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A new genus and three new species of miniaturized microhylid frogs from Indochina (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae: Asterophryinae)
Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr., Chatmongkon Suwannapoom, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Akrachai Aksornneam, Tang Van Duong, Dmitriy V. Korost, Jing Che
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 130-157.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.019
Abstract ( 20 )   PDF (30934KB) (734)
We report on the discovery of a new genus of microhylid subfamily Asterophryinae from northern and eastern Indochina, containing three new species. Vietnamophryne Gen. nov. are secretive miniaturized frogs (SVL<21 mm) with a mostly semi-fossorial lifestyle. To assess phylogenetic relationships, we studied 12S rRNA-16S rRNA mtDNA fragments with a final alignment of 2 591 bp for 53 microhylid species. External morphology characters and osteological characteristics analyzed using micro-CT scanning were used for describing the new genus. Results of phylogenetic analyses assigned the new genus into the mainly Australasian subfamily Asterophryinae as a sister taxon to the genus Siamophryne from southern Indochina. The three specimens collected from Gia Lai Province in central Vietnam, Cao Bang Province in northern Vietnam, and Chiang Rai Province in northern Thailand proved to be separate species, different both in morphology and genetics (genetic divergence 3.1%≤P≤5.1%). Our work provides further evidence for the “out of Indo-Eurasia” scenario for Asterophryinae, indicating that the initial cladogenesis and differentiation of this group of frogs occurred in the Indochina Peninsula. To date, each of the three new species of Vietnamophryne Gen. nov. is known only from a single specimen; thus, their distribution, life history, and conservation status require further study.
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Why China is important in advancing the field of primatology
Paul A. Garber
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 241-243.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.012
Abstract ( 6 )   PDF (240KB) (334)
Over the past few decades, field studies conducted by Chinese primatologists have contributed significant new theoretical and empirical insights into the behavior, ecology, biology, genetics, and conservation of lorises, macaques, langurs, snub-nosed monkeys, and gibbons. With the recent establishment and inaugural meeting of the China Primatological Society in 2017, China has emerged as a leading nation in primate research. Several research teams have conducted long-term studies despite the difficult challenges of habituating and observing wild primates inhabiting mountainous temperate forests, and the fact that some 80% of China’s 25–27 primate species are considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered and are distributed in small isolated subpopulations. In going forward, it is recommended that primatologists in China increase their focus on seasonal differences in the social, ecological, physiological, and nutritional challenges primates face in exploiting high altitude and cold temperate forests. In addition, provisioning as a habitation tool should be minimized or eliminated, as it is difficult to control for its effects on group dynamics, patterns of habitat utilization, and feeding ecology. Finally in the next decade, Chinese primatologists should consider expanding the taxonomic diversity of species studied by conducting research in other parts of Asia, Africa, and the Neotropics.
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In vivo genome editing thrives with diversified CRISPR technologies
Xun Ma, Avery Sum-Yu Wong, Hei-Yin Tam, Samuel Yung-Kin Tsui, Dittman Lai-Shun Chung, Bo Feng
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 58-71.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.012
Abstract ( 5 )   PDF (244KB) (664)
Prokaryotic type II adaptive immune systems have been developed into the versatile CRISPR technology, which has been widely applied in site-specific genome editing and has revolutionized biomedical research due to its superior efficiency and flexibility. Recent studies have greatly diversified CRISPR technologies by coupling it with various DNA repair mechanisms and targeting strategies. These new advances have significantly expanded the generation of genetically modified animal models, either by including species in which targeted genetic modification could not be achieved previously, or through introducing complex genetic modifications that take multiple steps and cost years to achieve using traditional methods. Herein, we review the recent developments and applications of CRISPR-based technology in generating various animal models, and discuss the everlasting impact of this new progress on biomedical research.
