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Molecules, morphology, and ecology indicate a recent, amphibious ancestry for echidnas

Phillips, Matthew; Bennett, Thomas; Lee, M.S.Y.

Description

The semiaquatic platypus and terrestrial echidnas (spiny anteaters) are the only living egg-laying mammals (monotremes). The fossil record has provided few clues as to their origins and the evolution of their ecological specializations; however, recent reassignment of the Early Cretaceous Teinolophos and Steropodon to the platypus lineage implies that platypuses and echidnas diverged >112.5 million years ago, reinforcing the notion of monotremes as living fossils. This placement is based...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2009
Type: Journal article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/59127
Source: PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0904649106

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