, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 622-624

Karyological conservatism in South American camelids

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Llama, guanaco, vicuna and alpaca show similar diploid numbers, gross chromosomal morphology and homologous G, C and NOR banding patterns. This chromosomal homology is also found in the two-humped camel and very probably in the one-humped camel as well. These findings indicate that the camelid karyotype can probably be traced back to early Miocene times. This probably represents the most extreme case of chromosomal conservatism among mammals.

This work was supported by grants from the Organization of American States and SECYT.
Acknowledgments. We wish to thank Dr. M. Pizarro for his assistance and encouragement.