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Molecular and Morphological Supertrees for Eutherian (Placental) Mammals

Science  02 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5509, pp. 1786-1789
DOI: 10.1126/science.1056346

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Abstract

A large body of diverse comparative data now exists for a major phylogenetic synthesis of the higher-level relationships among eutherian (placental) mammals. We present such a phylogenetic synthesis using the composite trees or supertrees from the combined and separate analyses of their published molecular and morphological source phylogenies. Our combined and separate supertrees largely support the same suprafamilial taxa and orders, but different interordinal clades. These similarities and differences reinforce the continuing contributions of morphological studies, while highlighting the growing influence of molecular information on the field. As current summaries of past research, our supertrees emphasize opportunities for future work, while providing a step toward the eventual integration of the data and characters themselves.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: miyamoto{at}zoo.ufl.edu

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