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Miocene Fossils Reveal Ancient Roots for New Zealand's Endemic Mystacina (Chiroptera) and Its Rainforest Habitat.

Hand SJ, Lee DE, Worthy TH, Archer M, Worthy JP, Tennyson AJ, Salisbury SW, Scofield RP, Mildenhall DC, Kennedy EM, Lindqvist JK - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Here, a new mystacinid is described from the early Miocene (19-16 Ma) St Bathans Fauna of Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand.Similarly, many of the arthropod prey of living Mystacina are recorded as fossils in the same area.Although none of the Miocene plant and arthropod species is extant, most are closely related to modern taxa, demonstrating potentially long-standing ecological associations with Mystacina.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

ABSTRACT
The New Zealand endemic bat family Mystacinidae comprises just two Recent species referred to a single genus, Mystacina. The family was once more diverse and widespread, with an additional six extinct taxa recorded from Australia and New Zealand. Here, a new mystacinid is described from the early Miocene (19-16 Ma) St Bathans Fauna of Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand. It is the first pre-Pleistocene record of the modern genus and it extends the evolutionary history of Mystacina back at least 16 million years. Extant Mystacina species occupy old-growth rainforest and are semi-terrestrial with an exceptionally broad omnivorous diet. The majority of the plants inhabited, pollinated, dispersed or eaten by modern Mystacina were well-established in southern New Zealand in the early Miocene, based on the fossil record from sites at or near where the bat fossils are found. Similarly, many of the arthropod prey of living Mystacina are recorded as fossils in the same area. Although none of the Miocene plant and arthropod species is extant, most are closely related to modern taxa, demonstrating potentially long-standing ecological associations with Mystacina.

No MeSH data available.


Schematic reconstruction of the forest habitat on the shores of paleolake Manuherikia, South Island, New Zealand in the early Miocene.
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pone.0128871.g004: Schematic reconstruction of the forest habitat on the shores of paleolake Manuherikia, South Island, New Zealand in the early Miocene.

Mentions: Mystacina tuberculata populations are restricted today to extensive areas of undisturbed old-growth, temperate, closed evergreen forest types dominated by Podocarpus, Dacrydium, Agathis and species of Nothofagus [16, 61] with large trees (>1 m girth and >25 m high) available for well-insulated colonial roosts, abundant epiphytes and deep leaf-litter: the species also occurs in low numbers in areas adjacent to undamaged old-growth forest [10, 62]. The habitat preferences of M. robusta are not well known, but it is presumed to have had similar requirements to M. tuberculata [10, 16]. All of the tall forest conifers (Agathis, Dacrydium, Dacrycarpus, Podocarpus, Prumnopitys) and most of the angiosperms (Nothofagus, Metrosideros, Weinmannia) in which extant Mystacina is known to roost have a long history in New Zealand, dating back at least to the Oligocene to early Miocene (e.g. Gore Lignite Measures, Newvale Mine, Southland [63]; Foulden Maar, Otago [40, 41]) (Fig 1). Fig 4 provides a schematic reconstruction of the mixed Nothofagaceae—Podocarpaceae forest habitat that would have been occupied by Mystacina, based on the palynofloras recorded in Table 2.


Miocene Fossils Reveal Ancient Roots for New Zealand's Endemic Mystacina (Chiroptera) and Its Rainforest Habitat.

Hand SJ, Lee DE, Worthy TH, Archer M, Worthy JP, Tennyson AJ, Salisbury SW, Scofield RP, Mildenhall DC, Kennedy EM, Lindqvist JK - PLoS ONE (2015)

Schematic reconstruction of the forest habitat on the shores of paleolake Manuherikia, South Island, New Zealand in the early Miocene.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4470663&req=5

pone.0128871.g004: Schematic reconstruction of the forest habitat on the shores of paleolake Manuherikia, South Island, New Zealand in the early Miocene.
Mentions: Mystacina tuberculata populations are restricted today to extensive areas of undisturbed old-growth, temperate, closed evergreen forest types dominated by Podocarpus, Dacrydium, Agathis and species of Nothofagus [16, 61] with large trees (>1 m girth and >25 m high) available for well-insulated colonial roosts, abundant epiphytes and deep leaf-litter: the species also occurs in low numbers in areas adjacent to undamaged old-growth forest [10, 62]. The habitat preferences of M. robusta are not well known, but it is presumed to have had similar requirements to M. tuberculata [10, 16]. All of the tall forest conifers (Agathis, Dacrydium, Dacrycarpus, Podocarpus, Prumnopitys) and most of the angiosperms (Nothofagus, Metrosideros, Weinmannia) in which extant Mystacina is known to roost have a long history in New Zealand, dating back at least to the Oligocene to early Miocene (e.g. Gore Lignite Measures, Newvale Mine, Southland [63]; Foulden Maar, Otago [40, 41]) (Fig 1). Fig 4 provides a schematic reconstruction of the mixed Nothofagaceae—Podocarpaceae forest habitat that would have been occupied by Mystacina, based on the palynofloras recorded in Table 2.

Bottom Line: Here, a new mystacinid is described from the early Miocene (19-16 Ma) St Bathans Fauna of Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand.Similarly, many of the arthropod prey of living Mystacina are recorded as fossils in the same area.Although none of the Miocene plant and arthropod species is extant, most are closely related to modern taxa, demonstrating potentially long-standing ecological associations with Mystacina.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

ABSTRACT
The New Zealand endemic bat family Mystacinidae comprises just two Recent species referred to a single genus, Mystacina. The family was once more diverse and widespread, with an additional six extinct taxa recorded from Australia and New Zealand. Here, a new mystacinid is described from the early Miocene (19-16 Ma) St Bathans Fauna of Central Otago, South Island, New Zealand. It is the first pre-Pleistocene record of the modern genus and it extends the evolutionary history of Mystacina back at least 16 million years. Extant Mystacina species occupy old-growth rainforest and are semi-terrestrial with an exceptionally broad omnivorous diet. The majority of the plants inhabited, pollinated, dispersed or eaten by modern Mystacina were well-established in southern New Zealand in the early Miocene, based on the fossil record from sites at or near where the bat fossils are found. Similarly, many of the arthropod prey of living Mystacina are recorded as fossils in the same area. Although none of the Miocene plant and arthropod species is extant, most are closely related to modern taxa, demonstrating potentially long-standing ecological associations with Mystacina.

No MeSH data available.