Donnerstag, 23 September 2021 09:35


Ancient origin and evolution of the Indian wolf: Evidence from mitochondrial DNA typing of wolves from Trans-Himalayan region and Peninsular India.

Genome Biology 4(6). DOI:10.1186/gb-2003-4-6-p6


The two wolf types found in India are represented by two isolated populations and believed to be two sub-species of Canis lupus. One of these wolf, locally called Himalayan wolf (HW) or Tibetan wolf, is found only in the upper Trans-Himalayan region from Himachal Pradesh to Leh in Kasmir and is considered to be C. lupus chanco. The other relatively larger population is of Indian Gray wolf (GW) that is found in the peninsular India and considered to be C. lupus pallipes. Both these wolves are accorded endangered species status under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act. In 1998 for the first time in India, we initiated molecular characterization studies to understand their genetic structure and taxonomic status. Since then, we have analyzed the genetic variability in 18 of the total of 21 HW samples available in Zoological parks along with representative samples of GW, wild dogs and jackals. Our study of mitochondrial DNA diversity across three different taxonomically informative domains i.e., cytochrome-B gene, 16S rDNA and hypervariable d-loop control region revealed HW to be genetically distinct from the GW as well as from all other wolves of the world, including C. lupus chanco from China. Most importantly, d-loop haplotypic diversity revealed both HW and GW from India to be significantly diverse from other wolf populations globally and showed that these represent the most ancient lineages among them. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the Indian wolves as two independent lineages in a clade distinct and basal to the clade of all wolves from outside of India. Conservative estimate of evolutionary time-span suggests more than one million years of separation and independent evolution of HW and GW. We hypothesize that Indian wolves represent a post-jackal pre-wolf ancestral radiation that migrated to India about 1-2 mya and underwent independent evolution without contamination from other wolf like canids. The study thus, suggests that Indian subcontinent had been one major center of origin and diversification of the wolf and related canids. Further, the significant degree of genetic differentiation of HW from GW and of these two from other wolves, suggest the interesting possibility of them to be new wolf species/subspecies in evolution that may need to be described possibly as C. himalayaensis and C. indica (or as C. lupus himalyaensis and C. lupus indica), respectively. Thus for the first time, the study reveals new ancient wolf lineages in India and also highlights the need to revisit the origin, evolution and dispersion of wolf populations in Asia and elsewhere. Simultaneously, it increases the conservation importance of Indian wolves warranting urgent measures for their effective protection and management, especially of the small HW population that at present is not even recognized in the canid Red List.


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Montag, 06 September 2021 08:57

ELLIOTT, C. L. & FLINDERS, J. T. (1991)

Spermophilus columbianus.

Mammalian Species 372: 1–9. Published 12 April 1991 by The American Society of Mammalogists.

Der Artikel folgt dem üblichen Schema der Mammalian Species-Datenblätter mit folgenden Abschnitten:
Context and Content; Diagnosis; General Characters; Distribution; Form and Function; Ontogeny and Reproduction; Ecology; Behavior; Literature.


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Sonntag, 05 September 2021 16:02

MICHENER, G. R. & KOEPPL, J. W. (1985)

Spermophilus richardsonii.

MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 243, pp. 1-8, 3 figures. Published 13 December 1985 by The American Society of Mammalogists.

Der Artikel folgt dem üblichen Schema der Mammalian Species-Datenblätter mit folgenden Abschnitten:
Context and Content; Diagnosis; General Characters; Distribution; Form and Function; Ontogeny and Reproduction; Ecology; Behavior; Literature.


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Sonntag, 05 September 2021 08:24

BARTELS, M. A. & THOMPSON, D. P. (1993)

Spermophilus lateralis.

MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 440, pp. 1-8, 3 figures. Published 23 April 1993 by The American Society of Mammalogists.

Der Artikel folgt dem üblichen Schema der Mammalian Species-Datenblätter mit folgenden Abschnitten:
Context and Content; Diagnosis; General Characters; Distribution; Form and Function; Ontogeny and Reproduction; Ecology; Behavior; Literature.


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Marmota caligata (Rodentia: Sciuridae).

Mammalian Species 43 (884):155-171.


Marmota caligata (Eschscholtz, 1829), a large ground squirrel commonly called the hoary marmot, is 1 of 15 species of extant marmots. It is distributed in western North America from Alaska and Canada south to Washington and Montana and is found at elevations ranging from sea level to 2,500 m . M . caligata prefers alpine and subalpine boulder piles and talus slopes surrounded by meadows. The species is listed as "Least Concern" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, although populations of Montague Island and Glacier Bay are of conservation concern by the State of Alaska.


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Freitag, 03 September 2021 08:15

BEST, T. L. (1995)

Sciurus variegatoides.

Mammalian Species 500: 1–6,

Der Artikel folgt dem üblichen Schema der "Mammalian Species" Datenblätter mit folgenden Abschnitten:
Context and Content; Diagnosis; General Characters; Distribution; Form and Function; Ontogeny and Reproduction; Ecology; Behavior; Literature.

Es wird vermutet, dass S. variegatoides, S. colliaei und S. yucatanensis eine einzige Art seien:
Sciurus variegatoides, S. colliaei, and S. yucatanensis may be fragmented segments of one species whose geographic range once extended along the Pacific lowlands and uplands from Sonora to southern Guatemala, across eastern Guatemala into the Yucatan Peninsula, and throughout Central America to Panama.


