Encyclopedia > Pinnipedia

  Article Content

Pinnipedia

Seals
Scientific classification
Domain:Eukaryota
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Subphylum:Vertebrata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Suborder:Pinnipedia
Families

Pinnipedia is a suborder of the order Carnivora that includes the families:

  1. Otariidae, the "eared seals" or "walking seals" (sea lions and fur seals)
  2. Phocidae, the "true seals" or "earless seals"
  3. Odobenidae, the walruses

There has been some debate in taxonomic circles about whether seals, sea lions, and walruses share a common land ancestor or are the products of convergent evolution. If the latter is the case, "Pinnipedia" would be a paraphyletic grouping with no taxonomic meaning. Recent studies of mitochondrial DNA, however, have lent credence to the monophyletic hypothesis: that is, the evidence is currently on the side of a single-ancestor theory.



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
2003 invasion of Iraq casualties

... and wounded 15 other soldiers. Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone died of his wounds on March 26. Monday, March 24, 2003 A British soldier is killed in action in Al ...