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Cantalapiedra, Juan L.; Alcalde, Gema M.; Hernández Fernández, Manuel (2014): The contribution of phylogenetics to the study of ruminant evolutionary ecology. In: Zitteliana, Vol. B 32: pp. 47-52




The increasing availability of published evolutionary trees and phylogenetic methods has changed the way we tackle the study of evolution. In this sense, ruminants have become one paradigmatic object of study due to their ecological variety and well-known evolutionary history. The last decades of ruminant research have benefited from diverse phylogenetic approaches, offering new perspectives on classic ideas and, sometimes, allowing to test previously untestable hypotheses. As a result, we now start to understand the complexity of the evolutionary responses of this clade to past global environmental changes. This is a brief review of some of the most outstanding and groundbreaking tree-based contributions to the research on the evolutionary ecology of this fascinating group of herbivorous macromammals.