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Yamane (Japanese dormouse)

Yamane is a small mammal found in the mountains of Dogo Island. It is a Natural Monument of Japan. It is known for its unusual ability to lower its body temperature in to much the same as the outside temperature during winter hibernation.

Eight different species of Yamane are distributed around Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu (as shown in the map below). Each one has distinguishable features. Oki is the only isolated island in Japan where Yamane is found. Oki Yamane has been isolated from the mainland for 13,000 years and has developed different features to mainland species.


Yamane, 2010


Yamane, 2003

In a recent study, Oki Yamane were captured in Dogo Island on two different occasions. Notable differences in appearance were observed between the two animals despite both having been found on the same island. This indicates that there may actually be two different groups of Yamane living there. However, further investigation is required to confirm this.

Points

  • Endemic Species of Japan (Natural Monument).
  • There are differences in appearance between Oki Yamane and mainland groups.
  • A yamane captured in 2003 was found to have differences in appearance to one caputured in 2010.

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