Sains Malaysiana | VOL. 48
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First Systematic Study of Late Pleistocene Rat Fossils from Batu Caves: New Record of Extinct Species and Biogeography Implications

Publication Date Dec 31, 2019

Abstract

This paper presents the first systematic study of rat (Murinae) isolated dental fossils collected from Late Pleistocene (66000 years ago) cave breccia deposits in Cistern Cave, Batu Caves, Selangor. The cave is partly deposited with fine, coarse and pebbly breccia mixed with abundant mammal fossil cemented to the wall and ceiling of the cave. A total of 39 specimens of teeth and jaw fragments of Murinae were recovered among other large and small mammal remains. Dental morphology and size comparisons suggest that the fossils belong to extinct and extant species which occurred in Peninsular Malaysia and adjacent regions. The species identified are Chiropodomys gliroides, Leopoldamys sabanus, Leopoldamys minutus, Maxomys whiteheadi, Maxomys rajah and Rattus rattus. Almost all species identified from the fossils are known as markers for lowland forested environments.

Concepts

Batu Caves Maxomys Whiteheadi Leopoldamys Sabanus Biogeography Implications Late Pleistocene Cave Peninsular Malaysia Extant Species Late Pleistocene Fossils Adjacent Regions Late Pleistocene

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