Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bioessays. 2009 Aug;31(8):853-64. doi: 10.1002/bies.200900053.

The new framework for understanding placental mammal evolution.

Author information

  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing St., Cambridge CB23EJ, UK. r.asher@zoo.cam.ac.uk

Abstract

An unprecedented level of confidence has recently crystallized around a new hypothesis of how living placental mammals share a pattern of common descent. The major groups are afrotheres (e.g., aardvarks, elephants), xenarthrans (e.g., anteaters, sloths), laurasiatheres (e.g., horses, shrews), and euarchontoglires (e.g., humans, rodents). Compared with previous hypotheses this tree is remarkably stable; however, some uncertainty persists about the location of the placental root, and (for example) the position of bats within laurasiatheres, of sea cows and aardvarks within afrotheres, and of dermopterans within euarchontoglires. A variety of names for sub-clades within the new placental mammal tree have been proposed, not all of which follow conventions regarding priority and stability. More importantly, the new phylogenetic framework enables the formulation of new hypotheses and testing thereof, for example regarding the possible developmental dichotomy that seems to distinguish members of the newly identified southern and northern radiations of living placental mammals.

PMID:
19582725
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk