Wednesday, April 9, 2014

[Ornithology • 2014] Molecular Phylogenetics and the Diversification of Hummingbirds



Highlights
• We present a time-calibrated multilocus phylogeny for 284 species of hummingbirds
• Hummingbird diversification began ∼22 million years ago
• Hummingbirds diversified rapidly, but via heterogeneous clade-specific processes
• Invasion of new land areas such as the Andes and North America spurred diversification

Summary
The tempo of species diversification in large clades can reveal fundamental evolutionary mechanisms that operate on large temporal and spatial scale. Hummingbirds have radiated into a diverse assemblage of specialized nectarivores comprising 338 species, but their evolutionary history has not, until now, been comprehensively explored. We studied hummingbird diversification by estimating a time-calibrated phylogeny for 284 hummingbird species, demonstrating that hummingbirds invaded South America by ∼22 million years ago, and subsequently diversified into nine principal clades. Using ancestral state reconstruction and diversification analyses, we (1) estimate the age of the crown-group hummingbird assemblage, (2) investigate the timing and patterns of lineage accumulation for hummingbirds overall and regionally, and (3) evaluate the role of Andean uplift in hummingbird speciation. Detailed analyses reveal disparate clade-specific processes that allowed for ongoing species diversification. One factor was significant variation among clades in diversification rates. For example, the nine principal clades of hummingbirds exhibit ∼15-fold variation in net diversification rates, with evidence for accelerated speciation of a clade that includes the Bee, Emerald, and Mountain Gem groups of hummingbirds. A second factor was colonization of key geographic regions, which opened up new ecological niches. For example, some clades diversified in the context of the uplift of the Andes Mountains, whereas others were affected by the formation of the Panamanian land bridge. Finally, although species accumulation is slowing in all groups of hummingbirds, several major clades maintain rapid rates of diversification on par with classical examples of rapid adaptive radiation.



Jimmy A. McGuire, Christopher C. Witt, J.V. Remsen Jr., Ammon Corl, Daniel L. Rabosky, Douglas L. Altshuler and Robert Dudley. 2014. Molecular Phylogenetics and the Diversification of Hummingbirds. Current Biology. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.016

Hummingbird Family Tree
In a 12-year-long study of 284 of the world’s 338 known hummingbird species, an international team of ornithologists has mapped the 22-million-year-old family tree of these tiny birds.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

[Mammalogy • 2014] Distribution of the Malay Civet Viverra tangalunga (Carnivora: Viverridae) across Southeast Asia: Natural or Human-mediated Dispersal?


Malay civet Viverra tangalunga
photo croix.gagnon  flic.kr/p/7N5HJw

Abstract
The Malay civet Viverra tangalunga Gray, 1832 is a fairly large viverrid that has a wide distribution in both the Sundaic and Wallacea regions of Southeast Asia. We investigated the genetic diversity of V. tangalunga by analysing the mitochondrial DNA of 81 individuals throughout its range in order to elucidate the evolutionary history of this species and to test the hypotheses of natural dispersal and/or potential human introductions to some islands and regions. Our phylogenetic analyses revealed that V. tangalunga has a low matrilinear genetic diversity and is poorly structured geographically. Borneo is likely to have served as the ancestral population source from which animals dispersed during the Pleistocene. Viverra tangalunga could have naturally dispersed to Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Belitung, and also to several other Sunda Islands (Bangka, Lingga, and Bintang in the Rhio Archipelago), and to Palawan, although there is possible evidence that humans introduced V. tangalunga to the latter islands. Our results strongly suggested that V. tangalunga was transported by humans across Wallace's Line to Sulawesi and the Moluccas, but also to the Philippines and the Natuna Islands. Our study has shown that human-mediated dispersal can be an important factor in understanding the distribution of some species in this region.  

