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new & recent described Flora & Fauna species from all over the World esp. Asia, Oriental, Indomalayan & Malesiana region

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    New populations of Indochina’s rarest deer discovered in Cambodia
    Surveys confirm three populations of the Endangered hog deer in Cambodia

    A joint team from the Royal University of Phnom Penh’s Centre for Biodiversity Conservation (CBC) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI) have found three previously unknown populations of the Endangered hog deer in Cambodia.

    The hog deer, today listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, once ranged throughout large areas of South and mainland Southeast Asia, but has suffered regional population decimations due to hunting, habitat loss and degradation. Cambodia is home to the only known wild populations of the Axis porcinus annamiticus (or Hyelaphus annamiticus) subspecies of the deer.

    A field team, funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, conducted interview surveys in local villages, following up on hog deer reports with rapid field surveys looking for tracks or dung.


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    Leptobrachium rakhinensis Wogan, 2012


    The faunal composition of the Myanmar populations of frogs in the genus Leptobrachium has been confused historically. The secretive nature of these frogs in combination with few systematic surveys throughout Myanmar has meant that sampling is sparse, not allowing for robust examination of morphological variation. Recent survey efforts in conjunction with historical collections have yielded for the first time a chance to evaluate the diversity of the genus Leptobrachium within Myanmar. While three allopatric populations of Leptobrachium species were discovered and all are distinguishable based on morphological differences, genetic analyses support that only one is distinct. A new species with a red and black bicolored iris with a blue scleral arc is described herein. In addition to the new species, a new country record is also reported.

    Key words: Asia, Megophryidae, Myanmar, Burma

    Leptobrachium rakhinensis Wogan, 2012

    Synonymies: Leptobrachium hasseltii Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, De Sa, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moier, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, Wheeler. 2006: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural Hististory. 297: 50 Leptobrachium sp. 3 Matsui, Hamidy, Murphy, Khonsue, Yambum, Shimada, Ahmad, Belabut, Jiang. 2010. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 56: 262, 263, 265, 267, 270. 

    Holotype: CAS 222296, adult male collected in Myanmar, Rakhine State, Gwa Township, Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary, on April 27, 2001, by J. B. Slowinski, G. O. U. Wogan, Htun Win,
    Thin Thin, Kyi Soe Lwin, Awan Khwi Shein, and Hla Tun.

    Etymology. The specific epithet is derived from the name of the mountain range (The Rakhine Yoma) and
    political province (Rakhine State) where this species was first encountered

    Natural history and reproductive behavior. This species inhabits low elevation monsoonal rainforest, and
    has been found in the Myanmar Coastal Rainforest and Mizarom-Manipur Kachin Rainforest ecoregions (Olson et al., 2001). The holotype was found moving in thick leaf litter or among rocks in small waterfalls in streams. The paratypes were found in primary evergreen rain forest. Two individuals (not collected) were observed being preyed upon by a large centipede (Scolopendromorpha; Scolopendra). In both instances the centipede had eaten the legs off of the frog. 

    Not much is known about the reproductive behavior of this species. Males were observed calling from the
    ground in leaf litter in September (end of monsoon season). Females collected in September were gravid; the eggs of the species are cream colored, not bicolored. 

    Range. In Myanmar this species has been found in the Rakhine Hills (in Rakhine and Bago States) (Figure 6). Outside of Myanmar it may also occur in N.E. India and Bangladesh (see discussion).

    Wogan, G.O.U. 2012. A New Species of Leptobrachium from Myanmar (Anura: Megophryidae). Zootaxa. 3415: 23-36. 