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Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 58-129.   DOI:
Abstract ( 5 )   PDF (16420KB) (80)
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Type I interferon receptor knockout mice as models for infection of highly pathogenic viruses with outbreak potential
Gary Wong, Xiang-Guo Qiu
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 3-14.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.052
Abstract ( 4 )   PDF (429KB) (293)
Due to their inability to generate a complete immune response, mice knockout for type I interferon (IFN) receptors (Ifnar–/–) are more susceptible to viral infections, and are thus commonly used for pathogenesis studies. This mouse model has been used to study many diseases caused by highly pathogenic viruses from many families, including the Flaviviridae, Filoviridae, Arenaviridae, Bunyaviridae, Henipaviridae, and Togaviridae. In this review, we summarize the findings from these animal studies, and discuss the pros and cons of using this model versus other known methods for studying pathogenesis in animals.
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Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 130-240.   DOI:
Abstract ( 3 )   PDF (110275KB) (214)
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A new karst-dwelling bent-toed gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus) from Xiangkhoang Province, northeastern Laos
Roman A. Nazarov, Olivier S.G. Pauwels, Evgeniy L. Konstantinov, Anatoliy S. Chulisov, Nikolai L. Orlov, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr.
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 202-219.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.010
Abstract ( 3 )   PDF (20938KB) (473)
We describe a new karst-dwelling Cyrtodactylus from Ban Thathom, Xiangkhoang Province, northeastern Laos. The new species can be distinguished from other congeners by having four dark dorsal bands between limb insertions, a discontinuous nuchal loop, 10 precloacal pores in males or 10–12 precloacal pits (females) separated by a diastema from a series of enlarged femoral scales bearing 18 or 19 pores (male) or 8–10 pits (females) along each femur, 14–18 dorsal tubercle rows at midbody, no precloacal groove, 30–36 midbody scale rows across belly between ventrolateral skin folds, transversely enlarged subcaudal plates, and a maximal known snout-vent length of 75.5 mm. Our description brings to 22 the number of Cyrtodactylus species recorded from Laos.
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Zoological Research    2018, 39 (6): 373-436.   DOI:
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (67569KB) (93)
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2018 New Year Address of Zoological Research
Yong-Gang Yao, Xue-Long Jiang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 1-2.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.011
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (257KB) (180)
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Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 1-57.   DOI:
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (51564KB) (59)
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New Year Address of Zoological Research
Zoological Research    2019, 40 (1): 1-2.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2019.001
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (571KB) (15)
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A new species of the genus Theloderma Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Tay Nguyen Plateau, central Vietnam
Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr., Ivan I. Kropachev, Svetlana S. Gogoleva, Nikolai L. Orlov
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 158-184.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.018
Abstract ( 2 )   PDF (26015KB) (623)
A new species of small tree frog from a primary montane tropical forest of central Vietnam, Tay Nguyen Plateau, is described based on morphological, molecular, and acoustic evidence. The Golden Bug-Eyed Frog, Theloderma auratum sp. nov., is distinguishable from its congeners and other small rhacophorid species based on a combination of the following morphological attributes: (1) bony ridges on head absent; (2) smooth skin completely lacking calcified warts or asperities; (3) pointed elongated tapering snout; (4) vocal opening in males absent; (5) vomerine teeth absent; (6) males of small body size (SVL 21.8–26.4 mm); (7) head longer than wide; ED/SVL ratio 13%–15%; ESL/SVL ratio 16%–20%; (8) small tympanum (TD/EL ratio 50%–60%) with few tiny tubercles; (9) supratympanic fold absent; (10) ventral surfaces completely smooth; (11) webbing between fingers absent; (12) outer and inner metacarpal tubercles present, supernumerary metacarpal tubercle single, medial, oval in shape; (13) toes half-webbed: I 2–2¼ II 1½–2¾ III 2–3¼ IV 3–1½ V; (14) inner metatarsal tubercle present, oval; outer metatarsal tubercle absent; (15) iris bicolored; (16) dorsal surfaces golden-yellow with sparse golden-orange speckling or reticulations and few small dark-brown spots; (17) lateral sides of head and body with wide dark reddish-brown to black lateral stripes, clearly separated from lighter dorsal coloration by straight contrasting edge; (18) ventral surfaces of body, throat, and chest greyish-blue with indistinct brown confluent blotches; (19) upper eyelids with few (3–5) very small flat reddish superciliary tubercles; (20) limbs dorsally reddish-brown, ventrally brown with small bluish-white speckles. The new species is also distinct from all congeners in 12S rRNA to 16S rRNA mitochondrial DNA fragment sequences (uncorrected genetic distance P>8.9%). Advertisement call and tadpole morphology of the new species are described. Our molecular data showed Theloderma auratum sp. nov. to be a sister species of Th. palliatum from Langbian Plateau in southern Vietnam.
