Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Mustelidae Morphology

  • Anna LoyEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1210-1

Introduction

Despite recent molecular data evidenced that skunks do not lie within the mustelid group (Sato et al. 2012), Mustelidae, bearing 56 species in 22 genera, are the largest and oldest family in the order Carnivora (Nyakatura and Bininda-Emonds 2012). The family originated in Eurasia in the middle-late Miocene and underwent a rapid evolution and diversification, resulting in a remarkable ecomorphological diversity (Koepfli et al. 2008). Koepfli et al. (2008) identified two major clades, Lutrinae and Mustelinae, and eight minor clades of Mustelidae. American and honey badgers (genera Taxidea and Mellivora) are monotypic lineages basal to all other mustelids. The clade Martinae, including taira, wolverine, hog badger, Eurasian badgers (genus Meles), and martens (genus Martes), is in turn basal to the clades Helictinae (ferret badgers), Galictinae (spotted and striped aposematic species: grisons, zorillas, the marbled polecat, and the African striped weasel), Mustelinae (minks...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Envix Lab – Department Biosciences and TerritoryUniversity of MolisePescheItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Caroline Leuchtenberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Institute FarroupilhaPanambiBrasil