Saturday, January 26, 2008

Guinea Pigs Are Rodents

Guinea Pigs are Rodents - but that has not always been without controversy.

In 1991, a paper submitted to Nature proposed that caviomorphs should be reclassified as a separate order (similar to Lagomorpha), based on an analysis of the amino acid sequences of guinea pigs.[8] This hypothesis was refined in a 1992 paper, which asserted the possibility that caviomorphs may have diverged from myomorphs prior to later divergences of Myomorpha; this would mean caviomorphs, or possibly hystricomorphs, would be moved out of the rodent classification into a separate order.[9] A minority scientific opinion briefly emerged arguing that guinea pigs, degus, and other caviomorphs are not rodents,[10][11] while several papers were put forward in support of rodent monophyly.[12][13][14] Subsequent studies published since 2002, using wider taxon and gene samples, have restored consensus among mammalian biologists that the order Rodentia is monophyletic.[15][16]

We're glad that controversy has been settled amicably.


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