Marshall professor involved in Sumatran rhino study

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Marshall University professor is part of an international team of researchers studying the Sumatran rhinoceros, an animal believed to be one of the most threatened mammals.

The university said biology professor Herman Mays Jr. and the rest of the researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first Sumatran rhino genome from a sample belonging to a male who lived at the Cincinnati Zoo for 22 years.

Marshall says only about 200 of the rhinos were thought to be living in the wild in 2011.

Marshall said in a news release that the researchers estimate that the Sumatran rhinoceros population peaked at an estimated effective population of about 57,800 about 950,000 years ago. The genome evidence suggests that number was reduced to about 700 by 9,000 years ago.

The research was published in a recent issue of Current Biology.


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