Evolution and systematics

In 1939, Broom described a fossil form found at Taung (South Africa) as Petromus minor. Some 14 subspecies have been described, but Meester and co-workers (1964) feel that it is unlikely that 14 valid forms could occur in such a restricted range of the species. At present the family includes only one species, Petromus typicus. The name is derived from the Greekpetro, "rock," and mys, "mouse." The species name refers to the Greek word typicos, "typical," i.e., a typical rat of the rocks.

The taxonomy for this species is Petromus typicus A. Smith, 1831, South Africa.

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