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MALAYSIAN MURIDS and the GIANT RAT of SUMATRA American Museum of Natural History

MALAYSIAN MURIDS and the GIANT RAT of SUMATRA American Museum of Natural History

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By Guy G. Musser and Cameron Newcomb

Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History - Volume 174 : Article 4 - New York, 1983

4to, softcover, 269 pages, illustrated.

A good clean copy. Small amount of neat writing to the top left corner of the front cover. Otherwise very good and clean copy.

We define the morphological boundaries and elucidate the contents of three Indo-Malayan murid genera: Palawanomys, new genus, known only from Palawan Island; Berylmys, primarily Indochinese in geographic distribution with a representative on the Sunda Shelf; and Sundamys, new genus, containing the giant rat of Sumatra and indigenous to the Sunda Shelf. We contrast the characteristics of these three genera with 11 others that have native species on the Sunda Shelf. Five of the Sundanese (or Malaysian) genera are endemic to the Shelf: Pithecheir, Kadarsanomys, Lenothrix, Palawanomys, and Sundamys. Maxomys, Haeromys, and Chiropodomys are basically Sundaic in that most of the species in each genus are endemic to the Shelf. Most of the species in the genera (Berylmys, Niviventer, Mus, and Rattus) occur outside of the Sunda region. Leopoldamys and Hapalomys are the only two which have an equal number of species in both Indochina and on the Sunda Shelf.

We estimate there to be 40 native species of rats and mice on the peninsula and islands of the Sunda Shelf and 10 others whose distributions on the Shelf probably reflect introductions by human agency. Our view of the species and generic diversity of Malaysian murids, in which Rattus is a minor part, is contrasted with that of former workers who looked upon Rattus as a major component of the Sundaic murid fauna. We analyze the distributions of primitive and derived traits among the 14 native genera and examine possible phylogenetic relationships among them. Patterns formed by these alliances as well as by geographic distributions of the genera are described; questions are posed that will require answers from additional study"--P. 329.

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