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Table of Contents: Volume 5 (1) 2006 (published 30 November 2006)

Morphofunctional interpretation of the quills stridulating in tenrecs (Lipotyphla, Tenrecidae)
Zherebtsova O.V.
P. 1-11
The muscles providing the stridulating of quills in tenrecs (Hemicentetes, Tenrec ecaudatus and Echinops telfairi) were studied using histological and micromorphological methods. The complicated interlacement of the hypodermic muscle (m. cutaneus trunci) attaching to the quill bases was observed in Hemicentetes and Echinops. In this case, the alternate contraction of the cross-striated fibres causes the quills ability to vibrate rapidly and to rub together producing high (Hemicentetes), or low-frequency (Echinops) sounds (Eisenberg & Gould, 1970). The attachment of well developed mm. arrectores pilorum of the simple (Hemicentetes) and complex (Echinops) structure was also found on the bulbs of stridulating quills. Smooth skin muscles serve both for erection and elastic fixation of the quills, which is necessary prerequisite for the stridulation. In T. ecaudatus, in which the stridulating quills are completely lost in adult specimens, the individual fibres of m. cutaneus trunci were noted in the derm of dorsum skin.

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First record of Harpiola (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) from Vietnam
Kruskop S.V., Kalyakin M.V., Abramov A.V.
P. 13-16
The tube-nosed bat of the genus Harpiola was for the first time captured in Vietnam. The animal was caught into mist net in Ngoc Ling Mountains at the elevation 2250 m. This is the first record of Harpiola from Asian mainland eastward of India. Comparison of external characters, dental features and measurements with published data reveal considerable similarity between Vietnamese specimen and H. isodon from Taiwan. Talonids of the first two lower molars of Vietnamese specimen demonstrate myotodont type of structure.

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The “developmental conduit” of the tribe Microtini (Rodentia, Arvicolinae): Systematic and evolutionary aspects
Golenishchev F.N., Malikov V.G.
P. 17-24
According to the recent data on molecular genetics and comparative genomics of the grey voles of the tribe Microtini it is supposed, that their Nearctic and Palearctic groups had independently originated from different lineages of the extinct genus Mimomys. Nevertheless, that tribe is considered as a natural taxon. The American narrow-skulled voles are referred to a new taxon, Vocalomys subgen. nov.

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Cranial and skeletal size in red foxes, Vulpes vulpes (Carnivora, Canidae) in areas with large variation in food abundance
Englund J.
P. 25-34
Many skeletal parts vary in size between yearlings of different year-classes depending on the food situation at the foetal stage as well as during the first spring-autumn period in life. The difference between year-classes is more pronounced for certain parts of the cranium and mandibles. The reason is supposed to be that full size is less important for some parts of the skull and bones than for other parts. Foxes born in years with few rodents do not compensate the bad growth that year by further growth later in life. Several parts of the cranium and mandibles will continue to grow in adult foxes, at least during their second summer of life, if the food abundance is good enough. The zygomatic width and the distance between C and P1 in the mandibles most often continue to increase in size after the first year, even when food is scarce.

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Distribution of the stone marten Martes foina (Carnivora, Mustelidae) in the European part of Russia
Abramov A.V., Kruskop S.V., Lissovsky A.A.
P. 35-39
The stone marten Martes foina (Carnivora, Mustelidae) is widely distributed in continental Europe from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea, and from Spain to Volga River. North-eastern border of the species distribution in Eastern Europe is poorly known. Its presence in Moscow Province was confirmed by the specimen found in the vicinity of Kupavna. The recent records of M. foina from the European part of Russia are discussing, fragmentariness and heterogeneity of these data is demonstrating.

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Taxonomic status of the leopard, Panthera pardus (Carnivora, Felidae) in the Caucasus and adjacent areas
Khorozyan I.G., Baryshnikov G.F., Abramov A.V.
P. 41-52
Nine subspecies names have been designated for the leopard in the Middle East: Arabian or South Arabian Panthera pardus nimr (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833); Anatolian or Asia Minor P. p. tulliana (Valenciennes, 1856); Caucasian P. p. ciscaucasica (Satunin, 1914); Persian or North Persian P. p. saxicolor Pocock, 1927; Sind or Baluchistan P. p. sindica Pocock, 1930; Kashmir P. p. millardi Pocock, 1930; Sinai P. p. jarvisi Pocock, 1932; Central Persian P. p. dathei Zukowsky, 1959 and South Caucasian P. p. transcaucasica Zukowsky, 1964. We have measured or retrieved data from literature on 24 characters and 3 indices of 40 leopard skulls originated from this region. We used multiple discriminant analysis to separate 7 groups from North Caucasus, South Caucasus, Turkmenistan, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Arabia with over 90% probabilities of correct group membership. Five scenarios of grouping were obtained which have shown the identity of the leopards from the Caucasus and Turkmenistan and their possible identity with individuals from northern Iran, closeness of leopards from southern Iran and Pakistan and from Turkey and Sinai Peninsula, and clear distinctiveness of the leopards from Arabia and Turkey from all other groups. In compliance with criteria of priority in zoological nomenclature, we suggest to retain the names P. p. ciscaucasica (=saxicolor, transcaucasica) for the Caucasus, Turkmenistan and northern Iran, P. p. tulliana for south-western Turkey, P. p. sindica (=dathei) for southern Iran and southern Pakistan and P. p. nimr for Arabian Peninsula. The subspecies P. p. millardi is probably synonymous to P. p. sindica and its status should be clarified on additional data. The taxonomic position of P. p. jarvisi should be verified by comparison with nominotypical P. p. pardus from Egypt.

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