Thoracolumbar vertebral number: The first skeletal synapomorphy for afrotherian mammals

  title={Thoracolumbar vertebral number: The first skeletal synapomorphy for afrotherian mammals},
  author={Marcelo R. S{\'a}nchez-Villagra and Yuichi Narita and Shigeru Kuratani},
  journal={Systematics and Biodiversity},
  pages={1 - 7}
Abstract There is overwhelming molecular support for the monophyly of a supra‐ordinal clade of living African placental mammals, the Afrotheria, but there is not a single unequivocal morphological synapomorphy for this group. We conducted a survey of thoraco‐lumbar vertebral numbers across mammals, based on the examination of specimens representing 86 living and 12 fossil species and a thorough review of the anatomical literature. A total of 19 thoraco‐lumbar vertebrae is plesiomorphic for… 
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