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Methods: Fossil Loranthaceae pollen from the Eocene and Oligocene are analysed and documented using scanning-electron microscopy.These fossils were associated with molecular-defined clades and used as minimum age constraints for Bayesian node dating using different topological scenarios.In the present study, we investigated the validity of these species and inferred their phylogenetic relationships, divergence times, and biogeographic patterns based on the molecular analysis of a concatenated sequence of 11 mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers, derived from 13 specimens.We ran Maximum Likelihood (ML) and Bayesian Inference (BI) analyses, and estimated genetic distances, divergence times. Our results suggest that at about twelve million years ago, the ancestor of all titi monkeys inhabited a wide area that extended from the Amazon forest to the South of the Atlantic forest.Improving our understanding of molecular evolution will be an important next step towards evaluating and improving these methods.600 species, and have been circumscribed into three subfamilies, Lilioideae, Calochortoideae and Streptopoideae.

The current classifications based on non-phylogenetic comparisons of morphology place the small owls of Asia into three genera, namely, Athene, Glaucidium, and Heteroglaux. blewitti has been alternatively hypothesized to belong within Athene, Glaucidium, or its own monotypic genus Het-eroglaux.

"But for 20 years or so the current dominant theory has suggested that their diversification happened more than 80 million years ago, well before dinosaurs became extinct.

"It now appears that the major diversification of placental mammals closely followed the extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago, an event that would have opened up ecological space for mammals to evolve into." Dr Phillips said that for molecular dating to work, scientists had to calibrate the rate of DNA evolution with fossils of known age.

"Fossil records have long indicated that the ancestors of many modern placental mammal groups can be traced back to the period immediately following the dinosaur extinction. "Mammals diversified only after dinosaur extinction left space: Molecular dating from DNA sequences challenges dominant scientific theory." Science Daily.

"But many scientists focused on DNA sequencing have brushed aside aspects of the fossil data, but when you minimise the potential biases in molecular dating you instead get a story that matches the fossil evidence." Dr Phillips is presenting these findings at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference this week. "Mammals diversified only after dinosaur extinction left space: Molecular dating from DNA sequences challenges dominant scientific theory." Science Daily.

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