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Re: Molecular felids



> <A second problem concerns the ocelot, or neotropical lineage. Johnson
> et al. state that their data suggests that the six or so species of this
> South American lineage radiated 8.0 to 2.9 million years ago, before the 
> Isthmus of Panama formed. [...]>

That's the divergence of the ocelot lineage from its sister-group, not the 
diversification of the ocelot lineage.

Besides, there is an SVP meeting abstract about a 9 Ma old tapir from 
northern South America. Apparently tapirs -- and who knows what else -- 
got into South America but were then incapable of leaving the rainforest 
to enter the pampas where all the fossilization potential is. (If this 
means that the isthmus is that old, it eliminates the need to postulate 
overseas dispersal for the procyonids -- which got out of the rainforest.)

> <[...] perhaps the
> time periods mentioned in the manuscript are suspect as well?>

I haven't found their calibration method...

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