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A new species of the genus Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from southern Vietnam
Tang Van Duong, Dang Trong Do, Chung Dac Ngo, Truong Quang Nguyen, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr.
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 185-201.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.009
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (8313KB) (468)
We describe a new species of megophryid frog from Phu Yen Province in southern Vietnam. Leptolalax macrops sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following morphological attributes: (1) body size medium (SVL 28.0–29.3 mm in three adult males, 30.3 mm in single adult female); (2) supra-axillary glands present, creamy white; ventrolateral glands indistinct; (3) tympanum externally distinct; (4) dorsal skin roughly granular with larger tubercles, dermal ridges on dorsum absent; (5) rudimentary webbing present between fingers I–II and II–III; rudimentary webbing between all toes; fingers and toes without dermal fringes; (6) in life ventral surface greyish-violet with white speckling; (7) supratympanic fold distinct, dark brown in life; (8) iris bicolored, typically golden in upper half, fading to golden green in lower half; (9) tibia short (TbL/SVL 0.44–0.45 in males); and (10) eyes large and protuberant (ED/SVL 0.15–0.16 in males). From all congeners for which comparable sequences are available, the new species differs markedly in the 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene sequence (P-distance>5.7%). The new species is currently known only from montane evergreen tropical forests of Song Hinh District, Phu Yen Province, and M’Drak District of Dak Lak Province at elevations of 470–630 m a.s.l. We suggest the new species should be considered as Data Deficient following the IUCN’s Red List categories. We also report a previously unknown Leptolalax mtDNA lineage from an evergreen tropical forest in the Hoa Thinh District of Phu Yen Province, which may also represent an undescribed species.
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An annotated checklist of mammals of Kenya
Simon Musila, Ara Monadjem, Paul W. Webala, Bruce D. Patterson, Rainer Hutterer, Yvonne A. De Jong, Thomas M. Butynski, Geoffrey Mwangi, Zhong-Zheng Chen, Xue-Long Jiang
Zoological Research    2019, 40 (1): 3-52.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.059
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (790KB) (6)
Kenya has a rich mammalian fauna. We reviewed recently published books and papers including the six volumes of Mammals of Africa to develop an up-to-date annotated checklist of all mammals recorded from Kenya. A total of 390 species have been identified in the country, including 106 species of rodents, 104 species of bats, 63 species of even-toed ungulates (including whales and dolphins), 36 species of insectivores and carnivores, 19 species of primates, five species of elephant shrews, four species of hyraxes and odd-toed ungulates, three species of afrosoricids, pangolins, and hares, and one species of aardvark, elephant, sirenian and hedgehog. The number of species in this checklist is expected to increase with additional surveys and as the taxonomic status of small mammals (e.g., bats, shrews and rodents) becomes better understood.
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Variations in diet composition of sympatric Trachypithecus francoisi and Macaca assamensis in the limestone habitats of Nonggang, China
Qi-Hai Zhou, Zhong-Hao Huang, Hua Wei, Cheng-Ming Huang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 284-290.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.046
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (3534KB) (327)
Comparative studies of sympatric species are essential for understanding behavioral and ecological adaptation as well as the mechanisms that can reduce resource competition to allow coexistence. François’ langurs (Trachypithecus francoisi) and Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis) are sympatric primate species found in the limestone seasonal rainforests of Nonggang Nature Reserve, southwestern Guangxi, China. To explore their different adaptation strategies, we collected data on diet using scan sampling at 15-min intervals. Our results revealed that François’ langurs showed a more flexible diet composition than Assamese macaques. François’ langurs increased dietary diversity and mature leaf consumption in response to seasonal scarcity of preferred young leaves and fruits, whereas Assamese macaques relied heavily on young bamboo leaves (Indocalamus calcicolus) in most months. These variations reflect the differences in digestive physiology, morphology, and the temporal and spatial distribution of food resources.
