Abstract View

Zootaxa 3701 (3): 301–321 (20 Aug. 2013)
A new titanosaur sauropod from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil

A new titanosaur dinosaur, Brasilotitan nemophagus gen. et sp. nov., is described from the Adamantina Formation (Turonian-Santonian, Bauru Basin). The specimen consists of a dentary, cervical and sacral vertebrae, one ungual and remains of the pelvic region, that were collected near Presidente Prudente city, São Paulo State. It shows a mandible with an ‘L’ shaped morphology, with the symphyseal region of the dentary slightly twisted medially, a feature never recorded before in a titanosaur. Brasilotitan nemophagus can be further separated from other members of this clade by: (1) the dorsal Portion of the dentary symphyseal contact is broader anteroposteriorly than the ventral part; (2) the ventral portion of the cervical centrum is arched dorsally; (3) the presence of an anteriorly directed accessory prezygapophyseal articulation surface on the cervical vertebrae; (4) the intraprezygapophyseal laminae of the cervical vertebrae are ‘V’ shaped in dorsal view;
and other features. Although the phylogenetic position of Brasilotitan nemophagus is difficult to establish, the new species is neither a basal nor a derived member of the Titanosauria and, based on the lower jaw morphology, appears to be closely related to Antarctosaurus wichmannianus and Bonitasaura salgadoi. This discovery enriches the titanosaur diversity of Brazil and further provides new anatomical information on the lower jaws of those herbivorous dinosaurs.

Zootaxa 3701 (3): 349–364 (20 Aug. 2013)
A new species of Leptodactylus Fitzinger (Anura, Leptodactylidae, Leptodactylinae) from montane rock fields of the Chapada Diamantina, northeastern Brazil

In this paper, we describe a new species of the Leptodactylus fuscus group on the basis of adult morphology and advertisement call, occurring restricted to montane rock fields of the Chapada Diamantina, northern portion of the Espinhaço Range, central State of Bahia, northeastern Brazil. In addition, we re-describe the advertisement call of L. camaquara from its type locality. Leptodactylus oreomantis sp. nov. represents the first species of the genus occurring restricted to montane rock fields of the Chapada Diamantina, northeastern Brazil, whereas the other three species of the L. fuscus group assumed to be restricted to montane field environments (L. camaquara, L. cunicularius, and L. tapiti) occur in association with mountain ranges of southeastern or central Brazil.

Clemann, Nick, Scroggie, Michael P., Smith, Michael J., Peterson, Garry N. L., and Hunter, David (2013) Characteristics of refugia used by the threatened Australian growling grass frog (Litoria raniformis) during a prolonged drought. Wildlife Research, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR13058
Extreme climatic events such as droughts can profoundly affect wildlife and be particularly problematic for threatened species that are reliant on water. A decade-long drought occurred across the range of the threatened growling grass frog, allowing us to demonstrate that refugia for this species in rural Victoria is characterised by permanent water low in salinity with a high cover of aquatic vegetation. Management that retains or creates habitat that includes these features will aid the conservation of this species.

GORGADZE, George. Seasonal Diet of the Otter (Lutra lutra) On the Alazani River (Georgia). Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy, [S.l.], v. 24, n. 2, p. 4, aug. 2013. ISSN 1825-5272. Date accessed: 20 Aug. 2013. doi:10.4404/hystrix-24.2-4685
The seasonal diet of the otter ( Lutra lutra ) was studied on Alazani river in eastern Georgia using scat analysis. The frequency of occurrence (FO) of prey items and, for fish species, biomass consumed (BC) were estimated. Fish and amphibians made the bulk of the otter diet in the study area (49.8-30.0% FO and 23.6-36.2% FO, respectively). Reptiles were also important in otter diet (11.5% and 13.4%). Mammals, birds, insects, mollusks and crayfish were of minor importance. Crucian carp (Carassius carassius) and common carp were the most important fish in the otter diet. Among amphibians, only Rana ridibunda were found; among reptiles, only dice snake and grass snake were found in otter spraints. All mammals preyed upon by otters were rodents; mice (69% of all mammals) and muskrat (31%). Water beetles ( Dytiscidae ) and grasshoppers ( Acridoidea ) were the main group of insects consumed by otters. Seasonal food niche breadth change was expressed strongly (B A = 0.260 in cold season vs. B A = 0.492 in the warm season). Crucian carp predominated in the diet in both warm (37.9% BC and 52.0% FO, respectively) and cold season (90.4% BC and 82.0% FO, respectively). C. idella and S. glanis were found during the warm season but almost disappeared from the otter diet in the cold season. Rutilus rutilus and Hypophthalmiehthys molitrix were of minor importance in both seasons.

