Deacon, Robert M J
Virtually all rodents display burrowing behavior, yet measurement of this behavior has not yet been standardized or formalized. Previously, parameters such as the latency to burrow and the complexity of the burrow systems in substrate-filled boxes in the laboratory or naturalistic outdoor environments have been assessed. We describe here a simple protocol that can quantitatively measure burrowing in laboratory rodents, using a simple apparatus that can be placed in the home cage. The test is very cheap to run and requires minimal experimenter training, yet seems sensitive to a variety of treatments, such as the early stages of prion disease in mice, mouse strain differences, lesions of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in mice, also effects of lipopolysaccharide and IL-1beta in rats. Other species such as hamsters, gerbils and Egyptian spiny mice also burrow in this apparatus, and with suitable size modification probably almost any burrowing animal could be tested in it. The simplicity, sensitivity and robustness of burrowing make it ideal for assessing genetically modified animals, which in most cases would be mice. The test is run from late afternoon until the next morning, but only two measurements need to be taken. PMID:17406222
Lim, H.; Park, S.; Lee, J.; Lee, Y.
Rodent burrows are commonly found at many Paleolithic archaeological sites in Korea. They are nearly straight in horizontal view and gently inclined in lateral view. Burrow diameters are mostly 7 - 10cm, and burrow length may reach a few meters. Vertical penetration depths are generally about 1 m from the surface, and the thickness of the burrow-bearing layer is about 1-2 m. Although no remains (bones, teeth, claws, and coprolites) were found within burrows, they are interpreted to have been produced by rodent-like mammals (probably ground squirrels) based on the size and architecture. According to the previous study, the age of these burrows was constrained to be between ca. 40,000 and 25,000 yr BP by tephrochronology, radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating results (Lim et al., 2007). However, little is known about the reason why these burrows have disappeared after late Pleistocene time. For this question, two explanations can be considered: extinction or migration. Since same kinds of burrows are still found in the high-latitude regions, such as Mongolia and North America, the possibility of extinction can be ruled out. Therefore, migration seems to be the most likely explanation. Our results show that the destruction of habitat caused by climate change during this period is the main reason for the northward migration of burrowing animals. This study suggests that rodent burrows found in the late Pleistocene paleosols can provide useful information on paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental changes.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the literature and summarize information on factors affecting habitat selection and maximum recorded burrowing depths for representative small mammals that we consider most likely to inhibit waste burial sites in arid and semi-arid regions of the West. The information is intended for waste management designers who need to know what to expect from small mammals that may be present at a particular site. Waste repositories oculd be designed to exclude the deep burrowing rodents of a region by creating an unattractive habitat over the waste. Summaries are given for habitat requirements of each group along with generalized modifications that could be employed to deter habitation. Representatives from the major groups considered to be deep burrowers are discussed. Further, detailed information about a particular species can be obtained from the references cited
Wiluford, D.L.; Woodin, M.C.; Skoruppa, M.K.; Hickman, G.C.
The northern pygmy mouse (Baiomys taylori), fulvous harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys fulvescens), and Merriam's pocket mouse (Pemgnathus merriami) are new to the diet of the western burrowing owl (Athene cuniculana hypugaed). All three species were identified from remains in regurgitated pellets collected from roost sites of burrowing owls in southern Texas over a period of 4 winters. Together, northern pygmy mice and fulvous harvest mice represented 58% of mammals identified in 182 pellets regurgitated by western burrowing owls. Merriam's pocket mouse accounted for only 4% of identified mammalian prey. Frequency of occurrence in pellets was 16% for northern pygmv mice, 11% for fulvous harvest mice, and 3% for Merriam's pocket mice. The primary reason for absence of these species in previous studies of foods of western burrowing owls is that most were conducted in latitudes north of these southern-distributed species of mammals.
Lange, Simone; Burda, Hynek; Wegner, Regina E.; Dammann, Philip; Begall, Sabine; Kawalika, Mathias
Subterranean mammals rely to a great extent on audition for communication and to be alerted to danger. The only hitherto published report on burrow acoustics revealed that in tunnels of blind mole-rats ( Spalax ehrenbergi), airborne sounds of 440 Hz propagated best whereas lower and higher frequencies were effectively attenuated. Morpho-functional analyses classify the ear of subterranean mammals as a low-sensitivity and low-frequency device. Concordantly, hearing is characterized by low sensitivity and a restricted frequency range tuned to low frequencies (0.5-4 kHz). Some authors considered the restricted hearing in subterranean mammals vestigial and degenerate due to under-stimulation. In contrast to this view stand a rich (mostly low-frequency) vocal repertoire and progressive structural specializations of the middle and inner ear. Thus, other authors considered these hearing characteristics adaptive. To test the hypothesis that acoustical environment in burrows of different species of subterranean mammals is similar, we measured sound attenuation in burrows of Fukomys mole-rats (formerly known as Cryptomys, cf. Kock et al. 2006) of two differently sized species at different locations in Zambia. We show that in these burrows, low-frequency sounds (200-800 Hz) are not only least attenuated but also their amplitude may be amplified like in a stethoscope (up to two times over 1 m). We suggest that hearing sensitivity has decreased during evolution of subterranean mammals to avoid over-stimulation of the ear in their natural environment.
Belthoff, James R.; Bernhardt, Scott A; Ball, Christopher; Gregg, Michael; Johnson, David H.; Ketterling, Rachel; Price, Emily; Tinker, Juliette K.
Western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are small, ground-dwelling owls ofwestern North America that frequent prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) towns and other grasslands.As they rely on rodent prey and occupy burrows once or concurrently inhabited by fossorialmammals, the owls often harbor fleas. We examined the potential role of fleas found onburrowing owls in plague dynamics by evaluating prevalence of Yersinia pestis in fleas and inowl blood. During 2012-2013 fleas and blood were ...
Belthoff, James R; Bernhardt, Scott A; Ball, Christopher L; Gregg, Michael; Johnson, David H; Ketterling, Rachel; Price, Emily; Tinker, Juliette K
Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are small, ground-dwelling owls of western North America that frequent prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) towns and other grasslands. Because they rely on rodent prey and occupy burrows once or concurrently inhabited by fossorial mammals, the owls often harbor fleas. We examined the potential role of fleas found on burrowing owls in plague dynamics by evaluating prevalence of Yersinia pestis in fleas collected from burrowing owls and in owl blood. During 2012-2013, fleas and blood were collected from burrowing owls in portions of five states with endemic plague-Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and South Dakota. Fleas were enumerated, taxonomically identified, pooled by nest, and assayed for Y. pestis using culturing and molecular (PCR) approaches. Owl blood underwent serological analysis for plague antibodies and nested PCR for detection of Y. pestis. Of more than 4750 fleas collected from owls, Pulex irritans, a known plague vector in portions of its range, comprised more than 99.4%. However, diagnostic tests for Y. pestis of flea pools (culturing and PCR) and owl blood (PCR and serology) were negative. Thus, even though fleas were prevalent on burrowing owls and the potential for a relationship with burrowing owls as a phoretic host of infected fleas exists, we found no evidence of Y. pestis in sampled fleas or in owls that harbored them. We suggest that studies similar to those reported here during plague epizootics will be especially useful for confirming these results. PMID:26367482
Dorgan, Kelly M; Jumars, Peter A; Johnson, Bruce; Boudreau, B P; Landis, Eric
Until now, the analysis of burrowing mechanics has neglected the mechanical properties of impeding, muddy, cohesive sediments, which behave like elastic solids. Here we show that burrowers can progress through such sediments by using a mechanically efficient, previously unsuspected mechanism--crack propagation--in which an alternating 'anchor' system of burrowing serves as a wedge to extend the crack-shaped burrow. The force required to propagate cracks through sediment in this way is relatively small: we find that the force exerted by the annelid worm Nereis virens in making and moving into such a burrow amounts to less than one-tenth of the force it needs to use against rigid aquarium walls. PMID:15690029
Maestri, Renan; Patterson, Bruce D
Understanding the spatial distribution of species sheds light on the group's biogeographical history, offers clues to the drivers of diversity, and helps to guide conservation strategies. Here, we compile geographic range information for South America's diverse rodents, whose 14 families comprise ~50% of the continent's mammalian species. The South American rodent fauna is dominated by independent and temporally staggered radiations of caviomorph and sigmodontine groups. We mapped species richness and turnover of all rodents and the principal clades to identify the main predictors of diversity patterns. Species richness was highest in the Andes, with a secondary hotspot in Atlantic Forest and some regions of considerable richness in Amazonia. Differences in richness were evident between the caviomorphs and sigmodontines, the former showing the greatest richness in tropical forests whereas the latter show-and largely determine-the all-rodent pattern. Elevation was the main predictor of sigmodontine richness, whereas temperature was the principal variable correlated with richness of caviomorphs. Across clades, species turnover was highest along the Andes and was best explained by elevational relief. In South America, the effects of the familiar latitudinal gradient in species richness are mixed with a strong longitudinal effect, triggered by the importance of elevation and the position of the Andes. Both latitudinal and elevational effects help explain the complicated distribution of rodent diversity across the continent. The continent's restricted-range species-those seemingly most vulnerable to localized disturbance-are mostly distributed along the Andes and in Atlantic Forest, with the greatest concentration in Ecuador. Both the Andes and Atlantic Forest are known hotspots for other faunal and floral components. Contrasting patterns of the older caviomorph and younger sigmodontine radiations underscore the interplay of both historical and ecological factors in
Carter, Anthony Michael
A century ago Thomas G. Lee amassed an unparalleled collection of developmental series of North American rodents such as the thirteen-lined ground squirrel, the Plains pocket gopher and Merriam's kangaroo rat. He was the first to describe the initial attachment of the squirrel blastocyst to the...... antimesometrial side of the uterus. The full potential of Lee's material was not realized until after his death, when it came into the possession of Mossman. The latter relied heavily on Lee's collection when writing his seminal monograph on the comparative morphogenesis of fetal membranes and much of Lee...
Sawyer, Carol F.; Brinkman, Donald C.; Walker, Vincent D.; Covington, Tyler D.; Stienstraw, Elizabeth A.
Burrowing animals act like a geomorphic disturbance, changing the environment through soil excavation, landform creation and bioturbation. The potential zoogeomorphic effects of these actions include modification of surficial features, increased soil erosion, changes in the growth and distribution of vegetation, and modifications to soil fertility. The burrowing ninebanded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) migrated to North America prior to the 1850s and has since continued to expand its habitat to the American Southeast and parts of the Midwest. Little data are available on the zoogeomorphic impact of the burrowing nature of this species, making it difficult to predict future implications of this animal as it continues to migrate into new regions. On the University of South Alabama campus, in Mobile, Alabama, armadillos are present on a 35-hectare unprotected forested preserve used by the university community for outdoor activities and research. To understand the potential zoogeomorphic impact of armadillo burrows on the local environment, morphometric measurements were recorded on 187 burrows located in the study area. Using dimensions of burrow entrances and minimum lengths of tunnels in calculations, armadillos excavated approximately 0.029 m3 to 0.04 m3 of soil from each burrow. The entrances to burrows averaged 33.5° in slope and tended to be located in a microhabitat of a fallen tree, exposed tree roots, or a sideslope. Persistent fall of forest litter and anthropogenic modifications makes positive identification of spoil mounds possible in approximately half of the burrow sites. Surface modification by armadillos is ongoing in the study area with over half of the burrows classified as active during the four-month project. We concluded that, for southern Alabama, armadillos prefer to excavate burrows into sideslopes, and that given the lack of ground cover, sandy soil, and humid climate, armadillos are an important zoogeomorphic agent in the region.
Conway, C.J.; Pardieck, K.L.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that burrowing owls have declined in Washington. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently conducting a status review for burrowing owls which will help determine whether they should be listed as threatened or endangered in the state. To provide insights into the current status of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia), we analyzed data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey using two analytical approaches to determine their current population trajectory in eastern Washington. We used a one-sample t-test to examine whether trend estimates across all BBS routes in Washington differed from zero. We also used a mixed model analysis to estimate the rate of decline in number of burrowing owls detected between 1968 and 2005. The slope in number of burrowing owls detected was negative for 12 of the 16 BBS routes in Washington that have detected burrowing owls. Numbers of breeding burrowing owls detected in eastern Washington declined at a rate of 1.5% annually. We suggest that all BBS routes that have detected burrowing owls in past years in eastern Washington be surveyed annually and additional surveys conducted to track population trends of burrowing owls at finer spatial scales in eastern Washington. In the meantime, land management and regulatory agencies should ensure that publicly managed areas with breeding burrowing owls are not degraded and should implement education and outreach programs to promote protection of privately owned areas with breeding owls.
Christopher M. Schalk
Full Text Available Some species of anurans have been observed utilizing burrows of other animals, such as rodents and tarantulas. Here we report the observations of two anuran species, Leptodactylus bufonius and Rhinella major, utilizing the burrows of tarantulas (Acanthoscurria sp.; Family Theraphosidae in the dry Chaco ecoregion of Bolivia. Both species of anurans never co-occurred with tarantulas in the burrows and used burrows that were wider in diameter and closer to breeding ponds as compared to the total available tarantula burrows in the area. These burrows may serve as refuges from predators, especially for conspicuous, calling males.
Prufrock, Kristen A.; López-Torres, Sergi; Silcox, Mary T.; Boyer, Doug M.
Dental topographic metrics provide quantitative, biologically meaningful data on the three-dimensional (3D) form of teeth. In this study, three dental topographic metrics (Dirichlet normal energy (DNE), relief index (RFI), and orientation patch count rotated (OPCR)) are used to evaluate the presence of dietary niche overlap between North American plesiadapoid primates (Plesiadapidae, Carpolestidae, and Saxonellidae) and early rodents. Calculation of these metrics requires researchers to modify the 3D surface models of the teeth by cropping them to a region of interest and/or orienting them. The current study therefore also examines the error introduced by cropping and orientation, and evaluates the contribution of these metrics to the niche overlap hypothesis. Our results indicate that cropping creates significantly more variation in RFI than DNE. Furthermore, orientation is an even larger source of variation in the calculation of RFI than cropping. Orientation does not strongly influence OPCR values. However, none of these sources of error are significant enough to undermine the extent to which these metrics can speak to the niche overlap hypothesis. The DNE and RFI results suggest that carpolestids and saxonellids had very different molar morphologies from early rodents, and thus these groups were not adapted to consume the same resources. Some plesiadapids show similar levels of occlusal curvature, relief, and complexity to early rodents. The plesiadapid Chiromyoides, which has distinctively low cusps and weak shearing crest development, has molars that are the most rodent-like of all taxa compared. This suggests that Chiromyoides had a dietary niche that overlapped with early rodents and would have been the most likely to be competing over food resources. Results from the plesiadapoid-rodent dental topographic analysis highlight the utility of DNE for detecting more fine-scaled differences in occlusal surface morphology than OPCR, whereas RFI provided valuable
Christopher M. Schalk; Marco Sezano
Some species of anurans have been observed utilizing burrows of other animals, such as rodents and tarantulas. Here we report the observations of two anuran species, Leptodactylus bufonius and Rhinella major, utilizing the burrows of tarantulas (Acanthoscurria sp.; Family Theraphosidae) in the dry Chaco ecoregion of Bolivia. Both species of anurans never co-occurred with tarantulas in the burrows and used burrows that were wider in diameter and closer to breeding ponds as compared to the tota...
White, Craig R; Matthews, Philip G D; Seymour, Roger S
Semi-fossorial animals (burrowing surface foragers) need to balance the competing morphological requirements of terrestrial and burrowing locomotion. These species rarely show the same degree of claw, forelimb and pectoral girdle structural development that fully fossorial forms (burrowing subterranean foragers) do, but nevertheless invest considerable amounts of energy in burrow systems. The compromise between terrestrial and burrowing locomotion was investigated by measuring net costs of burrowing and pedestrian transport in the spinifex hopping mouse, Notomys alexis, a species that forages in open areas in arid environments and is adapted for saltatorial locomotion. The net cost of transport by burrowing of hopping mice was found to be more expensive than for specialised fossorial species, and burrows were estimated to represent an energy investment equivalent to the terrestrial locomotion expected to be incurred in 17-100 days. A phylogenetically independent-contrasts approach revealed that morphological specialisation for burrowing was associated with low maximum running speeds in fossorial mammals and, for non-fossorial rodents and marsupials, maximum running speed was positively correlated with an index of habitat structure that ranged from arboreal to open desert. The high terrestrial speeds attainable by this semi-fossorial species by saltatory locomotion apparently outweigh the energetic savings that would be associated with burrowing specialisation. PMID:16709912
Šumbera, R.; Mazoch, V.; Patzenhauerová, Hana; Lövy, M.; Šklíba, J.; Bryja, Josef; Burda, H.
Roč. 57, č. 2 (2012), s. 121-130. ISSN 0001-7051 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA601410802 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Fukomys mechowii * subterranean rodent * burrow system * kin structure * Bathyergidae Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.949, year: 2012
Full Text Available Detection of persistent pain of a mild-to-moderate degree in laboratory mice is difficult because mice do not show unambiguous symptoms of pain or suffering using standard methods of short-term observational or clinical monitoring. This study investigated the potential use of burrowing performance — a spontaneous and highly motivated behavior — as a measure of post-operative pain in laboratory mice. The influence of minor surgery on burrowing was investigated in adult C57BL/6J mice of both genders in a modified rodent burrowing test (displacement of food pellets from a pellet-filled tube within the animal’s home cage. Almost all (98% healthy mice burrowed (mean latency 1.3 h, SEM 0.5 h. After surgery without pain treatment, latency of burrowing was significantly prolonged (mean ∆ latency 10 h. Analgesic treatment using the anti-inflammatory drug carprofen (5 mg/kg bodyweight decreased latency of burrowing after surgery (mean ∆ latency 5.5 h to the level found in mice that had been anaesthetised (mean ∆ latency 5.3 h or had received anaesthesia and analgesia (mean ∆ latency 4.6 h. Analgesia during surgery was associated with a significantly earlier onset of burrowing compared to surgery without pain treatment. A distinct gradation in burrowing performance was found ranging from the undisturbed pre-operative status to the intermediate level following anaesthesia/analgesia and surgery with analgesia, to the pronounced prolongation of latency to burrow after surgery without pain relief. In conclusion, post-surgical impairment of general condition, probably mainly attributable to pain, can be conveniently assessed in laboratory mice on the basis of the burrowing test.
Lichti, Nathanael I; Steele, Michael A; Zhang, Hao; Swihart, Robert K
Interactions between plants and scatter-hoarding animals may shift from mutualism to predation as a function of the resources available to those animals. Because seed species differ in their nutrient content and defenses to predation, resource selection and cache management by scatter-hoarders, and thus seed fate, may also depend on the relative availability of different seed types. We tracked the fates of tagged Castanea dentata, Quercus alba, and Q. rubra seeds presented to rodents in pairwise combinations and found that C. dentata, which has moderate dormancy prior to germination, survived better in the presence of Q. alba (no dormancy) than with Q. rubra (longer dormancy). Decisions made by scatter-hoarders in response to the composition of available seed resources can alter the relationship between masting and seed dispersal effectiveness in individual tree species and may have influenced the evolution of asynchrony among species-specific masting patterns in temperate forests. In theory, preferential allocation of certain seed species to storage or consumption could also result in indirect apparent predation by one seed species on another. PMID:25163109
Honeycutt, Rodney L; Rowe, Diane L; Gallardo, Milton H
Nucleotide sequences from mitochondrial (12S rRNA) and nuclear (growth hormone receptor) genes were used to investigate phylogenetic relationships among South American hystricognath rodents of the superfamily Octodontoidea, with special emphasis on the family Octodontidae. Relationships among most taxa were well resolved by a combined analysis of both genes, and the molecular phylogeny was used to address several long-standing phylogenetic problems. The family Abrocomidae was the most basal lineage within the superfamily Octodontoidea, sensu stricto, and the family Ctenomyidae was sister to the family Octodontidae, followed by a monophyletic group containing the families Myocastoridae and Echimyidae. A basic dichotomy was observed within the family Octodontidae. The Argentine desert specialists, Tympanoctomys and Octomys, grouped separate from Octodontomys, which was sister to a clade containing a monophyletic Octodon and a clade represented by species of Aconaemys and Spalacopus. Aconaemys was paraphyletic relative to Spalacopus. The phylogeny was used as an interpretive framework for an examination of variation in several non-molecular characters. The primitive diploid number for most of the octodontoids was determined to be between 46 and 56, and the primitive genome size 8.2 pg. Members of the Octodontidae appeared to be derived from an ancestral stock occupying lower elevations in scrub habitat. Furthermore, estimates of divergence time from the molecular data provided a temporal perspective for changes in plant communities, which demonstrated turnover and diversification in response to climatic and geologic events occurring in the Miocene through the Pleistocene. PMID:12644405
Hornung, M. N.
During a recent study of soil erosion in the Farne Islands, Northumberland puffin colony it became clear that any interpretation of the erosion process and its causes would require information on the size of nest burrows, their excavation and useful life. The following paper is an attempt to bring together published material on these topics with additional data obtained during the Farne Islands study
Kinlaw, A.; Grasmueck, M.
Physical ecosystem engineers often make major, durable physical constructs that can provide living space for other species and can structure local animal communities over evolutionary time. In Florida, a medium sized chelonian, the Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) will excavate extensive subterranean chambers that can endure for long periods of time. The tortoise starts a 'burrowing cascade', by first excavating a larger burrow that may extend 10 m, which is then re-engineered by Florida Mice (Podomys floridanus) and other rodents that dig smaller side-burrows and pockets. This sequence is often followed by an invertebrate, the camel cricket (Ceuthophilus labibuli) which is reported to excavate even smaller chambers. Our first aim was to quantify the zoogeomorphic impact of this burrowing cascade by measuring the amount of soil excavated in a large sample of burrows in two communities. Secondly, we hypothesized that the high biodiversity reported for these structures might be related to the quasi-fractal nature of the geometry, following the work of Frontier (1987). To visualize this underground geometry, we used high-resolution 3D Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), which provided images and insights previously unobtainable using excavations or 2D GPR. Our images verified that the active tortoise burrow had a spiraling shape, but also showed splits in the larger burrow apparently dug by tortoises. For the first time, the smaller Florida Mouse burrows were imaged, showing side loops that exit and re-renter the tortoise burrow. This study also presents new information by making the discovery of numerous remnants of past tortoise burrows underground in the sampling grid surrounding the active burrow. Our third aim was to interpret our field results with previous ecological field studies to evaluate the strength of evidence that this species ranks as an ecosystem engineer.
Paul D. Greger and Derek B. Hall
Understanding long-term patterns of burrow occupancy for the Western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) is necessary for the conservation of this species, especially in arid, desert ecosystems where burrow occupancy data are lacking. Monthly burrow monitoring was conducted over a 4-year period (1997–2001) in southern Nevada to determine burrow occupancy patterns of Burrowing Owls and to evaluate the effects of burrow type and desert region on burrow occupancy. Burrow occupancy occurred year-round and was most consistent in the Transition region and tended to be lowest in the Mojave Desert region. Peak burrow occupancy occurred during March through May, followed by a gradual decline in occupancy through the summer and fall until January and February, when occupancy was lowest. Occupancy was significantly higher at sites with both culvert and pipe burrows than at sites with earthen burrows in disturbed habitat or earthen burrows in natural habitat. Breeding-season occupancy was not significantly higher in wetter, cooler portions (e.g., Great Basin desert region) of the study area. Results suggest that occupancy is influenced by habitat features—such as suitable burrows in open areas with low vegetation—and climatic regime.
Triandafils, Dick; Maples, Art; Breininger, Dave
Video system designed for examining interiors of burrows of gopher tortoises, 5 in. (13 cm) in diameter or greater, to depth of 18 ft. (about 5.5 m), includes video camera, video cassette recorder (VCR), television monitor, control unit, and power supply, all carried in backpack. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) poles used to maneuver camera into (and out of) burrows, stiff enough to push camera into burrow, but flexible enough to bend around curves. Adult tortoises and other burrow inhabitants observable, young tortoises and such small animals as mice obscured by sand or debris.
Dorgan, Kelly M
Burrowers and borers are ecosystem engineers that alter their physical environments through bioturbation, bioirrigation and bioerosion. The mechanisms of moving through solid substrata by burrowing or boring depend on the mechanical properties of the medium and the size and morphology of the organism. For burrowing animals, mud differs mechanically from sand; in mud, sediment grains are suspended in an organic matrix that fails by fracture. Macrofauna extend burrows through this elastic mud by fracture. Sand is granular and non-cohesive, enabling grains to more easily move relative to each other, and macrofaunal burrowers use fluidization or plastic rearrangement of grains. In both sand and mud, peristaltic movements apply normal forces and reduce shear. Excavation and localized grain compaction are mechanisms that plastically deform sediments and are effective in both mud and sand, with bulk excavation being used by larger organisms and localized compaction by smaller organisms. Mechanical boring of hard substrata is an extreme form of excavation in which no compaction of burrow walls occurs and grains are abraded with rigid, hard structures. Chemical boring involves secretion to dissolve or soften generally carbonate substrata. Despite substantial differences in the mechanics of the media, similar burrowing behaviors are effective in mud and sand. PMID:25609781
Winter, Amos G; Deits, Robin L H; Hosoi, A E
Muscle measurements of Ensis directus, the Atlantic razor clam, indicate that the organism only has sufficient strength to burrow a few centimeters into the soil, yet razor clams burrow to over 70 cm. In this paper, we show that the animal uses the motions of its valves to locally fluidize the surrounding soil and reduce burrowing drag. Substrate deformations were measured using particle image velocimetry (PIV) in a novel visualization system that enabled us to see through the soil and watch E. directus burrow in situ. PIV data, supported by soil and fluid mechanics theory, show that contraction of the valves of E. directus locally fluidizes the surrounding soil. Particle and fluid mixtures can be modeled as a Newtonian fluid with an effective viscosity based on the local void fraction. Using these models, we demonstrate that E. directus is strong enough to reach full burrow depth in fluidized soil, but not in static soil. Furthermore, we show that the method of localized fluidization reduces the amount of energy required to reach burrow depth by an order of magnitude compared with penetrating static soil, and leads to a burrowing energy that scales linearly with depth rather than with depth squared. PMID:22623195
Kinsella, John M; Robles, Maria Del Rosario; Preisser, Whitney C
Gongylonema archboldi n. sp. (Nematoda: Gongylonematidae) is described from tunnels in the gastric mucosa of the stomach of the cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) from Highlands County, Florida, U.S.A. Measurements are also given for specimens from cotton mice (Peromyscus gossypinus), oldfield mice (Peromyscus polionotus), Florida mice (Podomys floridanus), and golden mice (Ochrotomys nuttalli) from the same locality. Additional specimens were collected from the cotton rat and the rice rat (Oryzomys palustris) from Berry Island, San Patricio County, Texas. The new species is differentiated from congeners by a combination of the following characters: length of the left spicule, length and shape of the gubernaculum, distribution of cuticular bosses, length of esophagus, and distance of the vulva from the posterior end. The status of the genus Gongylonema in North American rodents is reviewed. PMID:27394819
Murphy, Elizabeth A K; Dorgan, Kelly M
Burrowing marine infauna are morphologically diverse and ecologically important as ecosystem engineers. The polychaetes Nereis virens and Cirriformia moorei extend their burrows by crack propagation. Nereis virens does so by everting its pharynx and C. moorei, lacking an eversible pharynx or proboscis, uses its hydrostatic skeleton to expand its anterior. Both behaviors apply stress to the burrow wall that is amplified at the tip of the crack, which extends by fracture. That two species with such distinct morphologies and life histories both burrow by fracturing sediment suggests that this mechanism may be widespread among burrowers. We tested this hypothesis with the glycerid polychaete Hemipodus simplex, which has an eversible proboscis that is much longer and everts more rapidly than the pharynx of N. virens. When the proboscis is fully everted, the tip flares out wider than the rest of the proboscis, creating a shape and applying a stress distribution similar to that of N. virens and resulting in relatively large forces near the tip of the crack. These forces are larger than necessary to extend the crack by fracture and are surprisingly uncorrelated with the resulting stress amplification at the crack tip, which is also larger than necessary to extend the burrow by fracture. These large forces may plastically deform the mud, allowing the worm to build a semi-permanent burrow. Our results illustrate that similar mechanisms of burrowing are used by morphologically different burrowers. PMID:21346130
California Department of Resources — These burrowing owl observations were collected during the spring and early summer of 1976 in the Palo Verde Valley, eastern Riverside County, California. This is...
Schleich, Cristian E
While several works analyzed the spatial learning and memory capacities in adults of subterranean rodents, no study was done examining the development of these cognitive processes in pups of any of those species. Therefore, the development of spatial working memory in the South American subterranean rodent Ctenomys talarum was investigated by analyzing the pups' spatial performance in a delayed alternation task. When a short delay of 1 min was interposed between runs in the Y-maze, 20-day-old pups made more errors than 40- and 60-day-old pups. When longer intervals (10 min) were elapsed between runs, younger pups made approximately twice as many errors as the ones committed by 60-day-old pups, showing the age-dependent development of spatial working memory in this species of subterranean rodent. Increased space use by C. talarum pups, caused first by the appearance of independent exploratory behavior and later by the need of leaving maternal territory and construct a new burrow system, showed some correspondence with the improvements in the pups' spatial working memory performance, suggesting for the importance of this cognitive capacity in developing pups for which spatial learning and memory constitute essential abilities for survival and fitness. PMID:20806332
C. C. Rosa; T. Flores; J. C. Pieczarka; R. V. Rossi; M. I. C. Sampaio; J. D. Rissino; P. J. S. Amaral; C. Y. Nagamachi
The rodent genus Oecomys (Sigmodontinae) comprises ∼16 species that inhabit tropical and subtropical forests in Central America and South America. In this study specimens of Oecomys paricola Thomas, 1904 from Belém and Marajó island, northern Brazil, were investigated using cytogenetic, molecular and morphological analyses. Three karyotypes were found, two from Belém ($2n = 68$, fundamental number (FN) = 72 and $2n = 70$, FN = 76) and a third from Marajó island ($2n = 70$, FN = 72). No molecular or morphological differences were found between the individuals with differing cytotypes from Belém, but differences were evident between the individuals from Belém and Marajó island. Specimens from Belém city region may represent two cryptic species because two different karyotypes are present in the absence of significant differences in morphology and molecular characteristics. The Marajó island and Belém populations may represent distinct species that have been separated for some time, and are in the process of morphological and molecular differentiation as a consequence of reproductive isolation at the geographic and chromosomal levels. Thus, the results suggest that O. paricola may be a complex of species.
Biggins, Dean E.; Ramakrishnan, Shantini; Goldberg, Amanda R.; Eads, David A.
Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) plug burrows occupied by black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), and they also plug burrows to entomb dead prairie dogs. We further evaluated these phenomena by sampling connectivity and plugging of burrow openings on prairie dog colonies occupied by ferrets, colonies where recreational shooting was allowed, and colonies with neither shooting nor ferrets. We counted burrow openings on line surveys and within plots, classified surface plugging, and used an air blower to examine subsurface connectivity. Colonies with ferrets had lower densities of openings, fewer connected openings (suggesting increased subsurface plugging), and more surface plugs compared to colonies with no known ferrets. Colonies with recreational shooting had the lowest densities of burrow openings, and line-survey data suggested colonies with shooting had intermediate rates of surface plugging. The extent of surface and subsurface plugging could have consequences for the prairie dog community by changing air circulation and escape routes of burrow systems and by altering energetic relationships. Burrow plugging might reduce prairie dogs' risk of predation by ferrets while increasing risk of predation by American badgers (Taxidea taxus); however, the complexity of the trade-off is increased if plugging increases the risk of predation on ferrets by badgers. Prairie dogs expend more energy plugging and digging when ferrets or shooting are present, and ferrets increase their energy expenditures when they dig to remove those plugs. Microclimatic differences in plugged burrow systems may play a role in flea ecology and persistence of the flea-borne bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis).
Loughran, Caleb L.; Ennen, Joshua; Lovich, Jeffrey E.
In the deserts of the southwestern U.S., burrows are utilized by the Desert Tortoise to escape environmental extremes (reviewed by Ernst and Lovich 2009. Turtles of the United States and Canada. 2nd ed. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 827 pp.). However, the potential for mortality through burrow collapse and entrapment is poorly documented. Nicholson and Humphreys (1981. Proceedings of the Desert Tortoise Council, pp. 163−194) suggested that collapse due to livestock trampling may cause mortality. In addition, Lovich et al. (2011. Chelon. Cons. Biol. 10:124–129) documented a Desert Tortoise that used a steel culvert as a burrow surrogate. The culvert filled completely with sediment following a significant rain event, entombing the animal and ultimately resulting in its death. We note that this mortality was associated with an anthropogenic structure; because tortoises are prodigious diggers, one might hypothesize that they have the ability to dig out of collapsed natural burrows in most situations. Circumstances described here presented us with an opportunity to test this hypothesis.
Derek B. Hall, Paul D. Greger, Jeffrey R. Rosier
We examined diets of Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) based on contents of pellets and large prey remains collected year-round at burrows in each of the 3 regions in south central Nevada (Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, and Transition region). The most common prey items, based on percent frequency of occurrence, were crickets and grasshoppers, beetles, rodents, sun spiders, and scorpions. The most common vertebrate prey was kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.). True bugs (Hemiptera), scorpions, and western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys megalotis) occurred most frequently in pellets from the Great Basin Desert region. Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.) and pocket mice (Perognathinae) were the most important vertebrate prey items in the Transition and Mojave Desert regions, respectively. Frequency of occurrence of any invertebrate prey was high (>80%) in samples year-round but dropped in winter samples, with scorpions and sun spiders exhibiting the steepest declines. Frequency of occurrence of any vertebrate prey peaked in spring samples, was intermediate for winter and summer samples, and was lowest in fall samples. With the possible exception of selecting for western harvest mice in the Great Basin Desert region, Western Burrowing Owls in our study appeared to be opportunistic foragers with a generalist feeding strategy.
Krubitzer, Leah; Campi, Katharine L.; Cooke, Dylan F.
Rodents are a major order of mammals that is highly diverse in distribution and lifestyle. Five suborders, 34 families, and 2,277 species within this order occupy a number of different niches and vary along several lifestyle dimensions such as diel pattern (diurnal vs. nocturnal), terrain niche, and diet. For example, the terrain niche of rodents includes arboreal, aerial, terrestrial, semi-aquatic, burrowing, and rock dwelling. Not surprisingly, the behaviors associated with particular lifes...
Wilde, Justin W.; Lindsey, Cole T.; Nugent, John J.
The monitoring during 2012 focused on documenting the status of known burrows. Newly identified burrows were documented while examining historical locations, during ecological resource reviews, or discovered during other monitoring efforts. The timing of the monitoring effort allowed staff to perform the surveys without disrupting any breeding or hatching, while also allowing for easy discernment of adults from juveniles, which helped in determining burrow-use type.
Dorgan, Kelly M; Law, Chris J; Rouse, Greg W
Recent work has shown that muddy sediments are elastic solids through which animals extend burrows by fracture, whereas non-cohesive granular sands fluidize around some burrowers. These different mechanical responses are reflected in the morphologies and behaviours of their respective inhabitants. However, Armandia brevis, a mud-burrowing opheliid polychaete, lacks an expansible anterior consistent with fracturing mud, and instead uses undulatory movements similar to those of sandfish lizards that fluidize desert sands. Here, we show that A. brevis neither fractures nor fluidizes sediments, but instead uses a third mechanism, plastically rearranging sediment grains to create a burrow. The curvature of the undulating body fits meander geometry used to describe rivers, and changes in curvature driven by muscle contraction are similar for swimming and burrowing worms, indicating that the same gait is used in both sediments and water. Large calculated friction forces for undulatory burrowers suggest that sediment mechanics affect undulatory and peristaltic burrowers differently; undulatory burrowing may be more effective for small worms that live in sediments not compacted or cohesive enough to extend burrows by fracture. PMID:23446526
Koo, Bon Joo; Koh, Chul-Hwan
Macrofaunal burrows increase the surface area of the sediment-water interface, which has a great impact on the metabolism of aerobic microbes and the oscillation of reduced metabolites within the sediment. Given the importance of macrofauna in surficial sediments, the aim of this study is to examine the effects of burrow architectures on dissolved oxygen diffusion rates in comparison with unburrowed sediment, and thereby to evaluate the theoretical assumption used for modeling solute distribution in the burrow system using field samples. Employing microsensors, horizontal oxygen profiles were measured on a micrometer scale around burrows of seven invertebrates in tidal flats of the west coast of Korea. Oxygen diffusion distance through the burrow walls of seven invertebrates showed spatio-temporal variation with a range of 0.6 to 2.9 mm. Two groups of burrows were identified based on their oxygen diffusive properties relative to unburrowed sediments: 1) oxygen penetration similar to that of ambient sediments and 2) clearly enhanced oxygen penetration. Differences in the diffusive properties of the burrow wall were related to the burrow depth and diameter, existence of mucus lining on the wall, sediment grain size, and tidal phases. Also inhabitant activity was an important factor affecting oxygen penetration, which is discussed in the paper. These results further demonstrate that simplified assumptions (i.e. burrow structures are viewed as direct biogeochemical extensions of the sediment-water interface) may not be exact representation of the nature.
Dorgan, Kelly M; Lefebvre, Stephane; Stillman, Jonathon H; Koehl, M A R
Burrowing through marine sediments has been considered to be much more energetically expensive than other forms of locomotion, but previous studies were based solely on external work calculations and lacked an understanding of the mechanical responses of sediments to forces applied by burrowers. Muddy sediments are elastic solids through which worms extend crack-shaped burrows by fracture. Here we present data on energetics of burrowing by Cirriformia moorei. We calculated the external energy per distance traveled from the sum of the work to extend the burrow by fracture and the elastic work done to displace sediment as a worm moves into the newly formed burrow to be 9.7 J kg(-1) m(-1) in gelatin and 64 J kg(-1) m(-1) in sediment, much higher than for running or walking. However, because burrowing worms travel at slow speeds, the increase in metabolic rate due to burrowing is predicted to be small. We tested this prediction by measuring aerobic metabolism (oxygen consumption rates) and anaerobic metabolism (concentrations of the anaerobic metabolite tauropine and the energy-storage molecule phosphocreatine) of C. moorei. None of these components was significantly different between burrowing and resting worms, and the low increases in oxygen consumption rates or tauropine concentrations predicted from external work calculations were within the variability observed across individuals. This result suggests that the energy to burrow, which could come from aerobic or anaerobic sources, is not a substantial component of the total metabolic energy of a worm. Burrowing incurs a low cost per unit of time. PMID:21653814
Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is associated with an early hippocampal dysfunction, which is likely induced by an increase in soluble amyloid beta peptide (Aβ. This hippocampal failure contributes to the initial memory deficits observed both in patients and in AD animal models and possibly to the deterioration in activities of daily living (ADL. One typical rodent behavior that has been proposed as a hippocampus-dependent assessment model of ADL in mice and rats is burrowing. Despite the fact that AD transgenic mice show some evidence of reduced burrowing, it has not been yet determined whether or not Aβ can affect this typical rodent behavior and whether this alteration correlates with the well-known Aβ-induced memory impairment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to test whether or not Aβ affects burrowing while inducing hippocampus-dependent memory impairment. Surprisingly, our results show that intrahippocampal application of Aβ increases burrowing while inducing memory impairment. We consider that this Aβ-induced increase in burrowing might be associated with a mild anxiety state, which was revealed by increased freezing behavior in the open field, and conclude that Aβ-induced hippocampal dysfunction is reflected in the impairment of ADL and memory, through mechanisms yet to be determined.
Animal burrowing is critical to the formation of soils and contributes to the interface between geological materials and organic life. It also influences the management of hazardous materials at nuclear waste facilities and elsewhere. For example, residues and waste products from the production of nuclear weapons are released onto the ground surface and within engineered burial structures. Soil bioturbation has exposed radionuclides and other hazardous materials to wind and rain, thereby risking inhalation and injury to humans and wildlife on and off site. Soil bioturbation can expand soil depths and spatial distributions of the source term of hazardous waste, potentially increasing chronic exposures to wildlife and humans over the long term. Ample evidence indicates that some of the large quantities of hazardous materials around the world have been released from soil repositories, where they have also contaminated and harmed biota
Graham, Christine B; Eisen, Rebecca J; Belthoff, James R
Pulex irritans L. is a cosmopolitan flea species that infests a wide variety of hosts. In North America it generally parasitizes large wild mammals, but in the Pacific Northwest an association has emerged between P. irritans and the western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea). While investigators have recognized this association for decades, it has not been clear if P. irritans feeds on burrowing owls, or if the owls serve exclusively as phoretic hosts. Here we describe using a real-time assay that was originally developed to identify bloodmeals in Ugandan cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis Bouché) to detect burrowing owl DNA in P. irritans collected from burrowing owls in southern Idaho. Of 50 fleas tested, 12 had no detectable vertebrate bloodmeal. The remaining 38 (76%) contained burrowing owl DNA. The assay did not detect vertebrate DNA in unfed fleas exposed to owl or mouse pelts and is therefore unlikely to detect DNA in fleas from vertebrates that have served exclusively as phoretic hosts. We conclude that P. irritans feeds on burrowing owls. We discuss the potential implications of this finding for burrowing owl conservation and enzootic plague dynamics. PMID:26545716
Dorgan, Kelly M; Arwade, Sanjay R; Jumars, Peter A
The polychaete Nereis virens burrows through muddy sediments by exerting dorsoventral forces against the walls of its tongue-depressor-shaped burrow to extend an oblate hemispheroidal crack. Stress is concentrated at the crack tip, which extends when the stress intensity factor (KI) exceeds the critical stress intensity factor (KIc). Relevant forces were measured in gelatin, an analog for elastic muds, by photoelastic stress analysis, and were 0.015+/-0.001 N (mean +/- s.d.; N=5). Measured elastic moduli (E) for gelatin and sediment were used in finite element models to convert the forces in gelatin to those required in muds to maintain the same body shapes observed in gelatin. The force increases directly with increasing sediment stiffness, and is 0.16 N for measured sediment stiffness of E=2.7 x 10(4) Pa. This measurement of forces exerted by burrowers is the first that explicitly considers the mechanical behavior of the sediment. Calculated stress intensity factors fall within the range of critical values for gelatin and exceed those for sediment, showing that crack propagation is a mechanically feasible mechanism of burrowing. The pharynx extends anteriorly as it everts, extending the crack tip only as far as the anterior of the worm, consistent with wedge-driven fracture and drawing obvious parallels between soft-bodied burrowers and more rigid, wedge-shaped burrowers (i.e. clams). Our results raise questions about the reputed high energetic cost of burrowing and emphasize the need for better understanding of sediment mechanics to quantify external energy expenditure during burrowing. PMID:18025018
Globus, Ruth; Beegle, Janet
To achieve novel science objectives, validation of a rodent habitat on ISS will enable - In-flight analyses during long duration spaceflight- Use of genetically altered animals- Application of modern analytical techniques (e.g. genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics)
Porter, William P; Horn, Mandy J; Cooper, Dale M; Klein, Hilton J
A rodent biosecurity program that includes periodic evaluation of procedures used in an institution's vivarium can be used to ensure that best practices are in place to prevent a microbial pathogen outbreak. As a result of an ongoing comprehensive biosecurity review within their North American and European production facilities, the authors developed a novel biosecurity auditing process and worksheet that could be useful in other animal care and use operations. The authors encourage other institutions to consider initiating similar audits of their biosecurity programs to protect the health of their laboratory animals. PMID:24150170
Alexander, Amanda K.; Sackschewsky, Michael R.; Duberstein, Corey A.
In 2003 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) constructed an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) at the Hazardous Material Management and Emergency Response Training and Education Center (HAMMER) in the southern portion of the Hanford Site. Preliminary surveys during 2001 identified an active burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) burrow and three burrowing owls within the proposed development area. Burrowing owls were classified as a federal species of concern, a Washington State ?candidate? species, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife priority species, and a Hanford Site Biological Resources Management Plan Level III resource. Therefore, the mitigation action plan for the project included the installation of twenty artificial burrows around EVOC in the spring of 2003. The mitigation plan established a success criterion of five percent annual use of the burrows by owls. In July 2005, a field survey of the EVOC burrow complex was conducted to determine use and demography at each site. Burrow locations were mapped and signs of activity (feces, owl tracks, castings, feathers) were recorded. Out of the twenty burrows, twelve were found to be active. Of the eight inactive burrows three appeared to have been active earlier in the 2005 breeding season. A total of nineteen owls were counted but demography could not be determined. It appears that the EVOC mitigation exceeded burrow use goals during 2005. Continued site monitoring and maintenance, according to mitigation plan guidelines should be conducted as prescribed.
Che, James; Dorgan, Kelly M
The polychaete Cirriformia moorei burrows in muddy sediments by fracture, using its hydrostatic skeleton to expand its anterior region and exert force against its burrow wall to extend a crack. Burrowing occurs in four phases: stretching forward into the burrow, extending the crack anteriorly, thickening the burrowing end to amplify stress at the tip of the crack, and bringing the rest of the body forward as a peristaltic wave travels posteriorly. Here, we show that C. moorei is also able to burrow with its posterior end using a similar mechanism of crack propagation and exhibiting the same four phases of burrowing. Worms burrowed backwards with similar speeds and stress intensity factors as forward burrowing, but were thinner and less blunt and did not slip as far away from the crack tip between cycles of burrowing. The anterior end is more muscular and rigid, and differences in body shapes are consistent with having reduce musculature to dilate the posterior segments while burrowing. Backward burrowing provides a unique opportunity to study the effects of morphology on burrowing mechanics within the same species under identical conditions. PMID:21113009
Smith, M.D.; Conway, C.J.
Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) routinely collect and scatter dry manure of mammals around their nesting burrows. Recent studies have suggested this behavior attracts insect prey to the nesting burrow. However, some Burrowing Owls do not use manure, but instead, collect and scatter other materials (e.g., grass, moss, paper, plastic) around their nesting burrow in a similar fashion. Use of these materials seemingly contradicts the prey-attraction hypothesis. Using observational and experimental methods, we tested whether Burrowing Owls preferred manure to other materials commonly found at nesting burrows in eastern Washington. We found a wide variety of materials at nests, but grass and manure were the most common materials. The amount of manure present at nests was negatively correlated with the amount of other materials, and with the distance to the nearest source of manure. Burrowing Owls showed no preference between horse manure and grass divots at experimental supply stations that we placed near nesting burrows. They did prefer these two materials to carpet pieces and aluminum foil (both materials that are often found at Burrowing Owl nests). Our results did not support the premise that Burrowing Owls specifically seek out manure when lining their nesting burrows. The unusual behavior of collecting and scattering mammal manure and other debris at Burrowing Owl nests may serve functions other than (or in addition to) prey attraction and alternative hypotheses need further testing before the function of this behavior is certain. ?? 2011 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — An attempt to establish a breeding population of Atlantic puffin colony using artificial and modified burrows on Petit Manan Island resulted in 3 of 17 burrows...
Meysman, Filip J.R.; Galaktionov, O.S.; Glud, Ronnie N.; Middelburg, Jack J.
Diffusion is the dominant physical mechanism for the transfer of oxygen into fine-grained aquatic sediments. This diffusive uptake occurs at the sediment-water interface, but also at internal interfaces, such as along ventilated burrows or O2 releasing plant roots. Here, we present a systematic...... model analysis of the oxygen transfer at such biological interfaces. We list the equations for the O2 distribution, the flux, the oxygen penetration distance (OPD), the oxygenated sediment volume, and the irrigational oxygen uptake (IOU) as a function of biological parameters, such as burrow/root radius...
Adeyeye, O A; Butler, J F
Burrows of the gopher tortoise, Gopherus polyphemus Daudin, were sampled for Ornithodoros turicata (Dugès) infestation using carbon dioxide baits and vacuum extraction. Ticks were captured, marked, released, and recaptured, and population estimates were made using the Lincoln index. Estimated population ranged from 47 to 1,338 ticks per burrow. The tick population consisted predominantly of nymphs, with a significant increase in the larval population during the months of June and July. Adult sex ratio was slightly male-biased, but numbers of adults collected were consistently low. Ticks exhibited a low interburrow movement, but depth preferences fluctuated with season; more ticks occurred in the upper strata of the burrows during the hot, humid months. PMID:2769706
Francoeur, Alex A; Dorgan, Kelly M
Muddy and sandy sediments have different physical properties. Muds are cohesive elastic solids, whereas granular beach sands are non-cohesive porous media. Infaunal organisms such as worms that burrow through sediments therefore face different mechanical challenges that potentially lead to a variety of burrowing strategies and morphologies. In this study we compared three morphologically distinct polychaete species representing different clades in the family Orbiniidae and related differences in their burrowing behaviors and morphologies to their natural environments (mud or sand). Worms burrowed in transparent analogs for muds and sands, and kinematic analysis showed differences both among species and between materials. Leitoscoloplos pugettensis lives in mud and burrows by fracture, using its pointed head to concentrate stress at the tip of the burrow. Naineris dendritica lives in sand and uses its broader head that fluctuates in width over a burrowing cycle to decrease backward slipping in sand, potentially preventing burrow collapse. Orbinia johnsoni lives in sand and uses internal body expansions to pack sand grains, another mechanism to prevent burrow collapse. By combining data from species and materials to obtain a broad range of burrowing velocities, we show that burrowing worms control their velocity by increasing or decreasing their burrowing frequency rather than by altering cycle distance as shown previously for crawling earthworms. This study demonstrates how fairly small evolutionary divergences in morphologies and behaviors facilitate locomotion in environments with different physical constraints. PMID:24797095
Brand, Andreas; Lewandowski, JöRg; Hamann, Enrico; Nützmann, Gunnar
Advective transport in the porous matrix of sediments surrounding burrows formed by fauna such as Chironomus plumosus has been generally neglected. A positron emission tomography study recently revealed that the pumping activity of the midge larvae can indeed induce fluid flow in the sediment. We present a numerical model study which explores the conditions at which advective transport in the sediment becomes relevant. A 0.15 m deep U-shaped burrow with a diameter of 0.002 m within the sediment was represented in a 3-D domain. Fluid flow in the burrow was calculated using the Navier-Stokes equation for incompressible laminar flow in the burrow, and flow in the sediment was described by Darcy's law. Nonreactive and reactive transport scenarios were simulated considering diffusion and advection. The pumping activity of the model larva results in considerable advective flow in the sediment at reasonable high permeabilities with flow velocities of up to 7.0 × 10-6 m s-1 close to the larva for a permeability of 3 × 10-12 m2. At permeabilities below 7 × 10-13 m2 advection is negligible compared to diffusion. Reactive transport simulations using first-order kinetics for oxygen revealed that advective flux into the sediment downstream of the pumping larva enhances sedimentary uptake, while the advective flux into the burrow upstream of the larvae inhibits diffusive sedimentary uptake. Despite the fact that both effects cancel each other with respect to total solute uptake, the advection-induced asymmetry in concentration distribution can lead to a heterogeneous solute and redox distribution in the sediment relevant to complex reaction networks.
Conway, C.J.; Garcia, V.; Smith, M.D.; Hughes, K.
Identifying causes of declines and evaluating effects of management practices on persistence of local populations of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) requires accurate estimates of abundance and population trends. Moreover, regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada typically require surveys to detect nest burrows prior to approving developments or other activities in areas that are potentially suitable for nesting burrowing owls. In general, guidelines on timing of surveys have been lacking and surveys have been conducted at different times of day and in different stages of the nesting cycle. We used logistic regression to evaluate 7 factors that could potentially affect probability of a surveyor detecting a burrowing owl nest. We conducted 1,444 detection trials at 323 burrowing owl nests within 3 study areas in Washington and Wyoming, USA, between February and August 2000-2002. Detection probability was highest during the nestling period and increased with ambient temperature. The other 5 factors that we examined (i.e., study area, time of day, timing within the breeding season, wind speed, % cloud cover) interacted with another factor to influence detection probability. Use of call-broadcast surveys increased detection probability, even during daylight hours when we detected >95% of owls visually. Optimal timing of surveys will vary due to differences in breeding phenology and differences in nesting behavior across populations. Nevertheless, we recommend ???3 surveys per year: one that coincides with the laying and incubation period, another that coincides with the early nestling period, and a third that coincides with the late nestling period. In northern latitudes, surveys can be conducted throughout the day.
Lantz, S.J.; Conway, C.J.; Anderson, S.H.
Some populations of western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) have declined in recent decades. To design and implement effective recovery efforts, we need a better understanding of how distribution and demographic traits are influenced by habitat quality. To this end, we measured spatial patterns of burrowing owl breeding habitat selection within black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in northeastern Wyoming, USA. We compared burrow-, site-, colony-, and landscape-scale habitat parameters between burrowing owl nest burrows (n = 105) and unoccupied burrows (n = 85). We sampled 4 types of prairie dog colonies: 1) owl-occupied, active with prairie dogs (n = 16); 2) owl-occupied, inactive (n = 13); 3) owl-unoccupied, active (n = 14); and 4) owl-unoccupied, inactive (n = 14). We used an information-theoretic approach to examine a set of candidate models of burrowing owl nest-site selection. The model with the most support included variables at all 4 spatial scales, and results were consistent among the 4 types of prairie dog colonies. Nest burrows had longer tunnels, more available burrows within 30 m, and less shrub cover within 30 m, more prairie dog activity within 100 m, and were closer to water than unoccupied burrows. The model correctly classified 76% of cases, all model coefficients were stable, and the model had high predictive ability. Based on our results, we recommend actions to ensure persistence of the remaining prairie dog colonies as an important management strategy for burrowing owl conservation in the Great Plains of North America.
Thomas, H. G.; Scantlebury, M.; Swanepoel, D.; Bateman, P. W.; Bennett, N. C.
Sociality in mole rats has been suggested to have evolved as a response to the widely dispersed food resources and the limited burrowing opportunities that result from sporadic rainfall events. In the most arid regions, individual foraging efficiency is reduced, and energetic constraints increase. In this study, we investigate seasonal differences in burrow architecture of the social Cryptomys hottentotus hottentotus in a mesic region. We describe burrow geometry in response to seasonal weather conditions for two seasons (wet and dry). Interactions occurred between seasons and colony size for the size of the burrow systems, but not the shape of the burrow systems. The fractal dimension values of the burrow systems did not differ between seasons. Thus, the burrow complexity was dependent upon the number of mole rats present in the social group.
Favaron, Phelipe O; Carter, Anthony Michael; Ambrosio, Carlos E; Morini, Adriana C; Mess, Andrea M; Oliveira, Moacir F; Miglino, Maria A
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Sigmondontinae, known as "New World rats and mice," is a large subfamily of Cricetidae for which we herein provide the first comprehensive investigation of the placenta. METHODS: Placentas of various gestational ages ranging from early pregnancy to near term were obtained fo...... subfamily of South American rodents. We note, however, that some of these rodents can be captive bred and recommend that future studies focus on the study of time dated pregnancies....
