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GENUS Golunda

Author:Gray, 1837.
Citation:Mag. Nat. Hist. [Charlesworth's], 1: 586.
Type Species:Golunda ellioti Gray, 1837.
Comments:GolundaDivision. Reviewed and compared with Hadromys and Mylomys by Musser (1987b), who noted that its dental similarity with the latter, and Pelomys, was probably convergent. Analyses of mtDNA gene sequences (cytochrome b, 12S and 16S rRNA fragments) are ambiguous in ascertaining the phylogenetic affinity of Golunda except to clearly refute the hypothesis presented by some (e. g., Jacobs, 1978; Misonne, 1969) that it and Mylomys are closely related and derived from a Pelomys like ancestor (Ducroz et al., 2001). As Ducroz et al. (2001:198) noted, "Further studies including a larger sample of African murine taxa will be necessary to evaluate the precise place of this genus." Recent analysis of nuclear IRBP gene sequences divorces Golunda from alliances with any of the sampled African genera, especially arvicanthines (Lecompte, 2003). We isolate Golunda in its own division until its relationship to other murines is better understood; molecular comparisons with living Asian Hadromys would be especially illuminating. Furthermore, three hypotheses derived from fossil samples have been proposed and require testing. First, Golunda originated in Africa and migrated to Asia in late Pliocene (Jacobs, 1978; Patnaik, 2001). Second, Golunda is one of the lineages evolving out of an African arvicanthine group that migrated to Asia during early Pliocene (Cheema, et al., 2003). Finally, Golunda evolved from late Miocene Asian Parapelomys (Patnaik, 1997), which in turn was derived from the earlier Asian Karnimata (Jacobs, 1978; Jacobs and Downs, 1994; Karnimata = Progonomys, according to Mein et al., 1993), pointing to Golunda as not only an Asian endemic but derived from an endemic Miocene Asian fauna. Pliocene fragments identified as a species of Golunda have been recorded from Ethiopia, but Musser (1987b) explained why they do not represent this genus. All current information about evolutionary history of Golunda substantiates its endemism to the Indian subcontinent. Enamel microstructure of incisors and molars and its significance documented by Patnaik (2002). Isolated molars from Siwalik strata document Golundaís presence back to the early Pliocene of NW India (G. tatroticus) and middle Pliocene-early Pleistocene of NW India and N Pakistan (G. kelleri and G. sp.); see Cheema et al. (1997, 2003); Kotlia (1992); Patnaik (1997, 2001); Gupta and Prasad (2001); Jacobs (1978).


SPECIES ellioti


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