PubMed | Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Endangered Primate Rescue Center, Ruhr University Bochum, 1185 East 39th Place Eugene OR 97405 United States and 6 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zoological journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2016
Lorisiform primates (Primates: Strepsirrhini: Lorisiformes) represent almost 10% of the living primate species and are widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa and South/South-East Asia; however, their taxonomy, evolutionary history, and biogeography are still poorly understood. In this study we report the largest molecular phylogeny in terms of the number of represented taxa. We sequenced the complete mitochondrial cytochrome
News Article | December 3, 2015
The pygmy slow loris are the first known hibernatig primates outside Madagaskar. Credit: Tilo Nadler Up to now, three species of lemurs on Madagascar were the only primates known to hibernate. Researchers at Vetmeduni Vienna in Austria, now show for the first time that another primate species that lives in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and China, the pygmy slow loris, also uses hibernation to save energy. The results were published in Scientific Reports this week. Hibernation is a state of energy conservation during which body temperature and metabolism are drastically reduced. If this state lasts longer than 24 hours, it is called hibernation. Shorter periods are called daily torpor. There are many mammals that hibernate. However, among primates hibernation is a rare capability, as it had been previously found in three species of lemurs only. Lemurs exclusively live on the island of Madagascar, where they hibernate during the dry season, mainly to conserve water. Now a team at the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at the Vetmeduni Vienna, collaborating with colleagues from the Vietnamese Endangered Primate Rescue Center, has discovered another primate that hibernates: the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus). They belong to the so-called wet nosed primates, reach a body size of about 20 centimeter and a body mass of 400 gram. They live in Southeast Asia and are nocturnal, tree-living animals. The researchers investigated the body temperatures of five pygmy lorises in fall, winter, and spring in a Vietnamese primate reservation. It turned out that both sexes repeatedly showed hibernation episodes lasting up to 63 hours between December and February. According to first author Thomas Ruf, the underlying reason is likely an endogenous annual clock, which induces hibernation at a time of the year when food abundance is decreasing. However, it is also the decreasing ambient temperature that triggers hibernation. "In Vietnam, where we studied the animals, there are pronounced seasons. Ambient temperature can drop to 5 centigrade. This is exactly when the probability of animals entering a hibernation episode was highest", Ruf explains. According to Ruf, free living pygmy lorises are adapted to reduced food availability in winter. During the cold season food is sparse. Hibernation then helps to save energy. "There had been anecdotal observations of pygmy lorises that remained inactive for several days. Occasionally animals were encountered that felt cool to the touch. However, we discovered only now that the lorises actually hibernate" explains first author Thomas Ruf. Hibernation as an overwintering strategy among primates Previously, scientists had assumed that the environmental conditions on Madagascar may have been crucial for the occurrence of hibernation among primates. "Our new finding of a hibernating primate species outside Madagascar sheds new light on the evolution of hibernation", emphasizes Ruf. "Possibly, hibernation as an overwintering strategy was lost in other primates in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. However, perhaps hibernation is also used by further primate species, which have not been studied yet." Explore further: Hibernators live longer mainly because they escape predators More information: Hibernation in the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus): multiday torpor in primates is not restricted to Madagascar, Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 17392 (2015) DOI: 10.1038/srep17392
Thinh V.N.,German Primate Center |
Rawson B.,Conservation International Greater Mekong Region |
Hallam C.,Wildlife Conservation Society |
Kenyon M.,Endangered Asian Species Trust |
And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2010
Crested gibbons, genus Nomascus, are endemic to the Indochinese bioregion and occur only in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and southern China. However, knowledge about the number of species to be recognized and their exact geographical distributions is still limited. To further elucidate the evolutionary history of crested gibbon species and to settle their distribution ranges, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene from 79 crested gibbon individuals from known locations. Based on our findings, crested gibbons should be classified into seven species. Within N. concolor, we recognize two subspecies, N. concolor concolor and N. concolor lu. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate that the northernmost species, N. hainanus, N. nasutus, and N. concolor branched off first, suggesting that the genus originated in the north and successively migrated to the south. The most recent splits within Nomascus occurred between N. leucogenys and N. siki, and between Nomascus sp. and N. gabriellae. Based on our data, the currently postulated distributions of the latter four species have to be revised. Our study shows that molecular methods are a useful tool to elucidate phylogenetic relationships among crested gibbons and to determine species boundaries. Am. J. Primatol. 72:1047-1054, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Roos C.,German Primate Center |