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    Leptobrachium smithi from Northeast India 

     The Megophrid genus Leptobrachium Tschudi, 1838 represents a group of megophryid frogs characterized by a stocky body with wide head, slender, long forelimbs, and short hindlimbs. Currently the genus is represented by 32 species, of which two have been reported from India. Recently, in describing L. rakhinensis from Rakhini State of Myanmar, Wogan (2012) suggested the presence of the species also in India because the Rakhini Hills are biogeographically contiguous to Assam Hills of Northeast India. 
    Comparing the detailed morphometry and colour pattern of L. rakhinensis and L. smithi with the Northeast India populations of Leptobrachium, we conclude that the Northeast Indian populations closely resemble L. smithi in all aspects, and we recommend to apply the nomen L. smithi for those populations. 

    Key words: Taxonomy; Leptobrachium smithi; distribution; Northeast India

    Dipankar Dutta, Abhijit Das, Amalesh Dutta, Jayanta Gogoi and Saibal Sengupta. 2013. Taxonomic Status and Distribution of Leptobrachium smithi Matsui, Nabhitabhata & Panha, 1999 (Anura: Megophryidae) in India with New Locality Records. Tropical Natural History. 13(2): 87-95

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     The freshwater pufferfish, Tetraodonbarbatus Roberts, 1998, previously considered as a synonym of Tetraodoncambodgiensis Chabanaud, 1923, is validated. It differs distinctly from T. cambodgiensis by the combination of characters of that its caudal peduncle is smooth without small spinules and the head is broader (head width at preorbital, post orbital and nape: 54.1–59.8, 69.1–77.8 and 76.5–86.8 % head length (HL), respectively, in T. barbatus vs. 48.7–53.3, 60.2–64.3 and 68.5–74.3 %HL, respectively, in T. cambodgiensis). 

    Key words:Tetraodon barbatus, valid species, Mekong River 

    Geographic distribution.– T. barbatus is only known from the middle and lower Mekong basin (Roberts, 1998). The data from the field trips in Mekong basin of Thailand revealed that T. barbatus is not only found in Mekong mainstream but also in its larger tributaries, especially in places with rocky, sandy or muddy substrate. Moreover, T. barbatus inhabits rapids and is often found in the same habitat as T. suvattii and T. baileyi.

    Pasakorn Saenjundaeng, Chaiwut Grudpun and Chavalit Vidthayanon. 2013. Validation of Tetraodon barbatus Roberts, 1998, a Freshwater Pufferfish (Family Tetraodontidae) from the Mekong River. Tropical Natural History.13(2): 77-85

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    An African coelacanth and diver photographed by Laurent Ballesta in Sodwana Bay, South Africa. The African Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) attracted international attention when a specimen was netted off the South African coast in 1938, as coelacanths were thought to have gone extinct 70 million years ago. Now its genome has been sequenced. Phylogenomic analysis resolves the long-standing question of which lobe-finned fish is the closest living relative of the land vertebrates — it is the lungfish, and not the coelacanth. The protein-coding genes of the coelacanth are slowly evolving, which perhaps explains how similar today’s coelacanth looks to its 300-million-year-old fossil ancestors. Examination of changes in genes and regulatory elements shows the importance of factors including brain and fin development, immunity and nitrogen excretion in the adaptation of vertebrates to land. Cover: Laurent Ballesta/Andromède Collection

    The African Coelacanth Genome 
    provides insights into Tetrapod Evolution

    Chris T. Amemiya, Jessica Alföldi, Alison P. Lee, Shaohua Fan, Hervé Philippe, Iain MacCallum, Ingo Braasch, Tereza Manousaki, Igor Schneider, Nicolas Rohner, Chris Organ, Domitille Chalopin, Jeramiah J. Smith, Mark Robinson, Rosemary A. Dorrington, Marco Gerdol, Bronwen Aken, Maria Assunta Biscotti, Marco Barucca,  Denis Baurain, Aaron M. Berlin, Gregory L. Blatch, Francesco Buonocore, Thorsten Burmester and Michael S. Campbell. 2013.  The African Coelacanth Genome provides insights into Tetrapod Evolution. Nature. 496: 311-316. doi:

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    A reconstruction of the newly discovered species Panthera blytheae, based on a skull discovered in Tibet that is estimated to be between four and five million years old.
    Illustration by Mauricio Antón | DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2686 


    Pantherine felids (‘big cats’) include the largest living cats, apex predators in their respective ecosystems. They are also the earliest diverging living cat lineage, and thus are important for understanding the evolution of all subsequent felid groups. Although the oldest pantherine fossils occur in Africa, molecular phylogenies point to Asia as their region of origin. This paradox cannot be reconciled using current knowledge, mainly because early big cat fossils are exceedingly rare and fragmentary. Here, we report the discovery of a fossil pantherine from the Tibetan Himalaya, with an age of Late Miocene–Early Pliocene, replacing African records as the oldest pantherine. A ‘total evidence’ phylogenetic analysis of pantherines indicates that the new cat is closely related to the snow leopard and exhibits intermediate characteristics on the evolutionary line to the largest cats. Historical biogeographic models provide robust support for the Asian origin of pantherines. The combined analyses indicate that 75% of the divergence events in the pantherine lineage extended back to the Miocene, up to 7 Myr earlier than previously estimated. The deeper evolutionary origin of big cats revealed by the new fossils and analyses indicate a close association between Tibetan Plateau uplift and diversification of the earliest living cats.

    Subject Areas: evolution, palaeontology, taxonomy and systematics
    Keywords: first appearance, Himalaya, Pantherinae, Felidae, Miocene, Asia

    Z. Jack Tseng, Xiaoming Wang, Graham J. Slater, Gary T. Takeuchi, Qiang Li, Juan Liu and Guangpu Xie. 2013. Himalayan Fossils of the Oldest known Pantherine establish Ancient Origin of Big Cats. Proc. R. Soc. B. 281: 20132686.
    Step by step reconstruction of the new species of fossil pantherine cat from Tibet.
    via Mauricio Anton  

    This Fossil Skull Unearthed in Tibet Is the Oldest Big Cat Ever Found

    Discovery of world's oldest big cat fossil suggests predator evolved in Asia
    Nearly complete skull of creature similar to a snow leopard discovered in Tibet is estimated to be 4.4m years old

    Ancient Cat May Reshape Feline Family Tree


    Ji H. Mazák, Per Christiansen and Andrew C. Kitchener. 2011. Oldest Known Pantherine Skull and Evolution of the Tiger. 

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    A total of 40 species of reptiles was recorded within two herpetological surveys during May 2007 and April 2008 on Cat Ba Island, Hai Phong, northeastern Vietnam: one species of turtle, 19 species of lizards, and 20 species of snakes. Nineteen species (47.5%) were new records for the island. Compared with previous herpetological surveys on Cat Ba Island, the diversity of terrestrial reptiles recorded during our field work was five times higher than given in Darevsky (1990) and two times higher than indicated by Nguyen & Shim (1997). Taxonomic comparisons revealed that one lizard is endemic, the eublepharid gecko Goniurosaurus catbaensis (Ziegler et al. 2008), and another new skink species, Sphenomorphus tonkinensis (Nguyen et al. 2011); the divergent status of other squamate species (e.g., Pareas cf. hamptoniViridovipera cf. stejnegeri) is still under examination.

    Key words: Vietnam, Cat Ba Archipelago, Diversity, new record 

    T.Q. Nguyen (Nguyễn), R. Stenke, H.X. Nguyen (Nguyễn) & T. Ziegler. 2011. The Terrestrial Reptile Fauna of the Biosphere Reserve Cat Ba Archipelago, Hai Phong, Vietnam. Bonner Zoologische Monographien. (57)

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    We report about the rediscovery of the holotype of the Southeast Asian striped skink Lipinia vittigera and provide a detailed redescription together with photographs and drawings. The species was first described by George Albert Boulenger in 1894 as Lygosoma vittigerum based on a specimen collected by Elio Modigliani on the island of Sereinu (= Sipura), west of Sumatra. The original type specimen was considered to be lost for more than a century and was recently rediscovered in the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “Giacomo Doria” (MSNG) in Genova, Italy.

    Keywords: holotype, rediscovery, re-description, Lipinia, skink, Squamata, Indonesia

    Yannick Bucklitsch, Peter Geissler, Timo Hartmann, Giuliano Doria and André Koch. 2012. Rediscovery and Redescription of the Holotype of Lygosoma vittigerum (= Lipiniavittigera) Boulenger, 1894. Acta Herpetologica. 7(2): 325-329

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    Sphenomorphus sheai
    Nguyen, Nguyen, Devender, Bonkowski & Ziegler 2013

    A new forest skink species of the genus Sphenomorphus is described from Kon Tum Plateau, southern Central Vietnam. Sphenomorphus sheai sp. nov. is similar to the other montane skink species from the Indochina region, Lygosoma veunsaiensis, Scincella apraefrontalis, Sphenomorphus tetradactylus, and Sphenomorphus tridigitus, in having a small size and the absence of external ear openings. However, the new species is differentiated from aforementioned species and other members of Sphenomorphus from China and mainland Southeast Asia by a unique suite of morphological characters. The discovery of S. sheai brings the total species number of Sphenomorphus known from Vietnam to twelve.

    Key words: Kon Tum Plateau, skink, Sphenomorphus, taxonomy

    Nguyen, Truong Q., Khoi V. Nguyen, Robert W. V. Devender, Michael Bonkowski & Thomas Ziegler. 2013. A New Species of Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from Vietnam. Zootaxa. 3734(1): 56-62. 

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    Little Red Riding Hood
    by Arthur Rackham, 1909.


    Researchers have long been fascinated by the strong continuities evident in the oral traditions associated with different cultures. According to the ‘historic-geographic’ school, it is possible to classify similar tales into “international types” and trace them back to their original archetypes. However, critics argue that folktale traditions are fundamentally fluid, and that most international types are artificial constructs. Here, these issues are addressed using phylogenetic methods that were originally developed to reconstruct evolutionary relationships among biological species, and which have been recently applied to a range of cultural phenomena. The study focuses on one of the most debated international types in the literature: ATU 333, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. A number of variants of ATU 333 have been recorded in European oral traditions, and it has been suggested that the group may include tales from other regions, including Africa and East Asia. However, in many of these cases, it is difficult to differentiate ATU 333 from another widespread international folktale, ATU 123, ‘The Wolf and the Kids’. To shed more light on these relationships, data on 58 folktales were analysed using cladistic, Bayesian and phylogenetic network-based methods. The results demonstrate that, contrary to the claims made by critics of the historic-geographic approach, it is possible to identify ATU 333 and ATU 123 as distinct international types. They further suggest that most of the African tales can be classified as variants of ATU 123, while the East Asian tales probably evolved by blending together elements of both ATU 333 and ATU 123. These findings demonstrate that phylogenetic methods provide a powerful set of tools for testing hypotheses about cross-cultural relationships among folktales, and point towards exciting new directions for research into the transmission and evolution of oral narratives.

    Jamshid J. Tehrani. 2013. The Phylogeny of Little Red Riding Hood. PLoS ONE. 8 (11): e78871 DOI:

    Little Red Riding Hood: Study Provides Insights into Origins, Evolution of Folktales

    According to Durham University anthropologist Dr Jamshid Tehrani, evolutionary analysis can be used to study similarities among folktales. His findings demonstrate that the Little Red Riding Hood shares an ancient root with another popular folktale the Wolf and the Kids, although the two are now distinct stories.

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    Bauhinia nakhonphanomensis Chatan
    Bauhinia nakhonphanomensis closely resembles Bauhinia exurrens Stapf, known only from Mt Kinabalu Malaysia (Larsen and Larsen 1996). The two species are similar to each other by having entire leaves, anthers opening by longitudinal slits, short hypanthium (approx. 10 mm), petals not recurved and long pedicels more than 25 mm.

