Robin M Beck

Robin M Beck
University of Salford · Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EER)

About

121
Publications
43,243
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3,580
Citations
Citations since 2016
62 Research Items
1576 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250300
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - December 2012
UNSW Sydney
January 2006 - present

Publications

Publications (121)
Article
Full-text available
There have been multiple published phylogenetic analyses of platyrrhine primates (New World monkeys) using both morphological and molecular data, but relatively few that have integrated both types of data into a total evidence approach. Here, we present phylogenetic analyses of recent and fossil platyrrhines, based on a total evidence data set of 4...
Article
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A new molecular phylogeny of a remarkable radiation of New Guinean and Australian rodents indicates multiple transitions between biomes and biogeographical regions within the group, and suggests that a key role was played by the geological history of New Guinea.
Article
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The current literature on marsupial phylogenetics includes numerous studies based on analyses of morphological data with limited sampling of Recent and fossil taxa, and many studies based on analyses of molecular data with dense sampling of Recent taxa, but few studies have combined both data types. Another dichotomy in the marsupial phylogenetic l...
Article
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Mitochondrial DNA remains a cornerstone for molecular ecology, especially for study species from which high‐quality tissue samples cannot be easily obtained. Methods using mitochondrial markers are usually reliant on reference databases, but these are often incomplete. Furthermore, available mitochondrial genomes often lack crucial metadata, such a...
Preprint
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4 Phylogenies with estimates of divergence times are essential for investigating many evolutionary 5 questions. In principle, "tip-dating" is arguably the most appropriate approach, with fossil and 6 extant taxa analyzed together in a single analysis, and topology and divergence times estimated 7 simultaneously. However, "node-dating" (as used in m...
Preprint
Full-text available
The current literature on marsupial phylogenetics includes numerous studies based on analyses of morphological data with relatively limited sampling of Recent and fossil taxa, and many studies based on analyses of molecular data that include a dense sampling of Recent taxa, but relatively few that combine both data types. Another dichotomy in the m...
Article
The oldest fossils referable to the marsupial order Peramelemorphia (which includes modern bandicoots and bilbies) stratigraphically date from the upper Oligocene of Australia. Here we describe new ancient peramelemorphian remains from the Etadunna, Namba and Wipajiri formations, which fill gaps in the documented evolutionary history of the clade s...
Article
Little is known about how the large brains of mammals are accommodated into the dazzling diversity of their skulls. It has been suggested that brain shape is influenced by relative brain size, that it evolves or develops according to extrinsic or intrinsic mechanical constraints, and that its shape can provide insights into its proportions and func...
Article
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The phylogenetic position of Gondwanatheria within Mammaliaformes has historically been controversial. The well-preserved skeleton of Adalatherium hui from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar offers a unique opportunity to address this issue, based on morphological data from the whole skeleton. Gondwanatheria were, until recently, known only from fra...
Preprint
Full-text available
Little is known about how the large brains of mammals are accommodated into the dazzling diversity of their skulls. It has been suggested that brain shape is influenced by relative brain size, that it evolves or develops according to extrinsic or intrinsic mechanical constraints, and that its shape can provide insights into its proportions and func...
Chapter
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The paleogeographic history of the Indian sub-continent is unique among Earth's landmasses. From being part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana for most of the Mesozoic, through a period of isolation as a drifting entity in the Late Cretaceous, to colliding with Asia near the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, the Indian subcontinent has been associate...
Article
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“Sparassocynids” are small, carnivorously-adapted marsupials known from the late Miocene and Pliocene of South America, thought to be relatives of living didelphid opossums but of otherwise uncertain phylogenetic relationships. Here, we describe a nearly complete juvenile skull of the “sparassocynid” Sparassocynus derivatus, from the Pliocene (~5–3...
Article
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We describe the partial cranium and skeleton of a new diprotodontian marsupial from the late Oligocene (~26–25 Ma) Namba Formation of South Australia. This is one of the oldest Australian marsupial fossils known from an associated skeleton and it reveals previously unsuspected morphological diversity within Vombatiformes, the clade that includes wo...
Article
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The estimation of the timing of major divergences in early mammal evolution is challenging owing to conflicting interpretations of key fossil taxa. One contentious group is Haramiyida, the earliest members of which are from the Late Triassic. Many phylogenetic analyses have placed haramiyi-dans in a clade with multituberculates within crown Mammali...
Article
Skeletal growth rates reconstructed from bone histology in extinct insular hippopotamids, elephants, bovids and sauropods have been used to infer dwarfism as a response to island conditions. Limited published records of osteocyte lacunae densities (Ot.Dn), a proxy for living osteocyte proliferation, have suggested a slower rate of bone metabolism i...
Conference Paper
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South America and Australia are the only major landmasses where the dominant faunivorous mammals for most of the Cenozoic were metatherians (marsupials and their fossil relatives), most notably microbiotherians, paucituberculatans, sparassodonts and didelphimorphians in South America, and peramelemorphians and dasyuromorphians (dasyurids and thylac...