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Animal models for filovirus infections
Vinayakumar Siragam, Gary Wong, Xiang-Guo Qiu
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 15-24.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.053
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (338KB) (411)
The family Filoviridae, which includes the genera Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus, contains some of the most pathogenic viruses in humans and non-human primates (NHPs), causing severe hemorrhagic fevers with high fatality rates. Small animal models against filoviruses using mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, and ferrets have been developed with the goal of screening candidate vaccines and antivirals, before testing in the gold standard NHP models. In this review, we summarize the different animal models used to understand filovirus pathogenesis, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each model with respect to filovirus disease research.
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Biogeography of the Shimba Hills ecosystem herpetofauna in Kenya
Patrick K. Malonza, David M. Mulwa, Joash O. Nyamache, Georgina Jones
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 97-104.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.048
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (246KB) (265)
The Shimba Hills ecosystem along the south coast of Kenya is a key East African biodiversity hotspot. Historically, it is biogeographically assignable to the East African coastal biome. We examined the current Shimba Hills herpetofauna and their zoogeographical affinities to the coastal forests and nearby Eastern Arc Mountains biodiversity hotspots. The key studied sites included the Shimba Hills National Reserve, forest reserves, Kaya forests, and adjacent private land. Data on herpetofaunal richness were obtained from recent field surveys, literature, and specimens held at the National Museums of Kenya, Herpetology Section Collection, Nairobi. The Makadara, Mwele, and Longo-Mwagandi forests within the Shimba Hills National Reserve hosted the highest number of unique and rare species. Generally, the forest reserves and Kaya forests were important refuges for forest-associated species. On private land, Mukurumudzi Dam riparian areas were the best amphibian habitat and were host to three IUCN (Red List) Endangered-EN amphibian species, namely, Boulengerula changamwensis, Hyperolius rubrovermiculatus, and Afrixalus sylvaticus, as well as one snake species Elapsoidea nigra. Using herpetofauna as zoogeographic indicators, the Shimba Hills were determined to be at a crossroads between the coastal forests (13 endemic species) and the Eastern Arc Mountains (seven endemic species). Most of the Eastern Arc Mountains endemic species were from recent records, and thus more are likely to be found in the future. This ‘hybrid’ species richness pattern is attributable to the hilly topography of the Shimba Hills and their proximity to the Indian Ocean. This has contributed to the Shimba Hills being the richest herpetofauna area in Kenya, with a total of 89 and 36 reptile and amphibian species, respectively. Because of its unique zoogeography, the Shimba Hills ecosystem is undoubtedly a key biodiversity area for conservation investment.
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A new species of smooth skink (Squamata: Scincidae: Scincella) from Cambodia
Thy Neang, Somaly Chan, Nikolay A. Poyarkov, Jr.
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (3): 220-240.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.008
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (13346KB) (473)
Based on morphological and genetic evidence we evaluated the taxonomic status of a newly discovered forest-dwelling population of skink (genus Scincella) from the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia. From phylogenetic analysis of a 668-bp fragment of the mtDNA COI and diagnostic morphological characters we allocate the newly discovered population to the Scincella reevesiiS. rufocaudata species complex and describe it as Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov. The new skink species can be distinguished from all other Southeast Asian congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: snout-vent length (SVL) 40.0–52.6 mm; relative tail length (TaL/SVL ratio) 1.25–1.94; prefrontals in broad contact; infralabials 6; primary temporals 2; relative forelimb length (FIL/SVL ratio) 0.20–0.22; relative hindlimb length (HIL/SVL ratio) 0.30–0.33; relative forearm length (FoL/SVL ratio) 0.14–0.16; adpressed forelimbs and hind limbs either overlapping (0.4–2.2 mm) or separated (1.9–2.3 mm); midbody scale rows 32–33, paravertebral scales 69–74, vertebral scales 65–69; dorsal scales between dorsolateral stripes 8; comparatively slender fingers and toes, subdigital lamellae under fourth toe 15–17; dark discontinuous regular dorsal stripes 5–7; distinct black dorsolateral stripes, narrowing to lateral sides and extending to 52%–86% of total tail length. We provide additional information on the holotype of Scincella rufocaudata (Darevsky & Nguyen, 1983), and provide evidence for the species status of Scincella rupicola. Our discovery brings the number of Scincella species in Cambodia to five and emphasizes the incompleteness of knowledge on the herpetofaunal diversity of this country.
