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Geographical variation in squirrels of the genus Guerlinguetus (Rodentia: Sciuridae) in South America

Grant number: 20/02747-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2020
Effective date (End): October 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Taxonomy of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Alexandre Reis Percequillo
Grantee:Marcos Angelo Alves Filho
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):22/00170-2 - Soft tissues and internal skull morphology in South-American squirrels (genera Guerlinguetus, Hadrosciurus, Microsciurus and Simosciurus), BE.EP.IC


South American squirrels are extremely diverse animals, whether in morphological characteristics of each species or in its ecological niche. In spite of present themselves as unique organisms in the continent's biodiversity, countless aspects of these animals still lack information and new studies, such as their taxonomy. Recently, a new review was made to classify south American squirrels, relocating them within the Sciuridae family, which presents itself as one of the groups with greater biological diversity of small mammals. This family has about 290 species and 60 genus, including, among other rodents, arboreal suirrels, terrestrial squirrels and flying (gliders) squirrels, distributed in tropical and temperate regions around the entire planet, with the exception of Australia and Antarctica. Vivo and Carmignotto (2015) proposed a new taxonomic classification for South American squirrels, separating them into 19 species and 7 genus (belonging to the subfamilies Sciurinae and Sciurillinae), 18 species and 6 genus of the Sciurini tribe. Although well founded, this new classification considered only the morphological characteristics of each specimen, in addition to the authors emphasize the need for further studies involving genetic and morphometric aspects. Knowing the importance of morphometry in taxonomy, the current Scientific Initiation project proposes to analyze comparatively the body and cranial measures of squirrels of the genus Guerlinguetus and its geographic variation in South America, in order to ensure statistically the new classificatory hypothesis of Vivo and Carmignotto (2015) for this genus.

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