Phylogeny and evolution of body mass in didelphid marsupials (Marsupialia: Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae)

  title={Phylogeny and evolution of body mass in didelphid marsupials (Marsupialia: Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae)},
  author={Lucila In{\'e}s Amador and Norberto P. Giannini},
  journal={Organisms Diversity \& Evolution},
Most extant New World marsupials belong in the Didelphidae, which comprises ca. 110 currently recognized species of opossums. Didelphids are small mammals with their mean body mass, at species level, ranging from ca. 7 g to 2.2 kg. The largest species belong in a single clade, while substantial variation remains scattered across the remaining groups. We seek out to explore the details of this mass variation in an evolutionary framework. To this end, we first reconstructed the phylogeny of… 

Form, Function and Evolution of the Skull of Didelphid Marsupials (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae)

The results show that there are almost no shape differences between species of different diets and use of the vertical habitat, while allometry shows a strong correlation with shape, and also there is an evident effect of phylogenetic history.

Amazonia as the Origin and Diversification Area of Didelphidae (Mammalia: Metatheria), and a Review of the Fossil Record of the Clade

The results indicate the relevance of Amazonia in the early diversification of Didelphidae, including the divergence of the major clades traditionally ranked as subfamilies and tribes, and stress that the early history of didelphids is obscured by the lack of Paleogene fossils, which are still to be unearthed from low-latitude deposits of South America.

Craniodental Morphology and Phylogeny of Marsupials

The results of separate and combined analyses of these data using a wide range of phylogenetic methods support many currently accepted hypotheses of ingroup (marsupial) relationships, but they also underscore the difficulty of placing fossils with key missing data.

Evolution of South American Paucituberculata (Metatheria: Marsupialia): adaptive radiation and climate changes at the Eocene- Oligocene boundary

ABSTRACT The Eocene-Oligocene boundary (EOB) marks a period of remodeling in the metatherian faunas of South America. Paucituberculata was one of the groups that successfully diversified as the

Evolution of post-weaning skull ontogeny in New World opossums (Didelphidae)

This work tested the hypothesis that ontogenetic similarity is correlated with phylogeny in New World marsupials, so that developmental patterns are expected to be conserved from ancestral opossums, and constructed an allometric space on the basis of a set of comparable cranial linear measurements.

Evolutionary Imprints on Species Distribution Patterns Across the Neotropics

It is discovered that spatial patterns of phylogenetic turnover between sites are strikingly similar for distinct vertebrate groups, and cannot be predicted from within-lineage relatedness—a surprising result given the differences in ecology and history of colonization among clades.

Evolution of Traditional Aerodynamic Variables in Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) within a Comprehensive Phylogenetic Framework

The macroevolutionary patterns of traditional aerodynamic variables in a comprehensive phylogeny of Chiroptera using an extensive dataset including key Eocene fossils are determined, linking the most notable aerodynamic changes to ecological release from echolocation constraints, dietary-foraging shifts, or advantage in face of environmental changes.

Jaw shape and mechanical advantage are indicative of diet in Mesozoic mammals

It is found that these metrics can be used to distinguish dietary groups for most extant mammals, and to infer diet in Mesozoic taxa, and set the basis for future ecomorphological studies.


The tail played a role in didelphids with better climbing performance, counteracting the lateral swinging of the body, helping with the animal balance, and the comparison with small primates may help to identify adaptive convergence to arboreal locomotion.



Evolution of Scapula Size and Shape in Didelphid Marsupials (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae)

  • D. Astúa
  • Biology, Environmental Science
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 2009
Results indicate that the Didelphidae evolved from a medium- to small-sized ancestor with a generalized scapula, slightly more similar to arboreal ones, but strikingly different from big-bodied presentArboreal species, suggesting that the ancestral DidelPHidae was a small scansorial animal with no particular adaptations for arBoreal or terrestrial habits, and these specializations evolved only in larger-bodied clades.

Evolution of molar shape in didelphid marsupials (Marsupialia: Didelphidae): analysis of the influence of ecological factors and phylogenetic legacy

The wide ecological niche used by most of the groups makes the evolutionary changes not strong enough to override pre-existing differences that occur among clades, and the absence of highly diet-specialized species causes the need for retaining a molar shape that can be useful to process different kinds of food items.

Mammals from ‘down under’: a multi-gene species-level phylogeny of marsupial mammals (Mammalia, Metatheria)

The first Methaterian species-level phylogeny to include 80% of the extant marsupial species and five nuclear and five mitochondrial markers obtained from Genbank and a recently published retroposon matrix is presented, offering a well resolved and detailed tool for comparative analyses.

Phylogenetic Relationships and Classification of Didelphid Marsupials, an Extant Radiation of New World Metatherian Mammals

A decade of morphological and molecular research on the phylogenetic relationships of didelphid marsupials (opossums) is summarized, with a completely resolved ingroup phylogeny with high support statistics at most nodes.


A combined (simultaneous) maximum-parsimony analysis of both datasets (nonmolecular + IRBP) produced a consensus topology that closely resembled the results of analyzing IRBP separately, and a new genus is described for “Marmosa” canescens.

The diversification of the genus Monodelphis and the chronology of Didelphidae (Didelphimorphia)

The results indicate the monophyletic nature of Monodelphis and suggest ‘kunsi’ as a new species complex that includes MonodELphis kunsi and an undescribed species.

Phylogenetic relationships and phylogeographic patterns in Monodelphis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae)

Levels and patterns of genetic variation in Monodelphis species were analyzed using sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cytb) and nuclear interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) genes from individuals sampled in the Amazon, Cerrado, Caatinga, Atlantic Forest, and Pampa biomes in Brazil.

Species Limits and Phylogenetic Relationships in the Didelphid Marsupial Genus Thylamys Based on Mitochondrial DNA Sequences and Morphology

Thylamys species limits are examined, morphological diagnoses are provided, information about geographic distributions is summarized, comment on previous misidentifications, and historical-biogeographic scenarios are briefly considered with a focus on dispersal events across the Andes.