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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004 Jun;31(3):972-8.

The phylogenetic position of the zokors (Myospalacinae) and comments on the families of muroids (Rodentia).

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


Recent molecular studies have concluded that the genus Myospalax evolved from within the rodent subfamily Cricetinae. This conclusion was tested using the complete sequences from the mitochondrial 12S rRNA and cytochrome b genes. Based on our analyses, Myospalax appears to be sister to a clade containing the subfamilies Spalacinae and Rhizomyinae, and all three of these lineages appear to be basal to the superfamily Muroidea. Based on the position of these three lineages, we suggest that they be placed in a distinct family, the Spalacidae, rather than subsumed as subfamilies in the family Muridae. Finally, our analyses suggest that the earlier placement of Myospalax as a member of the Cricetinae is the result of a single misidentified specimen, which was not a Myospalax.

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