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Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Taxonomic and Phylogenetic Status of Living and Fossil Kangaroos and Wallabies of the Genus Macropus Shaw (Macropodidae: Marsupialia), with a New Subgeneric Name for the Larger Wallabies

L Dawson and T Flannery

Australian Journal of Zoology 33(4) 473 - 498
Published: 1985


Historical concepts of the generic status of the macropodines commonly known as kangaroos and wallabies are reviewed in this paper. A new diagnosis is provided for the genus Macropus, encompassing both living and fossil forms, and using cladistic principles to assess the phylogenetic value of diagnostic characters where possible. Cytological, biochemical and anatomical characters are used. Fourteen living and 11 extinct species of Macropus are recognized. Of these, 20 species have been classified into three subgenera, M.(Macropus), M.(Osphranter) and a new subgenus, M.(Notamacropus), as follows: M.(M.) giganteus, M.(M.) fuliginosus, M.(M.) mundjabus, M.(M.) pan, M.(M.) pearsoni and M.(M.) ferragus; M.(O.) antilopinus, M.(O.) bernardus, M.(O.) robustus, M.(O.) rufus and M.(O.) pavana; ,M.(N.) rufogriseus, M.(N.) eugenii, M.(N.) parryi, M.(N.) dorsalis, M.(N.) irma, M.(N.) agilis, M.(N.) greyi, M.(N.) parma, M.(N.) wombeyensis and M.(N) thor. Four poorly known extinct species, M. dryas, M. rama, M. woodsi and M. narada, have not yet been allocated to a subgenus. Prionotemnus palankarinnicus Stirton, 1957 is shown to belong outside Macropus. Because it is the type-species of Prionotemnus, that name is not available for a subgenus of Macropus. A current synonymy is presented for fossil species and the known stratigraphic range is given for each species. A phylogeny is presented expressing our view that M. (,Votamacropus) is the most plesiomorphic subgenus and M. (Macropus) is the most derived.

© CSIRO 1985

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