SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, Volume 63 , Issue 2 : 172-187(2020) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-019-9507-5

Tibetan Plateau: An evolutionary junction for the history of modern biodiversity

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  • ReceivedMay 29, 2019
  • AcceptedSep 16, 2019
  • PublishedOct 31, 2019


Funded by

the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(Grant,Nos.,XDB26000000,XDA20070203,XDA20070301)

the Second Comprehensive Scientific Expedition on the Tibetan Plateau(Grant,No.,QZK0705,2019)

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(Grant,Nos.,41430102,41872006)

the Frontier Science Key Research Project(Grant,No.,QYZDY-SSW-DQC022)

the International Partnership Program(Grant,No.,GJHZ1885)

and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(Grant,No.,2017103)


Heartfelt thanks go to all co-workers of the Expedition Team of Paleontology on the Tibetan Plateau. The reviewers are kindly acknowledged for their comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant Nos. XDB26000000, XDA20070203, XDA20070301), the Second Comprehensive Scientific Expedition on the Tibetan Plateau (Grant No. QZK0705, 2019), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41430102, 41872006), the Frontier Science Key Research Project (Grant No. QYZDY-SSW-DQC022), the International Partnership Program (Grant No. GJHZ1885), and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. 2017103).


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  • Figure 1

    Local origination of endemism of fishes and mammals in the Tibetan Plateau. The morphological variations and spatial distribution (vertical plane) of living schizothoracine fishes (snow carps) in the Tibetan Plateau and the fossil records of cyprinids and bovines (horizontal plane), the altitudes on the right side represents the distribution range of Triplophysa (plateau loaches) in the plateau and its surrounding areas. Fossil sites and fossil taxa: 1. Oligocene cyprinid with 3 rows of pharyngeal teeth in Huatugou, Qaidam Basin; 2. Oligocene cyprinid with 3 rows of pharyngeal teeth in Wulan Husentu, Qaidam Basin; 3. Late Oligocene Tchunglinius tchangii with 3 rows of pharyngeal teeth in Nima Basin; 4. Early Miocene Plesioschizothorax macrocephalus with 3 rows of pharyngeal teeth in Lunpola Basin; 5. Pliocene Hsianwenia wui, with 3 rows of pharyngeal teeth in Qaidam Basin; 6. Late Miocene cyprinid with 3 rows of pharyngeal teeth in Huaitoutala, Qaidam Basin; 7. Pliocene highly specialized Gymnocypris with 2 rows of pharyngeal teeth in Kunlun Pass; 8. Pliocene highly specialized schizothoracine in Zanda Basin; 9. Late Miocene Qurliqnoria in Qaidam Basin; 10. Pliocene transitional Qurliqnoria in Kunlun Pass; 11. Pliocene transitional Qurliqnoria in Zanda Basin; 12. Pleistocene Pantholops hundesiensis in Zanda Basin (Neurocranium fossils).

  • Figure 2

    Local origination and “Out of Tibet” of mammals in the Tibetan Plateau.

  • Figure 3

    Intercontinental dispersals via Tibet, taking Ailanthus and climbing perches as examples.


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