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The Myanmar snub-nosed monkey Rhinopithecus strykeri was discovered in 2010 on the western slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Irrawaddy River basin in Myanmar and subsequently in the same river basin in China, in 2011. Based on 2 years of surveying the remote and little disturbed forest of the Gaoligong Mountains National Nature Reserve in China, with outline transect sampling and infrared camera monitoring, a breeding group comprising > 70 individuals was found on the eastern slopes of the Gaoligong Mountains in the Salween River Basin. Given the Critically Endangered status of this primate (a total of < 950 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild), efforts to protect the relatively undisturbed habitat of this newly discovered population and to prevent hunting are essential for the long-term survival of this species.
There is controversy over previous findings that a high ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteriodetes helps obese animals harvest energy from the diet. To further investigate the relationship between microbial composition and energy harvest, microbial adaptation to diet and time should be considered. In this study, lean and obese rats were successfully induced with low-fat and high-fat diets. An 8-week high soyabean fibre (HSF)-containing diet was then fed to investigate the interaction between the diet and the rats’ gut microbiota, as well as their influence on rats’ growth. Rats’ body weight (BW) was recorded weekly; their plasma lipids and their gut microbiota at week 11, 15 and 19 were analysed. After the consumption of the HSF diet, BW of lean rats increased significantly (P<0·05), but no significant alteration in BW was found in obese rats. The average content of plasma cholesterol was lowered and that of TAG was upgraded in both the groups when fed the HSF diet. There was no significant difference observed at each period between lean and obese rats. In the group of lean rats, the diversity of gut microbiota was elevated strongly (P<0·01), and bacteria from phylum Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were both increased largely (P<0·01); however, the bacterial diversity and composition in obese rats were less altered after the HSF diet control. In conclusion, the increased Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes might relate to lean rats’ higher BW gain; ‘obese microbiota’ could not help the hosts harvest more energy from the HSF diet.
Largocephalosaurus polycarpon Cheng et al. 2012a was erected after the study of the skull and some parts of a skeleton and considered to be an eosauropterygian. Here we describe a new species of the genus, Largocephalosaurus qianensis, based on three specimens. The new species provides many anatomical details which were described only briefly or not at all in the type species, and clearly indicates that Largocephalosaurus is a saurosphargid. It differs from the type species mainly in having three premaxillary teeth, a very short retroarticular process, a large pineal foramen, two sacral vertebrae, and elongated small granular osteoderms mixed with some large ones along the lateral most side of the body. With additional information from the new species, we revise the diagnosis and the phylogenetic relationships of Largocephalosaurus and clarify a set of diagnostic features for the Saurosphargidae Li et al. 2011. Largocephalosaurus is characterized primarily by an oval supratemporal fenestra, an elongate dorsal ‘rib-basket’, a narrow and elongate transverse process of the dorsal vertebrae, and the lack of a complete dorsal carapace of osteoderms. The Saurosphargidae is distinct mainly in having a retracted external naris, a jugal–squamosal contact, a large supratemporal extensively contacting the quadrate shaft, a leaf-like tooth crown with convex labial surface and concave lingual surface, a closed dorsal ‘rib-basket’, many dorsal osteoderms, a large boomerang-like or atypical T-shaped interclavicle. Current evidence suggests that the Saurosphargidae is the sister-group of the Sauropterygia and that Largocephalosaurus is the sister-group of the Saurosphargis–Sinosaurosphargis clade within the family.
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