Lagomorpha

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Ordo: Lagomorpha
Familia: Leporidae - Ochotonidae - †Prolagidae

Name

Lagomorpha Brandt, 1855

Vernacular names
Internationalization
Български: Зайцеподобни
English: Rabbits, hares and pikas
Español: Lagomorfos
日本語: ウサギ目
‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Haredyr
Polski: Zajęczaki
Русский: Зайцеобразные
Svenska: Hardjur
Українська: Зайцеподібні

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The lagomorphs are the members of the taxonomic order Lagomorpha, of which there are two families, the Leporidae (hares and rabbits), and the Ochotonidae (pikas). The name of the order is derived from the Greek lagos (λαγος, "hare") and morphē (μορφή, "form").

Though these mammals can resemble rodents (order Rodentia) and were classified as a superfamily in that order until the early twentieth century, they have since been considered a separate order. For a time it was common to consider the lagomorphs only distant relatives of the rodents, to whom they merely bore a superficial resemblance.

The earliest fossil lagomorphs, such as Eurymylus, come from eastern Asia and date back to the late Paleocene or early Eocene.[2] The leporids first appeared in the late Eocene and rapidly spread throughout the northern hemisphere; they show a trend towards increasingly long hind limbs as the modern leaping gait developed. The pikas appeared somewhat later in the Oligocene of eastern Asia.[3]

Characteristics

Lagomorphs differ from rodents in that:

* they have four incisors in the upper jaw (not two, as in the Rodentia);
* they are almost wholly herbivorous (unlike rodents, many of which will eat both meat and vegetation; the few recorded exceptions within the Lagomorpha occur among members of both Lepus and Ochotona, and involve the occasional foraging for carrion as a supplementary winter food source);[4][5][6]
* the male's scrotum is in front of the penis (unlike rodents', which is behind); and
* the penis contains no bone (baculum), unlike in rodents.

However, they resemble rodents in that their teeth grow throughout their life, thus necessitating constant chewing to keep them from growing too long.

Classification

References

1. ^ a b Hoffmann, Robert S.; Andrew T. Smith (2005-11-16). "Order Lagomorpha". in Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 185-211. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.
2. ^ Palmer, D., ed (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. pp. 285. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.
3. ^ Savage, RJG, & Long, MR (1986). Mammal Evolution: an illustrated guide. New York: Facts on File. pp. 128–129. ISBN 0-8160-1194-X.
4. ^ "Snowshoe Hare". eNature: FieldGuides. eNature.com. 2007. http://www.enature.com/fieldguides/detail.asp?curFamilyID=556&curGroupID=5&lgfromWhere=&curPageNum=2. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
5. ^ Best TL, Henry TH (1994-06-02). "Lepus arcticus". Mammalian Species 457: 1–9. doi:10.2307/3504088. ISSN 00763519. OCLC 46381503.
6. ^ "Column 105: Pikas are not picky eaters". yourYukon (Environment Canada: Pacific and Yukon Region). 1998. http://www.taiga.net/yourYukon/col105.html. Retrieved 2008-03-23.

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