Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

DNA Phylogeny of the Marsupial Wolf Resolved

Carey Krajewski, Larry Buckley and Michael Westerman
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
Vol. 264, No. 1383 (Jun. 22, 1997), pp. 911-917
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/50755
Page Count: 7
  • Get Access
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
DNA Phylogeny of the Marsupial Wolf Resolved
Preview not available

Abstract

The phylogenetic position of the recently extinct marsupial 'wolf', or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), has been a source of contention in mammalian systematics for nearly a century. Thylacines were endemic to Australasia, but possessed striking anatomical similarities to Oligo-Miocene borhyaenid marsupials of South America. At issue has been whether these features are indicative of common ancestry or convergent adaptation to carnivory. Recent morphological studies have supported both conclusions. Although current marsupial classifications group thylacines with Australian dasyuromorphians, this putative clade is characterized by mostly primitive morphological features. Attempts to determine thylacine affinities with ancient protein and DNA analyses have supported, but not resolved, a dasyuromorphian placement. We report 1546 bp of mitochondrial DNA sequence (from cytochrome b and 12S rRNA genes) and 841 bp of nuclear protamine gene sequence from the thylacine and representatives of all or most other marsupial orders. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences shows unambiguously that thylacines are members of Dasyuromorphia, and suggests a late Oligocene or very early Miocene divergence of familial lineages.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
911
    911
  • Thumbnail: Page 
912
    912
  • Thumbnail: Page 
913
    913
  • Thumbnail: Page 
914
    914
  • Thumbnail: Page 
915
    915
  • Thumbnail: Page 
916
    916
  • Thumbnail: Page 
917
    917