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Phylogenetic Relationships within the Eared Seals (Otariidae: Carnivora): Implications for the Historical Biogeography of the Family


Wynen, LP and Goldsworthy, SD and Insley, SJ and Adams, M and Bickham, JW and Francis, J and Gallo, JP and Hoelzel, AR and Majluf, P and White, RWG and Slade, R, Phylogenetic Relationships within the Eared Seals (Otariidae: Carnivora): Implications for the Historical Biogeography of the Family, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 21, (2) pp. 270-284. ISSN 1055-7903 (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1006/mpev.2001.1012


Phylogenetic relationships within the family Otariidae were investigated using two regions of the mitochondrial genome. A 360-bp region of the cytochrome b gene was employed for the primary phylogenetic analysis, while a 356-bp segment of the control region was used to enhance resolution of the terminal nodes. Traditional classification of the family into the subfamilies Arctocephalinae (fur seals) and Otariinae (sea lions) is not supported, with the fur seal Callorhinus ursinus having a basal relationship relative to the rest of the family. This is consistent with the fossil record which suggests that this genus diverged from the line leading to the remaining fur seals and sea lions about 6 million years ago (mya). There is also little evidence to support or refute the monophyly of sea lions. Four sea lion clades and five fur seal clades were observed, but relationships among these clades are unclear. Similar genetic divergences between the sea lion clades (D a = 0.054-0.078), as well as between the major Arctocephalus fur seal clades (D a = 0.040-0.069) suggest that these groups underwent periods of rapid radiation at about the time they diverged from each other. Rapid radiations of this type make the resolution of relationships between the resulting species difficult and indicate the requirement for additional molecular data from both nuclear and mitochondrial genes. The phylogenetic relationships within the family and the genetic distances among some taxa highlight inconsistencies in the current taxonomic classification of the family. © 2001 Academic Press.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Wildlife and habitat management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
UTAS Author:Wynen, LP (Ms Louise Wynen)
UTAS Author:Goldsworthy, SD (Dr Simon David Goldsworthy)
UTAS Author:White, RWG (Professor Rob White)
ID Code:22495
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:64
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2004-12-06

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