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Article Reference Possible evidence of mammoth hunting at the Neanderthal site of Spy (Belgium)
Spy, a Belgian cave site famous for its Neanderthal remains, contains a wide spectrum of Pleistocene species. Horse, cave hyena, woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros and reindeer are the primary taxa. The Spy cave was used alternately by prehistoric humans and Pleistocene carnivores. This study considers whether prehistoric humans or carnivores are responsible for the large number of mammoth remains at the site. It is argued, on the basis of the frequency distribution of the skeletal elements of the mammoth, the age distribution of the mammoth molars, and the diet of the large carnivores and of the prehistoric humans, that the mammoth assemblage of Spy accumulated at the site through the activities of prehistoric humans. On the basis of AMS dates, the stratigraphic position of a number of mammoth molars and the absence of red ochre on the mammoth molars, it was concluded that these prehistoric humans were Neanderthals rather than Anatomically Modern Humans.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Proceedings Reference New data from and old site : Neandertals at Goyet (Belgium) and their mortuary behavior
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Applicability of DNA barcoding to museum specimens of birds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The ornithological collections of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels contain approximately 155 000 specimens collected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) . They include type specimens and other samples from historical populations that represent an exceptional source of information for exploring how habitat fragmentation due to deforestation or global climate changes affect patterns of biodiversity in African birds . By attempting to obtain DNA sequences from these archive collections we intend to make them useful for genetic studies and to contribute to a reference library of DNA sequences, thus allowing the future iden- tification of Central African bird species through DNA barcodes . Our project aims to sequence approximately 950 mu- seum specimens, representing 225 species, collected between 1845 and 2008 . Our preliminary results reveal that the degradation of DNA in most museum specimens does not allow the amplification of the standard DNA barcode fragment (694 bp) . Nevertheless, we have been able to sequence shorter fragments (298 bp and 100 bp) for the majority of the selected specimens, implying that the collections in the RMCA and the RBINS contain DNA information that remains useful for barcoding purposes . More elaborate experiments might yield longer DNA sequences for phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies .
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Exploring species level taxonomy and species delimitation methods in the facultatively self-fertilizing land snail genus Rumina (Gastropoda: Pulmonata)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference High species turnover of the ant genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) along an altitudinal gradient in the Ecuadorian Andes, indicated by a combined DNA sequencing and morphological approach.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Discovery of a new duiker species (Bovidae: Cephalophinae) from the Dahomey Gap, West Africa
Among the two most widely distributed duiker species, Philantomba monticola (Thunberg, 1789) and Philantomba maxwelli (C.H. Smith, 1827), the latter shows geographic variation in pelage color and body size. This issue was not investigated in detail so far, especially in the eastern region of its distribution area, notably due to the lack of material from the Dahomey Gap. We undertook a species-level revision of Philantomba in West Africa, notably including a series of specimens collected in Togo, Benin and Nigeria. Using morphological measurements (craniometry) and genetic data (two mitochondrial and three nuclear markers), we describe a new duiker species occurring in the Dahomey Gap (Togo, Benin) and the Niger delta, Philantomba walteri sp. nov. This discovery highlights the importance of the Dahomey Gap for the evolutionary history of the West African forest faunas. It also has conservation implications given that the new species is one of the main targets of the local bushmeat trade.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Inproceedings Reference Updating the theories on ammonoid extinction
Since Alvarez et al. (1980) found new evidence for the impact of catastrophic events on earth’s biota, hypothesis and theories explaining the fossil record (re)gained a lot of attention. The extraterrestrial origin of the anomalous iridium concentrations seemed highly controversial at first, but nowadays the Chicxulub ‘accident’ has become the marker for the start/base of the Paleogene. Its pivotal role in the Mesozoic-Cenozoic faunal turnover cannot be refuted (Schulte et al 2010). However, alternative theories remain being published. Of these, the Deccan volcanism with its widespread flood basalts stepped prominently forward as one of the main triggers, especially when trying to explain the gradual diversity decline within the fossil record. The inconsistencies between the proposed theories generally root in too narrowly geographically