Navigation Links
New species declared: Clouded leopard on Borneo and Sumatra

Scientists have discovered that the clouded leopard found on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra is an entirely new species of cat. The secretive rainforest animal was originally thought to be the same species as the one found in mainland Southeast Asia.

Genetic analysis conducted at the U.S. National Cancer Institute shows that the difference between the two clouded leopard species is comparable to the differences between other large cat species like lions, tigers, and jaguars. Scientists believe the new species of clouded leopard diverged from the mainland population some 1.4 million years ago.

“Genetic research results clearly indicate that the clouded leopards of Borneo and Sumatra should be considered a separate species,?said Dr Stephen O'Brien, Head of the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, U.S. National Cancer Institute. “DNA tests highlighted around 40 differences between the two species.?

The results of the genetic study are supported by separate research on geographical variation in the clouded leopard, based mainly on fur patterns and coloration of skins held in museums and collections.

“The moment we started comparing the skins of the mainland clouded leopard and the leopard found on Borneo and Sumatra, it was clear we were comparing two different species,?said Dr Andrew Kitchener, from the Department of Natural Sciences, National Museums Scotland and lead author of the scientific paper that described the new species. “It’s incredible that no one has ever noticed these differences.?

The new clouded leopard species is generally darker than the mainland species, has small cloud markings, many distinct spots within the cloud markings, grayer fur, and a double dorsal stripe. Clouded leopards from the mainland have large clouds on their skin with fewer, often faint, spots within the cloud markings, and they are lighter in color, with a tendency toward tawny-colored fur and a partial double dorsal stripe.

“Who said a leopard can never change its spots? For over a hundred years we have been looking at this animal and never realized it was unique,?said Adam Tomasek, head of WWF’s Borneo and Sumatra program. “The fact that Borneo’s top predator is now considered a separate species further emphasizes the uniqueness of the island and the importance of conserving the Heart of Borneo.?

Clouded leopards are the biggest predators on Borneo. Some grow to be as large as a small panther, and have the longest canine teeth relative to body size of any cat. Sumatran tigers are the largest predators on Sumatra.

Between 5,000 and 11,000 clouded leopards are estimated to live on Borneo. The total number in Sumatra could be in the range of 3,000 to 7,000 individuals. However, further studies are needed to obtain better population data. Habitat destruction is the cat’s main threat.

The last great forest home of the Bornean Clouded Leopard is the Heart of Borneo, a wild, mountainous region of rainforest the size of Kansas. WWF recently released a report showing that scientists had identified at least 52 new species of animals and plants over the past year on Borneo.

Last month in Bali (Indonesia), the ministers of the three Bornean governments ?Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia ?signed an historic Declaration to conserve and sustainably manage the Heart of Borneo.
'"/>

Source:World Wildlife Fund


Related biology news :

1. New species from old data
2. Same mutation aided evolution in many fish species, Stanford study finds
3. Fibril Shape Is The Basis Of Prion Strains And Cross-species Prion Infection
4. Reservoirs may accelerate the spread of invasive aquatic species, researchers say
5. Small species back-up giant marsupial climate change extinction claim
6. Aggressive aquatic species invading Great Lakes
7. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are now species of slime-mold beetles -- but strictly in homage
8. Internet viruses help ecologists control invasive species
9. An (ecological) origin of species for tropical reef fish
10. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
11. Invasive parasite destroying fish species

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/1/2016)... , February 1, 2016 ... advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture control market ... --> Rising sales of consumer electronics coupled with ... control market size through 2020 ... electronics coupled with new technological advancements to drive global ...
(Date:1/27/2016)... Ohio , Jan. 27, 2016  Rite Track, ... based in West Chester, Ohio ... award winning service staff, based in Austin, ... capacity and ability to provide modifications, installations and technical ... Dovalina , CEO of PLUS, commented, "PLUS has provided ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector 2016-2020" ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced the ... in Retail Sector 2016-2020" report to ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ) has announced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... February 06, 2016 , ... Contact:, Abby Mitchell, ... Excellence in Education Sponsors Teacher Training Program , Bite of Science Dinner Event ... Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) will sponsor a Bite of Science professional ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... DIEGO , Feb. 5, 2016 On ... region,s trusted information source for community, health and disaster ... Diego) will integrate to enhance care coordination and ... to the services they need and to better connect ... improve care.   San Diego ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... and compliance training, today announced an interactive FDA compliance training course, ... RAPS (Regulatory Affairs Professional Society) accredited interactive course on Morf Playbook—now conveniently available ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... and triple quad LC-MS, host live demos and poster sessions, and present on ... exhibition. The conference takes place March 6 to 10 at the Georgia World ...
Breaking Biology Technology: