Problems in Muroid Phylogeny: Relationship to Other Rodents and Origin of Major Groups

  • Lawrence J. Flynn
  • Louis L. Jacobs
  • Everett H. Lindsay
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes (ASI) Series book series (NSSA, volume 92)


The Muroidea include most of the diverse mouse-like rodents living today. The extant families of muroid rodents recognized by us are Muridae (true rats and mice), Cricetidae (hamsters, diverse hypsodont groups, and many American lineages), Gerbillidae (gerbils, sand rats and jirds) and several smaller groups, most of which have been given familial rank elsewhere. These are Nesomyidae (including Afrocricetodontinae), Rhizomyidae, Dendromuridae, Petromyscidae, Spalacidae, Cricetomyidae, Platacanthomyidae, and Lophiomyidae. Arvicoline (microtine) genera are not considered to constitute a family because they are late derivatives of advanced cricetids and because they form a polyphyletic group (C. A. Repenning, personal communication).


Fossil Record Middle Miocene Late Eocene Cheek Tooth Anterior Plate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ameur, R. 1984. Découverte de nouveaux rongeurs dans la formation miocène de Bou Hanifia (Algérie Occidentale). Géobios 17(2): 165–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ameur, R., Jaeger, J. J., and Michaux, J. 1976. Radiometric age of early Hipparion fauna in North-west Africa. Nature 261(5555): 38–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barry, J. C., Johnson, N. M., and Raza, S. M., and Jacobs, L. L. Manuscript. Mammalian faunal change in southern Asia: correlation to global patterns.Google Scholar
  4. Baskin, J. A. 1978. Bensonomys, Calomys, and the origin of the phyllotine group of Neotropical cricetines (Rodentia: Cricetidae). J. Mammal. 59: 125–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baskin, J. A. 1979. Small mammals of the Hemphillian age White Cone Local fauna, northeastern Arizona. J. Paleont. 53(3): 695–708.Google Scholar
  6. Black, C. C. 1965. Fossil mammals from Montana. Part 2. Rodents from the early Oligocene Pipestone Springs Local Fauna. Ann. Carnegie Mus. 38: 1–48.Google Scholar
  7. Boyde, A. 1978. Development of the structure of the enamel of the incisor teeth in the three classical subordinal groups of the Rodentia. In: Development, Function and Evolution of Teeth, P. M. Butler and K. A. Joysey, eds., pp. 43–58, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  8. Brandy, L. D. 1981. Rongeurs muroïdes du Néogène superieur d’Afghanistan. Evolution, biogéographie, corrélations. Palaeovertebrata 11(4): 133–179.Google Scholar
  9. de Bruijn, H., Hussain, S. T., and Leinders, J. J. M. 1981. Fossil rodents from the Murree formation near Banda Daud Shah, Kohat, Pakistan. Proc. Konink. Nederl. Akad. Wetensch., Amsterdam, Ser. B 84(1): 71–99.Google Scholar
  10. Brunet, M. 1979. Les Cricetidae (Rodentia, Mammalia) de la Milloque (Bassin d’Aquitaine): Horizon Repère de l’Oligocène supérieur. Géobios 12(5): 653–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bugge, J. 1971. The cephalic arterial system in mole-rats (Spalacidae) bamboo rats (Rhizomyidae), jumping mice and jerboas (Dipodoidea) and dormice (Gliroidea) with special reference to the systematic classification of rodents. Acta Anat. 79: 165–180.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carleton, M. D. 1980. Phylogenetic relationships in neotomineperomyscine rodents (Muroidea) and a reappraisal of the dichotomy within New World Cricetinae. Mus. Zool. U. Mich. Misc. Pub. 157: 1–146.Google Scholar
  13. Carleton, M. D. 1984. Introduction to rodents. In: Orders and Families of Recent Mammals of the World, S. Anderson and J. K. Jones, eds., pp. 255–265, John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Carleton, M. D. and Musser, G. G. 1984. Muroid rodents. In: Orders and Families of Recent Mammals of the World, S. Anderson and J. K. Jones, eds., pp. 289–379, John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Chaline, J. and Mein, P. 1979. Les Rongeurs et l’Evolution. Doin, Paris.Google Scholar
