Tragulus

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Tragulus
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Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Tragulidae
Genus: Tragulus
Brisson, 1762
Type species
Tragulus javanicus
Osbeck, 1765

Tragulus is a genus of even-toed ungulates in the family Tragulidae that are known as mouse-deer. [1] In Ancient Greek τράγος (tragos) means a male goat, [2] while the Latin diminutive –ulus means 'tiny'. With a weight of 0.7–8.0 kg (1.5–17.6 lb) and a length of 40–75 cm (16–30 in), they are the smallest ungulates in the world, though the largest species of mouse-deer surpass some species of Neotragus antelopes in size. [3] The mouse-deer are restricted to Southeast Asia from far southern China (south Yunnan) to the Philippines (Balabac) and Java. [3]

Following recent taxonomic changes, several of the species in this genus are poorly known, but all are believed to be mainly nocturnal and feed on leaves, fruits, grasses, and other vegetation in the dense forest undergrowth. [3] They are solitary or live in pairs, and the males have elongated canine teeth (neither gender has horns or antlers) that are used in fights. [3] Unlike other members of their family, the Tragulus mouse-deer lack obvious pale stripes/spots on their upper parts. [3]

Taxonomy

Traditionally, only two species of mouse-deer in the genus Tragulus have been recognized: The relatively large T. napu and the small T. javanicus. Following a review in 2004, T. nigricans and T. versicolor were split from T. napu, and T. kanchil and T. williamsoni were split from T. javanicus. [4] With these changes, T. kanchil and T. napu are the most widespread species, while the remaining have far smaller distributions (though some uncertainty over the exact distribution limits of the various species in Indochina remain). [4]

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Artiodactyls are mammals belonging to the order Artiodactyla. Typically, they are ungulates which bear weight equally on two of their five toes: the third and fourth, often in the form of a hoof. The other three toes are either present, absent, vestigial, or pointing posteriorly. By contrast, odd-toed ungulates bear weight on an odd number of the five toes. Another difference between the two is that many other even-toed ungulates digest plant cellulose in one or more stomach chambers rather than in their intestine as the odd-toed ungulates do. The advent of molecular biology, along with new fossil discoveries, found that cetaceans fall within this taxonomic branch, being most closely related to hippopotamuses. Some modern taxonomists thus apply the name Cetartiodactyla to this group, while others opt to include cetaceans within the existing name of Artiodactyla. Some researchers use "even-toed ungulates" to exclude cetaceans and only include terrestrial artiodactyls, making the term paraphyletic in nature.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chevrotain</span> Family of mammals belonging to even-toed ungulates

Chevrotains, or mouse-deer, are diminutive, even-toed ungulates that make up the family Tragulidae, and are the only living members of the infraorder Tragulina. The 10 extant species are placed in three genera, but several species also are known only from fossils. The extant species are found in forests in South and Southeast Asia; a single species, the water chevrotain, is found in the rainforests of Central and West Africa. They are solitary, or live in loose groupings or pairs, and feed almost exclusively on plant material. Chevrotains are the smallest hoofed mammals in the world. The Asian species weigh between 0.7 and 8.0 kg, while the African chevrotain is considerably larger, at 7–16 kg (15–35 lb). With an average length of 45 cm (18 in) and an average height of 30 cm (12 in), the Java mouse-deer is the smallest surviving ungulate (hoofed) mammal, as well as the smallest artiodactyl. Despite their common name of "mouse deer", they are not closely related to true deer.

<i>Tragelaphus</i> Genus of mammals

Tragelaphus is a genus of medium-to-large-sized spiral-horned antelopes. It contains several species of bovines, all of which are relatively antelope-like. Species in this genus tend to be large in size and lightly built, and have long necks and considerable sexual dimorphism. Elands, including the common eland, are embedded within this genus, meaning that Taurotragus must be subsumed into Tragelaphus to avoid paraphyly. Alternatively, Taurotragus could be maintained as a separate genus, if the nyala and the lesser kudu are relocated to their own monospecific genera, respectively Nyala and Ammelaphus. Other generic synonyms include Strepsiceros and Boocercus. The name "Tragelaphus" comes from the mythical tragelaph.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Royal antelope</span> Species of mammal

The royal antelope is a West African antelope recognized as the world's smallest. It was first described by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. It stands up to merely 25 cm (10 in) at the shoulder and weighs 2.5–3 kg (5.5–6.6 lb). A characteristic feature is the long and slender legs, with the hindlegs twice as long as the forelegs. Horns are possessed only by males; the short, smooth, spiky horns measure 2.5–3 cm (0.98–1.18 in) and bend backward. The soft coat is reddish to golden brown, in sharp contrast with the white ventral parts. In comparison to Bates's pygmy antelope, the royal antelope has a longer muzzle, broader lips, a smaller mouth and smaller cheek muscles.

