Reproductive and Chromosomal Characters of Ctenodactylids as a Key to Their Evolutionary Relationships

  • Wilma George
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes (ASI) Series book series (NSSA, volume 92)


When Zittel named the family Ctenodactylidae in 1893 to include Ctenodactylus, Pectinator, Petromys and the fossil Pelligrinia, the genera of gundis had had a chequered career in the classification systems. Originally, Ctenodactylus had been classified with Petromus as a dipodid by Gervais (1848), but gundis were octodontids for Brandt (1855), Flower and Lydekker (1891). Blyth (1855) assigned Pectinator to the chinchillids, and the two genera became murids in Alston’s classification of 1876. With the addition of two more genera, the gundis achieved family status, but this did not make their position any more certain, and they wandered round the suborders for the next 90 years. Tullberg (1899) and Ellerman (1940) claimed them for the Myomorpha; Wood (1955) for the Sciuromorpha; Thomas (1896), Winge (1924), Weber (1928) and Landry (1957) for the Hystricomorpha; and the majority were unable to assign them to any of the three conventional suborders (Miller and Gidley, 1918; Bohlin, 1946; Simpson, 1945; Grassé and Dekeyser, 1955; Wood, 1965, 1974, 1977; Shevyreva, 1971; Chaline and Mein, 1979; Patterson and Wood, 1982). They gave rise to feelings of despair in some authors: “this group vies with or exceeds the bathyergids in uncertainty” (Simpson, 1945) - and “les rapports avec les autres formes restent de plus en plus énigmatiques” (Grassé and Dekeyser, 1955).


Tree Shrew Gestation Length Litter Weight Azygous Vein Parietal Endoderm 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilma George
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordEngland

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