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Brief Summary

    Podogymnura truei: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Podogymnura truei, also known as the Mindanao gymnure, Mindanao moonrat, or Mindanao wood shrew, is a mammal of the family Erinaceidae. It is endemic to the Mindanao islands of the Philippines. Erinaceidae is a family of small mammals that include the gymnures, also known as the silky furred moonrats, and the hedgehogs. Animals belonging to this family are significant because they are among the oldest known placental mammals that are alive. Gymnures are relatives of hedgehogs but lack the prickly spines. Two species are categorized in the genus Podogymnura: P. aureospinula and P. truei. Both species share a close resemblance to the moonrat Echinosorex gymnura, which is commonly found on the Borneo, Sumatra, and the Malay Peninsulas.

Comprehensive Description

    Podogymnura truei
    provided by wikipedia

    Podogymnura truei, also known as the Mindanao gymnure, Mindanao moonrat, or Mindanao wood shrew, is a mammal of the family Erinaceidae.[2] It is endemic to the Mindanao islands of the Philippines.[1] Erinaceidae is a family of small mammals that include the gymnures, also known as the silky furred moonrats, and the hedgehogs. Animals belonging to this family are significant because they are among the oldest known placental mammals that are alive.[3] Gymnures are relatives of hedgehogs but lack the prickly spines. Two species are categorized in the genus Podogymnura: P. aureospinula and P. truei. Both species share a close resemblance to the moonrat Echinosorex gymnura, which is commonly found on the Borneo, Sumatra, and the Malay Peninsulas.[4]

    Physical description

    Podogymnura truei, which are endothermic species, are medium-sized ground dwellers that typically range from 130–150 mm in body length. Their body is narrow, which may have been an adaptation for burrowing through narrow crevices and have bilateral symmetry. These mammals also have long soft fur that is typically gray mixed with coarser reddish brown hairs on the dorsal side. On the ventral side the hairs have a grayish white tone with some brown mixed in. Long whiskers protrude out of a long snout, which allows for exceptional tactile sensation. Similar to other mammals, chemical cues and sense of smell are used extensively for survival. The face is commonly spotted with black stripes or spots near the eyes. A sturdy tail, which is typically about 40-70mm long, is covered moderately with hair. Underneath the hair, the skin displays a yellowish-brown, and purple coloration. At the hind legs, the fur is less prominent and the skin displays a naked peach tone. The hind foot is usually 31 to 37 mm.[5] They have a well-developed anal gland that produces and secretes an unpleasant odor to deter predators away. This scent is pungent, often described as a rancid onion or garlic smell.[6] Females are typically larger than males. Overall, the Mindanao gymnure is smaller than P. aureospinula. Podogymnura are closely related to Echinosorex in that they share similar dental and cranial characteristics, well-developed canine teeth, and a long rostrum. However, unlike Echinosorex, Podogymnura has less prominent sagittal, temporal, and nuchal crests, and is smaller with a shorter tail.[7]

    Diet and behavior

    Since Podogymnura truei are ground dwellers, their typical diet includes earthworms, insects, and arthropods.[8] Although primarily carnivorous, they will occasionally eat fungi and fruit. P. truei are nocturnal or crepuscular, which means that they remain in their burrows during the day, but come out to forage by searching the forest floor at twilight or night. Foraging with little visibility requires their sense of smell to be their primary sense. They exhibit more similar behaviors to that of the elusive shrews than their spiky relatives. P. truei move faster but are not as efficient at digging as hedgehogs. They are also territorial and live in solitude, with exception to breeding season. In order to mark their territory or to deter predators, they will release a strong odor, typically described as a rancid onion or garlic smell.[6]

    Reproduction and life span

    Mindanao moonrats hold onto territories and usually live in solitude with exception to breeding seasons.[9] Breeding typically occurs with two litters annually. Average litter size is two offspring with an average gestation period of about 35–40 days. After giving birth, females will nurse and care for their young until the offspring is weaned.[8] On average, the life span of the Mindanao moonrat is about 55 months.

    Habitat and ecology

    Podogymnura truei is endemic to the Philippine island of Mindanao. Within the Mindanao island, it is only found in the provinces Davao Norte, Bukidnon, and Davao del Sur, which all contain mountainous forests. Podogymnura truei prefer areas that are damp and are frequently found near standing bodies of water. They are found in abundance in the mossy forests (2000 to 2900 m), but are also dispersed among mountains and primary forests (1300 to 2000 m). Other areas of habitation include dense vegetation on the edges of streams, in thick moss-covered roots, underneath grass beds at the edge of a lake, by logs in dense fern undergrowth, among tangled tree roots, by tree trunks that have been hollowed out, and near boulders in densely fern covered valleys. Their habitats are similar to true shrews.[5] The Mindanao moonrat helps with the highland ecosystems of Mindanao by regulating insect populations.

    Major threats

    The potential major threat to the Mindanao moonrat population is habitat destruction. The Mindanao island is currently affected by slash and burn agriculture, forest degradation, and logging. Habitat destruction is most prominent in low level forests, which could be a problem for the Mindanao moonrat if this destruction escalates to the highland regions. However, since they primarily reside in high elevation forests, current populations are estimated to be stable.[8] Although the population is currently stable, the fate of Mindanao moonrat is directly linked to the survival of the forests of Mindanao. According to Ridge and Reefs biodiversity report, Mindanao has a lush geographical profile. It is the 2nd largest island and has 4 out of 6 mountain ranges that reach altitudes greater than 9000 ft. The forest cover is about 30,960 km², which is approximately 24% of the total land area. The islands two marshlands include Ligawasan Marsh and the Agusan Marsh. Both contain a wide spectrum of ecological diversity and vegetation types. Mindanao is the most diverse island in the Philippines.[10] Unfortunately, the forest has already been reduced by 29 percent due to the effects of slash and burn agriculture and logging. The remainder of the forest continues to be destroyed and degraded through several means. First of all, primary forests are being cut down and replaced with exotic trees for the paper industry. Illegal logging is being practiced even within areas that are supposed to be protected.[7] Habitat deforestation could affect the moonrats if forest degradation continues to affect areas of higher elevation. For now, about 80% of its habitat is still in its original condition, with no human threats to the species because of its low commercial value.[11]

    Conservation

    According to the IUCN Red List, Podogymnura truei are under the category of least concern.[1] However, this status could elevate to the next level if habitat destruction continues to escalate.[7] The best way to prevent this species from becoming endangered and to maintain its current status is through conserving its habitat. There are other efforts being made to optimize biodiversity and promote habitat conservation. Currently, national environmental laws in the Philippines are embodied in the following: international doctrines and principles, administrative orders, judicial decisions, local ordinances, republic acts, executive orders, and the 1987 Philippine Constitution.[12]

    References

    1. ^ a b c Heaney, L.; Balete, D.; Tabao, M. (2008). "Podogymnura truei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008: e.T17828A7513194. Retrieved 23 November 2015..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    2. ^ Hutterer, R. (2005). "Order Erinaceomorpha". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
    3. ^ He, K.; Chen, J-H.; Gould, GC; Yamaguchi, N.; Ai, H-S. "An Estimation of Erinaceidae Phylogeny: A Combined Analysis Approach". Retrieved Sep 29, 2014.
    4. ^ Stone, D. "Eurasion Insectivores and Tree Shrews: Status, Survey and Conservation Action Plan". Tree Shrew and Elephant Shrew Specialist Group. Retrieved Sep 30, 2014.
    5. ^ a b Heaney, Lawrence; Rabor, Dioscoro (1982). "Mammals of Dinagat and Siargao Islands, Philippines" (PDF). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan. 699: 1–28. Retrieved Sep 29, 2014.
    6. ^ a b Rondinini, C. (2006). "Hedgehogs and Moonrats". In David W. Macdonald. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press.
    7. ^ a b c Nowak, R.M. (1991). Walker's Mammals of the World (5 ed.). Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved Oct 4, 2014.
    8. ^ a b c Heaney, Lawrence. "A Synopsis of the Mammalian Fauna of the Philippine Islands". USA: Field Museum of Natural History. Retrieved Sep 29, 2014.
    9. ^ "Gymnure". Thai National Parks. Retrieved Oct 4, 2014.
    10. ^ Overview on the Status, Issues, and Concerns on Biodiversity Conservation in the Philippines. Los Baños: Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). 2011. pp. 5–10 and 40–42. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
    11. ^ Heaney, L.R.; Tabaranza Jr., B.; Rickart, A.E.; Balete, S.D.; Ingle, R.N. (2006). "The mammals of Mt. Kitanglad Nature Park, Mindanao, Philippines". Fieldiana Zoology. 112: 1–63. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.3395. Retrieved Oct 2, 2014.
    12. ^ Ong, Perry; Afuang, Leticia; Rosell-Ambat, Ruth, eds. (2002). Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priorities. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. pp. 2–6, 16, and 22–24. Retrieved Sep 30, 2014.

Distribution

    Distribution
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Podogymnura truei is endemic to the Philippines and restricted to Mindanao Island. Within Mindanao Island, P. truei occurs only in the provinces of Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, and Davao del Sur. It has been recorded on Mt. Apo, Mt. McKinley, and Mt. Katanglad.

    Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

    Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

Morphology

    Morphology
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Mindanao gymnures are medium sized, ground dwellers with a body length of 130 to 150 mm. Their pelage is long, soft, and full. Dorsally their pelage is mostly gray mixed with coarser reddish brown hairs, while ventrally it is more hoary with some white and brown mixed in. Their ears are semi-naked and they have long whiskers. Their robust tail is about 1/3 of their body length (40 to 70 mm), moderately haired, and a buffy to purplish flesh color. Their pelage fades away to naked peach skin colored feet (hind food is 31 to 37 mm). Podogymnura aureospinula (found on Dinagat Island) is distringuished from P. truei by it's golden brown spiny dorsal pelage with black speckling. Podogymnura is closely related to Echinosorex; they share cranial and dental characteristics including a long rostrum and long, well-developed canine teeth. Podogymnura is smaller, has a shorter tail, and has less prominent temporal, sagittal, and nuchal crests. No reports on sexual dimorphism or mass measurements were found. Some pictures can be found at the Field Museum of Natural History webpage.

    Range length: 130 to 150 mm.

    Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

    Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Habitat

    Habitat
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Podogymnura truei is confined to the mountainous forests of Mindanao. They prefer damp areas and are frequently found near standing water. They are widespread in primary and montane forests (1300 to 2000 m) and even more abundant in the mossy forests (2000 to 2900 m). They've been found among tangled tree roots, in thick moss covered roots, by logs in dense fern undergrowth, by dense stream edge vegetation, under grass at the edge of a lake, by boulders in densely fern covered valleys, and by hollowed tree trunks. Their habitats are comparable to those of true shrews (Soricidae).

    Range elevation: 1250 to 2900 m.

    Average elevation: 2200 m.

    Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

    Terrestrial Biomes: forest ; rainforest ; mountains

    Other Habitat Features: riparian

Trophic Strategy

    Trophic Strategy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Insects, worms, and possibly carrion seem to comprise the majority of their diet, although there was one report of herbivory. They have been caught in traps baited with worms, bird flesh, or even fried coconut coated with peanut butter.

    Animal Foods: carrion ; insects; terrestrial worms

    Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore , Vermivore)

Associations

    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Podogymnura truei is an important component of the highland ecosystems of Mindanao because it helps control forest insect populations.

    Commensal/Parasitic Species:

    • Sigmactenus
    Associations
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    No information on predation was found.

Behavior

    Behavior
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Their long whiskers give them good tactile sensation. Like other mammals, they are expected to use their sense of smell and chemical cues extensively.

    Communication Channels: chemical

    Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Life Expectancy

    Life Expectancy
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Almost nothing is known about the life history of this species.

Reproduction

    Reproduction
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Mindanao gymnures are not well studied, no information on mating was found.

    No information on reproduction could be found in the literature.

    Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

    Like all mammals, female Mindanao gymnures are expected to nurse and care for their young until they are weaned.

    Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female)

Conservation Status

    Conservation Status
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Mindanao gymnures are currently listed under the IUCN Red List as endangered because they occur only in a fragmented forested region on Mindanao Island, Philippines which is threatened by logging, slash and burn agriculture, and forest degradation. Heaney (1998) however argues that because of their occurrence in high elevation forests, which have comparatively little commercial value, forest degradation is not as great a threat. With their relative abundance in these areas, current populations should be stable.

    US Federal List: no special status

    CITES: no special status

    IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Benefits

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    There are no known adverse effects of Podogymnura truei on humans.

    Benefits
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Humans benefit from their insect control.

Other Articles

    Untitled
    provided by Animal Diversity Web

    Common names include: Mindanao gymnure, Mindanao wood shrew, and Mindanao moonrat. Podogymnura truei includes the occasionally referenced P. minima.