Koalas And Marsupial Lions: The Radiation Vombatiform

Monday, November 14, 2011

This is a recent article on tree-kangaroos really brought home to me how little marsupial information I posted here in the Tet Zoo. This drought marsupial really not intentional, because I think one of the most fascinating marsupial mammals. It 's just that I never found time to write them a lot. This seeks to address that part.

Kangaroos (macropods aka) consists of a large branch of the Australian marsupial called mostly vegetarian Diprotodontia. Characters in common connects diprotodontians diprotodonty (with only two cuts), squamosal epitympanic wing special case of the brain bone, and the presence of an additional band of fibers (called Fasciculus aberrans), which connects the two hemispheres of the brain. Monophyly is also well supported by Diprotodontia molecular characters.

In addition to macropods, opossums (petauroids and phalangeroids) are diprotodontians, as members of the clade koala, koala, Vombatiformes collectively. A variety of different topologies have been proposed for Diprotodontia but most studies find vombatiforms be the sister group of a macropod + "possum" clade (eg, Amrine-Madsen et al. 2003, Sánchez-Villagra and Horovitz 2003, Asher et al. 2004). We take care of macropods and possums at another time: The purpose of this article (and next) is the review, as briefly and succinctly as possible vombatiform radiation. Here we go.

So far been very few published phylogenies integrating data from fossils diprotodontians. There are basically Munson (1992), with Archer et al. (1999), Weisbecker and Archer (2008) and a number of other studies showing cladograms based on the work Munson. These trees are consistent, in koalas marsupial lions and being outside Vombatoidea, a tribe that includes diprotodontoids (Diprotodon and genealogy) and The Wombats. Vombatomorphia term has been used (eg Black 2007) for the group, which includes everything but the koalas, marsupial lions in which the cases are non-vombatoid vombatiforms vombatomorphian (adjacent, highly simplified cladogram help). Molecular phylogenies dated with a representative sample of fossils shows that the first differences within Vombatiformes (eg that between koalas and vombatoids) occurred in the Eocene (Beck, 2008).

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