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 Animal models for the study of hepatitis B virus infection
Wei-Na Guo, Bin Zhu, Ling Ai, Dong-Liang Yang, Bao-Ju Wang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (1): 25-31.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.013
Abstract ( 1 )   PDF (98KB) (408)
Even with an effective vaccine, an estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) worldwide. Current antiviral therapies, including interferon and nucleot(s)ide analogues, rarely cure chronic hepatitis B. Animal models are very crucial for understanding the pathogenesis of chronic hepatitis B and developing new therapeutic drugs or strategies. HBV can only infect humans and chimpanzees, with the use of chimpanzees in HBV research strongly restricted. Thus, most advances in HBV research have been gained using mouse models with HBV replication or infection or models with HBV-related hepadnaviral infection. This review summarizes the animal models currently available for the study of HBV infection.
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King cobra peptide OH-CATH30 as a potential candidate drug through clinic drug-resistant isolates
Feng Zhao, Xin-Qiang Lan, Yan Du, Pei-Yi Chen, Jiao Zhao, Fang Zhao, Wen-Hui Lee, Yun Zhang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 87-96.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.025
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (3583KB) (244)
Cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are considered as important candidate therapeutic agents, which exert potent microbicidal properties against bacteria, fungi and some viruses. Based on our previous findings king cobra cathelicidin (OH-CATH) is a 34-amino acid peptide that exerts strong antibacterial and weak hemolytic activity. The aim of this research is to evaluate the efficacy of both OH-CATH30 and its analog D-OH-CATH30 against clinical isolates comparing with routinely utilized antibiotics in vitro. In this study, 584 clinical isolates were tested (spanning 2013–2016) and the efficacy of the candidate peptides and antibiotics were determined by a broth microdilution method according to the CLSI guidelines. Among the 584 clinical isolates, 85% were susceptible to OH-CATH30 and its analogs. Both L- and D-OH-CATH30 showed higher efficacy against (toward) Gram-positive bacteria and stronger antibacterial activity against nearly all Gram-negative bacteria tested compare with antibiotics. The highest bactericidal activity was detected against Acinetobacter spp., including multi-drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MRAB) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The overall efficacy of OH-CATH30 and its analogs was higher than that of the 9 routinely used antibiotics. OH-CATH30 is a promising candidate drug for the treatment of a wide variety of bacterial infections which are resistant to many routinely used antimicrobial agents.
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AutoSeqMan: batch assembly of contigs for Sanger sequences
Jie-Qiong Jin, Yan-Bo Sun
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 123-126.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.027
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (1275KB) (226)
With the wide application of DNA sequencing technology, DNA sequences are still increasingly generated through the Sanger sequencing platform. SeqMan (in the LaserGene package) is an excellent program with an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) employed to assemble Sanger sequences into contigs. However, with increasing data size, larger sample sets and more sequenced loci make contig assemble complicated due to the considerable number of manual operations required to run SeqMan. Here, we present the ‘autoSeqMan’ software program, which can automatedly assemble contigs using SeqMan scripting language. There are two main modules available, namely, ‘Classification’ and ‘Assembly’. Classification first undertakes preprocessing work, whereas Assembly generates a SeqMan script to consecutively assemble contigs for the classified files. Through comparison with manual operation, we showed that autoSeqMan saved substantial time in the preprocessing and assembly of Sanger sequences. We hope this tool will be useful for those with large sample sets to analyze, but with little programming experience. It is freely available at Sun-Yanbo/autoSeqMan.
