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Deomyinae facts for kids

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Temporal range: Early Pliocene - Recent
Acomys cahirinus
Scientific classification

Thomas, 1888


The subfamily Deomyinae consists of four genera of mouse-like rodents. These were placed in the subfamilies Murinae and Dendromurinae until very recently. They are sometimes called Acomyinae, particularly in references that predate the discovery that the link rat, Deomys ferugineus, is part of the clade. Deomyinae is the older and more appropriate name.

Deomyines share no morphological characteristics that can be used to separate them from other muroids. Subtle aspects of the third upper molar have been suggested, though. This subfamily is united solely on the basis of shared genetic mutations. These conclusions have demonstrated good statistical support using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, as well as DNA-DNA hybridization.

Because of the lack of physical characteristics that supportthis group, it is very possible that the subfamily as it is currently recognized could grow bigger. Many of the genera currently placed in Murinae or Dendromurinae have never been included in a molecular phylogenetic analysis. There are potential surprises awaiting when they are.

All genera are found in Africa, suggesting the deomyines may have originated there. The spiny mice, Acomys spp. are also found in Asia.

There are currently 4 genera and 36 species included in the Deomyinae.

List of Genera

  • Subfamily Deomyinae
    • Genus Acomys - spiny mice
    • Genus Deomys - link rat
    • Genus Lophuromys - brush-furred mice
    • Genus Uranomys - Rudd's mouse
  • Chevret, P., C. Denys, J.-J. Jaeger, J. Michaux, AND F. M. Catzeflis. 1993. Molecular evidence that the spiny mouse (Acomys) is more closely related to gerbils (Gerbillinae) than to the true mice (Murinae). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 90:3433-3436.
  • Jansa, S. A. and M. Weksler. Phylogeny of muroid rodents: relationships within and among major lineages as determined by IRBP gene sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 31:256-276.
  • Michaux, J., A. Reyes, and F. Catzeflis. 2001. Evolutionary history of the most speciose mammals: molecular phylogeny of muroid rodents. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 17:280-293.
  • Steppan, S. J., R. A. Adkins, and J. Anderson. 2004. Phylogeny and divergence date estimates of rapid radiations in muroid rodents based on multiple nuclear genes. Systematic Biology, 53:533-553.
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