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Novel evolutionary lineage of miniature primate discovered in Philippines

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In a recent publication appearing in the open access journal PLOS ONE, EEB Associate Professor Dr. Rafe Brown, KU Undergraduate Biology Program Assistant Director Dr. Jennifer Weghorst, EEB graduate student Karen Olson, and three former EEB students (Anthony Barley, Jake Esselstyn, and Cameron Siler), along with two U.S-based primatologists an five Filipino scientists announced the discovery of a novel evolutionary lineage of miniature primate, the Philippine tarsier, from the tiny island of Dinagat in the southern reaches of the archipelago.  The discovery of this “cryptic” form was confirmed with genetic data, following 100+ years of confusion surrounding taxonomic boundaries in tarsiers from the Philippines. This work, supported by a grant from the National Geographic Foundation and Brown’s continuing support from NSF, has been covered by a wide variety of news outlets around the world and will re-structure national conservation efforts for tarsiers, via Brown’s close collaboration with the Philippine government.

KU Today:  http://news.ku.edu/2014/08/12/conservation-philippine-tarsier-gets-boost-kansas-along-discovery-new-variety

National Geographic:  : http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/08/19/adorably-cute-tiny-primate-discovery-illuminates-biodiversity-of-philippines-island

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