Keywords: biogeography; Carnivora; human introduction; phylogeography; Southeast Asia; Sunda Shelf

Viverra tangalunga from Borneo, Sabah
photo: Kalyan Varma commons.wikimedia.org

Malay Civet Viverra tangalunga photographed by a camera trap at night
Gunung Palung Natioanl Park, West Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia.
photo: Tim Laman


Geraldine Veron, Maraike Willsch, Victor Dacosta, Marie-Lilith Patou, Adrian Seymour, Celine Bonillo, Arnaud Couloux, Siew Te Wong, Andrew P. Jennings, Jörns Fickel and Andreas Wilting. 2014. The Distribution of the Malay Civet Viverra tangalunga (Carnivora: Viverridae) across Southeast Asia: Natural or Human-mediated Dispersal? Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 170(4); 917–932 

Monday, April 7, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Calluella capsaRed Hot Chili Pepper: A New Calluella Stoliczka, 1872 (Anura: Microhylidae) from Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo)


Calluella capsa Das, Min, Hsu, Hertwig & Haas 2014

Abstract
A new brightly-coloured (olive and red) species of microhylid frog of the genus Calluella Stoliczka 1872 is described from the upper elevations of Gunung Penrissen and the Matang Range, Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo). Calluella capsa, new species, is diagnosable in showing the following combination of characters: SVL up to 36.0 mm; dorsum weakly granular; a faint dermal fold across forehead; toe tips obtuse; webbing on toes basal; lateral fringes on toes present; outer metatarsal tubercle present; and dorsum greyish-olive, with red spots; half of venter bright red, the rest with large white and dark areas. The new species is the eighth species of Calluella to be described, and the fourth known from Borneo. A preliminary phylogeny of Calluella and its relatives is presented, and the new taxon compared with congeners from Malaysia and other parts of south-east Asia.

Key words: Calluella capsa sp. nov., Microhylidae, systematics, new species, Gunung Penrissen, Matang Range, Malaysia


Das, Indraneil, Pui Y. Min, Wayne W. Hsu, Stefan T. Hertwig & Alexander Haas. 2014. Red Hot Chili Pepper. A New Calluella Stoliczka, 1872 (Lissamphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo). Zootaxa. 3785(4): 550–560.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

[Ichthyology • 2014] Complementary Redescription of Anacanthobatis ori (Wallace, 1967) and its assignment to Indobatis n. g. (Elasmobranchii, Anacanthobatidae), with comments on other legskates


Indobatis ori (WALLACE, 1967) Black legskate

Abstract

Anacanthobatis ori is one of the least known species of the family Anacanthobatidae with only four juvenile specimens reported. The species remained assigned to the genus Anacanthobatis sensu lato due to the lack of an adult male as external and skeletal clasper characters are the essential diagnostic features for the differentiation of genera and subgenera within the family Anacanthobatidae. Since an adult male of A. ori became available, along with an adult female and six further juveniles, the authors reinvestigated the species and present its so far unknown diagnostic characters of clasper morphology and skeleton and scapulocoracoid. The clasper turned out to be the most complex one of all known anacanthobatids as the external components flag, slit, pseudosiphon-like cavity, pecten, and two sentinas are not known from any other anacanthobatid species. Furthermore, a dorsal terminal 1 cartilage is present but displaced proximally of the terminal clasper skeleton, the outer edge of dorsal terminal 2 is deeply serrated, the ventral terminal has a very long, curved, strap-like process, and the proximal part of accessory terminal 1 is embedded in the cavity of the baseball-glove-like head of accessory terminal 2. Due to the strong differences in external and internal clasper characters to all other known anacanthobatid species, A. ori is placed in its own, newly erected genus, Indobatis.

