Molecular and Biochemical Evolution of the Carnivora

  • Robert K. Wayne
  • Raoul E. Benveniste
  • Dianne N. Janczewski
  • Stephen J. O’Brien

Abstract

The fissiped carnivores include eight distinct families that are traditionally grouped into two superfamilies: the Canoidea (or Arctoidea) and the Feloidea (or Aeluroidea). The Canoidea include the bear, dog, raccoon, and weasel families; and the Feloidea include the cat, hyena, mongoose, and civet families. Both groups are extremely heterogeneous with respect to the morphology and life history of their constituents. They include taxa that are entirely carnivorous, insectivorous, and omnivorous and that have cursorial, arboreal, fossorial, and aquatic habits. Such wide-ranging adaptations have led to several instances of parallel and convergent evolution of morphologic traits which have confounded the efforts of taxonomists to relate certain taxa.

Keywords

Biochemical Evolution Giant Panda Snow Leopard Maned Wolf African Lion 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert K. Wayne
  • Raoul E. Benveniste
  • Dianne N. Janczewski
  • Stephen J. O’Brien

There are no affiliations available

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