Special Issues
Dispersing or Contracting: A Perspective on the Evolutionary History and Population Conservation of Musk Deer
American Journal of Life Sciences
Volume 4, Issue 2, April 2016, Pages: 20-30
Received: Apr. 8, 2016; Published: Apr. 9, 2016
Views 4498      Downloads 171
Zhixiao Liu, College of Biology and Envionmental Sciences, Jishou University, Jishou City, Hunan Province, China
Colin Groves, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australia National University, 2602 ACT, Canberra, Australia
Article Tools
Follow on us
Musk deer, as a small hornless group, are of great significance in the phylogenetic evolution of ruminants. Clarification of their evolutionary history has the potential to contribute to an understanding of the total phylogeny of both cervids and bovids. In this paper, based on a comprehensive review of the literature, an integrated rearrangement of moschid fossils is proposed. Our review has produced the following results on the evolution and conservation of moschids: (1) the family Moschidae probably appeared abruptly at a around 30±5Ma, and evolved in parallel with Cervidae and Bovidae; (2) compared with Tragulidae and other Pecora, the Moschidae have acquired a number of progressive traits in common with Cervidae and Bovidae while maintaining certain primitive features, while in their own evolutionary history, they developed a suite of derived features to meet with new environmental circumstances while retaining the most important primitive traits; (3) the origin, divergence, diversification, dispersal and ultimate disappearance of moschids in Europe and North America are essentially closely related with the fluctuation of the global climate and local environmental changes; (4) an overall picture of the evolutionary history of Moschus is given; (5) multiple causes are responsible for the global downturn and near-extinction of all musk deer species and populations in recent decades, but it is due mainly to the international background of musk smuggling and domestic anthropocentric factors, particularly overpoaching using Gansitao. All in all, Early moschids underwent over 20Ma of "boom and bust" history from the late Oligocene to the end of Miocene in Europe and North America, and only the Eastern part of Asia sheltered the recent representatives during the Quaternary glacial cycles, but there is still a very long way to go before we can reconstruct the family’s phylogenetic history in full, and the conservation of today's musk deer populations is currently the most urgent mission.
Evolution, Fossil, Moschidae, Moschus, Cervidae, Bovidae, Ruminants
To cite this article
Zhixiao Liu, Colin Groves, Dispersing or Contracting: A Perspective on the Evolutionary History and Population Conservation of Musk Deer, American Journal of Life Sciences. Vol. 4, No. 2, 2016, pp. 20-30. doi: 10.11648/j.ajls.20160402.12
Allen GM (ed; 1940) The mammals of China and Mongolia. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.
Aryal A, Subedi A (2011) The conservation and potential habitat of the Himalayan musk deer, Moschus chrysogaster, in the protected areas of Nepal. International Journal of Conservation Science 2(2): 127-141.
Barrette C (1987) The comparative behavior and ecology of Chevrotains, musk deer, and morphologically conservative deer. In: Wenner CM (ed) The Biology and Management of the Cervidae, 200–211. Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
Cap H, Aulagnier S, Deleporte P (2002) The phylogeny and behaviour of Cervidae (Ruminantia, Pecora). Ethology Ecology and Evolution 14: 199-216.
Chen FG, Min ZL, Huang HF, Ma QH, Luo ZT (1981) Study on the mammal classification and its faunal evolution in the Qingling-Dabashan area, Shaanxi Province, China. Journal of Northwest University (1): 137-147.
Dawson MR, Harington CR (2007) Boreameryx, an unusual new artiodactyl (Mammalia) from the Pliocene of Arctic Canada and endemism in Arctic fossil mammals. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 44(5): 585-592.
Eisenberg JF (1987) The evolutionary history of the Cervidae with special reference to the South American radiation. In: Wenner CM (ed) The Biology and Management of the Cervidae, 60-79. Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
Fernández MH, Vrba ES (2005) A complete estimate of the phylogenetic relationships in Ruminantia: a dated species-level supertree of the extant ruminants. Biological Review 80: 269-302.
Flerov CC (ed; 1952) [English translation1960] Mammals: Musk Deer and Deer. Vol.1, no.2 of Fauna of USSR Mammals. Moscow & Leningrad: Academy of Sciences of the USSR [English translation by Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Washington, DC: National Science Foundation and Smithsonian Institution].
Flower WH (1875) On the structure and affinities of the Musk-Deer (Moschus moschiferus Linn.). Proceedings of Zoological Society of London 1875: 159-190.
Gao YT (1963) Taxonomic notes on the Chinese musk deer. Acta Zoologica Sinica 15: 479-488.
Gao YT (1985) Classification and distribution of the Musk Deer (Moschus) in China. In: Kawamichi T(ed) Contemporary Mammalogy in China and Japan, 113-116. Mammalogical Society of Japan, Osaka, Japan.
Gray JE (1821) On the natural arrangement of vertebrate mammals. Lond. Med. Reposit. 15: 296-310.
Green MJB (1986) The distribution, status and conservation of the Himalayan musk deer Moschus chrysogater. Biological Conservation 35: 347-375.
Green MJB (1987) Some ecological aspects of a Himalayan population of musk deer. In: Wenner CM (ed) The Biology and Management of the Cervidae, 307–319. Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
Green MJB (1989) Musk production from musk deer. In: Hudson RJ, Drew KR, Baskin LM (eds) Wildlife Production Systems: economic utilization of wild ungulates. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UA.
Groves CP, Grubb P (1987) Relationships of living deer. In: Wemmer CM (ed) The biology and management of the Cervidae, 21-59. Smithsonian Instrtution Press, Washington DC, USA.
Groves CP, Wang YX, Grubb P (1995) Taxonomy of musk-deer, Genus Moschus (Moschidae, Mammalia). Acta Theriologica Sinica 15(3): 181-197.
Groves CP, Grubb P (eds; 2011) Ungulate Taxonomy. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.
Guha S, Goyal SP, Kashyap VK (2007) Molecular phylogeny of musk deer: A genomic view with mitochondrial 16S rRNA and cytochrome b gene. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42(3): 585-597.
Hassanin A, Douzery EJP (2003) Molecular and morphological phylogenies of Ruminantia and the alternative position of the Moschidae. Systematic Biology 52(2): 206-228.
Hewitt GM (1996) Some genetic consequences of ice ages, and their role in divergence and speciation. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 58:247-276.
Hewitt GM (2000) The genetic legacy of the Quaternary ice ages. Nature 405: 907-913.
Institute of Palaevertebrate and Palaeanthropology (IPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (ed; 1979) Fossil Manual of Palaevertebrate of China, 530-534. Science Press, Beijing, China.
Janis CM (1986) Evolution of horns and related structures in hoofed mammals. Discovery 19(2): 8-17.
Janis CM, Scott KM (1987) The interrelationships of higher ruminant families with special emphasis on the members of the Cervoidea. American Museum Novitates 2893: 1-85.
Janis CM, Damuth J, Theodor JM (2004) The species richness of Miocene browers, and implications for habitat type and primary productivity in the North American grassland biome. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 207: 371-398.
Jarman PJ (1974) The social organization of antelope in relation to their ecology. Behavior 48: 215-266.
Ji HX (1974) Late Pleistocene mammals from Lantian, Shensi. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 12(3): 222-227.
Joshi P (2011) Musk deer in Mustang: a study on species confirmation and potential distribution. MD thesis, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Khan AA, Qureshi BUD, Awan MS (2006) Impact of musk trade on the decline in Himalayan musk deer Moschus chrysogaster population in Neelum Valley, Pakistan. Current Science 91(5): 696-699.
Kholodova MV, Prikhod’ko VI (2006) Molecular genetic diversity of the musk deer (Moschus moschiferos L., 1758) (Ruminantia, Artiodactyla) from the Northern subspecies. Russian Journal of Genetics 42(7): 783-789.
Kholodova MV (2009) Comparative phylogeography: molecular methods, ecological interpretation. Molecular Biology 43(5): 847-854.
