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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Nature communications, 2018-08-21, Vol.9 (1), p.3193-12
    Description: In 1967 G.G. Simpson described three partial mandibles from early Miocene deposits in Kenya that he interpreted as belonging to a new strepsirrhine primate, Propotto. This interpretation was quickly challenged, with the assertion that Propotto was not a primate, but rather a pteropodid fruit bat. The latter interpretation has not been questioned for almost half a century. Here we re-evaluate the affinities of Propotto, drawing upon diverse lines of evidence to establish that this strange mammal is a strepsirrhine primate as originally suggested by Simpson. Moreover, our phylogenetic analyses support the recognition of Propotto, together with late Eocene Plesiopithecus from Egypt, as African stem chiromyiform lemurs that are exclusively related to the extant aye-aye (Daubentonia) from Madagascar. Our results challenge the long-held view that all lemurs are descended from a single ancient colonization of Madagascar, and present an intriguing alternative scenario in which two lemur lineages dispersed from Africa to Madagascar independently, possibly during the later Cenozoic.
    Subject(s): Animals ; Biological Evolution ; Cenozoic ; Colonization ; Egypt ; Eocene ; Extinction, Biological ; Fossils ; Hypotheses ; Kenya ; Lemur - physiology ; Madagascar ; Mandible ; Miocene ; Molar - anatomy & histology ; Morphology ; National museums ; Phylogenetics ; Phylogeny ; Phylogeography ; Primates - physiology ; Principal Component Analysis ; Teeth
    ISSN: 2041-1723
    E-ISSN: 2041-1723
    Source: Nature Open Access
    Source: PubMed Central
    Source: DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals - Not for CDI Discovery
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2017, Vol.12 (10), p.e0185301-e0185301
    Description: Throughout the Paleogene, most terrestrial carnivore niches in Afro-Arabia were occupied by Hyaenodonta, an extinct lineage of placental mammals. By the end of the Miocene, terrestrial carnivore niches had shifted to members of Carnivora, a clade with Eurasian origins. The transition from a hyaenodont-carnivore fauna to a carnivoran-carnivore fauna coincides with other ecological changes in Afro-Arabia as tectonic conditions in the African Rift System altered climatic conditions and facilitated faunal exchange with Eurasia. Fossil bearing deposits in the Nsungwe Formation in southwestern Tanzania are precisely dated to ~25.2 Ma (late Oligocene), preserving a late Paleogene Afro-Arabian fauna on the brink of environmental transition, including the earliest fossil evidence of the split between Old World monkeys and apes. Here we describe a new hyaenodont from the Nsungwe Formation, Pakakali rukwaensis gen. et sp. nov., a bobcat-sized taxon known from a portion of the maxilla that preserves a deciduous third premolar and alveoli of dP4 and M1. The crown of dP3 bears an elongate parastyle and metastyle and a small, blade-like metacone. Based on alveolar morphology, the two more distal teeth successively increased in size and had relatively large protocones. Using a hyaenodont character-taxon matrix that includes deciduous dental characters, Bayesian phylogenetic methods resolve Pakakali within the clade Hyainailouroidea. A Bayesian biogeographic analysis of phylogenetic results resolve the Pakakali clade as Afro-Arabian in origin, demonstrating that this small carnivorous mammal was part of an endemic Afro-Arabian lineage that persisted into the Miocene. Notably, Pakakali is in the size range of carnivoran forms that arrived and began to diversify in the region by the early Miocene. The description of Pakakali is important for exploring hyaenodont ontogeny and potential influences of Afro-Arabian tectonic events upon mammalian evolution, providing a deep time perspective on the stability of terrestrial carnivore niches through time.
