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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Dienstag, 25 Mai 2021 08:35

LINNÉ, Carl von (1735-1768)

Systema Naturae.

Volltext (Band 1) der 12. Auflage (1766) digitalisiert:

Teil 1 (1766)

Teil 2 (1767)

Das Werk erschien in 12 von LINNÉ selbst besorgten Auflagen. Der volle Titel der 1. Auflage, verlegt von Theodor HAAK in Leiden, lautete: Systema naturæ, sive regna tria naturæ systematice proposita per classes, ordines, genera, & species.

Die für die heutige Nomenklatur wichtigste, zweibändigen 10. Auflage erschien 1758 bei Lars SALVI in Stockholm unter dem endgültigen Titel: Systema naturæ, sive regna tria naturæ systematice proposita per classes, ordines, genera, & species , cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. In dieser Auflage wandte LINNÉ für die Bezeichnung der Tiere erstmals konsequent die binäre Nomenklatur an.


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Diversity of Fish Fauna in Gediz Estuary Lagoons (Izmir Bay/Aegean Sea).

Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 7 (9):1146-1150). ISSN: 1680-5593.


In order to establish the present fish fauna in Gediz estuary lagoons, sampling was conducted in the 4 stations, one inside Gediz river mouth and 3 in the lagoons during 2004. In the first station, a commercial trawling with 44 mm codend mesh size to determine fish fauna was used and sub marine observations or beach seine of 1 mm mesh size employed to establish fish fauna in the lagoons, K rdeniz, Homa and Çilazmak, which are relatively shallow. In addition some physicochemical parameters such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH and chlorophyl-a which all play significant roles were measured for each stations monthly. As the result of the research, 56 fish species of 24 families were found from the 4 stations. According to a Bray-Curtis similarity index and multi dimensional scaling analysis in relation to the lagoons, 2 groups are formed based on diversity of fish fauna; Krdeniz, Homa and Çilazmak are similar to one another in diversity of species, with the first station being different from them.


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Distribution and current status of herpetofauna in the Gediz Delta (Western Anatolia, Turkey).

Herpetology Notes 11: 1-15 (2018) (published online on 10 January 2018)


In  this study, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles between 2013 and 2016 in the Gediz Delta (İzmir, Turkey). The field results were combined with existing records. According to the data obtained, a total of 35 herptile species live in the region, comprising 7 amphibians  (2 urodeles, 5  anurans) and 28  reptiles (6 chelonians,  10 lizards and  12 snakes). Five species (Lissotriton vulgaris, Triturus ivanbureschi, Heremites auratus, Platyceps collaris and Telecopus fallax) were recorded  for the first time in the Gediz Delta during the study. A chorotype  classification and potential threats of the species are also presented.


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Gene flow between insular, coastal and interior populations of brown bears in Alaska.

Molecular Ecology  7(10): 1283-1292.


The brown bears of coastal Alaska have been recently regarded as comprising from one to three distinct genetic groups. We sampled brown bears from each of the regions for which hypotheses of genetic uniqueness have been made, including the bears of the Kodiak Archipelago and the bears of Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof (ABC) Islands in southeast Alaska. These samples were analysed with a suite of nuclear microsatellite markers. The ‘big brown bears’ of coastal Alaska were found to be part of the continuous continental distribution of brown bears, and not genetically isolated from the physically smaller ‘grizzly bears’ of the interior. By contrast, Kodiak brown bears appear to have experienced little or no genetic exchange with continental populations in recent generations. The bears of the ABC Islands, which have previously been shown to undergo little or no female‐mediated gene flow with mainland populations, were found not to be genetically isolated from mainland bears. The data from the four insular populations indicate that female and male dispersal can be reduced or eliminated by water barriers of 2–4 km and 7km in width, respectively.


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Mittwoch, 28 April 2021 15:58

RUPPELL, J. C. (2010)

Vocal Diversity and Taxonomy of Nomascus in Central Vietnam and Southern Laos.

International Journal of Primatology 31: 73–94.


Previous researchers suggested that gibbon song repertoire is genetically determined and song characteristics are useful for assessing systematic relationships. The southern white-cheeked crested gibbon is regarded as either a subspecies of Nomascus leucogenys or its own species (Nomascus siki). I studied vocal diversity among different wild populations of Nomascus in central Vietnam and southern Laos to assess their taxonomic relationships and to examine whether their vocal patterns correspond to forms previously described for Nomascus siki. I examined the songs of 7 Nomascus populations in Vietnam and Laos. I analyzed 192 song bouts from different gibbon groups including 173 phrases of 42 females and 192 phrases of 42 males. Linear discriminant analysis, classification trees, and multidimensional scaling revealed marked separation of groups in the northern and southern populations. Within the 2 geographic populations, there is little variability and the vocal characteristics exhibited no apparent cline. I conclude that the northern and southern geographic populations may represent 2 distinct taxa. I postulate that a taxonal boundary such as large rivers existing between southern Quang Binh province and northern Thua-Thien Hue province in Vietnam and northern Phou Xang He NBCA and southern Dong Phou Vieng NBCA in Laos has limited gene flow between the populations. Differing topographic features could also serve as a selective force for improved sound transmission in a highly territorial species, driving the divergence between the 2 populations.