Winter, Amos G
This fluid dynamics video demonstrates the capabilities of an experimental setup to visualize organisms burrowing in granular substrates. The setup consists of a tank filled with 1mm soda-lime glass beads, backlit by halogen lights. The walls can be moved such that the space bound by them can expand or contract to fit various organisms. A recirculation system oxygenates and cools the salt water that flows through the substrate. The video shows the burrowing behavior of a razor clam (Ensis directus) and a quahog (Mercenaria mercenaria). Both animals inflate their foot with blood, making the foot a terminal anchor against which they pull their shell downwards. Deformation of the granular substrate can be seen around the animals as they advance downwards.
Sooknanan, K.; Doyle, J.; Kokaram, A.; Corrigan, D.; Wilson, J.; Harte, N.
Harvesting the commercially significant lobster,Nephrops norvegicus, is a multimillion dollar industry in Europe. Stock assessment is essential for maintaining this activity but it is conducted by manually inspecting hours of underwater surveillance videos. To improve this tedious process, we propose the use of mosaics for the automated detection of burrows on the seabed. We present novel approaches for handling the difficult lighting conditions that cause poor video quality in this kin...
Littles, C.J.; Williford, D.; Skoruppa, M.K.; Woodin, M.C.; Hickman, G.C.
Winter diets of the western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are little known. We determined the diet of western Burrowing Owls wintering in southern Texas by analyzing the contents of 182 pellets collected over four winters (1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, and 2003-2004) in three habitat types (agricultural, mainland grassland, and barrier island). Remains of a total of 7476 prey items were recovered, 98% of which were arthropods. Gryllidae (crickets) formed the largest component (50%) of the prey, followed by lepidopteran larvae (13%), beetles (8%), spiders (7%), and earwigs (6%). Although vertebrates, primarily small mammals and birds, represented only 2% of prey items by number, they represented most (71%) of the biomass. Northern pygmy mice (Baiomys taylori) and fulvous harvest mice (Reithrodontomys fulveccens) were the two most frequently consumed vertebrate species. In all habitats, arthropods, especially orthopterans, were the primary prey item by number, whereas vertebrates, primarily small mammals, were the most important by biomass. Greater consumption of arthropods by Burrowing Owls in agricultural areas may be a factor contributing to owl use of these highly altered environments. ?? 2007 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
Shaffer, Jill A; Thiele, Jason P.
Western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) populations have declined across much of western North America, particularly at the northern and eastern edges of the species’ breeding range (Martell et al. 2001, Murphy et al. 2001, Shyry et al. 2001, Skeel et al. 2001, Klute et al. 2003). In South Dakota, the burrowing owl is a summer resident that historically was relatively common throughout the state, but its range has decreased in recent decades, especially in the eastern half of the state (Whitney et al. 1978, South Dakota Ornithologists’ Union [SDOU] 1991, Peterson 1995). Tallman et al. (2002) described the species as uncommon to locally common in western South Dakota, uncommon in the north-central part of the state, and casual (i.e., not within the species’ normal range, but with 3–10 records in the past 10 years) elsewhere in the eastern half. The burrowing owl is a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks [SDGFP] 2006) and a Level I Priority Species in South Dakota (Bakker 2005).
Scobie, Corey; Wellicome, Troy; Bayne, Erin [Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta (Canada)], email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email: email@example.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Decline all over Canada in the population of burrowing owls, a federally listed endangered species, has raised concerns about the possible influence of petroleum infrastructure development on owl nocturnal space-use while foraging. Roads, wells, pipelines and sound-producing facilities related to petroleum development change the landscape and can influence the owls' mortality risk. For 3 years, 27 breeding adult male burrowing owls with nests close to different petroleum infrastructures were captured and fitted with a miniature GPS datalogger in order to track their nocturnal foraging. Data from these GPS devices were fed into a geographical information system and showed that pipelines and wells did not alter the foraging habits of the owls. Dirt and gravel roads, with little traffic, were preferentially selected by the owls, conceivably because of higher owl mortality risk along paved roads. Sound-producing facilities did not change owls' foraging behaviour, implying that sound may not affect their nocturnal space-use. Traffic data and sound power measurements will be used in further studies in an effort to better understand burrowing owls' nocturnal foraging habits.
Kaplan, D. T.; Opperman, C. H.
Burrowing nematodes from Central America, Dominican Republic, Florida, Guadeloupe, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico were characterized for their ability to parasitize citrus, but citrus parasites were found only in Florida. Sequence tag sites originally amplified from a citrus-parasitic burrowing nematode were polymorphic among 37 burrowing nematode isolates and were not correlated with citrus parasitism, nematode isolate collection site, or amplification of a 2.4-kb sequence tag site (DK#1). Results ...
Faircloth, Brant C; Title, Alexandra; Tan, Kevin; Welty, Justin; Belthoff, James R.; Gowaty, Patricia Adair
Western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are ground-dwelling owls distributed throughout western North America. Because of population declines, this species is considered endangered in Canada, and burrowing owls are listed as a species of conservation concern in states of the western USA. Korfanta et al. (2002) previously presented primers for seven microsatellite loci in burrowing owls. Parentage and relatedness studies require a larger number of markers for accuracy and precisio...
Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Mouatt, Julia Thidamarth Vilstrup; Raghavan, Maanasa;
The Capromyidae (hutias) are endemic rodents of the Caribbean and represent a model of dispersal for non-flying mammals in the Greater Antilles. This family has experienced severe extinctions during the Holocene and its phylogenetic affinities with respect to other caviomorph relatives are still ...
Tartus tegutsenud eksperimentaal-rock-duo Opium Flirt Eestisse jäänud liige Erki Hõbe (paarimees Ervin Trofimov tegutseb Ungaris) annab välja oma teise sooloalbumi nime all Multiphonic Rodent, heliplaadi "Astral Dance" esitluskontsert toimub 5. veebruaril Tallinnas baaris Juuksur
Shannon Sample; MarcAlbrecht
Objective: To determine the burrow morphology of Cardisoma guanhumi and to determine if a battery-powered fiber optic camera could be used to investigate these burrows. Methods: A portable fiber optic camera was used to investigate 116 active burrows. All burrows were categorized according to shape. The diameter of each burrow was also recorded and biomass calculations were completed at each study site. Results: Analysis showed that different study sites were more likely to have particular burrow shapes than expected. Three main types of burrows were classified as horizontal slide, short and shallow, and inverted-S. A Pearson Chi-square analysis revealed that burrow shape was not equally distributed across study sites (χ2 = 61.05, df = 18, P Conclusions: As the locations of juvenile individuals of this species are poorly known, and the species is both ecologically and economically important where it occurs, a greater understanding of burrow morphology and size segregation may help agencies be responsible for managing this natural resource to do so effectively.
Germann, D. P.; Schatz, W.; Hotz, Peter Eggenberger
dimensional (3D) objects, the first ever artificial evolution of a physical bivalve shell was performed. The result was a vertically flattened shell occupying only the top sediment layers. Insufficient control of the sediment was the major limitation of the setup and restricted the significance of the results......, there are almost no studies experimentally testing their dynamic properties. To investigate the functional morphology of the bivalve shell, we employed a synthetic methodology and built an experimental setup to simulate the burrowing process. Using an evolutionary algorithm and a printer that prints three...
Heron, S. F.; Ridd, P. V.
Animal burrows in mangrove swamps play an important role in the transport of various soluble materials, including salt. Flushing of burrows by inundating tides provides an efficient mechanism for the exchange of these materials. The density increase in the burrow, due to salt diffusion from pore water into the burrow, causes a greater resistance to the flushing. As the salinity difference between surface and burrow waters increases, the burrows no longer flush, and hydrostatic equilibrium exists between the different density waters. A flume experiment was conducted to compare burrow flushing characteristics with theoretical predictions. The results were consistent with a simple analytical theory in predicting whether burrows would flush. When equilibrium was attained, the difference between the interface depths was 10% greater than the theoretical prediction, which was within the experimental error. In addition, a comparison between a two-opening and a three-opening burrow showed that there was no benefit to the flushing capability due to additional openings. Computational fluid dynamic models were undertaken to compare with the experimental and theoretical flushing characteristics. These were also consistent with the flushing prediction theory. When equilibrium was attained, the difference between the interface depths in the model was 33% greater than the theoretical prediction. The computational study with an additional opening supported the experimental evidence that there is no advantage to the flushing. Insight into small-scale processes unable to be accurately observed could be obtained from the models, e.g. oscillations of density interfaces and turbulent scales at the burrow openings. The consistency in prediction of flushing between the theoretical, experimental and computational methods, now allows modelling of more complex burrow structures with great confidence.
Fjodorova, Natalja; Novič, Marjana
The rodent carcinogenicity dataset was compiled from the Carcinogenic Potency Database (CPDBAS) and was applied for the classification of quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models for the prediction of carcinogenicity based on the counter-propagation artificial neural network (CP ANN) algorithm. The models were developed within EU-funded project CAESAR for regulatory use. The dataset contains the following information: common information about chemicals (ID, chemical name, an...
Two species of indigenous, thalassinid burrowing shrimps are pests to the benthic culture of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) because deposition of sediment excavated by the shrimps buries or smothers the oysters. Carbaryl pesticide is used to reduce burrowing shrimp densitie...
Mokhtari, Mohammad; Abd Ghaffar, Mazlan; Usup, Gires; Che Cob, Zaidi
In mangrove ecosystems, litter fall accumulates as refractory organic carbon on the sediment surface and creates anoxic sediment layers. Fiddler crabs, through their burrowing activity, translocate oxygen into the anoxic layers and promote aerobic respiration, iron reduction and nitrification. In this study, the effects of four species of fiddler crabs (Uca triangularis, Uca rosea, Uca forcipata and Uca paradussumieri) on organic content, water content, porosity, redox potential and solid phase iron pools of mangrove sediments were investigated. In each crab's habitat, six cores down to 30 cm depth were taken from burrowed and non-burrowed sampling plots. Redox potential and oxidized iron pools were highest in surface sediment, while porosity, water and organic content were higher in deeper sediment. Reduced iron (Fe (II)) and redox potential were significantly different between burrowed and non-burrowed plots. Crab burrows extend the oxidized surface layer down to 4 cm depth and through the oxidation effect, reduce the organic content of sediments. The effects of burrows varied between the four species based on their shore location. The oxidation effect of burrows enhance the decomposition rate and stimulate iron reduction, which are processes that are expected to play an important role in biogeochemical properties of mangrove sediments. PMID:26797647
Full Text Available In mangrove ecosystems, litter fall accumulates as refractory organic carbon on the sediment surface and creates anoxic sediment layers. Fiddler crabs, through their burrowing activity, translocate oxygen into the anoxic layers and promote aerobic respiration, iron reduction and nitrification. In this study, the effects of four species of fiddler crabs (Uca triangularis, Uca rosea, Uca forcipata and Uca paradussumieri on organic content, water content, porosity, redox potential and solid phase iron pools of mangrove sediments were investigated. In each crab’s habitat, six cores down to 30 cm depth were taken from burrowed and non-burrowed sampling plots. Redox potential and oxidized iron pools were highest in surface sediment, while porosity, water and organic content were higher in deeper sediment. Reduced iron (Fe (II and redox potential were significantly different between burrowed and non-burrowed plots. Crab burrows extend the oxidized surface layer down to 4 cm depth and through the oxidation effect, reduce the organic content of sediments. The effects of burrows varied between the four species based on their shore location. The oxidation effect of burrows enhance the decomposition rate and stimulate iron reduction, which are processes that are expected to play an important role in biogeochemical properties of mangrove sediments.
Conway, Meaghan; Nadeau, Christopher P.; Conway, Courtney J.
Reviews of hatching asynchrony in birds recommended more studies on intraspecific variation in the extent of hatching asynchrony. We examined intraspecific variation in clutch size, laying chronology, onset of incubation, incubation period, and hatching asynchrony in burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) in the Imperial Valley of California. Mean clutch size was 7.4 eggs and owls averaged 0.5 eggs laid per day. Females varied considerably in laying interval and onset of incubation (range = 1st to 9th egg in the clutch). The mean incubation period was 21.9 days. Hatching interval also varied greatly among females (x = 0.8, range 0.1-2.0 days between successively hatched eggs). Past burrowing owl studies have largely overlooked the substantial intraspecific variation in these traits or have reported estimates that differ from ours. Future studies designed to identify the environmental factors that explain the large intraspecific variation in these traits will likely provide insights into the constraints on local abundance.
Boggs, D F; Birchard, G F; Kilgore, D L
1. Measurements of certain hematological and morphological characteristics were made in burrowing owls and bobwhite in search of features that could be associated with the previously described ventilatory adaptations of the burrowing owl to hypoxia and hypercarbia. 2. Values for burrowing owls and bobwhite, respectively, were: P50 = 44.9, 46.0 torr; Hct = 36.6, 38.8 vol%, Hb = 12, 12.3 (g/100 ml); RBC = 2.72 X 10(6), 3.02 X 10(6); log P50/pH = -0.412, -0.485; delta log PCO2/delta pH = -1.39, -1.585. 3. The owls had greater heart weights and smaller tracheal volumes than the bobwhite or the predicted value. 4. No hematological characteristics of the burrowing bird distinguish it from the non-burrowing bird. PMID:6132713
Bonner, Phillip Cullison; Schmidt, Wolf-Peter; Belmain, Steven R; Oshin, Babafemi; Baglole, Debbie; Borchert, Matthias
Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever endemic in parts of West Africa, is a severe febrile illness transmitted to humans by the rodent Mastomys natalensis. To determine risk of Lassa fever in households in Sierra Leonean refugee camps, we analyzed the spatial relationships between households with a Lassa case and focal locations of potential rodent habitats. Quality and hygiene factors of households were assessed to determine possible risk factors for household rodent infestation and occurrence of Lassa fever. The odds to have a rat burrow were higher in case houses than in control houses (OR 24, 95% CI 6.0-93). Case houses scored significantly worse in the quality of housing and external hygiene. These findings suggest that risk of Lassa fever in refugee camps depends on individual housing quality and the hygiene of the immediate surrounding environment. PMID:17620650
Clifton, H.E.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Rapp, J.B.
A series of experiments in Willapa Bay, Washington, indicates the degree to which the presence of spilled oil modifies the burrowing behavior of infauna and the extent to which the animals redistribute oil into intertidal sediment. Small amounts of North Slope crude oil introduced at low tide directly into burrow openings (mostly made by the crustacean Callianassa) resulted in a limited and temporary reduction in the number of burrow openings. In contrast, a layer of oil-saturated sand 1 cm thick buried about 5 cm below the sediment surface sharply reduced the number of burrow openings. After a year, the few new burrows penetrated only the margins of the experimental plot, and bioturbation below the buried oil-saturated sand layer declined dramatically. The experiments suggest that small amounts of oil temporarily stranded by tides in themselves have no long-range effect on burrowing behavior. The fauna, however, are capable of introducing measurable amounts of oil into the subsurface, where it is retained long after the rest of the stranded oil had washed away. A buried layer of oil-saturated sand greatly reduces infaunal activity; the oil presents an effective barrier that can persist for years. The oil incorporated into the sediment from burrow openings showed evidence of degradation after 7 months. In contrast the layer of buried oil remained essentially undergraded after a period of two years, even though oil in lower concentrations above the layer was degraded after a period of one year. This variation in degree of degradation of the buried oil, as well as the heterogeneity of oil distribution wherever the oil has been incorporated from the surface, emphasises the importance of careful sampling in any attempt to locate or monitor the presence of spilled oil in the substrate.In a series of experiments in Willapa Bay, Washington, small amounts of North Slope crude oil introduced at low tide directly into burrow openings resulted in a limited and temporary
Maginniss, L A; Kilgore, D L
Isocapnic O2 equilibrium curves (O2ECs) were generated for whole blood of 4 adult burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) using thin film techniques. At in vivo pHa (7.49 +/- 0.02; mean +/- 1 SEM) and 41 degrees C, the PO2 at half saturation (P50) was 42.3 +/- 0.8 Torr. CO2 and fixed acid (H+) Bohr slopes (delta log P50/delta pH) were -0.46 +/- 0.01 and -0.42 +/- 0.02, respectively, demonstrating a small specific CO2 effect. CO2 and H+ Bohr slopes were saturation-independent between 0.1 and 0.9 S. Hill plots for Athene blood were non-linear; the Hill coefficient (n) increased from 2.6 below 0.4 S to 3.4 above 0.6 S. Owl equilibrium data were accurately described by the equation: S = [(7.7 x 10(6]/(P4 + 44P3 - 108P2 + 3.5 x 10(4)P) + 1]-1. This complex O2EC shape may result from Hb heterogeneity; isoelectric focusing showed 4 isoHbs with a molar ratio of 9:1:1:1. This study revealed no apparent adaptations of Athene blood for hypoxic and hypercapnic conditions. We conclude that the observed blood O2 binding properties promote tissue O2 delivery during periods of surface activity. While occupying its burrow, the owl compensates for moderate alterations in inspired gas composition partly through increased ventilation. PMID:2749025
Che, James; Dorgan, Kelly M
Burrowing marine infauna are morphologically diverse and range in size over several orders of magnitude. Whilst effects of ontogenetic and morphological differences on running, flying and swimming are relatively well understood, similar analyses of burrowing mechanics and kinematics are lacking. The polychaete Nereis virens Sars extends its burrow by fracture, using an eversible pharynx to exert force on the walls of the burrow. The resulting stress is amplified at the anterior tip of the burrow, which extends when the stress exceeds the fracture toughness of the material. Here we show that the polychaete Cirriformia moorei extends its burrow by a similar mechanism, but by using its hydrostatic skeleton rather than an eversible pharynx. Based on the dimensionless wedge number, which relates work of fracture to work to maintain body shape against the elasticity of sediment, we predicted that smaller worms would exhibit behaviors characteristic of tougher sediments and that scaling of kinematics would reflect decreasing difficulty in fracturing sediment with increasing body size. We found that smaller worms were relatively blunter and thicker, and had a greater variation of thickness than larger worms as they burrowed. Although these kinematic differences increase the stress amplification at the crack tip, smaller worms still generate lower stress intensity factors. The greater relative body thickness and shape changes of smaller worms are consistent with ontogenetic changes in forces exerted by earthworms, and are likely driven by the challenge of exerting enough stress to extend a crack with a small body size. PMID:20348335
Full Text Available Fossorialism is a beneficial adaptation for brooding, predator avoidance and protection from extreme climate. The abundance of fossilised burrow casts from the Early Triassic of southern Africa is viewed as a behavioural response by many tetrapods to the harsh conditions following the Permo-Triassic mass-extinction event. However, scarcity of vertebrate remains associated with these burrows leaves many ecological questions unanswered. Synchrotron scanning of a lithified burrow cast from the Early Triassic of the Karoo unveiled a unique mixed-species association: an injured temnospondyl amphibian (Broomistega that sheltered in a burrow occupied by an aestivating therapsid (Thrinaxodon. The discovery of this rare rhinesuchid represents the first occurrence in the fossil record of a temnospondyl in a burrow. The amphibian skeleton shows signs of a crushing trauma with partially healed fractures on several consecutive ribs. The presence of a relatively large intruder in what is interpreted to be a Thrinaxodon burrow implies that the therapsid tolerated the amphibian's presence. Among possible explanations for such unlikely cohabitation, Thrinaxodon aestivation is most plausible, an interpretation supported by the numerous Thrinaxodon specimens fossilised in curled-up postures. Recent advances in synchrotron imaging have enabled visualization of the contents of burrow casts, thus providing a novel tool to elucidate not only anatomy but also ecology and biology of ancient tetrapods.
The amount and rate at which water may penetrate a protective barrier and come into contact with buried radioactive waste is a major concern. Because burrowing animals eventually will reside on the surface of any protective barrier, the effect these burrow systems may have on the loss or retention of water needs to be determined. The first section of this document summarizes the known literature relative to small mammals and the effects that burrowing activities have on water distribution, infiltration, and the overall impact of burrows on the ecosystem. Topics that are summarized include burrow air pressures, airflow, burrow humidity, microtopography, mounding, infiltration, climate, soil evaporation, and discussions of large pores relative to water distribution. The second section of this document provides the results of the study that was conducted at the Hanford Site to determine what effect small mammal burrows have on water storage. This Biointrusion task is identified in the Permanent Isolation Surface Barrier Development Plan in support of protective barriers. This particular animal intrusion task is one part of the overall animal intrusion task identified in Animal Intrusion Test Plan
Taylor, Joe D; Cunliffe, Michael
Previous studies have shown that the bioturbating polychaete Hediste (Nereis) diversicolor can affect the composition of bacterial communities in oil-contaminated sediments, but have not considered diversity specifically within bioturbator burrows or the impact on microbial eukaryotes. We tested the hypothesis that H. diversicolor burrows harbour different eukaryotic and bacterial communities compared with un-bioturbated sediment, and that bioturbation stimulates oil degradation. Oil-contaminated sediment was incubated with or without H. diversicolor for 30 days, after which sediment un-affected by H. diversicolor and burrow DNA/RNA samples were analysed using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (Q-RT-PCR) and high-throughput sequencing. Fungi dominated both burrow and un-bioturbated sediment sequence libraries; however, there was significant enrichment of bacterivorous protists and nematodes in the burrows. There were also significant differences between the bacterial communities in burrows compared with un-bioturbated sediment. Increased activity and relative abundance of aerobic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria in the burrows coincided with the significant reduction in hydrocarbon concentration in the bioturbated sediment. This study represents the first detailed assessment of the effect of bioturbation on total microbial communities in oil-contaminated sediments. In addition, it further shows that bioturbation is a significant factor in determining microbial diversity within polluted sediments and plays an important role in stimulating bioremediation. PMID:25858418
Adams, Amanda M; Marais, Eugene; Turner, J Scott; Prendini, Lorenzo; Pinshow, Berry
Many animals reside in burrows that may serve as refuges from predators and adverse environmental conditions. Burrow design varies widely among and within taxa, and these structures are adaptive, fulfilling physiological (and other) functions. We examined the burrow architecture of three scorpion species of the family Scorpionidae: Scorpio palmatus from the Negev desert, Israel; Opistophthalmus setifrons, from the Central Highlands, Namibia; and Opistophthalmus wahlbergii from the Kalahari desert, Namibia. We hypothesized that burrow structure maintains temperature and soil moisture conditions optimal for the behavior and physiology of the scorpion. Casts of burrows, poured in situ with molten aluminum, were scanned in 3D to quantify burrow structure. Three architectural features were common to the burrows of all species: (1) a horizontal platform near the ground surface, long enough to accommodate the scorpion, located just below the entrance, 2-5 cm under the surface, which may provide a safe place where the scorpion can monitor the presence of potential prey, predators, and mates and where the scorpion warms up before foraging; (2) at least two bends that might deter incursion by predators and may reduce convective ventilation, thereby maintaining relatively high humidity and low temperature; and (3) an enlarged terminal chamber to a depth at which temperatures are almost constant (±2-4 °C). These common features among the burrows of three different species suggest that they are important for regulating the physical environment of their inhabitants and that burrows are part of scorpions' "extended physiology" (sensu Turner, Physiol Biochem Zool 74:798-822, 2000). PMID:27312362
Adams, Amanda M.; Marais, Eugene; Turner, J. Scott; Prendini, Lorenzo; Pinshow, Berry
Many animals reside in burrows that may serve as refuges from predators and adverse environmental conditions. Burrow design varies widely among and within taxa, and these structures are adaptive, fulfilling physiological (and other) functions. We examined the burrow architecture of three scorpion species of the family Scorpionidae: Scorpio palmatus from the Negev desert, Israel; Opistophthalmus setifrons, from the Central Highlands, Namibia; and Opistophthalmus wahlbergii from the Kalahari desert, Namibia. We hypothesized that burrow structure maintains temperature and soil moisture conditions optimal for the behavior and physiology of the scorpion. Casts of burrows, poured in situ with molten aluminum, were scanned in 3D to quantify burrow structure. Three architectural features were common to the burrows of all species: (1) a horizontal platform near the ground surface, long enough to accommodate the scorpion, located just below the entrance, 2-5 cm under the surface, which may provide a safe place where the scorpion can monitor the presence of potential prey, predators, and mates and where the scorpion warms up before foraging; (2) at least two bends that might deter incursion by predators and may reduce convective ventilation, thereby maintaining relatively high humidity and low temperature; and (3) an enlarged terminal chamber to a depth at which temperatures are almost constant (±2-4 °C). These common features among the burrows of three different species suggest that they are important for regulating the physical environment of their inhabitants and that burrows are part of scorpions' "extended physiology" ( sensu Turner, Physiol Biochem Zool 74:798-822, 2000).
Faller, Matej; Harvey, Gemma L; Henshaw, Alexander J; Bertoldi, Walter; Bruno, Maria Cristina; England, Judy
Invasive species generate significant global environmental and economic costs and represent a particularly potent threat to freshwater systems. The biogeomorphic impacts of invasive aquatic and riparian species on river processes and landforms remain largely unquantified, but have the potential to generate significant sediment management issues within invaded catchments. Several species of invasive (non-native) crayfish are known to burrow into river banks and visual evidence of river bank damage is generating public concern and media attention. Despite this, there is a paucity of understanding of burrow distribution, biophysical controls and the potential significance of this problem beyond a small number of local studies at heavily impacted sites. This paper presents the first multi-catchment analysis of this phenomenon, combining existing data on biophysical river properties and invasive crayfish observations with purpose-designed field surveys across 103 river reaches to derive key trends. Crayfish burrows were observed on the majority of reaches, but burrowing tended to be patchy in spatial distribution, concentrated in a small proportion (bank biophysical properties than by reach-scale properties, and burrowed banks were more likely to be characterised by cohesive bank material, steeper bank profiles with large areas of bare bank face, often on outer bend locations. Burrow excavation alone has delivered a considerable amount of sediment to invaded river systems in the surveyed sites (3tkm(-1) impacted bank) and this represents a minimum contribution and certainly an underestimate of the absolute yield (submerged burrows were not recorded). Furthermore, burrowing was associated with bank profiles that were either actively eroding or exposed to fluvial action and/or mass failure processes, providing the first quantitative evidence that invasive crayfish may cause or accelerate river bank instability and erosion in invaded catchments beyond the scale of
Skoruppa, M.K.; Pearce, B.; Woodin, M.C.; Hickman, G.C.
Fifteen Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) were captured over two winters (2001-2003) in southern Texas and examined for ectoparasites. Four of the 15 owls (27%) harbored feather lice, and the maximum number of lice found on any individual was ??? three. Two species of feather lice were found: Colpocephalum pectinatum occurred on three of the owls, and Strigiphilus speotyti was found on four owls. No fleas or other ectoparasites were found on any of the Burrowing Owls. The low diversity and numbers of ectoparasites suggest that ectoparasites are not threatening the health of wintering Burrowing Owls in southern Texas.
Brust, Vera; Bastian, Hans-Valentin; Bastian, Anita; Schmoll, Tim
Re-occupation of existing nesting burrows in the European bee-eater Merops apiaster has only rarely - and if so mostly anecdotically - been documented in the literature record, although such behavior would substantially save time and energy. In this study, we quantify burrow re-occupation in a German colony over a period of eleven years and identify ecological variables determining reuse probability. Of 179 recorded broods, 54% took place in a reused burrow and the overall probability that one of 75 individually recognized burrows would be reused in a given subsequent year was estimated as 26.4%. This indicates that between-year burrow reuse is a common behavior in the study colony which contrasts with findings from studies in other colonies. Furthermore, burrow re-occupation probability declined highly significantly with increasing age of the breeding wall. Statistical separation of within- and between-burrow effects of the age of the breeding wall revealed that a decline in re-occupation probability with individual burrow age was responsible for this and not a selective disappearance of burrows with high re-occupation probability over time. Limited duty cycles of individual burrows may be caused by accumulating detritus or decreasing stability with increasing burrow age. Alternatively, burrow fidelity may presuppose pair fidelity which may also explain the observed restricted burrow reuse duty cycles. A consequent next step would be to extend our within-colony approach to other colonies and compare the ecological circumstances under which bee-eaters reuse breeding burrows. PMID:26355473
Full Text Available The nocturnal desert detritivore Parastiz.opus armaticeps shows differences in surface activity patterns and burrow fidelity depending on surface humidity. After rain approximately half of the beetle population, independent of sex, is highly vagile and disperses over long distances. During drought, beetles are more sedentary and show higher burrow fidelity. They also inhabit burrows that are longer and deeper than non-inhabited ones, such burrows being relatively scarce. Burrow fidelity and the adoption of a more sedentary habit during drought are considered strategies to avoid the risks of not locating a suitable burrow before sunrise and subsequent desiccation in shallow burrows.
Holroyd, G. L.; Trefry, H. E.
Migration and dispersal are important ecological and evolutionary processes and understanding them is a requirement for species conservation efforts. Burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia, the North American equivalent of little owl, A. noctua, is migratory in the northern parts of its range. In Canada their populations have declined dramatically and are classified as endangered. Movements of burrowing owls have been studied using banding (ringing), VHF telemetry, stable isotopes, genetics (DNA),...
Breininger, David R.; Schmalzer, Paul A.; Hinkle, C. Ross
One hundred twelve plots were established in coastal scrub and slash pine flatwoods habitats on the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to evaluate relationships between the number of burrows and gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) density. All burrows were located within these plots and were classified according to tortoise activity. Depending on season, bucket trapping, a stick method, a gopher tortoise pulling device, and a camera system were used to estimate tortoise occupancy. Correction factors (% of burrows occupied) were calculated by season and habitat type. Our data suggest that less than 20% of the active and inactive burrows combined were occupied during seasons when gopher tortoises were active. Correction factors were higher in poorly-drained areas and lower in well-drained areas during the winter, when gopher tortoise activity was low. Correction factors differed from studies elsewhere, indicating that population estimates require correction factors specific to the site and season to accurately estimate population size.
Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior — This map shows the potential current distribution of burrowing owl, in the context of current and near-term terrestrial intactness and long-term potential for...
Hall, Derek B. [NSTec; Greger, Paul D. [NSTec
We used motion-activated cameras to monitor the reproduction and patterns of activity of the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) above ground at 45 burrows in south-central Nevada during the breeding seasons of 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2005. The 37 broods, encompassing 180 young, raised over the four years represented an average of 4.9 young per successful breeding pair. Young and adult owls were detected at the burrow entrance at all times of the day and night, but adults were detected more frequently during afternoon/early evening than were young. Motion-activated cameras require less effort to implement than other techniques. Limitations include photographing only a small percentage of owl activity at the burrow; not detecting the actual number of eggs, young, or number fledged; and not being able to track individual owls over time. Further work is also necessary to compare the accuracy of productivity estimates generated from motion-activated cameras with other techniques.
Baastrup, C. S.; Wegener, Gregers; Finnerup, N. B.
depressive flinders rats. Method: 10 flinders resistant (FRL) and 10 flinders sensitive (FSL) female rats were individually placed in a test cage with a hollow pipe (diameter: 10 cm, length: 25 cm) filled with approx. 2.5 kg of 4-7 mm grabble. The weight of displaced grabble in 1 hour served as primary...... order to have face-validity as an assay of 'rat quality of life' the method must also be sensitive in other types of disease models like anxiety and depression, where a decreased rQoL would also be expected. Aim of study: To investigate if decreased burrowing behavior is observed in the genetically...... of each drug. Results: The genetically depressive FSL rats did not burrow less than FRL control rats. Treatment with imipramin or citalopram-S did not change the burrowing behavior of the FSL rats. In contrast treatment with imipramin and citalopram-S unexpectedly decreased the burrowing behavior in...
We investigated the effects of mild hypoxia on the burrowing behavior of three marine species (the hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria, the polychaete worm Nereis virens, and the amphipod Leptocheirus plumulosus) and consequent effects on sediment redox profiles. Animals were introdu...
Mazumdar, A.; Joshi, R.K.; Peketi, A.; Kocherla, M.
) tubular burrow casts are also present. Filled tubes with speites are occasionally observed. (Fig. 2 j and k). Polished, transverse cross sections (Fig. 2 l) of the burrow casts show uniform pellets filling without any discernible inner burrow wall. 4...) Carbonate tubes showing spreites like structures (arrows), (l) Polished cross section of burrow cast showing homogenous pellet filling and absence of any inner burrow wall. Figure 3. Morphology and texture of the carbonate faecal pellets. (a) Faecal...
Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary K.; Hickman, Graham C.
This study examines the winter ecology of the western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) in five Texas counties surrounding Corpus Christi, in southern Texas. There is a substantial gap in information on the owl's life cycle during migration and non-breeding winter months; almost all previous research on western burrowing owls has been conducted during the breeding season. The western burrowing owl currently is federally threatened in Mexico, federally endangered in Canada, and in the United States is considered a National Bird of Conservation Concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Topics investigated included status, effectiveness of public outreach, roost sites and use of culverts and artificial burrows, roost site fidelity, diet, contaminant burdens, body mass, and ectoparasites. Early ornithological reports and a museum egg set revealed that burrowing owls once bred in southern Texas and were common in winter; however, since the 1950's they have been reported in relatively low numbers and only during winter. In this study, public outreach increased western burrowing owl detections by 68 percent. Owls selected winter roost sites with small-diameter openings, including culverts less than or equal to 16 centimeters and artificial burrows of 15 centimeters, probably because the small diameters deterred mammalian predators. Owls showed strong roost site fidelity; 15 banded birds stayed at the same roost sites within a winter, and 8 returned to the same site the following winter. The winter diet was over 90 percent insects, with crickets the primary prey. Analyses of invertebrate prey and regurgitated pellets showed that residues of all but 3 of 28 carbamate and organophosphate pesticides were detected at least once, but all were below known lethal concentrations. Mean body mass of western burrowing owls was 168 grams and was highest in midwinter. Feather lice were detected in low numbers on a few owls, but no fleas or other ectoparasites were found.
Troy I. Wellicome; Danielle Todd, L; Poulin, Ray G; Holroyd, Geoffrey L; Fisher, Ryan J
Abstract Food availability is an important limiting factor for avian reproduction. In altricial birds, food limitation is assumed to be more severe during the nestling stage than during laying or incubation, but this has yet to be adequately tested. Using food-supplementation experiments over a 5-year period, we determined the degree and timing of food limitation for burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) breeding in Canada. Burrowing owls are an endangered species and food limitation during the...
Grill, Susann; Dorgan, Kelly M
Worms of different sizes extend burrows through muddy sediments by fracture, applying dorso-ventral forces that are amplified at the crack tip. Smaller worms displace sediments less than larger worms and therefore are limited in how much force they can apply to burrow walls. We hypothesized that small worms would exhibit a transition in burrowing mechanics, specifically a lower limit in body size for the ability to burrow by fracture, corresponding with an ontogenetic transition in muscle morphology. Kinematics of burrowing in a mud analog, external morphology and muscle arrangement were examined in juveniles and adults of the small polychaete Capitella sp. We found that it moves by peristalsis, and no obvious differences were observed among worms of different sizes; even very small juveniles were able to burrow through a clear mud analog by fracture. Interestingly, we found that in addition to longitudinal and circular muscles needed for peristaltic movements, left- and right-handed helical muscles wrap around the thorax of worms of all sizes. We suggest that in small worms helical muscles may function to supplement forces generated by longitudinal muscles and to maintain hydrostatic pressure, enabling higher forces to be exerted on the crack wall. Further research is needed, however, to determine whether surficial sediments inhabited by small worms fail by fracture or plastically deform under forces of the magnitudes applied by Capitella sp. PMID:25827841
Hale, Rachel; Boardman, Richard; Mavrogordato, Mark N; Sinclair, Ian; Tolhurst, Trevor J; Solan, Martin
The architecture of biogenic structures can be highly influential in determining species contributions to major soil and sediment processes, but detailed 3-D characterisations are rare and descriptors of form and complexity are lacking. Here we provide replicate high-resolution micro-focus computed tomography (μ-CT) data for the complete burrow systems of three co-occurring, but functionally contrasting, sediment-dwelling inter-tidal invertebrates assembled alone, and in combination, in representative model aquaria. These data (≤ 2,000 raw image slices aquarium(-1), isotropic voxel resolution, 81 μm) provide reference models that can be used for the development of novel structural analysis routines that will be of value within the fields of ecology, pedology, geomorphology, palaeobiology, ichnology and mechanical engineering. We also envisage opportunity for those investigating transport networks, vascular systems, plant rooting systems, neuron connectivity patterns, or those developing image analysis or statistics related to pattern or shape recognition. The dataset will allow investigators to develop or test novel methodology and ideas without the need to generate a complete three-dimensional computation of exemplar architecture. PMID:26396743
Meerburg, Dr Bastiaan G; Brom, Prof Frans W A; Kijlstra, Prof. Aize
Because western societies generally see animals as objects of moral concern, demands have been made on the way they are treated, e.g. during animal experimentation. In the case of rodent pests, however, inhumane control methods are often applied. This inconsistency in the human-animal relationship requires clarification. This paper analyses the criteria that must be met when judging the use of animals during experiments, and investigates whether these can be applied in rodent control. This is...
Howald, Gregg; Donlan, C Josh; Galván, Juan Pablo; Russell, James C; Parkes, John; Samaniego, Araceli; Wang, Yiwei; Veitch, Dick; Genovesi, Piero; Pascal, Michel; Saunders, Alan; Tershy, Bernie
Invasive mammals are the greatest threat to island biodiversity and invasive rodents are likely responsible for the greatest number of extinctions and ecosystem changes. Techniques for eradicating rodents from islands were developed over 2 decades ago. Since that time there has been a significant development and application of this conservation tool. We reviewed the literature on invasive rodent eradications to assess its current state and identify actions to make it more effective. Worldwide, 332 successful rodent eradications have been undertaken; we identified 35 failed eradications and 20 campaigns of unknown result. Invasive rodents have been eradicated from 284 islands (47,628 ha). With the exception of two small islands, rodenticides were used in all eradication campaigns. Brodifacoum was used in 71% of campaigns and 91% of the total area treated. The most frequent rodenticide distribution methods (from most to least) are bait stations, hand broadcasting, and aerial broadcasting. Nevertheless, campaigns using aerial broadcast made up 76% of the total area treated. Mortality of native vertebrates due to nontarget poisoning has been documented, but affected species quickly recover to pre-eradication population levels or higher. A variety of methods have been developed to mitigate nontarget impacts, and applied research can further aid in minimizing impacts. Land managers should routinely remove invasive rodents from islands <100 ha that lack vertebrates susceptible to nontarget poisoning. For larger islands and those that require nontarget mitigation, expert consultation and greater planning effort are needed. With the exception of house mice (Mus musculus), island size may no longer be the limiting factor for rodent eradications; rather, social acceptance and funding may be the main challenges. To be successful, large-scale rodent campaigns should be integrated with programs to improve the livelihoods of residents, island biosecurity, and reinvasion response
Hyeong Kyu Park; Ahima, Rexford S.
Obesity is characterized by excess accumulation of lipids in adipose tissue and other organs, and chronic inflammation associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases are major health concerns. Resistin was first discovered as an adipose-secreted hormone (adipokine) linked to obesity and insulin resistance in rodents. Adipocyte-derived resistin is increased in obese rodents and strongly related to insulin resis...
Clarissa K. Noro
Full Text Available Parastacus defossus Faxon, 1898 is a fossorial crayfish species, which constructs its burrows in swampy areas in southeast Uruguay and in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The present field study was carried out in Lami, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, from May 2003 through August 2005. Environmental measurements (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and water-table depth of the water in the galleries were made monthly. Burrow morphology was analyzed by means of resin and gypsum casts. The spatial distribution and changes in the number and shape of the surface openings over time were observed in a 100 m² area. To estimate the spatial distribution of the openings, the observed distribution was compared with the expected distribution predicted by the Poisson and Negative Binomial frequency-distribution models. The adult population density was estimated by direct observation of burrows and counts in the study area. Inside the burrows of P. defossus, the water temperature ranged between 16.6°C (autumn 2004 and 23°C (spring 2003. The water was hypoxic and slightly acidic, and the dissolved oxygen content was very low (mean 1.43 mg/l (18.2% saturation. The soil with burrows had higher percentages of coarse sand, fine sand, and silt. The spatial distribution of the openings showed a significant fit to the Negative Binomial distribution, indicating that the distribution of the openings is aggregated, as confirmed from the burrow morphology. The galleries are always formed by a central tunnel with multiple branchings that connect the underground water to the soil surface by one or more openings, which can be recognized by the chimneys. From knowledge of the burrow morphology, the population density was estimated to be about 120 individuals/100 m².
Smith, M.D.; Conway, C.J.
Animals have evolved an impressive array of behavioural traits to avoid depredation. Olfactory camouflage of conspicuous odours is a strategy to avoid depredation that has been implicated only in a few species of birds. Burrowing owls, Athene cunicularia, routinely collect dried manure from mammals and scatter it in their nest chamber, in the tunnel leading to their nest and at the entrance to their nesting burrow. This unusual behaviour was thought to reduce nest depredation by concealing the scent of adults and juveniles, but a recent study suggests that manure functions to attract arthropod prey. However, burrowing owls routinely scatter other materials in the same way that they scatter manure, and this fact seems to be at odds with both of these hypotheses. Thus, we examined the function of this behaviour by testing four alternative hypotheses. We found no support for the widely cited olfactory-camouflage hypothesis (manure did not lower the probability of depredation), or for the mate-attraction hypothesis (males collected manure after, not before, pair formation). Predictions of the burrow-occupied hypothesis (manure indicates occupancy to conspecifics and thereby reduces agonistic interactions) were supported, but results were not statistically significant. Our results also supported several predictions of the prey-attraction hypothesis. Pitfall traps at sampling sites with manure collected more arthropod biomass (of taxa common in the diet of burrowing owls) than pitfall traps at sampling sites without manure. Scattering behaviour of burrowing owls appears to function to attract arthropod prey, but may also signal occupancy of a burrow to conspecifics. ?? 2006 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
Lawrence, J.M.; Murdoch, J.
Chiridota rigida (Semper) burrows easily into well-sorted substrata, moving between particles in coarse substrata and pushing aside particles in fine substrata. Chiridota rigida does not burrow easily into poorly sorted substrata because spaces which can be penetrated are not available and because the particles cannot be moved as a result of increased stability of the substratum. In poorly sorted substrata, burrowing ability increases with increases in the proportion of fine particles. It would appear that the distribution and abundance of chiridota rigida and other chiridotids would be affected by the effect of the substratum on their ability to burrow.
Full Text Available Wind turbines in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (Alameda/Contra Costa Counties, California, USA generate about 730 GWh of electricity annually, but have been killing thousands of birds each year, including >2,000 raptors and hundreds of burrowing owls. We have developed collision hazard maps and hazard ratings of wind turbines to guide relocation of existing wind turbines and careful repowering to modern turbines to reduce burrowing owl fatalities principally, and other birds secondarily. Burrowing owls selected burrow sites lower on slopes and on smaller, shallower slopes than represented by the average 10 × 10 m2 grid cell among 187,908 grid cells sampled from 2,281,169 grid cells comprising a digital elevation model (DEM of the study area. Fuzzy logic and discriminant function analysis produced likelihood surfaces encompassing most burrowing owl burrows within a fraction of the study area, and the former corresponded with burrowing owl fatalities and the latter with other raptor fatalities. Our ratings of wind turbine hazard were more predictive of burrowing owl fatalities, but would be more difficult to implement. Careful repowering to modern wind turbines would most reduce fatalities of burrowing owls and other birds while adding about 1,000 GWh annually toward California’s 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Viola, Sloane M.; Hubbard, David M.; Dugan, Jenifer E.; Schooler, Nicholas K.
Beach nourishment is often considered the most environmentally sound method of maintaining eroding shorelines. However, the ecological consequences are poorly understood. Fill activities cause intense disturbance and high mortality and have the potential to alter the diversity, abundance, and distribution of intertidal macroinvertebrates for months to years. Ecological recovery following fill activities depends on successful recolonization and recruitment of the entire sandy intertidal community. The use of incompatible sediments as fill material can strongly affect ecosystem recovery. We hypothesized that burrowing inhibition of intertidal animals by incompatible fine fill sediments contributes to ecological impacts and limits recovery in beach ecosystems. We experimentally investigated the influence of intertidal zone and burrowing mode on responses of beach invertebrates to altered sediment texture (28-38% fines), and ultimately the potential for colonization and recovery of beaches disturbed by beach filling. Using experimental trials in fill material and natural beach sand, we found that the mismatched fine fill sediments significantly inhibited burrowing of characteristic species from all intertidal zones, including sand crabs, clams, polychaetes, isopods, and talitrid amphipods. Burrowing performance of all five species we tested was consistently reduced in the fill material and burrowing was completely inhibited for several species. The threshold for burrowing inhibition by fine sediment content in middle and lower beach macroinvertebrates varied by species, with highest sensitivity for the polychaete (4% fines, below the USA regulatory limit of 10% fines), followed by sand crabs and clams (20% fines). These results suggest broader investigation of thresholds for burrowing inhibition in fine fill material is needed for beach animals. Burrowing inhibition caused by mismatched fill sediments exposes beach macroinvertebrates to stresses, which could depress
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The African mole-rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia are strictly subterranean, congenitally microphthalmic rodents that are hardly ever exposed to environmental light. Because of the lack of an overt behavioural reaction to light, they have long been considered to be blind. However, recent anatomical studies have suggested retention of basic visual capabilities. In this study, we employed behavioural tests to find out if two mole-rat species are able to discriminate between light and dark, if they are able to discriminate colours and, finally, if the presence of light in burrows provokes plugging behaviour, which is assumed to have a primarily anti-predatory function. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: We used a binary choice test to show that the silvery mole-rat Heliophobius argenteocinereus and the giant mole-rat Fukomys mechowii exhibit a clear photoavoidance response to full-spectrum ("white", blue and green-yellow light, but no significant reaction to ultraviolet or red light during nest building. The mole-rats thus retain dark/light discrimination capabilities and a capacity to perceive short to medium-wavelength light in the photopic range of intensities. These findings further suggest that the mole-rat S opsin has its absorption maximum in the violet/blue part of the spectrum. The assay did not yield conclusive evidence regarding colour discrimination. To test the putative role of vision in bathyergid anti-predatory behaviour, we examined the reaction of mole-rats to the incidence of light in an artificial burrow system. The presence of light in the burrow effectively induced plugging of the illuminated tunnel. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that the photopic vision is conserved and that low acuity residual vision plays an important role in predator avoidance and tunnel maintenance in the African mole-rats.
Fisher, Joshua B.; Trulio, Lynne A.; Biging, Gregory S.; Chromczak, Debra
Analysis tools that combine large spatial and temporal scales are necessary for efficient management of wildlife species, such as the burrowing owl ( Athene cunicularia). We assessed the ability of Ripley’s K-function analysis integrated into a geographic information system (GIS) to determine changes in burrowing owl nest clustering over two years at NASA Ames Research Center. Specifically, we used these tools to detect changes in spatial and temporal nest clustering before, during, and after conducting management by mowing to maintain low vegetation height at nest burrows. We found that the scale and timing of owl nest clustering matched the scale and timing of our conservation management actions over a short time frame. While this study could not determine a causal link between mowing and nest clustering, we did find that Ripley’s K and GIS were effective in detecting owl nest clustering and show promise for future conservation uses.
Full Text Available Restrictions in technology have limited past habitat selection studies for many species to the home-range level, as a finer-scale understanding was often not possible. Consequently, these studies may not identify the true mechanism driving habitat selection patterns, which may influence how such results are applied in conservation. We used GPS dataloggers with digital video recorders to identify foraging modes and locations in which endangered Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia captured prey. We measured the coarse and fine-scale characteristics of vegetation at locations in which owls searched for, versus where they caught, vertebrate prey. Most prey items were caught using hover-hunting. Burrowing Owls searched for, and caught, vertebrate prey in all cover types, but were more likely to kill prey in areas with sparse and less dense vegetative cover. Management strategies designed to increase Burrowing Owl foraging success in the Canadian prairies should try to ensure a mosaic of vegetation heights across cover types.
Diet data from 20 Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) nests were collected in southwestern Dominican Republic in 1976, 1982, and 1996. Invertebrates (53.3%) comprised the most numerous prey items (N = 396) delivered to nests by adult owls, but vertebrates (46.7%) were much better represented than in other studies of Burrowing Owl diet. Among vertebrates, birds (28.3% of all items) and reptiles (14.9%) were most important, whereas mammals (1.0%) and amphibians (2.5%) were less commonly delivered to nests. Vertebrates, however, comprised more than twice (69.2%) of the total biomass as invertebrates (30.8%), with birds (50.4%) and reptiles (12.8%) the most important of the vertebrate prey classes. A positive relationship was observed between bird species abundance and number of individuals taken as prey by Burrowing Owls.
Riisgård, Hans Ulrik; Larsen, Poul Scheel
Burrowing animals maintain contact with the water above the sediment by pumping water through a tube system and therefore measurements of water pumping rate of burrowing animals is of crucial importance for the study of many processes both within and above the sea floor. This review deals......-feeding animals. In stagnant situations the near-bottom water may be depleted of food particles, depending on the population filtration rate and the intensity of the biomixing induced by the filtering activity. But moderate currents and the biomixing can presumably generate enough turbulence to facilitate mixing...... of water layers at the sea bed with the layers above where food particle concentrations are relatively higher. Following a brief summary of types of burrowing benthic animals, common methods for measuring pumping rates are described along with examples. For estimating the required pump pressure, biofluid...
Quintana, Cintia Organo; Hansen, Tanja; Delefosse, Matthieu;
presented muscular pumping in time averaged rates of 0.15 ml min−1. Oxygen needle electrodes positioned above the burrow openings revealed that muscular undulation of the worm body pumps anoxic water out of the burrow. On the other hand, microscope observations of the animal showed that ventilation of...... about 0.16 ml min−1. Since the cilia pumping into the burrow occurs in periods of 24±12 min and at 50–70% of the measured time, considerable amounts of water from deeper sediments may percolate upwards to the sediment surface. This water is rich in reduced compounds and nutrients and may have important...
Full Text Available Ucides cordatus is an abundant mangrove crab in Brazil constructing burrows of up to 2 m depth. Sediment around burrows may oxidize during low tides. This increase in sediment-air contact area may enhance carbon degradation processes. We hypothesized that 1 the sediment CO2 efflux rate is greater with burrows than without and 2 the reduction potential in radial profiles in the sediment surrounding the burrows decreases gradually, until approximating non-bioturbated conditions. Sampling was conducted during the North Brazilian wet season at neap tides. CO2 efflux rates of inhabited burrows and plain sediment were measured with a CO2/H2O gas analyzer connected to a respiration chamber. Sediment redox potential, pH and temperature were measured in the sediment surrounding the burrows at horizontal distances of 2, 5, 8 and 15 cm at four sediment depths (1, 10, 30 and 50 cm and rH values were calculated. Sediment cores (50 cm length were taken to measure the same parameters for plain sediment. CO2 efflux rates of plain sediment and individual crab burrows with entrance diameters of 7 cm were 0.7-1.3 µmol m(-2 s(-1 and 0.2-0.4 µmol burrows(-1 s(-1, respectively. CO2 released from a Rhizophora mangle dominated forest with an average of 1.7 U. cordatus burrows(-1 m(-2 yielded 1.0-1.7 µmol m(-2 s(-1, depending on the month and burrow entrance diameter. Laboratory experiments revealed that 20-60% of the CO2 released by burrows originated from crab respiration. Temporal changes in the reduction potential in the sediment surrounding the burrows did not influence the CO2 release from burrows. More oxidized conditions of plain sediment over time may explain the increase in CO2 release until the end of the wet season. CO2 released by U. cordatus and their burrows may be a significant pathway of CO2 export from mangrove sediments and should be considered in mangrove carbon budget estimates.
Pülmanns, Nathalie; Diele, Karen; Mehlig, Ulf; Nordhaus, Inga
Ucides cordatus is an abundant mangrove crab in Brazil constructing burrows of up to 2 m depth. Sediment around burrows may oxidize during low tides. This increase in sediment-air contact area may enhance carbon degradation processes. We hypothesized that 1) the sediment CO2 efflux rate is greater with burrows than without and 2) the reduction potential in radial profiles in the sediment surrounding the burrows decreases gradually, until approximating non-bioturbated conditions. Sampling was conducted during the North Brazilian wet season at neap tides. CO2 efflux rates of inhabited burrows and plain sediment were measured with a CO2/H2O gas analyzer connected to a respiration chamber. Sediment redox potential, pH and temperature were measured in the sediment surrounding the burrows at horizontal distances of 2, 5, 8 and 15 cm at four sediment depths (1, 10, 30 and 50 cm) and rH values were calculated. Sediment cores (50 cm length) were taken to measure the same parameters for plain sediment. CO2 efflux rates of plain sediment and individual crab burrows with entrance diameters of 7 cm were 0.7-1.3 µmol m(-2) s(-1) and 0.2-0.4 µmol burrows(-1) s(-1), respectively. CO2 released from a Rhizophora mangle dominated forest with an average of 1.7 U. cordatus burrows(-1) m(-2) yielded 1.0-1.7 µmol m(-2) s(-1), depending on the month and burrow entrance diameter. Laboratory experiments revealed that 20-60% of the CO2 released by burrows originated from crab respiration. Temporal changes in the reduction potential in the sediment surrounding the burrows did not influence the CO2 release from burrows. More oxidized conditions of plain sediment over time may explain the increase in CO2 release until the end of the wet season. CO2 released by U. cordatus and their burrows may be a significant pathway of CO2 export from mangrove sediments and should be considered in mangrove carbon budget estimates. PMID:25313661
Agha, Mickey; Delaney, David F.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Price, Steven J.
Research on interactions between Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and ungulates has focused exclusively on the effects of livestock grazing on tortoises and their habitat (Oldemeyer, 1994). For example, during a 1980 study in San Bernardino County, California, 164 desert tortoise burrows were assessed for vulnerability to trampling by domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Herds of grazing sheep damaged 10% and destroyed 4% of the burrows (Nicholson and Humphreys 1981). In addition, a juvenile desert tortoise was trapped and an adult male was blocked from entering a burrow due to trampling by domestic sheep. Another study found that domestic cattle (Bos taurus) trampled active desert tortoise burrows and vegetation surrounding burrows (Avery and Neibergs 1997). Trampling also has negative impacts on diversity of vegetation and intershrub soil crusts in the desert southwest (Webb and Stielstra 1979). Trampling of important food plants and overgrazing has the potential to create competition between desert tortoises and domestic livestock (Berry 1978; Coombs 1979; Webb and Stielstra 1979).
