Marsupial and monotreme evolution and biogeography

Weisbecker, Vera and Beck, Robin (2015). Marsupial and monotreme evolution and biogeography. In Athol Klieve, Lindsay Hogan, Stephen Johnston and Peter Murray (Ed.), Marsupials and monotremes: nature's enigmatic mammals (pp. 1-31) New York, NY, United States: Nova Science.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Weisbecker, Vera
Beck, Robin
Title of chapter Marsupial and monotreme evolution and biogeography
Title of book Marsupials and monotremes: nature's enigmatic mammals
Place of Publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Nova Science
Publication Year 2015
Sub-type Chapter in textbook
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Series Animal science, issues and research
ISBN 9781634829731
Editor Athol Klieve
Lindsay Hogan
Stephen Johnston
Peter Murray
Chapter number 1
Start page 1
End page 31
Total pages 31
Total chapters 11
Language eng
Abstract/Summary This chapter provides an evolutionary context to comparative research on monotremes and marsupials. It explains the evolutionary origins of the three major living mammalian clades from within the ancient amniote lineage of synapsids, summarises their most obvious biological differences, and briefly outlines the difference between the terms "Monotremata, Marsupialia and Placentalia" vs. "Prototheria, Metatheria and Eutheria". The living monotreme and marsupial families are introduced via short characterisations of their general biology and evolution. An up-to-date family-level phylogeny is provided for marsupials, together with a summary of our past and current understanding of their phylogenetic relationships. The known fossil record and biogeography of both radiations is summarised; particular attention is given to a recent paradigm shift on monotreme evolution, with the latest research suggesting that monotremes are part of an ancient, Gondwanan radiation of mammals that independently evolved a tribosphenic dentition. The unusual biogeographical history of marsupials and their extinct relatives, including a probable origin in the northern continents and later distribution across South America, Antarctica, and Australia, is also discussed.
Keyword Gondwana
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
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Created: Sat, 19 Dec 2015, 02:41:13 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences