EEOB Publications April 1 - April 30

April 4, 2022

EEOB Publications April 1 - April 30

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Analysis of biodiversity data suggests that mammal species are hidden in predictable places

Danielle J. Parsons, Tara A. Pelletier, Jamin G. Wieringa, Drew J. Duckett, and Bryan C. Carstens. PNAS 119 (14) e2103400119.


Research in the biological sciences is hampered by the Linnean shortfall, which describes the number of hidden species that are suspected of existing without formal species description. Using machine learning and species delimitation methods, we built a predictive model that incorporates some 5.0 × 105 data points for 117 species traits, 3.3 × 106 occurrence records, and 9.1 × 105 gene sequences from 4,310 recognized species of mammals. Delimitation results suggest that there are hundreds of undescribed species in class Mammalia. Predictive modeling indicates that most of these hidden species will be found in small-bodied taxa with large ranges characterized by high variability in temperature and precipitation. As demonstrated by a quantitative analysis of the literature, such taxa have long been the focus of taxonomic research. This analysis supports taxonomic hypotheses regarding where undescribed diversity is likely to be found and highlights the need for investment in taxonomic research to overcome the Linnean shortfall.

Forced proximity promotes the formation of enduring cooperative relationships in vampire bats

Imran RazikBridget K. G. Brown, and Gerald G. Carter. 2022.


Spatial assortment can be both a cause and a consequence of cooperation. Proximity promotes cooperation when individuals preferentially help nearby partners, and conversely, cooperation drives proximity when individuals move towards more cooperative partners. However, these two causal directions are difficult to distinguish with observational data. Here, we experimentally test if forcing randomly selected pairs of equally familiar female common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) into close spatial proximity promotes the formation of enduring cooperative relationships. Over 114 days, we sampled 682 h of interactions among 21 females captured from three distant sites to track daily allogrooming rates over time. We compared these rates before, during and after a one-week period, during which we caged random triads of previously unfamiliar and unrelated vampire bats in proximity. After the week of proximity when all bats could again freely associate, the allogrooming rates of pairs forced into proximity increased more than those of the 126 control pairs. This work is the first to experimentally demonstrate the causal effect of repeated interactions on cooperative investments in vampire bats. Future work should determine the relative importance of mere association versus interactions (e.g. reciprocal allogrooming) in shaping social preferences.

Expert range maps of global mammal distributions harmonised to three taxonomic authorities

Charles J. Marsh, Yanina V. Sica, Connor J. Burgin, Wendy A. Dorman, Robert C. Anderson, Isabel del Toro Mijares, Jessica G. Vigneron, Vijay Barve, Victoria L. Dombrowik, Michelle Duong, Robert Guralnick, Julie A. Hart, J. Krish Maypole, Kira McCall, Ajay Ranipeta, Anna Schuerkmann, Michael A. Torselli, Thomas Lacher Jr, Russell A. Mittermeier, Anthony B. Rylands, Wes Sechrest, Don E. Wilson, Agustín M. Abba, Luis F. Aguirre, Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales, Diego Astúa, Andrew M. Baker, Gill Braulik, Janet K. Braun, Jorge Brito, Peter E. Busher, Santiago F. Burneo, M. Alejandra Camacho, Paolo Cavallini, Elisandra de Almeida Chiquito, Joseph A. Cook, Tamás Cserkész, Gábor Csorba, Erika Cuéllar Soto, Valeria da Cunha Tavares, Tim R. B. Davenport, Thomas Deméré, Christiane Denys, Christopher R. Dickman, Mark D. B. Eldridge, Eduardo Fernandez-Duque, Charles M. Francis, Greta Frankham, William L. Franklin, Thales Freitas, J. Anthony Friend, Elizabeth L. Gadsby, Guilherme S. T. Garbino, Philippe Gaubert, Norberto Giannini, Thomas Giarla, Jason S. Gilchrist, Jaime Gongora, Steven M. Goodman, Sharon Gursky-Doyen, Klaus Hackländer, Mark S. Hafner, Melissa Hawkins, Kristofer M. Helgen, Steven Heritage, Arlo Hinckley, Stefan Hintsche, Mary Holden, Kay E. Holekamp, Rodney L. Honeycutt, Brent A. Huffman, Tatyana Humle, Rainer Hutterer, Carlos Ibáñez Ulargui, Stephen M. Jackson, Jan Janecka, Mary Janecka, Paula Jenkins, Rimvydas Juškaitis, Javier Juste, Roland Kays, C. William Kilpatrick, Tigga Kingston, John L. Koprowski, Boris Kryštufek, Tyrone Lavery, Thomas E. Lee Jr, Yuri L. R. Leite, Roberto Leonan M. Novaes, Burton K. Lim, Andrey Lissovsky, Raquel López-Antoñanzas, Adrià López-Baucells, Colin D. MacLeod, Fiona G. Maisels, Michael A. Mares, Helene Marsh, Stefano Mattioli, Erik Meijaard, Ara Monadjem, F. Blake Morton, Grace Musser, Tilo Nadler, Ryan W. Norris, Agustina Ojeda, Nicté Ordóñez-Garza, Ulyses F. J. Pardiñas, Bruce D. Patterson, Ana Pavan, Michael Pennay, Calebe Pereira, Joyce Prado, Helder L. Queiroz, Matthew Richardson, Erin P. Riley, Stephen J. Rossiter, Daniel I. Rubenstein, Dennisse Ruelas, Jorge Salazar-Bravo, Stéphanie Schai-Braun, Cody J. Schank, Christoph Schwitzer, Lori K. Sheeran, Myron Shekelle, Georgy Shenbrot, Pipat Soisook, Sergio Solari, Richard Southgate, Mariella Superina, Andrew B. Taber, Maurício Talebi, Peter Taylor, Thong Vu Dinh, Nelson Ting, Diego G. Tirira, Susan Tsang, Samuel T. Turvey, Raul Valdez, Victor Van Cakenberghe, Geraldine Veron, Janette Wallis, Rod Wells, Danielle Whittaker, Elizabeth A. Williamson, George Wittemyer, John Woinarski, Dietmar Zinner, Nathan S. Upham, Walter Jetz. 2022. Journal of Biogeography.



Comprehensive, global information on species' occurrences is an essential biodiversity variable and central to a range of applications in ecology, evolution, biogeography and conservation. Expert range maps often represent a species' only available distributional information and play an increasing role in conservation assessments and macroecology. We provide global range maps for the native ranges of all extant mammal species harmonised to the taxonomy of the Mammal Diversity Database (MDD) mobilised from two sources, the Handbook of the Mammals of the World (HMW) and the Illustrated Checklist of the Mammals of the World (CMW).




All extant mammal species.


Range maps were digitally interpreted, georeferenced, error-checked and subsequently taxonomically aligned between the HMW (6253 species), the CMW (6431 species) and the MDD taxonomies (6362 species).


Range maps can be evaluated and visualised in an online map browser at Map of Life ( and accessed for individual or batch download for non-commercial use.

Main conclusion

Expert maps of species' global distributions are limited in their spatial detail and temporal specificity, but form a useful basis for broad-scale characterizations and model-based integration with other data. We provide georeferenced range maps for the native ranges of all extant mammal species as shapefiles, with species-level metadata and source information packaged together in geodatabase format. Across the three taxonomic sources our maps entail, there are 1784 taxonomic name differences compared to the maps currently available on the IUCN Red List website. The expert maps provided here are harmonised to the MDD taxonomic authority and linked to a community of online tools that will enable transparent future updates and version control.