Leirs, Herwig; Verhagen, Ron; Verheyen, Walter;
1. Rainfall data were collated for years preceding historical outbreaks of Mastomys rats in East Africa in order to test the hypothesis that such outbreaks occur after long dry periods. 2. Rodent outbreaks were generally not preceded by long dry periods. 3. Population dynamics of Mastomys...
Hyeong Kyu Park
Full Text Available Obesity is characterized by excess accumulation of lipids in adipose tissue and other organs, and chronic inflammation associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases are major health concerns. Resistin was first discovered as an adipose-secreted hormone (adipokine linked to obesity and insulin resistance in rodents. Adipocyte-derived resistin is increased in obese rodents and strongly related to insulin resistance. However, in contrast to rodents, resistin is expressed and secreted from macrophages in humans and is increased in inflammatory conditions. Some studies have also suggested an association between increased resistin levels and insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Genetic studies have provided additional evidence for a role of resistin in insulin resistance and inflammation. Resistin appears to mediate the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis by promoting endothelial dysfunction, vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation, arterial inflammation, and formation of foam cells. Indeed, resistin is predictive of atherosclerosis and poor clinical outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease and ischemic stroke. There is also growing evidence that elevated resistin is associated with the development of heart failure. This review will focus on the biology of resistin in rodents and humans, and evidence linking resistin with type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.
... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Rodent control. 1250.96 Section 1250.96 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.96 Rodent control. Vessels shall be... of rodent control....
Ferreira, Thais M F; Olivares, Adriana Itati; Kerber, Leonardo; Dutra, Rodrigo P; Avilla, Leonardo S
Echimyidae (spiny rats, tree rats and the coypu) is the most diverse family of extant South American hystricognath rodents (caviomorphs). Today, they live in tropical forests (Amazonian, coastal and Andean forests), occasionally in more open xeric habitats in the Cerrado and Caatinga of northern South America, and open areas across the southern portion of the continent (Myocastor). The Quaternary fossil record of this family remains poorly studied. Here, we describe the fossil echimyids found in karst deposits from southern Tocantins, northern Brazil. The analyzed specimens are assigned to Thrichomys sp., Makalata cf. didelphoides and Proechimys sp. This is the first time that a fossil of Makalata is reported. The Pleistocene record of echimyids from this area is represented by fragmentary remains, which hinders their determination at specific levels. The data reported here contributes to the understanding of the ancient diversity of rodents of this region, evidenced until now in other groups, such as the artiodactyls, cingulates, carnivores, marsupials, and squamate reptiles. PMID:27276377
Lovich, Jeffrey E.
I observed an adult Desert Tortoise and an adult Red Diamond Rattlesnake (sexes unknown) in a shallow tortoise burrow on 6 January 1997 at a wind energy generation facility near Palm Springs, Riverside Co., California, USA (33.9599°N, 116.6613°W).
Møhlenberg, Flemming; Kiørboe, Thomas
Behavioural effects of marine sediment contaminated with pesticides (6000 ppm parathion, 200 ppm methyl parathion, 200 ppm malathion) were studied in a number of marine organisms in laboratory tests and in situ. The burrowing behaviour in Macoma baltica, Cerastoderma edule, Abra alba, Nereis dive...
Hartwig, Sven; Tsokos, Michael
When the situation at a death scene is unusual, this may suggest the involvement of another person. On the other hand, one also has to consider the possibility of a conscious or unconscious behavior in connection with extreme stress situations or suicidal acts. The forensic findings and criminalistic reconstruction of two cases of suicidal burrowing behavior are presented and discussed. PMID:18260568
Long, Ryan A.; Hut, Roelof A.; Barnes, Brian M.
Integrating physiological and behavioral observations into ecological field studies of animals can provide novel insights into relationships among animal behavior, physiology, and ecology. We describe and evaluate a new technique for simultaneously collecting body temperature (T-b) and burrow use da
Prague : Czech Institute of Egyptology , 2010. s. 38-38. [Abusir and Saqqara in the year 2010. 31.05.2010-04.06.2010, Prague] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : palaeontology * insect burrows * ichnofabric * Abusir (Egypt) Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy http://egyptologie.ff.cuni.cz/pdf/AS_2010_Abstracts.pdf
Mikuláš, Radek; Cílek, Václav
Vol. 2. Prague : Czech Institute of Egyptology , Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, 2011 - (Bárta, M.; Coppens, F.; Krejčí, J.), s. 635-650 ISBN 978-80-7308-385-4 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : insect burrows * Hymenoptera * ichnology * Abusir * bioerosion * bioturbation Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy
Thalassinid shrimp cause significant problems for oyster aquaculture in the Pacific Northwest (USA) where oysters succumb to the physical disruption of the sediment by the burrowing activity of these animals. While electrofishing is a commonly used technique to capture fish and some invertebrates i...
The effect of burrowing activities of ghost shrimp (Neocallichirus limosus and Biffarius arenosus) and heart urchin (Echinocardium cordatum) on the flux of dissolved substances across the water-sediment interface was examined by comparing the transport of the tracer deuterium oxide (D2O) between sediments and overlying water in experimental laboratory tanks with and without fauna. This experiment was complemented by measurements of the diffusive flux of naturally occurring isotopes of radium (224Ra and 223Ra) from the sediments into the water column. Despite different burrowing habits, all three species enhanced flux of D2O and the Ra isotopes by similar amounts. In sandy sediments, both shrimps and urchins enhanced flux of D2O across the water-sediment interface 2.5 fold. In muddy sediments, however, results were inconclusive. There was little difference in flux of 224Ra and 223Ra between muddy and sandy sediments; flux was 2.3-3.9 times higher in the presence of the burrowing species than in their absence. These findings emphasize (i) the important role of burrowing macrofauna in the transport of dissolved substances between the sediment and water bodies and (ii) the dependence of various biogeochemical processes, including nutrient release, on the benthic macrofauna of Port Phillip Bay. Copyright (1997) CSIRO Publishing
Pischedda, Laura; Militon, Cécile; Gilbert, Franck; Cuny, Philippe
Bioturbation is known to stimulate microbial communities, especially in macrofaunal burrows where the abundance and activities of bacteria are increased. Until now, these microbial communities have been poorly characterized and an important ecological question remains: do burrow walls harbor similar or specific communities compared with anoxic and surface sediments? The bacterial community structure of coastal sediments inhabited by the polychaete worm Hediste diversicolor was investigated. Surface, burrow wall and anoxic sediments were collected at the Carteau beach (Gulf of Fos, Mediterranean Sea). Bacterial diversity was determined by analyzing small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) sequences from three clone libraries (168, 179 and 129 sequences for the surface, burrow wall and anoxic sediments, respectively). Libraries revealed 306 different operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to at least 15 bacterial phyla. Bioinformatic analyses and comparisons between the three clone libraries showed that the burrow walls harbored a specific bacterial community structure which differed from the surface and anoxic environments. More similarities were nevertheless found with the surface assemblage. Inside the burrow walls, the bacterial community was characterized by high biodiversity, which probably results from the biogeochemical heterogeneity of the burrow system. PMID:21946148
Distribution of aquaporins in the nasal passage of Octodon degus, a South-American desert rodent and its implications for water conservation Distribución de acuaporinas en los pasajes nasales de Octodon degus, un roedor de ambientes desérticos sudamericanos: implicaciones en la conservación de agua
Full Text Available Rodents from arid and semiarid environments live under conditions where the spatial and temporal availability of water is limited. Octodon degus is a South-American desert-dwelling rodent inhabiting arid and semiarid habitats of central and northern Chile. Its survival depends on morphological, physiological and behavioral adaptations that allow water conservation. This rodent has a high urine concentrating ability, high capacity of fecal dehydration and low evaporative water loss, related to the ability of the nasal passages to condense water from the exhaled air; this water must be absorbed in order to avoid its accumulation in the nasal passages and potential loss through the nostrils. We hypothesize that aquaporins (AQPs might be present in the nasal mucosa; therefore, we studied the distribution of AQP-1, AQP-2, AQP-3 and AQP-4 through immunocytochemistry. Intense AQP-1 labeling was observed throughout the subepithelial vascular network; no AQP-1 immunoreactivity was detected in olfactory and non-olfactory epithelial cells. No signal was detected for AQP-2 and 4. AQP-3 distribution was restricted to the surface non-olfactory epithelial cells lining the turbinates in narrow passages and blind spaces. Therefore, AQP-1 and AQP-3 coincided at the level of the turbinates, although in different cell types which suggest a pathway for water removal from the nasal surface first through AQP-3 in non-olfactory epithelial cells and then into the capillary lumen through AQP-1Los roedores de ambientes áridos y semiáridos viven bajo una disponibilidad limitada de agua tanto espacial como temporal. Octodon degus es un roedor sudamericano que habita ambientes áridos y semiáridos del norte y zona central de Chile. Su supervivencia depende de adaptaciones morfológicas, fisiológicas y conductuales que permiten optimizar la conservación de agua. Este tiene una alta capacidad de concentración urinaria y de deshidratación de la fecas además de una baja
Abouessa, Ashour; Duringer, Philippe; Schuster, Mathieu; Pelletier, Jonathan
The majority of decapod crustaceans are defined as marine organisms. Crayfish are one of the relatively few known exceptions. They are freshwater-environment adapted decapods that build characteristically large, simple and branched cylindrical morphotype traces in fluvial plains. Their burrows bear lots of special features that make them different from other burrows. Consequently, the identification of true crayfish burrows in the sedimentary record is crucial for the interpretation of depositional environment. The studied interval (45 m thick, exposed in the Dur At Talah escarpment southern Sirt Basin; Fig. 1) represents a case-study which is previously believed to be purely tidal. In this interval, the identification of the crayfish burrows provides a reliable tool for distinguishing terrestrial environments. The crayfish burrows of Dur At Talah are characterized by dimensional, morphological, and especially behavioral aspects that combined, cannot be ascribed to another burrow makers. Essential criteria used to attribute these burrows to the crayfish include: Their length (the depth of penetration into the sediments), their regularly circular cross-sectional area, the presence of mid-way enlargement chamber along the burrow vertical axis, as well as the subtle preservation of the burrow chimney. More importantly, these morphological features allow the recognition of some of the crayfish diagnostic behavioral habits. Most significant of these is the one deduced from the interaction of the burrow with the seasonal fluctuation of the paleo groundwater level. Supplementary indications that restrict the studied burrows to terrestrial organism include their occurrences within pedogenically altered strata that bear evident features of prolonged emersion. Of these features, mud cracks and burrows that are filled with continental fossil are the clearest. Few horizons with termite fungus comb are also distinguishable. Although other burrows of the classically known
US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Holes in the ground are a very important feature of black-footed ferret habitat. The number, distribution, and activity level of prairie dog burrows is related to...
Hargrove, John W.; Muzari, M. Odwell
Background The biology of adult tsetse (Glossina spp), vectors of trypanosomiasis in Africa, has been extensively studied – but little is known about larviposition in the field. Methodology/Principal Findings In September-November 1998, in the hot-dry season in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley, we used artificial warthog burrows to capture adult females as they deposited larvae. Females were subjected to ovarian dissection and were defined as perinatal flies, assumed to have entered burrows to larvi...
Pischedda, Laura; Militon, Cécile; Gilbert, Franck; Cuny, Philippe
Bioturbation is known to stimulate microbial communities, especially in macrofaunal burrows where the abundance and activities of bacteria are increased. Until now, these microbial communities have been poorly characterized and an important ecological question remains: do burrow walls harbor similar or specific communities compared with anoxic and surface sediments? The bacterial community structure of coastal sediments inhabited by the polychaete worm Hediste diversicolor was investigated. S...
COMMUNICATIONS CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 79, NO. 4, 25 AUGUST 2000 517 A documentation on burrows in hard substrates of ferromanganese crusts and associated soft sediments from the Central Indian Basin Ranadip Banerjee Geological Oceanography Division... (Figure 3 a?g). Among the ob- served relict burrow features, at least in one of the semiconsolidated claystone substrates, which appears to RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 79, NO. 4, 25 AUGUST 2000 Figure 1. Detailed bathymetry...
Mohlenberg, F.; Kiorboe, T.
Behavioural effects of marine sediment contaminated with pesticides (6000 ppm parathion, 200 ppm methyl parathion, 200 ppm malathion) were studied in a number of marine organisms in laboratory tests and in situ. The burrowing behaviour in Macoma baltica, Cerastoderma edule, Abra alba, Nereis diversicolor and Scoloplos armiger was impaired in the contaminated sediment compared to control. The impairment was most pronounced in the laboratory tests, where almost no burrowing occured. In a very simple laboratory set-up, highly significant avoidance of the contaminated sediment was demonstrated for Crangon crangon and Solea solea, but not for Carcinus maenas and Pomatoschistus minutus. The validity of both behavioural tests was supported by in situ observations and investigations on the distribution of the species. It is concluded that both tests are useful tools in the assessment of the impact of contaminated sediments.
Pilny, Anthony A
Pet rodents, such as rats, guinea pigs, and chinchillas, differ from more traditional companion animal species in many aspects of their hematologic parameters. Animals within this order have much diversity in size, anatomy, methods of restraint, and blood collection technique. Appropriate sample collection is often the most challenging aspect of the diagnostic protocol, and inappropriate restraint may cause a stress response that interferes with blood test results. For many of these patients, sedation is required and can also affect results as well. In most cases, however, obtaining a standard database is necessary and very possible when providing medical care for this popular group of pets. PMID:18675732
Geiszler, Philippine Camilla; Barron, Matthew Richard; Pardon, Marie-Christine
htau mice are deficient of murine tau but express all six human tau isoforms, leading to gradual tau misprocessing and aggregation in brain areas relevant to Alzheimer's disease. While histopathological changes in htau mice have been researched in the past, we focused here on functional consequences of human tau accumulation. htau mice and their background controls - murine tau knock-out (mtau(-/-)) and C57Bl/6J mice - underwent a comprehensive trial battery to investigate species-specific behavior, locomotor activity, emotional responses, exploratory traits, spatial and recognition memory as well as acquisition, retention and extinction of contextual fear at two, four, six, nine and twelve months of age. In htau mice, tau pathology was already present at two months of age, whereas deficits in food burrowing and spatial working memory were first noted at four months of age. At later stages the presence of human tau on a mtau(-/-) background appeared to guard cognitive performance; as mtau(-/-) but not htau mice differed from C57Bl/6J mice in the food burrowing, spontaneous alternation and object discrimination tasks. Aging mtau(-/-) mice also exhibited increased body mass and locomotor activity. These data highlight that reduced food-burrowing performance was the most robust aspect of the htau phenotype with aging. htau and mtau(-/-) deficits in food burrowing pointed at the necessity of intact tau systems for daily life activities. While some htau and mtau(-/-) deficits overlap, age differences between the two genotypes may reflect distinct functional effects and compared to C57Bl/6J mice, the htau phenotype appeared stronger than the mtau(-/-) phenotype at young ages but milder with aging. PMID:27167086
Very low levels of radionuclides exist on soil surfaces. Biological factors including vegetation and animal burrowing can influence the fate of these surface contaminants. Animal burrowing introduces variability in radionuclide migration that confounds estimation of nuclide migration pathways, risk assessment, and assessment of waste burial performance. A field study on the surface and subsurface erosional transport of surface-applied 133Cs as affected by pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae) burrowing was conducted on simulated waste landfill caps at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in north central New Mexico. Surface loss of Cs, adhered to five soil particle size ranges, was measured several times over an 18-mo period while simulated rainfalls were in progress. Gophers reduced Cs surface loss by significant amounts, 43%. Cesium surface loss on plots with only gophers was 0.8 kg totalled for the study period. This compared with 1.4 kg for control plots, 0.5 kg for vegetated plots, and 0.2 kg for plots with both gophers and vegetation. The change in Cs surface loss over time was significant (P -1). Vegetation-bearing plots bad significant more total subsurface Cs (μ = 1.7 g kg-1) than plots without vegetation (μ = 0.8 g kg-1). An average of 97% of the subsurface Cs in plots with vegetation was located in the upper 15 cm of soil (SDR1 + SDR2) compared with 67% for plots without vegetation. Vegetation moderated the influence of gopher activity on the transport of Cs to soil subsurface, and stabilized subsurface Cs by concentrating it in the rhizosphere. Gopher activity may have caused Cs transport to depths below that sampled, 30 cm. The results provide distribution coefficients for models of contaminant migration where animal burrowing occurs. 35 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs
Law, Chris J; Dorgan, Kelly M; Rouse, Greg W
Divergent morphologies among related species are often correlated with distinct behaviors and habitat uses. Considerable morphological and behavioral differences are found between two major clades within the polychaete family Opheliidae. For instance, Thoracophelia mucronata burrows by peristalsis, whereas Armandia brevis exhibits undulatory burrowing. We investigate the anatomical differences that allow for these distinct burrowing behaviors, then interpret these differences in an evolutionary context using broader phylogenetic (DNA-based) and morphological analyses of Opheliidae and taxa, such as Scalibregmatidae and Polygordiidae. Histological three-dimensional-reconstruction of A. brevis reveals bilateral longitudinal muscle bands as the prominent musculature of the body. Circular muscles are absent; instead oblique muscles act with unilateral contraction of longitudinal muscles to bend the body during undulation. The angle of helical fibers in the cuticle is consistent with the fibers supporting turgidity of the body rather than resisting radial expansion from longitudinal muscle contraction. Circular muscles are present in the anterior of T. mucronata, and they branch away from the body wall to form oblique muscles. Helical fibers in the cuticle are more axially oriented than those in undulatory burrowers, facilitating radial expansion during peristalsis. A transition in musculature accompanies the change in external morphology from the thorax to the abdomen, which has oblique muscles similar to A. brevis. Muscles in the muscular septum, which extends posteriorly to form the injector organ, act in synchrony with the body wall musculature during peristalsis: they contract to push fluid anteriorly and expand the head region following a direct peristaltic wave of the body wall muscles. The septum of A. brevis is much thinner and is presumably used for eversion of a nonmuscular pharynx. Mapping of morphological characters onto the molecular-based phylogeny shows
Levey, Douglas J; Duncan, R Scot; Levins, Carrie F
Reports of tool usage by birds tend to be anecdotal as only a few individuals may be involved and the behaviour observed can often be interpreted in other ways. Here we describe the widespread collection of mammalian dung by burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) and show that they use this dung as a bait to attract dung beetles, a major item of prey. Our controlled investigation provides an unambiguous estimate of the importance of tool use in a wild animal. PMID:15343324
Alan Marsh; Troy I. Wellicome; Erin Bayne
Restrictions in technology have limited past habitat selection studies for many species to the home-range level, as a finer-scale understanding was often not possible. Consequently, these studies may not identify the true mechanism driving habitat selection patterns, which may influence how such results are applied in conservation. We used GPS dataloggers with digital video recorders to identify foraging modes and locations in which endangered Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia) captured prey...
Barclay, John H.; Korfanta, Nicole M.; Kauffman, Matthew J.
We analyzed the population dynamics of a burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) colony at Mineta San Jose International Airport in San Jose, California, USA from 1990-2007. This colony was managed by using artificial burrows to reduce the occurrence of nesting owls along runways and within major airport improvement projects during the study period. We estimated annual reproduction in natural and artificial burrows and age-specific survival rates with mark-recapture techniques, and we estimated the relative contribution of these vital rates to population dynamics using a life table response experiment. The breeding colony showed 2 distinct periods of change: high population growth from 7 nesting pairs in 1991 to 40 pairs in 2002 and population decline to 17 pairs in 2007. Reproduction was highly variable: annual nesting success (pairs that raised =1 young) averaged 79% and ranged from 36% to 100%, whereas fecundity averaged 3.36 juveniles/pair and ranged from 1.43 juveniles/pair to 4.54 juveniles/pair. We estimated annual adult survival at 0.710 during the period of colony increase from 1996 to 2001 and 0.465 during decline from 2002 to 2007, but there was no change in annual survival of juveniles between the 2 time periods. Long-term population growth rate (lambda) estimated from average vital rates was lambdaa=1.072 with lambdai=1.288 during colony increase and lambdad=0.921 (DELTA lambda=0.368) during decline. A life table response experiment showed that change in adult survival rate during increasing and declining phases explained more than twice the variation in growth rate than other vital rates. Our findings suggest that management and conservation of declining burrowing owl populations should address factors that influence adult survival.
Estimates based on the strength, size, and shape of the Atlantic razor clam (Ensis directus) indicate that the animal's burrow depth should be physically limited to a few centimeters; yet razor clams can dig as deep as 70 cm. By measuring soil deformations around burrowing E. directus, we have found the animal reduces drag by contracting its valves to initially fail, and then fluidize, the surrounding substrate. The characteristic contraction time to achieve fluidization can be calculated directly from soil properties. The geometry of the fluidized zone is dictated by two commonly-measured geotechnical parameters: coefficient of lateral earth pressure and friction angle. Calculations using full ranges for both parameters indicate that the fluidized zone is a local effect, occurring between 1–5 body radii away from the animal. The energy associated with motion through fluidized substrate—characterized by a depth-independent density and viscosity—scales linearly with depth. In contrast, moving through static soil requires energy that scales with depth squared. For E. directus, this translates to a 10X reduction in the energy required to reach observed burrow depths. For engineers, localized fluidization offers a mechanically simple and purely kinematic method to dramatically reduce energy costs associated with digging. This concept is demonstrated with RoboClam, an E. directus-inspired robot. Using a genetic algorithm to find optimal digging kinematics, RoboClam has achieved localized fluidization burrowing performance comparable to that of the animal, with a linear energy-depth relationship, in both idealized granular glass beads and E. directus' native cohesive mudflat habitat. (paper)
Cathy A. Willis
Field Surveys were conducted in 1996 to determine the current distribution of several animal species of concern on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). They included the chuckwall (Sauromalus obesus), western burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia), and six species of bats. Nineteen chuckwallas and 118 scat locations were found during the chuckwalla field study. Eighteen western burrowing owls were found at 12 sighting locations during the 1996 field study. Of the eleven bat species of concern which might occur on the NTS, five, and possibly six, were captured during this survey. The U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, takes certain management actions to protect and conserve the chuckwalla, western burrowing owl, and bats on the NTS. These actions are described and include: (1) conducting surveys at sites of proposed land-disturbing activities (2) altering projects whenever possible to avoid or minimize impacts to these species (3) maintaining a geospatial database of known habitat for species of concern (4) sharing sighting and trap location data gathered on the NTS with other local land and resource managers, and (5) conducting periodic field surveys to monitor these species distribution and relative abundance on the NTS.
Lo, Nathan; Tong, K Jun; Rose, Harley A; Ho, Simon Y W; Beninati, Tiziana; Low, David L T; Matsumoto, Tadao; Maekawa, Kiyoto
Parallel evolution is the independent appearance of similar derived phenotypes from similar ancestral forms. It is of key importance in the debate over whether evolution is stochastic and unpredictable, or subject to constraints that limit available phenotypic options. Nevertheless, its occurrence has rarely been demonstrated above the species level. Climate change on the Australian landmass over the last approximately 20 Myr has provided conditions conducive to parallel evolution, as taxa at the edges of shrinking mesic habitats adapted to drier biomes. Here, we investigate the phylogeny and evolution of Australian soil-burrowing and wood-feeding blaberid cockroaches. Soil burrowers (subfamily Geoscapheinae) are found in relatively dry sclerophyllous and scrubland habits, whereas wood feeders (subfamily Panesthiinae) are found in rainforest and wet sclerophyll. We sequenced and analysed mitochondrial and nuclear markers from 142 specimens, and estimated the evolutionary time scale of the two subfamilies. We found evidence for the parallel evolution of soil-burrowing taxa from wood-feeding ancestors on up to nine occasions. These transitions appear to have been driven by periods of aridification during the Miocene and Pliocene across eastern Australia. Our results provide an illuminating example of climate-driven parallel evolution among species. PMID:26888035
Archambault, Jennifer M.; Cope, W. Gregory; Kwak, Thomas J.
Recent research has elucidated the acute lethal effects of elevated water temperatures to glochidia (larvae), juvenile, and adult life stages of freshwater mussels (Order Unionida), but few studies have focused on sublethal effects of thermal stress. We evaluated the sublethal effects of elevated temperature on burrowing behavior and byssus production in juveniles, and on enzymatic biomarkers of stress in adults in acute (96 h) laboratory experiments in sediment, with two acclimation temperatures (22 and 27 °C) and two experimental water levels (watered and dewatered) as proxies for flow regime. Increasing temperature significantly reduced burrowing in all five species tested, and the dewatered treatment (a proxy for drought conditions) reduced burrowing in all but Amblema plicata. Production of byssal threads was affected most drastically by flow regime, with the probability of byssus presence reduced by 93–99% in the dewatered treatment, compared to the watered treatment (a proxy for low flow conditions); increasing temperature alone reduced byssus by 18–35%. Alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase were significantly affected by treatment temperature in the 27 °C acclimation, watered test (p = 0.04 and 0.02, respectively). Our results are important in the context of climate change, because stream temperature and flow are expected to change with increasing air temperature and altered precipitation patterns.
Williford, D.L.; Woodin, M.C.; Skoruppa, M.K.; Hickman, G.C.
The western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) is threatened in Mexico, endangered in Canada, and declining in most of the western United States. Most previous research has focused on burrowing owl breeding biology, and little is known about its winter ecology. We determined characteristics of roost sites used by western burrowing owls in southern Texas during winter. Data on 46 winter roost sites were collected from 15 November 2001 to 15 February 2002. Of these roost sites, 87% were located on agricultural land, 80% were along roads, and 74% were concrete, steel, or cast-iron culverts. Mean diameter (??SE) of roost site openings was 22 ?? 1.5 cm. Most roost sites (70%) were located on inaccessible private lands. Bare ground comprised 61% of ground cover within a 10-m radius of roost sites. We recommend that landowners and public-land managers should be encouraged to use smaller-diameter culverts when building roads or replacing old or damaged culverts and to graze livestock or mow around these culverts during winter.
Rodents have the potential to exert a wide array of ecological pressures in any given ecosystem. The negative impacts to plant communities in general, especially cultivated crops, are typically cited as examples of rodent grazing pressure. Considerable research has been conducted on the negative imp...
Dagle, G E; Winsor, T F; Adee, R R
Parasitic cysts of Besnoitia jellisoni (coccidia) were found in rodents (Peromyscus maniculatus and Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) trapped in Eastern Colorado. The parasite was associated with a granulomatous inflammatory reaction in the lungs of each rodent and was disseminated in several organs from one Peromyscus. The ultrastructural appearance of the merozoites and the cyst wall formed by the host cell were studied.
... successfully trapping rodents in and around the home. Seal Up! Seal up holes inside and outside the home to ... infested areas. Before cleaning, trap the rodents and seal up any entryways to ensure that no rodents ...
Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.
Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Tinoco-Orta, Gissel Dalila; Cáceres-Martínez, Jorge
Burrowing worms that belong to Polydora spp. infest marine mollusks cultured worldwide, causing problems for production and marketing. The clam Chione fluctifraga is semi-cultured in Bahía Falsa, Baja California, NW Mexico, and some clams harbor burrowing worms. The present study was carried out to determine the identity of the worm species infesting the clam, the infesting process by cohabitation of infested and non-infested clams in aquaria with a variety of substrates (fine sand, gross sand, plastic bag used for clam culture, and aquarium without substrate) and turbulence conditions, and the occurrence of architomy phenomena in connection with infestation of the clam. The burrowing worm was considered as a nova species due to its singular limbate neurosetae and notosetae in the setiger 5, hooks in the setiger 6, eyes not present, and general pigmentation, among other characteristics. Infestation was similar in all substrates and turbulence conditions, but it was more abundant on clams previously infested than on those free of worms, showing a preferential settlement of worm infesting stages on pre-infested clams. Regeneration was observed in all segments of the worm: anterior (metastomium), medium, and posterior (prostomium); the complete regeneration time occurred in 40 days. This is the first record of architomy in a species of Polydora and this phenomenon could account for the increase of infestation intensity in pre-infested clams at the end of the study period. Infestation of clams by settling polichaete in the conditions studied, and the architomy process in this worm species, shows its great infesting capacity. PMID:12877826
Wellicome, Troy I; Danielle Todd, L; Poulin, Ray G; Holroyd, Geoffrey L; Fisher, Ryan J
Food availability is an important limiting factor for avian reproduction. In altricial birds, food limitation is assumed to be more severe during the nestling stage than during laying or incubation, but this has yet to be adequately tested. Using food-supplementation experiments over a 5-year period, we determined the degree and timing of food limitation for burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) breeding in Canada. Burrowing owls are an endangered species and food limitation during the nestling stage could influence reproductive performance of this species at the northern extent of their range. Supplemented pairs fledged on average 47% more owlets than unfed pairs, except during a year when natural food was not limiting (i.e., a prey irruption year). The difference in fledgling production resulted from high nestling mortality in unfed broods, with 96% of all nestling deaths being attributed to food shortage. Supplemental feeding during the nestling period also increased fledgling structural size. Pairs fed from the start of laying produced the same number of hatchlings as pairs that received no supplemental food before hatch. Furthermore, pairs supplemented from egg laying to fledging and pairs supplemented during the nestling period alone had the same patterns of nestling survival, equal numbers of fledglings, and similar fledgling mass and structural size. Our results provide empirical support for the hypothesis that the nestling period is the most food-limited phase of the breeding cycle. The experimental design we introduce here could be used with other altricial species to examine how the timing of food limitation differs among birds with a variety of life-history strategies. For burrowing owls, and other species with similar life histories, long-term, large-scale, and appropriately timed habitat management increasing prey abundance or availability is critical for conservation. Our results provide empirical support for the hypothesis that the nestling period is
Kinney, Matthew E; Hanley, Christopher S; Trupkiewicz, John G
A 12-year-old male burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) was presented for evaluation of a mass in the right cervical region. A thymoma was diagnosed after surgical resection and histopathologic evaluation. Extensive adherence of the thymoma to the esophagus and suspected invasion into the right jugular vein contributed to a poor postsurgical outcome. Diagnosis and treatment of thymomas in avian species is similar to that in mammals. Surgical removal of noninvasive thymomas is usually curative. Thymomas are rarely reported in avian species and this is the first report in a strigiform bird. PMID:22872980
Makowska, I. Joanna; Daniel M. Weary
Standard laboratory cages prevent rats (Rattus norvegicus) from performing many behaviours that they perform in the wild, but little is known about how this may affect their welfare. The aims of this study were (i) to record the propensity to burrow, climb and stand upright in 3-, 8- and 13-month old laboratory rats housed in semi-naturalistic environments and (ii) to compare the frequency of lateral stretching in semi-naturalistic versus standard-housed rats; we predicted standard-housed rat...
Herbreteau, Vincent; Bordes, Frédéric; Jittapalapong, Sathaporn; Supputamongkol, Yupin; Morand, Serge
Background: Comparative analysis, which aims at investigating ecological and evolutionary patterns among species, may help at targeting reservoirs of zoonotic diseases particularly in countries presenting high biodiversity. Here, we developed a simple method to target rodent reservoirs using published studies screening microparasite infections. Methods: We compiled surveys of microparasites investigated in rodents trapped in Thailand. The data comprise a total of 17,358 rodents from 18 specie...
Smith, J.J.; Hasiotis, S.T.
This study documents the traces and burrowing behaviors of nymphs of the prairie cicada Cicadetta calliope (Hemiptera: Cicadidae), as observed in neoichnological experiments. Cicada nymphs were collected from the C horizons of sandy Fluvents along the Kansas River east of Lawrence, Kansas. The nymphs appeared to be fifth instars, 13-17 mm long and 6-7 mm wide. Nymphs were placed in plastic enclosures containing layers of colored, moist, very fine-grained sand. They burrowed immediately, excavating air-filled, sediment-enclosed cells between 20 mm and 40 mm long and averaging 9 mm wide. Burrowing was completed in three stages: (1) sediment in the forward portion of the cell was excavated and rolled into a ball with the forelimbs; (2) the nymph turned 180?? using a forward roll, and moved to the back of the cell; and (3) the sediment ball was pushed up against the back wall of the cell and kneaded with the forelimbs into a thin layer. Resulting burrow traces are sinuous and distinctly meniscate and demonstrate that insect larvae construct meniscate, backfilled burrows in well-drained terrestrial settings. Cicadetta calliope nymphs and their traces are excellent analogs for meniscate trace fossils commonly found in late Paleozoic-Cenozoic alluvial deposits and paleosols. Such meniscate trace fossils are useful for interpreting the paleoenvironment and paleohydrogeology of the units in which they are found. In addition, such backfilled burrows can be used to supplement the fossil record of cicada-like hemipterans, currently known only from the latest Permian to the Early Triassic. Copyright ?? 2008, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).
Schlacher, Thomas A.; Lucrezi, Serena; Peterson, Charles H.; Connolly, Rod M.; Olds, Andrew D.; Althaus, Franziska; Hyndes, Glenn A.; Maslo, Brooke; Gilby, Ben L.; Leon, Javier X.; Weston, Michael A.; Lastra, Mariano; Williams, Alan; Schoeman, David S.
Most ecological studies require knowledge of animal abundance, but it can be challenging and destructive of habitat to obtain accurate density estimates for cryptic species, such as crustaceans that tunnel deeply into the seafloor, beaches, or mudflats. Such fossorial species are, however, widely used in environmental impact assessments, requiring sampling techniques that are reliable, efficient, and environmentally benign for these species and environments. Counting and measuring the entrances of burrows made by cryptic species is commonly employed to index population and body sizes of individuals. The fundamental premise is that burrow metrics consistently predict density and size. Here we review the evidence for this premise. We also review criteria for selecting among sampling methods: burrow counts, visual censuses, and physical collections. A simple 1:1 correspondence between the number of holes and population size cannot be assumed. Occupancy rates, indexed by the slope of regression models, vary widely between species and among sites for the same species. Thus, 'average' or 'typical' occupancy rates should not be extrapolated from site- or species specific field validations and then be used as conversion factors in other situations. Predictions of organism density made from burrow counts often have large uncertainty, being double to half of the predicted mean value. Whether such prediction uncertainty is 'acceptable' depends on investigators' judgements regarding the desired detectable effect sizes. Regression models predicting body size from burrow entrance dimensions are more precise, but parameter estimates of most models are specific to species and subject to site-to-site variation within species. These results emphasise the need to undertake thorough field validations of indirect census techniques that include tests of how sensitive predictive models are to changes in habitat conditions or human impacts. In addition, new technologies (e.g. drones
Burrowing shrimps are regarded as ecosystem engineering species in many coastal ecosystems worldwide, including numerous estuaries of the west coast of North America (Baja California to British Columbia). In estuaries of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, two species of large burrowing...
Burrowing shrimps are regarded as ecosystem engineering species in many coastal ecosystems worldwide, including numerous estuaries of the west coast of North America (Baja California to British Columbia). In estuaries of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, two species of large burrowing...
Shao, Yong; Li, Jin-Xiu; Ge, Ri-Li; Zhong, Li; Irwin, David M; Murphy, Robert W; Zhang, Ya-Ping
The plateau zokor (Myospalax baileyi) spends its entire life underground in sealed burrows. Confronting limited oxygen and high carbon dioxide concentrations, and complete darkness, they epitomize a successful physiological adaptation. Here, we employ transcriptome sequencing to explore the genetic underpinnings of their adaptations to this unique habitat. Compared to Rattus norvegicus, genes belonging to GO categories related to energy metabolism (e.g. mitochondrion and fatty acid beta-oxidation) underwent accelerated evolution in the plateau zokor. Furthermore, the numbers of positively selected genes were significantly enriched in the gene categories involved in ATPase activity, blood vessel development and respiratory gaseous exchange, functional categories that are relevant to adaptation to high altitudes. Among the 787 genes with evidence of parallel evolution, and thus identified as candidate genes, several GO categories (e.g. response to hypoxia, oxygen homeostasis and erythrocyte homeostasis) are significantly enriched, are two genes, EPAS1 and AJUBA, involved in the response to hypoxia, where the parallel evolved sites are at positions that are highly conserved in sequence alignments from multiple species. Thus, accelerated evolution of GO categories, positive selection and parallel evolution at the molecular level provide evidences to parse the genetic adaptations of the plateau zokor for living in high-elevation burrows. PMID:26602147
Adeyeye, O A; Butler, J F
Field studies were conducted to assess the reliability of carbon dioxide baits in sampling Ornithodoros turicata Duges. Tick response to about 50 g of dry ice placed at various distances away from tick-infested burrows was monitored over a 2-h period. In addition, tick attraction to different flow rates of carbon dioxide was monitored. Tests were conducted over a 15-mo period, during which seasonal effects on O. turicata response to CO2 were assessed. The efficacy of the baits was evaluated at night and in daytime. Ticks responded to dry ice baits placed up to 8 m away from the burrows. There was no significant difference in the total number of ticks attracted in a 1-h period using 500 to 2,000 ml CO2/min. At night, ticks were attracted to CO2 bits throughout the year except in December and January. By contrast, ticks were attracted to CO2 baits during daytime only between May and mid-December. PMID:1903452
Gervais, Jennifer A; Hunter, Christine M; Anthony, Robert G
We used population models to explore the effects of the organochlorine contaminant p,p'-DDE and fluctuations in vole availability on the population dynamics of Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia). Previous work indicated an interaction between low biomass of voles in the diet and moderate levels of p,p'-DDE in Burrowing Owl eggs that led to reproductive impairment. We constructed periodic and stochastic matrix models that incorporated three vole population states observed in the field: average, peak, and crash years. We modeled varying frequencies of vole crash years and a range of impairment of owl demographic rates in vole crash years. Vole availability had a greater impact on owl population growth rate than did reproductive impairment if vole populations peaked and crashed frequently. However, this difference disappeared as the frequency of vole crash years declined to once per decade. Fecundity, the demographic rate most affected by p,p'-DDE, had less impact on population growth rate than adult or juvenile survival. A life table response experiment of time-invariant matrices for average, peak, and crash vole conditions showed that low population growth under vole crash conditions was due to low adult and juvenile survival rates, whereas the extremely high population growth under vole peak conditions was due to increased fecundity. Our results suggest that even simple models can provide useful insights into complex ecological interactions. This is particularly valuable when temporal or spatial scales preclude manipulative experimental work in the field or laboratory. PMID:16711053
Engelman, Catherine A.; Grant, William E.; Mora, Miguel A.; Woodin, Marc
We describe an ecotoxicological model that simulates the sublethal and lethal effects of chronic, low-level, chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes. Previous models estimating the impact on wildlife of chemicals used in agro-ecosystems typically have not included the variety of pathways, including both dermal and oral, by which individuals are exposed. The present model contains four submodels simulating (1) foraging behavior of individual birds, (2) chemical applications to crops, (3) transfers of chemicals among soil, insects, and small mammals, and (4) transfers of chemicals to birds via ingestion and dermal exposure. We demonstrate use of the model by simulating the impacts of a variety of commonly used herbicides, insecticides, growth regulators, and defoliants on western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) that winter in agricultural landscapes in southern Texas, United States. The model generated reasonable movement patterns for each chemical through soil, water, insects, and rodents, as well as into the owl via consumption and dermal absorption. Sensitivity analysis suggested model predictions were sensitive to uncertainty associated with estimates of chemical half-lives in birds, soil, and prey, sensitive to parameters associated with estimating dermal exposure, and relatively insensitive to uncertainty associated with details of chemical application procedures (timing of application, amount of drift). Nonetheless, the general trends in chemical accumulations and the relative impacts of the various chemicals were robust to these parameter changes. Simulation results suggested that insecticides posed a greater potential risk to owls of both sublethal and lethal effects than do herbicides, defoliants, and growth regulators under crop scenarios typical of southern Texas, and that use of multiple indicators, or endpoints provided a more accurate assessment of risk due to agricultural chemical exposure. The model should prove
Šklíba, J.; Mazoch, V.; Patzenhauerová, Hana; Hrouzková, E.; Lövy, M.; Kott, O.; Šumbera, R.
Roč. 77, č. 6 (2012), s. 420-427. ISSN 1616-5047 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA601410802 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Bathyergidae * Burrow system * Sociality * Habitat characteristics * Subterranean mammal * Fukomys anselli Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.246, year: 2012
We compared the hydrodynamics of replicate experimental mixed cell and replicate standard Burrows pond rearing systems at the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, ID, in an effort to identify methods for improved solids removal. We measured and compared the hydraulic residence time, particle removal eff...
Chipman, E.D.; McIntyre, N.E.; Ray, J.D.; Wallace, M.C.; Boal, C.W.
We studied the behavioral effects of necklace-style radiotransmitters on breeding male western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) in 2 areas of northwestern Texas, USA, in 2004 and 2005. We tested the hypothesis that transmittered owls would spend time interacting with their necklaces and as a result spend less time in vigilance and resting activities than would nontransmittered owls. Nontransmittered owls (n = 6) spent significantly more time being vigilant (P = 0.007) than did transmittered owls (n = 3) in 2004, who spent significant amounts of time interacting with their necklaces. In 2005, behaviors of transmittered owls (n = 8) were significantly different (P owls spent a significant amount of time interacting with their necklaces, they appeared to habituate to the presence of the transmitters within a relatively short period (<1 week), and necklaces did not affect survivorship or fitness in the short-term.
Subterranean rodents comprise approximately 250 species that spend their entire lives in underground, unventilated tunnels, distributed along all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Subterranean rodents escape from predators and extreme climatic fluctuations in their underground habitats...... systems in the dark; they display remarkable tolerance to a living environment with an excess of carbon dioxide and ammonia, but lack of oxygen; they exhibit extraordinarily long lives, and keep a fantastic resistance to cancer and other aging-associated diseases. In this study, we reported the genomic...... and transcriptomic information of DMR and BMR. By comparing the genomes and transcriptomes of subterranean rodents with that of their aboveground counterparts, we uncovered candidate molecular mechanisms of mammalian adaptation to subterranean environment. The extreme biological features of the NMR...
Lipiec, Jerzy; Frąc, Magdalena; Brzezińska, Małgorzata; Turski, Marcin; Oszust, Karolina
The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of earthworms (Lumbricidae) on the enzymatic activity and microbial functional diversity in the burrow system [burrow wall (BW) 0-3 mm, transitional zone (TZ) 3-7 mm, bulk soil (BS) > 20 mm from the BW] and cast aggregates of a loess soil under a pear orchard. The dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, protease, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and acid phosphomonoesterase enzymes were assessed using standard methods. The functional diversity (catabolic potential) was assessed using the Average Well Color Development and Richness Index following the community level physiological profiling from Biolog Eco Plates. All measurements were done using soil from each compartment immediately after in situ sampling in spring. The enzymatic activites including dehydrogenase, protease, β-glucosidase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase were appreciably greater in the BW or casts than in BS and TZ. Conversely, acid phosphomonoesterase had the largest value in the BS. Average Well Color Development in both the TZ and the BS (0.98-0.94 A590 nm) were more than eight times higher than in the BWs and casts. The lowest richness index in the BS (15 utilized substrates) increased by 86-113% in all the other compartments. The PC1 in principal component analysis mainly differentiated the BWs and the TZ. Utilization of all substrate categories was the lowest in the BS. The PC2 differentiated the casts from the other compartments. The enhanced activity of a majority of the enzymes and increased microbial functional diversity in most earthworm-influenced compartments make the soils less vulnerable to degradation and thus increases the stability of ecologically relevant processes in the orchard ecosystem. PMID:27625645
Crowe, D.E.; Longshore, K.M.
We estimated relative abundance and density of Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) at two sites in the Mojave Desert (200304). We made modifications to previously established Burrowing Owl survey techniques for use in desert shrublands and evaluated several factors that might influence the detection of owls. We tested the effectiveness of the call-broadcast technique for surveying this species, the efficiency of this technique at early and late breeding stages, and the effectiveness of various numbers of vocalization intervals during broadcasting sessions. Only 1 (3) of 31 initial (new) owl responses was detected during passive-listening sessions. We found that surveying early in the nesting season was more likely to produce new owl detections compared to surveying later in the nesting season. New owls detected during each of the three vocalization intervals (each consisting of 30 sec of vocalizations followed by 30 sec of silence) of our broadcasting session were similar (37, 40, and 23; n 30). We used a combination of detection trials (sighting probability) and double-observer method to estimate the components of detection probability, i.e., availability and perception. Availability for all sites and years, as determined by detection trials, ranged from 46.158.2. Relative abundance, measured as frequency of occurrence and defined as the proportion of surveys with at least one owl, ranged from 19.232.0 for both sites and years. Density at our eastern Mojave Desert site was estimated at 0.09 ?? 0.01 (SE) owl territories/km2 and 0.16 ?? 0.02 (SE) owl territories/km2 during 2003 and 2004, respectively. In our southern Mojave Desert site, density estimates were 0.09 ?? 0.02 (SE) owl territories/km2 and 0.08 ?? 0.02 (SE) owl territories/km 2 during 2004 and 2005, respectively. ?? 2010 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.
Full Text Available Population size assessments for nocturnal burrow-nesting seabirds are logistically challenging because these species are active in colonies only during darkness and often nest on remote islands where manual inspections of breeding burrows are not feasible. Many seabird species are highly vocal, and recent technological innovations now make it possible to record and quantify vocal activity in seabird colonies. Here we test the hypothesis that remotely recorded vocal activity in Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris borealis breeding colonies in the North Atlantic increases with nest density, and combined this relationship with cliff habitat mapping to estimate the population size of Cory’s shearwaters on the island of Corvo (Azores. We deployed acoustic recording devices in 9 Cory’s shearwater colonies of known size to establish a relationship between vocal activity and local nest density (slope = 1.07, R2 = 0.86, p < 0.001. We used this relationship to predict the nest density in various cliff habitat types and produced a habitat map of breeding cliffs to extrapolate nest density around the island of Corvo. The mean predicted nest density on Corvo ranged from 6.6 (2.1–16.2 to 27.8 (19.5–36.4 nests/ha. Extrapolation of habitat-specific nest densities across the cliff area of Corvo resulted in an estimate of 6326 Cory’s shearwater nests (95% confidence interval: 3735–10,524. This population size estimate is similar to previous assessments, but is too imprecise to detect moderate changes in population size over time. While estimating absolute population size from acoustic recordings may not be sufficiently precise, the strong positive relationship that we found between local nest density and recorded calling rate indicates that passive acoustic monitoring may be useful to document relative changes in seabird populations over time.
Schmelz, M; Petersen, Lars Jelstrup
The combination of vasodilation and protein extravasation following activation of nociceptors has been termed "neurogenic inflammation." In contrast to rodents, no neurogenic protein extravasation can be elicited in healthy human skin. Dermal microdialysis has considerably increased our knowledge...... about neurogenic inflammation in human skin, including the involvement of mast cells....
Broadbent, Nicola J.; Gaskin, Stephane; Squire, Larry R.; Clark, Robert E.
In rodents, the novel object recognition task (NOR) has become a benchmark task for assessing recognition memory. Yet, despite its widespread use, a consensus has not developed about which brain structures are important for task performance. We assessed both the anterograde and retrograde effects of hippocampal lesions on performance in the NOR…
Richter, D.; Endepols, S.; Ohlenbusch, A.; Eiffert, H.; Spielman, A.; Matuschka, F. R.
To determine whether particular Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. genospecies associate solely with rodent reservoir hosts, we compared the genospecies prevalence in questing nymphal Ixodes ticks with that in xenodiagnostic ticks that had fed as larvae on rodents captured in the same site. No genospecies was more prevalent in rodent-fed ticks than in questing ticks. The three main spirochete genospecies, therefore, share common rodent hosts.
Steffen, Johannes; Krohn, Markus; Paarmann, Kristin; Schwitlick, Christina; Brüning, Thomas; Marreiros, Rita; Müller-Schiffmann, Andreas; Korth, Carsten; Braun, Katharina; Pahnke, Jens
Alzheimer's disease primarily occurs as sporadic disease and is accompanied with vast socio-economic problems. The mandatory basic research relies on robust and reliable disease models to overcome increasing incidence and emerging social challenges. Rodent models are most efficient, versatile, and predominantly used in research. However, only highly artificial and mostly genetically modified models are available. As these 'engineered' models reproduce only isolated features, researchers demand more suitable models of sporadic neurodegenerative diseases. One very promising animal model was the South American rodent Octodon degus, which was repeatedly described as natural 'sporadic Alzheimer's disease model' with 'Alzheimer's disease-like neuropathology'. To unveil advantages over the 'artificial' mouse models, we re-evaluated the age-dependent, neurohistological changes in young and aged Octodon degus (1 to 5-years-old) bred in a wild-type colony in Germany. In our hands, extensive neuropathological analyses of young and aged animals revealed normal age-related cortical changes without obvious signs for extensive degeneration as seen in patients with dementia. Neither significant neuronal loss nor enhanced microglial activation were observed in aged animals. Silver impregnation methods, conventional, and immunohistological stains as well as biochemical fractionations revealed neither amyloid accumulation nor tangle formation. Phosphoepitope-specific antibodies against tau species displayed similar intraneuronal reactivity in both, young and aged Octodon degus.In contrast to previous results, our study suggests that Octodon degus born and bred in captivity do not inevitably develop cortical amyloidosis, tangle formation or neuronal loss as seen in Alzheimer's disease patients or transgenic disease models. PMID:27566602
Kijlstra, Dr. Aize; Cornelissen, Jan; Jongert, Dr. Erik; de Craeye, Stephane
Livestock farming can be prone to rodent infestations as it provides unlimited amounts of shelter, water and food to commensal rodents. Besides economic losses and structural damages, these rodents may transmit pathogens directly to farmers or via livestock to consumers of livestock products. Hygienic standards in intensive pig production systems have largely eliminated the contact between rodents and livestock. The introduction of animal-friendly production sytems may however lead to an incr...
Full Text Available The fossil record is widely informative about evolution, but fossils are not systematically used to study the evolution of stem-cell-driven renewal. Here, we examined evolution of the continuous growth (hypselodonty of rodent molar teeth, which is fuelled by the presence of dental stem cells. We studied occurrences of 3,500 North American rodent fossils, ranging from 50 million years ago (mya to 2 mya. We examined changes in molar height to determine whether evolution of hypselodonty shows distinct patterns in the fossil record, and we found that hypselodont taxa emerged through intermediate forms of increasing crown height. Next, we designed a Markov simulation model, which replicated molar height increases throughout the Cenozoic and, moreover, evolution of hypselodonty. Thus, by extension, the retention of the adult stem cell niche appears to be a predictable quantitative rather than a stochastic qualitative process. Our analyses predict that hypselodonty will eventually become the dominant phenotype.
Karen Chin; Dean Pearson; A A Ekdale
The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty s...
Albores-Barajas, Yuri V.; Cecilia Soldatini
During 2004, we followed 72 natural burrows to determine the effects of disturbance on breeding success of Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus). We used distance from a human settlement or path in the analysis of disturbance. Birds whose burrows were closer to the path or the village had a higher rate of nest abandonment and lower breeding success compared to birds nesting further away from the path or the village. Also, older and more experienced individuals represented a larger propor...
Full Text Available The wildlife plague system in the Pre-Balkhash desert of Kazakhstan has been a subject of study for many years. Much progress has been made in generating a method of predicting outbreaks of the disease (infection by the gram negative bacterium Yersinia pestis but existing methods are not yet accurate enough to inform public health planning. The present study aimed to identify characteristics of individual mammalian host (Rhombomys opimus burrows related to and potentially predictive of the presence of R.opimus and the dominant flea vectors (Xenopsylla spp..Over four seasons, burrow characteristics, their current occupancy status, and flea and tick burden of the occupants were recorded in the field. A second data set was generated of long term occupancy trends by recording the occupancy status of specific burrows over multiple occasions. Generalised linear mixed models were constructed to identify potential burrow properties predictive of either occupancy or flea burden.At the burrow level, it was identified that a burrow being occupied by Rhombomys, and remaining occupied, were both related to the characteristics of the sediment in which the burrow was constructed. The flea burden of Rhombomys in a burrow was found to be related to the tick burden. Further larger scale properties were also identified as being related to both Rhombomys and flea presence, including latitudinal position and the season.Therefore, in advancing our current predictions of plague in Kazakhstan, we must consider the landscape at this local level to increase our accuracy in predicting the dynamics of gerbil and flea populations. Furthermore this demonstrates that in other zoonotic systems, it may be useful to consider the distribution and location of suitable habitat for both host and vector species at this fine scale to accurately predict future epizootics.
Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A
Nondomesticated species are commonly being kept as companion animals. These include the African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albi-ventris), the North American black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys lu-dovicianus), and exotic rodents such as the degu (Octodon degus)and duprasi or fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi). Common companion marsupials include the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps),Bennett's or Tammar (Dama) wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus rufo-griseus and Macropus eugenii, respectively), the Brazilian or South American gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica), and the North American Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Although many of these animals are now bred domestically and are fairly docile when human-raised, they are essentially wild animals and hence have strong instincts to hide illness and pain. PMID:16759954
S, Yudha Prayogie
Image is one of the most popular media used in the exchange of information at the present time. The increased need of using image should also be supported by the available storage. However, usually the size of the resulting image from the camera of a device is relatively large. This problem could be overcome by performing compression on the image. This study would discuss the analysis and comparison of image compression using Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) and Burrows-...
REBOLLAR, EDUARDO; Andrade, Francisco; FERNANDEZ, ILDEFONSO; REYES, FILIBERTO
Sand flies were caught from December 1993 to November 1994 in an endemic focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the state of Campeche, Mexico. A total of 566 sand flies of seven species were collected using emergence funnel-traps, at openings of several mammal burrows. The main species collected were Lutzomyia deleoni and Brumptomyia hamata. Population abundance was found bimodal with the first and higher peak from January to March. A small second peak was found from May to October.
Gilbert, Franck; Rivet, Lucien; Bertrand, Jean-Claude
International audience The in vitro fate of the saturated hydrocarbon fraction (SF) of Arabian Light crude oil has been studied in PVC cores filled with a coastal marine sediment defaunated by sieving. Experiments were conducted in absence or presence of polychaetes Nereis diversicolor. The luminophore tracer technique was used to quantify the mixing of sediment by worms. Presence of crude oil reduced the building of burrows by polychaetes. This work demonstrates the ability of infaunal or...
Clark, J. F.; Stieglitz, T. C.; Hancock, G. J.