Ferrie, G. M., Cohen, O. R., Schutz, P., Leighty, K. A., Plasse, C., Bettinger, T. L. and Hoffman, E. A. (2013), Identifying parentage using molecular markers: Improving accuracy of studbook records for a captive flock of marabou storks (Leptoptilus crumeniferus). Zoo Biol.. doi: 10.1002/zoo.21090
Extra-pair copulations (EPCs) leading to extra-pair fertilization (EPF) are common in avian mating systems, despite the prevalence of observed social monogamy in many species. Colonially breeding birds are interesting species to investigate the prevalence of EPCs and EPF because they show nesting habits including close proximity of nest sites and sexual partners, which are proposed to promote alternative reproductive tactics. Endemic to Africa, the colonial marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) is one of the most commonly held avian species in North American zoos. The aims of this study were to use genetic information to verify parentage in a population of marabou stork housed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® based on five microsatellite loci and to investigate reproductive behavior. We compared genetic analyses of parents and offspring to studbook data collected through behavioral observations of parental behavior at the nest. Using genetic analyses to reconstruct the pedigree of the marabou stork flock using the program COLONY led to improvement of studbook records by determining parentage of an individual that had previously unknown parentage, and identified one individual that had a sire that differed genetically from studbook records. An important contribution of our analyses was the identification and verification of the most likely parents for offspring hatched in this colony and improving incorrect or undocumented parentage in the studbook. Additionally, the colonial nature of this species makes it difficult to observe and understand reproductive behavior. Gaining better understanding of the mating system of a species is essential for successful breeding and captive management.

Israt Jahan, Yuriko Hirai, Zahed Mohammad Malequr Rahman, Md Anwarul Islam, Hirohisa Hirai
The first finding of chromosome variations in wild-born western hoolock gibbons
Primates August 2013

Hoolock gibbons (genus Hoolock) are a group of very endangered primate species that belong to the small ape family (family Hylobatidae). The entire population that is distributed in the northeast and southeast of Bangladesh is estimated to include only around 350 individuals. A conservation program is thus necessary as soon as possible. Genetic markers are significant tools for planning such programs. In this study, we examined chromosomal characteristics of two western hoolock gibbons that were captured in a Bangladesh forest. During chromosome analysis, we encountered two chromosome variations that were observed for the first time in the wild-born western hoolock gibbons (Hoolock hoolock). The first one was a nonhomologous centromere position in chromosome 8 that was observed in the two examined individuals. The alteration was identical in the two individuals, which were examined by G-band and DAPI-band analyses. Chromosome paint analyses revealed that the difference in the centromere position was due to a single small pericentric inversion. The second variation was a heterozygous elongation in chromosome 9. Analysis by sequential techniques of fluorescence in situ hybridization with 18S rDNA and silver nitrate staining revealed a single and an inverted tandem duplication, respectively, of the nucleolus organizer region in two individuals. These chromosome variations provide useful information for the next steps to consider the evolution and conservation of the hoolock gibbon.

Desbiez, A. L. J. and Kluyber, D. (2013), The Role of Giant Armadillos (Priodontes maximus) as Physical Ecosystem Engineers. Biotropica. doi: 10.1111/btp.12052
Through their excavations, giant armadillos (Priodontes maximus) alter their physical surroundings and create new habitats, which influence resources for at least 24 other species of vertebrates in the Brazilian Pantanal. The role of this poorly known species as an ecosystem engineer may be of high value to the community of vertebrates.

Zootaxa 3701 (4): 401–420 (21 Aug. 2013)
Dates of publication of the Zoology parts of the Report of the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger During the Years 1873–76

The dates of publication and exact titles of the 83 parts of the Zoology of the Report of the Scientific Results of the Voyage of H.M.S. Challenger During the Years 1873–76 are presented. Exact dates of publication for 71 of these parts have been determined using notices of their publication in contemporary publications. The dates of publication of the two Narrative volumes of the voyage of the H.M.S. Challenger (which contain available indications of new names) are also determined.