Keywords: leg skates, western Indian Ocean, deep water, generic status, clasper features, Crurirajidae


Weigmann, Simon, Matthias F. w. Stehmann & Ralf Thiel. 2014. Complementary Redescription of Anacanthobatis ori (Wallace, 1967) and its assignment to Indobatis n. g. (Elasmobranchii, Anacanthobatidae), with comments on other legskates. Zootaxa. 3779 (2): 101–132

[Ichthyology • 2014] Osteology of Kryptoglanis shajii, a stygobitic catfish (Teleostei: Siluriformes) from Peninsular India with a diagnosis of the new family Kryptoglanidae



Kryptoglanis shajii was recently described from a public well in Kerala, India. Its systematic position among catfishes has remained unresolved partly due to lack of morphological information. We present here a detailed osteological description of the skeleton of K. shajii and discuss its unusual skeletal features. Unlike most other catfishes Kryptoglanis has a fifth vertebra that is well-separated from the Weberian complex, a character shared only with the Diplomystidae, Helogenes and with the troglobitic or phreatic ictalurids Trogloglanis, Prietella and Satan. There is no trace of the dorsal fin or its supporting skeleton and the caudal fin skeleton consists of a single hypural plate articulating with five rays. Kryptoglanis has a number of reductive features, which may be interpreted as developmental truncations. It lacks the vomer, metapterygoid, all infraorbital bones except the antorbital, the mesocoracoid, and the pectoral fin spine.
 The phylogenetic position of Kryptoglanis remains unclear, even though the reduced condition of the palatine may point to a closer relationship with the Siluridae. Our osteological analysis of Kryptoglanis demonstrates that this genus cannot be accommodated into any known catfish family and we therefore propose the new family Kryptoglanidae for it.



 Vincent, M. & Thomas, J. 2011. Kryptoglanis shajii, an enigmatic subterranean-spring catfish (Siluriformes, Incertae sedis) from Kerala, India. Ichthyological Research, 58 (2): 161-165.
Britz, R., Kakkassery, F. & Raghavan, R. 2014. Osteology of Kryptoglanis shajii, a stygobitic catfish (Teleostei: Siluriformes) from Peninsular India with a diagnosis of the new family Kryptoglanidae. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. 24 (3) [2013]: 193-207.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

[Herpetology • 2013] Behavioral Ecology and Microhabitat Use by Lyriocephalus scutatus (Linnaeus, 1758): A Monotypic Genus in Sri Lanka (Reptilia: Agamidae: Draconinae) with Notes on the Taxonomy



ABSTRACT 
Lyriocephalus scutatus is an endemic, relict and near threatened arboreal agamid lizard species representing a monotypic genus, Lyriocephalus of Sri Lanka, which is found in forests, plantations and home gardens in the wet and intermediate zones below 900 m a.s.l. This work is mainly based on examination of Iconotype, WHT collec-tion as well as published literature and our observations in last decade. The analysis of habitat data has shown that this species is widely spread within the well shading natural forested areas and poorly in the home gardens. The re-sults of this survey indicate that L. scutatus lays about 2 – 4 eggs in range 23.1 – 25.1 mm (mean 24.2 ± 0.55) long and 14.6 – 15.3 mm (mean 15.0 ± 0.22) wide from February – April and October – December. These lizards' natu-ral predators are arboreal colubrid snakes, slender loris, civet cats, toque monkeys and many birds of prey. The current habitat destruction is the huge threat to this species. The paper present parameters may helpful in ex situ conservation of L. scutatus, especially in captive breeding programs.

D M S Suranjan Karunarathna, A A Thasun Amarasinghe. 2013. Behavioral Ecology and Microhabitat Use by Lyriocephalus scutatus (Linnaeus, 1758): A Monotypic Genus in Sri Lanka (Reptilia: Agamidae: Draconinae) with Notes on the Taxonomy. Russian Journal of Herpetology. 20(1): 1-15.


[Invertebrate • 2014] Floresorchestia samroiyodensis • A New Species of Landhopper (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Talitridae) from Thailand


Figure 2. Live Floresorchestia samroiyodensis sp. n. in their natural habitat
photo: Komson Hongphattharakeeree.


ABSTRACT
A new species of landhopper from Thailand is described. Its main diagnostic features are its large eyes; antenna 1 short; antenna 2 slender; maxilliped palp article 4 reduced, button-shaped; mandible right lacinia mobilis 6-dentate; gnathopod 1 subchelate with palmate lobes on the carpus and propodus; gnathopod 2 subchelate; pereopods cuspidac-tylate, with dactylus of pereopod 4 thickened and pinched; epimera 2-3 with stridulating organ just above ventral margins; uropod 1 outer ramus with a row of 3-4 robust setae; telson apically incised.

Key Words: Amphipoda, Talitridae, Thailand, new species, Floresorchestia samroiyodensis, taxonomy


B A R Azman, K Wongkamhaeng, P Dumrongrojwattana. 2014. Description of Floresorchestia samroiyodensis, A New Species of Landhopper (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Talitridae) from Thailand. Zoosystematics and Evolution. 90(1):7-19. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.3897/zse.90.7085

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Gracixalus lumarius | Thorny Tree Frog | Ếch cây gai • A Striking New Species of Phytotelm-Breeding Tree Frog (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve in Kon Tum Province, central Vietnam


Gracixalus lumarius
FIGURE 2. 
Dorsolateral view of Gracixalus lumarius sp. nov. in life showing variation in skin texture (A) male holotype AMS R 176202, (B) male paratype AMS R 173890.
FIGURE 7. (B) phyptotelm in which holotype of Gracixalus lumarius sp. nov. (AMS R 176202) and eggs (AMS R 176213) were collected. 

Abstract
We describe a distinctive new species of phytotelm-breeding rhacophorid frog from central Vietnam. Gracixalus lumarius sp. nov. is distinguished from all other rhacophorids in Indochina by a combination of (1) medium body size (adult males 38.9–41.6 mm; adult female 36.3 mm), (2) dorsum brown diurnally and yellow nocturnally, (3) venter pink, (4) tympanum and supratympanic fold indistinct (5) iris dark gold with a dense, relatively uniformly distributed network of black reticulations, (6) dorsum with distinctive white conical tubercles in males, and (7) eggs deposited on wall of a phyptotelm. The new species is known from montane bamboo and montane evergreen forest in Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve in Kon Tum Province, between ~1845–2160 m elevation. 
Key words: Amphibian, montane, Southeast Asia

FIGURE 2. Dorsolateral view of Gracixalus lumarius sp. nov. in life showing variation in skin texture (A) male holotype AMS R 176202,
(B) male paratype AMS R 173890, (C) male paratype AMS R 173889.

Etymology. Specific name from lumarius L., meaning of thorns, in reference to the extensive conical tubercles over the dorsal surface of the new species.
Suggested common name. Thorny Tree Frog (English), Ếch cây gai (Vietnamese)

Ecology. The holotype was found underwater in a tree hole with conspecific eggs on the wall of the phyptotelm (Fig 7B). All other specimens were found on arboreal vegetation, away from streams or ponds in montane evergreen or bamboo forest (eg. Fig 7A). The advertisement call and larvae of the new species are 
unknown. At present, the species is only known from montane bamboo and evergreen forest (>1800 m) on Mount Ngoc Linh and adjacent peaks, with less than 20 km between the farthest localities. The distribution of the species is unknown, but is likely to be restricted to high-elevation forest on Mount Ngoc Linh and adjacent peaks.


Discussion
The fauna of Mount Ngoc Linh and surrounding peaks is characterized by high endemism (Jenkins et al. 2007), and Gracixalus lumarius sp. nov. is among several high-elevation (>1700 m) frog species known only from this area. Both Leptobrachium ngoclinhense (Orlov) and Theloderma nebulosum Rowley Le, Hoang, Dau & Cao were described from Ngoc Linh and adjacent peaks, and currently appear to be endemic to them. This is perhaps not surprising given the isolation of this area from other high elevation (>1800 m) forest.

