The Archonta are a group of mammals considered a superorder in some classifications.

The Archonta consist of the following orders:
  • Primate
    A primate is a mammal of the order Primates , which contains prosimians and simians. Primates arose from ancestors that lived in the trees of tropical forests; many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging three-dimensional environment...

  • Plesiadapiformes
    Plesiadapiformes is an extinct order of mammals. It is either closely related to the primates or a precursor to them. Many are too derived to be ancestral to primates, but the earliest Plesiadapiformes have teeth that are strongly indicative of a common ancestor...

     (extinct—primate-like archontans)
  • Scandentia
    The treeshrews are small mammals native to the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. They make up the families Tupaiidae, the treeshrews, and Ptilocercidae, the pen-tailed treeshrews, and the entire order Scandentia. There are 20 species in 5 genera...

  • Dermoptera
    Colugos are arboreal gliding mammals found in South-east Asia. There are just two extant species, which make up the entire family Cynocephalidae and order Dermoptera. They are the most capable of all gliding mammals, using flaps of extra skin between their legs to glide from higher to lower...

  • Chiroptera
    Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...


Genetic analysis has suggested that the bats are not as closely related to the other groups as previously suspected. A revised category, Euarchonta
The Euarchonta are a grandorder of mammals containing four orders: the Dermoptera or colugos, the Scandentia or treeshrews, the extinct Plesiadapiformes, and the Primates....

, excluding bats, has been proposed.

It has been suggested that this taxon may have arisen in the Early Cretaceous (more than one hundred million years ago) and therefore did not radiate as believed following the cretaceous/tertiary extinction of the dinosaurs, instead related to events in the history of the Earth.
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