    Subject(s): African rift system ; Alveoli ; Animals ; Apes ; Bayesian analysis ; Biological evolution ; Biology and Life Sciences ; Carnivora - anatomy & histology ; Carnivora - physiology ; Climatic conditions ; Computer and Information Sciences ; Creodonts ; Dental materials ; Earth Sciences ; Ecology and Environmental Sciences ; Elongation ; Fauna ; Fossils ; Mammals ; Maxilla ; Medicine and Health Sciences ; Miocene ; Monkeys ; Museums ; Neogene ; New species ; Niches ; Oligocene ; Ontogeny ; Organ Size ; Osteopathic medicine ; Paleogene ; Paleontology ; People and Places ; Phylogeny ; Phylogeography ; Physiological aspects ; Placenta ; Tanzania ; Teeth ; Terrestrial environments ; Time Factors ; Tooth - anatomy & histology
    ISSN: 1932-6203
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: PubMed Central
    Source: DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals - Not for CDI Discovery
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2014, Vol.9 (3), p.e90415-e90415
    Description: The extant snake fauna has its roots in faunal upheaval occurring across the Paleogene-Neogene transition. On northern continents, this turnover is well established by the late early Miocene. However, this transition is poorly documented on southern landmasses, particularly on continental Africa, where no late Paleogene terrestrial snake assemblages are documented south of the equator. Here we describe a newly discovered snake fauna from the Late Oligocene Nsungwe Formation in the Rukwa Rift Basin of Tanzania. The fauna is small but diverse with eight identifiable morphotypes, comprised of three booids and five colubroids. This fauna includes Rukwanyoka holmani gen. et sp. nov., the oldest boid known from mainland Africa. It also provides the oldest fossil evidence for the African colubroid clade Elapidae. Colubroids dominate the fauna, comprising more than 75% of the recovered material. This is likely tied to local aridification and/or seasonality and mirrors the pattern of overturn in later snake faunas inhabiting the emerging grassland environments of Europe and North America. The early emergence of colubroid dominance in the Rukwa Rift Basin relative to northern continents suggests that the pattern of overturn that resulted in extant faunas happened in a more complex fashion on continental Africa than was previously realized, with African colubroids becoming at least locally important in the late Paleogene, either ahead of or as a consequence of the invasion of colubrids. The early occurrence of elapid snakes in the latest Oligocene of Africa suggests the clade rapidly spread from Asia to Africa, or arose in Africa, before invading Europe.
    Subject(s): Animals ; Biological Evolution ; Biology and Life Sciences ; Bone and Bones - anatomy & histology ; Bone and Bones - physiology ; Continents ; Earth Sciences ; Ecosystems ; Equator ; Evolution ; Extinction, Biological ; Fauna ; Fossils ; Grasslands ; Miocene ; Neogene ; New species ; Oligocene ; Osteopathic medicine ; Paleogene ; Paleontology ; Phylogenetics ; Phylogeny ; Phylogeography ; Reptiles & amphibians ; Seasonal variations ; Snakes ; Snakes - anatomy & histology ; Snakes - classification ; Snakes - physiology ; Studies ; Tanzania ; Terrestrial environments ; Vertebra
    ISSN: 1932-6203
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: PubMed Central
    Source: DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals - Not for CDI Discovery
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: PloS one, 2016, Vol.11 (6), p.e0156847-e0156847
    Description: Based on molecular dating, the origin of insect agriculture is hypothesized to have taken place independently in three clades of fungus-farming insects: the termites, ants or ambrosia beetles during the Paleogene (66-24 Ma). Yet, definitive fossil evidence of fungus-growing behavior has been elusive, with no unequivocal records prior to the late Miocene (7-10 Ma). Here we report fossil evidence of insect agriculture in the form of fossil fungus gardens, preserved within 25 Ma termite nests from southwestern Tanzania. Using these well-dated fossil fungus gardens, we have recalibrated molecular divergence estimates for the origins of termite agriculture to around 31 Ma, lending support to hypotheses suggesting an African Paleogene origin for termite-fungus symbiosis; perhaps coinciding with rift initiation and changes in the African landscape.
    Subject(s): Agriculture ; Animals ; Beetles ; Biology and Life Sciences ; Calibration ; Confidence Intervals ; Divergence ; Earth Sciences ; Ecosystem biology ; Ecosystems ; Evolutionary biology ; Farming ; Formicidae ; Fossils ; Fungi ; Fungi - physiology ; Fungus gardens ; Gardens ; Gardens & gardening ; Genetic aspects ; Insects ; Isoptera ; Isoptera - microbiology ; Laboratorium voor Erfelijkheidsleer ; Laboratory of Genetics ; Miocene ; Nests ; Oligocene ; Osteopathic medicine ; Paleogene ; PE&RC ; Phylogeny ; Stratigraphy ; Symbiosis ; Tanzania ; Termites ; Time Factors
    ISSN: 1932-6203
    E-ISSN: 1932-6203
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: PubMed Central
    Source: DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals - Not for CDI Discovery
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Nature (London), 2013-05-30, Vol.497 (7451), p.611-614
    Description: Apes and Old World monkeys are prominent components of modern African and Asian ecosystems, yet the earliest phases of their evolutionary history have remained largely undocumented. The absence of crown catarrhine fossils older than ∼20 million years (Myr) has stood in stark contrast to molecular divergence estimates of ∼25-30 Myr for the split between Cercopithecoidea (Old World monkeys) and Hominoidea (apes), implying long ghost lineages for both clades. Here we describe the oldest known fossil 'ape', represented by a partial mandible preserving dental features that place it with 'nyanzapithecine' stem hominoids. Additionally, we report the oldest stem member of the Old World monkey clade, represented by a lower third molar. Both specimens were recovered from a precisely dated 25.2-Myr-old stratum in the Rukwa Rift, a segment of the western branch of the East African Rift in Tanzania. These finds extend the fossil record of apes and Old World monkeys well into the Oligocene epoch of Africa, suggesting a possible link between diversification of crown catarrhines and changes in the African landscape brought about by previously unrecognized tectonic activity in the East African rift system.
    Subject(s): Animals ; Apes ; Cercopithecidae - anatomy & histology ; Cercopithecidae - classification ; Divergent evolution ; Fossils ; History, Ancient ; Hominidae - anatomy & histology ; Hominidae - classification ; Mandible - anatomy & histology ; Natural history ; Observations ; Old-World monkeys ; Paleontology ; Phylogeny ; Tanzania ; Tooth - anatomy & histology
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: Get It Now
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Oryx, 2020-11, Vol.54 (6), p.837-846
    Description: The Vulnerable fosa Cryptoprocta ferox is the largest native carnivore in Madagascar, fulfilling a unique ecological niche in the island's remaining forests. Negative interactions with humans threaten the long-term viability of most remaining fosa populations across Madagascar. Threats to the fosa include habitat loss and persecution by humans resulting from perceived predation on domestic animals. We used GPS collars to record space use and activity patterns of five fosas in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar, during the dry seasons of 2016 and 2017. The results, with up to 2,110 recorded locations per individual, indicated fosas’ home ranges and movements were not limited to the forest, and all collared individuals used networks of habitat patches and corridors to navigate deforested areas. The fosas studied in Ankarafantsika National Park had significantly larger home ranges than those reported in previous studies in other protected areas. They were rarely found within village boundaries and appeared to avoid areas of human habitation, suggesting that during the study period livestock was not a significant component of the fosas’ diet in this Park. Our results suggest that fosas have some flexibility that enables them to adapt to living near deforested and human-dominated areas by altering their space-use patterns, but they are compensating by increasing their home range size.
    Subject(s): Activity patterns ; Animal behavior ; Article ; Carnivore conservation ; Carnivores ; Collars ; Corridors ; Cryptoprocta ferox ; Deforestation ; Domestic animals ; Dry season ; Ecological niches ; Forests ; Habitat changes ; Habitats ; Home range ; Livestock ; National parks ; Niches ; Predation ; Protected areas
    ISSN: 0030-6053
    E-ISSN: 1365-3008
    Source: Alma/SFX Local Collection
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Frontiers in public health, 2020, Vol.8, p.1
    Description: Mountain gorillas ( ) are an endangered primate species, with ~43% of the 1,063 individuals that remain on the planet today residing in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) in southwestern Uganda. These primates are at the heart of a growing tourism industry that has incentivized their continued protection, but close proximity between humans and gorillas during such encounters presents well-documented risks for disease transmission. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has developed rules to help protect the health of the gorillas, limiting each habituated gorilla group to a single 60 min visit each day by a group of no more than 8 tourists, and emphasizing that humans maintain a 〉7 m distance from gorillas at all times. A number of studies have documented that not all tour groups respect these rules. This project assesses rule-adherence during gorilla tourism encounters at BINP using both observational and survey-based data collected during the tourism high season between May and August, 2014. Observational data from 53 treks reveal that groups of 1-11 tourists engaged in gorilla viewing encounters between 46 and 98 min in duration. Although 96% of pre-trek briefings conducted by park rangers emphasized the need to maintain 〉7 m human-gorilla spacing, the 7 m distance rule was violated in over 98% (52 out of 53) of the tours examined in this study. Observational data were collected at 2 min intervals during gorilla-viewing encounters, documenting the nearest distance between any tourist and a gorilla ( = 1,604), of which 1,094 observations (68.2%) took place at a distance less than or equal to 7 m. Importantly, the 7 m rule was violated in visits to all of the gorilla groups habituated during the time of the study. In 224 observations (~14%, per 1,604 total), human-gorilla spacing was 3 m or less. Survey data ( = 243) revealed promising opportunities to improve tourist understanding of and adherence to park rules, with 73.6% of respondents indicating that they would be willing to utilize a precautionary measure of wearing a face-mask during encounters to protect gorilla health.
    Subject(s): Animals ; disease transmission ; ecotourism ; gorilla ; Gorilla gorilla ; Gorillas ; Humans ; National parks and reserves ; Parks, Recreational ; primate ; Sales promotions ; Tourism ; Travel industry ; Uganda
    ISSN: 2296-2565
    E-ISSN: 2296-2565
    Source: PubMed Central
    Source: DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals - Not for CDI Discovery
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Nature (London), 2010-08-05, Vol.466 (7307), p.748-751
    Description: Fossil crocodyliforms discovered in recent years have revealed a level of morphological and ecological diversity not exhibited by extant members of the group. This diversity is particularly notable among taxa of the Cretaceous Period (144-65 million years ago) recovered from former Gondwanan landmasses. Here we report the discovery of a new species of Cretaceous notosuchian crocodyliform from the Rukwa Rift Basin of southwestern Tanzania. This small-bodied form deviates significantly from more typical crocodyliform craniodental morphologies, having a short, broad skull, robust lower jaw, and a dentition with relatively few teeth that nonetheless show marked heterodonty. The presence of morphologically complex, complementary upper and lower molariform teeth suggests a degree of crown-crown contact during jaw adduction that is unmatched among known crocodyliforms, paralleling the level of occlusal complexity seen in mammals and their extinct relatives. The presence of another small-bodied mammal-like crocodyliform in the Cretaceous of Gondwana indicates that notosuchians probably filled niches and inhabited ecomorphospace that were otherwise occupied by mammals on northern continents.
    Subject(s): Animals ; Biological Evolution ; Crocodilia ; Dentition ; Earth sciences ; Earth, ocean, space ; Exact sciences and technology ; Fossils ; History, Ancient ; Mammals - anatomy & histology ; Mammals - classification ; Mammals - physiology ; Natural history ; Paleontology ; Phylogeny ; Tanzania ; Tomography, X-Ray Computed ; Vertebrate paleontology
    ISSN: 0028-0836
    E-ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: Get It Now
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Journal of vertebrate paleontology, 2014-09, Vol.34 (5), p.1133-1154
    Description: Whereas titanosaurians represent the most diverse and cosmopolitan clade of Cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs, they remain rare components of Cretaceous African faunas. Currently recognized continental African titanosaurians include Aegyptosaurus baharijensis and Paralititan stromeri from early Upper Cretaceous deposits near Bahariya Oasis, Egypt, and Malawisaurus dixeyi and Karongasaurus gittelmani from the Lower Cretaceous (∼Aptian) Dinosaur Beds of Malawi, in addition to several undesignated and fragmentary forms across the continent. Here, we describe a new titanosaurian taxon, Rukwatitan bisepultus, on the basis of a partial, semiarticulated postcranial skeleton recovered from the middle Cretaceous Galula Formation in southwestern Tanzania. Unique to Rukwatitan are carotid processes on posterior cervical vertebrae, a deep coracobrachialis fossa and subquadrangular cross-section of the humerus, and a slender, curved, teardrop-shaped pubic peduncle on the ilium. Parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of 35 sauropod taxa congruently place Rukwatitan as a non-lithostrotian titanosaurian, a relationship supported by cervical vertebrae with undivided pleurocoels and strongly procoelous anterior caudal vertebrae. Rukwatitan differs from the potentially penecontemporaneous and geographically proximate Malawisaurus by exhibiting weakly developed chevron articulations and posteriorly inclined neural spines on the middle caudal vertebrae, a proximally robust and distally unexpanded humerus, and an anteroventrally elongated coracoid. Similar to biogeographic patterns identified in certain crocodyliform clades (e.g., small-bodied notosuchians), titanosaurians on continental Africa appear to exhibit a regional (e.g., southern versus northern Africa), rather than a continental- or supercontinental-level signal.
