Rodents and palaeogenetics: New perspectives

Christelle TOUGARD & Élodie RENVOISÉ

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 7 (2-3) - Pages 125-134

Published on 30 April 2008

This article is a part of the thematic issue Palaeogenetics in palaeontology, archaeology and palaeoanthropology: Contributions and limits

Rodents are the most diversified mammalian order (484 extant genera including 2277 species), and they have a worldwide distribution. Palaeontological, morphological and molecular data have greatly helped to resolve their systematics and evolutionary history. However, some discrepancies remain between palaeontologists and molecular biologists. New techniques in molecular biology, and especially in palaeogenetics, allow us to have direct access to the hereditary material of extinct organisms, and they can compensate for some morphological limits. Unfortunately, few studies are dealing with rodent palaeogenetics, despite the amount of museum and fossil material available. Here, we review the major research activities in rodent palaeogenetics (phylogeny, genetic diversity, migration), and we present the promising research perspectives in this field (phylochronology, palaeoparasitology).


Rodents, Ancient DNA, Phylogeny, Genetic diversity, Phylochronology, Palaeoparasitology

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