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J Hum Evol. 1998 Jan;34(1):1-23.

Phylogenetic relationships of the macaques (Cercopithecidae: Macaca), as revealed by high resolution restriction site mapping of mitochondrial ribosomal genes.

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Center for Environmental Research and Conservation, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.


Molecular phylogenetic relationships among all recognized species within the genus Macaca, were assessed using high-resolution restriction site mapping of the mitochondrial ribosomal genes. By outgroup comparisons to other members of the cercopithecine subfamily, the macaques appear to be a monophyletic assemblage. Within the genus, the relationships are in general consistent with previous genetic studies, though they are less concordant with the separation of the species into four distinct species groups based on modification of the genitalia. Our data support: (1) Macaca sylvanus as sister clade to all Asian macaques; (2) the silenus group as a monophyletic assemblage, with the Sulawesi macaques diverging and colonizing Sulawesi much earlier than previously thought; (3) the fascicularis group as a paraphyletic assemblage, including all non-silenus group Asian macaques; (4) the sinica group as a monophyletic assemblage, possibly derived from a fascicularis-like ancestor; and (5) Macaca arctoides as a separate lineage from the sinica group, also originating from a fascicularis-like ancestor. This study supports the notion that species with more specialized genitalia evolved from less derived taxa, and in general are in agreement with the dispersal scenarios proposed by Fooden (1980) and Delson (1980) for the macaques.

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