Higher classification Paenungulata
|Clade TethytheriaMcKenna 1975|
Lower classifications Sea cows, West Indian ma
Similar Sirenia, Manatee, Dugongidae
Cenozoic mammals afrotheria tethytheria sirenia
Though there is strong anatomical and molecular support for the monophyly of Tethytheria, the interrelationships between the included taxa remain disputed. The tethytheres are united by several characters, including anteriorly facing orbits and more or less bilophodont cheek teeth (double transverse ridges on the crowns of the teeth). Proboscidea and Sirenia are linked together based on auditory characters in their petrosal bones, but this link may be a homoplasy. Desmostylians, traditionally considered tethytheres, have been tentatively assigned to Perissodactyla, along with the Early Eocene family Anthracobunidae, which was considered a sister group to Tethytheria.
Cladogram modified from Rose 2006 and Cooper et al 2014.
Classification modified from Rose 2006.