Zinner D.,German Primate Center |
Kubatko L.S.,Ohio State University |
Schwarz C.,German Primate Center |
And 13 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2011
Background: Colobine monkeys constitute a diverse group of primates with major radiations in Africa and Asia. However, phylogenetic relationships among genera are under debate, and recent molecular studies with incomplete taxon-sampling revealed discordant gene trees. To solve the evolutionary history of colobine genera and to determine causes for possible gene tree incongruences, we combined presence/absence analysis of mobile elements with autosomal, X chromosomal, Y chromosomal and mitochondrial sequence data from all recognized colobine genera. Results: Gene tree topologies and divergence age estimates derived from different markers were similar, but differed in placing Piliocolobus/Procolobus and langur genera among colobines. Although insufficient data, homoplasy and incomplete lineage sorting might all have contributed to the discordance among gene trees, hybridization is favored as the main cause of the observed discordance. We propose that African colobines are paraphyletic, but might later have experienced female introgression from Piliocolobus/ Procolobus into Colobus. In the late Miocene, colobines invaded Eurasia and diversified into several lineages. Among Asian colobines, Semnopithecus diverged first, indicating langur paraphyly. However, unidirectional gene flow from Semnopithecus into Trachypithecus via male introgression followed by nuclear swamping might have occurred until the earliest Pleistocene. Conclusions: Overall, our study provides the most comprehensive view on colobine evolution to date and emphasizes that analyses of various molecular markers, such as mobile elements and sequence data from multiple loci, are crucial to better understand evolutionary relationships and to trace hybridization events. Our results also suggest that sex-specific dispersal patterns, promoted by a respective social organization of the species involved, can result in different hybridization scenarios. © 2011 Roos et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
PubMed | University of Minnesota, Endangered Primate Rescue Center, Philadelphia Zoological Garden, GreenViet Biodiversity Conservation Center and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2016
The primate gastrointestinal tract is home to trillions of bacteria, whose composition is associated with numerous metabolic, autoimmune, and infectious human diseases. Although there is increasing evidence that modern and Westernized societies are associated with dramatic loss of natural human gut microbiome diversity, the causes and consequences of such loss are challenging to study. Here we use nonhuman primates (NHPs) as a model system for studying the effects of emigration and lifestyle disruption on the human gut microbiome. Using 16S rRNA gene sequencing in two model NHP species, we show that although different primate species have distinctive signature microbiota in the wild, in captivity they lose their native microbes and become colonized with Prevotella and Bacteroides, the dominant genera in the modern human gut microbiome. We confirm that captive individuals from eight other NHP species in a different zoo show the same pattern of convergence, and that semicaptive primates housed in a sanctuary represent an intermediate microbiome state between wild and captive. Using deep shotgun sequencing, chemical dietary analysis, and chloroplast relative abundance, we show that decreasing dietary fiber and plant content are associated with the captive primate microbiome. Finally, in a meta-analysis including published human data, we show that captivity has a parallel effect on the NHP gut microbiome to that of Westernization in humans. These results demonstrate that captivity and lifestyle disruption cause primates to lose native microbiota and converge along an axis toward the modern human microbiome.
Streicher U.,Endangered Primate Rescue Center
Hydroecologie Appliquee | Year: 2016
During inundation of the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project a wildlife rescue programme was conducted to respond to animal rescue needs. Based on a series of field surveys conducted in 2007, priority species were identified for rescue and translocation. Once filling of the Nam Theun 2 Reservoir commenced and islands started to form, animals trapped on these islands were captured by various means and translocated to the Nakai - Nam Theun National Protected Area managed by the NT2 Watershed Management and Protection Authority (WMPA) on the north shore of the reservoir. Various data was collected on these animals and a number of these animals were radiotracked after translocation to assess their survival. Such rescue efforts are often considered a mere act of animal welfare or a public relation exercise. The experience of the Nam Theun 2 wildlife rescue programme shows however that a carefully conducted wildlife rescue programme can provide not only invaluable scientific and ecological insights but significantly contribute to conservation of the biodiversity in the area. © EDF, 2014.
