The Evolution of Dasyurid Marsupials

Hardback - January 2024 - AU $280.00

eBook - January 2024 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

A detailed synthesis of dasyurid evolutionary biology for students, teachers and researchers.

The marsupial family Dasyuridae has a history of study extending from 18th century naturalists to the modern genomics era. The Evolution of Dasyurid Marsupials: Systematics and Family History tells the story of dasyurid evolution as it unfolded in the context of changing world views on biodiversity, biotic history and scientific methodology, from its roots in Enlightenment taxonomy to its transformation by the Darwinian and Hennigian revolutions, and then its maturation as statistical phylogenetics and phylogenomics. + Full description

Research on dasyurids includes every major approach in animal systematics, including some for which few comparable examples exist. It extends beyond the recent consensus on species relationships to include the timing of diversification, historical biogeography and the evolution of key phenotypic traits. This book introduces readers to living and fossil dasyurids, the questions evolutionary biologists have asked about them, the inferential methods used to answer those questions and the implications of those answers for understanding the history of this fascinating marsupial family. It offers a comprehensive synthesis of dasyurid evolutionary biology for students, teachers and researchers in mammalian evolution and marsupial biology.

- Short description


Publication date: 22 January 2024

Sales in Australia and New Zealand only. Elsewhere, this title is available through CRC Press [external link].


"Aimed at those with a good conceptual understanding of biology, this comprehensive book tells the story of dasyurid evolution, making strong use of phylogenetic trees as a hypothesis of the evolutionary relationships between species, whilst recognising that the study of evolution is an integrative science drawing from many expert perspectives."
Wildlife Health Australia, 13 December 2023


Hardback | January 2024 | $280.00
ISBN: 9781486315949 | 368 pages | 270 x 210 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour illustrations, Illustrations, Maps, Photographs

ePDF | January 2024
ISBN: 9781486315956
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | January 2024
ISBN: 9781486315963
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Summarises information about dasyurid evolution in one concise source, with extensive illustrations.
  • Provides methodological background to explain how conclusions were drawn from evidence, as well as historical context to explain why specific approaches were used at particular times.
  • Offers a critical analysis of past and current hypotheses, and explores the strengths and weaknesses of individual studies, helping readers evaluate conflicts among them.
  • Uses a phylogenetic framework to understand issues in biogeography, macroevolution, phenotypic evolution and conservation.


1: Dasyurids and ‘tree thinking’
2: The diversity of dasyurids
3: Dasyurid phylogeny: morphological taxonomy from Linnaeus to Archer
4: Dasyurid phylogeny: molecular systematics, 1977–2003
5: Dasyurid phylogeny: integrative studies
6: Dasyurid species-level relationships
7: Dasyurid species recognition
8: Dasyuromorphian families and fossils
9: The timing of dasyurid evolution
10: Dasyurid macroevolution
11: Evolution of the dasyurid phenotype
12: Dasyurids past, present and future
Appendix: colour images

View the full table of contents (PDF, 45 KB)


Carey Krajewski is a retired zoology professor and molecular systematist who has studied phylogenetics of mammals and birds for over 35 years. He is the author of 36 peer-reviewed publications describing research on phylogenetic relationships of marsupials, primarily members of Dasyuridae.

Michael Westerman is Adjunct Professor in the School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment at La Trobe University. He is an evolutionary geneticist who has worked on phylogenetic relationships of marsupials for 50 years, publishing over 130 peer-reviewed papers on dasyurids, bandicoots and macropods.

Patricia A. Woolley, AM, is Emeritus Scholar in the School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment at La Trobe University. Her primary research interest is the reproductive biology of dasyurid marsupials. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Society of Women Geographers and the Ellis Troughton Memorial Award, and an honorary life member of both the Australian Mammal Society and American Society of Mammalogists.