The Archonta are a group of mammals, considered a superorder in some classifications, which consists of the following orders:
- Plesiadapiformes (extinct—primate-like archontans)
- Scandentia (treeshrews)
- Dermoptera (colugos)
- Chiroptera (bats)
Genetic analysis has suggested that the bats are not as closely related to the other groups as previously suspected. When bats were dropped the order was replaced by Euarchonta. A revised category, Euarchonta, excluding bats, has been proposed.12
It has been suggested that this taxon may have arisen in the Early Cretaceous (more than one hundred million years ago) and so there may be other explanatory models for mammalian evolution beside an explosive radiation from a single surviving lineage following the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction of the Mesozoic megafauna,3 such as a series of prior radiations related to the breakup of Gondwana and Laurasia allowing for more survivors.45
- Adkins, RM; Honeycutt, RL (Nov 15, 1991). "Molecular phylogeny of the superorder Archonta.". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 88 (22): 10317–21. doi:10.1073/pnas.88.22.10317. PMC 52919. PMID 1658802.
- Springer, MS; Stanhope, MJ; Madsen, O; de Jong, WW (August 2004). "Molecules consolidate the placental mammal tree.". Trends in ecology & evolution 19 (8): 430–8. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2004.05.006. PMID 16701301.
- Penny, David; Phillips, Matthew J. (October 2004). "The rise of birds and mammals: are microevolutionary processes sufficient for macroevolution?". Trends in Ecology & Evolution 19 (10): 516–522. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2004.07.015.
- Hedges, S. Blair; Kumar, Sudhir (30 April 1998). "A molecular timescale for vertebrate evolution". Nature 392 (6679): 917–920. doi:10.1038/31927.
- Hedges, SB; Parker, PH; Sibley, CG; Kumar, S (May 16, 1996). "Continental breakup and the ordinal diversification of birds and mammals.". Nature 381 (6579): 226–9. doi:10.1038/381226a0. PMID 8622763.