Phillips, Matthew J. & Penny, David (2010) Mammalian phylogeny. In Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, London ; New York.
Living mammals can be divided into three subclasses (monotremes, marsupials and placentals) and within these, about 27 orders. Final resolution of the relationships between the orders is only now being achieved with the increased availability of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequences. Highlights include the deep division of placental mammals into African (Afrotheria), South American (Xenarthra) and northern hemisphere (Boreoeutheria) super-orders, and the finding that the once considered primitive ‘Insectivora’ and ‘Edentata’ clades, in fact, have members distributed widely among these super-orders. Another surprise finding from DNA studies has been that whale origins lie among the even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla). Our order, Primates is most closely related to the flying lemurs and next, the tree shrews. With the mammal phylogeny becoming well resolved, it is increasingly being used as a framework for inferring evolutionary and ecological processes, such as adaptive radiation.
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|Item Type:||Book Chapter|
|Keywords:||DNA, Biogeography, Mammal Phylogeny, Marsupials, Monotremes, Morphology, Placentals, Primates, Whales|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES (060000)|
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty|
|Deposited On:||22 May 2012 22:46|
|Last Modified:||22 May 2012 22:46|
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