Thinh V.N.,German Primate Center |
Mootnick A.R.,Gibbon Conservation Center |
Geissmann T.,University of Zürich |
Li M.,CAS Institute of Zoology |
And 6 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2010
Background. Gibbons or small apes inhabit tropical and subtropical rain forests in Southeast Asia and adjacent regions, and are, next to great apes, our closest living relatives. With up to 16 species, gibbons form the most diverse group of living hominoids, but the number of taxa, their phylogenetic relationships and their phylogeography is controversial. To further the discussion of these issues we analyzed the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene from 85 individuals representing all gibbon species, including most subspecies. Results. Based on phylogenetic tree reconstructions, several monophyletic clades were detected, corresponding to genera, species and subspecies. A significantly supported branching pattern was obtained for members of the genus Nomascus but not for the genus Hylobates. The phylogenetic relationships among the four genera were also not well resolved. Nevertheless, the new data permitted the estimation of divergence ages for all taxa for the first time and showed that most lineages emerged during four short time periods. In the first, between ∼6.7 and ∼8.3 mya, the four gibbon genera diverged from each other. In the second (∼3.0 - ∼3.9 mya) and in the third period (∼1.3 - ∼1.8 mya), Hylobates and Hoolock differentiated. Finally, between ∼0.5 and ∼1.1 mya, Hylobates lar diverged into subspecies. In contrast, differentiation of Nomascus into species and subspecies was a continuous and prolonged process lasting from ∼4.2 until ∼0.4 mya. Conclusions. Although relationships among gibbon taxa on various levels remain unresolved, the present study provides a more complete view of the evolutionary and biogeographic history of the hylobatid family, and a more solid genetic basis for the taxonomic classification of the surviving taxa. We also show that mtDNA constitutes a useful marker for the accurate identification of individual gibbons, a tool which is urgently required to locate hunting hotspots and select individuals for captive breeding programs. Further studies including nuclear sequence data are necessary to completely understand the phylogeny and phylogeography of gibbons. © 2010 Thinh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Notes about occurrence, ecology and morphology of Kha-nyou, the Lao rock rat (Laonastes aenigmamus) [Zum Vorkommen, zur Ökologie und Morphologie von Kha-nyou, der Laos-Felsenratte (Laonastes aenigmamus)]
Nadler T.,Endangered Primate Rescue Center
Zoologische Garten | Year: 2010
The Kha-nyou or Lao rock rat (Laonastes aenigmamus) was described as a new species, genus and family (Laonastidae) (Jenkins et al., 2005). But morphological comparison with the family Diatomydae, a family solely based on fossil material, suggested Laonastes should be placed within this family (Dawson et al., 2006; Huchon et al., 2007). Thus Laonastes would represent the only living member of this family. Molecular genetic investigation placed Laonastes in a sister lineage to the Gundis (Ctenodactylidae) (Huchon et al., 2007). Several morphological similarities support this phylogenetic position. A new record of the species north of the known distribution in Laos was found for the Nam Kading National Biodiversity Conservation Area. The food of wild Kha-nyou includes the Euphorbie Euphorbia antiquorum, which contains caustic and skin irritating terpenester. In captivity Kha-nyou is strictly herbivorous, and doesn't feed on offered insects, insect larvae or worms. © 2010.
