The Evolution of Dasyurid Marsupials:

Systematics and Family History

The Evolution of Dasyurid Marsupials

The marsupial family Dasyuridae has a history of study extending from 18th century naturalists to the modern genomics era. The Evolution of Dasyurid Marsupials: Systematics and Family History tells the story of dasyurid evolution as it unfolded in the context of changing world views on biodiversity, biotic history and scientific methodology, from its roots in Enlightenment taxonomy to its transformation by the Darwinian and Hennigian revolutions, and then its maturation as statistical phylogenetics and phylogenomics.

Research on dasyurids includes every major approach in animal systematics, including some for which few comparable examples exist. It extends beyond the recent consensus on species relationships to include the timing of diversification, historical biogeography and the evolution of key phenotypic traits. This book introduces readers to living and fossil dasyurids, the questions evolutionary biologists have asked about them, the inferential methods used to answer those questions and the implications of those answers for understanding the history of this fascinating marsupial family. It offers a comprehensive synthesis of dasyurid evolutionary biology for students, teachers and researchers in mammalian evolution and marsupial biology.

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