Kuznetsova MV, Kholodova MV, Danilkin AA (2005) Molecular phylogeny of deer (Cervidae: Artiodactyla). Russian Journal of Genetics 41(7): 742-749.
Leinders JJM, Heintz E (1980) The configuration of the lacrimal orifices in Pecorans and Tragulids (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) and its significance for the distinction between Bovidae and Cervidae. Beaufortia 30(7): 155-162.
Li JJ, Fang XM, Pan BT, Zhao ZJ, Song YG (2001) Late cenozoic intensive uplift of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau and its impacts of on enviroments in surrounding area. Quaternary Sciences 21(5): 381-391.
Li JJ, Shu Q, Zhou SZ, Zhao ZJ, Zhang JM (2004) Review and prospects of Quaternary glaciation research in China. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 26(3): 235-243.
Li M, Hidetoshi B, Tamate H, Wei FW, Wang XM, Masuda RC, Sheng HL, Ohtaishi N (2003) Phylogenitic relationships among deer in China derived from mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b sequences. Acta Theriologica 48(2): 207-219.
Liu XD (2003) Comparative analysis and molecular phylogeny of Chinese deer based on mitochondrial 12SrRNA gene sequences. PhD thesis, Northeast Forestry University of China, Harbin, China.
Liu ZX (1997) On the ecology of the isolated population of Alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster). PhD thesis, East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.
Liu ZX, Sheng HL (2000a) A review of the ecology and conservation of musk deer in China. Chinese Journal of Zoology 35: 54-57.
Liu ZX, Sheng HL, Li YG, Wang ZD, Zhao DH, Du HP(2000b) The current status and conservation of the isolated population of alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) in Helan Mountain of China. Acta Ecology Sinica 20: 463-67.
Liu ZX, Groves PC (2014). Taxonomic diversity and colour diversity: Rethinking the taxonomy of recent musk deer (Moschus, Moshchidae, Ruminantia). Gazella 41, Zoo Praha: 73-93.
Liu ZX, Sheng HL (2000c) Historical forest change and musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) origins at Helan Mountain of China. Chinese Wildlife 2: 10.
Liu ZX, Li Q, Kang FG, Sheng HL (2001) Some ecological aspects of the isolated population of Alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) at Xinglongshan forest. Acta Ecology Sinica 21: 964-68.
Liu ZX, Lei GB, Sheng HL (2002a) The current status and conservation of the small isolated population of alpine musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) at Shoulu mountain of Gansu. Journal of Jishou University (Natural sciences edition) 23: 54-58.
Liu ZX, Sheng HL (2002b) Effect of habitat fragmentation and isolation on the population of alpine musk deer. Russian Journal of Ecology 33: 121-124.
Liu ZX, Sheng HL (2008) A conceptual ecological model of an isolated population of Alpine Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster: conservation implications for Chinese musk deer. Pacific Conservation Biology 14(1): 69-74.
Morales J, Moyà-Solà S, Soria D (1981) Presencia de la familia Moschidae (Artiodactyla, Mammalia) en el Vallesiense de España: Hispanomeryx duriensis nov.gen.nov.sp. Estudios Geologicos 37: 467-475.
Ohtaishi N(1992)The origins and evolution of deer in China. In: Sheng HL(ed) The deer in China (Chapter two), 8-17. East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.
Pei WZ (1936) On the mammalian remains from locality 3 at Choukoutien. Palaeontologia Sinica Series C 7(5): 1-108.
Pocock RI (1910) On the specialized cutaneous glands of ruminants. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 62: 84-985.
Prothero DR (2007) Family Moschidae. In: Prothero DR, Foss SE (eds) The Evolution of Artiodactyls, 221-226. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.
Qiu ZX, Qiu ZD (1995) Chronological sequence and subdivision of Chinese Neogene mammalian faunas. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 116: 41-70.
Rao M, Htun S, Zaw T (2010) Hunting, livelihoods and declining wildlife in the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary, North Myanmar. Environmental Management 46:143-153.
Romer AS (ed; 1966) Vertebrate palaeontology (3rd ed). University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.
