Natural History Museum Vienna

Vienna, Austria

Natural History Museum Vienna

Vienna, Austria

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Mayflies (the insect order Ephemeroptera) are a fascinating group, which represents the oldest winged insects, estimated to have been existing on the Earth since the lower Carboniferous, or, approximately for 350 million years. They are characterized by exclusively aquatic larvae, a unique fully winged subimaginal stage (the stage right before the young mayfly transforms into a sexually mature adult) and, typically, rather short life as an adult. While identification has generally been considered difficult, and good research collections are to be found in relatively few specialised institutions, three biologists from Turkey and Austria have recently concluded a review of the Turkish mayfly fauna, in which they also add two species newly recorded from the country. They also list 157 mayfly taxa representing 33 genera and 14 families, including 24 species considered endemic to Anatolia. With their annotated overview of the present state of knowledge concerning mayflies in Turkey, the authors aim to facilitate future research. Synthesis of all previous records of mayflies from Turkey together with new records, a map of provinces and pertinent literature, are all included in the latest paper published by scientists Dr Ali Salur, Hitit University, Çorum, Turkey, Dr Mustafa Cemal Darilmaz, Aksaray University, Aksaray, Turkey, and Dr Ernst Bauernfeind, Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria, in the open access ZooKeys. The data in the review are based on a detailed study of literature on Ephemeroptera in Turkey as well as on hitherto unpublished material housed in the Natural History Museum Vienna. Unpublished theses have not been considered. By 2015, there have been well over 70 scientific papers and books published on Ephemeroptera in Turkey from both Turkish and foreign researchers. Distribution of species-group taxa in Turkey have been listed and referenced according to publication dates. National distribution records (without specific data at least on province level) have been listed under 'Turkey'. Type locality of species were only provided if the taxon had originally been based on material from Turkey. Remarks on different taxonomic opinions and nomenclature have been added under 'Comment' whenever appropriate. Websites http://www.faunaturkey.com and http://www.faunaturkey.org (launched in 2013) are meant to contribute more information on research about the fauna of Turkey. The data provided in the present study will also be added to the websites following publication. Explore further: Access to Wikileaks blocked in Turkey as it releases emails More information: Ali Salur et al, An annotated catalogue of the mayfly fauna of Turkey (Insecta, Ephemeroptera), ZooKeys (2016). DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.620.9405


Neubauer T.A.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Harzhauser M.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Kroh A.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Georgopoulou E.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Mandic O.,Natural History Museum Vienna
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2015

For the first time a palaeobiogeographic framework is proposed for European Neogene freshwater systems. The distribution of 2226 species-group taxa of freshwater gastropods from over 2700 Miocene and Pliocene localities was evaluated. The localities were grouped into palaeo-freshwater systems based on latest palaeogeographic reconstructions. Cluster analyses were computed for four time slices, i.e., Early Miocene, Middle Miocene, Late Miocene, and Pliocene. The analyses demonstrate a generally high degree of provincialism for the Neogene freshwater systems and allow the definition of biogeographic units. The delimitations are based on the cluster analyses, the degree of endemicity, and geographical coherence. The Early Miocene is characterised by a relatively low degree of provincialism suggesting the distinction of three regions. Coinciding with the development of many endemic systems on the Dinarian-Anatolian Island and in central Europe, the Middle Miocene demonstrates a higher degree of provincialism, allowing the definition of six biogeographic regions. With the onset of the Late Miocene the retreat of the Central Paratethys and development of the huge Lake Pannon massively shaped faunal evolution and palaeobiogeography in general. The formation of the 'Lago-mare' environment fringing the Mediterranean Basin as well as the development of several restricted freshwater systems in western Europe additionally promoted biogeographic division. The increasing provincialism allowed the delimitation of six biogeographic regions, three of which could be subdivided into seven dominions. With the disappearance of Lake Pannon and the decline of western European and Mediterranean faunas at the Miocene-Pliocene boundary, biodiversity hotspots shifted towards eastern and southeastern Europe. For the Pliocene, four biogeographic regions, five dominions, and four provinces were defined.Most of the here proposed biogeographic units and faunal differences are governed by the varied existence of large, long-lived systems. Because of their prolonged duration they immensely influenced the community composition on the family level, differences of the relative species richnesses per biogeographic region, and the rising rate of endemicity. The underlying mechanism for this pattern is the ongoing continentalization of Europe triggered by the Alpidic orogenesis and the simultaneous retreat of the Paratethys Sea. The continuing restriction of this huge intracontinental sea from the Mediterranean promoted the evolution of endemic freshwater faunas. The arising long-lived systems like Lake Pannon, Lake Dacia or Lake Slavonia persisted over several millions of years and stimulated the evolution of highly diverse and endemic faunas. © 2015.


Habel J.C.,Invertebrate Biology | Zachos F.E.,Natural History Museum Vienna
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2012

Habitats often show similar present structuring, but contrasting histories: habitats occur naturally fragmented due to abiotic or biotic factors over long time periods, but may also have become fragmented only recently through transformation from interconnected to highly fragmented habitats within short time periods. Species and populations being faced with such contrasting habitat scenarios also show contrasting responses at species and intraspecific level. Organisms and populations from naturally fragmented habitats may show a reduction in their genetic load (purging) due to purifying selection in isolation. In contrast, sudden habitat transformations from interconnected to highly fragmented structures and the resulting transition from gene flow or panmixia to strong population differentiation often have negative effects on biota; while species occur in interconnected population networks (maintaining a high proportion of genetic diversity), a sudden breakdown of gene flow may lead to a severe loss of genetic diversity and the manifestation of weakly deleterious alleles. In consequence, fragmented habitats need not have a negative impact on species per se, but the history of habitat structures, particularly fast transformation processes, may severely affect the persistence and fitness of species. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Lukeneder A.,Natural History Museum Vienna
Computers and Geosciences | Year: 2012

The first 3D visualisation of a heteromorph cephalopod species from the Southern Alps (Dolomites, northern Italy) is presented. Computed tomography, palaeontological data and 3D reconstructions were included in the production of a movie, which shows a life reconstruction of the extinct organism. This detailed reconstruction is according to the current knowledge of the shape and mode of life as well as habitat of this animal. The results are based on the most complete shell known thus far of the genus . Dissimilites. Object-based combined analyses from computed tomography and various computed 3D facility programmes help to understand morphological details as well as their ontogentical changes in fossil material. In this study, an additional goal was to show changes in locomotion during different ontogenetic phases of such fossil, marine shell-bearing animals (ammonoids). Hence, the presented models and tools can serve as starting points for discussions on morphology and locomotion of extinct cephalopods in general, and of the genus . Dissimilites in particular. The heteromorph ammonoid genus . Dissimilites is interpreted here as an active swimmer of the Tethyan Ocean. This study portrays non-destructive methods of 3D visualisation applied on palaeontological material, starting with computed tomography resulting in animated, high-quality video clips. The here presented 3D geometrical models and animation, which are based on palaeontological material, demonstrate the wide range of applications, analytical techniques and also outline possible limitations of 3D models in earth sciences and palaeontology. The realistic 3D models and motion pictures can easily be shared amongst palaeontologists. Data, images and short clips can be discussed online and, if necessary, adapted in morphological details and motion-style to better represent the cephalopod animal. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Dellmour R.,OMV Austria Exploration and Production GmbH | Harzhauser M.,Natural History Museum Vienna
Marine and Petroleum Geology | Year: 2012

During the latest Early Miocene a large drainage system developed in the Alpine-Carpathian Foreland transporting sediments through a prominent submarine canyon along the narrow corridor between the south-eastern Bohemian Massif and the Waschberg-Ždánice Unit. The canyon followed the Alpine-Carpathian Foredeep from Lower Austria towards the north and northeast into the Czech Republic. 3-D seismic data allow the mapping of this 600 m deep structure over a distance of 25 km and a width of 5 km. Despite its dimension, making it the largest submarine erosive and sedimentary structure of the Neogene Alpine-Carpathian Foredeep, this canyon has not been previously recognised. Herein, it is interpreted as shelf-indenting canyon that formed due to a combination of isostatic rebound along a terminating thrust front and sea-level change during the terminal Early Miocene. The canyon fill comprises reworked littoral deposits with a typical Early Miocene, tropical micro- and macrofauna. The exact timing of this refilling remains unclear. Smaller channel structures in surface outcrops, representing potential tributaries of the canyon, suggest a more or less synsedimentary filling soon after indention. Finally, the top part of the canyon was eroded around the Early/Middle Miocene boundary, probably related to a global 3rd order sea level drop, and caped by marine marls during the subsequent early Middle Miocene transgression. With the sudden onset of the subsidence of the Northern Vienna Basin during that time, the drainage system abruptly moved southward shedding its sediments into the newly opening Vienna Basin. This explains the rather abrupt abandonment of the huge canyon feature, whose fan deposits are unknown so far. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Stuckas H.,Museum of Zoology | Gemel R.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Fritz U.,Museum of Zoology
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Pelusios seychellensis is thought to be a freshwater turtle species endemic to the island of Mahé, Seychelles. There are only three museum specimens from the late 19th century known. The species has been never found again, despite intensive searches on Mahé. Therefore, P. seychellensis has been declared as "Extinct" by the IUCN and is the sole putatively extinct freshwater turtle species. Using DNA sequences of three mitochondrial genes of the historical type specimen and phylogenetic analyses including all other species of the genus, we provide evidence that the description of P. seychellensis was erroneously based on a widely distributed West African species, P. castaneus. Consequently, we synonymize the two species and delete P. seychellensis from the list of extinct chelonian species and from the faunal list of the Seychelles. © 2013 Stuckas et al.


