Rafe M . Brown

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Ranidae is a large anuran group with a nearly cosmopolitan distribution. We investigated the phylogenetic relationships and early biogeographic history of ranid frogs, using 104 representatives of all subfamilies and families, sampled from throughout their distribution. Analyses of approximately 1570 bp of nuclear gene fragments (Rag-1, rhod, Tyr) and(More)
The interface of the Asian and Australian faunal zones is defined by a network of deep ocean trenches that separate intervening islands of the Philippines and Wallacea (Sulawesi, the Lesser Sundas, and the Moluccas). Studies of this region by Wallace marked the genesis of the field of biogeography, yet few workers have used molecular methods to investigate(More)
The spectacular, virtually endemic radiation of Philippine semi-fossorial skinks of the genus Brachymeles represent one of the few radiations of scincid lizards to possess both fully limbed and limbless species. And yet, nothing is known of the phylogenetic relationships of this exceptional group. Morphologically similar body plans have made it difficult to(More)
A biomechanically parsimonious hypothesis for the evolution of flapping flight in terrestrial vertebrates suggests progression within an arboreal context from jumping to directed aerial descent, gliding with control via appendicular motions, and ultimately to powered flight. The more than 30 phylogenetically independent lineages of arboreal vertebrate(More)
In the Philippines, Pleistocene sea level oscillations repeatedly connected and isolated neighboring islands. Hence, an understanding of the island platforms adjoined during periods of low sea level has led biologists to a suite of expectations that, taken together, represent a paradigm for the process of recent diversification in southeast Asia. We employ(More)
An accurate understanding of species diversity is essential to studies across a wide range of biological subdisciplines. However, delimiting species remains challenging in evolutionary radiations where morphological diversification is rapid and accompanied by little genetic differentiation or when genetic lineage divergence is not accompanied by(More)
– We describe a new species of Luperosaurus from the Sierra Madre Mountain Range of northern Luzon Island, Philippines. Luperosaurus kubli, new species, is distinguished from all Philippine Luperosaurus by the combination of its large body size (105.4 mm for the holotype), reduced interdigital webbing, cutaneous expansions on limbs limited to only the(More)
As humans continue to explore the last uncharted regions of the planet, discoveries of previously unknown species of large vertebrates have become infrequent. Here, we report on the discovery of a spectacular new species of giant, secretive, frugivorous, forest monitor lizard (Genus: Varanus) from the forests of the northern Philippines. Using data from(More)
In the megadiverse conservation hotspot of the Philippines, biodiversity is not uniformly distributed throughout the archipelago, but hierarchically partitioned into islands and island groups that were conjoined during the mid- to late-Pleistocene. Few species groups are widely distributed throughout the archipelago, but some exceptions exist, such as the(More)
Southeast Asia's widespread species offer unique opportunities to explore the effects of geographical barriers to dispersal on patterns of vertebrate lineage diversification. We analyzed mitochondrial gene sequences (16S rDNA) from a geographically widespread sample of 266 Southeast Asian tree frogs, including 244 individuals of Polypedates leucomystax and(More)