    A new liana species of the subfamily Caesalpinioideae (Leguminosae), namely Bauhinia nakhonphanomensis, collected from the Phulangkha National Park, Nakhon Pranom Province, Thailand, is described and illustrated. It is easily recognized by the following combination of characters: tendrilled liana, entire leaves, acuminate or caudate leaf apices, oblong or elliptic floral bud, floral bud 25–35 mm long, raceme or panicle inflorescence, 10–13 mm long hypanthium, anther opening by longitudinal slits. Important comparative morphological characters with some closely related species are discussed.

    Keywords: Bauhinia nakhonphanomensis, Thailand, Leguminosae, Caesalpinioideae, new species

    Figure 1. Bauhinia nakhonphanomensis
    A Habit B Habit and inflorescences C Large and old stems forming flattened “Monkey-Ladders” D Old (green) and young (pinkish) leaves 

    Figure 1. Bauhinia nakhonphanomensis
     E tendril F Inflorescence with many reddish bracteoles
    G Inflorescence with many reddish bracteoles and reddish-green floral buds.

    Flowering and fruiting: flowering April–July and fruiting unknown.

    Distribution: This new species is an endemic to Thailand and known from only one location at Phulangka National Park, Ban Pheang District, Nakhon Phanom Province, Thailand.

    Ecology: This species grows in a rocky and dense dry evergreen forest at an elevation of 170–240 m. It climbs on small to tall shrubs, trees or on big stones. Some plants grow along the river.

    Vernacular name: เถากะไดลิง Thao Khadailing.

    Etymology: Bauhinia nakhonphanomensis is named after the type locality Nakhon Phanom Province, the northeastern Thailand.

    Figure 1.Bauhinia nakhonphanomensisA Habit B Habit and inflorescences C Large and old stems forming flattened “Monkey-Ladders” D Old (green) and young (pinkish) leaves E tendril F Inflorescence with many reddish bracteoles G Inflorescence with many reddish bracteoles and reddish-green floral buds.

    Chatan, W. 2013. A New Species of Bauhinia L. (Caesalpinioideae, Leguminosae) from Nakhon Phanom Province, Thailand. PhytoKeys. 26: 1–5. doi:

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     Physoschistura chulabhornae Suvarnaraksha 2013
    ปลาค้อเจ้าฟ้าจุฬาภรณ์ | Princess Chulaborn's Stream Loach


    Physoschistura chulabhornae, new species, is described from Maechaem River, a tributary of Ping River, upper Chaophraya River drainage, Chiangmai province, Thailand. It is distinguished from all other known species of Physoschistura in having an incomplete lateral line reaching at least to the origin of the anal fin with 62–83 lateral-line canal pores, the dorsal-fin origin slightly in front of the pelvic-fin origin, no axillary pelvic lobe, and a suborbital flap in the shape of a hammer head in the male.

    Keywords: new species, Maechaem River, stream loaches

    Suvarnaraksha, Apinun. 2013. A New Species of Physoschistura (Pisces: Nemacheilidae) from northern Thailand. Zootaxa. 3736(3): 236-248.

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    Cedarpelta bilbeyhallorum
    Carpenter, Kirkland & Bird 2001

    Cedarpelta is an genus of basal ankylosaurid ankylosaur, based on material recovered from the Lower Cretaceous of North America. The skull lacks extensive cranial ornamentation, a trait which has been interpreted as plesiomorphic for ankylosaurs.

