Talk:Murinae

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I don't get it[edit]

On the "Did you know" section of the main page, it says (or said), [Did you know] that there are so many species of Murinae (Old World rats and mice) that it is said they are in the process of taking over the world, and humans just came along in the middle of it? Yet there is no mention of this idea at all in the article. What gives?

Someone deleted it [1] 68.81.231.127 01:16, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)
A fair idea. What does it mean to say that one family or subfamily is larger than another order or family? And who says that Murinae are taking over the world? What would that mean, if true? (I don't mean to sound more obtuse than I am: I know that it doesn't involve rats forcing me to toil in their underground cheese mines, but what are we talking about here?) - Nat Krause 07:50, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I replaced it not because I agree or disagree, but because the front page and the article didn't jibe; it was a quick fix. But I don't have a problem with the statement either..... while it may have little objective meaning because higher level taxa are more than a little arbitrary, it does emphasize the size and diversity of the group. But I'd like to see it turned into a properly cited quote. Who said it? 68.81.231.127 00:34, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Cricetidae bigger than Murinae[edit]

Is the Cricetidae, including Arvicolinae, Sigmodontinae and Neotominae, not larger than the Murinae? Sigmodontines and Neotomines have already more than 450 species together, and the Arvicolinae includes some 130 species. See my own site, http://www.geocities.com/mammal_taxonomy/index.html.

Touche'. I've updated the page. --Aranae 18:04, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)

I believe I've made the first tribal-level classification for the complete subfamily (monophyly of some tribes is very controversial). See [2]. (Published version hasn't yet placed everything in tribes, but the new version (planned for 1 April) has left only Malpaisomys incertae sedis.) Ucucha 13:25, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Classification[edit]

I'd like to insert my tribes and subtribes instead of the list of genera (see nl:Murinae). Are there any objections to this? Ucucha See Mammal Taxonomy 16:15, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It's the best overview of the literature I've seen. --Aranae 02:11, May 3, 2005 (UTC)
Thank you :-). Ucucha See Mammal Taxonomy 17:36, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
But I think I'll revise something (Uromyini separate of Conilurini, Echiothrichini will be split), whereafter I'll add it. Ucucha See Mammal Taxonomy 17:39, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

More Classification[edit]

There's a new paper in press that is now available to the public on the website of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution: Steppan, S. J., R. M. Adkins, P. Q. Spinks, and C. Hale. 2005. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (in press).

It contains the first example to my knowledge of a molecular analysis of the Murinae of any reasonable breadth (though see Jansa and Weksler, 2004, Steppan et al., 2004 and other articles cited on the muroid page for examples of limited murine breadth). I'm crudely summarizing the results here using Ucucha's Mammal Taxonomy tribal classification. Note that there are no well supported conflicts with that tribal taxonomy. This information should eventually make its way into the article proper, but we still need some sort of tribal or other framework in which to incorporate this (any interest Ucucha?).

  • Group I
    • Phloeomyini including Batomys and Phloeomys
  • Group II
    • Rattini including Rattus, Berylymys, Maxomys, Sundamys, Dacnomys, Leopoldamys, and Niviventer
    • Arvicanthini including Arvicanthis, Hybomys, Lemniscomys, Oenomys, Parotomys, Rhabdomys, Stochomys, and Thallomys
    • Group IIA
      • Xeromys incertae sedis (the only Hydromyini)
      • Hyomys incertae sedis
      • Conilurini including Anisomys, Conilurus, Leggadina, Leporillus, Mastacomys, Mesembriomys, Notomys, Pseudomys, Uromys, and Zyzomys
      • Echiothrichini including Rhynchomys, Apomys, Archboldomys, and Chrotomys
    • Group IIB
      • Malacomyini (in part) including Malacomys
      • Apodemurini including Apodemus
      • Murini including Mus
      • Malacomyini (in part) including Hylomyscus, Mastomys, Praomys, and Zelotomys

No Micromyini were included in their study

Interesting, very interesting. Especially that Group IIA is interesting. It indicates that the Old Endemics of Australasia are really related, except for the Phloeomyini.
However, there are still some genera which haven't been studied, some of the most enigmatic genera of Murines in Asia, I think. Those include the Old Endemics of Sulawesi, Pithecheir and Lenothrix, the Chiropodomyini (Micromyini is invalid, since an insect tribe with that name already exists). Some of the more doubtful genera (Maxomys, Niviventer, Dacnomys, Berylmys) are also included in the Rattini, which makes problems much smaller.
The classification should be revised in some way, I think. The poly/paraphyly of the Malacomyini indicates that it might be best to merge the Murini, Apodemurini and Malacomyini, because any other "malacomyine" grouping may not be monophyletic. The difference between a New Guinean "uromyine" and an Australian "conilurine" grouping within the Tribe Conilurini is rejected. The enigmatic position of Hyomys, however, indicates that the Anisomyini – or at least parts of it – do not belong to the Conilurini itself. The relationships within the tribe Rattini and within Rattus itself continue to be interesting. The relationships of the Bisa Rat and the Stenomys-like beasts of New Guinea, and of the Nusa Tenggara Rattus-like genera are unresolved.
The relationships of the Celebes Old Endemics remain uncertain, as I said, but I expect that they – like their Philippine counterparts – are split in a group of "Middle Endemics" (like the Echiothrichini, which I'll rename to Chrotomyini, since Echiothrix may not belong to it), and a group of "Oldest Endemics" (like the Phloeomyini). I don't really know which genera will be shown to be "Oldest" and which to be "Middle" Endemics, but it seems clear to me that Crunomys and the related Sommeromys are "Middles", because of their apparent relationship with Philippine Chrotomyini. Melasmothrix and Tateomys may also be related to this group. The other genera – Echiothrix, Eropeplus, Lenomys, Margaretamyscould be Oldest Endemics, but just as easily they could be Middle Endemics. I don't know.
The other uncertain genera are the Pithecheir group, which may not be monophyletic (Pithecheir, Lenothrix, Pithecheirops) and the Chiropodomyini (Anonymomys (??????), Chiropodomys, etc.).
Some questions are resolved, some new are raised: the way science must work.
P.S. Desolately, I don't have a ScienceDirect username, so I am not able to read the paper, and this is based only on the abstract and Aranae's list. Ucucha See Mammal Taxonomy 9 July 2005 07:38 (UTC)