  16. Chaline, J., Mein, P. and Petter, F. 1977. Les grandes lignes d’une classification évolutive des Muroïdes. Mammalia 41(3): 245–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dawson, M. R. and Black, C. C. 1970. The North American cricetid rodent “Eumysexiguus, once more. J. Paleont. 44(3): 524–526.Google Scholar
  18. Emry, R. J. 1981. New material of the Oligocene muroid rodent Nonomys, and its bearing on muroid origins. Novitates 2712: 1–14.Google Scholar
  19. Engesser, B. 1979. Relationships of some insectivores and rodents from the Miocene of North America. Bull. Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist. 14: 1–68.Google Scholar
  20. Fejfar, O. 1972. Ein neuer Vertreter der Gattung Anomalomys Gaillard, 1900 (Rodentia, Mammalia) aus dem europäischen Miozän (Karpat). N. Jb. Geol. Paläont., Abh. 141(2): 168–193.Google Scholar
  21. Flynn, L. J. 1982. Systematic revision of Siwalik Rhizomyidae (Rodentia). Géobios 15: 327–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Flynn, L. J., Jacobs, L. L., and Cheema, I. U. Manuscript. Miocene Rodentia from Baluchistan, with a description of the new subfamily Baluchimyinae (Chapattimyidae).Google Scholar
  23. Flynn, L. J. and Sabatier, M. 1984. A muroid rodent of Asian affinity from the Miocene of Kenya. J. Vert. Paleont. 3(3): 160–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hartenberger, J.-L. 1971. Contribution à l’étude des genres Gliravus et Microparamys (Rodentia de l’Eocène d’Europe. Palaeovertebrata 4(4): 97–135.Google Scholar
  25. Hartenberger, J.-L. 1973. Etude systématique des Theridomyoidea (Rodentia) de l’Eocène supérieur. Mém. Soc. Géol. France, nouv. ser. 52(1–5), Mém. 117: 1–76.Google Scholar
  26. Hartenberger, J.-L. 1980. Données et hypothèses sur la radiation initiale des rongeurs. Palaeovertebrata, Mém. Jubil. R. Lavocat: 285-301.Google Scholar
  27. Hartenberger, J.-L., Sudre, J., Vianey-Liaud, M. 1975. Les mammifères de l’Eocène supérieur de Chine (gisement de River Section) leur place dans l’histoire des faunes eurasiatiques. 3e R.A.S.T., Montpellier: 186.Google Scholar
  28. Hill, J. E. 1937. Morphology of the pocket gopher mammalian genus Thomomys. U. Cal. Pub. Zool. 42(2): 81–172.Google Scholar
  29. Hill, A., Drake, R., Tauxe, L., Monaghan, M., Barry, J. C., Behrensmeyer, A. K., Curtis, G., Jacobs, B. F., Jacobs, L., Johnson, N., and Pilbeam, D. Manuscript. Calibration of the middle and late Miocene of Kenya.Google Scholar
  30. Hussain, S. T., de Bruijin, H., and Leinders, J. M. 1978. Middle Eocene rodents from the Kala Chitta Range (Punjab, Pakistan). Proc. Konink. Nederl. Akad. Wetensch., Amsterdam, Ser. B 81(1): 74–112.Google Scholar
  31. Jacobs, L. L. 1977. A new genus of murid rodent from the Miocene of Pakistan and comments on the origin of Muridae. PaleoBios 25: 1–11.Google Scholar
  32. Jacobs, L. L. 1978. Fossil rodents (Rhizomyidae and Muridae) from Neogene Siwalik deposits, Pakistan. Museum of Northern Arizona Press, Bull. Ser. 52: I–XI, 1–103.Google Scholar
  33. Jacobs, L. L. 1979. Tooth cusp homology of murid rodents based on Miocene fossils from Pakistan. Casopis pro mineralogii a geologii 24(3): 301–304.Google Scholar
  34. Jacobs, L. L., Cheema, I. U., and Shah, S. M. I. 1981. Zoogeographic implications of early Miocene rodents from the Bugti Beds, Baluchistan, Pakistan. Géobios 15(1): 101–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Jacobs, L. L., and Lindsay, E. H. 1984. Holarctic radiation of Neogene muroid rodents and the origin of South American cricetids. Jour. Vert. Pal. 4(2): 265–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jacobs, L. L., and Pilbeam, D. 1980. Of mice and men: fossil-based divergence dates and molecular “clocks.” J. Human Evolution 9: 551–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jaeger, J. J. 1977a. Rongeurs (Mammalia, Rodentia) du Miocène de Beni-Mellal. Palaeovertebrata 7(4): 91–125.Google Scholar
