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Type: Monograph
Published: 2019-03-13
Page range: 1–69
Abstract views: 562
PDF downloaded: 20

Hidden in plain sight: reassessment of the pig-footed bandicoot, Chaeropus ecaudatus (Peramelemorphia, Chaeropodidae), with a description of a new species from central australia, and use of the fossil record to trace its past distribution

Western Australian Museum, Locked Bag 49, Welshpool DC, WA, 6986 Australia
The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K. School of Earth Science, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TG, U.K. School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K.
The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K.
The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K.
South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia.
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
Australian Research Center for Human Evolution, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland 4111, Australia.
Mammalia Peramelemorphia new species Chaeropus fossils morphology molecular data phylogeny collections


The Pig-footed Bandicoot, Chaeropus ecaudatus, an extinct arid-adapted bandicoot, was named in 1838 based on a specimen without a tail from the Murray River in New South Wales. Two additional species were later named, C. castanotis and C. occidentalis, which have since been synonymised with C. ecaudatus. Taxonomic research on the genus is rather difficult because of the limited material available for study. Aside from the types of C. castanotis and C. occidentalis housed at the Natural History Museum in London, and the type of C. ecaudatus at the Australian Museum in Sydney, there are fewer than 30 other modern specimens in other collections scattered around the world. Examining skeletal and dental characters for several specimens, and using a combination of traditional morphology, morphometrics, palaeontology and molecular phylogenetics, we have identified two distinct species, C. ecaudatus and C. yirratji sp. nov., with C. ecaudatus having two distinct subspecies, C. e. ecaudatus and C. e. occidentalis. We use palaeontological data to reconstruct the pre-European distribution of the two species, and review the ecological information known about these extinct taxa.



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