First of all I should clarify that I'm only noting clades that have reasonable support. Multiple genes were used and there are a few instances where only a single gene was sequenced for a taxon. Hyomys and Xeromys are examples. They clearly belongs to the clade I labeled IIA, but there is poor resolution within the clade for that single gene (AP5). Their final tree separates Malacomys from the Praomys group (the Praomys group being sister to Mus), but all of that has very weak support. I find myself reluctant to accept that Malacomys does not belong to that group without more evidence. The notion of an adaptive radiation of a forest generalist Praomys type into a tree dweling form (Hylomyscus), an edgy derived savannah form (Mastomys), a savannah form (Zelotomys), an aquatic form (Colomys), and a swampy form (Malacomys) is hard to argue with when you handle the animals. Both Mus and Apodemus have a long history in the fossil record and don't have newly derived body plans. That Malacomys independently evolved into a long-legged big-eared Praomys is hard for me to buy when the data fail to strongly support it. The data are clear that if Malacomys belongs with the others it is basal among them.
So that leaves two major African radiations (plus the later arrival of Mus (Nannomys) and Muriculus makes four). I don't that's too big of a surprise, though these are murines so it's very likely there are still surprises to come. One thing that keeps surprising me is how the evolutionary history of many mammal groups could have virtually been solved by circling regions on a map. I like your explanation of Oldest, Old, and New Endemics. The Oldest Endemics appear to be distinct enough to warrant a separate subfamily, but who knows what other genera are in it.
Jansa and Weksler (2004) did include Micromys in a smaller dataset, but there's not much support except that it is (not surprsingly) in Group II. A sister relationship to the Rattini is weakly suggested by their data. --Aranae July 9, 2005 08:46 (UTC)
The Tree of Life already uses this classification: [3].
It may be possible that IIB actually diverged in Africa, and that present-day Asian apodemurines and Mus species are actually a more recent development.
However, there is plenty of evidence against this:
  1. Asian Mus is not monophyletic. The actual arrangement is (Coelomys(Pyromys(Nannomys,Mus). This makes a migration from Africa to Asia much less probable than the opposite.
  2. Apodemurines have a long fossil record in Eurasia, although their relationships among these have been disputed.
  3. The endemic genera of the Apodemurini (Rhagamys and Tokudaia) occur(red) in the Mediterranean and the Ryukyu Islands, respectively. No apodemurines occur in Africa, nor do I know of any that have ever occurred there.
So, it seems likely that clade IIB diverged in Asia. Then, a monophyletic Malacomyini would reduce the number of needed migrations to Africa with one.
The two main groups (arvicanthines and malacomyines) were already recognized before Steppan's paper, I believe, but it's of course a further confirmation.
The Rattini, is a big, big group, so a few more chiropodomyines in it may not be surprising. It seems that a few subtribes within Rattini may be recognizable: a "niviventrine" Niviventer-Dacnomys-Leopoldamys group and Maxomys, which forms a group in its own. However, I don't know if the support for the monophyly of the niviventrine group and the "core" rattine group is enough (it's based on ToL). A relationship between Maxomys and chiropodomyines has been suggested a few times. The Chiropodomyini may thus consist of rattines or near-rattines – or something completely different. We just don't know. Ucucha|... 06:03, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
nl:Murinae now has a revised classification. Ucucha|... 10:42, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
The abstract of an Aust. J. Zool. paper indicates that Conilurini is paraphyletic. Melomys, Uromys, Solomys and Leggadina, among other, join the real Hydromyini. So, apparently, the Hydromyini does not exist. The tribes Conilurini and Hydromyini should be merged in a single tribe Hydromyini. Ucucha|... 07:33, 11 July 2005 (UTC)


Pictures[edit]

I just made pictures of a not very shy (or somewhat blind), young mouse. I don't know which species it is, maybe someone can identify it, and if the correspondig article has no picture for it, I'd upload it. [4] [5]

Is there any special Wikipedia page for these kind of ID requests? --Schandi 10:35, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

For starters, would you mind including where the animal was found (both geographically and habitat). Also, what did the tail look like? --Aranae 02:30, 16 October 2005 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I just thought that I should add specifics. I live in Austria, Central Europe. The mice seem to live in a heap of cut wood next to our house. The tails are pale pink and maybe a bit longer than their body. The mouse on the picture ate a bit of bacon and bread.--Schandi 12:16, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Newest update[edit]

I am removing the most recent update as it pertains only to Mastomys and not to Murinae as a whole. I've placed it here since there is no Mastomys page to merge it into. --Aranae 08:29, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

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Not quite[edit]

... subfamily Murinae ... is larger than all mammal families except the Cricetidae,

and Muridae, n'est-ce pas? (smiley-face) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.149.25.225 (talk) 19:27, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Kind of obvious, of course, but you are right. Ucucha 19:45, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Only terestrial placentals in Australia?[edit]

What about bats and flying foxes? They are placental mamels too. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chris Fletcher (talkcontribs) 19:37, 21 September 2014 (UTC)