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Complete mitochondrial genome of the Thai Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) and phylogenetic analysis
Chatmongkon Suwannapoom, Ya-Jiang Wu, Xing Chen, Adeniyi C. Adeola, Jing Chen, Wen-Zhi Wang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (2): 127-129.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2017.028
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (210KB) (307)
In this study, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the Thai Red Junglefowl (RJF; Gallus gallus) using the next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform of the Ion Torrent PGM. Samples were taken from Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand. Our data showed the complete mitogenome to be 16 785 bp in length, composed by 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two rRNA genes, and one control region. The genome nucleotide composition was 30.3% A, 23.7% T, 32.5% C, and 13.5% G, resulting in a high percentage of A+T (50.4%). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the mitogenome belonged to haplogroup X, whereas those of all domestic chickens belong to haplogroups A to G. This newly released mitogenome sequence will advance further evolutionary and population genetics study of the RJF and domestic chicken. The availability of the G. gallus mitogenome will also contribute to further conservation genetics research of a unique species, listed as ‘data deficient’ in Thailand.
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Species delimitation based on diagnosis and monophyly, and its importance for advancing mammalian taxonomy
Eliécer E. Gutiérrez, Guilherme S. T. Garbino
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (5): 301-308.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.037
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (281KB) (267)

A recently proposed taxonomic classification of extant ungulates sparked a series of publications that criticize the Phylogenetic Species Concept (PSC) claiming it to be a particularly poor species concept. These opinions reiteratively stated that (1) the two fundamental elements of the "PSC", i.e., monophyly and diagnosability, do not offer objective criteria as to where the line between species should be drawn; and (2) that extirpation of populations can lead to artificial diagnosability and spurious recognitions of species. This sudden eruption of criticism against the PSC is misleading. Problems attributed to the PSC are common to most approaches and concepts that modern systematists employ to establish species boundaries. The controversial taxonomic propositions that sparked criticism against the PSC are indeed highly problematic, not because of the species concept upon which they are based, but because no evidence (whatsoever) has become public to support a substantial portion of the proposed classification. We herein discuss these topics using examples from mammals. Numerous areas of biological research rest upon taxonomic accuracy (including conservation biology and biomedical research); hence, it is necessary to clarify what are (and what are not) the real sources of taxonomic inaccuracy.

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 Impacts of late Quaternary environmental change on the long-tailed ground squirrel (Urocitellus undulatus) in Mongolia
Bryan S. McLean, Batsaikhan Nyamsuren, Andrey Tchabovsky, Joseph A. Cook
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (5): 364-372.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.042
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (535KB) (232)

Impacts of Quaternary environmental changes on mammal faunas of central Asia remain poorly understood due to a lack of geographically comprehensive phylogeographic sampling for most species. To help address this knowledge gap, we conducted the most extensive molecular analysis to date of the long-tailed ground squirrel (Urocitellus undulatus Pallas 1778) in Mongolia, a country that comprises the southern core of this species’ range. Drawing on material from recent collaborative field expeditions, we genotyped 128 individuals at 2 mitochondrial genes (cytochrome b and cytochrome oxidase I; 1 797 bp total). Phylogenetic inference supports the existence of two deeply divergent infraspecific lineages (corresponding to subspecies U. u. undulatus and U. u. eversmanni), a result in agreement with previous molecular investigations but discordant with patterns of range-wide craniometric and external phenotypic variation. In the widespread western eversmanni lineage, we recovered geographically-associated clades from the: (a) Khangai, (b) Mongolian Altai, and (c) Govi Altai mountain ranges. Phylogeographic structure in U. u. eversmanni is consistent with an isolation-by-distance model; however, genetic distances are significantly lower than among subspecies, and intra-clade relationships are largely unresolved. The latter patterns, as well as the relatively higher nucleotide polymorphism of populations from the Great Lakes Depression of northwestern Mongolia, suggest a history of range shifts into these lowland areas in response to Pleistocene glaciation and environmental change, followed by upslope movements and mitochondrial lineage sorting with Holocene aridification. Our study illuminates possible historical mechanisms responsible for U. undulatus genetic structure and contributes to a framework for ongoing exploration of mammalian response to past and present climate change in central Asia.