    Subject(s): ARTICLES ; Dinosaurs ; Humerus ; Parsimony ; Phylogenetics ; Ribs ; Skeleton ; Spine ; Taxa ; Vertebrae ; Vertebrate paleontology
    ISSN: 0272-4634
    E-ISSN: 1937-2809
    Source: JSTOR Life Sciences
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 2019-01-01, Vol.64 (1), p.65-84
    Description: We here establish a new mammaliaform genus and species, Galulatherium jenkinsi (Mammalia), from the Upper Cretaceous Galula Formation in the Rukwa Rift Basin of southwestern Tanzania. This represents the first named taxon of a mammaliaform from the entire Late Cretaceous of continental Afro-Arabia, an interval of 34 million years. Preliminary study of the holotypic and only known specimen (a partial dentary) resulted in tentative assignation to the Gondwanatheria, a poorly known, enigmatic clade of Late Cretaceous-Paleogene Gondwanan mammals (Krause et al. 2003). The application of advanced imaging (mu CT) and visualization techniques permits a more detailed understanding of key anatomical features of the new taxon. It reveals that the lower dentition consisted of a large, procumbent lower incisor and four cheek teeth, all of which were evergrowing (hypselodont). Importantly, all of the teeth appear devoid of enamel. Comparisons conducted with a range of Mesozoic and selected Cenozoic mammaliaform groups document a number of features (e.g., columnar, enamel-less and evergrowing teeth, with relatively simple occlusal morphology) expressed in Galulatherium that are reminiscent of several distantly related groups, making taxonomic assignment difficult at this time. Herein we retain the provisional referral of Galulatherium (RRBP 02067) to Gondwanatheria; it is most similar to sudamericids such as Lavanify and Bharratherium from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar and India, respectively, in exhibiting relatively simple, high-crowned, columnar cheek teeth. Other features (e.g., enamel-less dentition) are shared with disparate forms such as the Late Jurassic Fruitafossor and toothed xenarthrans (e.g., sloths), here attributed to convergence. Revised analyses of the depositional context for the holotype place it as having lived sometime between the late Turonian and latest Campanian (roughly 91-72 million years ago). This enhanced geochronological context helps to refine the palaeobiogeographical significance of Galulatherium among Cretaceous mammals in general and those from Gondwanan landmasses specifically.
    Subject(s): Biological Sciences ; Biologiska vetenskaper ; Diversity of life ; Galulatherium ; Gondwanatheria ; Identification and classification ; Late Cretaceous ; Life Sciences & Biomedicine ; Livets mångfald ; Mammalia ; Mammaliaformes ; Mammals, Fossil ; Natural Sciences ; Naturvetenskap ; Paleontology ; Physiological aspects ; Science & Technology ; Tanzania ; Zoologi ; Zoology
    ISSN: 0567-7920
    E-ISSN: 1732-2421
    Source: Academic Search Ultimate
    Source: Web of Science - Science Citation Index Expanded - 2019〈img src="http://exlibris-pub.s3.amazonaws.com/fromwos-v2.jpg" /〉
    Source: SWEPUB Freely available online
    Source: DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals - Not for CDI Discovery
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