Phylogeny and Speciation of Felids

  title={Phylogeny and Speciation of Felids},
  author={Michelle Mattern and Deborah A. Mclennan},
The phylogeny of the Felidae is reconstructed using a total evidence approach combining sequences from 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, NADH‐5, and cytochrome b genes with morphological and karyological characters. The 1504‐character data set generated two equally parsimonious trees (CI = 0.413, 1795 steps) of which a strict consensus revealed one polytomy in the placement of the bay cat group. The tree supports several traditional groupings such as the genera Panthera and Lynx and the ocelot group of small… 

Phylogeny of the great cats (Felidae: Pantherinae), and the influence of fossil taxa and missing characters

  • P. Christiansen
  • Biology, Geography
    Cladistics : the international journal of the Willi Hennig Society
  • 2008
This study presents the results of a cladistic study encompassing 45 osteological and dental characters in the skull and mandible, as well as 13 soft‐tissue and behavioural characters, which show the clouded leopard is the most basal pantherine, followed by the snow leopard.

Molecular Markers and Genetic Diversity in Neotropical Felids

The Neotropical region (covers the southern part of North America, Central America and South America) is occupied by 10 recognized cat species that are divided into three clades evolutionarily distinct, which have been distinguished using a variety of molecular genetic techniques.

Colonization, population expansion, and lineage turnover: Phylogeography of Mesoamerican characiform fish

A priority-effect model is developed to reconcile the general lack of contemporary sympatry between closely related OTUs with the substantial historical connectivity among Mesoamerican drainages demonstrated by the rapid expansion of Brycon, Bryconamericus, and Cyphocharax.

The Late Miocene Radiation of Modern Felidae: A Genetic Assessment

The phylogenetic performance of distinct gene classes showed that Y-chromosome segments are appreciably more informative than mitochondrial DNA, X-linked, or autosomal genes in resolving the rapid Felidae species radiation.

Morphofunctional patterns in Neotropical felids: species co-existence and historical assembly

A pattern of successive invasions and speciation is found in which new lineages occupied previously vacant areas of morphospace, or new species occupied overlapping areas but with contrasting habits, which may be general among antagonistic species of historically structured guilds.

Phylogeny of the sabertoothed felids (Carnivora: Felidae: Machairodontinae)

  • P. Christiansen
  • Biology
    Cladistics : the international journal of the Willi Hennig Society
  • 2013
This paper provides the first phylogenetic hypothesis of machairodont relationships based on 50 craniomandibular and dental characters from a wide range of sabercats spanning more 11 Myr, and proposes a name for a well‐supported clade of primarily Plio‐Pleistocene taxa for which the name Eumachairodentia taxon novum is proposed.

Both morphological and molecular characters support speciation of South American siskins by sexual selection

The data suggest that speciation probably occurred by sexual selection through female mating choice in this radiation, and studies of variable amino acid residues in the mt cyt b molecule show that the three variable amino acids found are placed in the mitochondrial transmembrane region, which is also part of the hypervariable region in mammals.



Molecular phylogeny of mitochondrial cytochrome b and 12S rRNA sequences in the Felidae: ocelot and domestic cat lineages.

Phylogenetic reconstruction supports more recent, intralineage associations but fails to completely resolve interlineage relationships, and implications of the relative recency of felid evolution, presence of ancestral polymorphisms, and influence of outgroups in placement of the topological root are discussed.


The phylogenetic distances between 34 of the 37 extant species of Felidae were estimated using albumin immunological distances (AID) and the derived topology is highly consistent with the karyological disposition of these species, as well as with the fossil record of this family.

Geographic Differentiation, Cladistics, and Vicariance Biogeography: Reconstructing the Tempo and Mode of Evolution

A model of speciation analysis is constructed using taxa of Australian birds as the empirical data base and reveals a specific, nonrandom historical relationship among the areas of differentiation for Australian birds.

Molecular evolution of mitochondrial 12S RNA and cytochrome b sequences in the pantherine lineage of Felidae.

DNA sequence comparisons of two mitochondrial DNA genes were used to infer phylogenetic relationships among 17 Felidae species, notably 15 in the previously described pantherine lineage, and suggested the recognition of a recently evolved monophyletic genus Panthera.

A Concern for Evidence and a Phylogenetic Hypothesis of Relationships among Epicrates (Boidae, Serpentes)

High levels of character congruence were observed among 89 biochemical and morphological synapomorphies scored on 10 species of Epicrates, and the consensus cladogram was consistent with the phylogenetic interpretation attached to the resulting hypothesis, which is a consensus of two equally parsimonious cladograms.

Phylogeographic Subspecies Recognition in Leopards (Panthera pardus): Molecular Genetic Variation

The incorporation of precise definitions for taxonomic units into wildlife legislation has necessitated the reevaluation of the taxonomy of endangered and threatened species, and it is recommended that subspecific leopard taxonomy be revised to comprise eight subspecies.

Systematics of Mustelid-Like Carnivores

The phylogenetic relationships of the skunks to the Mustelidae and other caniform carnivores were examined using mitochondrial-DNA sequence data from portions of the 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA genes and morphological data obtained from the literature were used in a total-evidence analysis.

Modes of Animal Speciation

Speciation is ultimately an adaptive process that involves establishment of intrin­ sic barriers to gene flow between closely related populations by development of reproductive isolating mechanisms.


Lynch (1989) hypothesized that the frequency of vicariant, peripheral isolates, and sympatric speciation could be discovered by examining the relative range size and range overlap of sister taxa, either sister species or sister groups.

Vicariant Patterns and Historical Explanation in Biogeography

Congruence of biological and geological area-cladograms at a high confidence level means that specified events of paleogeography can be adopted as an explanation of the biological patterns, and distributions of sedentary organisms have the potential to falsify dispersal theories as applied tovagile organisms, but distributions of vagile organisms cannot falsify vicariance theories as applications to sedentary ones.