Mammal Orders and Families


Below is a current list of mammal families and higher taxonomic groups compiled for the course Mammal Diversity and Evolution (ANAT/BIOL 345/445). Click the name to hear its pronunciation.

It is primarily based on Wilson and Reeder (2005), though it also includes various extinct families and recent taxonomic updates to extant families based on the scientific literature. I have divided the taxonomic groups into three categories. If you are a currently a student in the course, here is what the different categories mean in terms of the mid-term and final exam.

1. Families in italics:

  • You DO NOT need to know the names or characteristics of these families.
  • You DO NOT need to be able identify the skulls of these families on a practical exam, at least not to family.

2. Groups marked with an asterisk (*):

  • You DO need to know the names of these groups.
  • You DO need to know how to identify members of these groups from a photo, their general morphology and ecology, etc.
  • You DO NOT need to be able to identify the skulls of these groups on a practical exam, though you DO need to be able to refer them to the correct higher-level group. For example, you will not be asked to refer a skull of Genetta to the Family Viverridae, but you might be asked to identify it as a carnivoran or a feliform.

3. All other groups:

  • You DO need to know the names of these groups.
  • You DO need to know how to identify them from a photo, their general morphology and ecology, etc.
  • You DO need to be able to identify the skulls of these groups on a practical exam.
  • You DO need to know which names correspond to orders and families.
  • You DO need to know the hierarchical relationships of these groups
  • You DO NOT need to know the ranks of groups other than orders and families.

All supraordinal groups are in caps or bod. This is only done to help clarify their hierarchical relationships. The hierarchical relationships of subordinal groups are indicated by the degree of indentation. More subordinate groups are indented to a greater degree.

   Order Monotremata
        Family Ornithorhynchidae: platypus
        Family Tachyglossidae: echidnas

   Order †Sparassodonta*: South American carnivorous marsupials
        Family †Borhyaenidae*
        Family †Hathliacynidae
        Family †Proborhyaenidae
        Family †Thylacosmilidae*
   Order Didelphimorphia
        Family Didelphidae: American opossums
   Order Paucituberculata
        Family †Abderitidae
        Family Caenolestidae: shrew-opossums
   Order †Polydolopimorphia
        Family †Argyrolagidae
        Family †Groeberiidae
        Family †Polydolopidae
   Order Microbiotheria
        Family Microbiotheriidae*: monito del monte
   Order Dasyuromorphia
        Family Dasyuridae: native “cats” and “mice”, antechinuses, etc.
        Family Myrmecobiidae: numbat
        Family †Thylacinidae: thylacine
   Order Notoryctemorphia
        Family Notoryctidae*: marsupial moles
   Order Peramelemorphia
        Family †Chaeropodidae*: pig-footed bandicoot
        Family Peramelidae: bandicoots
        Family Thylacomyidae*: bilbies
   Order Diprotodontia
     Suborder Macropodiformes
        Family Hypsiprymnodontidae: musky rat kangaroo
        Family Macropodidae: kangaroos and wallabies
        Family Potoroidae*: bettongs, rat kangaroos
      Suborder Phalangeriformes
        Family Acrobatidae*: feathertail glider, feathertail possum
        Family Burramyidae: pygmy possums
        Family Petauridae*: lesser gliders, Leadbeater’s possum, striped possums
        Family Phalangeridae: brushtail possums, cuscuses
        Family Pseudocheiridae: ringtail possums, greater glider
        Family Tarsipedidae*: honey possum 
      Suborder Vombatiformes
        Family Phascolarctidae: koala
        Family Vombatidae: wombats

   Order Pilosa
      Suborder Vermilingua
        Family Cyclopedidae: silky anteaters
        Family Myrmecophagidae: anteaters
      Suborder Tardigrada (Folivora)
        Superfamily Megalocnoidea    
           Family †Acratocnidae: extinct Caribbean sloths    
           Family †Parocnidae: extinct Caribbean sloths  
        Superfamily Megatherioidea
           Family Bradypodidae: three-toed sloths
           Family †Megalonychidae: extinct sloths
           Family †Megatheriidae: extinct sloths
Family †Nothrotheriidae: extinct sloths
Superfamily Mylodontoidea
           Family Choloepodidae: two-toed sloths
           Family †Mylodontidae: extinct sloths
Order Cingulata
        Family Chlamyphoridae*: fairy armadillos
        Family Dasypodidae: long-nosed armadillos
        Family Euphractidae: hairy, six-banded, and pichi armadillos
        Family †Glyptodontidae*: glyptodonts
        Family †Pampatheriidae: pampatheres
        Family †Peltephilidae: horned armadillos