PubMed | University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and Endangered Primate Rescue Center
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2015
Hibernation and short daily torpor are states of energy conservation with reduced metabolism and body temperature. Both hibernation, also called multiday torpor, and daily torpor are common among mammals and occur in at least 11 orders. Within the primates, there is a peculiar situation, because to date torpor has been almost exclusively reported for Malagasy lemurs. The single exception is the African lesser bushbaby, which is capable of daily torpor, but uses it only under extremely adverse conditions. For true hibernation, the geographical restriction was absolute. No primate outside of Madagascar was previously known to hibernate. Since hibernation is commonly viewed as an ancient, plesiomorphic trait, theoretically this could mean that hibernation as an overwintering strategy was lost in all other primates in mainland Africa, Asia, and the Americas. However, we hypothesized that a good candidate species for the use of hibernation, outside of Madagascar should be the pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus), a small primate inhabiting tropical forests. Here, we show that pygmy slow lorises exposed to natural climatic conditions in northern Vietnam during winter indeed undergo torpor lasting up to 63 h, that is, hibernation. Thus, hibernation has been retained in at least one primate outside of Madagascar.
News Article | December 8, 2015
A pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) in its natural habitat. The picture was taken in the Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam. More Hibernation is well-documented in a number of animal species, and is common across the mammal family tree. In primates, however, it's almost unheard of. Until recently, the only primates known to hibernate were Madagascar lemurs. But scientists have found another primate that settles down for a seasonal snooze: the pygmy slow loris, native to Vietnam. Researchers conducted the first-ever study of hibernation in pygmy slow lorises (Nycticebus pygmaeus), working with six adult animals at Vietnam's Endangered Primate Rescue Center. The researchers were looking for evidence such as reduced body temperature for extended periods of time, occurring in otherwise healthy animals. They built nesting boxes to mimic the tree holes that the lorises typically use for hibernating, and implanted the lorises with devices that logged their temperatures every 6 minutes for nearly a year. During the cool, dry winter months, from late October until early April, the lorises exhibited behavior and physical responses consistent with animals that are known hibernators. They would repeatedly retreat to their nesting boxes and lapse into periods of inactivity that lasted up to 63 consecutive hours at a time, the researchers said. While in hibernation, their temperatures would dip to about 52 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius). [In Photos: Cute New Slow Loris Species] The animals' bodies would also be stiff to the touch, said the study's corresponding author, Thomas Ruf, a physiologist with the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Ruf told Live Science that he had suspected for some time that lorises hibernated, based on accounts dating back to the 1980s. Those reports described lorises curled up in trees, where they remained inactive for days. But without monitoring the animals over time, it was impossible to tell whether this was a sign of hibernation or of illness, Ruf added. The data gathered by Ruf and his colleagues provided the first evidence that the lorises entered a state of inactivity and reduced metabolic rate in response to seasonal changes, the new study reported. Hibernation is an effective survival strategy for animals living in parts of the world where changing seasons mean that food is less available for parts of the year. Pygmy slow lorises eat fruit and insects, and when winter rolls around, the insects become scarce. "That's why we think they hibernate — they have to save energy somehow," Ruf said. Another benefit of hibernation is that the drop in body temperature means that animals' natural body odors are reduced, making the creatures harder for predators to detect, Ruf said. He recalled an experiment from decades ago that "you couldn't do these days," in which hibernating mice were placed in a room with hungry weasels. Because the mice were cold, motionless and stiff, the weasels weren't interested and left the potential prey alone. Likewise, lorises hibernating in trees would be easy prey for snakes, but a cold, stiff, loris doesn't have much appeal to predators looking for a warm, lively dinner. "Hibernation is a very safe time for animals," Ruf told Live Science. "They have a very high survival probability." Small wonder, then, that so many animals hibernate. In mammals, hibernation appears in 11 different orders, which suggests the behavior originated far back in the ancestral time line of mammals. "It's unlikely that it evolved independently among so many genetic branches, " Ruf said. "So it must be really old." It's possible that more hibernating species are yet to be discovered, even in the primate lineage, where hibernation is considered rare. Hibernating lemurs and the pygmy slow loris all belong to the same suborder, Strepsirrhini, and more species in that grouping could be hibernators, too, the researchers said. "I suspect there are more primates that hibernate," Ruf added. "Now we have to go and look." The findings were published online Dec. 3 in the journal Scientific Reports. Follow Mindy Weisberger on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science. Copyright 2015 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.