Sánchez IM, Morales J (2006) Distribución biocronológica de los Moschidae (Mammalia, Ruminantia) en España. Estudios Geológicos 62(1): 533-546.
Scott KM, Janis CM (1987) Phylogenetic Relationships of the Cervidae, and the case for a Superfamily “Cervoidea”. In: Wemmer CM(ed) Biology and management of the Cervidae, 3-20. Smithsonia Institute Press, Washington DC USA.
Scott KM (1987) Allometry and habitat-related adaptations in the postcranial skeleton of Cervidae. In: Wemmer C(ed) Biology and management of the Cervidae, 65-79. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington DC, USA.
Sheng HL (1987) The prosperity and decline of musk deer resources and strategies for its recovery. Chinese Wildlife 3:3-4.
Sheng HL (ed; 1992) The deer of China. East China Normal University Press, Shanghai, China.
Sheng HL, Ohtaishi N (1993) The status of deer in China. In: Ohtaishi N, Sheng HL(ed.) Deer of China-biology and management,1-11. Elsevier Science Publishers BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Sheng HL (1996) The current status of Chinese musk deer resources and its recovering measurements. Chinese Wildlife 91: 10-12.
Sheng HL, Liu ZX (eds; 2007) The Musk Deer in China. Shanghai Scientific and Technical Publishers, Shanghai, China.
Simpson GG (1945) The principles of classification and a classification of Mammals. Bulltin of American Museum of Natural History 85: 1-350.
Sokolov VE, Prikhod’ko VI (1998) Taxonomy of the musk deer Moschus moschiferus (Artiodactyla, Mammalia). Biology Bulletin 25(1): 28-36.
Stirton RA (1944) Comments on the relationships of the Palaeomeryeidae. American Journal of Science 242: 633-655.
Su B, Wang YX, Lan H, Wang W, Zhang YP (1999) Phylogenetic study of complete cytochrome b Genes in musk deer(Genus Moschus) using museum samples. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution1 2(3): 241-249.
Tedford RH, Harington CR (2003) An arctic mammal fauna from the Early Pliocene of North America. Nature 425: 388-389.
Tong HW, Zhang SQ, Li Q, Xu ZJ (2008) Late Pleistocene mammalian fossils from the Xitaiping Cave, Shidu, Beijing. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 46(1): 51-70.
Viret J (1961) Artiodactyla. In: Maglio VI, Cooke HBS(eds) Evolution of African Mammals, 540-572. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, USA.
Vislobokova IA (2007) New data on Late Miocene mammals of Kohfidisch, Austria. Paleontological Journal 41(4): 451-460.
Vislobokova IA, Lavrov AV (2009) The earliest musk deer of the Genus Moschus and their significance in clarifying of evolution and relationships of the family Moschidae. Paleontological Journal 43(3): 326-338.
Wang YX, Ma SL, Li CY (1993) The taxonomy, distribution and status of Forest musk deer in China. In: Ohtaishi N, Sheng HL(eds) Deer of China-Biology and Management, 22-30. Elsevier Science Publishers BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Webb SD, Taylor BE (1980) The phylogeny of hornless ruminants and a description of the cranium of archaeomeryx. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 167: 121-157.
Xue XX (1959) Pleistocene mammalian fossils from the Northeastern Provinces. Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology, Academia Sinica, Memoir (3): 1-82.
Yang QS, Meng XX, Xia L, Feng ZJ (2003) Conservation status and causes of decline of musk deer(Moschus spp.) in China. Biological Conservation 109: 333-342.
Zhang RZ (1978) On the zoogeographical characteristics of China. Acta Geographica sinica 33(2): 85-101.
Zhang RZ (2002) Geological events and mammalian distribution in China. Acta Zoologica Sinica 48(2): 141-153.
Zhang RZ (2004) Relict distribution of land vertebrates and Quaternary glaciation in China. Acta Zoologica Sinica 50(5): 841-851.
Zhou YJ, Meng XX, Feng JC, Yang QS, Feng ZJ, Xia L, Bartoš L (2004) Review of the distribution, status and conservation of musk deer in China. Folia Zoology 53(2): 129-140.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186