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Arctocephalus

The genus Arctocephalus consists of eight of the nine species of fur seal.

Taxonomy[edit]

The number of species within the genus has been questioned, primarily based on limited molecular data. The issue is complicated because some of the species are able to produce fertile hybrids. A recent review recommended the retention of seven species, deprecating the New Zealand fur seals to a subspecies of the South American fur seal, while also questioning the status of the Guadalupe fur seal.[1] Other recent studies have indicated the genus may be paraphyletic.[2] In that case, all species (except for the Cape fur seal) will have to be split off into a separate genus,[1] for which the name Arctophoca has been suggested.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Berta, A. & Churchill, M. (2012). "Pinniped Taxonomy: evidence for species and subspecies". Mammal Review 42 (3): 207–234. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2907.2011.00193.x. 
  2. ^ Yonezawa, T., et al. (2009). "The monophyletic origin of sea lions and fur seals (Carnivora; Otariidae) in the Southern Hemisphere". Gene 441 (1-2): 89–99. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2009.01.022. PMID 19254754. 

Unreviewed

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