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Sample records for alligators and crocodiles

  1. Crocodiles and Alligators. Young Discovery Library Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farre, Marie

    This book is written for children ages 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume describes the physical characteristics, behavior, and peculiar habits of crocodiles, including how to distinguish them from close relatives such as alligators, cayman, and gharials. (YP)

  2. Alligators and crocodiles as indicators for restoration of Everglades ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; Best, G. Ronnie; Brandt, Laura A.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Rice, Kenneth G.

    2009-01-01

    Alligators and crocodiles integrate biological impacts of hydrological operations, affecting them at all life stages through three key aspects of Everglades ecology: (1) food webs, (2) diversity and productivity, and (3) freshwater flow. Responses of crocodilians are directly related to suitability of environmental conditions and hydrologic change. Correlations between biological responses and environmental conditions contribute to an understanding of species' status and trends over time. Positive or negative trends of crocodilian populations relative to hydrologic changes permit assessment of positive or negative trends in restoration. The crocodilian indicator uses monitoring parameters (performance measures) that have been shown to be both effective and efficient in tracking trends. The alligator component uses relative density (reported as an encounter rate), body condition, and occupancy rates of alligator holes; the crocodile component uses juvenile growth and hatchling survival. We hypothesize that these parameters are correlated with hydrologic conditions including depth, duration, timing, spatial extent and water quality. Salinity is a critical parameter in estuarine habitats. Assessments of parameters defined for crocodilian performance measures support these hypotheses. Alligators and crocodiles are the charismatic megafauna of the Everglades. They are both keystone and flagship species to which the public can relate. In addition, the parameters used to track trends are easy to understand. They provide answers to the following questions: How has the number of alligators or crocodiles changed? Are the animals fatter or thinner than they should be? Are the animals in the places (in terms of habitat and geography) where they should be? As surely as there is no other Everglades, no other single species defines the Everglades as does the American alligator. The Everglades is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles exist. Crocodilians

  3. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of Chinese alligator,Alligator sinensis, and phylogeny of crocodiles

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Xiaobing; WANG Yiquan; ZHOU Kaiya; ZHU Weiquan; NIE Jishan; WANG Chaolin

    2003-01-01

    The 16746-neucleotide (nt) sequence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis, was determined using the Long-PCR and primer walking methods. As is typical in vertebrates, the mtDNA encodes 13 proteins, 2 rRNA, 22 tRNA genes, and a noncoding control region. The composition of bases is respectively 29.43% A, 24.59% T, 14.86% G, 31.12% C. The gene arrangement differs from the common vertebrate gene arrangement, but is similar to that of other crocodiles. DNA sequence data from 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, protein-coding genes and combined sequence data were used to reconstruct the phylogeny of reptiles with the MP and ML methods. With this large data set and an appropriate range of outgroup taxa,the authors demonstrate that Chinese alligator is most closely related to American alligator among three crocodilian species, which suppors the traditional viewpoint. According to the branch lengths of ML tree from the combined data set,the primary divergence between Alligator and Caiman genus was dated at about 74.9 Ma, the split between Chinese alligator and American alligator was dated at 50.9 Ma.

  4. Detection of antibodies to a pathogenic mycoplasma in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), broad-nosed Caimans (Caiman latirostris), and Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, D R; Schumacher, I M; Nogueira, M F; Richey, L J; Zacher, L A; Schoeb, T R; Vliet, K A; Bennett, R A; Jacobson, E R; Brown, M B

    2001-01-01

    An epidemic of pneumonia with fibrinous polyserositis and multifocal arthritis emerged in captive American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida, United States, in 1995. Mycoplasma alligatoris sp. nov. was cultured from multiple organs, peripheral blood, synovial fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid of affected alligators. In a subsequent experimental inoculation study, the Henle-Koch-Evans postulates were fulfilled for M. alligatoris as the etiological agent of fatal mycoplasmosis of alligators. That finding was remarkable because mycoplasmal disease is rarely fatal in animals. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies produced by alligators in response to M. alligatoris exposure was developed by using plasma obtained from naturally infected alligators during the original epidemic. The assay was validated by using plasma obtained during an experimental dose-response study and applied to analyze plasma obtained from captive and wild crocodilian species. The ELISA reliably detected alligator seroconversion (P crocodile Crocodylus siamensis following experimental inoculation with M. alligatoris. The ELISA may be used to monitor exposure to the lethal pathogen M. alligatoris among captive, repatriated, and wild crocodilian species.

  5. Element concentrations in the flesh and osteoderms of estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) from the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Australia: biotic and geographic effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffree, R A; Markich, S J; Twining, J R

    2001-02-01

    The concentrations of Na, K, Ca, Mg, Ba, Sr, Fe, Al, Mn, Zn, Pb, Cu, Ni, Cr, Co, Se, U, and Ti were determined in the flesh and osteoderms of estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) captured in three adjacent catchments of Kakadu National Park, within the Alligator Rivers Region of northern Australia. This study provides, for the first-time, baseline concentrations of elements in both flesh and osteoderms of wild crocodiles. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to determine the effects of total crocodile length, estimated age, gender, inferred reproductive status, physical condition, and catchment of capture on element concentrations in both tissues. The Mg concentration (log10) in the flesh and osteoderms of C. porosus significantly (p 0.05) effects of gender or inferred reproductive status on element concentrations in the flesh and osteoderms were found. The mean concentrations (log10) of Al, Ba, Cr, Ni, and Pb in flesh and Co, Fe, Mg, Mn, and U in the osteoderms were significantly (p crocodiles. They also point to the utility of crocodiles as long-term biomonitors of their environment.

  6. Alligators and Crocodiles Have High Paracellular Absorption of Nutrients, But Differ in Digestive Morphology and Physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tracy, Christopher R; McWhorter, Todd J; Gienger, C M; Starck, J Matthias; Medley, Peter; Manolis, S Charlie; Webb, Grahame J W; Christian, Keith A

    2015-12-01

    Much of what is known about crocodilian nutrition and growth has come from animals propagated in captivity, but captive animals from the families Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae respond differently to similar diets. Since there are few comparative studies of crocodilian digestive physiology to help explain these differences, we investigated young Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus in terms of (1) gross and microscopic morphology of the intestine, (2) activity of the membrane-bound digestive enzymes aminopeptidase-N, maltase, and sucrase, and (3) nutrient absorption by carrier-mediated and paracellular pathways. We also measured gut morphology of animals over a larger range of body sizes. The two species showed different allometry of length and mass of the gut, with A. mississippiensis having a steeper increase in intestinal mass with body size, and C. porosus having a steeper increase in intestinal length with body size. Both species showed similar patterns of magnification of the intestinal surface area, with decreasing magnification from the proximal to distal ends of the intestine. Although A. mississippiensis had significantly greater surface-area magnification overall, a compensating significant difference in gut length between species meant that total surface area of the intestine was not significantly different from that of C. porosus. The species differed in enzyme activities, with A. mississippiensis having significantly greater ability to digest carbohydrates relative to protein than did C. porosus. These differences in enzyme activity may help explain the differences in performance between the crocodilian families when on artificial diets. Both A. mississippiensis and C. porosus showed high absorption of 3-O methyl d-glucose (absorbed via both carrier-mediated and paracellular transport), as expected. Both species also showed surprisingly high levels of l-glucose-uptake (absorbed paracellularly), with fractional absorptions as high as those

  7. Morphological and molecular characterization of Ortleppascaris sinensis sp. nov. (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea) from the Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, J H; Wang, S S; Tu, G J; Zhou, Y K; Wu, X B

    2016-05-01

    A new nematode species, Ortleppascaris sinensis sp. nov. (Ascaridoidea), is described from specimens found in the stomach and intestine of the Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis Fauvel, 1879 (Crocodilian: Alligatoridae) in the National Nature Reserve of Chinese Alligator (Chinese Crocodile Lake) in Anhui Province, China. This is the first description of O. sinensis sp. nov. in both China and this crocodile host, increasing its distribution in South Asia as well as expanding the number of helminths known to infect this crocodile. The detailed description of O. sinensis sp. nov., based on light and scanning electron microscopic examination, provides new taxonomic data for this species, and we also report sequences of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS), small subunit DNA segments (18S) and the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene.

  8. Thinking with Crocodiles: An Iconic Animal at the Intersection of Early-Modern Religion and Natural Philosophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinreich, Spencer J

    2015-01-01

    This paper seeks to explore how culturally and religiously significant animals could shape discourses in which they were deployed, taking the crocodile as its case study. Beginning with the textual and visual traditions linking the crocodile with Africa and the Middle East, I read sixteenth- and seventeenth-century travel narratives categorizing American reptiles as "crocodiles" rather than "alligators," as attempts to mitigate the disruptive strangeness of the Americas. The second section draws on Ann Blair's study of "Mosaic Philosophy" to examine scholarly debates over the taxonomic identity of the biblical Leviathan. I argue that the language and analytical tools of natural philosophy progressively permeated religious discourse. Finally, a survey of more than 25 extant examples of the premodern practice of displaying crocodiles in churches, as well as other crocodilian elements in Christian iconography, provides an explanation for the ubiquity of crocodiles in Wunderkammern, as natural philosophy appropriated ecclesial visual vocabularies.

  9. OOGENESIS AND OVARIAN HISTOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although folliculogenesis and oogenesis have been observed in numerous reptiles, these phenomena have not been described in detail in a crocodilian. Oogenesis and histological features of the adult ovary of Alligator mississippiensis are described. Using a complex process, the ov...

  10. Persistent organic contaminants and steroid hormones levels in Morelet's crocodiles from the Southern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Jauregui, Mauricio; Valdespino, Carolina; Salame-Méndez, Arturo; Aguirre-León, Gustavo; Rendón-Vonosten, Jaime

    2012-04-01

    Effects of endocrine disruptors on reproductive variables of top predators, such as alligators and crocodiles, have long been cited. Due to their long life span, these predators provide us with historic contaminant annals. In this study we tried to test whether lifestyle (free-ranging vs. farm animals) and reproductive age of Morelet's crocodiles in Campeche, Mexico, affect the bioaccumulation of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Subsequently, we tested to see whether their concentration was related to steroid hormones (testosterone and estradiol-17β) levels once normal cyclic hormone variation and reproductive age had been taken into account. From the group of contaminants considered (analyzed as families), only frequency of hexachlorocyclohexanes (∑HCH) and ∑PCB permitted analyses. Whereas there was a greater concentration of ∑HCH bioaccumulated by free-ranging crocodiles, ∑PCB was found in equal quantities in free-ranging and farm animals. No difference was observed in relation to reproductive age for any of the contaminants. However, ∑PCB concentrations were related to testosterone levels among female crocodiles. This androgenic effect of ∑PCB has not been reported previously. Because testosterone promotes aggressive behavior in vertebrates, excessive aggression during the estrous season, or when female crocodiles should be caring for their young, could result in reproductive failure in Morelet's crocodiles and potential long-term decline of the population.

  11. Structural design and mechanical behavior of alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) osteoderms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Chang-Yu; Chen, Po-Yu

    2013-11-01

    Alligator is a well-adapted living fossil covered with dorsal armor. This dermal shield consists of bony plates, called osteoderms, interconnected by sutures and non-mineralized collagen fibers, providing a dual function of protection and flexibility. Osteoderm features a sandwich structure, combining an inner porous core and an outer dense cortex, to offer enhancements for stiffness and energy absorbance. In this study, we investigated the multi-scale structure and mechanical behaviors of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) osteoderm. Microcomputed tomography was applied to reveal the complex neurovascular network. Through the observation under optical and scanning electron microscopes, the osteoderm was found to consist of woven bone in the dorsal region and lamellar-zonal bone in the ventral region. Nanoindentation and compressive tests were performed to evaluate the mechanical properties of osteoderms. The varying mineral contents and porosity result in a graded mechanical property: a hard and stiff dorsal cortex gradually transform to a more compliant ventral base. Three protective mechanisms optimized for alligator osteoderms were proposed and elucidated.

  12. Morphology and histochemistry of juvenile American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nephrons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Brandon C; Hyndman, Kelly A; Cox, Ashley; Lawler, Ashley; Mathavan, Ketan; Guillette, Louis J

    2009-10-01

    Here we present a detailed morphological description of the alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) kidney and nephron. We present a series of histological, histochemical, and immunohistochemical markers that clearly define the seven regions of the alligator nephron. The alligator kidney is composed of many paired (mirrored) lobules on each kidney (lobe). Single nephrons span the width of lobules three times. The fine structure of glomeruli, lying in rows spanning the height of the lobule, is resolved by periodic acid methionine silver (PAMS) and periodic acid Schiff's (PAS) histochemistry. Glomeruli are connected to the proximal tubule (PT) via a neck segment. The PT is alcian blue-negative, making it distinct from the distal tubule (DT), connecting segment (CS), and collecting duct (CD). The PT is clearly identifiable by a PAS-positive brush border membrane. The PT is connected to the DT via an intermediate segment (IS) that makes a 180 degrees turn to connect these tubules. PAMS-positive material is found in the lumens of the PT, IS, and DT. Also, PAMS-positive granules are found in the DT, CS, and CD. Immunolocalization of the Na(+), K(+)-ATPase to the basolateral membrane of the DT, CS, and CD suggests a role of this enzyme in driving primary and secondary transport processes in these segments, including bicarbonate transport into the lumen of the DT (leading to an alkaline urine). Through the techniques described here, we have identified a series of distinct markers to be used by pathologists, veterinarians, and researchers to easily identify alligator nephron segments. Anat Rec, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  13. The Fox and the Crocodile

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王梅芬

    2008-01-01

    Time: a sunny day Place: a river in the forest Characters: Fox, Crocodile(鳄鱼) , Rabbit A, Rabbit B, Little Deer, Mother Deer Scene ⅠStoryteller: There are many animals in the forest. There is a river in the forest, too.When the animals are thirsty(口渴的) , they often drink water in the river. But there is a bad big crocodile living in the river too. All the small animals hate him but they are also afraid of him.

  14. Exhaustive exercise training enhances aerobic capacity in American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    OpenAIRE

    Eme, John; Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Gwalthney, June; Blank, Jason M.; Rourke, Bryan C.; Hicks, James W.

    2009-01-01

    The oxygen transport system in mammals is extensively remodelled in response to repeated bouts of activity, but many reptiles appear to be ‘metabolically inflexible’ in response to exercise training. A recent report showed that estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) increase their maximum metabolic rate in response to exhaustive treadmill training, and in the present study, we confirm this response in another crocodilian, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). We further specify ...

  15. Pulmonary anatomy in the Nile crocodile and the evolution of unidirectional airflow in Archosauria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma R. Schachner

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The lungs of birds have long been known to move air in only one direction during both inspiration and expiration through most of the tubular gas-exchanging bronchi (parabronchi. Recently a similar pattern of airflow has been observed in American alligators, a sister taxon to birds. The pattern of flow appears to be due to the arrangement of the primary and secondary bronchi, which, via their branching angles, generate inspiratory and expiratory aerodynamic valves. Both the anatomical similarity of the avian and alligator lung and the similarity in the patterns of airflow raise the possibility that these features are plesiomorphic for Archosauria and therefore did not evolve in response to selection for flapping flight or an endothermic metabolism, as has been generally assumed. To further test the hypothesis that unidirectional airflow is ancestral for Archosauria, we measured airflow in the lungs of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus. As in birds and alligators, air flows cranially to caudally in the cervical ventral bronchus, and caudally to cranially in the dorsobronchi in the lungs of Nile crocodiles. We also visualized the gross anatomy of the primary, secondary and tertiary pulmonary bronchi of C. niloticus using computed tomography (CT and microCT. The cervical ventral bronchus, cranial dorsobronchi and cranial medial bronchi display similar characteristics to their proposed homologues in the alligator, while there is considerable variation in the tertiary and caudal group bronchi. Our data indicate that the aspects of the crocodilian bronchial tree that maintain the aerodynamic valves and thus generate unidirectional airflow, are ancestral for Archosauria.

  16. Identification and partial sequencing of a crocodile poxvirus associated with deeply penetrating skin lesions in farmed Nile crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huchzermeyer, F W; Wallace, D B; Putterill, J F; Gerdes, G H

    2009-09-01

    When large numbers of crocodile skins were downgraded because of the presence of small pin prick-like holes, collapsed epidermal cysts were found deep in the dermis of juvenile crocodiles while forming cysts were observed in hatchlings. Histopathology of these forming cysts showed the presence of intracytoplasmic inclusions in proliferating and ballooning epidermal cells. Pox virions were seen in electron microscope preparations made from the scabs of such early lesions. The partial sequencing of virus material from scrapings of these lesions and comparison of it with the published sequence of crocodile poxvirus showed the virus associated with the deep lesions to be closely related, but different. To differentiate between the two forms of crocodile pox infection it is suggested that the previously known form should be called "classical crocodile pox" and the newly discovered form "atypical crocodile pox". The application of strict hygiene measures brought about a decline in the percentage of downgraded skins.

  17. Identification and partial sequencing of a crocodile poxvirus associated with deeply penetrating skin lesions in farmed Nile crocodiles, Crocodylus niloticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.W. Huchzermeyer

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available When large numbers of crocodile skins were downgraded because of the presence of small pin pricklike holes, collapsed epidermal cysts were found deep in the dermis of juvenile crocodiles while forming cysts were observed in hatchlings. Histopathology of these forming cysts showed the presence of intracytoplasmic inclusions in proliferating and ballooning epidermal cells. Pox virions were seen in electron microscope preparations made from the scabs of such early lesions. The partial sequencing of virus material from scrapings of these lesions and comparison of it with the published sequence of crocodile poxvirus showed the virus associated with the deep lesions to be closely related, but different. To differentiate between the two forms of crocodile pox infection it is suggested that the previously known form should be called ''classical crocodile pox'' and the newly discovered form ''atypical crocodile pox''. The application of strict hygiene measures brought about a decline in the percentage of downgraded skins.

  18. Macro-habitat preferences by the African manatee and crocodiles – ecological and conservation implications

    OpenAIRE

    L. Luiselli; Akani, G. C.; N. Ebere; Angelici, F.M.; Amori, G.; Politano, E.

    2012-01-01

    African manatees (Trichechus senegalensis) and crocodiles are threatened species in parts of their range. In West Africa, crocodiles may constitute the main predators for manatees apart from humans. Here, we explore the macro-habitat selection of manatees and two species of crocodiles (West African crocodiles Crocodylus suchus and dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis) in the Niger Delta (Nigeria), testing the hypotheses that (i) manate...

  19. Human-crocodile conflict and conservation implications of Saltwater Crocodiles Crocodylus porosus (Reptilia: Crocodylia: Crocodylidae in Sri Lanka

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    A.A. Thasun Amarasinghe

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Human-wildlife conflict occurs when human requirements encroach on those of wildlife populations, with potential costs to both humans and wild animals.  As top predators in most inland waters, crocodilians are involved in human-wildlife conflicts in many countries.  Here we present findings of a 5-year survey on human-crocodile conflict on the island of Sri Lanka and relate the results to improving management practices. We aimed to quantify and understand the causes of human-crocodile conflict in Sri Lanka, and propose solutions to mitigate it.  Visual encounter surveys were carried out to estimate the population size of Saltwater Crocodiles. We recorded 778 sightings of Saltwater Crocodiles at 262 of 400 locations surveyed, and estimate the total population to comprise more than 2000 non-hatchlings and to have increased at an average rate of 5% p.a. since 1978. We propose four crocodile vigilance zones within the wet zone and one crocodile vigilance zone within the dry zone of the country. Specific threats to Saltwater Crocodiles identified in crocodile vigilance zones were: habitat destruction and loss; illegal killing and harvesting (17 killings out of fear, ~200 incidents of killing for meat and skins, ~800 eggs annually for consumption; unplanned translocations; and, interaction with urbanization (10 incidents of crocodiles being run over by trains/vehicles and electrocution. Additionally, 33 cases of crocodile attacks on humans were recorded [8 fatal, 25 non-fatal (minor to grievous injuries] and more than 50 incidents of attacks on farm and pet animals. 

  20. Macro-habitat preferences by the African manatee and crocodiles – ecological and conservation implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Luiselli

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available African manatees (Trichechus senegalensis and crocodiles are threatened species in parts of their range. In West Africa, crocodiles may constitute the main predators for manatees apart from humans. Here, we explore the macro-habitat selection of manatees and two species of crocodiles (West African crocodiles Crocodylus suchus and dwarf crocodile Osteolaemus tetraspis in the Niger Delta (Nigeria, testing the hypotheses that (i manatees may avoid crocodiles in order to minimize risks of predation, and (ii the two crocodile species do compete. The study was carried out between 1994 and 2010 with a suite of different field techniques. We observed that the main macro-habitat types were freshwater rivers and coastal lagoons for manatees, mangroves for West African crocodiles, and rivers and creeks for dwarf crocodiles, with (i the three species differing significantly in terms of their macro-habitat type selection, and (ii significant seasonal influence on habitat selection of each species. Null models for niche overlap showed a significantly lower overlap in macro-habitat type use between manatee and crocodiles, whereas the two crocodiles were relatively similar. Null model analyses did not indicate any competitive interactions between crocodiles. On the other hand, manatees avoided macro-habitats where crocodiles, and especially West African crocodiles, are abundant.

  1. Survival and Growth of American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) hatchlings after artificial incubation and repatriation

    OpenAIRE

    Temsiripong, Yosapong; Woodward, Allan R.; Ross, J. Perran; Kubilis, Paul S.; Percival, H. Franklin

    2006-01-01

    Hatchling American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) produced from artificially incubated wild eggs were returned to their natal areas (repatriated). We compared artificially incubated and repatriated hatchlings released within and outside the maternal alligator’s home range with naturally incubated hatchlings captured and released within the maternal alligator’s home range on Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, and Orange Lake in Florida. We used probability of recapture and total l...

  2. Antibodies to West Nile Virus in Wild and Farmed Crocodiles in Southeastern Mexico

    OpenAIRE

    Machain-Williams, Carlos; Padilla-Paz, Sergio E.; Weber, Manuel; Cetina-Trejo, Rosa; Juarez-Ordaz, José Alfredo; Loroño-Pino, María Alba; ULLOA, ARMANDO; Wang,Chong; Garcia-Rejon, Julián; Blitvich, Bradley J.

    2013-01-01

    Surveillance for evidence of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Morelet’s crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) was conducted in Campeche State, Mexico, in 2007. Sera from 62 crocodiles (32 free-ranging and 30 captive) were assayed for antibodies to WNV by epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibodies to WNV were detected in 13 (41%) wild and nine (30%) captive crocodiles, and the overall antibody prevalence was 35%. Although evidence of WNV infection in captive crocodiles has be...

  3. Blood and Plasma Biochemistry Reference Intervals for Wild Juvenile American Alligators ( Alligator mississippiensis ).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Matthew T; Kupar, Caitlin A; Kelley, Meghan D; Finger, John W; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2016-07-01

    : American alligators ( Alligator mississippiensis ) are one of the most studied crocodilian species in the world, yet blood and plasma biochemistry information is limited for juvenile alligators in their northern range, where individuals may be exposed to extreme abiotic and biotic stressors. We collected blood samples over a 2-yr period from 37 juvenile alligators in May, June, and July to establish reference intervals for 22 blood and plasma analytes. We observed no effect of either sex or blood collection time on any analyte investigated. However, our results indicate a significant correlation between a calculated body condition index and aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase. Glucose, total protein, and potassium varied significantly between sampling sessions. In addition, glucose and potassium were highly correlated between the two point-of-care devices used, although they were significantly lower with the i-STAT 1 CG8+ cartridge than with the Vetscan VS2 Avian/Reptile Rotor. The reference intervals presented herein should provide baseline data for evaluating wild juvenile alligators in the northern portion of their range.

  4. Crocodile Blood and Fish Slime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullick, Ann

    2006-01-01

    For as long as people have sought to understand the world in which they live, stories have played an important role in helping to clarify and communicate their ideas. In ancient times, stories such as the four humours of the body provided a way of explaining health and disease. In the modern world, stories have largely been replaced by rational,…

  5. Oral and cloacal microflora of wild crocodiles Crocodylus acutus and C. moreletii in the Mexican Caribbean.

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    Charruau, Pierre; Pérez-Flores, Jonathan; Pérez-Juárez, José G; Cedeño-Vázquez, J Rogelio; Rosas-Carmona, Rebeca

    2012-02-17

    Bacterial cultures and chemical analyses were performed from cloacal and oral swabs taken from 43 American crocodiles Crocodylus acutus and 28 Morelet's crocodiles C. moreletii captured in Quintana Roo State, Mexico. We recovered 47 bacterial species (28 genera and 14 families) from all samples with 51.1% of these belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. Fourteen species (29.8%) were detected in both crocodile species and 18 (38.3%) and 15 (31.9%) species were only detected in American and Morelet's crocodiles, respectively. We recovered 35 bacterial species from all oral samples, of which 9 (25.8%) were detected in both crocodile species. From all cloacal samples, we recovered 21 bacterial species, of which 8 (38.1%) were detected in both crocodile species. The most commonly isolated bacteria in cloacal samples were Aeromonas hydrophila and Escherichia coli, whereas in oral samples the most common bacteria were A. hydrophila and Arcanobacterium pyogenes. The bacteria isolated represent a potential threat to crocodile health during conditions of stress and a threat to human health through crocodile bites, crocodile meat consumption or carrying out activities in crocodile habitat. We especially warn about the presence of Salmonella arizonae and S. typhi, which cause enteritis and septicemia in crocodiles and salmonellosis and typhoid fever in humans. The risk of bacterial contamination from crocodiles to humans could increase in the future because of the accelerated destruction of crocodile habitat, which could lead to an augmentation of human-crocodile interactions. Information on bacterial diversity reported here could help in the choice of antibacterial products in case of infections that are of crocodile origin.

  6. In ovo and in vitro susceptibility of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to avian influenza virus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temple, Bradley L; Finger, John W; Jones, Cheryl A; Gabbard, Jon D; Jelesijevic, Tomislav; Uhl, Elizabeth W; Hogan, Robert J; Glenn, Travis C; Tompkins, S Mark

    2015-01-01

    Avian influenza has emerged as one of the most ubiquitous viruses within our biosphere. Wild aquatic birds are believed to be the primary reservoir of all influenza viruses; however, the spillover of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and the recent swine-origin pandemic H1N1 viruses have sparked increased interest in identifying and understanding which and how many species can be infected. Moreover, novel influenza virus sequences were recently isolated from New World bats. Crocodilians have a slow rate of molecular evolution and are the sister group to birds; thus they are a logical reptilian group to explore susceptibility to influenza virus infection and they provide a link between birds and mammals. A primary American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) cell line, and embryos, were infected with four, low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) strains to assess susceptibility to infection. Embryonated alligator eggs supported virus replication, as evidenced by the influenza virus M gene and infectious virus detected in allantoic fluid and by virus antigen staining in embryo tissues. Primary alligator cells were also inoculated with the LPAI viruses and showed susceptibility based upon antigen staining; however, the requirement for trypsin to support replication in cell culture limited replication. To assess influenza virus replication in culture, primary alligator cells were inoculated with H1N1 human influenza or H5N1 HPAI viruses that replicate independent of trypsin. Both viruses replicated efficiently in culture, even at the 30 C temperature preferred by the alligator cells. This research demonstrates the ability of wild-type influenza viruses to infect and replicate within two crocodilian substrates and suggests the need for further research to assess crocodilians as a species potentially susceptible to influenza virus infection.

  7. Technique for the collection of clear urine from the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan G. Myburgh

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Urine samples can be a very useful diagnostic tool for the evaluation of animal health. In this article, a simple technique to collect urine from the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus was described, based on a similar unpublished technique developed for the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis using a canine urinary catheter. With this technique, it was possible to collect relatively clean urine samples from Nile crocodiles of different sizes using canine urinary catheters or small diameter stomach tubes. Based on the gross anatomical features of the cloaca of the Nile crocodile, it was confirmed that urine accumulates in a chamber consisting of the urodeum and coprodeum. Faecal material is stored temporarily in the very short rectum, which is separated from the urinary chamber by the rectocoprodeal sphincter.

  8. Antibodies to West Nile virus in wild and farmed crocodiles in southeastern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machain-Williams, Carlos; Padilla-Paz, Sergio E; Weber, Manuel; Cetina-Trejo, Rosa; Juarez-Ordaz, José Alfredo; Loroño-Pino, María Alba; Ulloa, Armando; Wang, Chong; Garcia-Rejon, Julián; Blitvich, Bradley J

    2013-07-01

    Surveillance for evidence of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) was conducted in Campeche State, Mexico, in 2007. Sera from 62 crocodiles (32 free-ranging and 30 captive) were assayed for antibodies to WNV by epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antibodies to WNV were detected in 13 (41%) wild and nine (30%) captive crocodiles, and the overall antibody prevalence was 35%. Although evidence of WNV infection in captive crocodiles has been reported in Mexico, we provide the first evidence of WNV exposure in wild crocodiles in Mexico.

  9. Pathology, physiologic parameters, tissue contaminants, and tissue thiamine in morbid and healthy central Florida adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honeyfield, D.C.; Ross, J.P.; Carbonneau, D.A.; Terrell, S.P.; Woodward, A.R.; Schoeb, T.R.; Perceval, H.F.; Hinterkopf, J.P.

    2008-01-01

    An investigation of adult alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) mortalities in Lake Griffin, central Florida, was conducted from 1998-2004. Alligator mortality was highest in the months of April and May and annual death count peaked in 2000. Bacterial pathogens, heavy metals, and pesticides were not linked with the mortalities. Blood chemistry did not point to any clinical diagnosis, although differences between impaired and normal animals were noted. Captured alligators with signs of neurologic impairment displayed unresponsive and uncoordinated behavior. Three of 21 impaired Lake Griffin alligators were found to have neural lesions characteristic of thiamine deficiency in the telencephalon, particularly the dorsal ventricular ridge. In some cases, lesions were found in the thalamus, and parts of the midbrain. Liver and muscle tissue concentrations of thiamine (vitamin B"1) were lowest in impaired Lake Griffin alligators when compared to unimpaired alligators or to alligators from Lake Woodruff. The consumption of thiaminase-positive gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) is thought to have been the cause of the low tissue thiamine and resulting mortalities. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  10. Mechanics of fragmentation of crocodile skin and other thin films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Zhao; Pugno, Nicola M.; Buehler, Markus J.

    2014-05-01

    Fragmentation of thin layers of materials is mediated by a network of cracks on its surface. It is commonly seen in dehydrated paintings or asphalt pavements and even in graphene or other two-dimensional materials, but is also observed in the characteristic polygonal pattern on a crocodile's head. Here, we build a simple mechanical model of a thin film and investigate the generation and development of fragmentation patterns as the material is exposed to various modes of deformation. We find that the characteristic size of fragmentation, defined by the mean diameter of polygons, is strictly governed by mechanical properties of the film material. Our result demonstrates that skin fragmentation on the head of crocodiles is dominated by that it features a small ratio between the fracture energy and Young's modulus, and the patterns agree well with experimental observations. Understanding this mechanics-driven process could be applied to improve the lifetime and reliability of thin film coatings by mimicking crocodile skin.

  11. Mechanics of fragmentation of crocodile skin and other thin films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Zhao; Pugno, Nicola M; Buehler, Markus J

    2014-05-27

    Fragmentation of thin layers of materials is mediated by a network of cracks on its surface. It is commonly seen in dehydrated paintings or asphalt pavements and even in graphene or other two-dimensional materials, but is also observed in the characteristic polygonal pattern on a crocodile's head. Here, we build a simple mechanical model of a thin film and investigate the generation and development of fragmentation patterns as the material is exposed to various modes of deformation. We find that the characteristic size of fragmentation, defined by the mean diameter of polygons, is strictly governed by mechanical properties of the film material. Our result demonstrates that skin fragmentation on the head of crocodiles is dominated by that it features a small ratio between the fracture energy and Young's modulus, and the patterns agree well with experimental observations. Understanding this mechanics-driven process could be applied to improve the lifetime and reliability of thin film coatings by mimicking crocodile skin.

  12. Morphogenesis and patterning of the phallus and cloaca in the American alligator, alligator mississippiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gredler, Marissa L; Seifert, Ashley W; Cohn, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    In most animals, reproduction by internal fertilization is facilitated by an intromittent organ, such as the penis in amniote vertebrates. Recent progress has begun to uncover the mechanisms of mammalian external genital development; however, comparatively little is known about the development of the reptilian penis and clitoris. Here, we describe the development of the phallus and cloaca in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. The embryonic precursor of the penis and clitoris is the genital tubercle, which forms by the budding of genital mesenchyme beneath the ventral body wall ectoderm, adjacent to the cloacal membrane. The cloacal lips develop from another pair of outgrowths, the lateral swellings. Early development of the alligator phallus, cloaca, and urogenital ducts generally resembles that of other reptiles, suggesting that differences in adult reptilian phallus and cloacal anatomy arise at later stages. The phallic sulcus is derived from the cloacal endoderm, indicating that the crocodilian sulcus is functionally and developmentally homologous to the mammalian urethra. Initial external genital outgrowth and patterning occur prior to temperature-dependent sex determination. Our analysis of alligator phallus and cloaca development suggests that modifications of an ancestral program of urogenital development could have generated the morphological diversity found in the external genitalia of modern amniotes.

  13. Perfluorinated Alkyl Acids in Plasma of American Alligators (Alligator Mississippiensis) from Florida and South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bangma, Jacqueline T.; Bowden, John A.; Brunell, Arnold M.; Christie, Ian; Finnell, Brendan; Guillette, Matthew P.; Jones, Martin; Lowers, Russell H.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Reiner, Jessica L.; Wilkinson, Philip M.; Guillette, Louis J., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to quantitate fourteen perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in 125 adult American alligators at twelve sites across the southeastern US. Of those fourteen PFAAs, nine were detected in 65% - 100% of the samples: PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnA, PFDoA, PFTriA, PFTA, PFHxS, and PFOS. Males (across all sites) showed significantly higher concentrations of four PFAAs: PFOS (p = 0.01), PFDA (p = 0.0003), PFUnA (p = 0.021), and PFTriA (p = 0.021). Concentrations of PFOS, PFHxS, and PFDA in plasma were significantly different among the sites in each sex. Alligators at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Kiawah Nature Conservancy both exhibited some of the highest PFOS concentrations (medians 99.5 ng/g and 55.8 ng/g respectively) in plasma measured to date in a crocodilian species. A number of positive correlations between PFAAs and snout-vent length (SVL) were observed in both sexes suggesting PFAA body burdens increase with increasing size. In addition, several significant correlations among PFAAs in alligator plasma may suggest conserved sources of PFAAs at each site throughout the greater study area. This study is the first to report PFAAs in American alligators, reveals potential PFAA hot spots in Florida and South Carolina, and provides and additional contaminant of concern when assessing anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem health.

  14. Polychlorinated biphenyls in eggs and chlorioallantoic membranes of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from coastal South Carolina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cobb, G.P.; Wood, P.D. [Clemson Univ., Pendleton, SC (United States); O`Quinn, M. [South Carolina Governor`s School for Science and Mathematics, Hartsville, SC (United States)

    1997-07-01

    Assessing chemical exposure in threatened or endangered wildlife species presents unique analytical problems. Chorioallantoic membranes (CAMs) have been proposed as surrogate tissues for evaluation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure in oviparous species. Research was undertaken to determine the extent of PCB accumulation in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at sites along the coast of South Carolina and to evaluate the utility of CAMs as surrogate tissues for determining PCB concentrations in whole alligator eggs. Polychlorinated biphenyls were found in eggs and CAMs of alligators from both sites examined. Concentrations of PCBs were higher in CAMs (p = 0.02) and eggs (p = 0.001) from sites known to contain chlorinated hydrocarbons than from more pristine sites. Total PCBs partitioned predictably (r{sup 2} > 0.59; p < 0.02) between egg and CAM tissues indicating the utility of CAMs to serve as surrogate tissues when comparing total PCB concentrations in whole eggs. Tetrachloro through octachloro biphenyl homologues and total PCBs in CAMs from reference areas were correlated with concentrations of these homologues in eggs. At contaminated sites, total PCB concentrations in CAMs were correlated with total PCB concentrations in eggs.

  15. Global DNA methylation loss associated with mercury contamination and aging in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsen, Frances M; Parrott, Benjamin B; Bowden, John A; Kassim, Brittany L; Somerville, Stephen E; Bryan, Teresa A; Bryan, Colleen E; Lange, Ted R; Delaney, J Patrick; Brunell, Arnold M; Long, Stephen E; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-03-01

    Mercury is a widespread environmental contaminant with exposures eliciting a well-documented catalog of adverse effects. Yet, knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms by which mercury exposures are translated into biological effects remains incomplete. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is sensitive to environmental cues, and alterations in DNA methylation at the global level are associated with a variety of diseases. Using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based (LC-MS/MS) approach, global DNA methylation levels were measured in red blood cells of 144 wild American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from 6 sites with variable levels of mercury contamination across Florida's north-south axis. Variation in mercury concentrations measured in whole blood was highly associated with location, allowing the comparison of global DNA methylation levels across different "treatments" of mercury. Global DNA methylation in alligators across all locations was weakly associated with increased mercury exposure. However, a much more robust relationship was observed in those animals sampled from locations more highly contaminated with mercury. Also, similar to other vertebrates, global DNA methylation appears to decline with age in alligators. The relationship between age-associated loss of global DNA methylation and varying mercury exposures was examined to reveal a potential interaction. These findings demonstrate that global DNA methylation levels are associated with mercury exposure, and give insights into interactions between contaminants, aging, and epigenetics.

  16. Thermoregulatory adaptations and heat energy budget analyses of the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Terpin, Kenneth M.

    1976-01-01

    Wild alligators were acclimated to laboratory conditions and thermocouples were surgically implanted at seven locations in the body. Animals were tested at different steady state environmental conditions in a climate space simulation chamber in order to ascertain the effect of heat transfer on body temperature. Results are reported.

  17. Alligator osteoderms: Mechanical behavior and hierarchical structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Irene H. [Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States); Yang, Wen, E-mail: wey005@eng.ucsd.edu [Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States); Meyers, Marc A. [Materials Science and Engineering Program, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States); Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093 (United States)

    2014-02-01

    Osteoderms are bony scutes embedded underneath the dermal layers of the skin acting as a protection of the alligator (Archosauria: Crocodylia) internal organs and tissues. Additionally, these scutes function as an aid in temperature regulation. The scutes are inter-linked by fibrous connective tissue. They have properties similar to bone and thus have the necessary toughness to provide protection against predators. The scutes consist of hydroxyapatite and have a porosity of approximately 12%. They have a disc-like morphology with a ridge along the middle of the plate, called the keel; the outer perimeter of the disc has depressions, grooves, and jagged edges which anchor the collagen and act as sutures. Computerized tomography reveals the pattern of elongated pores, which emanate from the keel in a radial pattern. Micro-indentation measurements along the cross-section show a zigzag behavior due to the porosity. Compression results indicate that the axial direction is the strongest (UTS ∼ 67 MPa) and toughest (11 MJ/m{sup 3}); this is the orientation in which they undergo the largest external compression forces from predator teeth. Toughening mechanisms are identified through observation of the damage progression and interpreted in mechanistic terms. They are: flattening of pores, microcrack opening, and microcrack growth and coalescence. Collagen plays an essential role in toughening and plasticity by providing bridges that impede the opening of the cracks and prevent their growth. - Highlights: • We characterized the hierarchical structure of alligator scute. • The anisotropic mechanical behavior of alligator scute was studied. • Toughening mechanisms were identified at the micro- and nano-levels.

  18. The Culture Shock and Adaptation in Crocodile Dundee

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈莉

    2014-01-01

    Culture shock is a common phenomenon,which has historical cause,symptoms,and cure.Usualy adaptation to a new culture has folowing steps:hostility,honeymoon,recovery,and adjustment.This essay is mainly about the culture shock and adaptation in film Crocodile Dundee.

  19. Human-crocodile conflict and conservation implications of Saltwater Crocodiles Crocodylus porosus (Reptilia: Crocodylia: Crocodylidae) in Sri Lanka

    OpenAIRE

    A.A. Thasun Amarasinghe; Majintha B. Madawala; D.M.S. Suranjan Karunarathna; S. Charlie Manolis; Anslem de Silva; Ralf Sommerlad

    2015-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflict occurs when human requirements encroach on those of wildlife populations, with potential costs to both humans and wild animals.  As top predators in most inland waters, crocodilians are involved in human-wildlife conflicts in many countries.  Here we present findings of a 5-year survey on human-crocodile conflict on the island of Sri Lanka and relate the results to improving management practices. We aimed to quantify and understand the causes of human-crocodile conflic...

  20. Normal haematology and blood biochemistry of wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovely, C J; Pittman, J M; Leslie, A J

    2007-09-01

    Wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) of various size classes were captured in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Blood was collected from the post occipital sinus and used for the determination of a wide range of haematological and biochemical parameters. These values were compared between the sexes and between 3 size classes. The values were also compared with the limited data available from farmed Nile crocodiles, as well as from other wild Nile crocodiles. The Okavango crocodiles were comparatively anaemic, and had comparatively low total protein and blood glucose levels. There was a high prevalence of Hepatozoon pettiti infection, however, there was no significant difference in haematological values between the infected and uninfected crocodiles. The values reported here will be useful in diagnostic investigations in both zoo and farmed Nile crocodiles.

  1. Normal haematology and blood biochemistry of wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.J. Lovely

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus of various size classes were captured in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Blood was collected from the post occipital sinus and used for the determination of a wide range of haematological and biochemical parameters. These values were compared between the sexes and between 3 size classes. The values were also compared with the limited data available from farmed Nile crocodiles, as well as from other wild Nile crocodiles. The Okavango crocodiles were comparatively anaemic, and had comparatively low total protein and blood glucose levels. There was a high prevalence of Hepatozoon pettiti infection, however, there was no significant difference in haematological values between the infected and uninfected crocodiles. The values reported here will be useful in diagnostic investigations in both zoo and farmed Nile crocodiles.

  2. Persistent Organochlorine Pesticides and their Metabolites in Alligator Livers from Lakes Apopka and Woodruff, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reproductive disorders in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) inhabiting Lake Apopka, Florida, have been observed for several years. Such disorders are hypothesized to be caused by endocrine disrupting contaminants occurring in the Lake due to pesticide spills and ...

  3. Regression analysis between body and head measurements of Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis in the captive population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu, X. B.

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Four body-size and fourteen head-size measurements were taken from each Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis according to the measurements adapted from Verdade. Regression equations between body-size and head-size variables were presented to predict body size from head dimension. The coefficients of determination of captive animals concerning body- and head-size variables can be considered extremely high, which means most of the head-size variables studied can be useful for predicting body length. The result of multivariate allometric analysis indicated that the head elongates as in most other species of crocodilians. The allometric coefficients of snout length (SL and lower ramus (LM were greater than those of other variables of head, which was considered to be possibly correlated to fights and prey. On the contrary, allometric coefficients for the variables of obita (OW, OL and postorbital cranial roof (LCR, were lower than those of other variables.

  4. Influence of collection time on hematologic and immune markers in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finger, John W; Williams, Robert J; Hamilton, Matthew T; Elsey, Ruth M; Oppenheimer, Victor A; Holladay, Steven D; Gogal, Robert M

    2015-01-01

    Crocodilians are important keystone species and indicators of environmental health. Much remains unknown, however regarding utility of field-collected crocodilian blood samples for ecologic assessments. Field sampling sites are also often distant to analysis centers, necessitating development of new techniques and panels of assays that will yield environmentally relevant data. Stability and viability of hematological and immunological indices have been of particular interest for linking ecosystem health to biomarkers in resident species. In this study, we investigated the effect of time at analysis post-blood sampling at 4 and 24 hr on a panel of potential biomarkers in alligator blood. Our results suggest alligator blood samples can be reliably evaluated for both hematologic and immunologic profile 24 hr after sampling.

  5. Isolation and characterisation of crocodile and python ovotransferrins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciuraszkiewicz, Justyna; Olczak, Mariusz; Watorek, Wiesław

    2007-01-01

    Transferrins play a major role in iron homeostasis and metabolism. In vertebrates, these proteins are synthesised in the liver and dispersed within the organism by the bloodstream. In oviparous vertebrates additional expression is observed in the oviduct and the synthesised protein is deposited in egg white as ovotransferrin. Most research on ovotransferrin has been performed on the chicken protein. There is a limited amount of information on other bird transferrins, and until our previous paper on red-eared turtle protein there was no data on the isolation, sequencing and biochemical properties of reptilian ovotransferrins. Recently our laboratory deposited ten new sequences of reptilian transferrins in the EMBL database. A comparative analysis of these sequences indicates a possibility of different mechanisms of iron release among crocodile and snake transferrin. In the present paper we follow with the purification and analysis of the basic biochemical properties of two crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus, C. rhombifer) and one snake (Python molurus bivittatus) ovotransferrins. The proteins were purified by anion exchange and hydrophobic chromatography, and their N-terminal amino-acid sequences, molecular mass and isoelectric points were determined. All three proteins are glycosylated and their N-glycan chromatographic profiles show the largest contribution of neutral oligosaccharides in crocodile and disialylated glycans in python ovotransferrin. The absorption spectra of iron-saturated transferrins were analysed. Iron release from these proteins is pH-dependent, showing a biphasic character in crocodile ovotransferrins and a monophasic type in the python protein. The reason for the different types of iron release is discussed.

  6. An Analysis of Cultural Shock and Adaptionin Film Crocodile Dundee

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Tian-yang

    2014-01-01

    Crocodile Dundee, set in both the Australian Outback and the New York City, is a rather successful comedy film which focuses on the exotic love of the two characters. From an intercultural communication approach, this paper analyzes the cultural shock and adaption experienced by the Australian hero and American heroine. The culture shocks in the film happened when they in turn came to a new cultural setting, and eventually it reveals that two characters have been developing from culture shock to adaptation.

  7. Effects of Different Rearing Strategies and Ages on Levels of Natural Antibodies in Saliva of the Philippine Crocodile

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groffen, J.; Parmentier, H.K.; Ven, van de W.A.C.; Weerd, van M.

    2013-01-01

    The endemic Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is a relatively small, critically endangered freshwater crocodile. In a head start program, crocodile hatchlings are caught in the wild, reared in captivity, and released back into the wild after two years. The current study aimed to determin

  8. Devin, Alligators, Jellyfish, and Me.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuchiyama, Elaine

    1997-01-01

    Describes how a first-grade teacher used the "hypothesis-test" approach with Devin, a first grader who struggled as a reader and writer. Points out that, when she started working with Devin, she wanted to understand his difficulties, but by the end, she realized that it was her curriculum, not his difficulties, that needed to be in the foreground.…

  9. Analysis of nutritional and odor components in muscle of Siam alligator (Crocodylus siamensis) .%暹罗鳄肌肉营养及腥味成分分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    阙婷婷; 谢妍; 郑家闻; 胡庆兰; 胡亚芹; 罗自生

    2013-01-01

      利用顶空固相微萃取与气质联用技术对暹罗鳄肌肉脱腥前后的挥发性成分及其变化进行测定,并利用常规肌肉营养测试方法对鳄肉营养成分进行分析.结果表明:在暹罗鳄肌肉中共检测出72种挥发性成分,其中,正己醛为鳄肉腥味的主要成分,与其他成分一起构成鳄肉的特有腥味;在鳄鱼肌肉中水分占76.8%,蛋白质占19.8%,脂肪占2.0%,灰分占1.0%;肌肉中含有16种氨基酸,占肌肉干质量的70.44%,其中必需氨基酸7种,且必需氨基酸的构成比例基本符合联合国粮食与农业组织标准,必需氨基酸指数为60.63%;鳄肉中还富含多种不饱和脂肪酸,二十碳五烯酸( eicosapentaenoic acid , EPA)和二十二碳六烯酸( docosahexaenoic acid , DHA)含量丰富,分别为1.44%和2.96%,且矿物质和微量元素含量丰富,尤其以钙含量最多.表明暹罗鳄肉是一种低脂肪、高蛋白、富含多种不饱和脂肪酸以及矿物质的高品质肉类.%Summary Crocodile is covered in treasure . Its leather has a high reputation in the world , and its armour contains a lot of bone collagen , protein , calcium , phosphorus and so on , and its gallbladder contains more than 20 kinds of bile acids and bilichols , which has a great medicine value . Its blood with antibacterial and antitumor activity is getting the attention of researchers both at home and abroad . There has been growing interest in commercial marketing of the crocodiles meat for human consumption in China , Thailand , America and Australia , which are all artificially breeding Siam alligator , Estuarine crocodile and Nile crocodile etc . Siam alligator is also called Siam freshwater crocodile , Singapore small crocodile , and is commonly known as Thai crocodile . It is getting more and more attention in China . With the increased amount of breeding , the deep processing for the meat of Siam alligator will be the focus of future

  10. Abundance, distribution and population trends of Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zisadza-Gandiwa, P.; Gandiwa, E.; Jakarasi, J.; Westhuizen, van der H.; Muvengwi, J.

