Pegasoferae is a proposed clade 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 based on genomic
Genomics is a discipline in genetics concerning the study of the genomes of organisms. The field includes intensive efforts to determine the entire DNA sequence of organisms and fine-scale genetic mapping efforts. The field also includes studies of intragenomic phenomena such as heterosis,...

 research in molecular systematics by Nishihara, Hasegawa and Okada (2006).

To the surprise of the authors, their data led them to propose 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...

 that includes bats (order Chiroptera), carnivores such as cats and dogs (order Carnivora
The diverse order Carnivora |Latin]] carō "flesh", + vorāre "to devour") includes over 260 species of placental mammals. Its members are formally referred to as carnivorans, while the word "carnivore" can refer to any meat-eating animal...

), horses and other odd-toed ungulates (order Perissodactyla) and pangolins (order Pholidota) as springing from a single evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

ary origin within the mammals. The name Pegasoferae was coined from the name of the mythological flying horse Pegasus
Pegasus is one of the best known fantastical as well as mythological creatures in Greek mythology. He is a winged divine horse, usually white in color. He was sired by Poseidon, in his role as horse-god, and foaled by the Gorgon Medusa. He was the brother of Chrysaor, born at a single birthing...

 to refer to bats and horses, and the term Ferae
Ferae is a clade of mammals, consisting of the orders Carnivora and Pholidota . Pangolins do not look much like carnivorans , and were thought to be the closest relatives of Xenarthra...

, encompassing carnivorans and pangolins. According to this, the odd-toed ungulates' closest living relatives are the carnivorans. Earlier theories of mammalian evolution would, for example, have aligned bats with the insectivores
The order Insectivora is a now-abandoned biological grouping within the class of mammals...

 (order Eulipotyphla) and horses with the even-toed ungulates (order Artiodactyla).

Some subsequent molecular studies published shortly after Nishihara, et al. (e.g. Matthee et al., 2007; Springer et al., 2007; Kitazoe et al., 2007) have failed to support it. The most recent research (Zhou et al., 2011) concluded that "Pegasoferae [...] does not appear to be a natural group."


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