Plard, F., Gaillard, J.-M., Coulson, T., Hewison, A. J. M., Delorme, D., Warnant, C., Nilsen, E. B. and Bonenfant, C. (2013), Long-lived and heavier females give birth earlier in roe deer. Ecography. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00414.x
In seasonal environments, parturition of most vertebrates generally occurs within a short time-window each year. This synchrony is generally interpreted as being adaptive, as early born young survive better over the critical season than late born young. Among large herbivores, the factors involved in driving among- and within-individual variation in parturition date are poorly understood. We explored this question by analyzing the relative importance of attributes linked to female quality (longevity, median adult body mass and cohort), time-dependent attributes linked to female condition (reproductive success the previous year, relative annual body mass and offspring cohort (year)), and age in shaping observed variation in parturition date of roe deer. A measure of quality combining the effects of female longevity and median adult body mass accounted for 11% of the observed among-individual variation in parturition date. Females of 2 yr old give birth 5 d later than older females. Our study demonstrates that high quality (heavy and long-lived) females give birth earlier than low quality females. Temporally variable attributes linked to female condition, such as reproductive success in the previous year and relative annual body mass, had no detectable influence on parturition date. We conclude that parturition date, a crucial determinant of reproductive success, is shaped by attributes linked to female quality rather than by time-dependent attributes linked to female condition in income breeders (individuals that rely on current resource intake rather than on accumulated body reserves to offset the increased energy requirements due to reproduction) such as roe deer.

Derek Dapp, Randall Arauz, James R. Spotila, Michael P. O’Connor, Impact of Costa Rican longline fishery on its bycatch of sharks, stingrays, bony fish and olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Volume 448, October 2013, Pages 228-239, ISSN 0022-0981, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2013.07.014.
We used data collected by an observer program to assess the impact of the Costa Rican longline fishery on numbers, capture locations, seasonality and body sizes of silky sharks (Carcharhinus falciformis), pelagic thresher sharks (Alopias pelagicus), olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and other bycatch species in the Central American Pacific. The longline fishery caught a large number of mahi-mahi (Coryphaena sp.) and silky sharks, but also caught a large number of olive ridley turtles and pelagic stingrays (Pteroplatytrygon violacea). We estimated that longline fisheries caught 699,600 olive ridleys, including 92,300 adult females, from 1999 to 2010. These captures were associated with a decline of nesting populations at nearby arribada beaches. There were statistically significant size decreases from 1999 to 2010 in mature olive ridley turtles and from 2003 to 2010 in silky sharks. Average fork length of silky sharks in 2010 was 97.3 cm, which was far below observed fork length at maturity, 144 cm. Pelagic thresher sharks were small and fluctuated in size over the study period. Capture of large numbers of juvenile blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus) indicated a nursery area near the Osa Peninsula. Geospatial analysis indicated shifts in mahi-mahi abundance on a temporal scale but fishing efforts did not shift with the shift in mahi-mahi abundance. Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), Indo-Pacific blue marlin (Makaira mazara) and Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) catches varied seasonally and were most abundant out to sea and south of Panama. Marine protected areas and/or time area closures are needed to reduce the impact of the Costa Rican longline fishery on sea turtles and sharks.

Robert B. Wielgus, Dana Eleanor Morrison, Hilary S. Cooley, Ben Maletzke, Effects of male trophy hunting on female carnivore population growth and persistence, Biological Conservation, Volume 167, November 2013, Pages 69-75, ISSN 0006-3207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2013.07.008.
Carnivore populations are often managed based on the density dependent, compensatory mortality model, which suggests that trophy hunting of males causes an increase in female reproductive success, survival, and population growth. Our previous research on grizzly bears (Ursus acrtos) and cougars (Puma concolor) showed that increased mortality of males resulted in no net reduction in males due to increased immigration. Female reproduction and survival did not increase with male mortality. That research suggested that female demographics are additive to male mortality and might even be depensatory (inversely compensatory), whereby increased male immigration and infanticide may be associated with decreased female reproductive success, survival, and population growth. In this paper we test the compensatory, additive, and depensatory hypotheses by censoring female hunting deaths and plausible kitten infanticides from two independent cougar populations. The previously observed lack of compensatory demographics allowed us to censor deaths in this manner. The lightly hunted population (male hunting mortality = 0.16) had a female population growth rate of 1.05. With female mortality from hunting removed the growth rate increased to 1.14. The heavily hunted population (male hunting mortality = 0.35) had a female population growth rate of 0.78. With infanticide removed the growth rate increased to 0.89. With hunting mortality of females removed, the growth rate increased to 0.98. With both female mortalities and infanticide removed, the growth rate increased to 1.14. Light hunting of males (no net male immigration) decreased female population growth in an additive manner and heavy hunting of males (increased net male immigration) decreased female population growth in a depensatory manner. We reject the compensatory mortality hypothesis, and suggest that hunting of male carnivores has a negative additive or depensatory effect on female population growth depending on the intensity of male mortality. We recommend that hunting of polygnous carnivores not exceed their intrinsic growth rates to forestall excessive compensatory male immigration and infanticide. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife instituted a new “equilibrium” hunting management plan (hunting mortality < 14%/year) for cougars in 2013 based on our findings and recommendations.

Zootaxa 3701 (5): 473–517 (22 Aug. 2013)
Redescription of Eremiascincus fasciolatus (Günther, 1867) (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) with clarification of its synonyms and the description of a new species

We present an assessment of the systematic status of populations currently assigned to Eremiascincus fasciolatus across  Australia using morphological data. Our analyses show that these populations actually comprise four species: a large and  robust, narrow-banded taxon from eastern Queensland and three slender, desert-dwelling taxa from the western, northern,  and south-eastern Australian arid zone respectively. These data necessitate: 1) the redescription of E. fasciolatus, a species  endemic to the dry forests of eastern Queensland, 2) the resurrection of E. pallidus for the western taxon, 3) the  resurrection of E. intermedius for the northern taxon, and 4) the description of the south-eastern desert-dwelling taxon,  which largely occurs in the Lake Eyre Basin, as a new species. The new species, Eremiascincus phantasmus sp. nov., can  be distinguished from congeners by its large size, pale color, depressed snout, and small circular ear opening, as well as  by several scale characteristics. Body proportions, a depressed snout, small ear opening, and pale color suggest that this  species is fossorial and predominantly occurs in habitats with loose substrate, such as dune systems and sandy plains. A  synopsis of each species and a key to the narrow-banded species of Eremiascincus are provided.

Zootaxa 3701 (5): 518–550 (22 Aug. 2013)
A molecular phylogeny of African Dainty Frogs, with the description of four new species (Anura: Pyxicephalidae: Cacosternum)
Alan Channing , ANDREAS SCHMITZ, Marius Burger & JOS KIELGAST

We examined specimens from all eleven described species of African Dainty Frogs, Cacosternum. Advertisement calls,  16S and tyr sequences were obtained from voucher specimens of all known species plus undescribed taxa. A phylogenetic  analysis indicated that there were 15 species. We describe four new species from South Africa that can be diagnosed by  their advertisement calls: Cacosternum aggestum sp. nov. from the interior of the south-western Cape, the large C. nanogularum  sp. nov. from KwaZulu-Natal, C. australis sp. nov. from the Western Cape Province and C. rhythmum sp. nov.  from the KwaZulu-Natal midlands. Cacosternum schebeni is confirmed as a junior synonym of C. boettgeri, and we agree  that C. poyntoni is a junior synonym of C. nanum. The populations of dainty frogs on the Ethiopian highlands remain to  be investigated. Shared tyr haplotypes occur between species that are not necessarily closely related, but always sympatric,  at least in the recent past. This is evidence for hybridisation that requires further investigation. A provisional identification
key to the species is provided.

Rodríguez, V., Brown, R. P., Terrasa, B., Pérez-Mellado, V., Castro, J. A., Picornell, A. and Ramon, M. M. (2013), Multilocus genetic diversity and historical biogeography of the endemic wall lizard from Ibiza and Formentera, Podarcis pityusensis (Squamata: Lacertidae). Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.12443
Two monophyletic sister species of wall lizards inhabit the two main groups of Balearic Islands: Podarcis lilfordi from islets and small islands around Mallorca and Menorca and Podarcis pityusensis from Ibiza, Formentera and associated islets. Genetic diversity within the endangered P. lilfordi has been well characterized, but P. pityusensis has not been studied in depth. Here, 2430 bp of mtDNA and 15 microsatellite loci were analysed from P. pityusensis populations from across its natural range. Two main genetic groupings were identified, although geographical structuring differed slightly between the mtDNA and the nuclear loci. In general, individuals from islets/islands adjacent to the main island of Ibiza were genetically distinct from those from Formentera and the associated Freus islands for both mtDNA and the nuclear loci. However, most individuals from the island of Ibiza were grouped with neighbouring islets/islands for nuclear loci, but with Formentera and Freus islands for the mitochondrial locus. A time-calibrated Bayesian tree was constructed for the principal mitochondrial lineages within the Balearics, using the multispecies coalescent model, and provided statistical support for divergence of the two main P. pityusensis lineages 0.111–0.295 Ma. This suggests a mid-late Pleistocene intraspecific divergence, compared with an early Pleistocene divergence in P. lilfordi, and postdates some major increases in sea level between 0.4 and 0.6 Ma, which may have flooded Formentera. The program IMa2 provided a posterior divergence time of 0.089–0.221 Ma, which was similar to the multispecies coalescent tree estimate. More significantly, it indicated low but asymmetric effective gene copy migration rates, with higher migration from Formentera to Ibiza populations. Our findings suggest that much of the present-day diversity may have originated from a late Pleistocene colonization of one island group from the other, followed by allopatric divergence of these populations. Subsequent gene flow between these insular groups seems likely to be explained by recent human introductions. Two evolutionary significant units can be defined for P. pityusensis but these units would need to exclude the populations that have been the subjects of recent admixture.

