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Third orangutan species discovered

 
 
Reply Sun 5 Nov, 2017 06:28 am
UZH Anthropologists Describe Third Orangutan Species

Previously only two species of orangutans were recognized – the Bornean and the Sumatran orangutan. Now, UZH researchers working with an international team have described a new great ape species, the Tapanuli orangutan. It is the great ape species at greatest risk of extinction, with only around 800 remaining individuals occuring in upland forest regions of North Sumatra.

Two species of Indonesian orangutans had previously been officially described and recognized – the Pongo abelii, living on the island of Sumatra, and the Pongo pygmeaeus, endemic to Borneo. In 1997, researchers at the Australian National University discovered an isolated population of orangutans in Batang Toru, a region within the three Tapanuli districts in North Sumatra. UZH anthropologists working together with an international research team have now established that these orangutans are actually a distinct third species, Pongo tapanuliensis. The study carried out by the UZH researchers is the largest genomic study of wild orangutans to date.

Unique teeth and skulls

The first indications of the uniqueness of the Tapanuli population came from the skeletal material of an adult male orangutan killed in 2013 – when compared to other skulls it turned out that certain characteristics of the teeth and skull of the Tapanuli orangutan were unique. “We were quite surprised that the skull was quite different in some characteristics from anything we had seen before,” explains Matt Nowak, who researched the morphological characteristics as part of his PhD thesis and now works for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP).


Three evolutionary lineages identified

“When we realized that the Tapanuli orangutans were morphologically different from all other orangutans, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place,” adds Michael Krützen, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Genomics at UZH. Krützen and his team have been researching the genetic lineage of all living orangutan populations for some time. Previous study results combined with the new genome sequencing of 37 orangutans showed a picture that was consistent with the morphological findings: “We identified three very old evolutionary lineages among all orangutans, despite only having two species currently described,” says Maja Mattle-Greminger, a postdoctoral researcher at UZH.


Direct descendants of the first orangutan population

Extensive computer modelling aimed at reconstructing the history of the population enabled the UZH researchers to verify their new findings. Their calculations show that the Tapanuli population appears to have been isolated from all other Sumatran populations of orangutans for at least 10,000 to 20,000 years. Alexander Nater, who completed his PhD at UZH, explains: “The oldest evolutionary line in the genus Pongo is actually found in Tapanuli orangutans, which appear to be direct descendants of the first Sumatran population in the Sunda archipelago.” In addition, behavioral observations and ecological surveys support the genetic and morphological analyses.

Species conservation the top priority

“It is very exciting to discover a new great ape species in the 21st century,” says the principal author of the study Michael Krützen, although he cautions that the highest priority must now be to protect the Tapanuli orangutan. “All conservation efforts must focus on protecting the species’ environment,” stresses Krützen. More and more rainforest is being lost to agricultural use – virgin forests in the Batang Toru ecosystem are giving way to palm oil plantations, and there are also plans for the construction of a hydroelectric dam which would further intrude on the Tapanuli orangutans’ environment.

A recent survey carried out independently by Indonesian and international scientists indicated that no more than 800 individuals of the Tapanuli population remain, making the Tapanuli orangutan the great ape species at greatest risk of extinction. “If steps are not taken quickly to reduce current and future threats and to conserve every last remaining bit of forest, a great ape species may become extinct within a few decades,” warns Matt Nowak, who supervises research into the Tapanuli orangutans at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2017/11/02/18/45F2AD1A00000578-5043543-image-a-4_1509646026416.jpg

http://www.media.uzh.ch/en/Press-Releases/2017/Third-Orangutan-Species.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5043543/A-species-orangutan-found.html
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Sun 5 Nov, 2017 06:41 am
@Pamela Rosa,
Right near Lake Toba.
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 5 Nov, 2017 11:11 am
@Pamela Rosa,
Pam as an apparent newcomer, not no Prof but wonder if that first frame is you

Oops no, no not below ur text, I mean in the Prof

If not bein' nosy, like to know something 'boutcha such as age, nat'l, ed, interests, etc; what brotcha to a2k; if am, then I am [email protected], [apparently don;t care who else knows it]
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  6  
Reply Sun 5 Nov, 2017 02:23 pm
Pamela Rosa is no newcomer. Her white supremacist, racist bile has flowed freely at this site for many years.
dalehileman
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 5 Nov, 2017 03:17 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
white supremacist, racist
But Set, one of the reasons I never noticed, prpobly 'cause I don' read the long'n's


Oops, just r'z'd that it's Setana, whom for some reason I mustn't call 'Set,' and who apparently hates me [Dale] with a vengeance. I think you initiated the TAT, din't you ????
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Nov, 2017 08:06 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
Right near Lake Toba.

Interesting that these populations survived the Toba eruption.

Or maybe everything in the area was killed and then these sub-species migrated back into that area from elsewhere on the islands.

Those jungles must be littered with little isolated micro-environments.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Nov, 2017 09:18 am
@rosborne979,
or that Toba provided enough Isolation among end members of the species and, by genetic drift the species arose. The classic Toba eruption was so many generations ago so time and space assisted in this speciation
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 6 Nov, 2017 09:23 am
@dalehileman,
I guess you dont know it but,"Pamela Rose" is one of A2K's biggest , most visible racists . Shes merely loading up to nd her (otherwise) scholarly sounding post with something that shes concluded about black people.Sid youI notice that her membership duration exceeds yours by a number of years?.

SO when Set said what he did, it was more a statement of fact. (Ya gotta learn to not take everything so damn personally Dale)
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 6 Nov, 2017 12:28 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
Sid youI notice
No Man, I Sidn't. But thanks millions fer yer postin' . Made my day !
0 Replies
 
Pamela Rosa
 
  -2  
Reply Tue 7 Nov, 2017 03:40 am
Stop calling me 'racists'.

As far as I know I was the second person on the Internet who regarded Blacks as a distinct species.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Tue 7 Nov, 2017 04:53 am
@Pamela Rosa,
Quote:
Stop calling me 'racists'.

See what set meant Dale?? shes a racist mind job.
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 7 Nov, 2017 12:06 pm
@farmerman,
Yea Farm, her last rem' could be so interpreted I guess, but there's the bene'f'v'a doubt
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Nov, 2017 02:56 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
or that Toba provided enough Isolation among end members of the species and, by genetic drift the species arose. The classic Toba eruption was so many generations ago so time and space assisted in this speciation

I thought the article noted that the species split several million years ago. The Toba eruption was only about 77k years ago.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 7 Nov, 2017 03:08 pm
@rosborne979,
good point. I missed that entirely. I should have read it more closely.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Nov, 2017 06:57 pm
@farmerman,
Back at the time of the Toba eruption I'm guessing that Sumatra was probably filled with different Orangutan niches. The eruption probably wiped out almost everything but left a few hardy (or lucky) groups. Borneo may have missed the brunt of it because of the westerly winds. That may be why the Orang population in Borneo is larger than in Sumatra.

http://news.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/eruptioncomparison400.jpg
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Nov, 2017 10:14 am
@rosborne979,
Theres a major subduction zone between Sumatra and Borneo and, of course, the Wallace Line is just to the Est of Borneo. The subduction zone i actually left lateral so the two lqndmasses were actually sliding past each other in the miocene to the present. Thats 15 M yrs so there could hqve been plenty of room for speciation by isolation over millions of years.
I still favor a small end group undergoing some evolution as a genetic drift xperiment (There never was a huge population of these Pongos)
TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Nov, 2017 05:53 pm
@farmerman,
So is this a separate species or just a variety? Can they interbreed with other Orangs?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2017 05:34 am
@TomTomBinks,
Im sure hybrids can occur, speciation is not a firm point. As time goes on and successive generations pass, certain traits become more fixed and "reproductive isolation" will eventually occur.

Weve always stated that polar bears and Brown bears were separate species , yet, more and more, with climate change we have begun to see hybridization between the two. I saw a series of photos of a "mix" between the two bears and they had appearances of both bears,
1the eleongated nose with the "snout" of the brownie

2 A brownies hump

3 Claw structure in between polr nd Brownie

4 the hollow white hair and subhairs of a polar

5 dark eye rings of a brownie

6 the flat back heqd and smaller ers of a polar

They did several DNA tests of the hybrids and discovered the genome was a mix.
TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Nov, 2017 07:23 pm
@farmerman,
OK, so do we now say there are seven species of ape? Or still five?
Gibbon
Orangutan
Gorilla
Chimpanzee
Human
Or are we counted here as a great ape? Or is it five hominoids; four apes and one Human?
Does the Bonobo count as a separate species?
I guess I'm confused. It's been many years since anthropology class!
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Nov, 2017 04:43 am
@TomTomBinks,
The hominidae (and the lower tax classifications )sorta follows this chart I got from some Monkey site. I think Gibbons were removed from the "great ape" clade (seems they probably werent so great)


   https://image.slidesharecdn.com/bio201130c203-1920lecture-120320062343-phpapp02/95/bio201130-c203-1920lecture-17-728.jpg?cb=1332225037
 

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