  38. Jaeger, J. J. 1977b. Les rongeurs du Miocène moyen et supérieur du Maghreb. Palaeovertebrata 8(1): 1–166.Google Scholar
  39. Jaeger, J. J., Michaux, J., and Sabatier, M. 1980. Premieres données sur les rongeurs de la formation de Ch’orora (Ethiopie) d’age Miocène supérieur. I: Thryonomyidés. Palaeovertebrata, Mém. Jubil. R. Lavocat: 365-374.Google Scholar
  40. Klingener, D. 1964. The comparative myology of four dipodoid rodents (Genera Zapus, Napeozapus, Sicista, and Jaculus). Mus. Zool. U. Mich. Misc. Pub. 124: 1–100.Google Scholar
  41. Klingener, D. 1984. Gliroid and dipodoid rodents. In: Orders and Families of Recent Mammals of the World, S. Anderson and J. K. Jones, eds., pp. 381–388, John Wiley and Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  42. Korth, W. W. 1981. New Oligocene rodents from western North America. Ann. Carnegie Mus. 50(10): 289–318.Google Scholar
  43. Korth, W. W. 1984. Earliest Tertiary evolution and radiation of rodents in North America. Bull. Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 1–71.Google Scholar
  44. Kowalski, K. 1974. Middle Oligocene rodents from Mongolia. Results Polish-Mongolian Palaeont. Exped. 5, Palaeont. Polonica 30: 147–178.Google Scholar
  45. Lavocat, R. 1961. Le gisement de vertébrés Miocènes de Beni Mellal (Maroc). Etude systématique de la faune de mammifères et conclusions générales. Notes et Mém. Serv. Géol. 155: 1–144.Google Scholar
  46. Lavocat, R. 1967. A propos de la dentition des rongeurs et du problème de l’origine des Muridés. Mammalia 31: 205–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lavocat, R. 1973. Les rongeurs du Miocène d’Afrique Orientale: I. Miocène infèrieur. Mém. et Trav. Ecole Prat. Haut. Etud., Inst. de Montpellier 1: 1–284.Google Scholar
  48. Li Chuan-Kuei and Ting Su-Yin 1983. The Paleogene mammals of China. Bull. Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist. 21: 1–93.Google Scholar
  49. Lillegraven, J.A. and Wilson, R.W. 1975. Analysis of Simimys simplex, an Eocene rodent (?Zapododae). J. Paleont. 49(5): 856–874.Google Scholar
  50. Lindsay, E. H. 1968. Rodents from the Hartman Ranch Local Fauna, California. PaleoBios 6: 1–22.Google Scholar
  51. Lindsay, E. H. 1977. Simimys and the origin of the Cricetidae (Rodentia, Muroidea). GéoBios 10: 597–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lindsay, E. H. 1978. Eucricetodon asiaticus (Matthew and Granger), an Oligocene rodent (Cricetidae) from Mongolia. J. Paleont. 52(3): 590–595.Google Scholar
  53. Marshall, L. G. 1979. A model for paleobiogeography of South American cricetine rodents. Paleobiology 5(2): 126–132.Google Scholar
  54. Martin, L.D. 1980. The early evolution of the Cricetidae in North America. Univ. Kansas Paleontol. Contrib. 102: 1–42.Google Scholar
  55. McKenna, M. C. 1980. Early history and biogeography of South America’s extinct land mammals. In: Evolutionary Biology of the New World Monkeys and Continental Drift, R. L. Ciochon and A. B. Chiarelli, eds., pp. 43–77, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Mein, P. and Freudenthal, M. 1971. Une nouvelle classification des Cricetidae (Mammalia, Rodentia) du Tertiare de l’Europe. Scripta Geologica 2:1–37.Google Scholar
  57. Mellett, J. S. 1968. The Oligocene Hsanda Gol Formation, Mongolia: A revised faunal list. Novitates 2318: 1–16.Google Scholar
  58. Petter, F. 1966. L’origine des Muridés. Plan cricétin et plans murins. Mammalia 30:205–225.Google Scholar
  59. Qiu Zhuding, Li Chuan-Kuei, and Wang Shijie 1981. Miocene mammalian fossils from Xining Basin, Qinghai. Vert. Palasiatica 19(2): 156–173.Google Scholar