        Family Tolypeutidae: giant, three-banded, and naked-tailed armadillos

     Order Tubulidentata
            Family Orycteropodidae: aardvark
Order Afrosoricida (Tenrecoidea)
           Family Chrysochloridae: golden moles
           Family Potamogalidae: African otter-shrews
           Family Tenrecidae: tenrecs
      Order Macroscelidea
           Family Macroscelididae: sengis
    Order Hyracoidea
        Family Procaviidae: hyraxes
    Order Proboscidea
        Family Elephantidae: elephants
    Order Sirenia
        Family Dugongidae: dugong
        Family Trichechidae: manatees
    Order †Embrithopoda
        Family †Arsinoitheriidae
    Order †Desmostylia

   Order Eulipotyphla
        Family †Nesophontidae
        Family Solenodontidae: solenodons
        Family Erinaceidae: hedgehogs, gymnures/moonrats
        Family Soricidae: shrews
        Family Talpidae: moles, desmans
   Order Chiroptera
     Suborder Yinpterochiroptera*
        Family Pteropodidae: Old World fruit bats
      Superfamily Rhinolophoidea
        Family Craseonycteridae: bumblebee bat
        Family Hipposideridae: Old World leaf-nosed bats
        Family Megadermatidae*: false vampire bats
        Family Rhinolophidae: horseshoe bats
        Family Rhinonycteridae: trident bats
        Family Rhinopomatidae: mouse-tailed bats
     Suborder Yangochiroptera*
      Superfamily Emballoneuroidea
        Family Emballonuridae: sac-winged and sheath-tailed bats
        Family Nycteridae: slit-faced bats
      Superfamily Noctilionoidea
        Family Furipteridae: smoky and thumbless bats

        Family Mormoopidae: ghost-faced, moustached, naked-backed bats
        Family Mystacinidae: New Zealand short-tailed bats
        Family Myzopodidae: Old World sucker-footed bat
        Family Noctilionidae*: bulldog bats/fishing bats
        Family Phyllostomidae*: New World leaf-nosed bats
        Family Thyropteridae*: disc-winged bats
      Superfamily Vespertilionoidea
        Family Cistugidae: wing-gland bats
        Family Miniopteridae: bent-wing bats
        Family Molossidae*: free-tailed bats
        Family Natalidae: funnel-eared bats
        Family Vespertilionidae: evening and vesper bats
   Order Pholidota
        Family Manidae: pangolins
   Order Carnivora
     Suborder Feliformia
        Family †Nimravidae
        Family Nandiniidae: African palm civet
        Family Felidae: cats
        Family Prionodontidae: Asian linsangs
        Family Viverridae*: civets, genets
        Family Hyaenidae: hyenas
        Family Herpestidae: mongooses
        Family Eupleridae: Malagasy carnivorans
      Suborder Caniformia
        Family Canidae: dogs, foxes, wolves
        Family Ursidae: bears
        Family Phocidae: true seals
        Family Otariidae: sea lions and fur seals
        Family Odobenidae: walrus
        Family Ailuridae: red panda
        Family Mephitidae*: skunks, stink badgers
        Family Procyonidae: raccoons, coatis
        Family Mustelidae: weasels, badgers
   Order Perissodactyla
        Family †Brontotheriidae*
        Family †Chalicotheriidae*
        Family Equidae: horses
        Family Rhinocerotidae: rhinos
        Family Tapiridae: tapirs
   Order Artiodactyla
        Family †Entelodontidae
        Family Suidae: pigs
        Family Tayassuidae: peccaries
        Family Camelidae: camels
        Superfamily †Oreodontoidea: oreodonts (various families)
        Family †Protoceratidae
   Whippomorpha (includes Cetacea, below)
        Family Hippopotamidae: hippos
    Cetacea (no longer ordinal rank)
      Suborder Odontoceti
        Family Delphinidae: dolphins, orcas, etc.
        Family Iniidae*: Amazon river dolphin
        Family Kogiidae: pygmy and dwarf sperm whales
        Family (†)Lipotidae: baiji (Yangtze river dolphin)
        Family Monodontidae: narwhal, beluga
        Family Phocoenidae: porpoises
        Family Physeteridae: sperm whales
        Family Platanistidae: South Asian river dolphin
        Family Pontoporiidae: franciscana (La Plata river dolphin)
        Family Ziphiidae: beaked whales
      Suborder Mysticeti
        Family Balaenidae: right, bowhead whales
        Family Balaenopteridae: rorquals
        Family Eschrichtiidae*: gray whale
        Family Neobalaenidae*: pygmy right whale
        Family Antilocapridae: pronghorn
        Family Bovidae: cattle, sheep, antelope, goats, etc.
        Family Cervidae: deer, elk, moose, etc.
        Family Giraffidae: giraffes and okapi
        Family Moschidae: musk deer
        Family Tragulidae: chevrotains and mouse deer

