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Title: Protosirenidae  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sirenia, List of prehistoric mammals, Tethytheria, Evolution of sirenians, Protosiren
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Temporal range: Middle Eocene
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Sirenia
Family: Protosirenidae
Genus: Protosiren
Abel, 1904
  • P. eothene
    Zalmout et al., 2003
  • P. fraasi (type)
    Abel, 1904
  • P. minima
    (Demarest, 1822)
  • P. sattaensis
    Gingerich et al., 1995
  • p. smithae
    Domning and Gingerich, 1994

Protosiren (taxonomic family Protosirenidae) is an extinct early genus of the order Sirenia. Protosiren existed throughout the Lutetian and Bartonian stages of the Middle Eocene. Its geographic distribution was intercontinental: fossils have been found in the United States (North Carolina), Egypt, France, Hungary, India, and Pakistan. Like the extant sirenians (manatee and dugong), Protosiren is thought to have fed on sea grasses as well as freshwater plants. Unlike extant sirenians, Protosiren had hind limbs. Although the limbs were well-developed, they were small and the sacroiliac joint was weak. Consequently, Protosiren is thought to have been mainly aquatic. It rarely ventured on land.

See also

Paleontology portal


  • Domning, D. P.; Morgan, G. S.; Ray, C. E. (1982). North American Eocene sea cows (Mammalia:Sirenia). Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology Number 52. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

External links

  • The Paleobiology Database.

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