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BACKGROUND The question of how many marine species exist is important because it provides a metric for how much we do and do not know about life in the oceans. We have compiled the first register of the marine species of the world and used this baseline to estimate how many more species, partitioned among all major eukaryotic groups, may be discovered. (More)
To resolve the population genetic structure and phylogeography of the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region sequences were compared among eight locations across the western Atlantic region. Fifteen haplotypes were identified among 86 individuals from Florida, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Columbia,(More)
Modern seacows (manatees and dugongs; Mammalia, Sirenia) are completely aquatic, with flipperlike forelimbs and no hindlimbs. Here I describe Eocene fossils from Jamaica that represent nearly the entire skeleton of a new genus and species of sirenian--the most primitive for which extensive postcranial remains are known. This animal was fully capable of(More)
Most living and fossil sea cows of the subfamily Dugonginae (Dugongidae, Sirenia, Mammalia) are characterized by large upper incisor tusks, which are thought to play an important role (at least primitively) in feeding on seagrass rhizomes. Testing this hypothesis is difficult, because the only extant tusked sirenian (Dugong dugon) is morphologically and(More)
Extant sirenians show allopatric distributions throughout most of their range. However, their fossil record shows evidence of multispecies communities throughout most of the past ∼26 million years, in different oceanic basins. Morphological differences among co-occurring sirenian taxa suggest that resource partitioning played a role in structuring these(More)
The recently extinct (ca. 1768) Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was a large, edentulous North Pacific sirenian. The phylogenetic affinities of this taxon to other members of this clade, living and extinct, are uncertain based on previous morphological and molecular studies. We employed hybridization capture methods and second generation sequencing(More)
The Kommandorskiye Islands population of Steller's sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas) was extirpated ca 1768 CE. Until now, Steller's sea cow was thought to be restricted in historic times to Bering and Copper Islands, Russia, with other records in the last millennium from the western Aleutian Islands. However, Steller's sea cow bone has been obtained by the(More)
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