   Order Scandentia
        Family Ptilocercidae*: pen-tailed treeshrew
        Family Tupaiidae: treeshrews
   Order Dermoptera
        Family Cynocephalidae: colugos (aka “flying lemurs”)
   Order Primates
     Suborder Strepsirrhini
        Family Cheirogaleidae: dwarf and mouse lemurs
        Family Daubentoniidae: aye-aye
        Family Galagidae*: galagos and bushbabies
        Family Indriidae*: indris, sifakas
        Family Lemuridae: true lemurs
        Family Lepilemuridae*: sportive lemurs
        Family Lorisidae: lorises and pottos
     Suborder Haplorrhini
        Family Tarsiidae: tarsiers
        Family Cercopithecidae: Old World monkeys
        Family Hominidae: great apes
        Family Hylobatidae*: gibbons
        Family Atelidae*: howler, spider, wooly monkeys
        Family Cebidae: tamarins, capuchins, night monkeys
        Family Pitheciidae*: titi monkeys, sakis, uakari
   Order Lagomorpha
        Family Leporidae: rabbits and hares
        Family Ochotonidae: pikas
   Order Rodentia  
      Suborder Sciuromorpha
        Family Aplodontiidae: mountain beaver
        Family †Mylagaulidae: horned rodents
        Family Gliridae: dormice and hazel mice
        Family Sciuridae: squirrels
     Suborder Supramyomorpha
        Family Anomaluridae*: scaly-tailed squirrels
        Family Pedetidae: springhares
        Family Zenkerellidae: Cameroon scaly-tail
        Family Castoridae: beavers
        Family Geomyidae: pocket gophers
        Family Heteromyidae: kangaroo rats and mice, pocket mice
       Superfamily Dipodoidea
        Family Dipodidae*: jerboas
        Family Sminthidae: birch mice
        Family Zapodidae*: jumping mice
       Superfamily Muroidea
        Family Calomyscidae: mouse-like hamsters
        Family Cricetidae: New world mice, rats, voles, hamsters
        Family Muridae*: Old World mice, rats, gerbils
        Family Nesomyidae: endemic Africa and Malagasy mice
        Family Platacanthomyidae: Malabar spiny dormouse, pygmy dormice
        Family Spalacidae: blind and African mole rats, zokors, bamboo rats
     Suborder Hystricomorpha
        Family Ctenodactylidae: gundis
        Family Diatomyidae*: Laotian rock rat
        Family Bathyergidae: African mole-rats
        Family Heterocephalidae*: naked mole-rat
        Family Hystricidae: Old World porcupines
        Family Petromuridae: dassie rat
        Family Thryonomyidae: cane rats
        Family Abrocomidae: chinchilla rats
        Family Caviidae: guinea pigs, capybaras, maras
        Family Chinchillidae: chinchillas and viscachas
        Family Ctenomyidae: tuco-tucos
        Family Cuniculidae: pacas
        Family Dasyproctidae*: agoutis and acouchis
        Family Dinomyidae: pacarana
        Family Echimyidae*: spiny rats (including the nutria and West Indian hutias)
        Family Erethizontidae: New World porcupines
        Family Octodontidae: degus, rock rats, viscacha rats

South American Native Ungulates (SANUs; may not be a “natural” group)
   Order †Notoungulata*
     Suborder †Toxodontia*
        Family †Homalodotheriidae*
        Family †Notohippidae*
        Family †Toxodontidae*
     Suborder †Typotheria*
        Family †Hegetotheriidae*
        Family †Interatheriidae*
        Family †Mesotheriidae*
   Order †Litopterna*
        Family †Macraucheniidae*
        Family †Proterotheriidae*
   Order †Pyrotheria*
        Family †Pyrotheriidae*
   Order †Astrapotheria*
        Family †Astrapotheriidae*