Neubauer T.A.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Harzhauser M.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Kroh A.,Natural History Museum Vienna
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2013

Detecting speciation in the fossil record is a particularly challenging matter. Palaeontologists are usually confronted with poor preservation and limited knowledge on the palaeoenvironment. Even in the contrary case of adequate preservation and information, the linkage of pattern to process is often obscured by insufficient temporal resolution. Consequently, reliable documentations of speciation in fossils with discussions on underlying mechanisms are rare. Here we present a well-resolved pattern of morphological evolution in a fossil species lineage of the gastropod Melanopsis in the long-lived Lake Pannon. These developments are related to environmental changes, documented by isotope and stratigraphical data. After a long period of stasis, the ancestral species experiences a phenotypic change expressed as shift and expansion of the morphospace. The appearance of several new phenotypes along with changes in the environment is interpreted as adaptive radiation. Lake-level high stands affect distribution and availability of habitats and, as a result of varied functional demands on shell geometry, the distribution of phenotypes. The ongoing divergence of the morphospace into two branches argues for increasing reproductive isolation, consistent with the model of ecological speciation. In the latest phase, however, progressively unstable conditions restrict availability of niches, allowing survival of one branch only. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


At present eleven species of Anochetus MAYR, 1861 are known from the Philippines, including four species described as new here: Anochetus werneri sp.n. (from the island of Mindanao), A. leyticus sp.n. and A. pangantihoni sp.n. (both from the island of Leyte) belong to Brown's A. risii FOREL, 1900 species group. Anochetus schoedli sp.n. (from northern Luzon) belongs to Brown's A. longifossatus MAYR, 1897 species group. Anochetus ruginotus STITZ, 1925 sp.rev. is a valid species and not a synonym of A. graeffei MAYR, 1870. An identification key to the workers of Philippine Anochetus species is added.


Zachos F.E.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Lovari S.,University of Siena
Hystrix | Year: 2013

There has been an ongoing debate over mammalian taxonomy, species splitting and the Phylogenetic Species Concept (PSC). As a reply to a recent commentary in this journal, we characterise the PSC in its two most widely used versions (based on diagnosability and monophyly, respectively) and highlight both its theoretical flaws and practical shortcomings for taxonomy, evolutionary biology and conservation. © 2013 Associazione Teriologica Italiana.


Kroha A.,Natural History Museum Vienna | Smithb A.B.,Natural History Museum in London
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology | Year: 2010

The relationships of post-Palaeozoic echinoids at family level are established through phylogenetic analysis of 169 taxa and 306 skeletal characters (excluding pedicellariae). Previous phylogenetic analyses of echinoids have either examined specific subgroups in detail or have looked at a relatively small number of taxa selected from across the class, with sparse sampling potentially affecting the reliability of results adversely. Our new analyses represent a compromise between encompassing the diversity of form that exists, while keeping the number of taxa to a level that does not make rigorous analysis impossibly time-consuming. In constructing the taxon-character data matrix we have encountered a surprising lack of primary data on plating pattern, lantern, and girdle structure for many supposedly "well-known" taxa. A well-resolved phylogenetic hypothesis was obtained and is used as the basis for a formal classification. Characters generally have a high retention index (>0.7) but low consistency index (<0.25) suggesting that, although characters are largely retained after they first evolve, most also undergo occasional reversal or convergence. Although parts of the resulting trees are only weakly supported (e.g. the precise sister group of the Irregularia), other parts are unambiguously resolved. Not unexpectedly, deep nodes are often not supported by unique apomorphies and higher taxa acquire their characteristic set of features over time. Diagnoses based on crown group taxa thus often fail to encompass fossil stem-group members adequately. Establishing the relationships of taxa at the root of large groups is hampered by limited character resolution. The influence of fossil taxa on the topology was explored by comparing the tree topologies obtained with and without their inclusion. We show that removal of fossils from stem groups makes no difference where their crown group is morphologically conservative, but has a major influence where extant sister groups are separated by large morphological gaps. Completeness of the echinoid record and its match to the stratigraphical record of first occurrences is tested using various metrics and found to be highly congruent, with irregular echinoids showing a higher congruence than regular ones. © 2010 The Natural History Museum.

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