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Bones, Clones, and BiomesThe History and Geography of Recent Neotropical Mammals$
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Bruce D. Patterson and Leonora P. Costa

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226649191

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226649214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 June 2020

West Indian Mammals

West Indian Mammals

The Old, the New, and the Recently Extinct

Chapter:
(p.157) 9 West Indian Mammals
Source:
Bones, Clones, and Biomes
Author(s):
Liliana M. Dávalos, Samuel T. Turvey
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226649214.003.0009

The West Indian mammal fauna has played a key role in the development of biogeographic ideas for over a century, but a synthesis explaining regional patterns of mammal diversity and distribution in a historical framework has not emerged. Recent phylogenetic, population genetic, and radiocarbon dating studies of West Indian mammals explore the biological and historical drivers of colonization, speciation, and extinction in this region of endemism. A complete list of all its extant and extinct mammals is presented in this chapter. The mammalian biota is older than was earlier presumed, with many ancient endemic lineages, even among highly vagile organisms such as bats. Land bridges, Cenozoic eustatic sea-level changes and Pleistocene glacial cycles have been proposed to explain the colonization of the islands, but phylogenetic divergence analyses often conflict with the timing of these events and favor alternative biogeographic histories. The loss of West Indian biodiversity is incompletely understood, but new radiometric chronologies indicate that anthropogenic impacts rather than glacial-interglacial environmental changes are responsible for most Quaternary extinction and extirpation events involving land mammals.

Keywords:   West Indian mammals, extinct, phylogenetic, population genetic, endemic lineages, pleistocene glacial cycles, biodiversity, Quaternary extinction

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