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More Insights into the Evolution of Fat Dormouse in the Old Growth Hyrcanian Forests

More Insights into the Evolution of Fat Dormouse in the Old Growth Hyrcanian Forests

Zahra Eftekhar1, Morteza Naderi2,*, Mohammad Kaboli3, Hamid R. Rezaei4 and Nematollah Khorasani3

¹Department of Natural resources and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
²Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, Arak University, Arak, 38156-8-8349, Iran
³Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran
4Department of Environmental Science, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Golstan, Iran

*      Corresponding author: ghnadery@yahoo.com

 

ABSTRACT

Fat dormouse (Glis glis), belonging to the monotypic genus Glis of the family Gliridae, has been frequently used as a model to enrich our knowledge of patterns of arboreal species adaptation to the glacial oscillations. Ancient Hyrcanian forests, as one of the old-growth relicts of the temperate deciduous forests, have been recently documented as an important refugium during the last glacial maximum (LGM). More investigations based on skull and mandible morphological assessments revealed considerable intraspecific evolutionary divergence among the local populations settled in the Hyrcanian forests of northern Iran. Geometric morphometric approaches in this study confirm the presence of multiple cryptic refugia for Fat dormouse as a small forest-dwelling species during paleontological oscillations. Such findings correspond to those of previous molecular and niche analyses. Our research also confirms an ideal capability of morphological approaches in species evolutionary assessments.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

December

Vol. 51, Iss. 6, Pages 1999-2399

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