Philippines Is The Home Of World's Greatest Concentration Of Unique Mammals

First Posted: Jul 19, 2016 04:11 AM EDT

American and Filipino researchers discovered that the Philippines has the greatest concentration of unique mammals in the world. About 93 percent of these mammals in Luzon Island cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.

The 15-year-long study was published in the journal Frontiers of Biogeography. There are 52 endemic mammals out of the 56 mammal species that flourish in Luzon. The bats are excluded.

The team of researchers conducted a survey of non-flying mammals at 17 locations between the years 2000 and 2012. They found about 28 new species. These include four species of tiny three mice with long whiskers that could reach their ankles. There are also five species of shrew-looking mice that mainly feed on earthworms. They are mostly found in a mountain or mountain range, according to Tech Times.

Eric Rickart from the Natural History Museum of Utah and one of the researchers said that the newly found species are members of two branches of the tree of life that is confined to the Southeast Asian country. The researchers also said that all 28 of the new species and 20 of the species discovered prior to 2000 are members of two morphologically and ecologically diverse endemic clades. This indicates that species richness has primarily been the product of speciation within the island.

The researchers were surprised that the number of new species was doubled since their previous study in 2000. The island's rich biodiversity life is due to having enough space to support the survival species. It is not also connected to another landmass. This means that the species have enough time to evolve into new ones and expand more.

Other mammals that cannot be found anywhere on earth but can be found in some places in the Philippines are the Philippine Tarsier, Philippine Pangolin, Flying lemur, Palawan Stink Badger, Dwarf Fruitbat, the Golden-crowned Flying Fox, Mindanao Tree Shrew, Calamian deer, Balabac mouse deer, Visayan spotted deer and the Visayan warty pig. The Living National Treasures also listed endemic mice and rats. These include the Luzon Montane striped shrew-rat, slender-tailed cloud rat, Luzon hairy-tailed rat, Camiguin forest mouse, dusky moss mouse and the Panay bushy-tailed cloud rat.


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