Proboscidea-Sirenia-Carnivora, Biology tutorial

Eutherians: proboscidea, sirenia, carnivora

Features of Order Proboscidea (e.g. elephant):

Most of the members of this order are extinct. Last living proboscideans are elephants, only extant members of family Elephantidae. They comprise Elephas (Asian elephants) and Loxodonta (African elephants).

Members of this mammalian order are recognized for comprising: Trunks, tusks and loose skin

Well known member of this group is elephant, animal we are all recognizable with in zoos, and wild life parks. Elephants are enormous mammals characterized by long muscular snout and 2 long, curved tusks. They are extremely intelligent and strong. They are largest land animals and are among longest lived, with life spans of sixty years or more. Female elephant carries her young in womb for 22 months (gestation period). African elephants dwell in grassy regions south of Sahara Desert. They are dark grey in color with bull (male) standing approx 3.4 m (11 ft) tall and weighing around 5.4 metric tons, where as cow (female) stands 2.8 m (9 ft) tall and weighs around 3.6 metric tons. They have no sweat glands and it describes why they like to cool off by rolling in ponds and streams. Mud which dries on their skin gives protection from sun.

Features of Order Sirenia (e.g. manatees, dugongs)

Eutherians in this order are characterized by given features:

  • aquatic habitat
  • finlike forelimbs
  • vestigial hind limbs
  • tails lengthened to caudal fins.

Manatees (Trichechus) are aquatic eutherians which feed on aquatic plants. They look like whales but are really relatives of elephants. Manatees are live in shallow coastal waters and rivers in southeast United States, Caribbean, northeast South America and West Africa. Dugongs are mostly found in Indian and western Pacific Oceans. West Indian manatee and Indian dugong are usually known as sea cows. These aquatic eutherians aren't within our waters and therefore, not on list of animals we are familiar with.

Features of Order Carnivora (like dogs, cats, lions, bears, raccoons, seals)

Members of this order are recognized to have sharp canine and molar teeth for ripping flesh in common.

Diverse order Carnivora (flesh devourer) comprises over 260 species of placental mammals. Members of this order properly referred to as carnivorans, while word carnivore (frequently popularly applied to members of group) can also refer to any meat-eating animal.

Carnivorans are most diverse in size of any mammalian order, ranging from least weasel (Mustela nivalis), as little as 25 g to polar bear (Ursus maritimus), that can weigh up to 1,000 kg, to southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), whose adult males weigh up to 5,000 kg. It seems that, one may not effortlessly understand what these animals have in common which warrants grouping them together. Think of it, aquatic seal doesn't have any visible semblance with land animals like dogs, cats or lion, but are explained as carnivorans on account of the flesh-eating habit, that is supported by nature of their dentition dominated by sharp canines and molars for tearing flesh. There is requirement to point out that carnivorous nature of some of these animals has changed over time from being completely obligate carnivores as in lions and polar bears, to being omnivores as in domestic cats and dogs. Few, like giant pandas, are almost completely herbivores but will take fish, eggs and insects when available. Carnivorans contain teeth, claws, and binocular vision adapted for catching and eating other animals.

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