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Bats make up more than 20% of extant mammals, yet their evolutionary history is largely unknown because of a limited fossil record and conflicting or incomplete phylogenies. Here, we present a highly resolved molecular phylogeny for all extant bat families. Our results support the hypothesis that megabats are nested among four major microbat lineages, which(More)
Previous analyses of relations, divergence times, and diversification patterns among extant mammalian families have relied on supertree methods and local molecular clocks. We constructed a molecular supermatrix for mammalian families and analyzed these data with likelihood-based methods and relaxed molecular clocks. Phylogenetic analyses resulted in a(More)
Modern felid species descend from relatively recent (<11 million years ago) divergence and speciation events that produced successful predatory carnivores worldwide but that have confounded taxonomic classifications. A highly resolved molecular phylogeny with divergence dates for all living cat species, derived from autosomal, X-linked, Y-linked, and(More)
Molecular phylogenetic studies have resolved placental mammals into four major groups, but have not established the full hierarchy of interordinal relationships, including the position of the root. The latter is critical for understanding the early biogeographic history of placentals. We investigated placental phylogeny using Bayesian and maximum-likelihood(More)
The ability to smell is governed by the largest gene family in mammalian genomes, the olfactory receptor (OR) genes. Although these genes are well annotated in the finished human and mouse genomes, we still do not understand which receptors bind specific odorants or how they fully function. Previous comparative studies have been taxonomically limited and(More)
Molecular and morphological data have important roles in illuminating evolutionary history. DNA data often yield well resolved phylogenies for living taxa, but are generally unattainable for fossils. A distinct advantage of morphology is that some types of morphological data may be collected for extinct and extant taxa. Fossils provide a unique window on(More)
Nonfunctional visual genes are usually associated with species that inhabit poor light environments (aquatic/subterranean/nocturnal), and these genes are believed to have lost function through relaxed selection acting on the visual system. Indeed, the visual system is so adaptive that the reconstruction of intact ancestral opsin genes has been used to(More)
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is a newly emergent disease that potentially threatens all temperate bat species. A recently identified fungus, Geomyces destructans, is the most likely causative agent of this disease. Until 2009, WNS and G. destructans were exclusively known from North America, but recent studies have confirmed this fungus is also present in(More)
BACKGROUND The dramatic mass mortalities amongst hibernating bats in Northeastern America caused by "white nose-syndrome" (WNS) continue to threaten populations of different bat species. The cold-loving fungus, Geomyces destructans, is the most likely causative agent leading to extensive destruction of the skin, particularly the wing membranes. Recent(More)
Bats (order Chiroptera) are one of the few orders of mammals that echolocate and the only group with the capacity for powered flight. The order is subdivided into Microchiroptera and Megachiroptera, with an array of characteristics defining each group, including complex laryngeal echolocation systems in microbats and enhanced visual acuity in megabats. The(More)