Phylogenetic assessment of molecular and morphological data for eutherian mammals

Fu Guo Robert Liu, Michael M. Miyamoto

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86 Scopus citations


The interordinal relationships of eutherian (placental) mammals were evaluated by a phylogenetic analysis of four published data sets (three sequences and one morphological). The nature and degree of support and conflict for particular groups were assessed by separate bootstrap and homogeneity tests, which were followed by combined analyses of the sequence and morphological data. Between orders, strong support (i.e., ≥ 95% bootstrap scores) was found for a paraphyletic Artiodactyla (relative to Cetacea) and a monophyletic Cetartiodactyla (Artiodactyla and Cetacea) and Paenungulata (Hyracoidea, Proboscidea, and Sirenia). In turn, some reasonable to strong evidence (≥ 85%) was obtained for Hyracoidea with Sirenia, Dermoptera with Scandentia, Glires (Lagomorpha with Rodentia), and Afrotheria (Amblysomus, Macroscelidea, Paenungulata, and Tubulidentata). Otherwise, no other interordinal clades were supported at these reasonable to strong levels. This overall lack of resolution for eutherian interordinal clusters agrees with other studies that suggest further progress will continue to be slow and difficult. Further resolution will require the integration of more recently published data, the continued sampling of taxa and characters, and the use of more powerful methods of data analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalSystematic Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Congruence
  • Eutherian mammals
  • Gene sequences
  • Morphology
  • Phylogeny.


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