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Print ISSN: 0031-0247
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Problems of classification as applied to the Rodentia
Albert E. Wood
Keywords:
 
  Abstract

    A classification should be both usable and useful,not too complex either in the amount of splitting or in the number of hierarchies involved, and not so simple as to give a false assurance of knowledge of relationships. Classifications are only possible because we do not have complete knowledge of the evolution of the organisms concerned because gaps in the record are necessary to allow the separation of the various taxa. Rodent classification is complicated by the large number of organisms involved and by the geat amount of parallelism that has taken place in the evolution of any and all features. If several independent features are characteristic of a certain taxon, should an effort be made to define the group on the basis of all the features, or should only one be selected as the determinant ? Unless the evolution of the several features was closely linked, the former solution will sooner or later lead to insurmountable problems. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 9, Ext (1980)

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The paramyid rodent Ailuravus from the middle and late Eocene of Europe, and its relationships
Albert E. Wood
Keywords: Ailuravinae; Rodentia
 
  Abstract

    The complex taxonomic history of the paramyid rodent genus Ailuravus is reviewed. It has been described as Hyracotherium, as a creodont carnivore and as a lemuroid primate - errors at the ordínal level that are most unusual for a rodent. The genus is a member of the poorly known subfamily Ailuravinae, probably derived from some European Early Eocene species of Paramys. Aíluravus was a large arboreal paramyid with highly rugose cheek teeth, very well developed hypocone, and a remarkably weak lower incisor. It was tropical to subtropical. Three named species are recognized, A. macrurus from the Lutetian of Messel; the genotype, A. picteti, from Egerkingen, Buchsweiler and the Geiseltal, slightly later in the Lutetian; and A. stehlinschaubi, new name, from the Bartonian of Mormont-Eclépens and Robiac. One or more unnamed species are present in the Ypresian of Cuis. The species are close to a phyletic sequence. No later representatives of the genus are known. The late Eocene to earliest Oligocene North American paramyid Mytonomys, whose relationships have been obscure, is tentatively referred to the Ailuravinae. 


  Article infos

Published in Vol. 07, Fasc. 1-2 (1976)

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