The southern patas monkey is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primates

The southern patas monkey Erythrocebus baumstarki is included in the 11th edition of The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates (2022–2023), a joint initiative of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group, International Primatological Society, and Re:wild. This report (Mittermeier et al. 2022. ‘Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates 2022-2023’) was launched on August 30th at the 19th Congress of the Brazilian Society of Primatology in Sinop, Mato Grosso, Brazil. The 2022–2023 list of the World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates includes six species from Africa, four from Madagascar, eight from Asia, and seven from the Neotropics.

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Warthog Genomes Resolve an Evolutionary Conundrum

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Warthog Genomes Resolve an Evolutionary Conundrum and Reveal Introgression of Disease Resistance Genes

Genís Garcia-Erill, Christian H.F. Jørgensen, Vincent B. Muwanika, Xi Wang, Malthe S. Rasmussen, Yvonne A. de Jong, Philippe Gaubert, Ayodeji Olayemi, Jordi Salmona, Thomas M. Butynski, Laura D. Bertola, Hans R. Siegismund, Anders Albrechtsen and Rasmus Heller
Molucular Biolology and Evolution 39(7):msac134

Abstract: African wild pigs have a contentious evolutionary and biogeographic history. Until recently, desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) and common warthog (P. africanus) were considered a single species. Molecular evidence surprisingly suggested they diverged at least 4.4 million years ago, and possibly outside of Africa. We sequenced the first whole-genomes of four desert warthogs and 35 common warthogs from throughout their range. We show that these two species diverged much later than previously estimated, 400,000–1,700,000 years ago depending on assumptions of gene flow. This brings it into agreement with the paleontological record. We found that the common warthog originated in western Africa and subsequently colonized eastern and southern Africa. During this range expansion, the common warthog interbred with the desert warthog, presumably in eastern Africa, underlining this region’s importance in African biogeography. We found that immune system–related genes may have adaptively introgressed into common warthogs, indicating that resistance to novel diseases was one of the most potent drivers of evolution as common warthogs expanded their range. Hence, we solve some of the key controversies surrounding warthog evolution and reveal a complex evolutionary history involving range expansion, introgression, and adaptation to new diseases.

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Adult male desert warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus at Suyian Ranch, Laikipia, Kenya.

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Mito-phylogeny of Cercopithecus mitis manyaraensis

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Mito-phylogenetic relationship of the new subspecies of gentle monkey Cercopithecus mitis manyaraensis, Butynski & De Jong, 2020

Dietmar Zinner, Sascha Knauf, Idrissa S. Chuma, Thomas M. Butynski, Yvonne A. De Jong, Julius D. Keyyu, Rehema Kaitila and Christian Roos

Primate Biology 9: 11–18, 2022

Abstract: In 2020, a new subspecies was described in the Cercopithecus mitis complex, the Manyara monkey C. m. manyaraensis, Butynski & De Jong, 2020. The internal taxonomy of this species complex is still debated, and the phylogenetic relationships among the taxa are unclear. Here we provide the first mitochondrial sequence data for C. m. manyaraensis to determine its position within the mitochondrial phylogeny of C. mitis. This subspecies clusters within the youngest (internal divergences between 1.01 and 0.42 Ma) of three main taxonomic clades of
C. mitis. Its sister lineages are C. m. boutourlinii (Ethiopia), C. m. albotorquatus (Kenya and Somalia), C. m. albogularis (Kenya and Tanzania), and C. m. monoides (Tanzania and Mozambique). In general, the phylogenetic tree of C. mitis based on mitochondrial sequence data indicates several paraphyletic relationships within the C. mitis complex. As in other African cercopithecines (e.g. Papio and Chlorocebus), these data are suitable for reconstructing historic biogeographical patterns, but they are only of limited value for delimitating taxa.

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More information about the Manyara Monkey

Adult male manyara monkey Cercopithecus mitis manyaraensis, Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania. Photograph by Yvonne de Jong and Tom Butynski.

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