    2013-01-01

    The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an iconic or keystone species in many aquatic ecosystems. In order to understand the abundance, distribution, and population trends of Nile crocodiles in Gonarezhou National Park (GNP), southeastern Zimbabwe, we carried out 4 annual aerial surveys, using

  11. Movement and Home Range of Nile Crocodiles in Ndumo Game Reserve, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter M. Calverley

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The study of movement patterns and home range is fundamental in understanding the spatial requirements of animals and is important in generating information for the conservation and management of threatened species. Ndumo Game Reserve, in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal, bordering Mozambique, has the third largest Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus population in South Africa. Movement patterns of 50 Nile crocodiles with a total length of between 202 cm and 472 cm were followed over a period of 18 months, using mark-resight, radio and satellite telemetry. The duration of radio transmitter attachment (131 ± 11.4 days was significantly and negatively related to total length and reproductive status. Satellite transmitters failed after an average of 15 ± 12.5 days. Home range was calculated for individuals with 10 or more radio locations, spanning a period of at least 6 months. There was a significant relationship between home range size and total length, with sub-adults (1.5 m – 2.5 m occupying smaller, more localised home ranges than adults (> 2.5 m. The largest home ranges were for adults (> 2.5 m. Home ranges overlapped extensively, suggesting that territoriality, if present, does not result in spatially discrete home ranges of Nile crocodiles in Ndumo Game Reserve during the dry season. Larger crocodiles moved farther and more frequently than smaller crocodiles. The reserve acts as a winter refuge and spring breeding site for an estimated 846 crocodiles, which also inhabit the Rio Maputo during the summer months. Nile crocodile movement out of the reserve and into the Rio Maputo starts in November and crocodiles return to the reserve as water levels in the floodplain recede in May.Conservation implications: Movement patterns of Nile crocodiles show the important role the reserve plays in the conservation of Nile crocodile populations within the greater Ndumo Game Reserve–Rio Maputo area.

  12. The alligator gut microbiome and implications for archosaur symbioses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keenan, Sarah W.; Engel, Annette Summers; Elsey, Ruth M.

    2013-01-01

    Among vertebrate gastrointestinal microbiome studies, complete representation of taxa is limited, particularly among reptiles. Here, we provide evidence for previously unrecognized host-microbiome associations along the gastrointestinal tract from the American alligator, a crown archosaur with shared ancestry to extinct taxa, including dinosaurs. Microbiome compositional variations reveal that the digestive system consists of multiple, longitudinally heterogeneous microbiomes that strongly correlate to specific gastrointestinal tract organs, regardless of rearing histories or feeding status. A core alligator gut microbiome comprised of Fusobacteria, but depleted in Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria common to mammalians, is compositionally unique from other vertebrate gut microbiomes, including other reptiles, fish, and herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. As such, modern alligator gut microbiomes advance our understanding of archosaur gut microbiome evolution, particularly if conserved host ecology has retained archosaur-specific symbioses over geologic time. PMID:24096888

  13. Molecular identification of three novel herpesviruses found in Australian farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) and Australian captive freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyndman, Timothy H; Shilton, Catherine M; Wellehan, James F X; Davis, Steven; Isberg, Sally R; Phalen, David; Melville, Lorna

    2015-12-31

    As part of a larger investigation into three emerging disease syndromes highlighted by conjunctivitis and pharyngitis, systemic lymphoid proliferation and encephalitis, and lymphonodular skin infiltrates in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) and one emerging syndrome of systemic lymphoid proliferation in captive freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni), cytopathic effects (CPE), including syncytial cell formation, were observed in primary crocodile cell lines exposed to clarified tissue homogenates from affected crocodiles. Ten cell cultures with CPE were then screened for herpesviruses using two broadly-reactive herpesvirus PCRs. Amplicons were obtained from 9 of 10 cell cultures and were sequenced. Three novel herpesviruses were discovered and the phylogenetic analysis of these viruses showed there was a 63% Bayesian posterior probability value supporting these viruses clustering with the subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae, and 100% posterior probability of clustering with a clade containing the Alphaherpesvirinae and other unassigned reptile herpesviruses. It is proposed that they are named Crocodyline herpesvirus (CrHV) 1, 2 and 3. CrHV1 and 2 were only isolated from saltwater crocodiles and CrHV3 was only isolated from freshwater crocodiles. A duplex PCR was designed that was able to detect these herpesviruses in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues, a sample type that neither of the broadly-reactive PCRs was able to detect these herpesviruses in. This work describes the isolation, molecular detection and phylogeny of these novel herpesviruses but the association that they have with the emerging disease syndromes requires further investigation.

  14. Crocodylus acutus (American Crocodile). Long distance juvenile movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo, Rafael; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Mazzotti, Frank; Cherkiss, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    Crocodylus acutus (American Crocodile) is the most widely distributed New World crocodilian species with its range extending from Peru in the south to the southern tip of peninsular Florida in the north. Crocodylus acutus occupies primarily coastal brackish water habitat, however it also occurs in freshwater to hypersaline habitats (Thorbjarnarson 2010. In Crocodiles. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. [Third Edition], American Crocodile Crocodylus acutus, pp. 46–53 S.C. Manolis and C. Stevenson. Crocodile Specialist Group, Darwin). There is limited literature on long distance movements of juvenile crocodilians worldwide and no literature on juvenile crocodiles in Florida. However, adult C. acutus in Florida have been documented to make seasonal movements of 5–15 km from preferred foraging habitat to nesting beaches (Mazzotti 1983. The Ecology of Crocodylus acutus in Florida. PhD Dissertation. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. 161pp), and one adult was documented making a 35 km trip from her nest site to preferred foraging habitat (Cherkiss et. al. 2006. Herpetol. Rev. 38:72–73). Rodda (1984. Herpetologica 40:444–451) reported on juvenile C. acutus movement in Gatun Lake, Panama, and found that juveniles stayed within 1 km of their nest site for the first month. Movements of juvenile Crocodylus porosus (Saltwater Crocodile) in a river system in Northern Australia showed a maximum movement of 38.9 km from a known nest site, with the majority of the crocodiles staying within 15.6 km downstream to 6.8 km upstream (Webb and Messel 1978. Aust. Wildlife Res. 5:263–283). Juvenile movement of Crocodylus niloticus (Nile Crocodile) in Lake Ngezi, Zimbabwe showed crocodiles restricted their movements from 1.0 km up to 4.5 km through the wet and dry seasons (Hutton 1989. Am. Zool. 29:1033–1049). Long distance movements of alligators were recorded for sizes ranging from 28 cm to 361 cm in a coastal refuge in Louisiana, where

  15. Atmospheric oxygen level affects growth trajectory, cardiopulmonary allometry and metabolic rate in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Elsey, Ruth M.; Hicks, James W.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Recent palaeoatmospheric models suggest large-scale fluctuations in ambient oxygen level over the past 550 million years. To better understand how global hypoxia and hyperoxia might have affected the growth and physiology of contemporary vertebrates, we incubated eggs and raised hatchlings of the American alligator. Crocodilians are one of few vertebrate taxa that survived these global changes with distinctly conservative morphology. We maintained animals at 30°C under chronic hypoxia (12% O2), normoxia (21% O2) or hyperoxia (30% O2). At hatching, hypoxic animals were significantly smaller than their normoxic and hyperoxic siblings. Over the course of 3 months, post-hatching growth was fastest under hyperoxia and slowest under hypoxia. Hypoxia, but not hyperoxia, caused distinct scaling of major visceral organs–reduction of liver mass, enlargement of the heart and accelerated growth of lungs. When absorptive and post-absorptive metabolic rates were measured in juvenile alligators, the increase in oxygen consumption rate due to digestion/absorption of food was greatest in hyperoxic alligators and smallest in hypoxic ones. Hyperoxic alligators exhibited the lowest breathing rate and highest oxygen consumption per breath. We suggest that, despite compensatory cardiopulmonary remodelling, growth of hypoxic alligators is constrained by low atmospheric oxygen supply, which may limit their food utilisation capacity. Conversely, the combination of elevated metabolism and low cost of breathing in hyperoxic alligators allows for a greater proportion of metabolised energy to be available for growth. This suggests that growth and metabolic patterns of extinct vertebrates would have been significantly affected by changes in the atmospheric oxygen level. PMID:19376944

  16. Penile anatomy and hypotheses of erectile function in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis): muscular eversion and elastic retraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, D A

    2013-03-01

    The intromittent organs of most amniotes contain variable-volume hydrostatic skeletons that are stored in a flexible state and inflate with fluid before or during copulation. However, the penis in male crocodilians is notable because its shaft does not seem to change either its shape or bending stiffness as blood enters its vascular spaces before copulation. Here I report that crocodilians may have evolved a mechanism for penile shaft erection that does not require inflation and detumescence. Dissections of the cloaca in sexually mature male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) show that the cross section of the proximal shaft of the alligator penis contains dense collagenous tissues that do not significantly change shape when fluid is added to the central vascular space. The large amount of collagen in the wall and central space of the alligator penis stiffen the structure so it can be simply everted for copulation and rapidly retracted at its completion. Because no muscles insert directly onto the penis, eversion and retraction must be produced indirectly. My results suggest that the contraction of paired levator cloacae muscles around the anterior end of the cloaca rotates the penis out of the cloacal opening and strains the ligamentum rami that connect the base of the penis to the ischia. When the cloacal muscles relax, the elastic recoil of the ligamentum rami can return the penis to its original position inside the cloaca.

  17. Methyltestosterone alters sex determination in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Christopher M; Easter, Michael; Merchant, Mark; Rheubert, Justin L; Wilson, Kelly A; Cooper, Amos; Mendonça, Mary; Wibbels, Thane; Marin, Mahmood Sasa; Guyer, Craig

    2016-09-15

    Effects of xenobiotics can be organizational, permanently affecting anatomy during embryonic development, and/or activational, influencing transitory actions during adulthood. The organizational influence of endocrine-disrupting contaminants (EDC's) produces a wide variety of reproductive abnormalities among vertebrates that exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). Typically, such influences result in subsequent activational malfunction, some of which are beneficial in aquaculture. For example, 17-αmethyltestosterone (MT), a synthetic androgen, is utilized in tilapia farming to bias sex ratio towards males because they are more profitable. A heavily male-biased hatchling sex ratio is reported from a crocodile population near one such tilapia operation in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. In this study we test the effects of MT on sexual differentiation in American alligators, which we used as a surrogate for all crocodilians. Experimentally, alligators were exposed to MT in ovo at standard ecotoxicological concentrations. Sexual differentiation was determined by examination of primary and secondary sex organs post hatching. We find that MT is capable of producing male embryos at temperatures known to produce females and demonstrate a dose-dependent gradient of masculinization. Embryonic exposure to MT results in hermaphroditic primary sex organs, delayed renal development and masculinization of the clitero-penis (CTP).

  18. Olfactory and solitary chemosensory cells: two different chemosensory systems in the nasal cavity of the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hansen Anne

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The nasal cavity of all vertebrates houses multiple chemosensors, either innervated by the Ist (olfactory or the Vth (trigeminal cranial nerve. Various types of receptor cells are present, either segregated in different compartments (e.g. in rodents or mingled in one epithelium (e.g. fish. In addition, solitary chemosensory cells have been reported for several species. Alligators which seek their prey both above and under water have only one nasal compartment. Information about their olfactory epithelium is limited. Since alligators seem to detect both volatile and water-soluble odour cues, I tested whether different sensory cell types are present in the olfactory epithelium. Results Electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry were used to examine the sensory epithelium of the nasal cavity of the American alligator. Almost the entire nasal cavity is lined with olfactory (sensory epithelium. Two types of olfactory sensory neurons are present. Both types bear cilia as well as microvilli at their apical endings and express the typical markers for olfactory neurons. The density of these olfactory neurons varies along the nasal cavity. In addition, solitary chemosensory cells innervated by trigeminal nerve fibres, are intermingled with olfactory sensory neurons. Solitary chemosensory cells express components of the PLC-transduction cascade found in solitary chemosensory cells in rodents. Conclusion The nasal cavity of the American alligator contains two different chemosensory systems incorporated in the same sensory epithelium: the olfactory system proper and solitary chemosensory cells. The olfactory system contains two morphological distinct types of ciliated olfactory receptor neurons.

  19. Organchlorine pesticide and heavy metal contamination of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) eggs

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Four eggs collected from two nests of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), an endangered species occurring in southern Florida, were analyzed for...

  20. Genetic characterization of captive Cuban crocodiles (Crocodylus rhombifer) and evidence of hybridization with the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Jeremy P; Rodriguez, David; Venegas-Anaya, Miryam; Cedeño-Vázquez, José Rogelio; Forstner, Michael R J; Densmore, Llewellyn D

    2008-12-01

    There is a surprising lack of genetic data for the Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer), especially given its status as a critically endangered species. Samples from captive individuals were used to genetically characterize this species in comparison with other New World crocodilians. Partial mitochondrial sequence data were generated from cyt-b (843 bp) and the tRNA(Pro)- tRNA(Phe)-D-loop region (442 bp). Phylogenetic analyses were performed by generating maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian-based topologies. In addition, in an effort to identify species-specific alleles, ten polymorphic microsatellite loci were genotyped. Distance and model-based clustering analyses were performed on microsatellite data, in addition to a model-based assignment of hybrid types. Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers identified two distinct C. rhombifer genetic sub-clades (alpha and beta); and microsatellite analyses revealed that most admixed individuals were F(2) hybrids between C. rhombifer-alpha and the American crocodile (C. acutus). All individuals in the C. rhombifer-beta group were morphologically identified as C. acutus and formed a distinct genetic assemblage. J. Exp. Zool. 309A:649-660, 2008. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Developmental alterations and endocrine-disruptive responses in farmed Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) exposed to contaminants from the Crocodile River, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arukwe, Augustine; Myburgh, Jan; Langberg, Håkon A; Adeogun, Aina O; Braa, Idunn Godal; Moeder, Monika; Schlenk, Daniel; Crago, Jordan Paul; Regoli, Francesco; Botha, Christo

    2016-04-01

    In the present study, the developmental (including fertility) and endocrine-disruptive effects in relation to chemical burden in male and female Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), from a commercial crocodile farm in the Brits district, South Africa, exposed to various anthropogenic aquatic contaminants from the natural environment was investigated. Hepatic transcript levels for vitellogenin (Vtg), zona pellucida (ZP) and ERα (also in gonads) were analyzed using real-time PCR. Plasma estradiol-17β (E2), testosterone (T) and 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT) were analyzed using enzyme immunoassay. Gonadal aromatase and hepatic testosterone metabolism (6β-hydroxylase (6β-OHase)) were analyzed using biochemical methods. Overall, there is high and abnormal number (%) of infertile and banded eggs during the studied reproductive seasons, showing up to 57 and 34% of infertile eggs in the 2009/2010 and 2013/2014 seasons, respectively. In addition, the percentage of banded eggs ranged between 10 and 19% during the period of 2009-2014 seasons. While hepatic ERα, Vtg, ZP mRNA and testosterone 6β-OHase, were equally expressed in female and male crocodiles, gonadal ERα mRNA and aromatase activity were significantly higher in females compared to male crocodiles. On the other hand, plasma T and 11-KT levels were significantly higher in males, compared to female crocodiles. Principal component analysis (PCA) produced significant grouping that revealed correlative relationships between reproductive/endocrine-disruptive variables and liver contaminant burden, that further relates to measured contaminants in the natural environment. The overall results suggest that these captive pre-slaughter farm crocodiles exhibited responses to anthropogenic aquatic contaminants with potentially relevant consequences on key reproductive and endocrine pathways and these responses may be established as relevant species endocrine disruptor biomarkers of exposure and effects in this threatened

  2. Atchafalaya Alligator Harvest Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — 1988 Alligator Harvest Plan for Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge including management plan, environmental assessment, and public notice documents.

  3. Comparative genome analyses reveal distinct structure in the saltwater crocodile MHC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaratlerdsiri, Weerachai; Deakin, Janine; Godinez, Ricardo M; Shan, Xueyan; Peterson, Daniel G; Marthey, Sylvain; Lyons, Eric; McCarthy, Fiona M; Isberg, Sally R; Higgins, Damien P; Chong, Amanda Y; John, John St; Glenn, Travis C; Ray, David A; Gongora, Jaime

    2014-01-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a dynamic genome region with an essential role in the adaptive immunity of vertebrates, especially antigen presentation. The MHC is generally divided into subregions (classes I, II and III) containing genes of similar function across species, but with different gene number and organisation. Crocodylia (crocodilians) are widely distributed and represent an evolutionary distinct group among higher vertebrates, but the genomic organisation of MHC within this lineage has been largely unexplored. Here, we studied the MHC region of the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and compared it with that of other taxa. We characterised genomic clusters encompassing MHC class I and class II genes in the saltwater crocodile based on sequencing of bacterial artificial chromosomes. Six gene clusters spanning ∼452 kb were identified to contain nine MHC class I genes, six MHC class II genes, three TAP genes, and a TRIM gene. These MHC class I and class II genes were in separate scaffold regions and were greater in length (2-6 times longer) than their counterparts in well-studied fowl B loci, suggesting that the compaction of avian MHC occurred after the crocodilian-avian split. Comparative analyses between the saltwater crocodile MHC and that from the alligator and gharial showed large syntenic areas (>80% identity) with similar gene order. Comparisons with other vertebrates showed that the saltwater crocodile had MHC class I genes located along with TAP, consistent with birds studied. Linkage between MHC class I and TRIM39 observed in the saltwater crocodile resembled MHC in eutherians compared, but absent in avian MHC, suggesting that the saltwater crocodile MHC appears to have gene organisation intermediate between these two lineages. These observations suggest that the structure of the saltwater crocodile MHC, and other crocodilians, can help determine the MHC that was present in the ancestors of archosaurs.

  4. Comparative genome analyses reveal distinct structure in the saltwater crocodile MHC.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weerachai Jaratlerdsiri

    Full Text Available The major histocompatibility complex (MHC is a dynamic genome region with an essential role in the adaptive immunity of vertebrates, especially antigen presentation. The MHC is generally divided into subregions (classes I, II and III containing genes of similar function across species, but with different gene number and organisation. Crocodylia (crocodilians are widely distributed and represent an evolutionary distinct group among higher vertebrates, but the genomic organisation of MHC within this lineage has been largely unexplored. Here, we studied the MHC region of the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus and compared it with that of other taxa. We characterised genomic clusters encompassing MHC class I and class II genes in the saltwater crocodile based on sequencing of bacterial artificial chromosomes. Six gene clusters spanning ∼452 kb were identified to contain nine MHC class I genes, six MHC class II genes, three TAP genes, and a TRIM gene. These MHC class I and class II genes were in separate scaffold regions and were greater in length (2-6 times longer than their counterparts in well-studied fowl B loci, suggesting that the compaction of avian MHC occurred after the crocodilian-avian split. Comparative analyses between the saltwater crocodile MHC and that from the alligator and gharial showed large syntenic areas (>80% identity with similar gene order. Comparisons with other vertebrates showed that the saltwater crocodile had MHC class I genes located along with TAP, consistent with birds studied. Linkage between MHC class I and TRIM39 observed in the saltwater crocodile resembled MHC in eutherians compared, but absent in avian MHC, suggesting that the saltwater crocodile MHC appears to have gene organisation intermediate between these two lineages. These observations suggest that the structure of the saltwater crocodile MHC, and other crocodilians, can help determine the MHC that was present in the ancestors of archosaurs.

  5. Biomonitoring Heavy Metal Pollution Using an Aquatic Apex Predator, the American Alligator, and Its Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Tellez

    Full Text Available Monitoring the bioaccumulation of chemical elements within various organismal tissues has become a useful tool to survey current or chronic levels of heavy metal exposure within an environment. In this study, we compared the bioaccumulations of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Se, and Zn between the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and its parasites in order to establish their use as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Concomitant with these results, we were interested to determine if parasites were more sensitive bioindicators of heavy metals relative to alligators. We found parasites collectively accumulated higher levels of As, Cu, Se, and Zn in comparison to their alligator hosts, whereas Fe, Cd, and Pb concentrations were higher in alligators. Interestingly, Fe levels were significantly greater in intestinal trematodes than their alligator hosts when analyzed independently from other parasitic taxa. Further analyses showed alligator intestinal trematodes concentrated As, Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn at significantly higher levels than intestinal nematodes and parasites from other organs. However, pentastomids also employed the role as a good biomagnifier of As. Interestingly, parasitic abundance decreased as levels of As increased. Stomach and intestinal nematodes were the poorest bioaccumulators of metals, yet stomach nematodes showed their ability to concentrate Pb at orders of magnitude higher in comparison to other parasites. Conclusively, we suggest that parasites, particularly intestinal trematodes, are superior biomagnifiers of As, Cu, Se, and Zn, whereas alligators are likely good biological indicators of Fe, Cd, and Pb levels within the environment.

  6. Biomonitoring Heavy Metal Pollution Using an Aquatic Apex Predator, the American Alligator, and Its Parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellez, Marisa; Merchant, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring the bioaccumulation of chemical elements within various organismal tissues has become a useful tool to survey current or chronic levels of heavy metal exposure within an environment. In this study, we compared the bioaccumulations of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Se, and Zn between the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and its parasites in order to establish their use as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Concomitant with these results, we were interested to determine if parasites were more sensitive bioindicators of heavy metals relative to alligators. We found parasites collectively accumulated higher levels of As, Cu, Se, and Zn in comparison to their alligator hosts, whereas Fe, Cd, and Pb concentrations were higher in alligators. Interestingly, Fe levels were significantly greater in intestinal trematodes than their alligator hosts when analyzed independently from other parasitic taxa. Further analyses showed alligator intestinal trematodes concentrated As, Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn at significantly higher levels than intestinal nematodes and parasites from other organs. However, pentastomids also employed the role as a good biomagnifier of As. Interestingly, parasitic abundance decreased as levels of As increased. Stomach and intestinal nematodes were the poorest bioaccumulators of metals, yet stomach nematodes showed their ability to concentrate Pb at orders of magnitude higher in comparison to other parasites. Conclusively, we suggest that parasites, particularly intestinal trematodes, are superior biomagnifiers of As, Cu, Se, and Zn, whereas alligators are likely good biological indicators of Fe, Cd, and Pb levels within the environment.

  7. Spatial and temporal variability in estuary habitat use by American alligators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Brandt, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Estuarine habitat occupied by Alligator mississippiensis, a primarily freshwater species, is spatially and temporally heterogeneous largely due to a salinity gradient that fluctuates. Using long-term night light survey data, we examined seasonal patterns in alligators’ habitat use by size classes in midstream and downstream estuary zones of Shark River, Everglades National Park, in southern Florida. We observed predominantly large-sized alligators (total length ≥ 1.75 m); observations of alligators in the small size classes (0.5 m ≤ total length large size alligators was higher in the downstream zone than in the midstream zone during the wet season, likely because of reduced salinity. We also found a significant declining trend over time in the number of alligators in the dry season, which coincides with the reported decline in alligator relative density in southern Florida freshwater wetlands. Our results indicated high adaptability of alligators to the fluctuating habitat conditions. Use of estuaries by alligators is likely driven in part by physiology and possibly by reproductive cycle, and our results supported their opportunistic use of estuary habitat and ontogenetic niche shifts.

  8. Spatial and stage-structured population model of the American crocodile for comparison of comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) alternatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Timothy W.; Slone, Daniel H.; Swain, Eric D.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Lohmann, Melinda; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Rice, Kenneth G.

    2010-01-01

    As part of the U.S. Geological Survey Priority Ecosystems Science (PES) initiative to provide the ecological science required during Everglades restoration, we have integrated current regional hydrologic models with American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) research and monitoring data to create a model that assesses the potential impact of Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) efforts on the American crocodile. A list of indicators was created by the Restoration Coordination and Verification (RECOVER) component of CERP to help determine the success of interim restoration goals. The American crocodile was established as an indicator of the ecological condition of mangrove estuaries due to its reliance upon estuarine environments characterized by low salinity and adequate freshwater inflow. To gain a better understanding of the potential impact of CERP restoration efforts on the American crocodile, a spatially explicit crocodile population model has been created that has the ability to simulate the response of crocodiles to various management strategies for the South Florida ecosystem. The crocodile model uses output from the Tides and Inflows in the Mangroves of the Everglades (TIME) model, an application of the Flow and Transport in a Linked Overland/Aquifer Density Dependent System (FTLOADDS) simulator. TIME has the capability to link to the South Florida Water Management Model (SFWMM), which is the primary regional tool used to assess CERP restoration scenarios. A crocodile habitat suitability index and spatial parameter maps that reflect salinity, water depth, habitat, and nesting locations are used as driving functions to construct crocodile finite rate of increase maps under different management scenarios. Local stage-structured models are integrated with a spatial landscape grid to display crocodile movement behavior in response to changing environmental conditions. Restoration efforts are expected to affect salinity levels throughout the habitat of

  9. Wild Washerwomen, Hired Sportsmen, and Enormous Crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Quentin

    1981-01-01

    A free-lance cartoonist and children's book illustrator describes his process of approaching a manuscript as a whole book, rather than as individual scenes to be illustrated. Suggests that pictures in children's books can be good on their own terms and with their own intrinsic values. (AEA)

  10. Sex-biased expression of sex-differentiating genes FOXL2 and FGF9 in American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janes, Daniel E.; Elsey, Ruth M.; Langan, Esther M.; Valenzuela, Nicole; Edwards, Scott V.