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The southern red muntjac is a deer species native to Southeast Asia. It was formerly known as the Indian muntjac or the common muntjac before the species was taxonomically revised to represent only populations of Sunda and perhaps Malaysia. The other populations being attributed to this species are now attributed to Muntiacus vaginalis. Muntjacs are also referred to as barking deer. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Javan rusa</span> Species of deer native to Indonesia and East Timor

The Javan rusa or Sunda sambar is a large deer species native to Indonesia and East Timor. Introduced populations exist in a wide variety of locations in the Southern Hemisphere.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barbary sheep</span> Species of mammal

The Barbary sheep, also known as aoudad is a species of caprine native to rocky mountains in North Africa. While this is the only species in genus Ammotragus, six subspecies have been described. Although it is rare in its native North Africa, it has been introduced to North America, southern Europe, and elsewhere. It is also known in the Berber language as waddan or arwi, and in former French territories as the moufflon.

<i>Taurotragus</i> Genus of mammals

Taurotragus is a genus of large antelopes of the African savanna, commonly known as elands. It contains two species: the common eland T. oryx and the giant eland T. derbianus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Javan mongoose</span> Species of mongoose from Asia

The Javan mongoose is a mongoose species native to Southeast Asia.

<i>Cervus</i> Genus of mammals belonging to the deer, muntjac, roe deer, reindeer, and moose family of ruminants

Cervus is a genus of deer that primarily are native to Eurasia, although one species occurs in northern Africa and another in North America. In addition to the species presently placed in this genus, it has included a whole range of other species now commonly placed in other genera. Additionally, the species-level taxonomy is in a state of flux.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philippine mouse-deer</span> Species of mammal

The Philippine mouse-deer, also known as the Balabac chevrotain or pilandok, is a small, nocturnal ruminant, which is endemic to Balabac and nearby smaller islands southwest of Palawan in the Philippines. The genus Tragulus means 'little goat' and the Philippine mouse-deer has been named so due to the horizontal pupils of the eyes. This position of the pupil allows for an increase in peripheral depth perception. It has traditionally been considered a subspecies of the greater mouse-deer. In 2004, though, T. nigricans was separated from T. napu as its own species due to differences in skull morphology. Contrary to its common name, the Philippine mouse-deer does not belong to the true deer family (Cervidae), but is rather more closely connected to antelope and antelope-like bovids; it is a member of the chevrotain family, a grouping of some of the world's smallest hoofed mammals.

Megadontomys is a genus of rodent in the family Cricetidae, found in Mexico. It contains the following species:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Java mouse-deer</span> Species of mammal

The Java mouse-deer is a species of even-toed ungulate in the family Tragulidae. When it reaches maturity it is about the size of a rabbit, making it the smallest living ungulate. It is found in forests in Java and perhaps Bali, although sightings there have not been verified.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Greater mouse-deer</span> Species of mammal

The greater mouse-deer, greater Malay chevrotain, or napu is a species of even-toed ungulate in the family Tragulidae found in Sumatra, Borneo, and smaller Malaysian and Indonesian islands, and in southern Myanmar, southern Thailand, and peninsular Malaysia. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical, moist, lowland forest.

<i>Moschiola</i> Genus of mammals

Moschiola, the spotted chevrotains, are a genus of small even-toed ungulates in the family Tragulidae. They are found in forests in India, Sri Lanka and perhaps Nepal, and have pale-spotted or -striped upperparts unlike the other Asian members of the family, the mouse-deer of the genus Tragulus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lesser mouse-deer</span> Species of mammal

The lesser mouse-deer, lesser Malay chevrotain, or kanchil is a species of even-toed ungulate in the family Tragulidae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vietnam mouse-deer</span> Small hoofed mammal lost until November 2019

The Vietnam mouse-deer, also known as the silver-backed chevrotain, is an even-toed ungulate in the family Tragulidae known only from Vietnam. It was first described in 1910 by British zoologist Oldfield Thomas, who procured four specimens from Nha Trang in Annam. Little is known about its distribution and ecology. After 1910, the Vietnam mouse-deer was reported next in 1990 near Dak Rong and Buon Luoi in the Gia Lai Province. With increasing hunting pressure, habitat loss due to deforestation and no more reports of the species in the wild, the mouse-deer was feared to have gone extinct. The IUCN listed the species as Data Deficient in 2008. In 2019, a study confirmed the presence of the Vietnam mouse-deer in dry low-lying forests of southern Vietnam with camera trap evidence. The mouse-deer is characterised by a rough coat with a strange double-tone coloration unseen in other chevrotains; the front part of the body is reddish brown and contrasts strongly with the greyish posterior. It has big reddish brown ears, white and dark reddish brown marks on the throat.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Williamson's mouse-deer</span> Species of mammal

Williamson's mouse-deer is a species of even-toed ungulate in the family Tragulidae. It is found in Thailand, and possibly in China. The species is named after the collector Walter James Franklin Williamson.

References

  1. Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN   978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC   62265494.
  2. τράγος . Liddell, Henry George ; Scott, Robert ; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Nowak, R. M. (eds) (1999). Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  4. 1 2 Meijaard, I., and C. P. Groves (2004). A taxonomic revision of the Tragulus mouse-deer. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 140: 63-102.