    Carpenter, K., Kirkland, J. I., Birge, D., and Bird, J. 2001. Disarticulated Skull of a NewPrimitive ankylosaurid from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah. in Carpenter, K. (editor) 2001. The Armored Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press

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    Aletopelta and Lambeosaurus in prehistoric California
    illustration by Ken Kirkland
    Aletopelta coombsi Kirkland & Ford, 2001
    an ankylosaurian ornithischian dinosaur from Southern California

     Generic name is composed of the Greek terms aletes and pelte, meaning, respectively "wandering" and "shield". This genus name was suggested by Ben Creisler because the fossil location, at the time the dinosaur died, being located on the tectonic plate containing the Peninsular Ranges Terrane, was somewhere opposite the middle of Mexico. This plate had thus been wandering northward, carrying the specimen with it. The specific epithet honors the vertebrate paleontologist Walter P. Coombs, Jr., for his ground-breaking work on ankylosaurs and his years of research, which have inspired many an enthusiast as well as professional paleontologist.

    Ford, T. L. & Kirkland, J. I. 2001. Carlsbad Ankylosaur (Ornithischia, Ankylosauria): An Ankylosaurid and Not a Nodosaurid, Chapter 12 of Carpenter, ed., The Armored Dinosaurs, Indiana University Press, Bloomington & Indianapolis, Indiana 239-260.

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    Gobisaurus domoculus 
     Vickaryous, Russell, Currie & Zhao 2001
    illustration: Andrey Atuchin |

     Amongst the fossil material collected by the Sino-Soviet Expeditions (1959–1960) to the Alshan Desert, China, was a large, virtually complete ankylosaur skeleton. Gobisaurus domoculus gen. et sp. nov. closely resembles Shamosaurus scutatus, but is distinct in having an unfused basipterygoid–pterygoid contact and elongate premaxillary processes of the vomers. Although it is difficult to make a definitive taxonomic assignment without considering postcranial material, a preliminary phylogenetic analysis places Gobisaurus as the sister taxon of Shamosaurus, clustered as one of several successive outgroups of the Ankylosaurinae.

    Systematic palaeontology
    Dinosauria Owen 1842 | Ornithischia Seeley 1888
    Ankylosauria Osborn 1923 | Ankylosauridae Brown 1908

    Gobisaurus gen. nov.
    Type species:Gobisaurus domoculus.

    Etymology: Gobi, refers to the geographic locale.

    Gobisaurus domoculus sp. nov.
    Type locality: IVPP V12563 (Holotype) is believed to have been collected from the same general locality as the large theropod Chilantaisaurus maortuensis, approximately 60 km north of Chilantai (Jilantai; 39 45 N, 105 45E), on the east side of Chilantai Salt Lake (Chilantaiyen Chih), Maortu, Alashan Desert, Nei Mongol Zizhique (Inner Mongolia), China.

    Formation: Ulanhushao (Suhongtu) Formation, Lower Cretaceous (Aptian–?Albian).

    Etymology: domo to subjugate; and oculus, the eye

    Matthew K. Vickaryous, Anthony P. Russell, Philip J. Currie, and Xi-Jin Zhao. 2001. A new ankylosaurid (Dinosauria: Ankylosauria) from the Lower Cretaceous of China, with comments on ankylosaurian relationships. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences/Rev. can. sci. Terre 38(12):1767-1780.

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    Liaoningosaurus paradoxus

    Juvenile ankylosaur specimens are very rare. A new ankylosaur,Liaoningosaurus paradoxus gen. et sp. nov., is described based on a beautifully preserved juvenile ankylosaur specimen from the famous Yixian Formation of Liaoning, China. Liaoningosaurus has a large bony plate (somewhat shell-like) shielding the abdomen. This discovery represents the first record of such a structure among dinosaurs. Although it has a number of distinct features seen in the family Ankylosauridae, a cladistic analysis placed Liaoningosaurus in the sister-family Nodosauridae. The 'intermediate' status of this taxon between the two ankylosaur families further supports the monophyly of Ankylosauria. This finding also documents the smallest known ankylosaur specimen and first complete nodosaurid specimen from Asia.

