The phylogeny of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens)

Evidence from the forelimb

Rebecca E Fisher, Brent Adrian, Michael Barton, Jennifer Holmgren, Samuel Y. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Within the order Carnivora, the phylogeny of the red panda (. Ailurus fulgens) is contentious, with morphological and molecular studies supporting a wide range of possible relationships, including close ties to procyonids, ursids, mustelids and mephitids. This study provides additional morphological data, including muscle maps, for the forelimb of Ailurus, based on the dissection of four cadavers from the National Zoological Park, Washington, DC, USA. The red panda forelimb is characterized by a number of primitive features, including the lack of m. rhomboideus profundus, a humeral insertion for m. cleidobrachialis, the presence of mm. brachioradialis, articularis humeri and coracobrachialis, a single muscle belly for m. extensor digitorum lateralis with tendons to digits III-V, four mm. lumbricales, and the presence of mm. flexor digitorum brevis manus, adductores digiti I, II and V, and abductor digiti I and V. Red pandas resemble Ailuropoda, mustelids and some procyonids in possessing a soft tissue origin of m. flexor digitorum superficialis. In addition, red pandas are similar to ursids and procyonids in having a variable presence of m. biceps brachii caput breve. Furthermore, Ailurus and some ursids lack m. rhomboideus capitis. The forelimb muscle maps from this study represent a valuable resource for analyzing the functional anatomy of fossil ailurids and some notes on the Miocene ailurid, Simocyon batalleri, are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-635
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Volume215
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Fingerprint

Ailuridae
Forelimb
Phylogeny
forelimbs
mustelid
phylogeny
muscle
Muscles
Ailurus
Carnivora
Ursidae
muscles
dissection
Humerus
Ailuropoda
Cadaver
anatomy
Tendons
Dissection
Anatomy

Keywords

  • Carnivore evolution
  • Forelimb
  • Myology
  • Red panda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

The phylogeny of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) : Evidence from the forelimb. / Fisher, Rebecca E; Adrian, Brent; Barton, Michael; Holmgren, Jennifer; Tang, Samuel Y.

In: Journal of Anatomy, Vol. 215, No. 6, 12.2009, p. 611-635.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fisher, Rebecca E ; Adrian, Brent ; Barton, Michael ; Holmgren, Jennifer ; Tang, Samuel Y. / The phylogeny of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) : Evidence from the forelimb. In: Journal of Anatomy. 2009 ; Vol. 215, No. 6. pp. 611-635.
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