  60. Rogers, D. S. and Heske, E. J. 1984. Chromosomal evolution of the brown mice, genus Scotinomys (Rodentia, Cricetidae). Genetica 63: 221–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sarich, V. M. 1983. Appendix: Retrospective on hominoid macromolecular systematics. In: New Interpretations of Ape and Human Ancestry, R. L. Ciochon and R. S. Corruccini, eds., pp. 137–150, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  62. Sarich, V. M., and Cronin, J. E. 1980. South American mammal molecular systematics, evolutionary clocks, and continental drift. In: Evolutionary Biology of the New World Monkeys and Continental Drift, R. L. Ciochon and A. B. Chiarelli, eds., pp. 399–421, Plenum Press, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schaub, S. 1925. Die hamsterartigen Nagetiere des Tertiärs und ihre lebenden Verwandten. Abh. Schweiz. Paläont. Ges. 45: 3–112.Google Scholar
  64. Schaub, S. 1958. Simplicidentata. In: Traité de Paléontologie, 6(2), J. Piveteau, ed., pp. 659–818, Masson et Cie, Paris.Google Scholar
  65. Simpson, G. G. 1971. Status and problems of vertebrate phylogeny. Simposio International de Zoofilogenia, 353-368. Univ. de Salamanca, Facultad de Ciencias.Google Scholar
  66. Simpson, G. G. 1980. Splendid Isolation. The Curious History of South American Mammals. Yale University Press, New Haven.Google Scholar
  67. Slaughter, B. H., and Ubelaker, J.E. 1984. Relationship of South American cricetine rodents to rodents of North America and the Old World. Jour. of Vert. Paleont. 4(2): 255–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Stehlin, H. G. and Schaub, S. 1951. Die Trigonodontie der Simplicidentaten Nager. Schweiz. Paläont. Abh. 61: 1–385.Google Scholar
  69. Thaler, L. 1966. Les rongeurs fossiles du Bas-Languedoc dans leurs rapports avec l’histoire des faunes et la stratigraphie du Tertiare d’Europe. Mém. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat., Sér. C, 27: 1–284.Google Scholar
  70. Vianey-Liaud, M. 1974. L’anatomie crânienne des genres Eucricetodon et Pseudocricetodon (Cricetidae, Rodentia, Mammalia); essai de systématique des Cricetidés oligocènes d’Europe Occidentale. Geol. Mediter. 1(3): 111–132.Google Scholar
  71. Wahlert, J. H. 1978. Cranial foramina and relationships of the Eomyoidea (Rodentia, Geomorpha). Skull and upper teeth of Kansasimys. Novitates 2645: 1–16.Google Scholar
  72. Wahlert, J. H. 1984a. Relationships of the Florentiamyidae (Rodentia, Geomyoidea) based on cranial and dental morphology. Novitates 2769: 1–23.Google Scholar
  73. Wahlert, J. H. 1984b. Relationships of the extinct rodent Cricetops to Lophiomys and the Cricetinae (Rodentia, Cricetidae). Novitates 2784: 1–15.Google Scholar
  74. Wessels, W., de Bruijin, H., Hussain, S. T., and Leinders, J. J. M. 1982. Fossil rodents from the Chinji Formation, Banda Daud Shah, Kohat, Pakistan. Proc. Konink. Nederl. Akad. Wetensch., Ser. B 85(3): 337–364.Google Scholar
  75. Whybrow, P. J., Collinson, M. E., Daams, R., Gentry, A. W., and McClure, H. A. 1982. Geology, fauna (Bovidae, Rodentia) and flora from the early Miocene of Eastern Saudi Arabia. Tertiary Res. 4(3):105–120.Google Scholar
  76. Wilson, R. W. 1935. Cricetine-like rodents from the Sespe Eocene of California. Nat. Acad. Sci., Proc. 21(1): 26–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wilson, R. W. 1949. Additional Eocene rodent material from southern California. Carnegie Inst. Washington, Pub. 584: 1–25.Google Scholar
  78. Wood, A. E. 1974. Early Tertiary vertebrate faunas Vieja Group Trans-Pecos Texas: Rodentia. Texas Memorial Mus. Bull. 21: 1–112.Google Scholar
  79. Wood, A. E. 1980. The Oligocene rodents of North America. Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc. 70(5): 1–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Zdansky, O. 1930. Die Alttertiären Säugetiere Chinas nebst stratigraphischen Bemerkungen. Palaeont. Sinica, Ser. C. 6(2): 1–87.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence J. Flynn
    • 1
  • Louis L. Jacobs
    • 2
  • Everett H. Lindsay
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. Vertebrate PaleontologyAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Dept. Geological SciencesSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  3. 3.Dept. GeosciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

Personalised recommendations