A new recent genus and species of three-toed jerboas (Rodentia: Dipodinae) from China: A living fossil?

Georgy Shenbrot, Anna Bannikova, Patrick Giraudoux, Jean Pierre Quéré, Francis Raoul, Vladimir Lebedev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The new recent genus and species of three-toed jerboas (Rodentia: Dipodinae), from southern Ningxia, China, is described. This form demonstrated a unique mixture of external, cranial, and dental characters that individually are typical for one or another of all known genera of Dipodinae. Based on morphological characters, it is recovered as the part of Dipodinae tree, distinct from all other members due to its unique combination of morphological characters, and appears to be a nearly ideal living ancestor of all other dipodines. In contrast to morphology, the molecular data indicate a relatively young age for this lineage and consistently place it as the sister group to Stylodipus. The results of the molecular clock analysis suggest that the separation of the two lineages dates back to the Early Pliocene or the Pliocene/Miocene boundary. The estimated geographic range of the new form seems extremely small. The conservational status of the new species remains to be determined; however, the available information suggests that it requires protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-368
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • China
  • comparative morphology
  • distribution modeling
  • molecular clock analysis
  • molecular phylogeny
  • three-toed jerboas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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