Chapter

Rodentia

Alisa J Winkler, Christiane Denys and D. Margaret Avery

in Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257214
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257214.003.0017
Rodentia

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This chapter summarizes the geographic distribution and ecology of the extant families of African rodents. It focuses on the fossil record and discusses the systematics, biochronology, and paleobiogeography of Rodentia. Most discussion is confined to the family level; notable exceptions include the subfamilies of the extremely diverse Nesomyidae and Muridae. The chapter concentrates on general geographic regions: northern Africa (countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and including Chad), eastern Africa (Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo [= Zaire; although situated in Central Africa], and Malawi), and southern and south-central Africa (Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, and countries farther south). The chapter also presents a chronologic history of African rodents, from the earliest records in the early to middle Eocene to the latest Pleistocene.

Keywords: Rodentia; ecology; Africa; rodents; geographic distribution; systematics; biochronology; paleobiogeography; Eocene; Pleistocene

Chapter.  26628 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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