Frogs that breed in phytotelmata represent only ~2% of currently recognized anuran taxa (Lehtinen et al. 2004). Within the family Rhacophoridae, at least nine species of obligate phytotelm breeders with free living larvae are known (Lehtinen et al. 2004). These species currently fall within the genera Chiromantis, Kurixalus, Nyctixalus and Theloderma. Although tadpoles were not observed, Gracixalus lumarius sp. nov. is almost certainly an obligate phytotelm breeder and has free-living tadpoles, given the observed oviposition above water, and relatively small, pigmented ova (R. Altig pers. comm). Phyptotelm breeding is generally interpreted as a strategy to avoid predation, competition, or unfavourable abiotic conditions in the ancestral water body (Crump 1982; Duellman & Trueb 1986). However, the relatively high availability of water-filled tree-holes and rarity of streams or pools above 1800 m in the study area may indicate that the species is simply taking advantage of the most available water source.

The distinctive, white conical asperities on the dorsum of the new species are unique among known species in the family Rhacophoridae, however similar conspicuous asperities on the dorsum of males are known in some species of Afrixalus (Hyperoliidae), Boophis (Mantellidae), and Osteocephalus (Hylidae). Previous authors have speculated that sexual dimorphism in skin texture may facilitate sex recognition in frogs (Jungfer & Hoedl 2002), and at least in Osteocephalus, males only display tuberculate dorsal skin with keratinized spicules during the breeding season, while females have a more or less smooth dorsum Jungfer et al. 2013). Based on the type series, it appears that only male Gracixalus lumarius sp. nov. have a tuberculate dorsum with distinctive, white conical asperities, and that the size of asperities may be associated with breeding readiness. The male holotype collected in the dry season (April) with distinct nuptial pads and found with conspecific eggs also had the most distinctive asperities. In contrast, the two adult males collected in the wet season (July), had no distinct nuptial pads and less obvious (but still very distinct) white conical asperities, suggesting that the asperities remain present but are less distinct in the non-breeding season.

JODI J. L. ROWLEY, DUONG THI THUY LE, VINH QUANG DAU, HUY DUC HOANG & TRUNG TIEN CAO. 2014. A Striking New Species of Phytotelm-Breeding Tree Frog (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from central Vietnam. Zootaxa3785(1);  25–37. 

[Herpetology • 2014] Ichthyophis multicolor • A New Species of Striped Ichthyophis Fitzinger, 1826 (Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae) from Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar


FIGURE 1. Preserved holotype (CAS 212264) of Ichthyophis multicolor sp. nov.
Photos by Harry Taylor (The Natural History Museum, London).
Scale gradations = 1 mm.

Abstract
A new species of striped ichthyophiid caecilian, Ichthyophis multicolor sp. nov., is described on the basis of morphological and molecular data from a sample of 14 specimens from Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar. The new species resembles superficially the Indian I. tricolor Annandale, 1909 in having both a pale lateral stripe and an adjacent dark ventrolateral stripe contrasting with a paler venter. It differs from I. tricolor in having many more annuli, and in many details of cranial osteology, and molecular data indicate that it is more closely related to other Southeast Asian Ichthyophis than to those of South Asia. The caecilian fauna of Myanmar is exceptionally poorly known but is likely to include chikilids as well as multiple species of Ichthyophis.

Key words: Burma, caecilians, conservation, ichthyophiids, out-of-India, systematics, taxonomy


Etymology. Named for its having more distinct colours than most other Ichthyophis. For nomenclatural purposes the specific epithet is considered to be a noun in apposition.
Suggested English name. Colourful Ichthyophis or Colourful Ich.

Distribution and natural history. This species is known only from the type locality. Specimens were collected on the surface after heavy rain from an area of secondary forest and agriculture. The soil was sandy and hard packed. Local people brought the field team to the locality in response to questions about where ichthyophiids could be found. Although the type series includes no larval specimens it seems very likely that the species, like all other Ichhyophis as far as is known, is oviparous with an aquatic larval stage. This life history is also suggested by the large size of the unlaid eggs (e.g. Wilkinson & Nussbaum 1998).


