Bannikova A.A., Lebedev V.S., Lissovsky A.A, Matrosova V., Abramson N.I., Obolenskaya E.V., Tesakov A.S. 2010. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the Asian lineage of vole genus Microtus (Rodentia: Arvicolinae) inferredfrom mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence.  Biological Journal of of the Linnean Society, 99, 595–613. 

Abstract. To examine phylogenetic relationships within the Asian lineage of voles (Microtus) belonging to subgenus Alexandromys, the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (cytb) was sequenced for its representatives, and the results were compared with the cytogenetic, morphological, and paleontological data. In all the trees inferred from maximum likelihood, parsimony, and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses, the Asian clade is subdivided into highly supported
Alexandromys s.s. and moderately supported Pallasiinus lineages. Four subclades are recovered within Alexandromys: (1) Microtus maximowiczii and Microtus sachalinensis; (2) Microtus miiddendorffii s.l., Microtus mongolicus and Microtus gromovi; (3) Microtus fortis; and (4) Microtus limnophilus. Thus, M. limnophilus demonstrates clear affinities to Alexandromys s.s. but not to Microtus oeconomus (subgenus Pallasiinus), which was always regarded as its sibling species. The results obtained indicate M. mongolicus as a member of Alexandromys but not of the Microtus arvalis group, thus being concordant with the cytogenetic data. The mitochondrial data support the species status of M. gromovi; moreover, its placement as a part of a trichotomy with M. miiddendorffii s.l. and M. mongolicus contradicts the traditional affiliation of M. gromovi with M. maximowiczii. The divergence rate of cytb third position transversions in Microtus is estimated at approximately 8% per Myr, which corresponds to approximately 30% per Myr for all substitution types at all codon positions. The maximum likelihood distance based on complete sequence showed a tendency for a progressive underestimation of divergence and time for older splits. According to our molecular clock analysis employing nonlinear estimation methods, the split between Alexandromys and Pallasiinus and basal radiation within Alexandromys date back to approximately 1.2 Mya and 800 Kya, respectively.

Shchelinsky V.E., Dodonov A.E., Baigusheva V.S., Kulakov S.A., Simakova A.N., Tesakov A.S., Titov V.V. 2010. Early Palaeolithic sites on the Taman Peninsula (Southern Azov Sea region, Russia): Bogatyri/Sinyaya Balka and Rodniki.Quaternary International, 223-224, 2835.

Abstract. New archaic Early Palaeolithic sites, Bogatyri/Sinyaya Balka and Rodniki, are reported from the Taman Peninsula in southern Russia. The geological setting of the sites as well as the mammal fauna, palynological data, and palaeomagnetic data clearly indicate mid Early Pleistocene, Early Biharian age of the deposits. In many of its typological and technological characteristics, the archaeological assemblages of
Bogatyri/Sinyaya Balka and Rodniki are similar to the Oldowan industry, although they show specific local features.

Key words: Early Pleistocene, Gelasian, Calabrian, Early Palaeolithic, mammalian fauna, palynology

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