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Phylogenetic relationships of Mesoamerican spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi): Molecular evidence suggests the need for a revised taxonomy.

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 82: 484-494.


Mesoamerican spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi sensu lato) are widely distributed from Mexico to northern Colombia. This group of primates includes many allopatric forms with morphologically distinct pelage color and patterning, but its taxonomy and phylogenetic history are poorly understood. We explored the genetic relationships among the different forms of Mesoamerican spider monkeys using mtDNA sequence data, and we offer a new hypothesis for the evolutionary history of the group. We collected up to ~800 bp of DNA sequence data from hypervariable region 1 (HV1) of the control region, or D-loop, of the mitochondrion for multiple putative subspecies of Ateles geoffroyi sensu lato. Both maximum likelihood and Bayesian reconstructions, using Ateles paniscus as an outgroup, showed that (1) A. fusciceps and A. geoffroyi form two different monophyletic groups and (2) currently recognized subspecies of A. geoffroyi are not monophyletic. Within A. geoffroyi, our phylogenetic analysis revealed little concordance between any of the classifications proposed for this taxon and their phylogenetic relationships, therefore a new classification is needed for this group. Several possible clades with recent divergence times (1.7–0.8 Ma) were identified within Ateles geoffroyi sensu lato. Some previously recognized taxa were not separated by our data (e.g., A. g. vellerosus and A. g. yucatanensis), while one distinct clade had never been described as a different evolutionary unit based on pelage or geography (Ateles geoffroyi ssp. indet. from El Salvador). Based on well-supported phylogenetic relationships, our results challenge previous taxonomic arrangements for Mesoamerican spider monkeys. We suggest a revised arrangement based on our data and call for a thorough taxonomic revision of this group.


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Dienstag, 20 April 2021 05:50

GRAF, R. & FISCHER, C. (2021)

Atlas der Säugetiere Schweiz und Liechtenstein.

488 Seiten, durchgehend farbig illustriert mit rund 420 Fotos, 120 Karten und 160 Diagrammen.
Hrsg.: Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Wildtierbiologie (SGW)
Haupt Verlag, Bern.1. Auflage.  ISBN: 978-3-258-08178-6


Dieses große Werk beruht auf jahrelanger Vorarbeit: alle Säugetierarten der Schweiz und Liechtensteins.Wissenschaftlich fundierte Artporträts zu allen 99 wildlebenden Arten mit zahlreichen Fotos und einer topaktuellen Verbreitungskarte.Herausgegeben von der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Wildtierbiologie.99 wildlebende Säugetierarten kommen aktuell In der Schweiz und in Liechtenstein vor. Der «Atlas der Säugetiere Schweiz und Liechtenstein» porträtiert diese gemäß dem wissenschaftlich aktuellen Wissensstand. Die Artporträts umfassen neben allgemein verständlichen Texten zur Biologie, Verbreitung, zu den Ansprüchen an den Lebensraum sowie zum Schutz und zum Managementstatus auch Verbreitungskarten, zahlreiche Fotos und Diagramme. Artübergreifende Aspekte werden in 15 Fokuskapiteln erläutert und umfassen Themen wie die Wiederansiedlung ausgestorbener Arten oder den Umgang mit Großraubtieren.Neben ausgewiesenen Sachverständigen haben im Rahmen von Citizen-Science-Projekten auch zahlreiche Laien am Atlas mitgewirkt.Das Werk ist auch in französischer (ISBN 978-3-258-08179-3) und italienischer (978-3-258-08180-9) Sprache erschienen.


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Mittwoch, 14 April 2021 10:26

WÜSTER, W. et al. (2018)

Integration of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences and morphology reveals unexpected diversity in the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) species complex in Central and West Africa (Serpentes: Elapidae)

Zootaxa 4455 (1): 068–098. ISSN1175-5334(online edition).


Cobras are among the most widely known venomous snakes, and yet their taxonomy remains incompletely understood, particularly in Africa. Here, we use a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences and morphological data to diagnose species limits within the African forest cobra, Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca. Mitochondrial DNA sequences reveal deep divergences within this taxon. Congruent patterns of variation in mtDNA, nuclear genes and mor-phology support the recognition of five separate species, confirming the species status of N. subfulva and N. peroescobari, and revealing two previously unnamed West African species, which are described as new: Naja (Boulengerina) guineensis sp. nov. Broadley, Trape, Chirio, Ineich & Wüster, from the Upper Guinea forest of West Africa, and Naja (Boulengerina) savannula sp. nov. Broadley, Trape, Chirio & Wüster, a banded form from the savanna-forest mosaic of the Guinea and Sudanian savannas of West Africa. The discovery of cryptic diversity in this iconic group highlights our limited under-standing of tropical African biodiversity, hindering our ability to conserve it effectively.


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