Marino, I. A. M., Benazzo, A., Agostini, C., Mezzavilla, M., Hoban, S. M., Patarnello, T., Zane, L. and Bertorelle, G. (2013), Evidence for past and present hybridization in three Antarctic icefish species provides new perspectives on an evolutionary radiation. Molecular Ecology. doi: 10.1111/mec.12458
Determining the timing, extent and underlying causes of interspecific gene exchange during or following speciation is central to understanding species‘ evolution. Antarctic notothenioid fish, thanks to the acquisition of antifreeze glycoproteins during Oligocene transition to polar conditions, experienced a spectacular radiation to >100 species during Late Miocene cooling events. The impact of recent glacial cycles on this group is poorly known, but alternating warming and cooling periods may have affected species‘ distributions, promoted ecological divergence into recurrently opening niches and/or possibly brought allopatric species into contact. Using microsatellite markers and statistical methods including Approximate Bayesian Computation, we investigated genetic differentiation, hybridization and the possible influence of the last glaciation/deglaciation events in three icefish species of the genus Chionodraco. Our results provide strong evidence of contemporary and past introgression by showing that: (i) a substantial fraction of contemporary individuals in each species has mixed ancestry, (ii) evolutionary scenarios excluding hybridization or including it only in ancient times have small or zero posterior probabilities, (iii) the data support a scenario of interspecific gene flow associated with the two most recent interglacial periods. Glacial cycles might therefore have had a profound impact on the genetic composition of Antarctic fauna, as newly available shelf areas during the warmer intervals might have favoured secondary contacts and hybridization between diversified groups. If our findings are confirmed in other notothenioids, they offer new perspectives for understanding evolutionary dynamics of Antarctic fish and suggest a need for new predictions on the effects of global warming in this group.

Fernando A. Campos, Katharine M. Jack
A Potential Distribution Model and Conservation Plan for the Critically Endangered Ecuadorian Capuchin, Cebus albifrons aequatorialis
International Journal of Primatology August 2013

Conservation actions that effectively and efficiently target single, highly threatened species require current data on the species’ geographic distribution and environmental associations. The Ecuadorian capuchin (Cebus albifrons aequatorialis) is a critically endangered primate found only in the fragmented forests of western Ecuador and northern Peru, which are among the world’s most severely threatened ecosystems. We use the MAXENT species distribution modeling method to model the potential distribution and environmental associations of Cebus albifrons aequatorialis, using all known presence localities recorded within the last 2 decades as well as 13 climate, topography, vegetation, and land-use data sets covering the entire geographic range of the subspecies. The environmental conditions that our model predicted to be ideal for supporting Cebus albifrons aequatorialis included ≥20% tree cover, mild temperature seasonality, annual precipitation <2000 mm, and low human population density. Our model identified 5028 km2 of suitable habitat remaining, although many of these forest fragments are unprotected and are unlikely to support extant populations. Using the median population density across all sites for which data are available, we estimate the total carrying capacity of the remaining habitat to be 12,500 total individuals. The true number of remaining individuals is likely to be considerably lower due to anthropogenic factors. We highlight four critical regions of high predicted suitability in western Ecuador and northern Peru on which immediate conservation actions should focus, and we lay out clear priorities to guide conservation actions for ensuring the long-term survival of this gravely threatened and little known primate.

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