Two Kinds of Varmints: The Baraminology of Raccoons (Procyon lotor) and Opossums (Didelphis virginiana)

T C Wood

Abstract


The baraminology of two common North American mammals, the raccoon (Procyon lotor, family Procyonidae) and opossum (Didelphis virginiana, family Didelphidae), is explored using statistical baraminology.  Based on a single character matrix of 40 craniodental characters, baraminic distance correlation (BDC) and multidimensional scaling (MDS) analyses could not conclusively identify the limits of the procyonid baramin.  In contrast, three character matrices containing didelphids support the conclusion that Didelphidae is a holobaramin.  These studies highlight the importance of using multiple datasets for statistical baraminology studies.

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