A common approach for quantifying rates of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) to the coastal ocean is to use geochemical tracers that are part of the U- and Th-decay chains such as Rn-222 and short lived radium isotopes. These radionuclides are naturally enriched in groundwater relative to seawater and have well understood chemistries within the marine environment. They occur in both fresh (continental) and saline (marine) groundwaters and thus the water source is often ambiguous. Stieglitz (2005, Marine Pollution Bulletin 51, 51-59) has shown that some coastal areas within the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon (Australia) are enriched in the SGD tracer, Rn-222; he attributed this to four possible processes including the tidal flushing of mangrove forest floors. Here, we present a detailed investigation into the tidal circulation of seawater through animal burrows using Rn-222 and isotopes of radium in the Coral Creek mangrove forest, Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia. The study was conducted at the end of the dry season in a creek with no freshwater inputs. Significant export of radionuclides and salt from the forest into the creek indicates continuous tidally driven circulation through the burrows. Results demonstrate that the forest sediment is efficiently flushed, with a water flux of about 30 L/m2/ day of forest floor, which is equivalent to flushing about 10% of the total burrow volume per tidal cycle. Annual average circulation flux through mangrove forest floors are of the same order as annual river discharge in the central GBR. However, unlike the river discharge, the tidal circulation should be relatively stable throughout the year. This work documents the importance of animal burrows in maintaining productive sediments in these systems, and illustrates the physical process that supports large exports of organic and inorganic matter from mangrove forests to the coastal zone. It also illustrates the importance of considering saline groundwater
It is said that American religion,as a great part of American culture,plays an important role in American culture. It is hoped that some ideas can be obtained from this research paper,which focuses on analyzing the great impact is produced to American culture by American religion. Finally, this essay gives two useful standpoints to English learners:Understunding American religion will help understand the American history, culture and American people,and help you to communic.ate with them better. Understanding American religion will help you understand English better.
Chin, Karen; Pearson, Dean; Ekdale, A A
The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving populations of earthworms. PMID:23951041
Seabird burrows provide a soil environment for processing discards such as feathers and guano, hence constituting a primary interface between the sea and the land. This study involved collection and culturing of soil invertebrates from three blue penguin (Eudyptula minor) burrows, and examined their 13C/12C and 15N/14N isotopic composition in relation to potential burrow resources (terrestrial plant litter, burrow soil, guano, blue penguin feathers). Two taxa (cerylonid beetles and small tineid moth larvae) had a depleted 13C/12C indicative of a level of dependence on C from terrestrial soil. Tineid moth larvae (Monopis crocicapitella and (or) M. ethelella) substantially increased their 13C/12C enrichment during development, implying increasing dependence on marine C. Remaining taxa, both decomposers and predators, had 13C/12C intermediate between guano and feathers. Larval and emergent fleas had the most enriched 13C/12C , indicative of a greater dependence on feather C and the likelihood of co-processing with guano. Pseudoscorpions and histerid beetles had overlapping isotopic enrichments implying competition for prey, but were spatially separated in burrow soil. With their highly enriched 15N/14N and marine 13C/12C, larvae and protonymphs of the histiostomatid mite Myianoetus antipodus stood alone. Blue penguin burrows therefore support a diverse invertebrate fauna that incorporates terrestrial soil as well as varying proportions of the various blue penguin discards. (author). 45 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.
Full Text Available The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving populations of earthworms.
Field Surveys were conducted in 1996 to determine the current distribution of several animal species of concern on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). They included the chuckwall (Sauromalus obesus), western burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia), and six species of bats. Nineteen chuckwallas and 118 scat locations were found during the chuckwalla field study. Eighteen western burrowing owls were found at 12 sighting locations during the 1996 field study. Of the eleven bat species of concern which might occur on the NTS, five, and possibly six, were captured during this survey. The U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, takes certain management actions to protect and conserve the chuckwalla, western burrowing owl, and bats on the NTS. These actions are described and include: (1) conducting surveys at sites of proposed land-disturbing activities (2) altering projects whenever possible to avoid or minimize impacts to these species (3) maintaining a geospatial database of known habitat for species of concern (4) sharing sighting and trap location data gathered on the NTS with other local land and resource managers, and (5) conducting periodic field surveys to monitor these species distribution and relative abundance on the NTS
Full Text Available We report the synthesis of Pt nanoparticles and their burrowing into silicon upon irradiation of a Pt–Si thin film with medium-energy neon ions at constant fluence (1.0 × 1017 ions/cm2. Several values of medium-energy neon ions were chosen in order to vary the ratio of the electronic energy loss to the nuclear energy loss (Se/Sn from 1 to 10. The irradiated films were characterized using Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS, atomic force microscopy (AFM, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM. A TEM image of a cross section of the film irradiated with Se/Sn = 1 shows ≈5 nm Pt NPs were buried up to ≈240 nm into the silicon. No silicide phase was detected in the XRD pattern of the film irradiated at the highest value of Se/Sn. The synergistic effect of the energy losses of the ion beam (molten zones are produced by Se, and sputtering and local defects are produced by Sn leading to the synthesis and burrowing of Pt NPs is evidenced. The Pt NP synthesis mechanism and their burrowing into the silicon is discussed in detail.
Rath, Martin Fredensborg; Rohde, Kristian; Klein, David C;
The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine gland responsible for nocturnal synthesis of melatonin. During early development of the rodent pineal gland from the roof of the diencephalon, homeobox genes of the orthodenticle homeobox (Otx)- and paired box (Pax)-families are expressed and are essential for...... normal pineal development consistent with the well-established role that homeobox genes play in developmental processes. However, the pineal gland appears to be unusual because strong homeobox gene expression persists in the pineal gland of the adult brain. Accordingly, in addition to developmental...... functions, homeobox genes appear to be key regulators in postnatal phenotype maintenance in this tissue. In this paper, we review ontogenetic and phylogenetic aspects of pineal development and recent progress in understanding the involvement of homebox genes in rodent pineal development and adult function...
Ye, Lingtong; Tang, Bin; Wu, Kaichang; Su, Youlu; Wang, Ruixuan; Yu, Ziniu; Wang, Jiangyong
A new polydorin species, Polydora lingshuiensis sp. n., which is found not only in burrows of pearl oyster shells (shell-boring type) but also in mudtubes on the surface of pearl oyster cages (tube-dwelling type), is described with the use of light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and molecular phylogeny. Morphological and molecular distinctions between P. lingshuiensis and other related species reveal that P. lingshuiensis is a valid new species. The reproduction characteristic that the eggs of P. lingshuiensis are gathered together in one hollow cylinder is another piece of evidence confirming that it is indeed a valid new species. Sequence comparisons based on nuclear 18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, and mitochondrial 16S rDNA show that strains of the shell-boring type possess as high as 99.9% to 100% sequence identity relative to those of the tube-dwelling type. This finding evidently indicates that these species types are conspecific. We also find that a comparison of mitochondrial 16S rDNA sequences can provide a higher resolution of polydorin species than those of the nuclear 18S rDNA because the former has a higher interspecific/intraspecific difference ratio. Phylogenetic analyses based on 18S rDNA sequences indicate that all P. lingshuiensis samples group together to forming a sister clade to Polydora uncinata and thus fall within Polydora aura/P. uncinata clade. PMID:26250172
Cox, Anthony J; Jakobi, Tobias; Rosone, Giovanna
Motivation The Burrows-Wheeler transform (BWT) is the foundation of many algorithms for compression and indexing of text data, but the cost of computing the BWT of very large string collections has prevented these techniques from being widely applied to the large sets of sequences often encountered as the outcome of DNA sequencing experiments. In previous work, we presented a novel algorithm that allows the BWT of human genome scale data to be computed on very moderate hardware, thus enabling us to investigate the BWT as a tool for the compression of such datasets. Results We first used simulated reads to explore the relationship between the level of compression and the error rate, the length of the reads and the level of sampling of the underlying genome and compare choices of second-stage compression algorithm. We demonstrate that compression may be greatly improved by a particular reordering of the sequences in the collection and give a novel `implicit sorting' strategy that enables these benefits to be re...
Full Text Available Neohelice granulata inhabits estuarine and protected coastal areas in temperate regions and is the most dominant decapod crustacean in the Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentina. The population structure was studied during a year in a SW Atlantic salt marsh located in the Bahía Blanca Estuary. Crabs were sampled monthly from August 2010 to July 2011. The maximum observed density was 30 crabs m-2 in February and 70 burrows m-2 in May. The maximum carapace width (CW was 32 and 27.5 mm in males and females respectively. Medium size crabs were between 16 and 20 mm CW. Significantly smaller sized crabs were observed at the lower intertidal regions (P < 0.05. The sex ratio was favorable for males and was significantly different from the expected 1:1 (P < 0.05. The recruitment of unsexed juveniles crabs (CW <6.5 mm was observed throughout the year and the presence of ovigerous females from October to February indicated seasonal reproduction. The average size of ovigerous females was CW = 20.8 mm and the smallest ovigerous female measured was 16 mm CW. For the first time, the population structure of the most important macro-invertebrate is analyzed in the Bahía Blanca Estuary. This study may help to make decisions in the area, where anthropic action is progressing day by day.
Cavalli, Matilde; Baladrón, Alejandro V; Isacch, Juan Pablo; Biondi, Laura M; Bó, María Susana
Urban areas expose wildlife to an array of novel predators, amongst which, humans and dogs are highly frequent. Thus, wild animals living in urban areas are forced to invest more time and energy in defence behaviours, which depend on how the risk is perceived and assessed. We experimentally tested whether Burrowing owls coming from rural and urban habitats showed differences in behavioural responses when facing humans and domestic dogs. We measured flight initiation distances (FIDs), nest returning, and aggressiveness level when owls faced a human and a human with a dog walking towards them. Our results showed that urban owls recognise a human with a dog as a greater threat than a human alone, thus indicating that fear of domestic animals should be considered as affecting owls' settlement in cities and towns. On the other hand, rural owls perceived human and dogs as similar threats, but showed higher FIDs, less aggressiveness, and lower tendency to return to the nest than urban owls in both treatments. These findings emphasize the importance of modified habitats in modelling the response of urban and rural owls to predators and represent another step in the explanation of how wild animals assess and respond to threats associated with living in urbanized environments. PMID:26718884
Ray G. Poulin
Full Text Available Dispersal is a fundamental aspect of population dynamics, and can have direct implications on processes such as the colonization of habitat patches. Pre-migratory movements, landscape fragmentation, and body condition have all been hypothesized as key factors influencing dispersal in birds, but little direct evidence exists to support these ideas. We used radio-telemetry and supplementary feeding to test if body condition or landscape pattern influenced pre-migratory movements of juvenile Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia in a fragmented landscape. We categorized grassland patches as either large (≥95 ha or small and isolated (≤58 ha and ≥1.5 km to next nearest grassland patch, and young owls were either provided supplemental food as nestlings or not. Owlets receiving supplemental food and residing in large grassland patches moved a greater maximum distance from their nest than similarly fed owlets residing in small patches (large = 1605 ± 443 m; small = 373 ± 148 m. In contrast, non-supplemented owlets from large and small patches did not differ in their maximum distance moved from the nest (large = 745 ± 307 m; small 555 ± 286 m. Only two of 32 individuals from small patches moved >800 m, whereas ten of 23 owlets from large patches moved >800 m. In addition, owlets from large patches continued to move farther and farther from their nest before migration, whereas owlets in small, isolated patches ultimately moved
Renaud, Stephen J.; Rumi, M. A. Karim; Soares, Michael J.
The principal role of the placenta is the maintenance of pregnancy and promotion of fetal growth and viability. The use of transgenic rodents has greatly enhanced our understanding of placental development and function. However, embryonic lethality is often a confounding variable in determining whether a genetic modification adversely affected placental development. In these cases, it is beneficial to specifically manipulate the placental genome. The purpose of this review is to summarize ava...
Sadaow, Lakkhana; Intapan, Pewpan M.; Boonmars, Thidarut; Morakote, Nimit; Maleewong, Wanchai
Members of the genus Trichinella are small nematodes that can infect a wide range of animal hosts. However, their infectivity varies depending on the parasite and host species combination. In this study, we examined the susceptibility of 4 species of laboratory rodents, i.e., mice, rats, hamsters, and gerbils to Trichinella papuae, an emerging non-encapsulated Trichinella species. Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella pseudospiralis were also included in this study for comparison. Fifteen anim...
Chen, Guang; Henter, Ioline D.; Manji, Husseini K
Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a complex clinical phenomenon. This episodic illness comprises at least four features/components: depression, mania, vulnerability to mood swings in euthymic BPD patients, and spontaneous cyclicity in at least some BPD patients. Currently, there is no rodent genetic model capable of encompassing the whole phenotype of BPD exists; however, recent genetic-behavioral studies have delineated partial models for some components of BPD, namely, depression, mania, and vulner...
Kan, Iddo; Motro, Yoav; Horvitz, Nir; Kimhi, Ayal; Leshem, Yossi; Yom-Tov, Yoram; Nathan, Ran
Abstract We develop an empirical framework for evaluating the profitability of the use of barn owls to control rodent populations by locating nesting boxes in agricultural areas. Barn owls’ behavior is incorporated into the analysis by estimated functions that relate agricultural production to the birds’ spatial patterns of hunting and nesting choices. The model was developed based on agricultural and zoological data collected in a kibbutz in northern Israel. Focusing on alfalfa, the presence...
Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Mota, Bruno; Lent, Roberto
How do cell number and size determine brain size? Here, we show that, in the order Rodentia, increased size of the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and remaining areas across six species is achieved through greater numbers of neurons of larger size, and much greater numbers of nonneuronal cells of roughly invariant size, such that the ratio between total neuronal and nonneuronal mass remains constant across species. Although relative cerebellar size remains stable among rodents, the number of cer...
Jan Felix Drexler
Full Text Available Hepatitis C virus (HCV is among the most relevant causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Research is complicated by a lack of accessible small animal models. The systematic investigation of viruses of small mammals could guide efforts to establish such models, while providing insight into viral evolutionary biology. We have assembled the so-far largest collection of small-mammal samples from around the world, qualified to be screened for bloodborne viruses, including sera and organs from 4,770 rodents (41 species; and sera from 2,939 bats (51 species. Three highly divergent rodent hepacivirus clades were detected in 27 (1.8% of 1,465 European bank voles (Myodes glareolus and 10 (1.9% of 518 South African four-striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio. Bats showed anti-HCV immunoblot reactivities but no virus detection, although the genetic relatedness suggested by the serologic results should have enabled RNA detection using the broadly reactive PCR assays developed for this study. 210 horses and 858 cats and dogs were tested, yielding further horse-associated hepaciviruses but none in dogs or cats. The rodent viruses were equidistant to HCV, exceeding by far the diversity of HCV and the canine/equine hepaciviruses taken together. Five full genomes were sequenced, representing all viral lineages. Salient genome features and distance criteria supported classification of all viruses as hepaciviruses. Quantitative RT-PCR, RNA in-situ hybridisation, and histopathology suggested hepatic tropism with liver inflammation resembling hepatitis C. Recombinant serology for two distinct hepacivirus lineages in 97 bank voles identified seroprevalence rates of 8.3 and 12.4%, respectively. Antibodies in bank vole sera neither cross-reacted with HCV, nor the heterologous bank vole hepacivirus. Co-occurrence of RNA and antibodies was found in 3 of 57 PCR-positive bank vole sera (5.3%. Our data enable new hypotheses regarding HCV evolution and encourage
Foy, Michael R.; Baudry, Michel; Brinton, Roberta Diaz; Thompson, Richard F.
Accumulating evidence indicates that ovarian hormones regulate a wide variety of non-reproductive functions in the central nervous system by interacting with several molecular and cellular processes. A growing animal literature using both adult and aged rodent models indicates that 17β-estradiol, the most potent of the biologically relevant estrogens, facilitates some forms of learning and memory, in particular those that involve hippocampal-dependent tasks. A recently developed triple-transg...
Hopf, F Woodward; Lesscher, Heidi M B
Continued seeking and drinking of alcohol despite adverse legal, health, economic, and societal consequences is a central hallmark of human alcohol use disorders. This compulsive drive for alcohol, defined by resistance to adverse and deleterious consequences, represents a major challenge when attempting to treat alcoholism clinically. Thus, there has long been interest in developing pre-clinical rodent models for the compulsive drug use that characterizes drug addiction. Here, we review recent studies that have attempted to model compulsive aspects of alcohol and cocaine intake in rodents, and consider technical and conceptual issues that need to be addressed when trying to recapitulate compulsive aspects of human addiction. Aversion-resistant alcohol intake has been examined by pairing intake or seeking with the bitter tastant quinine or with footshock, and exciting recent work has used these models to identify neuroadaptations in the amygdala, cortex, and striatal regions that promote compulsive intake. Thus, rodent models do seem to reflect important aspects of compulsive drives that sustain human addiction, and will likely provide critical insights into the molecular and circuit underpinnings of aversion-resistant intake as well as novel therapeutic interventions for compulsive aspects of addiction. PMID:24731992
Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 diabetes (T2DM, is one of the most common chronic diseases and continues to increase in numbers with large proportion of health care budget being used. Many animal models have been established in order to investigate the mechanisms and pathophysiologic progress of T2DM and find effective treatments for its complications. On the basis of their strains, features, advantages, and disadvantages, various types of animal models of T2DM can be divided into spontaneously diabetic models, artificially induced diabetic models, and transgenic/knockout diabetic models. Among these models, the spontaneous rodent models are used more frequently because many of them can closely describe the characteristic features of T2DM, especially obesity and insulin resistance. In this paper, we aim to investigate the current available spontaneous rodent models for T2DM with regard to their characteristic features, advantages, and disadvantages, and especially to describe appropriate selection and usefulness of different spontaneous rodent models in testing of various new antidiabetic drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Wang, Yang-Wei; Sun, Guang-Dong; Sun, Jing; Liu, Shu-Jun; Wang, Ji; Xu, Xiao-Hong; Miao, Li-Ning
Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 diabetes (T2DM), is one of the most common chronic diseases and continues to increase in numbers with large proportion of health care budget being used. Many animal models have been established in order to investigate the mechanisms and pathophysiologic progress of T2DM and find effective treatments for its complications. On the basis of their strains, features, advantages, and disadvantages, various types of animal models of T2DM can be divided into spontaneously diabetic models, artificially induced diabetic models, and transgenic/knockout diabetic models. Among these models, the spontaneous rodent models are used more frequently because many of them can closely describe the characteristic features of T2DM, especially obesity and insulin resistance. In this paper, we aim to investigate the current available spontaneous rodent models for T2DM with regard to their characteristic features, advantages, and disadvantages, and especially to describe appropriate selection and usefulness of different spontaneous rodent models in testing of various new antidiabetic drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. PMID:23671868
The White Oak floodplain was contaminated with several radionuclides, including 239Pu, during the Manhattan Project in 1944. Plutonium distribution in the soil is nonhomogeneous. An investigation was conducted to deterine Pu accumulation in a resident animal population. Crayfish were chosen because they complete their life-cycle within the contaminated environment, they directly contact contaminated muds, and they function in a food chain of significance to man. Two major conclusions of the research were that Pu concentrations in contaminated crayfish typically exceed those of control crayfish by two orders of magnitude and that if an incident were to occur in which a standard man ingested the soft tissues of ten crayfish from the floodplain, an insignificant whole body dose would accrue over the subsequent 50 years of life. The digestive tract of contaminated crayfish contained 21 to 33% of the Pu body burden, soft tissues contained 11 to 31% of the Pu body burden, and 48 to 62% of the Pu body burden of contaminated crayfish was associated with the carapace. Therefore, at a molt a large proportion of its accumulated Pu is deposited in the environment. A supplementary laboratory investigation using 237Pu included a chronic Pu uptake study by uncontaminated crayfish. In these crayfish, from 64 to 82% of the 237Pu was associated with the body tissues. Complementary data for 237Pu associated with the carapace ranged from 18 to 37% of the distribution. An inventory of 239Pu in crayfish at two sites on the floodplain was calculated by multiplying the estimated biomass of the crayfish by their average 239Pu concentration. This evaluation of Pu associated with the crayfish population was compared to an inventory of 239Pu in the soil in which they burrow and was found to be eight orders of magnitude less
Delaney, M.S.; Dahlman, R.C.; Craig, R.B.
The White Oak floodplain was contaminated with several radionuclides, including /sup 239/Pu, during the Manhattan Project in 1944. Plutonium distribution in the soil is nonhomogeneous. An investigation was conducted to deterine Pu accumulation in a resident animal population. Crayfish were chosen because they complete their life-cycle within the contaminated environment, they directly contact contaminated muds, and they function in a food chain of significance to man. Two major conclusions of the research were that Pu concentrations in contaminated crayfish typically exceed those of control crayfish by two orders of magnitude and that if an incident were to occur in which a standard man ingested the soft tissues of ten crayfish from the floodplain, an insignificant whole body dose would accrue over the subsequent 50 years of life. The digestive tract of contaminated crayfish contained 21 to 33% of the Pu body burden, soft tissues contained 11 to 31% of the Pu body burden, and 48 to 62% of the Pu body burden of contaminated crayfish was associated with the carapace. Therefore, at a molt a large proportion of its accumulated Pu is deposited in the environment. A supplementary laboratory investigation using /sup 237/Pu included a chronic Pu uptake study by uncontaminated crayfish. In these crayfish, from 64 to 82% of the /sup 237/Pu was associated with the body tissues. Complementary data for /sup 237/Pu associated with the carapace ranged from 18 to 37% of the distribution. An inventory of /sup 239/Pu in crayfish at two sites on the floodplain was calculated by multiplying the estimated biomass of the crayfish by their average /sup 239/Pu concentration. This evaluation of Pu associated with the crayfish population was compared to an inventory of /sup 239/Pu in the soil in which they burrow and was found to be eight orders of magnitude less.
O Rocha-Barbosa; A Casinos
Morphological parallelism between South American cavioid rodents and small artiodactyls from the Old World has been postulated for a long time. Our study deals with this question from the point of view of biomechanical characteristics of the long bones. For this, cross-sectional area, second moment of the area, polar moment, athletic ability indicators and strength were calculated for the long bones (i.e. humerus, radius, femur and tibia) of five species of cavioids and two species of artiodactyls. Regressions of all these variables to body mass were established. Regarding the cross-sectional area, the confidence intervals show that the exponents calculated are not significantly different from the geometrical predicted value. The exponents obtained for the second moment of area and the polar moment are not significantly different from the geometrical prediction, except for the humerus. The two indicators of athletic ability scaled as expected, but the bending indicator of athletic ability of the femur was not correlated to body mass. The exponent calculated for femur strength is not different from zero, while the strength of the humerus decreases slightly with the body mass. Additional statistical tests (ANCOVAs) showed no difference between the values of these variables calculated for the samples studied of artiodactyls and rodents. The present results are consistent with the hypothesis that there is significant evolutionary parallelism between cavioid rodents and small artiodactyls.
Pergams, Oliver R. W.; Lawler, Joshua J.
In general, rapid morphological change in mammals has been infrequently documented. Examples that do exist are almost exclusively of rodents on islands. Such changes are usually attributed to selective release or founder events related to restricted gene flow in island settings. Here we document rapid morphological changes in rodents in 20 of 28 museum series collected on four continents, including 15 of 23 mainland sites. Approximately 17,000 measurements were taken of 1302 rodents. Trends i...
Sadaow, Lakkhana; Intapan, Pewpan M; Boonmars, Thidarut; Morakote, Nimit; Maleewong, Wanchai
Members of the genus Trichinella are small nematodes that can infect a wide range of animal hosts. However, their infectivity varies depending on the parasite and host species combination. In this study, we examined the susceptibility of 4 species of laboratory rodents, i.e., mice, rats, hamsters, and gerbils to Trichinella papuae, an emerging non-encapsulated Trichinella species. Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella pseudospiralis were also included in this study for comparison. Fifteen animals of each rodent species were infected orally with 100 muscle larvae of each Trichinella species. Intestinal worm burden was determined at day 6 and 10 post-inoculation (PI). The numbers of muscle larvae were examined at day 45 PI. The reproductive capacity index (RCI) of the 3 Trichinella species in different rodent hosts was determined. By day 6 PI, 33.2-69.6% of the inoculated larvae of the 3 Trichinella species became adult worms in the small intestines of the host animals. However, in rats, more than 96% of adult worms of all 3 Trichinella species were expelled from the gut by day 10 PI. In gerbils, only 4.8-18.1% of adult worms were expelled by day 10 PI. In accordance with the intestinal worm burden and the persistence of adults, the RCI was the highest in gerbils with values of 241.5±41.0 for T. papuae, 432.6±48 for T. pseudospiralis, and 528.6±20.6 for T. spiralis. Hamsters ranked second and mice ranked third in susceptibility in terms of the RCI, Rats yielded the lowest parasite RCI for all 3 Trichinella species. Gerbils may be an alternative laboratory animal for isolation and maintenance of Trichinella spp. PMID:24516265
Heroldová, Marta; Tkadlec, Emil
Roč. 30, č. 1 (2011), s. 82-84. ISSN 0261-2194 R&D Projects: GA MZe QH72075 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Apodemus sylvaticus * Apodemus uralensis * feeding behaviour * lab experiments * Microtus arvalis * rodent pest control Subject RIV: GF - Plant Pathology, Vermin, Weed, Plant Protection Impact factor: 1.402, year: 2011
Ventilatory and metabolic responses of burrowing owls, Athene cunicularia, to moderate and extreme hypoxia: analysis of the hypoxic ventilatory threshold vs. hemoglobin oxygen affinity relationship in birds.
Kilgore, Delbert L; Boggs, Dona F; Kilgore, Trevor J; Colby, Conrad; Williams, Burl R; Bavis, Ryan W
We measured ventilation, oxygen consumption and blood gases in burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) breathing moderate and extreme hypoxic gas mixtures to determine their hypoxic ventilatory threshold (HVT) and to assess if they, like other birds and mammals, exhibit a relationship between HVT and hemoglobin O2 affinity (P(50)) of their blood. An earlier report of an attenuated ventilatory responsiveness of this species to hypoxia was enigmatic given the low O2 affinity (high P(50)) of burrowing owl hemoglobin. In the current study, burrowing owls breathing 11% and 9% O2 showed a significantly elevated total ventilation. The arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) at which ventilation is elevated above normoxic values in burrowing owls was 58 mm Hg. This threshold value conforms well to expectations based on the high P(50) of their hemoglobin and the HVT vs. P(50) relationship for birds developed in this study. Correcting for phylogenetic relatedness in the multi-species analysis had no effect on the HVT vs. P(50) relationship. Also, because burrowing owls in this study did not show a hypometabolic response at any level of hypoxia (even at 9% O2); HVT described in terms of percent change in oxygen convection requirement is identical to that based on ventilation alone. PMID:17561426
Hipsley, Christy A; Rentinck, Marc-Nicolas; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Müller, Johannes
Amphisbaenians are fossorial, predominantly limbless squamate reptiles with distinct cranial shapes corresponding to specific burrowing behaviors. Due to their cryptic lifestyles and the scarcity of museum specimens, little is known of their intraspecific variation, particularly regarding cranial osteology. This represents a critical lack of information, because the majority of morphological investigations of squamate relationships are based on cranial characters. We investigated cranial variation in the West African Coast Worm Lizard Cynisca leucura, a round-headed member of the Amphisbaenidae. Using geometric morphometric analyses of three-dimensional computed tomographic scans, we found that cranial osteology of C. leucura is highly conserved, with the majority of shape changes occurring during growth as the cranium becomes more slender and elongate, accompanied by increasing interdigitation among the dermal roofing bones. Elements of the ventral portion of the cranium remain loosely connected in adults, possibly as a protective mechanism against repeated compression and torsion during burrow excavation. Intraspecific variation was strongly correlated with size change from juveniles to adults, indicating a dominant role of ontogenetic allometry in determining cranial shape. We found no evidence of sexual dimorphism, either during growth or among adults. Given the fossorial habits of C. leucura, we hypothesize that cranial allometry is under strong stabilizing selection to maintain adequate proportions for head-first digging, thereby constraining the ability of individuals to respond to differing selection pressures, including sexual selection and variation in diet or microhabitat. For species in which digging imposes less mechanical stress (e.g., in softer sand), allometric associations during growth may be weakened, allowing changes to the ontogenetic trajectory and subsequent morphological traits. Such developmental dissociation between size and shape, known
Wellicome, Troy I
In most animals, siblings from a given reproductive event emerge over a very short period of time. In contrast, many species of birds hatch their young asynchronously over a period of days or weeks, handicapping last-hatched chicks with an age and size disadvantage. Numerous studies have examined the adaptive significance of this atypical hatching pattern, but few have attempted to explain the considerable intrapopulation variation that exists in hatching asynchrony. I explored proximate determinants of hatching asynchrony by monitoring 112 Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) nests in the grasslands of southern Saskatchewan, Canada, over 4 years. Age disparities between first- and last-hatched siblings (i.e., hatching spans) varied considerably, ranging between 1 and 7 days (mode = 4 days). These hatching spans increased with increased hatching success. Hatching spans also increased with larger clutches, but the increase was less than predicted given the increased time required to lay more eggs. Hatching span was unrelated to number of prey cached in the nest during egg laying (an index of food availability), and was unaltered by a year of super-abundant prey. Furthermore, pairs given extra food during laying had hatching spans equal to those of unsupplemented control pairs. These results were inconsistent with both the energy constraint and facultative manipulation hypotheses, which predict that hatching asynchrony should vary with the level of food during laying, when incubation onset is determined. Burrowing Owls were apparently free of food limitation early in breeding, yet may not have been able to optimize hatching spans because food conditions during laying were largely unrelated to food conditions during brooding. Thus, one of the premises for facultative manipulation of hatching asynchrony-that laying females are able to forecast post-hatch food conditions-may not have been met for this population of Burrowing Owls. PMID:15480800
Moffitt, Christine M.
