Metrics details. Adaptive radiation, the evolution of ecological and phenotypic diversity from a common ancestor, is a central concept in evolutionary biology and characterizes the evolutionary histories of many groups of organisms. One such group is the Mustelidae, the most species-rich family within the mammalian order Carnivora, encompassing 59 species classified into 22 genera. Extant mustelids display extensive ecomorphological diversity, with different lineages having evolved into an array of adaptive zones, from fossorial badgers to semi-aquatic otters. Mustelids are also widely distributed, with multiple genera found on different continents. As with other groups that have undergone adaptive radiation, resolving the phylogenetic history of mustelids presents a number of challenges because ecomorphological convergence may potentially confound morphologically based phylogenetic inferences, and because adaptive radiations often include one or more periods of rapid cladogenesis that require a large amount of data to resolve.
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The African striped weasel Poecilogale albinucha , the lone member of its genus , is a small, black and white weasel native to sub-Saharan Africa. The African striped weasel is one of the smallest mammalian carnivores in Africa , and has an elongated body and short legs. The fur is mostly black, with four white to pale yellowish bands running down the back, a white patch on the top of the head, and a white tail. The head is elongated, with small eyes, a short, broad snout, and short ears. The carnassial teeth are short, and the canine teeth long.
The Sahara Desert has a surface area of approximately 3, , square miles 8. Many people believe it is the largest desert found on the planet, however, it is only the largest when compared to other hot deserts. In reality, it is actually the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic, which are both classified as cold arctic deserts. On the western side of the Sahara desert, you will find the Atlantic Ocean and in the north you will find the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlas mountains. In the south, the desert ends at the Sahel and in the east it is bordered by the Red Sea.
Relict tropical fauna of the northern Sahara include tropical catfish and chromides found at Biskra , Algeria , and in isolated oases of the Sahara; cobras and pygmy crocodiles may still exist in remote drainage basins of the Tibesti Mountains. More subtle has been the progressive loss of well-adapted, more mobile species to the advanced firearms and habitat destruction of humans. The last addax in the northern Sahara was killed in the early s; serious depletion of this antelope has also occurred on the southern margins and in the central massifs.