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Serows (Capricornis), chamois (Rupicapra), gorals (Nemorhaedus) and Rocky Mountain goats (Oreamnos) are all members of the tribe Rupicaprini within the family Bovidae. Ancestral bovines prospered on grassland during the Pliocene epoch 7 million years ago. Rupicaprini appeared in the Pleistocene and were distributed throughout the Eurasian continent. However, the evolutionary paths of today’s species are difficult to trace because fossil records in the mountains are poor. From taxonomic studies of the tribe Rupicaprini on the basis of the skull and skin, Rupicapra, Oreamnos, Capricornis and Nemorhaedus are sufficiently similar to be combined into one tribe. In addition to morphological affinities, genetic comparisons of Capricornis species also confirm the ancestral stocks of the serow lineage.

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Hiroaki Soma

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Soma, H., Kada, H., Matayoshi, K. (1987). Evolutionary pathways of karyotypes of the tribe Rupicaprini. In: Soma, H. (eds) The Biology and Management of Capricornis and Related Mountain Antelopes. Springer, Dordrecht.

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