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Title: Suina  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Even-toed ungulate, Peccary, Wild boar, Ruminantia, Suidae
Collection: Even-Toed Ungulates, Suina
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Temporal range: Late Eocene to present
Potamochoerus porcus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Suborder: Suina
Gray, 1868


The suborder Suina (also known as Suiformes) is a lineage of omnivorous non-ruminant artiodactyl mammals that includes the pigs and peccaries of the families Suidae and Tayassuidae and their fossil kin. Hippopotamidae had historically been classified among the Suina for morphological reasons, but is now more often classified as the sister group of the whales, or Cetacea.


  • Classification 1
  • Anatomy 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Cladogram showing the position of Suinamorpha

The suborder Suina includes Suidae (pig family) and Tayassuidae (peccary family).

The Merycoidodonts, or "oreodonts," a branch of the tylopoda, were often considered suines due to the popular, though inaccurate, description of them as "ruminating hogs". Oreodonts were not suines, they were more closely related to camels. Similarly, the entelodonts, had long been classified as members of the Suina. Spaulding et al. have found them to be closer to whales, than to pigs in his Cetacodontamorpha.[1]

Some morphological studies have suggested that the hippopotamus family Hippopotamidae was part of the Suina, but a growing body of morphological and genetic evidence has suggested that they share a common ancestor not with the Suina, but with Cetaceans—the clade that includes whales and dolphins. Whales and artiodactyls form a clade called Cetartiodactyla.[2]










The most recent research into the origins of hippopotamidae suggests that hippos and whales shared a common semi-aquatic ancestor that branched off from other Artiodactyls around .[3] Descendants of this hypothesized ancestor likely split into two branches around .[4] One branch would evolve into cetaceans, possibly beginning with the proto-whale Pakicetus from and other early whale ancestors, known as Archaeoceti, which eventually underwent aquatic adaptation into the almost completely aquatic cetaceans.[2]


The anatomy of the Suina differs from other even-toed ungulates. For example, they have maxillary (upper) teeth in front, which allow for the proper chewing of food. In contrast, other even-toed ungulates, such as goats and deer, have front teeth only on the bottom; this doesn't let them chew very well, thus they swallow and regurgitate their food to allow rumination.

Most even-toed ungulates have a four-chambered stomach. In contrast, the Suina have a simple stomach that allows an omnivorous diet.

Boar skeleton

Most members of Suina have toes rather than hooves. While most artiodactyls have long slender legs, the Suina generally have short, stubby legs.

See also


  1. ^ Spaulding, M; O'Leary, MA; Gatesy, J (2009). Farke, Andrew Allen, ed. "Relationships of Cetacea (Artiodactyla) Among Mammals: Increased Taxon Sampling Alters Interpretations of Key Fossils and Character Evolution". PLoS ONE 4 (9): e7062.  
  2. ^ a b Boisserie, Jean-Renaud; Fabrice Lihoreau; Michel Brunet (February 2005). "The position of Hippopotamidae within Cetartiodactyla".  
  3. ^ Gatesy, J. (1 May 1997). "More DNA support for a Cetacea/Hippopotamidae clade: the blood-clotting protein gene gamma-fibrinogen".  
  4. ^ Ursing,B.M.; U. Arnason (1998). "Analyses of mitochondrial genomes strongly support a hippopotamus-whale clade".  

External links

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