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Environmental| Environment

Environmental| Environment

NEW ORLEANS (AP), Researchers in Louisiana have discovered 14 new species of shrews from an Indonesian island. Seven species were previously known.

There were so many, and some look so alike that Jake Esselstyn, a Louisiana State University biologist, and his colleagues began to search for Latin words that meant “ordinary”.

Esselstyn said, “Otherwise, I don’t know how we would have named them,” and also named the seventh known species on Sulawesi the pointy-nosed insect eating mammals.

It’s because species names that shrews mean such things like “hairy-tailed”, “long” and “normal” have been added to the “Crocidura moderateis,” “C. ordinaria,” “C. normalis” and “C. solita,” which are the last two meanings of “usual.”

Ron Usner was sitting at his laptop when he heard anoise outside his windows a few years ago.

Nathan S. Upham is an assistant research professor at Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences. He is also the lead creator of the American Society of Mammalogists online Mammal Diversity Database. The 101-page paper will be “supervaluable for all current and future mammal biodiversity students.”

He was not involved in the study. It was published Dec. 15 by the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. The study also included researchers from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Museums Victoria (Australia) and the University of California.

Esselstyn stated that it has been 90 years since so many new species have been identified in one paper. He said that 26 new species of South American marsupials were identified in the 1931 paper by George Henry Hamilton Tate, but 12 of them were later discovered to not be separate species.

Esselstyn spent a decade traveling to Sulawesi, Indonesia to collect the animals. They are related to hedgehogs as well as moles. They weighed in at less than an AA battery. The average weight ranged from 3 grams to just over one-tenth the ounce or about the same weight as a pingpong balls to 24 grams (0.85 ounces). The largest species had 95 millimeters in length, or approximately 3.7 inches.

At the beginning, he wanted to know how the six species of Crocidura were formed. He stated that he was interested to know how shrews interact with their environment, with one another, and how local communities are formed.

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But he quickly realized the severity of the problem.

He said, “It was overwhelming because we couldn’t figure how many species were there for the first few years.”

Five species had been identified in 1921, while a sixth was found in 1995. Esselstyn’s group identified the seventh species, the hairy tailed shrew in 2019.

They examined 1,368 shrews for this paper. More than 90% of them were collected by Esselstyn’s group, who trapped the animals on 12 mountain sites and two in Sulawesi’s lowlands.

The island is shaped somewhat like a lower-case letter K with the top of its stem bent sharply to the east.

Esselstyn stated that species diversity has been facilitated by their unusual shapes. “There are consistent boundaries between species, regardless of whether you’re talking about frogs, macaques, or mice. It suggests some shared environmental mechanisms.

Researchers have found at most seven such zones, including the island’s central mass, three “legs”, of the k, as well as three zones on the long bent head.

Esselstyn stated that genetic analysis could indicate when or how recently similar species split and whether they have been in regular contact since then.

“It’s a difficult issue. He said that sequencing genomes is relatively inexpensive, and that we could do it. “A few years back, it was impossible to do it but it is now.”

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