    Liaoningosaurus paradoxus

    Xu, X., Wang, X.-L., and You, H.-L. 2001. A juvenile ankylosaur from China. Naturwissenschaften. 88(7): 297-300.

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    Ajancingenia yanshini (Barsbold, 1981)

    The genus name of the small oviraptorid dinosaur Ingenia yanshini is preoccupied by the tripyloidid nematode Ingenia mirabilis, thus making the former a junior homonym of the latter.  Although “Ingeniayanshini is sympatric with Conchoraptor gracilis, it is distinguished from Conchoraptor by proportions of the manus.  It also differs appreciably from the ingeniines Heyuannia huangi and Nemegtomaia barsboldi in manual and pelvic proportions.  “Ingeniayanshini is not referable to any other taxon, and is renamed Ajancingenia yanshini gen. nov.  Several specimens originally referred to this species have subsequently been transferred to new genera, and the taxonomic assignment of material referred to Ajancingenia yanshini gen. nov. is reassessed.

    Keywords: Theropoda, Oviraptorosauria, Ingenia, Ajancingenia, Barun Goyot Formation

    Easter, J. 2013. A New Name for the oviraptorid Dinosaur "Ingenia"yanshini (Barsbold, 1981; preoccupied by Gerlach, 1957). Zootaxa. 3737 (2): 184–190. DOI: 

    Barsbold, R. 1981. Bezzubye khishchnye dinozavry Mongolii. [Toothless carnivorous dinosaurs of Mongolia.. Trudy -- Sovmestnaya Sovetsko-Mongol'skaya Paleontologicheskaya Ekspeditsiya, 15: 28-39, 124. [in Russian, w/ English summary].

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    Chalawan thailandicus (Buffetaut & Ingavat 1984)
    Chalawannom. nov. Martin, Lauprasert, Buffetaut, Liard & Suteethorn 2013
    syn: Sunosuchus thailandicus Buffetaut & Ingavat 1984

    ชาละวัน ไทยแลนดิคัส Chalawan thailandicus

    In the early 1980s, the remains of a large crocodilian, consisting of a nearly complete lower jaw, were referred to a distinct species of Sunosuchus, S. thailandicus. The specimen was recovered from a road-cut near Nong Bua Lamphu, north-eastern Thailand, in the upper part of the continental Phu Kradung Formation, and then considered Early to Middle Jurassic in age. Since then, this age has been revised and most of the formation is now considered Early Cretaceous, although a Late Jurassic age is possible for its lowermost part. Here, we report for the first time cranial elements associated with mandibular remains assignable to ‘S’. thailandicus. An attribution to Pholidosauridae is proposed on the basis of premaxillary morphology, and the original referral of this taxon to the goniopholidid Sunosuchus is discarded. A new genus name Chalawannow designates the originally described material of S. thailandicus. Nevertheless, the newly described specimen shares a characteristic with both ‘traditional’ Goniopholididae and Pholidosauridae: the presence of a depression located on the lateral wall of the maxilla and jugal. A phylogenetic analysis confirms the inclusion of both Goniopholididae and Pholidosauridae into a common clade, Coelognathosuchia tax. nov. Although the new Thai skull is much fragmented, its original shape is reconstructed and is compared with other pholidosaurid genera, namely Elosuchus, Meridiosaurus, Oceanosuchus, Pholidosaurus, Sarcosuchus and Terminonaris. The presence of the genus Sunosuchus being highly questionable in Thailand, it cannot be used as evidence to link the Chinese and Indochinese blocks. Instead, the recognition of a freshwater pholidosaurid in a continental formation of the Indochinese block suggests that early in their evolutionary history, these crocodilians, already known from Europe, Africa and South America, were more widely distributed along the northern margin of the Tethys than previously recognized.

    Keywords: crocodilia; Coelognathosuchia; Pholidosauridae; Mesozoic; Phu Kradung Formation; Thailand

    Derivation of name: ชาละวัน, Chalawan, a gigantic crocodile in the epic story of the crocodile hunter Khrai Thong written by King Rama II (1768–1824).

