Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 956–963 | Cite as

New materials of the steppe mammoth, Mammuthus trogontherii, with discussion on the origin and evolutionary patterns of mammoths

  • GuangBiao Wei
  • SongMei Hu
  • KeFu Yu
  • YaMei Hou
  • Xin Li
  • ChangZhu Jin
  • Yuan Wang
  • JianXin Zhao
  • WenHua Wang
Research Paper

Abstract

Recently found materials indicate that the steppe mammoth, Mammuthus trogontherii, survived in northern China into the late Pleistocene. East Asia is the key area of mammoth evolution after the initial radiation of early forms out of Africa and into Eurasia at the beginning of the late Pliocene (c. 3.5-3.0 Ma). M. rumanus, M. meridionalis, M. trogontherii, and M. primigenius probably formed a continuous and transitional evolutionary lineage within the pan-Eurasian mammoth radiation in East Asia. Each speciation event of the Eurasian mammoths was followed by a rapid and large-scale dispersal event: out of East Asia. Allopatric speciation is the main speciation pattern of Mammuthus. The climatic vacillation was severe and frequent in East Asia from the early part of early Pleistocene (c. 2.6 Ma) onward, which probably brought about successive speciation in East Asia and the subsequent dispersal of the mammoths.

Keywords

Mammuthus trogontherii Mammuthus sungari MSE allopatric speciation out of East Asia climate 

References

  1. 1.
    Zhao J X, Yu K F. Timing of Holocene sea-level highstands by mass spectrometric U-series ages of a coral reef from Leizhou Peninsula, South China Sea. Chin Sci Bull, 2002, 47: 1734–1738Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yu K F, Zhao J X, Shi Q, et al. U-series dating of dead Porites corals in the South China Sea: Evidence for episodic coral mortality over the past two centuries. Quat Geochronol, 2006, 1: 129–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Maglio V J. Origin and evolution of the Elephantidae. Trans Amer Phil Soc, 1973, 63: 1–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lister A M, Sher A V, van Essen H, et al. The pattern and process of mammoth evolution in Eurasia. Quat Int, 2005, 126-128: 49–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dubrovo I A. A history of elephants of the Archidiskodon-Mammuthus phylogenetic line on the territory of the USSR. J Palaeont Soc India, 1977, 20: 33–40Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Van Essen H. Tooth morphology of Mammuthus meridionalis from the south bight of the North Sea and from several localities in the Netherlands. Deinsea, 2003, 9: 453–511Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wei G B, Taruno H, Kawamura Y, et al. Pliocene and Early Pleistocene Primitive Mammoths of Northern China: Their revised taxonomy, biostratigraphy and evolution. J Geosci Osaka City Univ, 2006, 49: 59–101Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lister A M, Sher A V. The origin and evolution of the woolly mammoth. Science, 2001, 294: 1094–1097CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Li X G, Liu G L, Xu G Y, et al. The Chinese Mammuthus-Coelodonta fauna and Guxiangtun Formation. In: Proceedings of the First All-Chinese Conference on 14C (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press, 1984. 121–127Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zhou M Z, Zhang Y P. Pleistocene Mammalian Fossils from the Northeastern Provinces (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press, 1959. 22–34Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zhou M Z, Zhang Y P. Chinese Proboscidean Fossils (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press, 1974Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Zhen S N, Yang D S, Wei Z Y, et al. A discovery of complete skeleton of Mammuthus sungari from Zhaoyuan, Heilungjiang Province, China (in Chinese). Memories of Beijing Natural History Museum, 1979, 3: 1–9Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cheng D H, Wang Z Y, Wei Z Y. The newly unearthed mammoth specimens from Zalainuoer (in Chinese). Vertebrata PalAsiat, 1982, 20: 88–89Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Takahashi K, Wei G B, Uno H, et al. AMS 14C chronology of the world’s southernmost woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius Blum.). Quat Sci Rev, 2007, 126: 954–957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lister A M, Bahn P. Mammoths. London: Frances Lincoln Ltd, 2007Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wei G B. Taxonomy and biostratigraphy of the Middle Pliocene-Early Pleistocene Mammuthus of northern China, with discussion on the evolution of Eurasian mammoths. Dissertation for the Doctoral Degree. Osaka: Osaka City University, 2004Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lister A M, van Essen H. Mammuthus rumanus (Stefanescu), the earliest mammoth in Europe. In: Petulescu A, Stiuca E, eds. Advances in Vertebrate Paleontology ‘Hen to Panta’. Bucharest: Romanian Academy Institute of Speleology, 2003. 47–52Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Titov V V. Most ancient elephants from the south of Russia. In: Cavarretta G, Gioia P, Mussi M, et al, eds. The World of Elephants. Proceeding of the First International Congress, Rome, 2001. 152–156Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Palombo M R, Ferretti M P. Elephant fossil record from Italy: Knowledge, problems and perspectives. Quat Int, 2004, 126-128: 107–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wang H. An Early Pleistocene mammalian fauna from Dali, Shaanxi (in Chinese with English Summary). Vertebrata PalAsiat, 1988, 26: 59–72Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Deng T, Xue X X. Chinese Fossil Horses of Equus and Their Environment (in Chinese with English Summary). Beijing: China Ocean Press, 1999. 1–153Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wei G B, Taruno H, Jin C Z, et al. The earliest specimens of the steppe mammoth, Mammuthus trogontherii from the Early Pleistocene Nihewan Formation, North China. Earth Sci, 2003, 57: 289–298Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wei G B, Lister A M. Significance of the dating of the Majuangou site for understanding Eurasian mammoth evolution (in Chinese with English Summary). Vertebrata PalAsiat, 2005, 43: 243–244Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Takahashi K, Namatsu K. Origin of the Japanese Proboscidea in the Plio-Pleistocene. Earth Sci, 2000, 54: 257–267Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stuart A J, Kosintsev P A, Higham T F G, et al. Pleistocene to Holocene extinction dynamics in giant deer and woolly mammoth. Nature, 2004, 431: 684–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wiley E O. Phylogenetics: The Theory and Practice of Phylogenetic Systematics. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1981. 1–439Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Schneider C J. Natural selection and speciation. In: Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 2000, 97: 12398–12399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Wang P X, Zhao Q H, Jian Z M, et al. Thirty million year deep-sea records in the South China Sea. Chin Sci Bull, 2003, 48: 2524–2535CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Guo Z T, Ruddiman W F, Hao Q Z, et al. Onset of Asian desertification by 22 Myr ago inferred from loess deposits in China. Nature, 2002, 416: 159–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ruddiman W F, Raymo M E, Martinson B M, et al. Pleistocene evolution: Northern Hemisphere ice sheets and North Atlantic Ocean. Paleoceanography, 1989, 4: 353–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • GuangBiao Wei
    • 1
    • 2
  • SongMei Hu
    • 3
  • KeFu Yu
    • 4
  • YaMei Hou
    • 5
  • Xin Li
    • 6
  • ChangZhu Jin
    • 5
  • Yuan Wang
    • 5
  • JianXin Zhao
    • 7
  • WenHua Wang
    • 8
  1. 1.Chongqing Three Gorges Institute of PaleoanthropologyChina Three Gorges MuseumChongqingChina
  2. 2.Chongqing Three Gorges Culture and Social Development Research InstituteChongqing Normal UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Shaanxi Provincial Institute of ArchaeologyXi’anChina
  4. 4.South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  6. 6.Chongqing Natural History MuseumChongqingChina
  7. 7.Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory, Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis (CMM)The University of QueenslandQueenslandAustralia
  8. 8.Production & Technology Department, Strip MineZalainuoer Coal Industry Co. Ltd.ManzhouliChina

Personalised recommendations