Evolution and systematics

The Muridae family contains 25% of all living mammals, and it appeared in the fossil record during the Upper Miocene (10-15 million years ago [mya]). Recent molecular evidence has supported the belief that the family radiated quickly and suddenly, which, as a result, has caused a lack of consensus in the scientific community about the evolution of the family and its subfamilies. One relationship to be addressed in murine systematics is the difference between rats and mice. In general, animals that have a body length of less than 5.1-5.9 in (13-15 cm) are called mice, and rats are those that are larger. Still, rats and mice diverged about 12 mya, and scientists believe that murines evolved from rodents in Eurasia.

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