    Type species: Sunosuchus thailandicus Buffetaut and Ingavat, 1980; CAS42-20 in Sirindhorn Museum, Kalasin province (formerly TF1370 in DMR, Bangkok); a nearly complete mandible lacking only a part of the right ramus from the Phu Kradung Formation near Nong Bua Lamphu, north-eastern Thailand.

    Referred specimen: PRC102-143, Skull and mandibular elements of a single individual comprising parts of the rostrum, braincase and skull table as well as various parts of the mandible from Kham Phok, Mukdahan Province.

    Type locality: Nong Bua Lam Phu, Nong Bua Lam Phu Province.

    Type stratum: Phu Kradung Formation.

    Jeremy E. Martin, Komsorn Lauprasert, Eric Buffetaut, Romain Liard and Varavudh Suteethorn. 2013. A Large pholidosaurid in the Phu Kradung Formation of north-eastern Thailand. Palaeontology.

    Buffetaut, E.; and Ingavat, R. 1984. The lower jaw of Sunosuchus thailandicus, a mesosuchian crocodilian from the Jurassic of Thailand. Palaeontology. 27 (1): 199–206.

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     The taxonomic status of red knobby newt (Tylototriton shanjing) is under dispute. Molecular phylogenetic tree of Tylototriton verrucosus group was reconstructed based on 753 bp of partial mitochondrial cyt b gene sequence to determine species boundaries among the species in T. verrucosus group. The phylogeny result indicates that four major clades (clade I-IV) can be distinguished within Tylototriton verrucosus group. Clade I and IV consist of T. taliangensis and T.kweichowensis, respectively. Clade II consists of samples of T. shanjing derived from Yunnan of China, a form that researchers resurrect from its synonym under T.verrucosus. T. verrucosus haplotypes from Shan State of Myanmar and pet trade formed clade III. All populations of T. shanjing and T. verrucosus formed strongly supported (PP = 1.0) reciprocal monophyletic groups. The average uncorrected pairwise genetic distance (p-distance) of cyt b between these four clades ranges from 0.060-0.089 which is obviously higher than within these four major clades (0.001-0.014). Researchers propose that the T.shanjing should be a valid species rather than synonym of T.verrucosus.

    Mingwang Zhang, Guohua Yu, Dingqi Rao, Yimei Huang, Junxing Yang and Yan Li, 2013. A Species Boundary Within the Tylototritonverrucosus Group (Urodela: Salamandroidae) Based on Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Evidence. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances. 12: 337-343.

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    Type I & Type II Dorsal Color Pattern | females of Tylototriton 'verrucosus'

     Field surveys were carried out at 14 locations in seven provinces of Thailand, from December 2001 to September 2006, searching for the Himalayan newt (Tylototriton verrucosus Anderson, 1871). The newt was found at 11 of the 14 locations visited, eight of which constitute new locality records for the species within Thailand. Our observations show that the Himalayan newts in Thailand can be divided into two types based on their distribution, body coloration, and female size. This species was generally found in small streams and ponds, usually in mountainous areas at least 1,000 m above sea level. The ecological and conservation implications of Tylototriton verrucosus in Thailand are discussed.

    KEY WORDS: Body coloration, new localities, newt, Thailand, Tylototriton verrucosus

    FIGURE1. Distribution of Himalayan newts (Tylototriton verrucosus)
     A. gathered from old published literatures. B. from this survey. 
    () Indicate Type I newts (orange to yellow body coloration). (o) Indicate Type II newts (dull body coloration). 

    Pomchote, P., Pariyanonth, P. & Khonsue, W. 2008. Two Distinctive Color Patterns of the Himalayan Newt Tylototriton verrucosus (Urodela: Salamandridae) Found in Thailand and Its Implication on Geographic Segregation. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University. 8, 35–43.

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