We compared the hydrodynamics of replicate experimental mixed cell and replicate standard Burrows pond rearing systems at the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, ID, in an effort to identify methods for improved solids removal. We measured and compared the hydraulic residence time, particle removal efficiency, and measures of velocity using several tools. Computational fluid dynamics was used first to characterize hydraulics in the proposed retrofit that included removal of the traditional Burrows pond dividing wall and establishment of four counter rotating cells with appropriate drains and inlet water jets. Hydraulic residence time was subsequently established in the four full scale test tanks using measures of conductivity of a salt tracer introduced into the systems both with and without fish present. Vertical and horizontal velocities were also measured with acoustic Doppler velocimetry in transects across each of the rearing systems. Finally, we introduced ABS sinking beads that simulated fish solids then followed the kinetics of their removal via the drains to establish relative purge rates. The mixed cell raceway provided higher mean velocities and a more uniform velocity distribution than did the Burrows pond. Vectors revealed well-defined, counter-rotating cells in the mixed cell raceway, and were likely contributing factors in achieving a relatively high particle removal efficiency-88.6% versus 8.0% during the test period. We speculate retrofits of rearing ponds to mixed cell systems will improve both the rearing environments for the fish and solids removal, improving the efficiency and bio-security of fish culture. We recommend further testing in hatchery production trials to evaluate fish physiology and growth.
Holroyd, G. L.
Full Text Available Migration and dispersal are important ecological and evolutionary processes and understanding them is a requirement for species conservation efforts. Burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia, the North American equivalent of little owl, A. noctua, is migratory in the northern parts of its range. In Canada their populations have declined dramatically and are classified as endangered. Movements of burrowing owls have been studied using banding (ringing, VHF telemetry, stable isotopes, genetics (DNA, geolocators and satellite transmitters. Geolocators and satellite transmitters provide the most reliable information about migrations but to operate successfully they are both dependent upon exposure to sunlight, which can be limited for nocturnal owls. Ringing encounters and winter influxes of little owls into Spain, including the Balearic Islands, indicate that some migration movement may be occurring. A stable isotope study could determine if wintering owls in southern Europe includes owls originating in northern Europe.
Plischke, Andreas; Quillfeldt, Petra; Lubjuhn, Thomas; Merino, Santiago; Masello, Juan F.
Abstract Wild birds exposed to stressors may modulate their investment in immunity. We studied the leucocytes of breeding burrowing parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus) in Patagonia during five breeding seasons, during which global climate events such as a strong La Ni?a and a weak El Ni?o occurred. We observed strong inter-annual variation in the ratio of heterophils to lymphocytes (H/L), with higher H/L during the adverse conditions of La Ni?a compared with the favourable conditions o...
Rafael A. Gregati; Maria L. Negreiros-Fransozo
The population biology of the burrowing crab Neohelice granulata (Dana, 1851) from a mangrove in Jabaquara Beach, Paraty, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (23º13'04"S and 44º42'47"W), was studied with respect to the following traits: size-frequency distribution, recruitment, reproductive period, fecundity, and sex ratio. Specimens were sampled monthly from April, 2003 to March, 2004, at the river margins during low tide periods. Size, sex, presence of eggs, and stage of the female gonad were r...
de Gibert, Jordi M.; Goldring, Roland
The foraminiferal-rich pelagic Bateig Limestone forms several varieties of the important building stones quarried at Bateig Hill in southeastern Spain. Three principal ichnofabrics ( Bichordites, mottled- Palaeophycus and mottled- Ophiomorpha) are recognized, which are present in at least two (possibly up to four) repeated successions (cycles). Each succession begins with an erosional event. The Bichordites ichnofabric represents a new type of facies, formed as thin turbidity/grain flow, stratiform units derived from sediment slips off a fault into deep water. Each slipped unit became almost completely bioturbated by infaunal echinoids, colonizing by lateral migration. Because of the thinness of the units, successive colonizations tended to truncate the underlying burrows giving rise to a pseudo-stratification. As the Bichordites ichnofabric accumulated on the fault apron, thus reducing the effective height of the fault scarp, the substrate gradually came under the influence of currents traversing the shelf. This led to a change in hydraulic regime, and to the mottled- Palaeophycus and mottled- Ophiomorpha ichnofabrics in sediment deposited under bed load transport, and associated with laminar and cross-stratified beds and local muddy intervals. Reactivation of the fault triggered erosion and channeling and a return to grain flow sedimentation, and to the Bichordites ichnofabric of the succeeding cycle. The highest unit of the Bateig Limestone is formed entirely of cross-stratified calcarenites with occasional Ophiomorpha ( Ophiomorpha-primary lamination ichnofabric) and is similar to many shallow marine facies but they still bear a significant content of pelagic foraminifera. The sedimentary setting bears resemblance with that described for the Pleistocene Monte Torre Paleostrait and the modern Strait of Messina (Italy), where the narrow morphology of the depositional area enhanced tidal currents and allowed for high-energy sandy deposition in relatively deep
Adequate nutrient intake is critical in the maintenance of normal physiological activity of rodents in biomedical studies. Vitamin K is an essential nutrient in rodent diets and functions as a cofactor for the y-carboxylation of certain proteins involved in blood coagulation and bone metabolism. Dif...
Rodents are the most abundant order of living mammals, distributed on every continent except Antarctic and represent 43 % of all mammalian species. Beside causing food losses and infrastructural damage, rodents can harbour pathogens that may cause serious problems to human and animal health. Unfortu
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Leptospirosis is the most common bacterial zoonoses and has been identified as an important emerging global public health problem in Southeast Asia. Rodents are important reservoirs for human leptospirosis, but epidemiological data is lacking. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We sampled rodents living in different habitats from seven localities distributed across Southeast Asia (Thailand, Lao PDR and Cambodia, between 2009 to 2010. Human isolates were also obtained from localities close to where rodents were sampled. The prevalence of Leptospira infection was assessed by real-time PCR using DNA extracted from rodent kidneys, targeting the lipL32 gene. Sequencing rrs and secY genes, and Multi Locus Variable-number Tandem Repeat (VNTR analyses were performed on DNA extracted from rat kidneys for Leptospira isolates molecular typing. Four species were detected in rodents, L. borgpetersenii (56% of positive samples, L. interrogans (36%, L. kirschneri (3% and L. weilli (2%, which were identical to human isolates. Mean prevalence in rodents was approximately 7%, and largely varied across localities and habitats, but not between rodent species. The two most abundant Leptospira species displayed different habitat requirements: L. interrogans was linked to humid habitats (rice fields and forests while L. borgpetersenii was abundant in both humid and dry habitats (non-floodable lands. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii species are widely distributed amongst rodent populations, and strain typing confirmed rodents as reservoirs for human leptospirosis. Differences in habitat requirements for L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii supported differential transmission modes. In Southeast Asia, human infection risk is not only restricted to activities taking place in wetlands and rice fields as is commonly accepted, but should also include tasks such as forestry work, as well as the hunting and preparation of rodents for
Burkett, J P; Andari, E; Johnson, Z V; Curry, D C; de Waal, F B M; Young, L J
Consolation behavior toward distressed others is common in humans and great apes, yet our ability to explore the biological mechanisms underlying this behavior is limited by its apparent absence in laboratory animals. Here, we provide empirical evidence that a rodent species, the highly social and monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), greatly increases partner-directed grooming toward familiar conspecifics (but not strangers) that have experienced an unobserved stressor, providing social buffering. Prairie voles also match the fear response, anxiety-related behaviors, and corticosterone increase of the stressed cagemate, suggesting an empathy mechanism. Exposure to the stressed cagemate increases activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, and oxytocin receptor antagonist infused into this region abolishes the partner-directed response, showing conserved neural mechanisms between prairie vole and human. PMID:26798013
Globus, Ruth K; Morey-Holton, Emily
The rodent hindlimb unloading (HU) model was developed in the 1980s to make it possible to study mechanisms, responses, and treatments for the adverse consequences of spaceflight. Decades before development of the HU model, weightlessness was predicted to yield deficits in the principal tissues responsible for structure and movement on Earth, primarily muscle and bone. Indeed, results from early spaceflight and HU experiments confirmed the expected sensitivity of the musculoskeletal system to gravity loading. Results from human and animal spaceflight and HU experiments show that nearly all organ systems and tissues studied display some measurable changes, albeit sometimes minor and of uncertain relevance to astronaut health. The focus of this review is to examine key HU results for various organ systems including those related to stress; the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous systems; vision changes; and wound healing. Analysis of the validity of the HU model is important given its potential value for both hypothesis testing and countermeasure development. PMID:26869711
American tripanosomiasis: a study on the prevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma cruzi-like organisms in wild rodents in San Luis province, Argentina Tripanosomiasis americana: um estudo sobre a prevalência do Trypanosoma cruzi e Trypanosoma cruzi-like em roedores silvestres da provincia de San Luis, Argentina
Ana María Brigada
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. Wild and perianthropic mammals maintain the infection/transmission cycle, both in their natural habitat and in the peridomestic area. The aim of this paper was to present the results from a study on wild rodents in the central and northern regions of San Luis province, Argentina, in order to evaluate the prevalence of this infection. METHODS: Sherman traps were set up in capture areas located between latitudes 32º and 33º S, and longitudes 65º and 66º W. The captured rodents were taxonomically identified and hemoflagellates were isolated. Morphological, biometric and molecular studies and in vitro cultures were performed. Infection of laboratory animals and histological examination of the cardiac muscle and inoculation area were also carried out. Parasites were detected in circulating blood in Calomys musculinus, Graomys griseoflavus, Phyllotis darwini and Akodon molinae. The parasites were identified using biological criteria. Molecular PCR studies were performed on some isolates, which confirmed the characterization of these hemoflagellates as Trypanosoma cruzi. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Forty-four percent of the 25 isolates were identified as Trypanosoma cruzi, and the remaining 56% as Trypanosoma cruzi-like. These findings provide evidence that wild rats infected with Trypanosoma cruzi and Trypanosoma cruzi-like organisms are important in areas of low endemicity.INTRODUÇÃO: A doença de Chagas é causada pelo Trypanosoma cruzi e os mamíferos periantrópicos e silvestres mantêm o ciclo de infecção/transmissão, tanto no ambiente natural, como no peridomicílio. O objetivo deste trabalho foi mostrar os resultados de um estudo de roedores silvestres do centro e norte da Província de San Luis, Argentina, para avaliar a prevalência da infecção. MÉTODOS: Estabeleceram-se lugares de caça com armadilhas tipo Sherman entre os 32º - 33º de latitude S e 65º - 66º de
Weber, Roy E.; Bonaventura, J.; Sullivan, B.;
Oxygen equilibria, ligand-binding kinetics and some other physicochemical properties are reported for erythrocruorins of two intertidal polychaetes:Marphysa sanguinea, which inhabits simple, relatively stagnant burrows, andDiopatra cuprea, which inhabits impermeable, parchment-like tubes that are...
Full Text Available Altogether, 132 rodents of 4 species of Meriones persicus , Cricetulus migratorius, Mus muscri~ius and Allactaga dater were collected with live traps from different parts of Meshkin - shahr district from summer 1373 to autumn 1374. The purpose of this survey was to identify the parasitic fauna of rodents. Before dissection, the mammals were measured for biometric purposes. Babesia microti , seen in thin smear , were prepared from hearts’ blood in one of Meriones persicus, that was infected with Jxodidae ticks and showed local alopecia.This is the first report on the natural infection of a rodent with Babesia microti in Iran.
CHANG Zhao Rui; LU Liang; MAO De Qiang; PAN Hui Ming; FENG Lian Gui; YANG Xiao Bing; LIU Feng Feng
Objective To investigate the impact of impoundment and active public health interventions on rodent populations and rodent-borne diseases in the Three Gorges reservoir region from 1997 to 2012. Methods Surveillance data from 1997 to 2012 were extracted from the Public Health Surveillance System of The Three Gorges established in 1997. Temporal changes in the incidences of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and leptospirosis, rodent density, pathogen-carrying rates, and their correlations were analyzed. ResultsThe average indoor and outdoor rodent densities decreased overall from 1997 to 2012. The average densities decreased by 47.72% (from 4.38% to 2.29%) and 39.68% (from 4.41% to 2.66%), respectively, after impoundment (2003-2012) compared with before impoundment (1997-2002). The average annual incidence rates of HFRS and leptospirosis were 0.29/100,000 and 0.52/100,000, respectively, and decreased by 85.74% (from 0.68/100,000 to 0.10/100,000) and 95.73% (from 1.47/100,000 to 0.065/100,000), respectively, after impoundment compared with before impoundment. Incidences of HFRS and leptospirosis appear to be positively correlated with rodent density in the reservoir area. Conclusion This study demonstrated that rodent density and incidences of rodent-borne diseases decreased and were maintained at low levels during construction of the Three Gorges dam. Measures that reduce rodent population densities could be effective in controlling rodent-borne diseases during large-scale hydraulic engineering construction.
Full Text Available The burrowing-cricket genus Velarifictorus Randell, 1964 is reviewed in Korea, comparing with morphologically resembled genus Lepidogryllus Otte and Alexander, 1983 for the first time. First, Velarifictorus aspersus borealis Gorochov, 1985 is confirmed from only restricted area of southern regions in Gyeongsangnam- do and Jeollanam-do. Second, Velarifictorus micado (Saussure, 1877 is confirmed from nearly all around the Korean peninsula including North Korea. Third, the previously not recorded Velarifictorus ornatus (Shiraki, 1911 is newly recognized from South Korea. Relating to the genus Velarifictorus, the resembled genus Lepidogryllus Otte and Alexander, 1983 and its species Lepidogryllus siamensis (Chopard, 1961 com. & stat. nov. is studied and compared with Velarifictorus members. A key, descriptions, tables, photographs, figures, oscillograms and spectrograms of calling sounds are provided to aid identification between the four similar species.
Lopatina, D. A.; Zanina, O. G.
The comparative analysis of palynomorphs and plant megafossils (fruits, seeds, twigs, leaves) in the Upper Pleistocene host sediments and materials filling in fossil burrows of gophers, their coprolites included, at the Duvannyi Yar, Stanchikovskii Yar and Zelenyi Mys sites of the Kolyma Lowland is carried out. Genera Salix, Lychnis, Silene, Draba, Potentilla, Larix, and families Poaceae, Polygonaceae, Cyperaceae, Compositae, and Leguminosae are determined among palynological remains and megafossils. Factors responsible for qualitative and quantitative differences in taxonomic compositions of palynological and megafossil assemblages are biological peculiarities of plants, different character of fossilization of palynomorphs and large plant remains, geographic conditions, different genesis of assemblages (allochthonous for microfossils and autochthonous for megafossils), and inadequately known morphology of certain spore and pollen taxa. The comprehensive paleobotanical analysis leads to the conclusion that the study region was occupied in the Late Pleistocene by plant communities of humid to somewhat dryer tundra with separate areas of pioneering and steppe vegetation.
Welty, J.L.; Belthoff, J.R.; Egbert, J.; Schwabl, H.
Increases in yolk androgens within and among avian clutches have been correlated with decreased incubation time, increased aggression within a nest, increased begging behaviour, decreased immune response, and decreased life span. Although the mechanisms that lead to variability in yolk androgens within and between clutches are not completely known, yolk androgens can be a function of both social and environmental conditions. We were interested in if and how nesting density, laying date, and laying order influenced yolk androgens in Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea (Bonaparte, 1825)) in which nest density varies considerably. In 2006 and 2007, we used radioimmunoassay to quantify the concentrations of testosterone, 5a-dihydrotestosterone, and androstenedione in the egg yolks from one early and one latelaid egg in 47 nests of Burrowing Owls located in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southern Idaho. Nesting density had no detectable effect on yolk androgens. Yolk androgens varied temporally and peaked in the middle of the laying season while being low before and after this time period. Within nests, late-laid eggs had higher testosterone and dihydrotestosterone than early-laid eggs; adrostendione exhibited a similar pattern in one but not both years of our study. It is possible that the seasonal pattern in yolk androgens that we observed is related to aspects of mate quality for females or declining chances of fledging success for later nesting females, whereas rises in egg androgens between early and late eggs within clutches could reflect a mechanism to assist nestlings from late-laid eggs that hatch one to several days after their siblings to better compete for resources within the nest or promote survival in the presence of larger siblings.
Full Text Available In order to survive after birth, mammalian infants need a caretaker, usually the mother. Several behavioral strategies have evolved to guarantee the transition from a period of intense caregiving to offspring independence. Here, we examine a selection of literature on the genetic, epigenetic, physiological, and behavioral factors relating to development and mother-infant interactions. We intend to show the utility of comparisons between rodent and human models for deepening knowledge regarding this key relationship. Particular attention is paid to the following factors: the distinct developmental stages of the mother-pup relationship as relating to behavior; examples of key genetic components of mammalian mother-infant interactions, specifically those coding for the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin; and the possible functions of gene imprinting in mediating interactions between genetics and environment in the mother-infant relationship. As early mother-infant attachment seems to establish the basic parameters for later social interactions, ongoing investigations in this area are essential. We propose the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in order to better understand the network of genes, gene regulation, neuropeptide action, physiological processes, and feedback loops essential to understand the complex behaviors of mother-infant interaction.
Syed, Farhan A; Melim, Terry
With an increase in the average life span especially in the Western hemisphere, there is renewed interest in treating maladies of old age including osteoporosis. Age-related bone loss and resultant osteoporosis substantially increase risk of fractures and morbidity in the geriatric population leading to both a decline in the quality of life for the elderly as well as a substantial burden on the health care system. Herein, we review recent research in murine and rodent models looking at how both extrinsic and intrinsic factors such as hormones, biochemicals, neuromodulators, inflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress, nutrition, and exercise influence the skeleton with age. Recent studies on the relationship between bone and fat in the marrow, and the fate of the marrow mesenchymal stromal cell population, which can give rise to either bone-forming osteoblasts or fat-forming adipocytic cells as a function of age, have also been highlighted. An appreciable range of studies using aging murine as well as cellular models are discussed, as these studies have broadened our understanding of the pathways and players in the aging bone. Impactful information regarding aging and the bone may then allow the application of better pharmacologic as well as nonpharmacologic regimens to alleviate bone loss due to aging. PMID:21918858
Vorhees, Charles V; Williams, Michael T
Maneuvering safely through the environment is central to survival of almost all species. The ability to do this depends on learning and remembering locations. This capacity is encoded in the brain by two systems: one using cues outside the organism (distal cues), allocentric navigation, and one using self-movement, internal cues and nearby proximal cues, egocentric navigation. Allocentric navigation involves the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and surrounding structures; in humans this system encodes allocentric, semantic, and episodic memory. This form of memory is assessed in laboratory animals in many ways, but the dominant form of assessment is the Morris water maze (MWM). Egocentric navigation involves the dorsal striatum and connected structures; in humans this system encodes routes and integrated paths and, when overlearned, becomes procedural memory. In this article, several allocentric assessment methods for rodents are reviewed and compared with the MWM. MWM advantages (little training required, no food deprivation, ease of testing, rapid and reliable learning, insensitivity to differences in body weight and appetite, absence of nonperformers, control methods for proximal cue learning, and performance effects) and disadvantages (concern about stress, perhaps not as sensitive for working memory) are discussed. Evidence-based design improvements and testing methods are reviewed for both rats and mice. Experimental factors that apply generally to spatial navigation and to MWM specifically are considered. It is concluded that, on balance, the MWM has more advantages than disadvantages and compares favorably with other allocentric navigation tasks. PMID:25225309
Resistance to malaria infection is known to require an intact immune system. his chapter presents an overview of rodent malaria, the host response to infection and methods for assessing infection in rats and mice.
Public Health Agency
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued new guidance for owners of pet rodents following two recent UK cases of hantavirus which are described in a paper published in this week's Eurosurveillance.
Fortes-Gabriel, Elsa; Carreira, Teresa; Vieira, Maria Luísa
Rodents play an important role in the transmission of pathogenic Leptospira spp. However, in Angola, neither the natural reservoirs of these spirochetes nor leptospirosis diagnosis has been considered. Regarding this gap, we captured rodents in Luanda and Huambo provinces to identify circulating Leptospira spp. Rodent kidney tissue was cultured and DNA amplified and sequenced. Culture isolates were evaluated for pathogenic status and typing with rabbit antisera; polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing were also performed. A total of 37 rodents were captured: Rattus rattus (15, 40.5%), Rattus norvegicus (9, 24.3%), and Mus musculus (13, 35.2%). Leptospiral DNA was amplified in eight (21.6%) kidney samples. From the cultures, we obtained four (10.8%) Leptospira isolates belonging to the Icterohaemorrhagiae and Ballum serogroups of Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira borgpetersenii genospecies, respectively. This study provides information about circulating leptospires spread by rats and mice in Angola. PMID:26928840
@@ A rodent discovered last year in Laos may actually be a survivor of a group believed to have been extinct for 11 million years, an international group of scientists, including a CAS researcher, reported on March 9.
Bryja, Josef; Aghová, Tatiana; Mikula, Ondřej; Mazoch, V.; Šumbera, R.
Lisbon: -, 2014. s. 28. [Rodens et Spatium /14./. 28.07.2014-02.08.2014, Lisbon] Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : rodents * Eastern Africa Subject RIV: EG - Zoology http://rslisbon2014.wix.com/conference
Skonhoft, Anders; Leirs, Herwig; Andreassen, Harry P;
of the dry season/beginning of rainy season. The paper demonstrates that changing from today's practice of symptomatic treatment when heavy rodent damage is noticed to a practice where the calendar is emphasized, may substantially improve the economic conditions for the maize producing farmers. This......The paper treats the economy of controlling an African pest rodent, the multimammate rat, causing major damage in maize production. An ecological population model is presented and used as a basis for the economic analyses carried out at the village level using data from Tanzania. This model...... strategies, by varying the duration and timing of rodenticide application. Our numerical results suggest that it is economically beneficial to control the rodent population. In general, the most cost-effective duration of controlling the rodent population is 3-4 months every year, and especially at the end...
Fortes-Gabriel, Elsa; Carreira, Teresa; Vieira, Maria Luísa
Rodents play an important role in the transmission of pathogenic Leptospira spp. However, in Angola, neither the natural reservoirs of these spirochetes nor leptospirosis diagnosis has been considered. Regarding this gap, we captured rodents in Luanda and Huambo provinces to identify circulating Leptospira spp. Rodent kidney tissue was cultured and DNA amplified and sequenced. Culture isolates were evaluated for pathogenic status and typing with rabbit antisera; polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing were also performed. A total of 37 rodents were captured: Rattus rattus (15, 40.5%), Rattus norvegicus (9, 24.3%), and Mus musculus (13, 35.2%). Leptospiral DNA was amplified in eight (21.6%) kidney samples. From the cultures, we obtained four (10.8%) Leptospira isolates belonging to the Icterohaemorrhagiae and Ballum serogroups of Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira borgpetersenii genospecies, respectively. This study provides information about circulating leptospires spread by rats and mice in Angola. PMID:26928840
Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen R; Mulder, Guy B; Luo, Yiying; William J. White
For both scientific and animal welfare reasons, training in basic surgical concepts and techniques should be undertaken before ever seeking to perform surgery on a rodent. Students, post-doctoral scholars, and others interested in performing surgery on rodents as part of a research protocol may not have had formal surgical training as part of their required coursework. Surgery itself is a technical skill, and one that will improve with practice. The principles of aseptic technique, however, o...
Youngstrom, Isaac A.; Strowbridge, Ben W.
Because many different sensory modalities contribute to spatial learning in rodents, it has been difficult to determine whether spatial navigation can be guided solely by visual cues. Rodents moving within physical environments with visual cues engage a variety of nonvisual sensory systems that cannot be easily inhibited without lesioning brain areas. Virtual reality offers a unique approach to ask whether visual landmark cues alone are sufficient to improve performance in a spatial task. We ...
Mikhail Stepanichev; Nikolay N Dygalo; Grigory Grigoryan; Shishkina, Galina T.; Natalia Gulyaeva
Rodent models are an indispensable tool for studying etiology and progress of depression. Since interrelated systems of neurotrophic factors and cytokines comprise major regulatory mechanisms controlling normal brain plasticity, impairments of these systems form the basis for development of cerebral pathologies, including mental diseases. The present review focuses on the numerous experimental rodent models of depression induced by different stress factors (exteroceptive and interoceptive) du...
Zhou, Xiaolin; Bedggood, Phillip; Metha, Andrew
Adaptive optics (AO) retinal image quality of rodent eyes is inferior to that of human eyes, despite the promise of greater numerical aperture. This paradox challenges several assumptions commonly made in AO imaging, assumptions which may be invalidated by the very high power and dioptric thickness of the rodent retina. We used optical modeling to compare the performance of rat and human eyes under conditions that tested the validity of these assumptions. Results showed that AO image quality ...
Bordes, Frédéric; Blasdell, Kim; Morand, Serge
Rodents are recognized reservoir hosts for many human zoonotic pathogens. The current trends resulting from anthropocene defaunation suggest that in the future they, along with other small mammals, are likely to become the dominant mammals in almost all human-modified environments. Recent intricate studies on bat-borne emerging diseases have highlighted that many gaps exist in our understanding of the zoonotic transmission of rodent-borne pathogens. This has emphasized the need for scientists interested in rodent-borne diseases to integrate rodent ecology into their analysis of rodent-borne pathogen transmission in order to identify in more detail the mechanisms of spillover and chains of transmission. Further studies are required to better understand the true impact of rodent abundance and the importance of pathogen sharing and circulation in multi-host- multi-pathogen communities. We also need to explore in more depth the roles of generalist and abundant species as the potential links between pathogen-sharing, co-infections and disease transmission. PMID:26176684
... Some research suggests that taking a specific American ginseng extract called CVT-E002 (Cold-FX, Afexa Life Sciences, ... AD-fX, Afexa Life Sciences, Canada) containing American ginseng extract in combination with ginkgo leaf extract might help ...