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Extant primates and development of primatology in China: Publications, student training, and funding
Peng-Fei Fan, Chi Ma
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 249-254.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.033
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (613KB) (321)

China supports the richest non-human primate diversity in the northern hemisphere, providing an excellent opportunity for Chinese primatologists to take a leading role in advancing the study of primatology. Primatology in China began to flourish after 1979. To date, Chinese primatologists have published more than 1000 papers in journals indexed by the Chinese Science Citation Database and the Web of Science Core Collection, and universities and academic institutions have trained 107 PhD students and 370 Masters students between 1984 and 2016. In total, the National Science Foundation of China has funded 129 primate projects (71.7 million Yuan) supporting 59 researchers from 28 organizations. However, previous research has also shown obvious species bias. Rhinopithecus roxellana, Rhinopithecus bieti, and Macaca mulatta have received much greater research attention than other species. Researchers have also tended to continue to study the same species (55.2%) they studied during their PhD training. To promote the development of primatology in China, we suggest 1) the need for a comprehensive primatology textbook written in Chinese, 2) continued training of more PhD students, and 3) encouragement to study less well-known primate species.

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Female choice impacts residential male takeover in golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana)
Gu Fang, Jing Chen, Ru-Liang Pan, Xiao-Guang Qi, Bao-Guo Li
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 266-271.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.035
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (895KB) (279)
In primate species with social systems consisting of one-male breeding units (OMUs), resident male takeover represents a major challenge to individual reproductive success and mating strategies. The golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) is characterized by large multilevel societies (MLS) comprised of several OMUs and all-male units (AMUs); however, the factors and mechanisms associated with resident male takeover, which offer important insight into primate reproduction and social strategies, are still poorly understood. Based on 5-year monitoring data from a free-ranging herd of golden monkeys from the Qinling Mountains in China, we categorized three phases of an OMU, that is, a rising phase, developing phase, and declining phase. The rising and declining phases were unstable periods in which male takeover in an OMU might occur. Factors causing takeover, such as leader male rank, fighting ability, reproduction rate, and affiliation (proximity, allogrooming), were analyzed for males and females and for different OMUs. Results indicated that the new resident male’s fighting ability was lower than that of the former resident male in 23 cases. After replacement, the rank order of the new resident male significantly declined. Females involved in a takeover increased their distance from the resident male and decreased mating frequency during the three months prior to takeover. Females with infants under one-year-old had a marked effect on the specific time of takeover occurrence. These results suggested that female choice was the main factor deciding whether a takeover attempt was successful. Furthermore, rather than male conflict, females more often initiated and affected takeover and outcome, implying that the social status and competitive ability of the males played lesser roles during takeover.
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A road for a promising future for China’s primates: The potential for restoration
Colin A. Chapman
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 244-248.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.032
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (79KB) (259)
China is one of the most dynamic countries of the world and it shelters some amazing levels of biodiversity, including some very special primate species. However, primarily as a result of forest loss, most of which occurred in historical times, approximately 70% of China’s primate species have less than 3 000 individuals. Here I evaluate one road for future conservation/development that could produce very positive gains for China’s primates; namely forest restoration. I argue that for a large scale restoration project to be possible two conditions must be met; the right societal conditions must exist and the right knowledge must be in hand. This evaluation suggests that the restoration of native forest to support many of China’s primates holds great potential to advance conservation goals and to promote primate population recovery.
