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Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1987;44(2-3):123-33.

Chromosomal evolution of the Canidae. I. Species with high diploid numbers.


The Giemsa banding patterns of seven canid species, including the grey wolf (Canis lupus), the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), the bush dog (Speothos venaticus), the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), the grey fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), the bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis), and the fennec (Fennecus zerda), are presented and compared. Relative to other members of Canidae, these species have high diploid complements (2n greater than 64) consisting of largely acrocentric chromosomes. They show a considerable degree of chromosome homoeology, but relative to the grey wolf, each species is either missing chromosomes or has unique chromosomal additions and rearrangements. Differences in chromosome morphology among the seven species were used to reconstruct their phylogenetic history. The results suggest that the South American canids are closely related to each other and are derived from a wolf-like progenitor. The fennec and the bat-eared fox seem to be recent derivatives of a lineage that branched early from the wolf-like canids and which also includes the grey fox.

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