Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New turtle discovered in Asia

07.04.2016

Researchers of the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity in Bonn, Germany, and the Museum of Zoology, Senckenberg Dresden, Germany, who worked in close collaboration with scientists from the USA, Thailand, and Cambodia, recently discovered a new turtle species in northeastern Thailand which was subsequently described as Malayemys khoratensis in the scientific journal PloS One. Genetic data revealed a third, so far completely unkown species.

Using genetic and morphological analyses the team revealed the genus Malayemys to comprise three instead of two species as previously thought. The researchers examined more than 100 turtles from Mainland Southeast Asia.


Male specimen of the newly described species Malayemys khoratensis from Sikhio, northeastern Thailand.

Foto: F. Ihlow


Adult specimen of Malayemys subtrijuga from the Tonlé Sap lake, central Cambodia.

Foto: F. Ihlow

The initial objective of this study was to determine whether the two recognized species represent genetically distinct species at all, as genetic analyses sometimes reveal putative species to actually represent a single morphologically variable species. Flora Ihlow, PhD student at the Herpetology Section of the ZFMK was particularly surprised when “genetic data unraveled a third, so far completely overlooked species”.

Further analyses demonstrated that the new species also differs in morphology. Each of the three species exhibits its own unique facial pattern, by which they can easily be distinguished. “Integrative approaches which combine morphology and modern molecular genetic techniques have become indispensable for the detection of new species” explains Prof. Dr. Uwe Fritz, head of Museum of Zoology, Senckenberg Dresden.

The genus Malayemys now contains three species of relatively small turtles with a maximum carapace length of 22 cm, which inhabit shallow water bodies across the Southeast Asian lowlands. These turtles seem to be fairly synanthropic and “with a little luck, one can spot turtles of the genus Malayemys in rice paddies, temple ponds, and canals even in the heart of big cities such as Bangkok or Siem Reap” says Ihlow.

According to Ihlow, “all three species are hunted and traded for food and religious purposes, which threatens the populations”. Nevertheless, the protective status of the two previously recognized species is low. “The description of the new species will require a re-evaluation of the protective status, since each species now has a smaller distributional range”, says Ihlow. Furthermore, future conservation measures such as conservation breeding and reintroduction programs will have to consider the new findings and choose their stock specimens accordingly.

The new species Malayemys khoratensis seems to be restricted to the eponymous Khorat Plateau in northeastern Thailand. “Hitherto, M. khoratensis is known from catchments of a few rivers only”, explains Timo Hartmann, also PhD student in the herpetology section of the ZFMK.

Publication
Ihlow, F., Vamberger, M., Flecks, M., Hartmann, T., Cota, M., Makchai, S., Meewattana, P., Dawson, J.E., Kheng, L., Rödder, D., Fritz, U. (2016) Integrative Taxonomy of Southeast Asian Snail-eating Turtles (Geoemydidae: Malayemys) unravels a new species and mitochondrial introgression. –PLoS One, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153108.

Contact:
Flora Ihlow
Sektion Herpetologie
Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Bonn
Tel. +49228 - 9122253
F.Ihlow@zfmk.de

Prof. Dr. Uwe Fritz
Senckenberg Naturhistorische
Sammlungen Dresden
Tel. +49351 - 795841 4328
Uwe.Fritz@senckenberg.de

Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig – Leibniz-Institute for Animal Biodiversity (ZFMK) is an independent research institute. The focus of research is on performing an inventory of the zoological species diversity on earth, on the analysis of changes in biodiversity as a result of environmental factors, and on evolutionary processes at the morphological and molecular levels. ZFMK furthermore explores the context of structure and function of ecological systems, advanced scientific methods, and the study of the history of science. The permanent exhibition “Our blue planet – the living network” offers a genuine nature experience based on naturalistic ecosystem displays.

The Leibniz Association is a network of 88 scientifically, legally, and economically independent research institutes and scientific service facilities. Leibniz Institutes perform strategic and thematically-oriented research and offer scientific service of national significance while striving to find scientific solutions for major social challenges.

Sabine Heine | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.zfmk.de

Further reports about: Biodiversität Forschungsmuseum ZFMK new species turtles

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>