    2013-01-01

    Across amniotes, sex-determining mechanisms exhibit great variation yet the genes that govern sexual differentiation are largely conserved. Studies of evolution of sex-determining and sex-differentiating genes require an exhaustive characterization of functions of those genes such as FOXL2 and FGF9. FOXL2 is associated with ovarian development and FGF9 is known to play a role in testicular organogenesis in mammals and other amniotes. As a step toward characterization of the evolutionary history of sexual development, we measured expression of FOXL2 and FGF9 across three developmental stages and eight juvenile tissue types in male and female American alligators, Alligator mississippiensis. We report surprisingly high expression of FOXL2 before the stage of embryonic development when sex is determined in response to temperature and sustained and variable expression of FGF9 in juvenile male but not female tissue types. Novel characterization of gene expression in reptiles with temperature-dependent sex determination such as American alligators may inform the evolution of sex-determining and sex-differentiating gene networks as they suggest alternative functions from which the genes may have been exapted. Future functional profiling of sex-differentiating genes should similarly follow other genes and other species to enable a broad comparison across sex-determining mechanisms. PMID:23689672

  11. THYROID STATUS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE SITES ON LAKE OKEECHOBEE, FLORIDA, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exposure to environmental contaminants has been shown to alter normal thyroid function in various wildlife species, including the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Abnormalities in circulating levels of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) have been reported in juven...

  12. Gastric nematode diversity between estuarine and inland freshwater populations of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis, daudin 1802), and the prediction of intermediate hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellez, Marisa; Nifong, James

    2014-12-01

    We examined the variation of stomach nematode intensity and species richness of Alligator mississippiensis from coastal estuarine and inland freshwater habitats in Florida and Georgia, and integrated prey content data to predict possible intermediate hosts. Nematode parasitism within inland freshwater inhabiting populations was found to have a higher intensity and species richness than those inhabiting coastal estuarine systems. This pattern potentially correlates with the difference and diversity of prey available between inland freshwater and coastal estuarine habitats. Increased consumption of a diverse array of prey was also correlated with increased nematode intensity in larger alligators. Parasitic nematodes Dujardinascaris waltoni, Brevimulticaecum tenuicolle, Ortleppascaris antipini, Goezia sp., and Contracaecum sp. were present in alligators from both habitat types. Dujardinascaris waltoni, B. tenuicolle, and O. antipini had a significantly higher abundance among inland inhabiting alligators than hosts from estuarine populations. Our findings also suggest that host specific nematode parasites of alligators may have evolved to infect multiple intermediate hosts, particularly fishes, crabs, and turtles, perhaps in response to the opportunistic predatory behaviors of alligators.

  13. Gastric nematode diversity between estuarine and inland freshwater populations of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis, daudin 1802, and the prediction of intermediate hosts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marisa Tellez

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined the variation of stomach nematode intensity and species richness of Alligator mississippiensis from coastal estuarine and inland freshwater habitats in Florida and Georgia, and integrated prey content data to predict possible intermediate hosts. Nematode parasitism within inland freshwater inhabiting populations was found to have a higher intensity and species richness than those inhabiting coastal estuarine systems. This pattern potentially correlates with the difference and diversity of prey available between inland freshwater and coastal estuarine habitats. Increased consumption of a diverse array of prey was also correlated with increased nematode intensity in larger alligators. Parasitic nematodes Dujardinascaris waltoni, Brevimulticaecum tenuicolle, Ortleppascaris antipini, Goezia sp., and Contracaecum sp. were present in alligators from both habitat types. Dujardinascaris waltoni, B. tenuicolle, and O. antipini had a significantly higher abundance among inland inhabiting alligators than hosts from estuarine populations. Our findings also suggest that host specific nematode parasites of alligators may have evolved to infect multiple intermediate hosts, particularly fishes, crabs, and turtles, perhaps in response to the opportunistic predatory behaviors of alligators.

  14. Identification and characterization of dipeptidyl peptidase IV enzyme activity in the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merchant, Mark; Mead, Stephanie; McAdon, Charles; McFatter, Justin; Wasilewski, Joe

    2010-07-01

    Serum from the American crocodile was assayed for dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP4) activity. We measured the DPP4-mediated hydrolysis of Ala-Pro-AFC. The generation of AFC was dependent on the titer of serum, with significant DPP4 activity (0.20 + or - 0.03 nmol product formed) measured using only 2 microL of crocodile serum, with maximum activity measured using 500 microL of serum. The hydrolysis of substrate was inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by diprotin A, a specific inhibitor of DPP4 activity, indicating that this activity was due to the presence of DPP4. The crocodile serum DPP4 exhibited classical Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with K(m) and V(max) extrapolated, by double-reciprocal plot, to be 14.7 + or - 1.3 microM and 75.5 + or - 4.3 nmol/min, respectively. Crocodile DPP4 catalyzed the hydrolysis of Ala-Pro-AFC rapidly, with substantial activity measured within 5 min of the addition of substrate. After an initial rapid increase in activity, near maximal activity (7.43 + or - 0.24 nmol product formed) measured at 180 min. Crocodile serum DPP4 activity was temperature-dependent, with steadily increased activity from 5 to 40 degrees C.

  15. Influence of tissue, age, and environmental quality on DNA methylation in Alligator mississippiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrott, Benjamin B; Bowden, John A; Kohno, Satomi; Cloy-McCoy, Jessica A; Hale, Matthew D; Bangma, Jacqueline T; Rainwater, Thomas R; Wilkinson, Phillip M; Kucklick, John R; Guillette, Louis J

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic modifications are key mediators of the interactions between the environment and an organism's genome. DNA methylation represents the best-studied epigenetic modification to date and is known to play key roles in regulating transcriptional activity and promoting chromosome stability. Our laboratory has previously demonstrated the utility of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) as a sentinel species to investigate the persistent effects of environmental contaminant exposure on reproductive health. Here, we incorporate a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to directly measure the total (global) proportion of 5-methyl-2'-deoxycytidine (5mdC) in ovarian and whole blood DNA from alligators. Global DNA methylation in ovaries was significantly elevated in comparison with that of whole blood. However, DNA methylation appeared similar in juvenile alligators reared under controlled laboratory conditions but originating from three sites with dissimilar environmental qualities, indicating an absence of detectable site-of-origin effects on persistent levels of global 5mdC content. Analyses of tissues across individuals revealed a surprising lack of correlation between global methylation levels in blood and ovary. In addition, global DNA methylation in blood samples from juvenile alligators was elevated compared with those from adults, suggesting that age, as observed in mammals, may negatively influence global DNA methylation levels in alligators. To our knowledge, this is the first study examining global levels of DNA methylation in the American alligator and provides a reference point for future studies examining the interplay of epigenetics and environmental factors in a long-lived sentinel species.

  16. Comparison of metabolic substrates in alligators and several birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweazea, Karen L; McMurtry, John P; Elsey, Ruth M; Redig, Patrick; Braun, Eldon J

    2014-08-01

    On average, avian blood glucose concentrations are 1.5-2 times those of mammals of similar mass and high concentrations of insulin are required to lower blood glucose. Whereas considerable data exist for granivorous species, few data are available for plasma metabolic substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations for carnivorous birds and alligators. Birds and mammals with carnivorous diets have higher metabolic rates than animals consuming diets with less protein whereas alligators have low metabolic rates. Therefore, the present study was designed to compare substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations in several birds of prey and a phylogenetically close relative of birds, the alligator. The hypothesis was that the combination of carnivorous diets and high metabolic rates favored the evolution of greater protein and fatty acid utilization leading to insulin resistance and high plasma glucose concentrations in carnivorous birds. In contrast, it was hypothesized that alligators would have low substrate utilization attributable to a low metabolic rate. Fasting plasma substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations were compared for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), and American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Avian species had high circulating β-hydroxybutyrate (10-21 mg/dl) compared to alligators (2.81 ± 0.16 mg/dl). In mammals high concentrations of this byproduct of fatty acid utilization are correlated with insulin resistance. Fasting glucose and insulin concentrations were positively correlated in eagles whereas no relationship was found between these variables for owls, hawks or alligators. Additionally, β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were low in alligators. Similar to carnivorous mammals, ingestion of a high protein diet may have favored the utilization of fatty acids and protein for energy thereby promoting the development of insulin

  17. Maximal aerobic and anaerobic power generation in large crocodiles versus mammals: implications for dinosaur gigantothermy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger S Seymour

    Full Text Available Inertial homeothermy, the maintenance of a relatively constant body temperature that occurs simply because of large size, is often applied to large dinosaurs. Moreover, biophysical modelling and actual measurements show that large crocodiles can behaviourally achieve body temperatures above 30°C. Therefore it is possible that some dinosaurs could achieve high and stable body temperatures without the high energy cost of typical endotherms. However it is not known whether an ectothermic dinosaur could produce the equivalent amount of muscular power as an endothermic one. To address this question, this study analyses maximal power output from measured aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in burst exercising estuarine crocodiles, Crocodylusporosus, weighing up to 200 kg. These results are compared with similar data from endothermic mammals. A 1 kg crocodile at 30°C produces about 16 watts from aerobic and anaerobic energy sources during the first 10% of exhaustive activity, which is 57% of that expected for a similarly sized mammal. A 200 kg crocodile produces about 400 watts, or only 14% of that for a mammal. Phosphocreatine is a minor energy source, used only in the first seconds of exercise and of similar concentrations in reptiles and mammals. Ectothermic crocodiles lack not only the absolute power for exercise, but also the endurance, that are evident in endothermic mammals. Despite the ability to achieve high and fairly constant body temperatures, therefore, large, ectothermic, crocodile-like dinosaurs would have been competitively inferior to endothermic, mammal-like dinosaurs with high aerobic power. Endothermy in dinosaurs is likely to explain their dominance over mammals in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Mesozoic.

  18. Maximal aerobic and anaerobic power generation in large crocodiles versus mammals: implications for dinosaur gigantothermy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S

    2013-01-01

    Inertial homeothermy, the maintenance of a relatively constant body temperature that occurs simply because of large size, is often applied to large dinosaurs. Moreover, biophysical modelling and actual measurements show that large crocodiles can behaviourally achieve body temperatures above 30°C. Therefore it is possible that some dinosaurs could achieve high and stable body temperatures without the high energy cost of typical endotherms. However it is not known whether an ectothermic dinosaur could produce the equivalent amount of muscular power as an endothermic one. To address this question, this study analyses maximal power output from measured aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in burst exercising estuarine crocodiles, Crocodylusporosus, weighing up to 200 kg. These results are compared with similar data from endothermic mammals. A 1 kg crocodile at 30°C produces about 16 watts from aerobic and anaerobic energy sources during the first 10% of exhaustive activity, which is 57% of that expected for a similarly sized mammal. A 200 kg crocodile produces about 400 watts, or only 14% of that for a mammal. Phosphocreatine is a minor energy source, used only in the first seconds of exercise and of similar concentrations in reptiles and mammals. Ectothermic crocodiles lack not only the absolute power for exercise, but also the endurance, that are evident in endothermic mammals. Despite the ability to achieve high and fairly constant body temperatures, therefore, large, ectothermic, crocodile-like dinosaurs would have been competitively inferior to endothermic, mammal-like dinosaurs with high aerobic power. Endothermy in dinosaurs is likely to explain their dominance over mammals in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Mesozoic.

  19. AFFINITY OF THE ALLIGATOR ESTROGEN RECEPTOR FOR SERUM PESTICIDE CONTAMINANTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Top predators, like the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) bioaccumulate and biomagnify persistent pollutants, such as organochlorine pesticides. In a recently published study, several pesticides and pesticide metabolites not previously reported in alligator eggs wer...

  20. Hematologic and plasma biochemical reference intervals for Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) in the northern wetlands of Campeche, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla, Sergio E; Weber, Manuel; Jacobson, Elliott R

    2011-07-01

    Health surveys and hematologic and plasma biochemical analyses were conducted in 52 free-ranging and 51 captive Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) in Campeche, Mexico, March-September 2007. Blood samples from 92 crocodiles (45 free-ranging and 47 captive) were collected for hematologic and plasma biochemical analyses. Average values of erythrocytes of free-ranging crocodiles were 1,046,166 cells/μl, and total white cells were 1.03 × 10(4) cells/μl. Captive crocodiles had erythrocyte and leukocyte values of 1,100,416 cells/μl and 8.51 × 10(3) cells/μl, respectively. There were no significant differences in values of erythrocytes or in hematocrit between free-ranging and captive crocodiles, or between sexes, or among size classes. Counts of leukocytes in free-ranging crocodiles were significantly higher than in captive individuals. The mean values of plasma analytes were 69.55 mg/l (glucose), 250.14 mg/l (cholesterol), 3.04 mg/l (uric acid), 2.70 mg/l (creatinine), and 20.20 IU/l (alanine aminotransferase). There were significant differences in cholesterol between free-ranging and captive crocodiles and between sexes.

  1. Crocodiles in the Sahara desert: an update of distribution, habitats and population status for conservation planning in Mauritania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José C Brito

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Relict populations of Crocodylus niloticus persist in Chad, Egypt and Mauritania. Although crocodiles were widespread throughout the Sahara until the early 20(th century, increased aridity combined with human persecution led to local extinction. Knowledge on distribution, occupied habitats, population size and prey availability is scarce in most populations. This study evaluates the status of Saharan crocodiles and provides new data for Mauritania to assist conservation planning. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A series of surveys in Mauritania detected crocodile presence in 78 localities dispersed across 10 river basins and most tended to be isolated within river basins. Permanent gueltas and seasonal tâmoûrts were the most common occupied habitats. Crocodile encounters ranged from one to more than 20 individuals, but in most localities less than five crocodiles were observed. Larger numbers were observed after the rainy season and during night sampling. Crocodiles were found dead in between water points along dry river-beds suggesting the occurrence of dispersal. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Research priorities in Chad and Egypt should focus on quantifying population size and pressures exerted on habitats. The present study increased in by 35% the number of known crocodile localities in Mauritania. Gueltas are crucial for the persistence of mountain populations. Oscillations in water availability throughout the year and the small dimensions of gueltas affect biological traits, including activity and body size. Studies are needed to understand adaptation traits of desert populations. Molecular analyses are needed to quantify genetic variability, population sub-structuring and effective population size, and detect the occurrence of gene flow. Monitoring is needed to detect demographical and genetical trends in completely isolated populations. Crocodiles are apparently vulnerable during dispersal events. Awareness campaigns focusing on

  2. ALTERED HISTOLOGY OF THE THYMUS AND SPLEEN IN CONTAMINANT-EXPOSED JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morphological difference in spleen and thymus are closely related to functional immune differences. Hormonal regulation of the immune system has been demonstrated in reptilian splenic and thymic tissue. Spleens and thymus were obtained from juvenile alligators at two reference si...

  3. Metals and organochlorine pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Wu, Ted H; Finger, Adam G; Cañas, Jaclyn E; Yu, Lu; Reynolds, Kevin D; Coimbatore, Gopal; Barr, Brady; Platt, Steven G; Cobb, George P; Anderson, Todd A; McMurry, Scott T

    2007-02-01

    Despite high animal diversity in the Neotropics and the largely unregulated use and disposal of pesticides and industrial chemicals in Central America, few data exist regarding accumulation of environmental contaminants in Central American wildlife. In this study we examined accumulation of metals and organochlorine (OC) pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica. Scutes from Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from two sites in northern Belize were analyzed for metals, and scutes from American crocodiles (C. acutus) from one site in Costa Rica were analyzed for metals and OC pesticides. All scutes (n=25; one scute from each of 25 individuals) contained multiple contaminants. Mercury was the predominant metal detected, occurring in all scutes examined from both species. Other metals detected include cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc. American crocodile scutes from Costa Rica contained multiple OC pesticides, including endrin, methoxychlor, p,p'-DDE, and p,p'-DDT, all of which occurred in 100% of scutes analyzed (n=6). Mean metal and OC concentrations varied in relation to those previously reported in crocodilian scutes from other localities in North, Central, and South America. OC concentrations in American crocodile scutes were generally higher than those previously reported for other Costa Rican wildlife. Currently, caudal scutes may serve as general, non-lethal indicators of contaminant accumulation in crocodilians and their areas of occurrence. However, a better understanding of the relationships between pollutant concentrations in scutes, internal tissues, and environmental matrices at sample collection sites are needed to improve the utility of scutes in future ecotoxicological investigations.

  4. Metals and organochlorine pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rainwater, Thomas R. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)]. E-mail: thomas.rainwater@tiehh.ttu.edu; Wu, Ted H. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Finger, Adam G. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Canas, Jaclyn E. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Yu Lu [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Reynolds, Kevin D. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Coimbatore, Gopal [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Barr, Brady [National Geographic Channel, 1145 17th St. NW Washington, DC 20036 (United States); Platt, Steven G. [Department of Biology, Box C-64, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX 79832 (United States); Cobb, George P. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); McMurry, Scott T. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)

    2007-02-01

    Despite high animal diversity in the Neotropics and the largely unregulated use and disposal of pesticides and industrial chemicals in Central America, few data exist regarding accumulation of environmental contaminants in Central American wildlife. In this study we examined accumulation of metals and organochlorine (OC) pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica. Scutes from Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from two sites in northern Belize were analyzed for metals, and scutes from American crocodiles (C. acutus) from one site in Costa Rica were analyzed for metals and OC pesticides. All scutes (n = 25; one scute from each of 25 individuals) contained multiple contaminants. Mercury was the predominant metal detected, occurring in all scutes examined from both species. Other metals detected include cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc. American crocodile scutes from Costa Rica contained multiple OC pesticides, including endrin, methoxychlor, p,p'-DDE, and p,p'-DDT, all of which occurred in 100% of scutes analyzed (n = 6). Mean metal and OC concentrations varied in relation to those previously reported in crocodilian scutes from other localities in North, Central, and South America. OC concentrations in American crocodile scutes were generally higher than those previously reported for other Costa Rican wildlife. Currently, caudal scutes may serve as general, non-lethal indicators of contaminant accumulation in crocodilians and their areas of occurrence. However, a better understanding of the relationships between pollutant concentrations in scutes, internal tissues, and environmental matrices at sample collection sites are needed to improve the utility of scutes in future ecotoxicological investigations.

  5. A 3D Interactive Model and Atlas of the Jaw Musculature of Alligator mississippiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holliday, Casey M.; Tsai, Henry P.; Skiljan, Rebecca J.; George, Ian D.; Pathan, Sami

    2013-01-01

    Modern imaging and dissemination methods enable morphologists to share complex, three-dimensional (3D) data in ways not previously possible. Here we present a 3D interactive model of the jaw musculature of the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Alligator and crocodylian jaw musculature is notoriously challenging to inspect and interpret because of the derived nature of the feeding apparatus. Using Iodine-contrast enhanced microCT imaging, a segmented model of jaw muscles, trigeminal nerve, brain and skull are presented as a cross-sectional atlas and 3D, interactive pdf of the rendered model. Modern 3D dissemination methods like this 3D Alligator hold great potential for morphologists to share anatomical information to scientists, educators, and the public in an easily downloadable format. PMID:23762228

  6. A 3D interactive model and atlas of the jaw musculature of Alligator mississippiensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Casey M Holliday

    Full Text Available Modern imaging and dissemination methods enable morphologists to share complex, three-dimensional (3D data in ways not previously possible. Here we present a 3D interactive model of the jaw musculature of the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis. Alligator and crocodylian jaw musculature is notoriously challenging to inspect and interpret because of the derived nature of the feeding apparatus. Using Iodine-contrast enhanced microCT imaging, a segmented model of jaw muscles, trigeminal nerve, brain and skull are presented as a cross-sectional atlas and 3D, interactive pdf of the rendered model. Modern 3D dissemination methods like this 3D Alligator hold great potential for morphologists to share anatomical information to scientists, educators, and the public in an easily downloadable format.

  7. Aeromonas hydrophila-associated septicemia in captive crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni and Crocodylus porosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Yoon-Seok; Park, Heejin; Cho, Hyun-Ung; Cho, Ara; Islam, Mohammad Rafiqul; Cho, Ho-Seong; Lim, Chae Woong; Kim, Bumseok

    2011-12-01

    Five 25-yr-old crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni and Crocodylus porosus) were diagnosed with Aeromonas hydrophila-associated septicemia accelerated by improper thermoregulation. At necropsy, pulmonary congestion and pleural effusion were the main lesions in the thorax. Necrotizing enteritis, intestinal hemorrhage, fibrinous serositis, hepatitis, and pancreatitis were observed in the abdominal cavities of all five crocodiles. Aeromonas hydrophila was identified in the pleural effusions and abdominal ascites of all necropsied crocodiles by using an API system 20NE. Aeromonas hydrophila infection and evaluation of virulence were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction targeting the 16S rRNA and extracellular hemolysin gene. The crocodiles in the present case were housed in an indoor facility at a private zoo that failed to optimize land and water portions of the enclosure, exposing the animals to impeded thermoregulation, and it is suggested that the pathogenesis was accelerated by the improper thermoregulation-induced stress. This is the first description of A. hydrophila pathogenicity associated with impeded thermoregulation in reptiles.

  8. Implications of skull shape for the ecology and conservation biology of crocodiles

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pearcy, Ashley

    2011-01-01

    Each species of crocodile has its own distinct head shape with its own well-adapted capacities for movement, force, strength, and in turn diet and habitat preferences suiting their niche. Different species of crocodilians with overlapping or matching natural ranges (sympatric species) show increased

  9. Species-level diversification of African dwarf crocodiles (Genus Osteolaemus): a geographic and phylogenetic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eaton, Mitchell J; Martin, Andrew; Thorbjarnarson, John; Amato, George

    2009-03-01

    The taxonomy of the African dwarf crocodile (genus Osteolaemus) has been disputed since a novel morphotype was discovered in the early 20th Century. Because this poorly-known reptile is widely hunted throughout the forests of Central and West Africa, resolving the existence and extent of taxonomic units has important management and conservation implications. Lack of molecular data from individuals of known origin and historical disagreement on diagnostic morphological characters have hindered attempts to settle one of the most important taxonomic questions in the Crocodylia. In an effort to clarify the evolutionary relationships among dwarf crocodiles, we sequenced three mitochondrial and two nuclear genes using a large sample of dwarf crocodiles from known localities across major drainage basins of forested Africa. Concordant results from Bayesian, maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony and population aggregation analytical methods support a previously recognized division of the dwarf crocodile into a Congo Basin form (O. osborni) and a West African form (Osteolaemus tetraspis), but also reveal a third diagnosable lineage from West Africa warranting recognition as an separate taxonomic unit. Corrected genetic distances between geographic regions ranged from 0.2% to 0.6% in nuclear fragments and 10.0 to 16.2% in mitochondrial COI. Population aggregation, using fixed and alternate character (nucleotide) states to cluster or divide populations, recovered 232 such molecular characters in 4286 bp of sequence data and unambiguously aggregated populations into their respective geographic clade. Several previously recognized morphological differences coincide with our molecular analysis to distinguish Congo Basin crocodiles from the Ogooué Basin and West Africa. Discrete morphological characters have not yet been documented between the latter two regions, suggesting further work is needed or molecular data may be required to recognize taxonomic divisions in cases where

  10. Large reptiles and cold temperatures: Do extreme cold spells set distributional limits for tropical reptiles in Florida?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Parry, Mark; Beauchamp, Jeff; Rochford, Mike; Smith, Brian J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Brandt, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Distributional limits of many tropical species in Florida are ultimately determined by tolerance to low temperature. An unprecedented cold spell during 2–11 January 2010, in South Florida provided an opportunity to compare the responses of tropical American crocodiles with warm-temperate American alligators and to compare the responses of nonnative Burmese pythons with native warm-temperate snakes exposed to prolonged cold temperatures. After the January 2010 cold spell, a record number of American crocodiles (n = 151) and Burmese pythons (n = 36) were found dead. In contrast, no American alligators and no native snakes were found dead. American alligators and American crocodiles behaved differently during the cold spell. American alligators stopped basking and retreated to warmer water. American crocodiles apparently continued to bask during extreme cold temperatures resulting in lethal body temperatures. The mortality of Burmese pythons compared to the absence of mortality for native snakes suggests that the current population of Burmese pythons in the Everglades is less tolerant of cold temperatures than native snakes. Burmese pythons introduced from other parts of their native range may be more tolerant of cold temperatures. We documented the direct effects of cold temperatures on crocodiles and pythons; however, evidence of long-term effects of cold temperature on their populations within their established ranges remains lacking. Mortality of crocodiles and pythons outside of their current established range may be more important in setting distributional limits.

  11. The tale of the tail: limb function and locomotor mechanics in Alligator mississippiensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willey, Jeffrey S; Biknevicius, Audrone R; Reilly, Stephen M; Earls, Kathleen D

    2004-01-01

    Crocodilians tow their large muscular tail behind them during terrestrial bouts when they high walk (a walking trot). Analysis of ground reaction forces in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) revealed the consequences of tail-dragging. Individual limb and tail ground reaction force records show that the hindlimbs of Alligator take on a substantial role in body mass support consistent with the more caudal location of its center of mass due to the presence of a particularly heavy tail (representing nearly 28% of total body mass). Furthermore, because the constant drag imposed by the tail is substantial, both fore- and hindlimbs in Alligator have a heightened propulsive role as a means of countering the net braking effect of the tail. Ground reaction forces of the whole body were used to assess how well Alligator was able to utilize mechanical energy-saving mechanisms (inverse pendulum or mass-spring). A high-walking Alligator recovers, on average, about 20% of its mechanical energy by inverse pendulum mechanics. These modest energy recovery levels are likely to be due to a combination of factors that may include low locomotor speed, imprecise coordination of contralateral limbs in the trot, frequent dragging of feet of protracting limbs during swing phase and, possibly, tail dragging.

  12. Use of alligator hole abundance and occupancy rate as indicators for restoration of a human-altered wetland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Ogurcak, Danielle; Rochford, Michael; Jeffery, Brian M.; Brandt, Laura A.; Cherkiss, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Use of indicator species as a measure of ecosystem conditions is an established science application in environmental management. Because of its role in shaping wetland systems, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is one of the ecological indicators for wetland restoration in south Florida, USA. We conducted landscape-level aerial surveys of alligator holes in two different habitats in a wetland where anthropogenic modification of surface hydrology has altered the natural system. Alligator holes were scarcer in an area where modified hydrology caused draining and frequent dry-downs compared to another area that maintains a functional wetland system. Lower abundance of alligator holes indicates lack of alligator activities, lower overall species diversity, and lack of dry-season aquatic refugia for other organisms. The occupancy rate of alligator holes was lower than the current restoration target for the Everglades, and was variable by size class with large size-class alligators predominantly occupying alligator holes. This may indicate unequal size-class distribution, different habitat selection by size classes, or possibly a lack of recruitment. Our study provides pre-restoration baseline information about one indicator species for the Everglades. Success of the restoration can be assessed via effective synthesis of information derived by collective research efforts on the entire suite of selected ecological indicators.

  13. Post-hatching development of Alligator mississippiensis ovary and testis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Brandon C.; Hamlin, Heather J.; Botteri, Nicole L.; Lawler, Ashley N.; Mathavan, Ketan K.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated ovary and testis development of Alligator mississippiensis during the first five months post-hatch. To better describe follicle assembly and seminiferous cord development, we employed histochemical techniques to detect carbohydrate-rich extracellular matrix components in one-week, one-month, three-month, and five-month-old gonads. We found profound morphological changes in both ovary and testis. During this time, oogenesis progressed up to diplotene arrest and meiotic germ cells increasingly interacted with follicular cells. Concomitant with follicles becoming invested with full complements of granulosa cells, a periodic acid Schiff’s (PAS)-positive basement membrane formed. As follicles enlarged and thecal layers were observed, basement membranes and thecal compartments gained periodic acid-methionine silver (PAMS)-reactive fibers. The ovarian medulla increased first PAS- and then PAMS-reactivity as it fragmented into wide lacunae lined with low cuboidal to squamous epithelia. During this same period, testicular germ cells found along the tubule margins were observed progressing from spermatogonia to round spermatids located within the center of tubules. Accompanying this meiotic development, interstitial Leydig cell clusters become more visible and testicular capsules thickened. During the observed testis development, the thickening tunica albuginea and widening interstitial tissues showed increasing PAS- and PAMS-reactivity. We observed putative inter-sex structures in both ovary and testis. On the coelomic aspect of testes were cell clusters with germ cell morphology and at the posterior end of ovaries, we observed “medullary rests” resembling immature testis cords. We hypothesize laboratory conditions accelerated gonad maturation due to optimum conditions, including nutrients and temperature. Laboratory alligators grew more rapidly and with increased body conditions compared to previous measured, field-caught animals. Additionally, we

  14. A big alligator snacks on a smaller alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    A large alligator attacks and eats a smaller one in a natural display of cannibalism. Although this event has been observed infrequently by Kennedy Space Center's staff photographers, it is common feeding behavior among the wild alligator population on the space center. Alligators are carnivorous and will eat any living thing that crosses their paths and is small enough for them to kill. For this reason, it is dangerous to feed wild alligators, and in Florida, it is also illegal. Kennedy Space Center is located on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge which is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  15. Molecular evidence for genetic distinctions between Chlamydiaceae detected in Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) and known Chlamydiaceae species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sariya, Ladawan; Kladmanee, Kan; Bhusri, Benjaporn; Thaijongrak, Prawporn; Tonchiangsai, Kanittha; Chaichoun, Kridsada; Ratanakorn, Parntep

    2015-02-01

    Chlamydiosis, caused by Chlamydiaceae, is a zoonotic disease found in humans and several species of animals, including reptiles and amphibians. Although chlamydiosis in saltwater crocodiles has been previously reported in South Africa and Papua New Guinea, the reported strains have not been identified or confirmed. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to sequence and characterize Chamydiaceae isolated from Siamese crocodiles. Results showed the 16S ribosomal (r) RNA and the 16S/23S rRNA gene of the crocodile isolates were closely related to the genus Chlamydophila with matched identity greater than 98%. The phylogenetic tree constructed from the 16S/23S rRNA gene showed the crocodile cluster diverges far from Cp. caviae with a 100% bootstrap value. The tree based on the ompA gene loci distinguished the crocodile strains into genotypes I, II, and III. The present study is the first report on Chlamydophila detected in Siamese crocodiles that is genetically distinct from the known species of Chlamydiaceae.

  16. ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CONTAMINANTS AND ALLIGATOR EMBRYOS: A LESSON FROM WILDLIFE?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many xenobiotic compounds introduced into the environment by human activity adversely affect wildlife. A number of these contaminants have been hypothesized to induce non lethal, multigenerational effects by acting as endocrine disrupting agents. One case is that of the alligator...

  17. A sampling design and model for estimating abundance of Nile crocodiles while accounting for heterogeneity of detectability of multiple observers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirley, Matthew H.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Abassery, Ekramy; Elhady, Amr A.; Mekki, Mohammed S.; Asran, Hosni H.

    2012-01-01

    As part of the development of a management program for Nile crocodiles in Lake Nasser, Egypt, we used a dependent double-observer sampling protocol with multiple observers to compute estimates of population size. To analyze the data, we developed a hierarchical model that allowed us to assess variation in detection probabilities among observers and survey dates, as well as account for variation in crocodile abundance among sites and habitats. We conducted surveys from July 2008-June 2009 in 15 areas of Lake Nasser that were representative of 3 main habitat categories. During these surveys, we sampled 1,086 km of lake shore wherein we detected 386 crocodiles. Analysis of the data revealed significant variability in both inter- and intra-observer detection probabilities. Our raw encounter rate was 0.355 crocodiles/km. When we accounted for observer effects and habitat, we estimated a surface population abundance of 2,581 (2,239-2,987, 95% credible intervals) crocodiles in Lake Nasser. Our results underscore the importance of well-trained, experienced monitoring personnel in order to decrease heterogeneity in intra-observer detection probability and to better detect changes in the population based on survey indices. This study will assist the Egyptian government establish a monitoring program as an integral part of future crocodile harvest activities in Lake Nasser

  18. Evaluating the effect of salinity on a simulated American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) population with applications to conservation and Everglades restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Paul M.; Mooij, Wolf M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2004-01-01

    Everglades restoration will alter the hydrology of South Florida, affecting both water depth and salinity levels in the southern fringes of the Everglades, the habitat of the endangered American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). A key question is what the effects of these hydrologic changes will be on the crocodile population. Reliable predictions of the viability of endangered species under a variety of management scenarios are of vital importance in conservation ecology. Juvenile American crocodiles are thought to be sensitive to high salinity levels, suffering reduced mass, and potentially reduced survivorship and recruitment. This could negatively impact the population recovery. We addressed the management issue of how the crocodile population will respond to alterations in hydrology with a spatially explicit individual-based model. The model is designed to relate water levels, salinities, and dominant vegetation to crocodile distribution, abundance, population growth, individual growth, survival, nesting effort, and nesting success. Our analysis shows that Everglades restoration, through its effects on water flow to estuaries, may benefit crocodile populations if increased freshwater flow reduces the chance that regional salinity levels exceed levels where small individuals lose mass. In addition, we conclude that conservation priority should be placed on reducing anthropogenic sources of mortality on large individuals, such as road mortality. Finally, research should focus on estimates of annual survivorship for large individuals.

  19. Alligator diet in relation to alligator mortality on Lake Griffin, FL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, A.N.; Ross, J.P.; Woodward, A.R.; Carbonneau, D.A.; Percival, H.F.

    2007-01-01

    Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligators) demonstrated low hatch-rate success and increased adult mortality on Lake Griffin, FL, between 1998 and 2003. Dying Lake Griffin alligators with symptoms of poor motor coordination were reported to show specific neurological impairment and brain lesions. Similar lesions were documented in salmonines that consumed clupeids with high thiaminase levels. Therefore, we investigated the diet of Lake Griffin alligators and compared it with alligator diets from two lakes that exhibited relatively low levels of unexplained alligator mortality to see if consumption of Dorosoma cepedianum (gizzard shad) could be correlated with patterns of mortality. Shad in both lakes Griffin and Apopka had high levels of thiaminase and Lake Apopka alligators were consuming greater amounts of shad relative to Lake Griffin without showing mortality rates similar to Lake Griffin alligators. Therefore, a relationship between shad consumption alone and alligator mortality is not supported.

  20. Mortality of American alligators attributed to cannibalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delany, Michael F.; Woodward, Allan R.; Kiltie, Richard A.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2011-01-01

    Mortality of juvenile (Alligator mississippiensis) attributed to cannibalism on Orange Lake, Florida was examined. Alligator web tags used in mark–recapture studies were found in 12% of 267 stomachs sampled from alligators ≥168 cm TL. Captive alligators retained 76% of force-fed tags during a 588-d tag-retention trial. Models relating the probability of tag recovery to the annual probabilities of juvenile survival, cannibalism, tag retention, adult survival, and adult harvest suggested that cannibalism may on average remove 6–7% of the juvenile alligator population annually. Vulnerability continued to 140 cm TL (age 6–8 yr). Cannibalism of juveniles may serve to regulate the alligator population on Orange Lake. Alligator cannibalism may vary widely among populations, depending on demography and environmental conditions. The role and importance of cannibalism in alligator population dynamics should be more fully assessed and environmental and population factors that influence cannibalism identified to better evaluate management programs.

  1. The American Crocodile in Biscayne Bay, Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherkiss, Michael S.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2011-01-01

    Intensive crocodile monitoring programs conducted during the late 1970s and early 1980s in southern Florida resulted in an optimistic outlook for recovery of the protected species population. However, some areas with suitable crocodile habitat were not investigated, such as Biscayne Bay and the mainland shorelines of Barnes and Card Sounds. The objective of our study was to determine status and habitat use of crocodiles in the aforementioned areas. Spotlight and nesting surveys were conducted from September 1996 to December 2005. The results revealed annual increases in the number of crocodiles. Crocodiles preferred protected habitats such as canals and ponds. Fewer crocodiles were observed in higher salinity water. The distribution and abundance of crocodilians in estuaries is directly dependent on timing, amount, and location of freshwater delivery, providing an opportunity to integrate habitat enhancement with ongoing ecosystem restoration and management activities.

  2. Chronic Ingestion of Coal Fly-Ash Contaminated Prey and Its Effects on Health and Immune Parameters in Juvenile American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finger, John W; Hamilton, Matthew T; Metts, Brian S; Glenn, Travis C; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2016-10-01

    Coal-burning power plants supply approximately 37 % of the electricity in the United States. However, incomplete combustion produces ash wastes enriched with toxic trace elements that have historically been disposed of in aquatic basins. Organisms inhabiting such habitats may accumulate these trace elements; however, studies investigating the effects on biota have been primarily restricted to shorter-lived, lower-trophic organisms. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a long-lived, top-trophic carnivore, has been observed inhabiting these basins, yet the health or immune effects of chronic exposure and possible accumulation remains unknown. In this study, we investigated how chronic dietary ingestion of prey contaminated with coal combustion wastes (CCWs) for 25 months, and subsequent accumulation of trace elements present in CCWs, affected juvenile alligator immune function and health. Alligators were assigned to one of four dietary-treatment groups including controls and those fed prey contaminated with CCWs for one, two, or three times a week. However, no effect of Dietary Treatment (p > 0.05) was observed on any immune parameter or hematological or plasma analyte we tested. Our results suggest that neither exposure to nor accumulation of low doses of CCWs had a negative effect on certain aspects of the immune and hematological system. However, future studies are required to elucidate this further.

  3. The influence of regional hydrology on nesting behavior and nest fate of the American alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugarte, Cristina A.; Bass, Oron L.; Nuttle, William; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Whelan, Kevin R.T.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrologic conditions are critical to the nesting behavior and reproductive success of crocodilians. In South Florida, USA, growing human settlement has led to extensive surface water management and modification of historical water flows in the wetlands, which have affected regional nesting of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Although both natural and anthropogenic factors are considered to determine hydrologic conditions, the aspects of hydrological patterns that affect alligator nest effort, flooding (partial and complete), and failure (no hatchling) are unclear. We deconstructed annual hydrological patterns using harmonic models that estimated hydrological matrices including mean, amplitude, timing of peak, and periodicity of surface water depth and discharge and examined their effects on alligator nesting using survey data from Shark Slough, Everglades National Park, from 1985 to 2005. Nest effort increased in years with higher mean and lesser periodicity of water depth. A greater proportion of nests were flooded and failed when peak discharge occurred earlier in the year. Also, nest flooding rates were greater in years with greater periodicity of water depth, and nest failure rate was greater when mean discharge was higher. This study guides future water management decisions to mitigate negative impacts on reproduction of alligators and provides wildlife managers with a tool for assessing and modifying annual water management plans to conserve crocodilians and other wetland species.

  4. Osteoarthropathy of unknown aetiology in the long bones of farmed and wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus

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    Fritz W. Huchzermeyer

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Humeri of farmed and wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus collected during routine post-mortem examinations were boiled, cleaned and examined for lesions. Various degrees of gross bone and articular pathology were found. The lesions were situated predominantly at the proximal and distal epiphyseal and metaphyseal regions of the bone, where growth and bone remodelling occurs. In advanced cases partial collapse of the articular surface could be identified. From the collection of crocodile bones five particular cases are described. Because of the wide distribution of origin of the affected animals, nutritional or toxicological causes seem unlikely. One of the cases presented was associated with mycoplasmosis. These forms of crocodilian bone pathology need further investigation.

  5. Antiglycation, antioxidant and toxicological potential of polyphenol extracts of alligator pepper, ginger and nutmeg from Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazeem, MI; Akanji, MA; Hafizur, Rahman M; Choudhary, MI

    2012-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the antioxidant and antiglycation potential of polyphenols from three spices; alligator pepper, ginger and nutmeg. Methods Polyphenol extracts of these spices were subjected to brine-shrimp lethality assay, phytotoxicity test, DPPH and superoxide anion radical scavenging as well as BSA-glucose antiglycation assay. Results Results obtained showed that polyphenol extract of ginger has the highest antioxidant potential with IC50 0.075 and 0.070 mg/mL for DPPH and superoxide anion radical scavenging assay while alligator pepper displayed highest antiglycation activity with IC50 0.125 mg/mL. However, nutmeg extract exhibited weakest cytotoxic and phytotoxic potential with LD50 4359.70 and 1490 µg/mL respectively. Conclusions It can be concluded that the polyphenol extracts of alligator pepper, ginger and nutmeg displayed good antioxidant as well as antiglycation potential and are safe for consumption. PMID:23570003

  6. Body temperatures and behavior of American alligators during cold winter weather

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brisbin, I.L., Jr.; Standora, E.A.; Vargo, M.J.

    1982-04-01

    Data from two large (188 and 135 kg) male alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) indicated that 4-5 C seemed to be the lowest body temperatures that they could endure with subsequent recovery. Although one animal in shallow water managed to keep a breathing hole open for several days, in ice that was 1.5 cm thick, it later died following a decrease of its body temperature to 4.0 C. The second alligator which was located in a deeper portion of the reservoir used both terrestrial and aquatic basking behavior to raise its body temperature and level of activity. Except in the case of basking events, there was not clear evidence of significant evaluations of the body temperatures of either the live or dead alligators above those of their adjacent water. When located side-by-side, diurnal cycles of deep body temperatures exceeding adjacent water temperatures to a maximum extent near dawn and usually falling below water temperatures during the afternoon and early evening hours. The physical properties and thermal inertia of the bodies of such large alligators, when placed in appropriate microclimates, may be sufficient in themselves to explain the general patterns and levels of body temperature changes observed at these low temperatures.

  7. Population and conservation strategies for the Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus in China

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    Huang, C. M.

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The Chinese crocodile lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus is an unusual anguimorph lizard found mainly in China. Transect surveys estimate a total wild population of about 950 individuals in China. This is a dramatic decrease compared with previous surveys. At present, there are only eight areas of distribution. No Chinese crocodile lizards have been found in four former areas for several years. Investigations have demonstrated that poaching has contributed directly to the population decline. Habitat destruction, and in particular water flow, is the second most important factor. Mining, small scale dam construction, electro-fishing and poisoning of fish in the stream also contribute to population decline. Therefore, educating local people, punishing illegal poaching, and strengthening scientific research are urgent.

  8. Identification and characterization of serum complement activity in the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merchant, Mark; McFatter, Justin; Mead, Stephanie; McAdon, Charles; Wasilewski, Joe

    2010-02-15

    Incubation of unsensitized sheep red blood cells with serum from the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) resulted in a concentration-dependent hemolysis. The hemolytic activity was heat-sensitive, and inhibited by EDTA in a concentration-dependent manner. The EDTA-inhibited SRBC hemolysis could be restored by the addition of excess Ca2+ or Mg2+, but not Ba2+ or Cu2+, revealing the specificity of this activity for these two divalent cations. The hemolytic activity of crocodile serum was titer-dependent, with 329 microL producing 50% of maximal SRBC hemolysis. The complement activity was also temperature-dependent, with decreased activity at lower temperatures (5-15 degrees C) and maximal activity occurred at 30-40 degrees C. The hemolysis occurred relatively slowly, with near zero activity after 10 min, 40% of activity observed within 15 min of exposure to SRBCs, and maximal activity at 30 min.

  9. Molecular cloning, characterization, tissue distribution and mRNA expression changes during the hibernation and reproductive periods of estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) in Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ruidong; Hu, Yuehong; Wang, Huan; Yan, Peng; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Rong; Wu, Xiaobing

    2016-10-01

    Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis, is a critically endangered reptile species unique to China. Little is known about the mechanism of growth- and reproduction-related hormones gene expression in Chinese alligator. Estrogens play important roles in regulating multiple reproduction- and non-reproduction-related functions by binding to their corresponding receptors. Here, the full-length cDNA of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα/ESR1) was cloned and sequenced from Chinese alligator for the first time, which comprises 1764bp nucleotides and encodes a predicted protein of 587 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis of ESR1 showed that crocodilians and turtles were the sister-group of birds. The results of real-time quantitative PCR indicated that the ESR1 mRNA was widely expressed in the brain and peripheral tissues. In the brain and pituitary gland, ESR1 was most highly transcribed in the cerebellum. But in other peripheral tissues, ESR1 mRNA expression level was the highest in the ovary. Compared with hibernation period, ESR1 mRNA expression levels were increased significantly in the reproductive period (P0.05). The ESR1 mRNA expression levels changes during the two periods of different tissues suggested that ESR1 might play an important role in mediation of estrogenic multiple reproductive effects in Chinese alligator. Furthermore, it was the first time to quantify ESR1 mRNA level in the brain of crocodilians, and the distribution and expression of ESR1 mRNA in the midbrain, cerebellum and medulla oblongata was also reported for the first time in reptiles.

  10. American alligator digestion rate of blue crabs and its implications for stomach contents analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nifong, James C.; Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Johnson, Nathan A.; Barichivich, William; Silliman, Brian; Heithaus, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

    Stomach contents analysis (SCA) provides a snap-shot observation of a consumer's diet. Interpretation of SCA data can be complicated by many factors, including variation in gastric residence times and digestion rates among prey taxa. Although some SCA methods are reported to efficiently remove all stomach contents, the effectiveness of these techniques has rarely been tested for large irregular shaped prey with hard exoskeletons. We used a controlled feeding trial to estimate gastric residency time and decomposition rate of a large crustacean prey item, the Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus), which is consumed by American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), an abundant apex predator in coastal habitats of the southeastern United States. The decomposition rate of C. sapidus in the stomachs of A. mississippiensis followed a predictable pattern, and some crab pieces remained in stomachs for at least 14 days. We also found that certain portions of C. sapidus were prone to becoming caught within the stomach or esophagus, meaning not all crab parts are consistently recovered using gastric lavage techniques. However, because the state of decomposition of crabs was predictable, it is possible to estimate time since consumption for crabs recovered from wild alligators. This information, coupled with a detailed understanding of crab distributions and alligator movement tactics could help elucidate patterns of cross-ecosystem foraging by the American Alligator in coastal habitats

  11. Influences of Sex, Incubation Temperature, and Environmental Quality on Gonadal Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Messenger RNA Expression in Juvenile American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Brandon C.; Milnes, Matthew R.; Kohno, Satomi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J.

    2009-01-01

    Gonadal steroid hormone receptors play a vital role in transforming ligand signals into gene expression. We have shown previously that gonads from wild-caught juvenile alligators express greater levels of estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) than estrogen receptor 2 (ESR2). Furthermore, sexually dimorphic ESR2 mRNA expression (female > male) observed in animals from the reference site (Lake Woodruff, FL, USA) was lost in alligators from the contaminated Lake Apopka (FL, USA). We postulated that environmental contaminant exposure could influence gonadal steroid hormone receptor expression. Here, we address questions regarding gonadal estrogen and androgen receptor (AR) mRNA expression in 1-yr-old, laboratory-raised alligators. What are relative expression levels within gonads? Do these levels vary between sexes or incubation temperatures? Can contaminant exposure change these levels? We observed a similar pattern of expression (ESR1 > AR > ESR2) in ovary and testis. However, both incubation temperature and environment modulated expression. Males incubated at 33.5°C expressed greater AR levels than females incubated at 30°C; dimorphic expression was not observed in animals incubated at 32°C. Compared to Lake Woodruff alligators, Lake Apopka animals of both sexes showed lesser ESR2 mRNA expression levels. Employing cluster analyses, we integrated these receptor expression patterns with those of steroidogenic factors. Elevated ESR2 and CYP19A1 expressions were diagnostic of alligator ovary, whereas elevated HSD3B1, CYP11A1, and CYP17A1 expressions were indicative of testis. In contrast, AR, ESR1, and NR5A1 showed variable expressions that were not entirely associated with sex. These findings demonstrate that the mRNA expression of receptors required for steroid hormone signaling are modified by exposure to environmental factors, including temperature and contaminants. PMID:19759368

  12. Nesting phenology and clutch characteristics of captive Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) in Cambodia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Steven G; Monyrath, Vuthy; Sovannara, Heng; Kheng, Long; Rainwater, Thomas R

    2012-01-01

    The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) is considered one of the least studied and most critically endangered crocodilians in the world. Although few wild populations remain, more than 700,000 C. siamensis are held on commercial crocodile farms in Southeast Asia. Despite conservation concerns, many aspects of C. siamensis life history remain poorly known, particularly with regards to its reproductive biology. We studied nesting phenology, clutch characteristics, and other aspects of C. siamensis reproductive biology on crocodile farms in Cambodia during 2000 and 2001. Oviposition among captive crocodiles began in February and continued into early June. The mean (±1 SD) oviposition date based on pooled data from 2000 and 2001 was 5 April ± 24 days. Mean oviposition date differed significantly between 2000 and 2001, possibly as a result of annual variability among nesting cues. The mean incubation period was 72 ± 3 days and eggs hatched from 5 May to 18 August. Mean clutch size (25.0 ± 8.8 eggs; n = 183) differed significantly between years, possibly resulting from the >2.5-fold increase in sample size during 2001. There was no correlation between clutch size and oviposition date during either 2000 or 2001. A single female produced two clutches during 2001, complimenting previous reports of double-clutching among C. siamensis. The mean length and width of 515 eggs were 78.2 ± 4.9 and 48.1 ± 2.5 mm, respectively; mean egg mass was 90.8 ± 16.5 g (n = 471). One unpipped egg contained a set of twins.

  13. Alterations in eicosanoid composition during embryonic development in the chorioallantoic membrane of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and domestic chicken (Gallus gallus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantu, Theresa M; Bowden, John A; Scott, Jacob; Pérez-Viscasillas, Jimena B; Huncik, Kevin; Guillette, Matthew P; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-11-01

    Eicosanoids are signaling lipids known to regulate several physiological processes in the mammalian placenta, including the initiation of parturition. Though all amniotes construct similar extraembryonic membranes during development, the composition and function of eicosanoids in extraembryonic membranes of oviparous reptiles is largely unknown. The majority of effort placed in eicosanoid investigations is typically targeted toward defining the role of specific compounds in disease etiology; however, comprehensive characterization of several pathways in eicosanoid synthesis during development is also needed to better understand the complex role of these lipids in comparative species. To this end, we have examined the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and domestic chicken (Gallus gallus) during development. Previously, our lab has demonstrated that the CAM of several oviparous species shared conserved steroidogenic activity, a feature originally attributed to mammalian amniotes. To further explore this, we have developed a liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry method that is used here to quantify multiple eicosanoids in the CAM of two oviparous species at different stages of development. We identified 18 eicosanoids in the alligator CAM; the cyclooxygenase (COX) pathway showed the largest increase from early development to later development in the alligator CAM. Similarly, the chicken CAM had an increase in COX products and COX activity, which supports the LC-MS/MS analyses. Jointly, our findings indicate that the CAM tissue of an oviparous species is capable of eicosanoid synthesis, which expands our knowledge of placental evolution and introduces the possibility of future comparative models of placental function.

  14. An investigation of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities from blood components of Crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phosri, Santi; Mahakunakorn, Pramote; Lueangsakulthai, Jiraporn; Jangpromma, Nisachon; Swatsitang, Prasan; Daduang, Sakda; Dhiravisit, Apisak; Thammasirirak, Sompong

    2014-10-01

    Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities were found from Crocodylus siamensis (C. siamensis) blood. The 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) radical scavenging, nitric oxide scavenging, hydroxyl radical scavenging and linoleic peroxidation assays were used to investigate the antioxidant activities of the crocodile blood. Results show that crocodile blood components had antioxidant activity, especially hemoglobin (40.58 % nitric oxide radical inhibition), crude leukocyte extract (78 % linoleic peroxidation inhibition) and plasma (57.27 % hydroxyl radical inhibition). Additionally, the anti-inflammatory activity of the crocodile blood was studied using murine macrophage (RAW 264.7) as a model. The results show that hemoglobin, crude leukocyte extract and plasma were not toxic to RAW 264.7 cells. Also they showed anti-inflammatory activity by reduced nitric oxide (NO) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) productions from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated cells. The NO inhibition percentages of hemoglobin, crude leukocyte extract and plasma were 31.9, 48.24 and 44.27 %, respectively. However, only crude leukocyte extract could inhibit IL-6 production. So, the results of this research directly indicate that hemoglobin, crude leukocyte extract and plasma of C. siamensis blood provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, which could be used as a supplementary agent in pharmaceutical products.

  15. Aeromonas hydrophila-associated skin lesions and septicaemia in a Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus : clinical communication

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    H. Turutoglu

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Aeromonas hydrophila is one of the most common bacteria associated with the aquatic environment. There are , however, limited data on A. hydrophila infection in crocodilians. The aim of this report is to describe a case of skin lesions and septicaemia associated with A. hydrophila in a Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus. A captive male crocodile in the Zoological Park of Antalya (Turkey was found dead without showing signs of any disease. Gross examination showed brown or red-spotted skin lesions of varying size. These lesions were mostly scattered over the abdomen and occasionally on the tail and feet. At necropsy, numerous white, multifocal and randomly distributed areas were seen on the liver. Gram-stained smears from skin and liver lesions showed Gram-negative bacilli arranged in clusters. Pure cultures of A. hydrophila were recovered from skin, internal organs and blood. Isolates were found to be susceptible to ceftiofur, amoxicillin + clavulanic acid, oxytetracycline, enrofloxacin, danofloxacin, neomycin, gentamicin, and lincomycin + neomycin. A pathogenicity test was performed using this isolate on 4 male 2-year-old New Zealand white rabbits. Local abscesses formed in 2 rabbits injected subcutaneously and the 2 that were injected intraperitoneally died as a result of septicaemia. In conclusion, this report has shown that A. hydrophila may cause skin lesions and even death due to septicaemia in crocodiles.

  16. Comparison of the lipid properties of captive, healthy wild, and pansteatitis-affected wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osthoff, Gernot; Hugo, Arno; Bouwman, Henk; Buss, Peter; Govender, Danny; Joubert, Chris C; Swarts, Jannie C

    2010-01-01

    The results presented describe and compare the fatty acid composition and melting properties of captive, healthy wild, and pansteatitis-affected wild crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). Differences in fatty acid composition between intramuscular and adipose fat is noted in captive crocodiles, and the latter differs from wild crocodiles as a result of different diets. Adipose fat of healthy wild crocodiles differs minimally from diseased ones, respectively with 37.3+/-2.6% vs. 43.2+/-2.3% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 43.2+/-2.9% in dead crocodiles, while polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease from 27.3+/-1.9% to as low as 21.9+/-3.6% respectively. Of the unsaturated fatty acids 18:2n-6 decreased from 6.5+/-2.6% in unaffected crocodiles to 3.5+/-0.6% in highly affected and 3.2+/-0.4% in dead crocodiles, and 22:5n-3 from 2.8+/-0.6% to 1.8+/-0.3% and 2.2+/-0.3% respectively. The melting properties as determined by differential scanning calorimetry show that extracted adipose fat is a small degree softer in pansteatitis-affected tissue, specifically in the temperature range 7-36 degrees C, and does not contribute to the hard texture noted for adipose fat tissue of pansteatitis-affected animals. A high moisture content of 51.0+/-19.7% of the fat tissue of pansteatitis-affected animals vs.17.1+/-8.0% of healthy ones, suggests that physiological changes due to interstitial inflammation may contribute to the hard texture.

  17. Sexual size dimorphism and allometric growth of Morelet's crocodiles in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrios-Quiroz, Gabriel; Casas-Andreu, Gustavo; Escobedo-Galván, Armando H

    2012-03-01

    Few studies have conducted morphological analyses of crocodilians, and little information exists on differences between size-classes and sexes in Neotropical crocodilians. In this study, we measured nine morphological traits in 121 captive Morelet's crocodiles Crocodylus moreletii (81 females and 40 males). Our results revealed that individuals crocodiles over 2 m in length, males were significantly larger than females in terms of dorsal-cranial length, cranial width, snout width and snout-ventral length. In general, morphological traits demonstrated a strongly significant relationship with total length at the smaller size class of 150-200 cm length. However, in the highest size class of 250-300 cm length (large adult males), morphological traits were no longer significantly related with total length. Male crocodiles demonstrated allometric growth of cranial morphology with significantly greater increase in cranial width, snout width, and mid-snout width relative to total length at higher size classes. Morphological dimorphism and allometric growth may be associated with adaptive strategies for reproductive success.

  18. Satellite tracking reveals long distance coastal travel and homing by translocated estuarine crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Read, Mark A; Grigg, Gordon C; Irwin, Steve R; Shanahan, Danielle; Franklin, Craig E

    2007-09-26

    Crocodilians have a wide distribution, often in remote areas, are cryptic, secretive and are easily disturbed by human presence. Their capacity for large scale movements is poorly known. Here, we report the first study of post-release movement patterns in translocated adult crocodiles, and the first application of satellite telemetry to a crocodilian. Three large male Crocodylus porosus (3.1-4.5 m) were captured in northern Australia and translocated by helicopter for 56, 99 and 411 km of coastline, the last across Cape York Peninsula from the west coast to the east coast. All crocodiles spent time around their release site before returning rapidly and apparently purposefully to their capture locations. The animal that circumnavigated Cape York Peninsula to return to its capture site, travelled more than 400 km in 20 days, which is the longest homeward travel yet reported for a crocodilian. Such impressive homing ability is significant because translocation has sometimes been used to manage potentially dangerous C. porosus close to human settlement. It is clear that large male estuarine crocodiles can exhibit strong site fidelity, have remarkable navigational skills, and may move long distances following a coastline. These long journeys included impressive daily movements of 10-30 km, often consecutively.

  19. Satellite tracking reveals long distance coastal travel and homing by translocated estuarine crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A Read

    Full Text Available Crocodilians have a wide distribution, often in remote areas, are cryptic, secretive and are easily disturbed by human presence. Their capacity for large scale movements is poorly known. Here, we report the first study of post-release movement patterns in translocated adult crocodiles, and the first application of satellite telemetry to a crocodilian. Three large male Crocodylus porosus (3.1-4.5 m were captured in northern Australia and translocated by helicopter for 56, 99 and 411 km of coastline, the last across Cape York Peninsula from the west coast to the east coast. All crocodiles spent time around their release site before returning rapidly and apparently purposefully to their capture locations. The animal that circumnavigated Cape York Peninsula to return to its capture site, travelled more than 400 km in 20 days, which is the longest homeward travel yet reported for a crocodilian. Such impressive homing ability is significant because translocation has sometimes been used to manage potentially dangerous C. porosus close to human settlement. It is clear that large male estuarine crocodiles can exhibit strong site fidelity, have remarkable navigational skills, and may move long distances following a coastline. These long journeys included impressive daily movements of 10-30 km, often consecutively.

  20. Genetics and infection dynamics of Paratrichosoma sp in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lott, M J; Hose, G C; Isberg, S R; Power, M L

    2015-02-01

    Paratrichosoma-associated helminthiasis has been identified in saltwater crocodiles under intensive farming conditions. The development of sustainable integrated management practices is dependent on a detailed understanding of Paratrichosoma population genetics and infection dynamics. This study investigated the genetic relationships of Paratrichosoma sp in a population of commercially farmed saltwater crocodiles, Crocodylus porosus, in northern Australia. 18S ribosomal RNA gene sequence data were obtained from Paratrichosoma sp eggs present in the epidermis of infected animals. A high level of genetic diversity was distributed within the Paratrichosoma sp population (241 variable positions in the 1094 bp alignment), indicating an accelerated rate of nucleotide base-pair substitutions in this genus of nematodes. Several possible environmental correlates of the incidence and intensity of helminthiasis, including season, rainfall, and mean monthly temperature, were investigated by visual inspection of crocodile skins. Stepwise logistic regression revealed a significant negative linear relationship (P = 0.011, R (2) = 32.69 %) between mean monthly rainfall and the incidence of monthly Paratrichosoma-associated helminthiasis. Variation in the severity of Paratrichosoma-associated helminthiasis could not be explained by any of the independent environmental variables included within an ordinal regression analysis. The large genetic diversity in these nematodes indicates a high probability of anthelmintic resistant alleles occurring in the population. We discuss how the spread of these alleles may be mitigated by adopting targeted treatment protocols.

  1. Water hyacinths and alligator weeds for removal of silver, cobalt, and strontium from polluted waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolverton, B. C.; Mcdonald, R. C.

    1975-01-01

    Water hyacinths and alligator weeds demonstrated the ability to rapidly remove heavy metals from an aqueous system by root absorption and concentration. Water hyacinths demonstrated the ability to remove 0.439 mg of silver, 0.568 mg of cobalt, and 0.544 mg of strontium in an ionized form per gram of dry plant material in a 24-hour period. Alligator weeds removed a maximum of 0.439 mg of silver, 0.130 mg of cobalt, and 0.161 mg of strontium per gram of dry plant material per day.

  2. Animal-borne imaging reveals novel insights into the foraging behaviors and Diel activity of a large-bodied apex predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James C Nifong

    Full Text Available Large-bodied, top- and apex predators (e.g., crocodilians, sharks, wolves, killer whales can exert strong top-down effects within ecological communities through their interactions with prey. Due to inherent difficulties while studying the behavior of these often dangerous predatory species, relatively little is known regarding their feeding behaviors and activity patterns, information that is essential to understanding their role in regulating food web dynamics and ecological processes. Here we use animal-borne imaging systems (Crittercam to study the foraging behavior and activity patterns of a cryptic, large-bodied predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis in two estuaries of coastal Florida, USA. Using retrieved video data we examine the variation in foraging behaviors and activity patterns due to abiotic factors. We found the frequency of prey-attacks (mean = 0.49 prey attacks/hour as well as the probability of prey-capture success (mean = 0.52 per attack were significantly affected by time of day. Alligators attempted to capture prey most frequently during the night. Probability of prey-capture success per attack was highest during morning hours and sequentially lower during day, night, and sunset, respectively. Position in the water column also significantly affected prey-capture success, as individuals' experienced two-fold greater success when attacking prey while submerged. These estimates are the first for wild adult American alligators and one of the few examples for any crocodilian species worldwide. More broadly, these results reveal that our understandings of crocodilian foraging behaviors are biased due to previous studies containing limited observations of cryptic and nocturnal foraging interactions. Our results can be used to inform greater understanding regarding the top-down effects of American alligators in estuarine food webs. Additionally, our results highlight the importance and power of using animal

  3. Animal-Borne Imaging Reveals Novel Insights into the Foraging Behaviors and Diel Activity of a Large-Bodied Apex Predator, the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nifong, James C.; Nifong, Rachel L.; Silliman, Brian R.; Lowers, Russell H.; Guillette, Louis J.; Ferguson, Jake M.; Welsh, Matthew; Abernathy, Kyler; Marshall, Greg

    2014-01-01

    Large-bodied, top- and apex predators (e.g., crocodilians, sharks, wolves, killer whales) can exert strong top-down effects within ecological communities through their interactions with prey. Due to inherent difficulties while studying the behavior of these often dangerous predatory species, relatively little is known regarding their feeding behaviors and activity patterns, information that is essential to understanding their role in regulating food web dynamics and ecological processes. Here we use animal-borne imaging systems (Crittercam) to study the foraging behavior and activity patterns of a cryptic, large-bodied predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in two estuaries of coastal Florida, USA. Using retrieved video data we examine the variation in foraging behaviors and activity patterns due to abiotic factors. We found the frequency of prey-attacks (mean = 0.49 prey attacks/hour) as well as the probability of prey-capture success (mean = 0.52 per attack) were significantly affected by time of day. Alligators attempted to capture prey most frequently during the night. Probability of prey-capture success per attack was highest during morning hours and sequentially lower during day, night, and sunset, respectively. Position in the water column also significantly affected prey-capture success, as individuals’ experienced two-fold greater success when attacking prey while submerged. These estimates are the first for wild adult American alligators and one of the few examples for any crocodilian species worldwide. More broadly, these results reveal that our understandings of crocodilian foraging behaviors are biased due to previous studies containing limited observations of cryptic and nocturnal foraging interactions. Our results can be used to inform greater understanding regarding the top-down effects of American alligators in estuarine food webs. Additionally, our results highlight the importance and power of using animal

  4. Bioprospecting the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) Host Defense Peptidome

    OpenAIRE

    Bishop, Barney M.; Juba, Melanie L.; Devine, Megan C.; Barksdale, Stephanie M; Carlos Alberto Rodriguez; Myung C Chung; Paul S Russo; Vliet, Kent A.; Schnur, Joel M.; van Hoek, Monique L.

    2015-01-01

    Cationic antimicrobial peptides and their therapeutic potential have garnered growing interest because of the proliferation of bacterial resistance. However, the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from animals has proven challenging due to the limitations associated with conventional biochemical purification and difficulties in predicting active peptides from genomic sequences, if known. As an example, no antimicrobial peptides have been identified from the American alligator, Alligator ...

  5. The pulmonary anatomy of Alligator mississippiensis and its similarity to the avian respiratory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, R Kent; Farmer, C G

    2012-04-01

    Using gross dissections and computed tomography we studied the lungs of juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Our findings indicate that both the external and internal morphology of the lungs is strikingly similar to the embryonic avian respiratory system (lungs + air sacs). We identified bronchi that we propose are homologous to the avian ventrobronchi (entobronchi), laterobronchi, dorsobronchi (ectobronchi), as well as regions of the lung hypothesized to be homologous to the cervical, interclavicular, anterior thoracic, posterior thoracic, and abdominal air sacs. Furthermore, we suggest that many of the features that alligators and birds share are homologous and that some of these features are important to the aerodynamic valve mechanism and are likely plesiomorphic for Archosauria.

  6. Subglottal pressure and fundamental frequency control in contact calls of juvenile Alligator mississippiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Tobias; Tokuda, Isao T.; Farmer, C. G.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Vocalization is rare among non-avian reptiles, with the exception of the crocodilians, the sister taxon of birds. Crocodilians have a complex vocal repertoire. Their vocal and respiratory system is not well understood but appears to consist of a combination of features that are also found in the extremely vocal avian and mammalian taxa. Anatomical studies suggest that the alligator larynx is able to abduct and adduct the vocal folds, but not to elongate or shorten them, and is therefore lacking a key regulator of frequency, yet alligators can modulate fundamental frequency remarkably well. We investigated the morphological and physiological features of sound production in alligators. Vocal fold length scales isometrically across a wide range of alligator body sizes. The relationship between fundamental frequency and subglottal pressure is significant in some individuals at some isolated points, such as call onset and position of maximum fundamental frequency. The relationship is not consistent over large segments of the call. Fundamental frequency can change faster than expected by pressure changes alone, suggesting an active motor pattern controls frequency and is intrinsic to the larynx. We utilized a two-mass vocal fold model to test whether abduction and adduction could generate this motor pattern. The fine-tuned interplay between subglottal pressure and glottal adduction can achieve frequency modulations much larger than those resulting from subglottal pressure variations alone and of similar magnitude, as observed in alligator calls. We conclude that the alligator larynx represents a sound source with only two control parameters (subglottal pressure and vocal fold adduction) in contrast to the mammalian larynx in which three parameters can be altered to modulate frequency (subglottal pressure, vocal fold adduction and length/tension). PMID:21865521

  7. Distribution patterns and predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in experimentally infected Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis J. La Grange

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available No controlled studies have been conducted to determine the predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus or the influence of infection intensity on the distribution of the larvae in crocodiles. The distribution of larvae in muscles of naturally infected Nile crocodiles and experimentally infected caimans (Caiman crocodilus and varans (Varanus exanthematicus have been reported in literature. To determine the distribution patterns of T. zimbabwensis larvae and predilection muscles, 15 crocodiles were randomly divided into three cohorts of five animals each, representing high infection (642 larvae/kg of bodyweight average, medium infection (414 larvae/kg of bodyweight average and low infection (134 larvae/kg of bodyweight average cohorts. In the high infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were observed in the triceps muscles (26% and hind limb muscles (13%. In the medium infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were found in the triceps muscles (50%, sternomastoid (18% and hind limb muscles (13%. In the low infection cohort, larvae were mainly found in the intercostal muscles (36%, longissimus complex (27%, forelimb muscles (20% and hind limb muscles (10%. Predilection muscles in the high and medium infection cohorts were similar to those reported in naturally infected crocodiles despite changes in infection intensity. The high infection cohort had significantly higher numbers of larvae in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex, external tibial flexor, longissimus caudalis and caudal femoral muscles (p < 0.05 compared with the medium infection cohort. In comparison with the low infection cohort, the high infection cohort harboured significantly higher numbers of larvae in all muscles (p < 0.05 except for the tongue. The high infection cohort harboured significantly higher numbers of larvae (p < 0.05 in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex

  8. Distribution patterns and predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in experimentally infected Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus Laurenti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Grange, Louis J; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2014-02-21

    No controlled studies have been conducted to determine the predilection muscles of Trichinella zimbabwensis larvae in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) or the influence of infection intensity on the distribution of the larvae in crocodiles. The distribution of larvae in muscles of naturally infected Nile crocodiles and experimentally infected caimans (Caiman crocodilus) and varans (Varanus exanthematicus) have been reported in literature. To determine the distribution patterns of T. zimbabwensis larvae and predilection muscles, 15 crocodiles were randomly divided into three cohorts of five animals each, representing high infection (642 larvae/kg of bodyweight average), medium infection (414 larvae/kg of bodyweight average) and low infection (134 larvae/kg of bodyweight average) cohorts. In the high infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were observed in the triceps muscles (26%) and hind limb muscles (13%). In the medium infection cohort, high percentages of larvae were found in the triceps muscles (50%), sternomastoid (18%) and hind limb muscles (13%). In the low infection cohort, larvae were mainly found in the intercostal muscles (36%), longissimus complex (27%), forelimb muscles (20%) and hind limb muscles (10%). Predilection muscles in the high and medium infection cohorts were similar to those reported in naturally infected crocodiles despite changes in infection intensity. The high infection cohort had significantly higher numbers of larvae in the sternomastoid, triceps, intercostal, longissimus complex, external tibial flexor, longissimus caudalis and caudal femoral muscles (p crocodiles. Results from this study show that, in Nile crocodiles, larvae of T. zimbabwensis appear first to invade predilection muscles closest to their release site in the small intestine before occupying those muscles situated further away. The recommendation for the use of masseter, pterygoid and intercostal muscles as sampling sites for the detection of T. zimbabwensis

  9. Successful geothermal water utilization at the Atagawa Banana and Alligator Garden

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kimura, W. (Atagawa Banana and Alligator Garden, Japan), Minohara, W., Sekioka, M.

    1975-01-01

    The Atagawa Banana and Alligator Garden which utilizes the waters of Atagawa hot springs in Izu-cho, Shizuoka Prefecture is described. Four hot spring wells are used to heat 13 hot houses for raising 6400 kinds of tropical plants and ponds where 450 alligators of 27 species are raised. The hot spring water has a pH of 8.6 and a temperature of 1050/sup 0/C. Tropical water lilies and fresh-water shrimp are also raised in heated ponds. Four figures, one table, and one reference are provided.

  10. Tupinambis merianae as nest predators of crocodilians and turtles in Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; McEachern, Michelle A.; Rochford, Michael; Reed, Robert; Ketterlin Eckles, Jennifer; Vinci, Joy; Edwards, Jake; Wasilewki, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Tupinambis merianae, is a large, omnivorous tegu lizard native to South America. Two populations of tegus are established in the state of Florida, USA, but impacts to native species are poorly documented. During summer 2013, we placed automated cameras overlooking one American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nest, which also contained a clutch of Florida red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys nelsoni) eggs, and one American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) nest at a site in southeastern Florida where tegus are established. We documented tegu activity and predation on alligator and turtle eggs at the alligator nest, and tegu activity at the crocodile nest. Our finding that one of the first two crocodilian nests to be monitored was depredated by tegus suggests that tegus should be further evaluated as a threat to nesting reptiles in Florida.

  11. Isolation and characterization of sulfite oxidase from Alligator mississipiensis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robbins, A.; Neame, P.J.; Barber, M.J. (Univ. of South Florida College, Tampa (United States))

    1991-03-11

    Sulfite oxidase has been isolated from fresh alligator liver using ammonium sulfate and acetone fractionation, DEAE chromatography and FPLC on Mono Q. The enzyme is dimeric and exhibits a subunit M. Wt. of approximately 58 kDa, larger than that of chicken SO. EPR spectroscopy of the partially-reduced enzyme revealed a single Mo(V) species while visible spectroscopy revealed the presence of cytochrome b{sub 557}. Maximal activities were obtained at pH 8 and 9, respectively. K{sub m}'s for SO{sub 3}{sup 2 {minus}}, cyt. c and Fe(CN){sub 6}{sup 3 {minus}} were 23.5 uM, 2.9 uM and 8.0 uM, respectively. Sequencing of peptides obtained by endoprotease K digestion indicated regions of extensive sequence similarity to chicken and rat enzymes in both heme and Mo-pterin domains. Regions of sequence dissimilarity were also found.

  12. Carbon dioxide transport in alligator blood and its erythrocyte permeability to anions and water

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, F B; Wang, T; Jones, D R

    1998-01-01

    Deoxygenation of alligator red blood cells (RBCs) caused binding of two HCO3- equivalents per hemoglobin (Hb) tetramer at physiological pH. At lowered pH, some HCO3- binding also occurred to oxygenated Hb. The erythrocytic total CO2 content was large, and Hb-bound HCO3-, free HCO3-, and carbamate...

  13. Genome analysis and signature discovery for diving and sensory properties of the endangered Chinese alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Qiu-Hong; Pan, Sheng-Kai; Hu, Li; Zhu, Ying; Xu, Peng-Wei; Xia, Jin-Quan; Chen, Hui; He, Gen-Yun; He, Jing; Ni, Xiao-Wei; Hou, Hao-Long; Liao, Sheng-Guang; Yang, Hai-Qiong; Chen, Ying; Gao, Shu-Kun; Ge, Yun-Fa; Cao, Chang-Chang; Li, Peng-Fei; Fang, Li-Ming; Liao, Li; Zhang, Shu; Wang, Meng-Zhen; Dong, Wei; Fang, Sheng-Guo

    2013-01-01

    Crocodilians are diving reptiles that can hold their breath under water for long periods of time and are crepuscular animals with excellent sensory abilities. They comprise a sister lineage of birds and have no sex chromosome. Here we report the genome sequence of the endangered Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) and describe its unique features. The next-generation sequencing generated 314 Gb of raw sequence, yielding a genome size of 2.3 Gb. A total of 22 200 genes were predicted in Alligator sinensis using a de novo, homology- and RNA-based combined model. The genetic basis of long-diving behavior includes duplication of the bicarbonate-binding hemoglobin gene, co-functioning of routine phosphate-binding and special bicarbonate-binding oxygen transport, and positively selected energy metabolism, ammonium bicarbonate excretion and cardiac muscle contraction. Further, we elucidated the robust Alligator sinensis sensory system, including a significantly expanded olfactory receptor repertoire, rapidly evolving nerve-related cellular components and visual perception, and positive selection of the night vision-related opsin and sound detection-associated otopetrin. We also discovered a well-developed immune system with a considerable number of lineage-specific antigen-presentation genes for adaptive immunity as well as expansion of the tripartite motif-containing C-type lectin and butyrophilin genes for innate immunity and expression of antibacterial peptides. Multifluorescence in situ hybridization showed that alligator chromosome 3, which encodes DMRT1, exhibits significant synteny with chicken chromosome Z. Finally, population history analysis indicated population admixture 0.60-1.05 million years ago, when the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau was uplifted. PMID:23917531

  14. TRPV4 associates environmental temperature and sex determination in the American alligator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Kohno, Satomi; Saito, Shigeru; Lowers, Russell H; Ogino, Yukiko; Fukuta, Naomi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Tominaga, Makoto; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2015-12-18

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), commonly found among reptiles, is a sex determination mode in which the incubation temperature during a critical temperature sensitive period (TSP) determines sexual fate of the individual rather than the individual's genotypic background. In the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), eggs incubated during the TSP at 33 °C (male producing temperature: MPT) yields male offspring, whereas incubation temperatures below 30 °C (female producing temperature: FPT) lead to female offspring. However, many of the details of the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive, and the molecular link between environmental temperature and sex determination pathway is yet to be elucidated. Here we show the alligator TRPV4 ortholog (AmTRPV4) to be activated at temperatures proximate to the TSD-related temperature in alligators, and using pharmacological exposure, we show that AmTRPV4 channel activity affects gene expression patterns associated with male differentiation. This is the first experimental demonstration of a link between a well-described thermo-sensory mechanism, TRPV4 channel, and its potential role in regulation of TSD in vertebrates, shedding unique new light on the elusive TSD molecular mechanism.

  15. Effects of salinity on growth and ion regulation of juvenile alligator gar Atractosteus spatula

    Science.gov (United States)

    The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is a primitive euryhaline fish, found primarily in estuaries and freshwater drainages associated with the northern Gulf of Mexico. The extent of its hypo-osmotic regulatory abilities is not well understood. In order to determine how salinity affects growth ra...

  16. Phylogenomic analyses support the position of turtles as the sister group of birds and crocodiles (Archosauria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiari Ylenia

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The morphological peculiarities of turtles have, for a long time, impeded their accurate placement in the phylogeny of amniotes. Molecular data used to address this major evolutionary question have so far been limited to a handful of markers and/or taxa. These studies have supported conflicting topologies, positioning turtles as either the sister group to all other reptiles, to lepidosaurs (tuatara, lizards and snakes, to archosaurs (birds and crocodiles, or to crocodilians. Genome-scale data have been shown to be useful in resolving other debated phylogenies, but no such adequate dataset is yet available for amniotes. Results In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to obtain seven new transcriptomes from the blood, liver, or jaws of four turtles, a caiman, a lizard, and a lungfish. We used a phylogenomic dataset based on 248 nuclear genes (187,026 nucleotide sites for 16 vertebrate taxa to resolve the origins of turtles. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian concatenation analyses and species tree approaches performed under the most realistic models of the nucleotide and amino acid substitution processes unambiguously support turtles as a sister group to birds and crocodiles. The use of more simplistic models of nucleotide substitution for both concatenation and species tree reconstruction methods leads to the artefactual grouping of turtles and crocodiles, most likely because of substitution saturation at third codon positions. Relaxed molecular clock methods estimate the divergence between turtles and archosaurs around 255 million years ago. The most recent common ancestor of living turtles, corresponding to the split between Pleurodira and Cryptodira, is estimated to have occurred around 157 million years ago, in the Upper Jurassic period. This is a more recent estimate than previously reported, and questions the interpretation of controversial Lower Jurassic fossils as being part of the extant turtles radiation

  17. The sex ratio of wild Chinese alligators Alligator sinensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lan ZHAO, Hai-Qiong YANG, Li-Ming FANG, Guo-Liang PAN, Wei-Qiang ZOU, Da-Bin REN, Qiu-Hong WAN, Sheng-Guo FANG

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis is one of the most endangered crocodilian species, and typically exhibits temperature-dependent sex determination. It is extremely important to clarify the sex structure of Chinese alligators to implement recovery projects successfully. However, the sex ratio of wild Chinese alligators remains unknown. In this study, we collected 28 years of sex ratio data from Chinese alligators residing in the natural and artificial habitats of Changxing Nature Reserve, China, and examined the differences in the sex ratio dynamics between these two populations.We observed that the sex ratio of wild Chinese alligators is 1 male to 4.507 females, which was significantly lower compared to that of the captive population (1 to 2.040; P 0.05. Overall, this study indicates that the stabilized female-biased sex ratio of Changxing Chinese alligators might result from selection pressure caused by local mate competition and major inbreeding [Current Zoology 59 (6 : 725–731, 2013 ].

  18. Comparison of contaminant levels in american alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) on an on-refuge (Lake Woodruff NWR) and an off-refuge (Lake Griffin) site in central Florida [Draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Between 1998 and 2000 Alligators in Lake Griffin, Florida, demonstrated unusually high mortality that was thought to be associated with the lakes hyper eutrophic and...

  19. The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown: Microbial Symbioses of the American Alligator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keenan, Sarah W; Elsey, Ruth M

    2015-12-01

    Vertebrates coexist with microorganisms in diverse symbiotic associations that range from beneficial to detrimental to the host. Most research has aimed at deciphering the nature of the composite microbial assemblage's genome, or microbiome, from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and skin of mammals (i.e., humans). In mammals, the GI tract's microbiome aids digestion, enhances uptake of nutrients, and prevents the establishment of pathogenic microorganisms. However, because the GI tract microbiome of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is distinct from that of all other vertebrates studied to date, being comprised of Fusobacteria in the lower GI tract with lesser abundances of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes, the function of these assemblages is largely unknown. This review provides a synthesis of our current understanding of the composition of alligators' microbiomes, highlights the potential role of microbiome members in alligators' health (the good), and presents a brief summary of microorganisms detrimental to alligators' health (the bad) including Salmonella spp. and others. Microbial assemblages of the GI tract have co-evolved with their vertebrate host over geologic time, which means that evolutionary hypotheses can be tested using information about the microbiome. For reptiles and amphibians, the number of taxa studied at present is limited, thereby restricting evolutionary insights. Nevertheless, we present a compilation of our current understanding of reptiles' and amphibians' microbiomes, and highlight future avenues of research (the unknown). As in humans, composition of microbiome assemblages provides a promising tool for assessing hosts' health or disease. By further exploring present-day associations between symbiotic microorganisms in the microbiomes of reptiles and amphibians, we can better identify good (beneficial) and bad (detrimental) microorganisms, and unravel the evolutionary history of the acquisition of

  20. 77 FR 30819 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule To Remove the Morelet's Crocodile From...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-23

    ... and Flora. DATES: This rule becomes effective June 22, 2012. ADDRESSES: This final rule is available... Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (CITES), and 50 CFR part 13 (General Permit... crocodiles in the early 1990s as very depleted in the Mexican States of Tamaulipas and Veracruz,...

  1. Components and Functional Characteristics of Crocodile Blood%鳄鱼血的成分组成和功能特性分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄和平; 陈孙福; 罗永康

    2014-01-01

    测定和分析了鳄鱼血浆粉和血球粉的主要组分及其功能特性。结果表明,鳄鱼血浆粉和血球粉的蛋白含量丰富,脂肪含量低,是一种高蛋白、低脂肪的营养物质,含有丰富的必需氨基酸,其不饱和脂肪酸含有二十碳五烯酸( EPA)和二十二碳六烯酸( DHA)。此外,鳄鱼血浆粉中的免疫球蛋白G的含量也达到了20.89%。本文研究为鳄鱼血产品的开发提供理论依据。%This article measured and analyzed the components and functional characteristics of blood plasma powder and blood cell powder of crocodile, and results showed that crocodile blood was a kind of nutritive material with high protein and low lipid. The unsaturated fatty acid of crocodile blood contained EPA and DHA. Besides, the crocodile blood was rich in essential amino acids, and the content of immunoglobulin G in crocodile plasma reached 20. 89%. The research would contribute to understand crocodile blood sufficiently and provide theoretical foundation for the development of crocodile blood products.

  2. The oldest record of Alligator sinensis from the Late Pliocene of Western Japan, and its biogeographic implication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iijima, Masaya; Takahashi, Keiichi; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu

    2016-07-01

    The late Cenozoic fossil record of alligators in East Asia is crucial in understanding the origin and past distribution of Asian alligators that are now represented by a single species, Alligator sinensis. This study reports a partial skeleton of A. sinensis from the Late Pliocene (approximately 3.0 Ma) of western Japan. This Japanese A. sinensis is large in size (>200 cm total length), comparable to the maximum size of extant individuals. It demonstrates the oldest record of A. sinensis and wider distribution of this species in the past. Tectonic and geographic history of East Asia suggests that alligators presumably dispersed into Japan before 25 Ma or after 10 Ma, yet finally were wiped out from Japan due to the semi-isolated condition of the Japanese island arc and the deteriorated climate during the Plio-Pleistocene.

  3. Occurrence of decabromodiphenyl ethane in captive Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Bing; Wu, Ting; Zhao, Guangchao; Sun, Yuxin; Wang, Xinming; Zhao, Juan; Yi, Zhigang; Wu, Xiaobing; Mai, Bixian

    2015-01-01

    Decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), a replacement for decabromodiphenyl ether (deca-BDE), was investigated in captive Chinese alligators from China. DBDPE was detected in adult tissues, neonates and eggs of Chinese alligators with concentrations ranging from 4.74-192, 0.24-1.94, and 0.01-0.51 ng g(-1) lipid weight, respectively. Compared to PBDEs and PCBs, DBDPE contamination was limited in Chinese alligators. Additionally, DBDPE concentrations in adult muscles were one to three orders of magnitude higher than those in neonates and eggs, suggesting the limited maternal transfer potential of DBDPE in Chinese alligators. This is the first study to report the occurrence of DBDPE in Chinese alligators.

  4. External injuries of Morelet's crocodile Crocodylus moreletii in Campeche, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla, Sergio E; Weber, Manuel

    2016-07-07

    Analysis of external injuries in captive and free-ranging Morelet's crocodiles Crocodylus moreletii was performed in the northern wetlands of Campeche, Mexico. From March to September of 2007, a total of 52 free-ranging and 51 captive Morelet's crocodiles were studied. Captive crocodiles presented significantly more injuries. Sixteen free-ranging crocodiles presented some type of lesion, mostly superficial abrasions. Nineteen captive crocodiles presented lesions, mostly incisions from agonistic interactions. Overall, the injuries with highest prevalence were the incisions. The tail was the most frequently injured body region. Injuries were more common in adults than in other size classes. Conversely, the presence of lesions caused by the parasite Paratrichosoma spp. was greater in crocodiles captured in the coastal channels (mangrove habitat). The information presented here is important to understand some of the effects of individual interactions and to foresee and manage the consequences of conservation and management activities of crocodile populations.

  5. Parasite fauna of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in South Carolina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hazen, T.C.; Aho, J.M.; Murphy, T.M.; Esch, G.W.; Schmidt, G.D.

    1978-10-01

    Twelve American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were obtained from three different areas of South Carolina. One species of pentastome (Sebekia oxycephala), two species of nematodes (Dujardinascaris waltoni and Multicaecum tenuicolle), four species of trematodes (Polycotyle ornata, Acanthostomum coronarium, Archaeodiplostomum acetabulatum and Pseudocrocodilicola americaniense) and one species of hemogregarine (Haemogregarina crocodilnorum) were recovered. Polycotyle ornata was observed only in alligators from Par Pond while P. americaniense was found in Par Pond and coastal hosts, A. acetabulatum from Kiawah island and coastal alligators, and A. coronarium only at Kiawah Island. These patterns suggest disjunct distributions for the trematode species in South Carolina alligators. The other parasites were found in alligators from all three locations. The only parasite observed to initiate damage or lesions in the alligator was the pentastome.

  6. Status and conservation of crocodiles in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, eastern Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.K. Goit

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is an area of 175km2 on the alluvial flood plains of the Koshi River in eastern Nepal. Surveys of crocodiles in the Koshi River and its surrounding areas in the reserve were conducted in winter and spring 2008 using direct observation and questionnaires besides literature reviews. Observations were done during the day using binoculars and photo shoots and sites were visited by boat, bicycle and also on foot. Although both Gavialis gangeticus and Crocodylus palustris were previously found in the reserve, only C. palustris was found in this study. The numbers of C. palustris were higher in the winter season - early January (21 than in the spring - mid March (5. The destruction and degradation of crocodiles in the reserve has been caused by various human activities such as wood collection, cattle grazing, fishing, as well as by some natural processes. The success of conservation programs depends upon awareness creation and the development of a positive attitude in the local people towards the species. During this study, most of the respondents from the local community as well as the Reserve staff were positive towards the conservation of C. palustris. This is important as it has its own role in the ecosystem. Continuous release and trans-boundary conservation efforts should be initiated for the protection of G. gangeticus.

  7. Nest predation and maternal care in the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) at Lake St Lucia, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combrink, Xander; Warner, Jonathan K; Downs, Colleen T

    2016-12-01

    Information regarding nest predation, nest abandonment, and maternal care in the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is largely restricted to anecdotal observations, and has not been studied quantitatively. Consequently, we investigated their nesting biology using camera-traps over four years at Lake St Lucia, South Africa. We obtained 4305 photographs (daylight captures=90.1%, nocturnal=9.9%) of 19 nest-guarding females. Of 19 monitored nests, 37% were raided by predators (mean=12.1±6.2days subsequent to camera placement). All females returned to their nests following first predation, and on average returned three times between predator raids before nest abandonment. Water monitors (Varanus niloticus) and marsh mongoose (Atilax paludinosus) were the main egg predators. Nesting raids lasted 5.9±1.6days. Diurnally females were seldom on the nest, except during cool/cloudy weather or rain, preferring to guard from nearby shade. Females defended nests aggressively against non-human intruders. Five Nile crocodile females were observed liberating their hatchlings from nests. A detailed sequence of a mother excavating and transporting hatchlings revealed 13 excursions between nest and water over 32.5h. This, after months of continual nest attendance and defence, is illustrative of the high level of maternal care in Nile crocodiles. Camera-trapping is an effective, non-invasive method for further crocodile nesting behaviour research.

  8. Characterization of serum complement activity of saltwater (Crocodylus porosus) and freshwater (Crocodylus johnstoni) crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merchant, Mark; Britton, Adam

    2006-04-01

    We employed a spectroscopic assay, based on the hemolysis of sheep red blood cells (SRBCs), to assess the innate immune function of saltwater and freshwater crocodiles in vitro. Incubation of serum from freshwater and saltwater crocodiles with SRBCs resulted in concentration-dependent increases in SRBC hemolysis. The hemolytic activity occurred rapidly, with detectable activity within 2 min and maximum activity at 20 min. These activities, in both crocodilian species, were heat sensitive, unaffected by 20 mM methylamine, and completely inhibited by low concentrations of EDTA, suggesting that the alternative serum complement cascade is responsible for the observed effects. The hemolytic activities of the sera were inhibited by other chelators of divalent metal ions, such as phosphate and citrate. The inhibition of SRBC hemolysis by EDTA could be completely restored by the addition of 10 mM Ca2+ or Mg2+, but not Ba2+, Cu2+ or Fe2+, indicating specificity for these metal ions. The serum complement activities of both crocodilians were temperature-dependent, with peak activities occurring at 25-30 degrees C and reduced activities below 25 degrees C and above 35 degrees C.

  9. An urban Northeastern United States alligator bite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Suzanne Moore; Shoff, William H

    2014-05-01

    Individuals who live and work in the Southeastern coastal range of the 3 US crocodilian carnivores, American alligators, American crocodiles, and caiman, understand the risks of reptile-human encounters. Individuals who live in other parts of the country maybe exposed through contact with exotic pets at private homes, small menageries, or petting zoos or from escaped or abandoned animals. During these encounters, individuals may be severely injured.Emergency medical services, law enforcement, and animal welfare workers in nonhabitat areas are usually not trained in the handling and safe removal of injured individuals from the scene when the reptile is present. The emergency management of large crocodilian injuries is similar to that of other major trauma; however, providers also must take into consideration the significant crush component potentially inflicted by the tremendous bite power and shaking inflicting during attacks by these large reptiles, appropriate antibiotic coverage for less common organisms that inhabit their mouths, and management of possible psychological distress, including posttraumatic stress disorder produced by such an unusual attack. Emergency physicians should support the development of a readily available national database of scientifically collect information on attacks to inform appropriate care and support efforts to explore responsible measures that the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and other appropriate local, state, and federal agencies can take to ensure ethical and biologically sustainable management of our large reptiles, which also helps to ensure the safety of the public.

  10. Isolation of Aeromonas hydrophila from the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gorden, R.W. (Univ. of Southern Colorado, Pueblo); Hazen, T.C.; Esch, G.W.; Fliermans, C.B.

    1979-04-01

    Aeromonas hydrophila was isolated from the internal organs of nine adult alligators, Alligator mississippiensis, which died without apparent cause, suggesting the bacterium may have been a factor. One hundred and twenty-three alligators ranging in age from six months to over 10 years were captured from five locations in the southeastern United States and sampled for A. hydrophila. The bacterium was isolated from the oral cavity of 85% of the animals, on the external jaw area from over 50% and from 70% of the internal tissue samples. A. hydrophila is ubiquitous with alligators in their natural habitats, but apparently does not cause clinical disease. However, stress factors such as trapping, handling, and warm water tempertures may be conducive to the rapid proliferation of the bacteria, thereby facilitating disease.

  11. Water hyacinths and alligator weeds for removal of lead and mercury from polluted waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wolverton, B.C.; McDonald, R.C.

    1975-04-11

    Removal of lead and mercury by water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) (Mart.) Solms and alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides) (Mart.) Griesb. was investigated. Water hyacinths demonstrated the ability to remove 0.176 mg of lead and 0.150 mg of mercury per gram of dry plant material from distilled water and river water in a 24-hour period. One acre of water hyacinths is potentially capable of removing 105.6 grams of lead and 90.0 grams of mercury per day. Alligator weeds removed 0.101 mg of lead per gram of dry plant material in a 24-hour period. This same plant also demonstrated the ability to remove a minimum of 0.153 mg of mercury per gram of dry plant material in a six hour period. (STAR)

  12. Biophysics of directional hearing in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    OpenAIRE

    Bierman, Hilary S.; Thornton, Jennifer L.; Jones, Heath G.; Koka, Kanthaiah; Young, Bruce A.; Brandt, Christian; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Carr, Catherine E.; Daniel J Tollin

    2014-01-01

    Physiological and anatomical studies have suggested that alligators have unique adaptations for spatial hearing. Sound localization cues are primarily generated by the filtering of sound waves by the head. Different vertebrate lineages have evolved external and/or internal anatomical adaptations to enhance these cues, such as pinnae and interaural canals. It has been hypothesized that in alligators, directionality may be enhanced via the acoustic coupling of middle ear cavities, resulting in ...

  13. Chlorinated, brominated, and fluorinated organic pollutants in Nile crocodile eggs from the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwman, Hindrik; Booyens, Paul; Govender, Danny; Pienaar, Danie; Polder, Anuschka

    2014-06-01

    Repeated annual episodes of Nile crocodile deaths in two isolated areas of the Kruger National Park prompted the investigation of possible organohalogen pollutant involvement. Crocodile eggs were collected close to one of the mortality sites (Gorge) as well as from a crocodile farm (CF) as reference. ∑DDT was significantly higher in Gorge (450ng/g wm) than in CF eggs (85ng/g wet mass). Percentage DDT of ∑DDT was significantly higher in CF (14 per cent) than in Gorge eggs (5 per cent). Mean ∑DDT was almost 70 times higher than mean ∑PCB in Gorge eggs. HCB, β-HCH, mirex, brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) occurred at lower concentrations. We believe that the BFR and PFCs data represent the first published results for any crocodile egg. Thickening of the outer eggshell layer of Gorge eggs was significantly associated with higher concentrations of ∑DDT. Concentrations of ∑DDT and other pollutants were in the same range as eggs from elsewhere, where there were no mortalities. Concentrations of ∑DDT in eggs from healthy Australian crocodiles were of the same orders of magnitude as the current study, making it highly unlikely that the concentrations of pollutants measured in the present study would have caused or substantially contributed towards the mortalities observed. Concerns about reproduction and behaviour remain. As large predators, crocodilians are at the apex of the freshwater aquatic food web. More research is needed to guide measures to manage African freshwater systems so that it will also sustainably accommodate these large, long-lived animals.

  14. Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) in Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis: Molecular characterization, tissue distribution and mRNA expression changes during the active and hibernating periods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xue; Zhang, Shengzhou; Zhao, Shuai; Zhang, Rui; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Xiaobing

    2017-02-01

    The Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis is an endangered species endemic to China, up to date, little is known about the regulation of its growth and development. Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) plays a vital role in regulating vertebrate growth and development. In this study, the full-length cDNA of IGF-I in Chinese alligator (caIGF-I) was obtained for the first time, it contains 890-bp nucleotides encoding a 153-amino acid precursor, the mature caIGF-I consists of 70 amino acids by cleaving the signal peptide and C-terminal extension (E domain). The caIGF-I contains all the features of IGF-I peptide with B, C, A, and D domains and the six conservative cysteine residues involved in the stable tertiary structure. Multiple alignment analysis showed that the amino acid sequence of caIGF-I shares high identity with American alligator Alligator mississippiensis (100%) and birds (95-97%). Phylogenetic tree analysis of the IGF-I amino acid sequences indicated that alligators cluster into the bird branch. Real-time quantitative PCR technique showed that caIGF-I is widely expressed in all the examined tissues with the highest expression level in liver, higher in pancreas and oviduct while lower in heart, spleen, lung, kidney, stomach, intestines, ovary and muscles. During hibernation, the caIGF-I expression level decreased significantly in liver, pancreas, oviduct and kidney, while did not significantly change in heart, spleen, lung, stomach, small intestine, ovary and muscles. The mRNA expression changes during the two periods implicate that caIGF-I might play an important role in the regulation of feeding and growth in the Chinese alligator.

  15. ALTERATIONS IN STEROIDOGENESIS IN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) EXPOSED NATURALLY AND EXPERIMENTALLY TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS. (R824760)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  16. Essential fatty acid nutrition of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staton, M A; Edwards, H M; Brisbin, I L; Joanen, T; McNease, L

    1990-07-01

    The essential fatty acid (EFA) nutrition of young American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) was examined by feeding a variety of fats/oils with potential EFA activity. Over a 12-wk period, alligators fed diets containing 2.5 or 5.0% chicken liver oil grew longer and heavier and converted feed to body mass more efficiently than alligators fed other fat/oil combinations that lacked or contained only trace amounts of arachidonic acid [20:4(n-6)]. Alligators fed an EFA-deficient diet (containing only coconut fat as the dietary fat) were the slowest-growing animals and converted feed to body mass least efficiently. However, over a 41-wk feeding period, alligators fed this diet showed no obvious external signs of deficiency other than being reduced in size and unthrifty. Fatty acid composition of heart, liver, muscle, skin and adipose tissue lipids was influenced markedly by dietary fat composition. Tissues varied significantly in response to dietary fat composition. Heart lipids contained the lowest levels of short- and medium-chain fatty acids and the highest levels of arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid levels were less influenced by diet than were levels of other 20- and 22-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids. Radiotracer studies indicated that linoleic acid was converted to arachidonic acid in the liver. Nevertheless, tissue arachidonic acid levels also appeared to be maintained by concentration from dietary sources and selective conservation. It appears that a dietary source of arachidonic acid may be required for a maximum rate of growth.

