoofs.
The Dichobunidae may be regarded as occupying a position analogous to that of the Homacodontidae in the Tylopoda, and like the latter, are probably the direct descendants of Condylarthra.
Finally, the Tylopoda differ not only from other ungulates, but from all other mammals, in the fact that the red corpuscles of the blood, instead of being circular in outline, are oval as in the inferior vertebrate classes.
Scott in the Tylopoda and generally known as the Oreodontidae.
The camels (Tylopoda) certainly originated in the northern hemisphere, but although their birthplace has been confidently claimed for North America, an equal, if not stronger, claim may be made on the part of Central Asia.
By Professor Max Weber it is employed as a collective designation for these groups, together with the extinct Anthracotheroidea and Dichobunoidea; but its use seems best restricted to a general term rather than a definite systematic group. (See ARTIODACTYLA, PECORA, TYLOPODA.)
The earliest representatives of the Tylopoda according to Professor Scott is the Middle Eocene genus Homacodon, typifying the family Homacodontidae, which is regarded as the common ancestor of both Camelidae and Oreodontidae, with resemblances to the European Oligocene genus Dichobune (see Artiodactyla).
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