Article
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Marsupials and their fossil relatives, which collectively comprise Metatheria, have been of scientific interest for centuries, with many aspects of their evolution and systematics subject to intense research and debate. Here, we review progress over the last 25 years, which has included the description of many new species (modern and fossil), and m...
Preprint
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The incorporation of stratigraphic data into phylogenetic analysis has a long history of debate, but is not currently standard practice for palaeontologists. Bayesian tip-dating (or morphological clock) phylogenetic methods have returned these arguments to the spotlight, but how tip-dating affects the recovery of evolutionary relationships has yet...
Article
Phylogenies of mammals based on morphological data continue to show several major areas of conflict with the current consensus view of their relationships, which is based largely on molecular data. This raises doubts as to whether current morphological character sets are able to accurately resolve mammal relationships. We tested this under a hypoth...
Preprint
Full-text available
Morphological phylogenies of mammals continue to show major conflicts with the robust molecular consensus view of their relationships. This raises doubts as to whether current morphological character sets are able to accurately resolve mammal relationships, particularly for fossil taxa for which, in most cases, molecular data is unlikely to ever be...
Article
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A new genus and species of fossil bat is described from New Zealand's only pre-Pleistocene Cenozoic terrestrial fauna, the early Miocene St Bathans Fauna of Central Otago, South Island. Bayesian total evidence phylogenetic analysis places this new Southern Hemisphere taxon among the burrowing bats (mystacinids) of New Zealand and Australia, althoug...
Article
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The skull of the polydolopimorphian marsupialiform Epidolops ameghinoi is described in detail for the first time, based on a single well-preserved cranium and associated left and right dentaries plus additional craniodental fragments, all from the early Eocene (53–50 million year old) Itaboraí fauna in southeastern Brazil. Notable craniodental feat...
Article
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Background The order Dasyuromorphia is a diverse radiation of faunivorous marsupials, comprising >80 modern species in Australia and New Guinea. It includes dasyurids, the numbat (the myrmecobiid Myrmecobius fasciatus) and the recently extinct thylacine (the thylacinid Thylacinus cyncocephalus). There is also a diverse fossil record of dasyuromorph...
Article
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We describe a near-complete, three-dimensionally preserved skeleton of a metatherian (relative of modern marsupials) from the middle Eocene (Lutetian: 44–43 million years ago) Lülük member of the Uzunçarşıdere Formation, central Turkey. With an estimated body mass of 3–4 kg, about the size of a domestic cat (Felis catus) or spotted quoll (Dasyurus...
Data
Comparative material of modern and fossil metatherians examined in this study. (DOCX)
Data
Assumed age ranges (in MYA) for fossil taxa included in phylogenetic analysis. (DOCX)
Data
Total evidence (morphological and molecular) character matrix for analysing phylogenetic relationships of metatherians using Bayesian undated and “tip-and-node dating” approaches. (NEX)
Data
Morphological character scores of Anatoliadelphys and Didelphodon for phylogenetic analysis. (DOCX)
Data
Morphological synapomorphies for all clades present in our undated and dated analyses, under both Accelerated Transformation (ACCTRAN) and Delayed Transformation (DELTRAN). (TXT)
Article
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Scientific Reports 6 : Article number: 26911 10.1038/srep26911 ; published online: 27 May 2016 ; updated: 07 September 2016 The original version of this Article contained the genus and species name of an unpublished taxon ‘Whollydooleya tomnpatrichorum’.
Article
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Whollydooleya tomnpatrichorum gen. et sp. nov. is a new, highly specialised hypercarnivorous dasyuromorphian from a new mid-Cenozoic limestone deposit southwest of the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in northwestern Queensland. Dental dimensions suggest it may have weighed at least twice as much as the living Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)....
Article
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The leaf-nosed bats in Hipposideridae and Rhinonycteridae currently have an Old World tropical to subtropical distribution, with a fossil record extending back to the middle Eocene of Europe. The Riversleigh World Heritage fossil site in northwestern Queensland constitutes a particularly rich archive of faunal diversity for Old World leaf-nosed bat...
Article
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A new specimen of the bizarrely specialised Malleodectes mirabilis from middle Miocene deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area provides the first and only information about the molar dentition of this strange group of extinct marsupials. Apart from striking autapomorphies such as the enormous P3, other dental features such as stylar cusp D...
Chapter
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I present a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of the phylogeny of Metatheria, focusing on recent studies that have presented algorithmic analyses of character matrices. I discuss the position of Metatheria within Mammalia, relationships among the various fossil metatherian groups currently known, and relationships within the metat...
Article
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Pian, R., Archer, M., Hand, S.J., Beck, R.M.D. and Cody, A. 2016. The upper dentition and relationships of the enigmatic Australian Cretaceous mammal Kollikodon ritchiei. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 74: 97–105. Mesozoic mammals from Australia are rare, so far only known from the Early Cretaceous, and most are poorly represented in terms of dentition...
Article
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Beck, R.M.D., Warburton, N.M., Archer, M., Hand, S.J. and Aplin, K.P. 2016. Going underground: postcranial morphology of the early Miocene marsupial mole Naraboryctes philcreaseri and the evolution of fossoriality in notoryctemorphians. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 74: 151–171. We present the first detailed descriptions of postcranial elements of the...
