Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Trends Ecol Evol. 2004 Aug;19(8):430-8.

Molecules consolidate the placental mammal tree.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. mark.springer@ucr.edu

Abstract

Deciphering relationships among the orders of placental mammals remains an important problem in evolutionary biology and has implications for understanding patterns of morphological character evolution, reconstructing the ancestral placental genome, and evaluating the role of plate tectonics and dispersal in the biogeographic history of this group. Until recently, both molecular and morphological studies provided only a limited and questionable resolution of placental relationships. Studies based on larger and more diverse molecular datasets, and using an array of methodological approaches, are now converging on a stable tree topology with four major groups of placental mammals. The emerging tree has revealed numerous instances of convergent evolution and suggests a role for plate tectonics in the early evolutionary history of placental mammals. The reconstruction of mammalian phylogeny illustrates both the pitfalls and the powers of molecular systematics.

PMID:
16701301
[PubMed]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk