Evolution and systematics

The Neotragines, or dwarf antelopes, are placed beside the Antilopini, both belonging to the subfamily Antilopinae. This sister group Antilopini includes the larger gazelles that serve as popular icons of Africa's savanna ecosystems. The neotragines are a polyphyletic group, and more recent molecular-based phylogenies suggest that some members may belong to the Antilopini or even Reduncini. The neotragines are considered to have originated in Eurasia and represent, with the Bovinae, one of the oldest subfamilies of the Bovidae. Fossil evidence suggests that the first neotragines appeared 5-12 million years ago and very closely resembled the animals observed today. The modern Neotraginae is represented by 13 species from six genera.

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