Biological correlates of description date in carnivores and primates
Article first published online: 4 AUG 2004
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Volume 13, Issue 5, pages 459–467, September 2004
How to Cite
Collen, B., Purvis, A. and Gittleman, J. L. (2004), Biological correlates of description date in carnivores and primates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 13: 459–467. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-822X.2004.00121.x
- Issue published online: 4 AUG 2004
- Article first published online: 4 AUG 2004
- Body size;
- geographical range;
- independent contrasts;
Aim To examine which aspects of primates and carnivore biology can be used to predict attributes of species yet to be discovered.
Methods Multiple regressions of phylogenetically independent contrasts and non-phylogenetic species date of description, on multiple biological predictor variables, formed from previous hypotheses tested in the literature.
Results Orders differ, but both carnivore and primate species with a large geographical range tend to have been discovered earlier. When geographical range is controlled for, body mass is also significantly correlated with description date in carnivores, but remains a poor predictor in primates. No multiple-predictor model is apparent in the primates, but diurnal species are on average more likely to be described first. Carnivores not endemic to the tropics are more likely to be discovered earlier, reflecting a northern bias in description patterns.
Main conclusions Geographical range is by far the most important predictor variable. The study may have ramifications for conservation hotspot selection: species possessing a small geographical range are least likely to have been described, yet are most heavily weighted in some hotspot selection algorithms.