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POST OF THE MONTH

Netherlands peter Offline
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INTRODUCTION 

This forum is one of the few where originality and quality are appreciated. In order to encourage our members in these departments, this section was created. If you see a post that stands out for some reason, this is the thread to say so. 

The intention is to get to a top-10 every month, starting with December 2018.

We're also thinking about a thread that has remarkable photographs.

If you have more ideas that could result in more quality in the end, let us know.  

I don't know if we should distinguish between a top-10 according to members and a top-10 according to mods. We'll discuss that one later.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-21-2018, 01:47 PM by peter )

DECEMBER 2018 QUALIFICATIONS

- Olga Krasnykh. She has a tour agency in Wild Russia and posted new information about tigers and bears in the Russian Far East. 

- Kathlee. A former big cat trainer able to take you to the heart of lions and tigers. 

- Jimmy. He took us on a trip to Chitwan. Elephants, tall grass and stripes.

- Ghari Sher. After reading his posts, I thought I saw a few of the prehistoric big cats he studies. 

- Matias. Excellent contributions in the conservation department. One after the other.

- Rishi. He knows about Sunderban tigers, Gir lions, Ranthambore tigers and the politics of conservation. Rare combination.

- Epaiva. Our special correspondent in Venezuela always delivers quality information.

- Wolverine. One of the few able in Russian. More often than not, he'll find a true story you won't believe. 

- Shadow and Guate focus on info about size. Info everyone takes for granted. They do tables, that is.

- Tigerluver. Although not a member of Skulls and Bones, he most definitely is qualified in that department.

- Tshokwane and Herekitty take you to lion country in Wild Africa just about every day, I'd say.

- Bornean Tiger was noticed as well. He found photographs of Caspian tigers I never saw before.

- Of those getting more active, Sanju stands out.

- PC qualifies just about every month. He has a nose for photographs.  

Why do they qualify?

- They saw something you didn't. Not seldom, it was special info.

- They informed you about the great beauty of the natural world

- Although they use known info, they write original posts in their own words. Upcoming journalists, they are.
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Finland Shadow Offline
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(12-21-2018, 12:47 PM)peter Wrote: Here's a few posters that definitely qualified:

- Olga Krasnykh. She has a tour agency in Wild Russia and posted new information about tigers and bears in the Russian Far East. 

- Kathlee. A former big cat trainer able to take you to the heart of lions and tigers. 

- Jimmy. He took us on a trip to Chitwan. Elephants, tall grass and stripes.

- Ghari Sher. After reading his posts, I thought I saw a few of the prehistoric big cats he studies. 

- Matias. Excellent contributions in the conservation department. One after the other.

- Rishi. He knows about Sunderban tigers, Gir lions, Ranthambore tigers and the politics of conservation. Rare combination.

- Wolverine. One of the few able in Russian. More often than not, he'll find a true story you won't believe. But all of them are real.

- Shadow and Guate focus on info about size. Info everyone takes for granted. They do tables, that is.

- Tigerluver. Not a member of Skulls and Bones, but most definitely very qualified in that department.

Njah, Guate uses so much time and effort to produce quality information, that it is not fair to mention me there at same time. I just dispute things which just don´t feel right for some reason. Naturally trying always to give a sensible reasoning why I have doubts or feel, that there are other points of views to remember. And one poster who I think, that should be mentioned is epaiva, he´s postings are always information, which can be considered serious and objective. Of course when trying to find posting of a month... I am just happy, that it´s not my headache to choose one :) So good luck to make a choice Peter! :)
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India Rishi Offline
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(12-31-2018, 01:58 PM)GuateGojira Wrote: Bali tiger, size and genetic - quick review:

About the size of the Bali tiger, we only know 5 skulls of female specimens (one is even a subadult - Senckenberg Museum No. 2576) and 3 males, together with a few skins. Appart from that, there are a few measurements presented by Sody but that is all. Here is the list of the skulls:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


The last one is a new add and Mazák did not knew about it. It is now the largest Balinese tiger skull available.

Here is a comparative graphic that I made years ago of the Bali tiger skulls with those of the other Sunda tigers and you can see that the skulls, although in the lower end, did fit in the range of the other Sunda populations:

*This image is copyright of its original author


Take in count that this image exclude the sub-adults female of 252 mm, which result to be the "holotype". Taking this in count, the smallest tiger skull from a full grow adult specimens is, in fact, a female Caspian tigress of 255.5 mm in greatest length (Mazák, 1983-2013).

Here is the picture of the Gondol tiger skull, it is bigger than the biggest jaguar skull, so you can guess its size/weight:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

I trust more in the measurements published by Buzas & Farkas (1997), but I put this image to show you were I got the skull pictures.

Now, here are the pictures of the Bali tigers that I have (second and third are the same specimen, the Gondol tiger), please put special attention to the last one:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


As you can see, the evidence is very few and although the skulls may suggest that the Bali tiger was smaller than the other Sunda populations (like Mazák concluded), the pictures show that this maybe not entirely accurate as these specimens are as large as those from Sumatra and Java.

Please, take a look to these three pictures, the first is the largest Sumatran tiger in record (Slamet with 148.2 kg), the second is the giant Javanese tiger and the third is the biggest Balinese tiger that I have ever saw:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author

To be honest, the difference is minimum. So, my conclution is that based in the few skulls and skins, Bali tigers were smaller but not the punny darfs of just 100 kg that we belive now, they were probably somewhat heavier and maybe new specimens in museums that are still incorrectly labeled may help to solve this case. Using the isometric calculation and using only tigers (captive and wild) I consturcted this table some years ago:

*This image is copyright of its original author


This table shows that Mazák was probably right about his estimations of weight of theBalinese  females but probably not in males, which I estimate were heavier. Please take in count that the table with the final results take in count only the calculations from the captive specimens because they closelly match those of the real figures of the  known specimens, but at the end the figures could be higher, with a maximum weight of up to 183 kg for the largest Java tiger. Now, every time that you quote the table of Mazák (1981) regarding the size of the Bali tiger, remember that the figures are just calculations, not real figures, check this (from Mazák et al. (1976) "On the Bali tiger, Panthera tigris balica (Schwarz, 1912)":

*This image is copyright of its original author


I think that Mazák was a bit conserviative with his weights calculations, as Sumatran tigers of that same length weight more than just 100 kg.

Regarding the DNA studies, the document of Xue at al. (2015) is were the DNA of the three subspecies/populations was tested. The result, read the abstract:
"The Bali (Panthera tigris balica) and Javan (P. t. sondaica) tigers are recognized as distinct tiger subspecies that went extinct in the 1940s and 1980s, respectively. Yet their genetic ancestry and taxonomic status remain controversial. Following ancient DNA procedures, we generated concatenated 1750bp mtDNA sequences from 23 museum samples including 11 voucher specimens from Java and Bali and compared these to diagnostic mtDNA sequences from 122 specimens of living tiger subspecies and the extinct Caspian tiger. The results revealed a close genetic affinity of the 3 groups from the Sunda Islands (Bali, Javan, and Sumatran tigers P. t. sumatrae). Bali and Javan mtDNA haplotypes differ from Sumatran haplotypes by 1–2 nucleotides, and the 3 island populations define a monophyletic assemblage distinctive and equidistant from other mainland subspecies. Despite this close phylogenetic relationship, no mtDNA haplotype was shared between Sumatran and Javan/Bali tigers, indicating little or no matrilineal gene flow among the islands after they were colonized. The close phylogenetic relationship among Sunda tiger subspecies suggests either recent colonization across the islands, or else a once continuous tiger population that had subsequently isolated into different island subspecies. This supports the hypothesis that the Sumatran tiger is the closest living relative to the extinct Javan and Bali tigers."

Take a look to the paper, this shows more information. The link is: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406268/

A couple of images to make you more interested:

a - Geographic distribution of mtDNA haplotypes:

*This image is copyright of its original author



b - Phylogeny of Panthera tigris mtDNA sequences:

*This image is copyright of its original author


*This image is copyright of its original author


Finally Willting et al. (2016) concluded that the diference between the Sunda tigers is minimal and may be clasify as a single subspecies (Panthera tigris sondaica). I am agree with that, but I can't deny that the Java/Bali tigers do have some characteristics that the Sumatran tigers do not have and a previous documents of J.H. Mazák (2010) suggested that the Sumatran tigers were like an "hybrid" between the mainland and the island populations. Even than, the deeper analysis of Wilting and coleges show that the island tigers are the same subspecies with its own slight differences.
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