Chapter

Phylogenetic Position of the Giant Panda

Emonds Olaf R. P. Bininda

in Giant Pandas

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238671
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930162 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238671.003.0002
Phylogenetic Position of the Giant Panda

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This chapter comprehensively outlines a vast amount of historical data on the giant panda and on Ailurus with a view to producing a consensus on their phylogenetic affinities. It reports that supertree analysis suggests affinities with the Procyonidae. The chapter surveys the systematic literature from the description of Ailuropoda by David to the present in order to explore the affinities of both panda species through time. It also uses a sliding-window approach to time-series analysis in order to view changes in phylogenetic opinion over time. All statements of phylogenetic affinity strongly place Ailuropoda and Ailurus within separate carnivore families. The chapter refrains from making any taxonomic conclusions, even for Ailuropoda, for which the phylogenetic position seems reasonably secure. The taxonomic assessments are subjective and can frequently obscure or even misrepresent phylogenetic information. Moreover, a brief report on pylogenetic placement of the giant panda based on molecular data is presented.

Keywords: Ailurus; Ailuropoda; phylogenetic affinity; supertree analysis; sliding-window approach; time-series analysis; Procyonidae

Chapter.  10556 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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