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Russian Journal of Theriology

New analysis of variability of cheek teeth in badgers (Carnivora, Mustelidae, Meles) // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.1 (for 2002). No.2: 133149 [in English].

Variation of cheek teeth in 661 specimens of Eurasian badgers was studied. Geographic distribution of tooth size and morphotypical characters was analyzed. Presence of two groups of badgers (western and eastern) regarded as allopatric species Meles meles and M. anakuma is confirmed. The small badger from south-western Norway is placed in a new subspecies M. meles milleri ssp. nov. Mosaic pattern of distribution of dental characters and different directions of specialization of cheek teeth in Meles meles and M. anakuma are established. It is assumed on the basis of paleontological material that both species originated from the Late Pliocene M. thorali , their divergence began in the early Pleistocene, and separation on species level occurred in the Middle Pleistocene. KEY WORDS. Meles , teeth, geographical variability, systematics, evolution, Eurasia.