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GENUS Myopus

Author:Miller, 1910.
Citation:Smithson. Misc. Coll., 52: 497.
Type Species:Myodes schisticolor Lilljeborg, 1844.
Comments:Lemmini. Conventionally treated as a genus until Chaline (1972) regarded the molar differences between schisticolor and Lemmus to reflect species-level distinctions (also Chaline and Mein, 1979; Chaline et al., 1989). Koenigswald and L. D. Martin (1984) also cited fundamental molar similarity for their arrangement of Myopus as a subgenus of Lemmus. Others, however, have maintained their generic segregation (Gromov and Erbajeva, 1995; Jarrel and Fredga, 1993; Niethammer and Henttonen, 1982; Pavlinov and Rossolimo, 1987, 1998; Pavlinov et al., 1995a), as we do here. Although Lemmus and Myopus share certain dental resemblances, they are readily distinguished by karyotype, a profoundly different sex chromosome mechanism, body size, fur coloration, morphology (feet, skull and eyes), habitat, and behavior (Jarrell and Fredga, 1993); such contrasts have not been addressed in a phylogenetic context along with other forms comprising these genus-group taxa. In the absence of such studies, the phenotypically restricted character set mustered from a paleontological perspective is insufficient to falsify the hypothesis that schisticolor represents a monophyletic group separate from species of Lemmus. Jarrell and Fredga (1993) noted that the mostly biarmed karyotype of Myopus could be derived from a Lemmus like karyotype by numerous centric fusions. Known from late Pleistocene of Asia (McKenna and Bell, 1997).
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SPECIES schisticolor


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