and geologically spread datasets. This applies to most fossil groups, and especially to the ammonoids (Class Cephalopoda, °Early Devonian – †Late Cretaceous). A compilation of ammonoid occurrences of Late Maastrichtian age published by Kiessling & Claeys (2002) evidenced the lack of a globally well distributed dataset. In this compilation, North Africa was left as a blind spot, while Tunisia had been the centre of the K/Pg mass extinction debate for almost three decades, e.g. with the definition of the GSSP for the base of the Paleogene at El Kef. Both at the GSSP and several other sections in the Tunisian Trough Basin, ammonoids were found within the topmost meters of the Maastrichtian, until very close to the K/Pg boundary level. About 900 uppermost Maastrichtian ammonoids were collected, all from within the last 420.000 years of the Cretaceous. With 22 species on record, belonging to 18 genera and 10 families, and with representatives of each of the four large ammonoid suborders (Phylloceratina, Lytoceratina, Ammonitina and Ancyloceratina), the Tunisian fauna demonstrates that ammonoids were both taxonomically and morphologically diverse until their very end. An updated version of the compilation of latest Maastrichtian ammonoid occurrences documents at least 53 species, 29 genera and 13 families in the ultimate half million year of the Cretaceous, in many more localities and occurring in a wide variety of settings. When the Tunisian ammonoid species richness data are plotted next to all time constraints of the possible causes, the possibility of Deccan flood basalt volcanism negatively influencing ammonoid diversity must be refuted. A major extinction caused by the Chicxulub impact seems the most plausible theory at present. Through inducing a mass kill of the marine plankton, the juvenile ammonoids lost their primary food source leading to their final extinction. Alvarez, L.W., Alvarez, W., Asaro, F., Michel, H.V., 1980. Extraterrestrial cause for the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction. Science, 208, 1095-1108. Kiessling, W., Claeys, P., 2002. A geographic database approach to the KT Boundary. In Buffetaut, E., Koeberl, C. (Eds), Geological and Biological Effects of Impact Events, Springer-Verlag Berlin, 83-140. Schulte, P. & 40 authors, 2010. The Chicxulub Asteroid Impact and Mass Extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary. Science 327, 1214-1218.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference DNA barcoding reveals new insights into the diversity of Antarctic species of Orchomene sensu lato (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Lysianassoidea)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference The genus Liljeborgia in the Mediterranean Sea, with the description of a new species (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Liljeborgiidae)
A new amphipod crustacean, Liljeborgia clytaemnestra sp. nov., is described based on specimens from Malta and the Bay of Naples. It is quite similar to the sympatric L. dellavallei Stebbing, 1906, but it has narrower and more regular-sized spines on the propodus of pereiopods 3–4. The longest spine on the dorsolateral border of the peduncle of uropod 1 is not strongly elongate in adult males, as in L. dellavallei. The apical spines on the lobes of the telson are much longer than in L. dellavallei. L. clytaemnestra sp. nov. is actually more similar to two northeastern Atlantic species, the British L. pallida (Spence Bate, 1857) and the Scandinavian L. brevicornis (Bruzelius, 1859) than to the Mediterranean L. dellavallei. In L. clytaemnestra sp. nov., article 2 of the mandibular palp has setae on distal third, whilst setae are restricted to tip in the two other species. Article 3 of the mandibular palp is also longer in L. clytaemnestra sp. nov. than in the two Atlantic species. The spines of the outer plate of the maxilliped are longer in L. clytaemnestra sp. nov. than in the two other species. The most distal spine of the propodus of pereiopods 3–4 is reduced in L. clytaemnestra sp. nov. and L. brevicornis, but not in L. pallida. The serration of the posterior border of the basis of pereiopod 7 is much stronger in L. clytaemnestra sp. nov. than in the two other species. Finally, in L. clytaemnestra sp. nov., the spines of the lobes of the telson are longer than in L. pallida. A lectotype is designated for L. dellavallei. The presence/absence of a posterodorsal tooth on pleonite 3 in L. dellavallei is discussed. The validity of L. kinahani (Spence Bate, 1862) is questioned. An identification key is proposed for Mediterranean Liljeborgia species.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference On the genus Halirages (Crustacea, Amphipoda), with the description of two new species from Scandinavia and Arctic Europe
A new common deep-sea species of Halirages Boeck, 1871 closely related to H. qvadridentatus G.O. Sars, 1877, H. cainae sp. nov., is described after specimens collected in the Norwegian Sea during the MAREANO 2009-111 cruise. Examination of the syntypes of H. elegans Norman, 1882 demonstrates that Norman's species is a junior synonym of H. qvadridentatus G.O. Sars, 1877 and that the species usually named H. elegans in literature was actually undescribed. The name H. stappersi sp. nov. is proposed for that species. A key to and a checklist of Halirages species is given.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications