Wilfried W. de Jong

Learn 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)
Higher level relationships among placental mammals, as well as the historical biogeography and morphological diversification of this group, remain unclear. Here we analyse independent molecular data sets, having aligned lengths of DNA of 5,708 and 2,947 base pairs, respectively, for all orders of placental mammals. Phylogenetic analyses resolve placental(More)
Deciphering relationships among the orders of placental mammals remains an important problem in evolutionary biology and has implications for understanding patterns of morphological character evolution, reconstructing the ancestral placental genome, and evaluating the role of plate tectonics and dispersal in the biogeographic history of this group. Until(More)
The traditional views regarding the mammalian order Insectivora are that the group descended from a single common ancestor and that it is comprised of the following families: Soricidae (shrews), Tenrecidae (tenrecs), Solenodontidae (solenodons), Talpidae (moles), Erinaceidae (hedgehogs and gymnures), and Chrysochloridae (golden moles). Here we present a(More)
The alpha-, beta- and gamma-crystallins are the major protein components of the vertebrate eye lens, alpha-crystallin as a molecular chaperone as well as a structural protein, beta- and gamma-crystallins as structural proteins. For the lens to be able to retain life-long transparency in the absence of protein turnover, the crystallins must meet not only the(More)
Rodentia is the largest order of placental mammals, with approximately 2,050 species divided into 28 families. It is also one of the most controversial with respect to its monophyly, relationships between families, and divergence dates. Here, we have analyzed and compared the performance of three nuclear genes (von Willebrand Factor, interphotoreceptor(More)
The order Insectivora, including living taxa (lipotyphlans) and archaic fossil forms, is central to the question of higher-level relationships among placental mammals. Beginning with Huxley, it has been argued that insectivores retain many primitive features and are closer to the ancestral stock of mammals than are other living groups. Nevertheless,(More)
Madagascar harbors four large adaptive radiations of endemic terrestrial mammals: lemurs, tenrecs, carnivorans, and rodents. These rank among the most spectacular examples of evolutionary diversification, but their monophyly and origins are debated. The lack of Tertiary fossils from Madagascar leaves molecular studies as most promising to solve these(More)
Platyrrhine primates and caviomorph rodents are clades of mammals that colonized South America during its period of isolation from the other continents, between 100 and 3 million years ago (Mya). Until now, no molecular study investigated the timing of the South American colonization by these two lineages with the same molecular data set. Using sequences(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)