Jack Sullivan 

Updated Fall, 2023

Biology 483 - Mammalogy


Some Greek & Latin Word Roots.

Link to Zoom lectures.


Lecture 1 - Introduction to Mammals. Notes Slides.

Burgin et al. (2018). A recent estimate of the number of extant species of mammals.

Balete et al. (2023). The discovery of a new species of gymnure (in the hedgehog family) from the Philippines.

Herrera et al. (2022). Genomic evidence that craters chipmunks (Tamias cratericus) and coulee chipmunks (T. grisescens) are species distinct from T. amoenus and T. minimus, respectively.

Lecture 2 - Origin of Mammals. Notes Slides.

Luo et al. (2002). A landmark paper on cynodont phylogeny.

Huttenlocker et al. (2018). A very good recent phylogeny estimate of late cynodonts and early mammals.

Rowe (1988). The argument for a crown-group definition of Mammalia.

Luo et al. (2015). A recent phylogeny of the late cynodonts.

Ruta et al. (2013). A recent paper that uses my preferred definition of Mammalia.

O'Leary et al. (2013). This paper argues that placental mammals did not radiate until after the dinosaur extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. (I think they're wrong, and the reasons are presented here and here.)

Benton (2021). A recent review of the evolution of endothermy in both Archosaurs and Cynodonts.

McNab (1978). The rationale for the Size Refugium Hypothesis on the evolution of endothermy.

Drawings of temporal fenestra evolution.

Lecture 3 - Early Mammals (Mammaliaformes) and Monotremes. Notes Slides.

Hu et al. (2005).

Luo (2007).

Rich et al. (1997).

Luo et. al (2011).

Zhuo et al. (2019), evidence that docodonts may have lactated.

Lecture 4A - Mammalian Diversity: Metatherians. Notes Slides.

Duchene et al. (2018). A recent phylogenomic paper on metatheria.

Lecture 4B - Mammalian Diversity: Eutherians. Notes Slides

Esselstyn et al (2017). A good recent paper on eutherian phylogenomics.

Lecture 5 - The Disparity in Diversity between Marsupials and Placentals. Notes Slides.

Lillegraven et al. (1987). A seminal paper on the importance of the trophoblast to eutherian diversity.

Cooper & Steppan (2010). A quantitative test of the constraints on Metatherian front limbs.

Lavialle et al. (2013). Evidence that the formation of the sycytio-trophoblast is mediated by genes acquired from endogenous retrovirus.

Cornelis et al. (2015). Evidence of syncytin genes in Monodelphis.

Kloc et al. (2021). A recent review of the roles and origins of syncitin genes, and sequence comparison with the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

Imakawa et al. (2022). A recent review of the acquisition and importance of endogenous retroviral elements (including syncytins) in placental mammals.

Lecture 6 - Dentition. Notes Slides.

Mu et al. (2021). The authors demonstrate selection on 13 genes associated with dental adaptations to different dietary specializations.


Lecture 7 - Species Concepts. Notes Slides.

Tempelton (1989). A classic papaer that discusses problems with the Biological Species Concept.

Hoisington-Lopez et al. (2012). A paper that discusses species delimitation in cases of allopatry using a local example (Urocitellus brunneus & U. endemicus).

Sullivan et al. (2014). A review of rampant mtDNA introgression in chipmunks (Tamias).

Zachos (2018). A recent paper that addresses the problems of applying a strict Phylogenetic Species Concept to mammals.

Lecture 8 - Evolution of Ear Ossicles. Notes Slides.

Anthwal et al. (2017). An examination of the genes involved in deterioration of Meckel's cartilage.

Meng et al. (2011). Documents migration of malleus and incus off the jaw in a triconodont.

Takechi & Kuratani (2010). A good review of the evolution of mammalian ear ossicles and homologies across vertebrates.


Lecture 9 - Locomotion I: Flight. Notes Slides.

O'Mara et al. (2021) A recent paper that uses emerging GPS tracking to examine features of flight in Tadarida.

Lecture 10 - Locomotion II: Functional Morhpology. Notes Slides.


Lecture 11 - Locomotion III: Types of Locomotion. Notes Slides.

Jackson et al. (2022)This paper describes two new species of Eupetaurus.

Domning (2001). This paper describes Pezosiren, a transitional sirenian.

Rybczynski et al. (2009). This paper describes Puijila, a transitional pinniped carnivoran.

Berta & Ray (1990). This is an analysis of swimming in Enaliarctos, another transitional pinniped.

Patterson et al. (2020). The authors conduct phylogenetic analyses of extinct and extant pinnipeds, including transitional fossils.

Huelsmann et al. (2019). A paper describing gene loss associated with the evolution of aquatic adaptations in whales.

Lecture 12 - Reproduction I - General Types of Placentae. Notes Slides.

Lecture 13 - Reproduction II - Morphology, Cycles, and Life History. Notes Slides.

Schultz et al. (2016). This paper infers that the baculum has evolved multiple times in eutherians.

Fisher et al. (2013). The authors demonstrate that suicidal reproduction in Antechinus is due to high levels of stress caused by intense sperm competition.

Thom et al. (2004). Pylogenetic comparative analysis of delayed implantation in Carnivora, with special attention to Mustelids.

Holt & Fazeli (2016). A review of sperm storage in vertebrates.

