Despite the biological and economic importance of the Cetartiodactyla, the phylogeny of this clade remains controversial. Using the supertree approach of matrix representation with parsimony, we present the first phylogeny to include all 290 extant species of the Cetacea (whales and dolphins) and Artiodactyla (even-toed hoofed mammals). At the family-level, the supertree is fully resolved. For example, the relationships among the Ruminantia appear as (((Cervidae, Moschidae) Bovidae) (Giraffidae, Antilocapridae) Tragulidae). However, due to either lack of phylogenetic study or contradictory information, polytomies occur within the clades Sus, Muntiacus, Cervus, Delphinidae, Ziphiidae and Bovidae. Complete species-level phylogenies are necessary for both illustrating and analysing biological, geographical and ecological patterns in an evolutionary framework. The present species-level tree of the Cetartiodactyla provides the first opportunity to examine comparative hypotheses across entirely aquatic and terrestrial species within a single mammalian order.
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