Genetic and Morphological Divergence Among Sympatric Canids
Journal of Heredity
Numerous studies have suggested that the extent of character divergence observed between two sympatric species reflects the intensity of competition for resources or space. However, the influence of time on divergence is often overlooked. We examined the relationship between time and character divergence in two groups of congeneric, sympatric canids on two continents: South American foxes and African jackals. Character divergence was assessed from measurements of body mass and dental and cranial shape. Divergence time was estimated from data on mitochondrial DNA restriction site polymorphisms. Our findings indicate that African jackals are morphologically similar despite having diverged more than 2 million years ago. By contrast, South American foxes differ substantially in both size and morphology after only 250,000 years of evolution. Thus, the lack of character divergence among the African Jackals cannot be explained as a result of very recent common ancestry.
Wayne, Robert K.; B. Van Valkenburgh; P. W. Kat; T. K. Fuller; W. E. Johnson; and Stephen J. O'Brien. 1989. "Genetic and Morphological Divergence Among Sympatric Canids." Journal of Heredity 80, (6): 447-454. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cnso_bio_facarticles/146