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Mittwoch, 28 Juli 2021 16:12

HICK, U. (1973)

Wir sind umgezogen.

Z. Kölner Zoo 16 (4): 127-145.


Der Beginn des Aufbaues der Kölner Lemuren-Sammlung fällt in das Frühjahr 1965. Die große Halle, die Verwaltungsgebäude und Insektarium verbindet, wurde als Provisorium für die Unterbringung der Tiere eingerichtet. Im Lauf von achteinhalb Jahren vergrößerte sich der Bestand erheblich. Zu den vom Aussterben bedrohten Lemuren kamen noch einige Exemplare der ebenfalls bedrohten Languren und Sakiaffen dazu. Durch den Bau des neuen "Lemurenhauses" konnten die Tiere die ehemalige "Lemurenstation" verlassen und das neue Haus beziehen. Die Sammlung besteht aus 123 Tieren in 26 Arten bzw. Unterarten. Jede Art bzw. Unterart wird in Foto und Text vorgestellt. Erfahrungen in der Haltung und Beobachtungen der Verhaltensweisen werden angefügt. Wir haben es uns zur Aufgabe gemacht, die bedrohten Madagaskar-Lemuren, wenn möglich, vor dem Artentod zu bewahren. Von unseren 95 Lemuren sind 46 im Kölner Zoo geboren und aufgewachsen.


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A Taxonomic Reassessment of Cacajao melanocephalus Humboldt (1811), with the Description of Two New Species.

International Journal of Primatology 29: 723–741.



The author of the last published systematic review of Cacajao recognized 2 subspecies of black-headed uakaris (black uakaris): Cacajao melanocephalus melanocephalus and C. m. ouakary. As a result of a series of black uakari surveys and collecting expeditions to several tributaries of the Rio Negro and of morphological and molecular analyses of museum specimens and specimens we collected during field expeditions, we reassess their taxonomy. We describe a newly discovered species of black uakari from the Rio Aracá, a left bank tributary of the Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil. We also show that ouakary is a junior synonym of melanocephalus and provide a new name and a new description for Cacajao melanocephalus melanocephalus in the Pico da Neblina region of Brazil and Venezuela. Based on genetic, morphological, and ecological evidence, we propose that there are 3 species of black uakaris. We named the Rio Aracá species Cacajao ayresi sp. nov. (Ayres uakari) in honor of the late José Márcio Ayres, a pioneer in uakari research and conservation. We named the Neblina black uakari Cacajao hosomi, after the Yanomami word for uakaris. The new taxonomic arrangement provided here implies that the conservation status of black uakaris needs to be reassessed.


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Phylogeographic Patterns in Africa and High Resolution Delineation of Genetic Clades in the Lion (Panthera leo).

Sci Rep 6, 30807 (2016).


Comparative phylogeography of African savannah mammals shows a congruent pattern in which populations in West/Central Africa are distinct from populations in East/Southern Africa. However, for the lion, all African populations are currently classified as a single subspecies (Panthera leo leo), while the only remaining population in Asia is considered to be distinct (Panthera leo persica). This distinction is disputed both by morphological and genetic data. In this study we introduce the lion as a model for African phylogeography. Analyses of mtDNA sequences reveal six supported clades and a strongly supported ancestral dichotomy with northern populations (West Africa, Central Africa, North Africa/Asia) on one branch and southern populations (North East Africa, East/Southern Africa and South West Africa) on the other. We review taxonomies and phylogenies of other large savannah mammals, illustrating that similar clades are found in other species. The described phylogeographic pattern is considered in relation to large scale environmental changes in Africa over the past 300,000 years, attributable to climate. Refugial areas, predicted by climate envelope models, further confirm the observed pattern. We support the revision of current lion taxonomy, as recognition of a northern and a southern subspecies is more parsimonious with the evolutionary history of the lion.


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Freitag, 28 Mai 2021 15:53

HECK, L. (1952)

Über den Auerochsen und seine Rückzüchtung.

Jahrbuch des Nassauischen Vereins für Naturkunde 90:107-124

Volltext (PDF)

Der Ur, Auer oder Auerochs (Bos primigenius L.) gehört zu den erst in den letzten Jahrhunderten, und zwar durch menschliche Einwirkung auf der Erde ausgestorbenen großen freilebenden Säugetierarten und hielt sich  bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters. Nach den Überlieferungen wurde die letzte Auerkuh in diesem Raum im Jahre 1627 in Jaktorowo, einem heute verschwundenen Waldgebiet bei Warschau, erlegt. Damit war eine einst recht häufige Säugetierart ausgerottet, die für die Entwicklung des Menschen von größter Bedeutung war, denn die von diesem Wildtier abstammenden Hausrinder haben zweifellos unsere menschliche Kultur bis heute beeinflußt.

Schon vor mehr als 25 Jahren entstand bei meinem Bruder HEINZ HECK und mir die Frage, ob es möglich wäre, aus heute lebenden Rinderrassen den Auerochsen wieder  neu zu züchten....


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© Peter Dollinger, Zoo Office Bern hyperworx