MARK WILKINSON, BRONWEN PRESSWELL, EMMA SHERRATT, ANNA PAPADOPOULOU & DAVID J. GOWER. 2014.  A New Species of Striped Ichthyophis Fitzinger, 1826 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae) from Myanmar. Zootaxa3785(1);  45–58. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

[PaleoEntomology • 2014] Cretophasmomima melanogramma • Under Cover at Pre-Angiosperm Times: A Cloaked Phasmatodean Insect from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota


Live reconstruction of Cretophasmomima melanogramma Wang, Béthoux and Ren sp. nov. (several exemplars) among Membranifolia admirabilis Sun and Zheng, 2001 (interpreted as Gingkophyte leaf organ).

Figure 7. Live reconstruction of Cretophasmomima melanogramma Wang, Béthoux and Ren sp. nov. (several exemplars) among Membranifolia admirabilis Sun and Zheng, 2001 in Sun, Zheng, Dilcher, Wang and Mei, 2001 (interpreted as Gingkophyte leaf organ).
A less camouflaged early orthopteran, Parahagla sibirica Sharov, 1968, is captured by the insectivorous Eomaia scansoria Ji, Luo, Yuan, Wible, Zhang and Georgi, 2002, one of the earliest eutherian mammals.
illustration: S. Fernandez. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0091290.g007

Abstract

Background
Fossil species that can be conclusively identified as stem-relatives of stick- and leaf-insects (Phasmatodea) are extremely rare, especially for the Mesozoic era. This dearth in the paleontological record makes assessments on the origin and age of the group problematic and impedes investigations of evolutionary key aspects, such as wing development, sexual size dimorphism and plant mimicry.

Methodology/Principal Findings
A new fossil insect species, Cretophasmomima melanogramma Wang, Béthoux and Ren sp. nov., is described on the basis of one female and two male specimens recovered from the Yixian Formation (Early Cretaceous, ca. 126±4 mya; Inner Mongolia, NE China; known as ‘Jehol biota’). The occurrence of a female abdominal operculum and of a characteristic ‘shoulder pad’ in the forewing allows for the interpretation of a true stem-Phasmatodea. In contrast to the situation in extant forms, sexual size dimorphism is only weakly female-biased in this species. The peculiar wing coloration, viz. dark longitudinal veins, suggests that the leaf-shaped plant organ from the contemporaneous ‘gymnosperm’ Membranifolia admirabilis was used as model for crypsis.

Conclusions/Significance
As early as in the Early Cretaceous, some stem-Phasmatodea achieved effective leaf mimicry, although additional refinements characteristic of recent forms, such as curved fore femora, were still lacking. The diversification of small-sized arboreal insectivore birds and mammals might have triggered the acquisition of such primary defenses.


Three specimens of Cretophasmomima melanogramma

Type material: Specimen CNU-PHA-NN2012002.

Locality and horizon: Early Cretaceous (126±4 mya [24]); Yixian Formation; Liutiaogou Village, Ningcheng Country, Inner Mongolia, NE China.

Etymology: Specific epithet composed of ‘melano’, Ancient Greek for ‘black’, and ‘gramme’, Ancient Greek for ‘line’; referring to the coloration of forewings, and of hind wing apices.


Conclusion: 
Based on the combination of observed characters, viz. presence of ‘shoulder pads’ in the forewings, aspect ratios of thoracic segments and legs, unsegmented cerci, we infer that Cretophasmomima melanogramma is a genuine stem-Phasmatodea. The fossil stick insect already possessed leaf (or leaf-shaped organ) mimicking capabilities, but retained a number of putative plesiomorphic traits in regard to extant forms, such as presence of mandibular incisivi, two lacinial teeth, straight fore femora, well-developed long forewings in both sexes and a low degree of sexual size dimorphism that is only moderately female-biased. This new record suggests that leaf mimicry predated the appearance of twig and bark mimicry in phasmatodeans. Additionally, it complements our growing knowledge of the early attempts of insects to mimic plant parts



