Molecular Phylogenetics of the New-World Crocodylia
Contribution to Book
During the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, there has been a revolution in evolutionary biology. Traditional methods that had been applied to understanding relationships and natural history for hundreds of years have been supplemented (and sometimes replaced) by biochemical and molecular techniques that now allow us to examine the entire genomes of non-model organisms. Herein we review the use of these new technologies as they apply to crocodylians in general and specifically to the New-World members of the Alligatoridae and Crocodylidae. While generally concordant with traditional analyses, in some cases they have permitted cryptic species to be recognized. In addition, they have allowed crocodylian biologists to detect hybridization events between species, both in captivity and in the wild, that would not have been possible before their use. Hybridization may lead to the formation of new species, but it may also allow a common species to “swamp out” a rarer one. Because there appears to be little hybrid dysgenesis between many of the potential hybridizing forms, hybridization is potentially a serious problem for several New-World species.
Densmore, L. D., III, & Hrbek, T. (2021). Molecular phylogenetics of the new-world Crocodylia. In R. B. Zucoloto, P. S. Amavet, L. M. Verdade, & I. P. Farias (Eds.), Conservation genetics of New World crocodilians (pp. 79-94). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-56383-7_3
Conservation Genetics of New World Crocodilians