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Phylogenetic analysis and classification of fossil and recent Alcelaphini Mammalia: Bovidae
- VRBA, E. S.
- Biological journal of the Linnean Society 1979 v.11 no.3 pp. 207-228
- Alcelaphus, Connochaetes, Damaliscus, ancestry, animal taxonomy, antelopes, extinction, fossils, hybridization, monophyly, paleozoology
- Cladistic principles are applied to a group of antelope species, three-quarters of which are extinct. Only cranial and mandibular characters are used. The present phylogenetic hypothesis suggests diat the Alcelaphini are monophyletic; that the genera Parmularius and Damaliscus share a recent common ancestry; and that die extant Hunter's hartebeest should not be removed from Damaliscus into a separate genus Beatragus as several authors have done. A re-evaluation is suggested of die systematic position of Lichtenstein's hartebeest, as being phylogenetically closer to me wildebeests, genus Connochaetes, than to the type species of the hartebeest genus Alcelaphus. Some problems arising in the application of cladistic principles to such a low ranking group, treating die fossil majority exactly equivalently with recent taxa, are discussed. Comments on recency of common ancestry as it affects hybridization potential in bovids, on speciation and extinction rates arise.