Maomin Wang, Olivier Béthoux, Sven Bradler, Frédéric M. B. Jacques, Yingying Cui and Dong Ren. 2014. Under Cover at Pre-Angiosperm Times: A Cloaked Phasmatodean Insect from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota. PLoS ONE. 9(3): e91290. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0091290

Thursday, March 20, 2014

[Paleontology • 2014] Anzu wyliei • A New Large-Bodied Oviraptorosaurian Theropod Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of Western North America | A ‘Chicken from Hell’ Dinosaur


Anzu wyliei – a bird-like dinosaur nicknamed the “chicken from hell” that roamed the Dakotas 66 million years ago – appears in its natural environment
Illustration: Mark Klingler, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092022

Abstract

The oviraptorosaurian theropod dinosaur clade Caenagnathidae has long been enigmatic due to the incomplete nature of nearly all described fossils. Here we describe Anzu wyliei gen. et sp. nov., a new taxon of large-bodied caenagnathid based primarily on three well-preserved partial skeletons. The specimens were recovered from the uppermost Cretaceous (upper Maastrichtian) Hell Creek Formation of North and South Dakota, and are therefore among the stratigraphically youngest known oviraptorosaurian remains. Collectively, the fossils include elements from most regions of the skeleton, providing a wealth of information on the osteology and evolutionary relationships of Caenagnathidae. Phylogenetic analysis reaffirms caenagnathid monophyly, and indicates that Anzu is most closely related to Caenagnathus collinsi, a taxon that is definitively known only from a mandible from the Campanian Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta. The problematic oviraptorosaurs Microvenator and Gigantoraptor are recovered as basal caenagnathids, as has previously been suggested. Anzu and other caenagnathids may have favored well-watered floodplain settings over channel margins, and were probably ecological generalists that fed upon vegetation, small animals, and perhaps eggs.

Anzu wyliei skull, shown in a reconstruction, featured a bony crest

Systematic paleontology

Theropoda Marsh 1881 

Oviraptorosauria Barsbold 1976 
Caenagnathidae Sternberg 1940

Anzu gen. nov.
Anzu wyliei sp. nov.

  

Etymology: The genus name is for Anzu, a feathered demon in ancient Mesopotamian (Sumerian and Akkadian) mythology, and alludes to the distinctive appearance of this large, presumably feathered dinosaur. The species name is for Mr. Wylie J. Tuttle, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Lee B. Foster, in recognition of Mr. and Mrs. Foster's generous support of the scientific research and collections activities at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.


Figure 7. Calibrated phylogeny of oviraptorosaurian theropods showing hypothesized position of Anzu wyliei gen. et sp. nov.

  

Illustration: Bob Walters


Matthew C. Lamanna, Hans-Dieter Sues, Emma R. Schachner and Tyler R. Lyson. 2014. A New Large-Bodied Oviraptorosaurian Theropod Dinosaur from the Latest Cretaceous of Western North America. PLoS ONE. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0092022

A ‘Chicken from Hell’ Dinosaur
Anzu wyliei: Scientists announce new dinosaur discovery

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

[Botany • 2012] Cycas sancti-lasallei • a New Species (Cycadaceae) from Mindanao Island, the Philippines


Cycas sancti-lasallei Agoo & Madulid

Abstract 
Cycas sancti-lasallei, a new species from Mindanao Island, the Philippines is described and illustrated. It can be distinguished from other Cycas species in the Philippines in having long leaves, undulating leaflets, and megasporophyll lamina with a semi-orbicular to orbicular base and triangular top with few but well-defined spines. A key to the species of Cycas currently described from the Philippines is provided.

Keywords: cycad conservation, cycad taxonomy, Philippine Cycas, Philippine, threatened plants


....

Dr. Agoo and her team named the plant in honor of St. John Baptist de La Salle, the patron saint of teachers and founder of the De La Salle Schools.

 Agoo, E.M.G.; Madulid, D.A. 2012. Cycas sancti-lasallei (Cycadaceae), a New Species from the Philippines. Blumea - Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants. 57(2); 131-133.