Lecture 14 - Social Behavior. Notes Slides.

Carter & Wilkinson (2013). A study of reciprocal altruism in Desmodus rotundus.

Silk (2013). A brief discussion of the rarity of reciprocal altruism.

Sherman (1981). One of the early papers assessing the role of kin selection in Urocitellus beldingi alarm calling.

Elbroch & Quigley (2016). An examination of the Resource Dispersion Hypothesis in Puma concolor.

Peingier et al. (2019). A recent examination of the Resource Dispersion Hypothesis in Rangifer tarandus.

Prox & Farine (2020). A recent paper proposing eight dimensions of social behavior among mammals.

Mateo (2017). A study of kin recognition in Urocitellus beldingi.

Lecture 15 - Arvicoline Population Cycles. Notes Slides.

Krebs et al. (2018). An examination of a specialist predator (Lynx canadensis) driving population cycles in snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus).

Batzli & Patelka (1971). An early paper on the Food Hypothesis.

Cole & Batzli (1978). An early paper demonstrating that food supplementation doesn't prevent a crash.

Graham & Lambin (2002). A predator-exclusion study.

Krebs (1978). An excellent discussion of the Chitty hypothesis.

Lidicker (1988). A multifactorial explanation.

Hestebeck (1982). Another multifactorial explanation.

Oli (2019). A recent review of decades of research on arvicoline population dynamics.

Lecture 16 - Genetic Diversity and Population Viability. Notes Slides.

Sanvito et al. (2013). A discussion of northern elephant seal conservation genetics.

Abadia-Cardoso et al (2017). An examination of genetic diversity across northern elephant seals.

Terrell et al. (2016). A discussion of cheetah conservation genetics and inbreeding depression.

Schmidt-Kuntzel et al. (2018). An excellent review of the history of genetic studies on cheetahs.

Miller et al. (2011). Documentation of low diversity in pre-disease populations of Tasmanian devils.

Epstein et al. (2016). The evolution of resistance from standing genetic variation in Tasmanian devils.

Ralls et al. (1988). A survey of the effect of inbreeding in several mammalian species.

Huisman et al. (2016). A demonstration of the effect of inbreeding on ability to raise offspring in Cervus elephas.

Gibson (2021). A recent discussion of the relationship between genetic diversity and susceptibility to disease.

Frankham (2015). A meta-analysis of the effect of genetic rescue.

Reed (2010). A paper questioning the link between genetic diversity and population viability.

Naciri-Graven & Goudet (2003). This paper examines the conversion of epistatic variance to additive genetic variance during population bottlenecks.

Mularo et al. (2022). This paper examines the conversion of dominance variance to additive genetic variance during a population bottlenecks.

Garcia-Dorado (2015). An examination of genetic load and the effect of its being purged via inbreeding.

Khan et al. (2021). These authors catch the purging of genetic load in the act in small inbred populations of Indian tigers.

Purchase et al. (2007). An examination of conservation threats facing cheetahs.

Teixeira and Huber (2021). A paper that questions the importance of genetic diversity to conservation.

DeWoody et al. (2021). A response to Teixiera and Huber (2021).

Lecture 17 - Thermoregulation and Water Balance. Notes Slides.

Zhao et al. (2014). An examination of the potential plasticity of Thermal Neutral Zones in hamsters.

Liao et al. (2022). A demonstration that the TNZ of hamsters can only acclimatize by expanding to include cooler temperatures.

Mitchell and Lust (2008). A demonstration of brain cooling and the heat exchange in rete mirabile of cetartiodactyls.

Kakumanu et al. (2019). A demonstration that vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) produce vasodilators in saliva.

Links to Recorded Lectures

Tuesday, 8/22.

Thursday, 8/24.

Tuesday, 8/29.

Thursday, 8/31.

Tuesday, 9/5.

Thursday, 9/7.

Tuesday, 9/12.

Thursday. 9/14.

Thursday, 9/21.

Tuesday, 9/26.

Thursday, 9/28.

Tuesday, 10/3.

Thursday, 10/4

Tuesday, 10/10.

Thursday, 10/12.

Tuesday, 10/17.

Tuesday, 10/24.

Thursday, 10/26.

Tuesday, 10/31.

Thursday, 11/2.

Tuesday, 11/7.

Tuesday, 11/14.

Tuesday, 11/28.

Thursday, 11/30.

Tuesday, 12/5.

Thursday, 12/7.

Lab Handouts

Lab 1 - Mammalian Anatomy - PDF of Slides.

Lab 2 - Monotremes, Marsupials, Afrotheria, Xenarthra, and Insectivora (Eulipotyphla) - PDF of Slides.

Lab 3 - Chiroptera - PDF of Slides.

Lab 4 - Rodents I: Hystricomorpha and Sciuromorpha - PDF of Slides

Study Guide for Lab Midterm.

Midterm Specimen Checklist.

Lab 5 - Rodents II: Castorimorpha and Myomorpha - PDF of Slides.

Lab 6 - Lagomorpha, Scandentia, and Primates - PDF of Slides.

Lab 7 - Carnivora - PDF of Slides.

Lab 8 - Cetartiodactyla & Perissodactyla - PDF of Slides.

Specimen list for final Lab Practical.

Old Exams

Old Exam 1.

Old Exam 2.

Old Exam 3.

Take-home Lecture Final.