Chapter
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This chapter provides an evolutionary context to comparative research on monotremes and marsupials. It explains the evolutionary origins of the three mammalian clades in the mammalian (and pre-mammalian) from the ancient lineage of synapsids, summarizes their most obvious biological differences, and briefly the difference between the terms “Monotre...
Article
There is increasing evidence that early mammals evolved rapidly into a range of body forms and habitats, right under the noses of the dinosaurs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
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Lineage zones within nine contemporaneous mammalian lineages represented in the Cenozoic fossil vertebrate record from the Riversleigh World Heritage Area in northern Australia are used to resolve a series of faunal intervals from the Late Oligocene to Late Miocene. The results agree with previous interpretations of Cenozoic biostratigraphy, provid...
Article
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Analyses of a comprehensive morphological character matrix of mammals using 'relaxed' clock models (which simultaneously estimate topology, divergence dates and evolutionary rates), either alone or in combination with an 8.5 kb nuclear sequence dataset, retrieve implausibly ancient, Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous estimates for the initial diversifi...
Article
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Three new species of the macropodoid genus Hypsiprymnodon are described from early to middle Miocene fossil deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland. A phylogenetic analysis of macropodoid relationships that includes these new taxa is presented. Monophyly of Macropodinae + Sthenurinae is recovered, as is a clade comp...
Article
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We provide the first detailed description of the oste-ology of the enigmatic Oligo-Miocene Australian metatherian Yalkaparidon. This taxon exhibits a number of unusual craniodental apomorphies but appears to be plesiomorphic with-in Metatheria in retaining four molars, rather than three as previously reported. We demonstrate that the only known sku...
Article
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Two new late Oligocene representatives of the marsupial order Peramelemorphia (bandicoots and bilbies) from the Etadunna Formation of South Australia are described here. Bulungu muirheadae sp. nov., from Zone B (Ditjimanka Local Fauna [LF]), is rep-resented by several dentaries and isolated upper and lower molars. Bulungu campbelli sp. nov., from Z...
Article
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We describe Bulungu palara gen. et sp. nov., a new fossil peramelemorphian (bandicoot), based on a single well-preserved skull and additional dental specimens from Late Oligocene toMiddleMiocene (Faunal Zones A–C) limestone deposits at the Riversleigh World Heritage Property, Queensland, and two dental specimens from the Early–Middle Miocene Kutjam...
Article
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I describe Archaeonothos henkgodthelpi gen. et. sp. nov., a small (estimated body mass ∼40–80 g) tribosphenic metatherian from the early Eocene Tingamarra Fauna of southeastern Queensland, Australia. This taxon, known only from a single isolated upper molar (M2 or M3) is characterised by a very distinctive combination of dental features that, colle...
Article
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The early Miocene mammal Necrolestes patagonensis from Patagonia, Argentina, was described in 1891 as the only known extinct placental "insectivore" from South America (SA). Since then, and despite the discovery of additional well-preserved material, the systematic status of Necrolestes has remained in flux, with earlier studies leaning toward plac...
Article
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Recent molecular data strongly support the monophyly of all extant Australian and New Guinean marsupials (Eomarsupialia) to the exclusion of extant South American marsupials. This, together with available geological and fossil evidence, has been used to argue that the presence of marsupials in Australia is simply the result of a single dispersal ev...
Article
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The vast majority of Mesozoic and early Cenozoic metatherian mammals (extinct relatives of modern marsupials) are known only from partial jaws or isolated teeth, which give insight into their probable diets and phylogenetic relationships but little else. The few skulls known are generally crushed, incomplete or both, and associated postcranial mate...
Article
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Article
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Fossils of a marsupial mole (Marsupialia, Notoryctemorphia, Notoryctidae) are described from early Miocene deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, northwestern Queensland, Australia. These represent the first unequivocal fossil record of the order Notoryctemorphia, the two living species of which are among the world's most specialized and...
Article
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We describe Galadi speciosus, gen. et sp nov., the second peramelemorphian (Yarala burchfieldi being the first) to be described from Oligo-Miocene deposits of Riversleigh World Heritage Property, northwestern Queensland. G. speciosus is represented by relatively complete craniodental material, including an exceptionally well-preserved skull. This t...
Article
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Partial crania of two fossil species of koala (family Phascolarctidae) from Oligo-Miocene deposits in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area, one referable to Litokoala kutjamarpensis and another to Nimiokoala greystanesi, are described. Comparison with the extant koala Phascolarctos cinereus and other diprotodontian marsupials reveals a high degree o...
Article
A new marsupial from the early Eocene Tingamarra Local Fauna of southeastern Queensland, Australia, is named and referred to ChulpasiaCrochet and Sigé, 1993, a genus otherwise known from early Tertiary deposits of Peru. This taxon, Chulpasia jimthorselli nov. sp., differs in upper molar morphology only in minor details from the Peruvian type specie...
Article
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New Zealand's lesser short-tailed bat Mystacina tuberculata is one of only two of c.1100 extant bat species to use a true walking gait when manoeuvrin