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Ecology and social system of northern gibbons living in cold seasonal forests
Zhen-Hua Guan, Chang-Yong Ma, Han-Lan Fei, Bei Huang, Wen-He Ning, Qing-Yong Ni, Xue-Long Jiang, Peng-Fei Fan
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 255-265.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.045
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Gibbons in China represent the northernmost margin of present day gibbon species distribution (around N25°). Compared to tropical habitats, northern gibbon habitats are characterized by low temperatures and remarkable seasonal variation in fruit abundance. How gibbons adapt to their cold and seasonal habitats and what ecological factors affect their sociality are key questions for understanding their ecology and social system evolution, the elucidation of which will contribute to the conservation of these special populations/species. According to preliminary short-term studies, northern gibbons consume more leaves and use larger home ranges than tropical gibbons. Interestingly, some Nomascus groups consist of more than one adult female. However, these preliminary results are not well understood or incorporated into current socio-ecological theories regarding gibbon species. To better understand northern gibbons, our team has systematically studied three habituated groups of Nomascus concolor, three groups of N. nasutus, and two habituated groups of Hoolock tianxing since 2002. In this paper, we stress the challenges facing gibbons living in northern habitats and summarize their behavioral adaptations to their harsh environments. We also describe the northern gibbon social system and discuss the potential relationships between their ecology and sociality. Finally, we highlight future research questions related to northern gibbons in China.

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Taxonomic revision of the genus Mesechinus (Mammalia: Erinaceidae) with description of a new species
Huai-Sen Ai, Kai He, Zhong-Zheng Chen, Jia-Qi Li, Tao Wan, Quan Li, Wen-Hui Nie, Jin-Huan Wang, Wei-Ting Su, Xue-Long Jiang
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (5): 335-347.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.034
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Hedgehogs in the genus Mesechinus (Family Erinaceidae), which include two currently recognized species (M. dauuricus and M. hughi), are distributed from northeast Mongolia to the upper Amur Basin in Russia and adjacent areas in northeast and northern China. In recent years, a population of Mesechinus hedgehogs was discovered from Mt. Gaoligong, southwestern Yunnan, China, far from the known distribution range of the genus. Furthermore, these hedgehogs are the only known population to be distributed at elevations higher than 2 100 m and in sympatry with gymnures. To evaluate the taxonomic status of these hedgehogs, we examined specimens representing Mesechinus taxa in China and further conducted morphometric and karyotypic analyses. Our results supported the existence of four species in China. Specifically, we identified the hedgehogs from Mt. Gaoligong as a new species, Mesechinus wangi sp. nov., and recognized M. miodon, previously considered as a synonym of either M. dauuricus or M. hughi, as a distinct species. Interestingly, we observed a supernumerary M4 on all specimens of Mesechinus wangi sp. nov., which is an extremely rare event in the evolution of mammalian dentition.
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Playing it cool: Characterizing social play, bout termination, and candidate play signals of juvenile and infant Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana
Kaitlin R. Wright, Jessica A. Mayhew, Lori K. Sheeran, Jake A. Funkhouser, Ronald. S. Wagner, Li-Xing Sun, Jin-Hua Li
Zoological Research    2018, 39 (4): 272-283.   DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2018.048
Abstract ( 0 )   PDF (435KB) (169)
Play behaviors and signals during playful interactions with juvenile conspecifics are important for both the social and cognitive development of young animals. The social organization of a species can also influence juvenile social play. We examined the relationships among play behaviors, candidate play signals, and play bout termination in Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) during juvenile and infant social play to characterize the species play style. As Tibetan macaques are despotic and live in groups with strict linear dominance hierarchies and infrequent reconciliation, we predicted that play would be at risk of misinterpretation by both the individuals engaged in the play bout and by those watching, possibly leading to injury of the players. Animals living in such societies might need to frequently and clearly signal playful intent to play partners and other group members to avoid aggressive outcomes. We gathered video data on 21 individually-identified juvenile and infant macaques (one month to five years of age) from the Valley of the Wild Monkeys, Mt. Huangshan, China. We used all-occurrence sampling to record play behaviors and candidate play signals based on an ethogram. We predicted that play groups would use multiple candidate play signals in a variety of contexts and in association with the number of audience members in proximity to the players and play bout length. In the 283 playful interactions we scored, juvenile and infant macaques used multiple body and facial candidate play signals. Our data showed that juvenile and infant Tibetan macaques use a versatile repertoire of play behaviors and signals to sustain play.
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