The chromosome banding patterns of the domestic rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, the brush rabbit, Sylvilagus bachmani, and the snowshoe hare, Lepus americanus, are nearly identical except for minor differences in the amount of constitutive heterochromatin present. The major mechanisms of chromosome evolution in leporid lagomorphs are centric fusion and addition of heterochromatin. The G- and C-banding patterns of the pika, Ochotona princeps, revealed little easily recognized structural homology with the leporid species. Several tentative banding pattern matches were found for segments of some chromosomes of Ochotona, indicating that tandem fusions may have been responsible for structural modification of the early lagomorph genome. Chromosome evolution in the lagomorphs and the use of chromosomal data in studies of mammalian systematics are discussed.

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