The Euarchonta are a grandorder of mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s containing four orders
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

: the Dermoptera or colugos, the Scandentia or treeshrews, the extinct 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...

, and the 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...


The term "Euarchonta" (meaning "true ancestors") first appeared in the general scientific literature in 1999, when molecular evidence suggested that the morphology
Morphology (biology)
In biology, morphology is a branch of bioscience dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features....

-based Archonta
The Archonta are a group of mammals considered a superorder in some classifications.The Archonta consist of the following orders:*Primates*Plesiadapiformes *Scandentia *Dermoptera *Chiroptera...

 be trimmed down to exclude 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,...

. Major DNA sequence analyses of predominantly nuclear sequences (Murphy et al., 2001) support the Euarchonta hypothesis, while a major study investigating mitochondrial sequences supports a different tree topology (Arnason et al., 2002). A study investigating retrotransposon
Retrotransposons are genetic elements that can amplify themselves in a genome and are ubiquitous components of the DNA of many eukaryotic organisms. They are a subclass of transposon. They are particularly abundant in plants, where they are often a principal component of nuclear DNA...

 presence/absence data
Retrotransposon Marker
Retrotransposon markers are retrotransposons that are used as cladistic markers.The analysis of SINEs – Short INterspersed Elements – LINEs – Long INterspersed Elements – or truncated LTRs – Long Terminal Repeats – as molecular cladistic markers represents a particularly interesting complement to...

 has claimed strong support for Euarchonta (Kriegs et al., 2007). Some interpretations of the molecular data link Primates and Dermoptera in a clade
A clade is a group consisting of a species and all its descendants. In the terms of biological systematics, a clade is a single "branch" on the "tree of life". The idea that such a "natural group" of organisms should be grouped together and given a taxonomic name is central to biological...

 (mirorder) known as Primatomorpha
The Primatomorpha are a mirorder of mammals containing two orders: the Dermoptera or colugos and the Primates ....

, which is the sister of Scandentia. In some the Dermoptera are a member of the primates rather than a sister. Other interpretations link the Dermoptera and Scandentia together in a group called Sundatheria as the sister group of the primates. Together, the three are known as Euarchonta, the "True Founders".

Euarchonta and Glires
Glires is a clade consisting of rodents and lagomorphs . This hypothesis that these form a monophyletic group has been long debated based on morphological evidence, although recent morphological studies strongly support monophyly of Glires...

 together form the Euarchontoglires
Euarchontoglires is a clade of mammals, the living members of which are rodents, lagomorphs, treeshrews, colugos and primates .-Evolutionary relationships:...

, one of the four Eutheria
Eutheria is a group of mammals consisting of placental mammals plus all extinct mammals that are more closely related to living placentals than to living marsupials . They are distinguished from noneutherians by various features of the feet, ankles, jaws and teeth...

n clades.
Note that as eu- becomes ev- before vowels in Latin, Euarchonta is not a proper Latin phonological construct—Evarchonta would be appropriate. This is applied inconsistently in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, for example in euergetism on one hand and evangelism
Evangelism refers to the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. The term is often used in reference to Christianity....

on the other.

External links

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