Schunke, Anja C.: Systematics and Biogeography of the African Scaly-tailed Squirrels (Mammalia: Rodentia: Anomaluridae). - Bonn, 2005. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
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author = {{Anja C. Schunke}},
title = {Systematics and Biogeography of the African Scaly-tailed Squirrels (Mammalia: Rodentia: Anomaluridae)},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2005,
note = {The aim of the present investigation was a better understanding of the systematics and biogeography of the African scaly-tailed squirrels. Therefore 1581 anomalurid specimens from 22 collections were examined and data from skulls, skins, and labels recorded, completed with data from literature. The current knowledge concerning anomalurids was compiled and the information on biology, morphology, biogeography, and the history of taxonomy and systematics within anomalurids and the systematic position of the group within the Rodentia presented. Additionally a gazetteer of finding localities was provided. Thorough analyses of fur colouration, body size measurements, craniometric characters, and molecular data demonstrated the extremely complex geographic variation of this group. The structure of anomalurid populations and borderlines and/or clines between populations is not straightforward and not easy to translate in an unequivocal taxonomy. However, it was possible to divide the distribution area of the Anomaluridae into eight to thirteen smaller areas, where at least the majority of species is relatively homogenous and generally differs in one or more characters from neighbouring populations. Differences can lie in fur colouration, body size, skull size and shape or in any combination of these. Due to the use of museum material and the related "Ancient DNA" problems it was not possible so far to reliably analyse differences between geographical populations of one or more species. Still 49 cytochrome b fragments from 28 specimens could be sequenced and allowed the suggestion of a cladogram for six of the seven anomalurid species. Additionally, the data proved the usefulness of the chosen gene region for possible further investigations. Besides the application of the statistical and data combination methods for the analysis of anomalurid systematics and biogeography it was possible to examine and discuss the usefulness and problems of several of the applied methods more generally. The present investigation supported the widely accepted (though still discussed) taxonomy with the seven species Anomalurops beecrofti, Anomalurus derbianus, A. pelii (with three subspecies), A. pusillus, Idiurus macrotis, I. zenkeri, and Zenkerella insignis. Further analysis particularly with molecular data would be desirable to clarify the history of the distribution of anomalurid species.},
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