Geographical variation of the skull morphology of the common tree shrew (Tupaia glis).
Geographical variation was examined morphologically in the common tree shrew (Tupaia glis) in some Indochinese and Malayan regions. Osteometrical examination and principal component analysis elucidated the morphological differences among various populations. The populations from southern and western Thailand were distinguished morphologically from the other populations. Variation in males from south Thailand and Kuala Lumpur suggests that the Isthmus of Kra may have an influence on the variation of skull morphology. However, the Isthmus of Kra was not completely considered as a factor of geographical separation in this species, because we could not confirm the separation in skull size and shape between the localities at least in females. While, the Kanchanaburi population in western Thailand was significantly smaller than the other population in skull size, and constituted the morphologically separable group in our study. (+info)
Repercussions of El Nino: drought causes extinction and the breakdown of mutualism in Borneo.
Figs (Ficus spp.) and their species-specific pollinators, the fig wasps (Agaonidae), have coevolved one of the most intricate interactions found in nature, in which the fig wasps, in return for pollination services, raise their offspring in the fig inflorescence. Fig wasps, however, have very short adult lives and hence are dependent on the near-continuous production of inflorescences to maintain their populations. From January to March 1998 northern Borneo suffered a very severe drought linked to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation event of 1997-1998. This caused a substantial break in the production of inflorescences on dioecious figs and led to the local extinction of their pollinators at Lambir Hills National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia. Most pollinators had not recolonized six months after the drought and, given the high level of endemism and wide extent of the drought, some species may be totally extinct. Cascading effects on vertebrate seed dispersers, for which figs are often regarded as keystone resources, and the tree species dependent on their services are also likely. This has considerable implications for the maintenance of biodiversity under a scenario of climate change and greater climatic extremes. (+info)
Speciation and intrasubspecific variation of Bornean orangutans, Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus.
Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences of orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) from six different populations on the island of Borneo were determined and analyzed for evidence of regional diversity and were compared separately with orangutans from the island of Sumatra. Within the Bornean population, four distinct subpopulations were identified. Furthermore, the results of this study revealed marked divergence, supportive evidence of speciation between Sumatran and Bornean orangutans. This study demonstrates that, as an entire population, Bornean orangutans have not experienced a serious genetic bottleneck, which has been suggested as the cause of low diversity in humans and east African chimpanzees. Based on these new data, it is estimated that Bornean and Sumatran orangutans diverged approximately 1.1 MYA and that the four distinct Bornean populations diverged 860,000 years ago. These findings have important implications for management, breeding, and reintroduction practices in orangutan conservation efforts. (+info)
Sylvatic transmission of arboviruses among Bornean orangutans.
Wild populations of nonhuman primates live in regions of sylvatic arbovirus transmission. To assess the status of arbovirus transmission in Bornean forests and the susceptibility of wild orangutans to arboviral infection, blood samples of wild orangutans, semi-captive orangutans, and humans were examined. Samples were tested by plaque reduction neutralization test for antibodies to viruses representing three families (Flaviviridae, Alphaviridae, and Bunyaviridae), including dengue-2, Japanese encephalitis, Zika, Langat, Tembusu, Sindbis, Chikungunya, and Batai viruses. Both wild and semi-captive orangutan groups as well as local human populations showed serologic evidence of arbovirus infection. The presence of neutralizing antibodies among wild orangutans strongly suggests the existence of sylvatic cycles for dengue, Japanese encephalitis, and sindbis viruses in North Borneo. The present study demonstrates that orangutans are susceptible to arboviralinfections in the wild, although the impact of arboviral infections on this endangered ape remain unknown. (+info)
Dental transfigurements in Borneo.
Dental transfigurement, formerly termed dental mutilation, has been practised by many societies worldwide. This article gives many of the forms that have been attributed to the indigenes of the island of Borneo. The method has been performed by review of anthropological books, sparse dental references, Borneo research literature, and popular writing. (+info)
The effects of selective logging on the distribution of moths in a Bornean rainforest.
The effects of selective logging on the diversity and species composition of moths were investigated by sampling from multiple sites in primary forest, both understorey and canopy, and logged forest at Danum Valley, Sabah, Malaysia. The diversity of individual sites was similar, although rarefied species richness of logged forest was 17% lower than for primary forest (understorey and canopy combined). There was significant heterogeneity in faunal composition and measures of similarity (NESS index) among primary forest understorey sites which may be as great as those between primary understorey and logged forest. The lowest similarity values were between primary forest understorey and canopy, indicating a distinct canopy fauna. A number of species encountered in the logged forest were confined to, or more abundant in, the canopy of primary forest. Approximately 10% of species were confined to primary forest across a range of species' abundances, suggesting this is a minimum estimate for the number of species lost following logging. The importance of accounting for heterogeneity within primary forest and sampling in the canopy when measuring the effects of disturbance on tropical forest communities are emphasized. (+info)
The ecoclimatology of Danum, Sabah, in the context of the world's rainforest regions, with particular reference to dry periods and their impact.
Climatic records for Danum for 1985-1998, elsewhere in Sabah since 1879, and long monthly rainfall series from other rainforest locations are used to place the climate, and particularly the dry period climatology, of Danum into a world rainforest context. The magnitude frequency and seasonality of dry periods are shown to vary greatly within the world's rainforest zone. The climate of Danum, which is aseasonal but subject, as in 1997-1998, to occasional drought, is intermediate between less drought-prone north-western Borneo and the more drought-prone east coast. Changes through time in drought magnitude frequency in Sabah and rainforest locations elsewhere in South-East Asia and in the Neotropics are compared. The 1997-1998 ENSO-related drought event in Sabah is placed into a historical context. The effects of drought on tree growth and mortality in the tropics are assessed and a model relating intensity and frequency of drought disturbance to forest structure and composition is discussed. (+info)
Orangutan cultures and the evolution of material culture.
Geographic variation in some aspects of chimpanzee behavior has been interpreted as evidence for culture. Here we document similar geographic variation in orangutan behaviors. Moreover, as expected under a cultural interpretation, we find a correlation between geographic distance and cultural difference, a correlation between the abundance of opportunities for social learning and the size of the local cultural repertoire, and no effect of habitat on the content of culture. Hence, great-ape cultures exist, and may have done so for at least 14 million years. (+info)