  17. Development and application of an indirect ELISA test for the detection of antibodies to Mycoplasma crocodyli infection in crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawo, Fufa; Mohan, Krishna

    2007-01-31

    Non-availability of a standardized rapid serodiagnostic test for quick and accurate diagnosis of Mycoplasma crocodyli (M. crocodyli) infection in crocodiles was the underlining reason for conducting the present study. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) for the detection of antibodies (Ab) to M. crocodyli infection in crocodile sera was developed using sonicated antigen (Ag) and anti-crocodile conjugate. The iELISA test was optimised with different reagents and at different steps. A cut-off value of percent positive greater than or equal to 53.47% resulted in an estimated sensitivity and specificity of 85.67 and 100%, respectively. The developed iELISA could be used for detection of Abs to M. crocodyli infection in crocodiles and may enable to understand the transmission of the disease.

  18. Interactions between ecology, demography, capture stress, and profiles of corticosterone and glucose in a free-living population of Australian freshwater crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jessop, Tim S; Tucker, Anton D; Limpus, Colin J; Whittier, Joan M

    2003-06-01

    In this study we examined three aspects pertaining to adrenocortical responsiveness in free-ranging Australian freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni). First, we examined the ability of freshwater crocodiles to produce corticosterone in response to a typical capture-stress protocol. A second objective addressed the relationship between capture stress, plasma glucose and corticosterone. Next we examined if variation in basal and capture-stress-induced levels of plasma corticosterone was linked to ecological or demographic factors for individuals in this free-ranging population. Blood samples obtained on three field trips were taken from a cross-sectional sample of the population. Crocodiles were bled once during four time categories at 0, 0.5, 6, and 10h post-capture. Plasma corticosterone increased significantly with time post-capture. Plasma glucose also significantly increased with duration of capture-stress and exhibited a positive and significant relationship with plasma corticosterone. Significant variation in basal or stress induced levels of corticosterone in crocodiles was not associated with any ecological or demographic factors including sex, age class or the year of capture that the crocodiles were sampled from. However, three immature males had basal levels of plasma corticosterone greater than 2 standard deviations above the mean. While crocodiles exhibited a pronounced adrenocortical and hyperglycaemic response to capture stress, limited variation in adrenocortical responsiveness due to ecological and demographic factors was not evident. This feature could arise in part because this population was sampled during a period of environmental benigness.

  19. Global DNA methylation loss associated with mercury contamination and aging in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    OpenAIRE

    Nilsen, Frances M.; Benjamin B Parrott; Bowden, John A.; Kassim, Brittany L.; Somerville, Stephen E.; Bryan, Teresa A.; Bryan, Colleen E.; Lange, Ted R.; Delaney, J. Patrick; Brunell, Arnold M.; Long, Stephen E.; Guillette, Louis J

    2015-01-01

    Mercury is a widespread environmental contaminant with exposures eliciting a well-documented catalog of adverse effects. Yet, knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms by which mercury exposures are translated into biological effects remains incomplete. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is sensitive to environmental cues, and alterations in DNA methylation at the global level are associated with a variety of diseases. Using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry...

  20. Hydrodynamic analysis, performance assessment, and actuator design of a flexible tail propulsor in an artificial alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philen, Michael; Neu, Wayne

    2011-09-01

    The overall objective of this research is to develop analysis tools for determining actuator requirements and assessing viable actuator technology for design of a flexible tail propulsor in an artificial alligator. A simple hydrodynamic model that includes both reactive and resistive forces along the tail is proposed and the calculated mean thrust agrees well with conventional estimates of drag. Using the hydrodynamic model forces as an input, studies are performed for an alligator ranging in size from 1 cm to 2 m at swimming speeds of 0.3-1.8 body lengths per second containing five antagonistic pairs of actuators distributed along the length of the tail. Several smart materials are considered for the actuation system, and preliminary analysis results indicate that the acrylic electroactive polymer and the flexible matrix composite actuators are potential artificial muscle technologies for the system.

  1. Science: What Reptiles Are and Aren't

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelrod, Gerry S.

    1978-01-01

    Many children have an enormous fascination for reptiles of all kinds--snakes, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, alligators and lizards. Whatever the reason for their interest, you can channel the enthusiasm of reptile fans and build the interest of curious students with a few simple activities, e.g., getting acquainted with reptile characteristics…

  2. Crocodile Technology. [CD-ROM].

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000

    This high school physics computer software resource is a systems and control simulator that covers the topics of electricity, electronics, mechanics, and programming. Circuits can easily be simulated on the screen and electronic and mechanical components can be combined. In addition to those provided in Crocodile Technology, a student can create…

  3. POPS IN ALLIGATOR LIVERS FROM LAKE APOPKA, FLORIDA, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reproductive disorders in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) inhabiting Lake Apopka, Florida, have been observed for several years. Such disorders are hypothesized to be caused by endocrine disrupting contaminants occurring in the Lake due to pesticide spills and ...

  4. Spleen morphology and vascularization in the alligator (Caiman crocodilus yacare – Daudin, 1802

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Peres Ferraz de Melo

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available The Caiman crocodilus yacare is found from northern Argentina to the southern Amazon basin, mainly occurring in Pantanal. Its food consists of fishes and other aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates, such as crabs, winkles, and insects. Its length can reach 3 meters and this species is important because it provides biological control of other animal species, by feeding on weak, old, and ill individuals, unable to escape its attack. A total of 15 alligators were used, young males and females, using histological techniques; injection techniques with Neoprene latex 450 and vinyl acetate; and radiographic techniques to observe particularities of spleen in this species. The organ has a conical shape, being thicker at its cranial end and tapering at its caudal end. Spleen involved the cranial mesenteric artery, which went towards the intestines, from its origin in the celiac artery until its middle third, through the splenic parenchyma in all preparations. Spleen irrigation in the alligator was originated from the celiac artery, through its branch, the cranial mesenteric artery, which branched into splenic arteries, only within this organ. The splenic veins showed up as the cranial, craniomedial, medial, and caudal splenic veins which drain from the splenic capsule to the medullary region, going through the cortical region and going towards the hepatic portal vein. Spleen in the alligator showed no correspondence between the arteries and veins responsible for the vascularization of a certain splenic territory, but one observed arteries irrigating and veins draining particular areas of the splenic parenchyma.

  5. Are crocodiles really monophyletic?--Evidence for subdivisions from sequence and morphological data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAliley, L Rex; Willis, Ray E; Ray, David A; White, P Scott; Brochu, Christopher A; Densmore, Llewellyn D

    2006-04-01

    Recently, the phylogenetic placement of the African slender snouted crocodile, Crocodylus cataphractus, has come under scrutiny and herein we address this issue using molecular and morphological techniques. Although it is often recognized as being a "basal" form, morphological studies have traditionally placed C. cataphractus within the genus Crocodylus, while molecular studies have suggested that C. cataphractus is very distinct from other Crocodylus. To address the relationship of this species to its congeners we have sequenced portions of two nuclear genes (C-mos 302bp and ODC 294bp), and two mitochondrial genes (ND6-tRNA(glu)-cytB 347bp and control region 457bp). Analyses of these molecular datasets, both as individual gene sequences and as concatenated sequences, support the hypothesis that C. cataphractus is not a member of Crocodylus or Osteolaemus. Examination of 165 morphological characters supports and strengthens our resurrection of an historic genus, Mecistops (Gray 1844) for cataphractus.

  6. Evolutionary history of Cuban crocodiles Crocodylus rhombifer and Crocodylus acutus inferred from multilocus markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milián-García, Yoamel; Venegas-Anaya, Miryam; Frias-Soler, Roberto; Crawford, Andrew J; Ramos-Targarona, Roberto; Rodríguez-Soberón, Roberto; Alonso-Tabet, Manuel; Thorbjarnarson, John; Sanjur, Oris I; Espinosa-López, Georgina; Bermingham, Eldredge

    2011-07-01

    Among crocodilians, Crocodylus rhombifer is one of the world's most endangered species with the smallest natural distribution. In Cuba, this endemic species coexists with the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). Hybridization between these two species is well known in captivity and might occur in the wild, but has never been demonstrated genetically. Here, we combined molecular data with environmental, geographic, and fossil data to infer the evolutionary history of Crocodylus in the Cuban Archipelago, and to evaluate genealogical support for species boundaries. We analyzed seven microsatellite loci plus DNA sequence data from nuclear (RAG-1) and mitochondrial (cytochrome b and cytochrome oxidase I) genes from 89 wild-caught individuals in Cuba, Grand Cayman Island, Jamaica, and Central America, and two samples from zoo collections. Microsatellites showed evidence of introgression, suggesting potential hybridization among Cuban groups. In Cuba, C. acutus contained one mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype, whereas C. rhombifer contained two haplotypes. MtDNA data showed that C. acutus is paraphyletic with respect to C. rhombifer, revealing 1% sequence divergence between species within Cuba vs. 8% divergence between Cuban forms and mainland C. acutus. We suggest that hybridization has been a historical as well as a current phenomenon between C. acutus and C. rhombifer. These findings suggest that long-term conservation of crocodiles in Cuba will require identification of genetically pure and hybrid individuals, and a decrease in anthropogenic activities. We also recommend more extensive morphological and genetic analyses of Cuban population to establish clear boundaries of the hybrid zone between C. acutus and C. rhombifer.

  7. MHC class I of saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus): polymorphism and balancing selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaratlerdsiri, Weerachai; Isberg, Sally R; Higgins, Damien P; Gongora, Jaime

    2012-11-01

    Saltwater crocodiles are in high demand for the production of luxury fashion items. However, their susceptibility to disease incurs substantial losses and it is hoped to be able to genetically select these animals for disease resistance. So far, this has only been enabled by phenotypic selection. Investigating the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) could provide insight into the ability of an individual to respond to pathogens acting as a selective pressure on the host. Here, we assessed genetic diversity and a role of selection in shaping the diversity of MHC class I exon 3 among 42 saltwater crocodiles from nine river basins in the Northern Territory, Australia. We generated 640 sequences using cloning and sequencing methods and identified 43 MHC variants among them. Phylogenetic analyses clustered these variants into two major clades, which may suggest two gene lineages. We found the number of variants within an individual varying between one and seven, indicating that there are at least four gene loci in this species. Selection detection analyses revealed an elevated ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions (mean = 1.152 per codon), suggesting balancing selection. Population differentiation analyses revealed that the MHC did not show structuring among the river basins, and there were some shared variants among them. This may be a result of possible gene flow and/or similar selection pressures among populations. These findings provide background knowledge to identify potential MHC markers, which could be used for selecting genetically variable individuals for future disease associations. All MHC class I exon 3 sequences reported in this paper were submitted to the GenBank database with following accession numbers: HQ008785-HQ008789, HQ008791-HQ008798, HQ008808-HQ008815, HQ008824, HQ008826-HQ008830, HQ008835, HQ008839, HQ008842-HQ008850, and JX023536-JX023540.

  8. Hepatic and renal concentrations of 10 trace elements in crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Kafue and Luangwa rivers in Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almli, Bjørn; Mwase, Maxwell; Sivertsen, Tore; Musonda, Mike M; Flåøyen, Arne

    2005-01-20

    Hepatic and renal concentrations of the elements arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium and zinc were determined in samples collected from four crocodiles from the Kafue River, Kafue National Park and five crocodiles from the Luangwa River, Luangwa National Park, Zambia. The concentrations of the essential elements were similar to those reported in other vertebrates. Arsenic and cadmium concentrations were low (medians below 0.05 microg As/g and below 0.16 microg Cd/g, wet wt.). Mercury and lead concentrations were several orders of magnitude higher (medians up to 3.7 microg Hg/g, and up to 8.7 microg Pb/g, all wet wt.) than in hippopotami from the same rivers, probably as a result of food-chain biomagnification. Judging by the results obtained in this study, pollution from the mining activity around the Kafue River drainage area in the Copperbelt region has not significantly influenced the trace element concentrations in tissues of the crocodiles in the Kafue National Park. The trace element concentrations measured may serve as reference values in future studies on crocodilians.

  9. Hepatic and renal concentrations of 10 trace elements in crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Kafue and Luangwa rivers in Zambia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almli, Bjorn [National Veterinary Institute, POB 8156 Dep., N-0033 Oslo (Norway)]. E-mail: bjorn.almli@vetinst.no; Mwase, Maxwell [Samora Machel School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, POB 32379, Lusaka (Zambia); Sivertsen, Tore [Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, POB 8146 Dep., N-0033 Oslo (Norway); Musonda, Mike [Samora Machel School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, POB 32379, Lusaka (Zambia); Flaoyen, Arne [National Veterinary Institute, POB 8156 Dep., N-0033 Oslo (Norway); Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, POB 8146 Dep., N-0033 Oslo (Norway)

    2005-01-20

    Hepatic and renal concentrations of the elements arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, selenium and zinc were determined in samples collected from four crocodiles from the Kafue River, Kafue National Park and five crocodiles from the Luangwa River, Luangwa National Park, Zambia. The concentrations of the essential elements were similar to those reported in other vertebrates. Arsenic and cadmium concentrations were low (medians below 0.05 {mu}g As/g and below 0.16 {mu}g Cd/g, wet wt.). Mercury and lead concentrations were several orders of magnitude higher (medians up to 3.7 {mu}g Hg/g, and up to 8.7 {mu}g Pb/g, all wet wt.) than in hippopotami from the same rivers, probably as a result of food-chain biomagnification. Judging by the results obtained in this study, pollution from the mining activity around the Kafue River drainage area in the Copperbelt region has not significantly influenced the trace element concentrations in tissues of the crocodiles in the Kafue National Park. The trace element concentrations measured may serve as reference values in future studies on crocodilians.

  10. Hepatic and renal trace element concentrations in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) following chronic dietary exposure to coal fly ash contaminated prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuberville, Tracey D; Scott, David E; Metts, Brian S; Finger, John W; Hamilton, Matthew T

    2016-07-01

    Little is known about the propensity of crocodilians to bioaccumulate trace elements as a result of chronic dietary exposure. We exposed 36 juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to one of four dietary treatments that varied in the relative frequency of meals containing prey from coal combustion waste (CCW)-contaminated habitats vs. prey from uncontaminated sites, and evaluated tissue residues and growth rates after 12 mo and 25 mo of exposure. Hepatic and renal concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and selenium (Se) varied significantly among dietary treatment groups in a dose-dependent manner and were higher in kidneys than in livers. Exposure period did not affect Se or As levels but Cd levels were significantly higher after 25 mo than 12 mo of exposure. Kidney As and Se levels were negatively correlated with body size but neither growth rates nor body condition varied significantly among dietary treatment groups. Our study is among the first to experimentally examine bioaccumulation of trace element contaminants in crocodilians as a result of chronic dietary exposure. A combination of field surveys and laboratory experiments will be required to understand the effects of different exposure scenarios on tissue residues, and ultimately link these concentrations with effects on individual health.

  11. An outbreak of chlamydiosis in farmed Indopacific crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huchzermeyer, F W; Langelet, E; Putterill, J F

    2008-06-01

    An outbreak of chlamydiosis was diagnosed in hatchling and juvenile Indopacific crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) on a crocodile farm in Papua New Guinea. The outbreak was characterised by high mortality with hepatitis and exudative conjunctivitis. The agent appears to have been introduced with live wild-caught crocodiles, which are purchased routinely by the farm. Improved quarantine procedures and treatment with tetracycline led to a rapid reduction of losses on the farm.

  12. Capture of farmed Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus): comparison of physiological parameters after manual capture and after capture with electrical stunning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfitzer, S; Ganswindt, A; Fosgate, G T; Botha, P J; Myburgh, J G

    2014-09-27

    The electric stunner (e-stunner) is commonly used to handle Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) on commercial farms in South Africa, but while it seems to improve handling and safety for the keepers, no information regarding physiological reactions to e-stunning is currently available. The aim of this study was therefore to compare various physiological parameters in farmed C niloticus captured either manually (noosing) or by using an e-stunner. A total of 45 crocodiles were captured at a South African farm by either e-stunning or noosing, and blood samples were taken immediately as well as four hours after capture. Parameters monitored were serum corticosterone, lactate, glucose, as well as alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase. Lactate concentrations were significantly higher in noosed compared with e-stunned animals (Pcrocodiles in a commercial setup because it is quicker, safer and did not cause a significant increase in any of the parameters measured.

  13. Crocodile Talk: Attributions of Incestuously Abused and Nonabused Sisters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monahan, Kathleen

    1997-01-01

    This qualitative study analyzed the retrospective attributions of adult sisters (five abused sister dyads, and five abused and nonabused sister dyads) who grew up in incestuous families. It examined the attributions of subjects regarding the general sibling group; victim selection and nonselection; and attributions regarding jealousy, protection,…

  14. General morphology of the oral cavity of the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus (Laurenti, 1768. I. Palate and gingivae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.F. Putterill

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available The heads of nine 2.5 to 3-year-old Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus were obtained from a commercial farm where crocodiles are raised for their skins and meat. The animals from which these specimens originated were clinically healthy at the time they were slaughtered. A detailed description of the macroscopic and microscopic features of the palate and gingivae of the Nile crocodile is presented and the results are compared with published information on this species and other Crocodylia. The histological features are supplemented by information supplied by scanning electron microscopy. Macroscopic features of interest are the small conical process situated at the base of the first two incisors of the maxilla, the distribution of cobbled units on the palate, and the broad dentary shelf forming the rostral aspect of the mandible. Histologically the palate and gingivae did not differ significantly from each other and both regions showed a presence of Pacinian-type corpuscles. Two types of sensory structures (taste receptors and pressure receptors were identified in the regions examined, both involving modification of the epithelium and the underlying connective tissue.

  15. Reference levels for corticosterone and immune function in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) hatchlings using current Code of Practice guidelines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finger, John W; Thomson, Peter C; Adams, Amanda L; Benedict, Suresh; Moran, Christopher; Isberg, Sally R

    2015-02-01

    To determine reference levels for on-farm stressors on immune responsiveness and growth rate, 253 hatchling crocodiles from 11 known breeding pairs were repeatedly measured and blood sampled during their first year. Plasma corticosterone (CORT) was used to quantify baseline stress levels in captive animals and were found to be lower (mean 1.83±SE 0.16 ng/mL) than previously reported in saltwater crocodile hatchlings. Two tests of immune function were also conducted. Innate constitutive immunity was assessed using bacterial killing assays (BKA) against two bacterial species: Escherichia coli and Providencia rettgeri, whereby the latter causes considerable economic loss to industry from septicaemic mortalities. Although the bactericidal capabilities were different at approximately 4 months old (32±3% for E. coli and 16±4% for P. rettgeri), the differences had disappeared by approximately 9 months old (58±2% and 68±6%, respectively). To assess immune responsiveness to a novel antigen, the inflammatory swelling response caused by phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) injection was assessed but was only significantly different between Samplings 1 and 3 (5% LSD). There were no significant clutch effects for CORT or PHA but there were for both BKA traits. CORT was not significantly associated with growth (head length) or the immune parameters except for P. rettgeri BKA where higher CORT levels were associated with better bactericidal capability. As such, these results suggest that the crocodiles in this study are not stressed, therefore endorsing the management strategies adopted within the Australian industry Code of Practice.

  16. The 'Angry Alligator'

    Science.gov (United States)

    1966-01-01

    The Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA) as seen from the Gemini 9 spacecraft during one of their three rendezvous in space. The ATDA and Gemini 9 spacecraft are 66.5 ft. apart. Failure of the docking adapter protective cover to fully separate on the ATDA prevented the docking of the two spacecraft. The ATDA was described by the Gemini 9 crew as an 'angry alligator.'

  17. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa-Blanco, Ariel S.; Morales-Betancourt, Mónica A.; Seijas, Andrés E.; Lasso, Carlos A.; Antelo, Rafael; Densmore, Llewellyn D.

    2017-01-01

    Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius), defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU) and regional research priorities (RRP) for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM) to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2) and Venezuela (919 km2), which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius’ potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon) exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries) where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia) and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries). Caño Guaritico (Creek) and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species is

  18. Full-length cDNA cloning and structural characterization of preproinsulin in Alligator sinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, R; Zhang, S Z; Li, E; Wang, C; Wang, C L; Wu, X B

    2014-10-27

    Insulin is an important endocrine hormone that plays a critical physiological role in regulating metabolism and glucostasis in vertebrates. In this study, the complete cDNA of Alligator sinensis preproinsulin gene was cloned for the first time by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and rapid amplification of cDNA ends methods; the amino acid sequence encoded and protein structure were analyzed. The full-length of preproinsulin cDNA sequence consists of 528 base pairs (bp), comprising a 34-bp 5'-untranslated region, a 170-bp 3'-untranslated region and an open reading frame that is 324 bp in length. The open reading frame encodes a 107-amino acid preproinsulin with a molecular weight of approximately 12,153.8 Da, theoretical isoelectric point of 5.68, aliphatic index of 92.06, and grand average of hydropathicity of -0.157, from which a signal peptide, a B-chain, a C-peptide, and an A-chain are derived. Online analysis suggested that the deduced preproinsulin amino acid sequence contains a transmembrane region, and that it has a signal peptide whose cleavage site occurs between alanine 24 and alanine 25. Comparative analysis of preproinsulin amino acid sequences indicated that the A-chain and B-chain sequences of preproinsulins are highly conserved between reptiles and birds, and that the preproinsulin amino acid sequence of Alligator sinensis shares 89% similarity to that of Chelonia mydas, but low similarity of 48-63% to those of mammals and fishes. The phylogenetic tree constructed using the neighbor-joining method revealed that preproinsulin of Alligator sinensis had high homology with reptiles and birds, such as Chelonia mydas, Gallus gallus, and Columba livia.

  19. Molecular and morphological characterization of a haemogregarine in the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii (Testudines: Chelydridae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhaboubi, Amer Rasool; Pollard, Dana A; Holman, Patricia J

    2017-01-01

    A severely underweight alligator snapping turtle Macrochelys temminckii Troost in Harlan, 1835, was found near Tyler, Texas, and taken to the Caldwell Zoo. Blood films were submitted to Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, for morphological and molecular identification of haemogregarine-like inclusions in the red blood cells. Intraerythrocytic Haemogregarina sp. forms were found on microscopic examination at a parasitemia of <1 %. The morphology and morphometric data for the forms indicate similarity to Haemogregarina macrochelysi n. sp. Telford et al., 2009, previously reported in alligator snapping turtles in Florida and Georgia, but two characteristic stage forms were not shared between H. macrochelysi n. sp. and the parasite found in this report. The haemogregarine 18S ribosomal RNA gene (1555-bp fragment) was amplified and cloned, and five clones sequenced. The sequences were deposited in the NCBI GenBank database. All five showed ∼96 % identity to Haemogregarina balli Paterson and Desser, 1976, Hepatozoon sp., and Hemolivia stellata Petit et al., 1990. A 774-bp segment shared 98-99 % identity with the corresponding Haemogregarina sp. rDNA sequence (KR006985) from Caspian turtles (Mauremys caspica McDowell, 1964) in Iran. A neighbor-joining phylogenetic tree generated from aligned sequences from the clones, 26 hematozoa, Adelina dimidiata Schneider, 1875, and Cryptosporidium serpentis Levine, 1980, revealed the cloned sequences clustered on their own branch within the Haemogregarina spp. clade. No genetic data are available for H. macrochelysi n. sp. at this time, so it remains unclear if this parasite in a Texas alligator snapping turtle is conspecific with H. macrochelysi n. sp.

  20. Post-hatching development of mitochondrial function, organ mass and metabolic rate in two ectotherms, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirsat, Sarah K G; Sirsat, Tushar S; Price, Edwin R; Dzialowski, Edward M

    2016-04-15

    The ontogeny of endothermy in birds is associated with disproportionate growth of thermogenic organs and increased mitochondrial oxidative capacity. However, no similar study has been made of the development of these traits in ectotherms. For comparison, we therefore investigated the metabolism, growth and muscle mitochondrial function in hatchlings of a turtle and a crocodilian, two ectotherms that never develop endothermy. Metabolic rate did not increase substantially in either species by 30 days post-hatching. Yolk-free body mass and heart mass did not change through 30 days in alligators and heart mass was a constant proportion of body mass, even after 1 year. Yolk-free body mass and liver mass grew 36% and 27%, respectively, in turtles during the first 30 days post-hatch. The mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of mitochondria, assessed using permeabilized muscle fibers, increased by a non-significant 47% in alligator thigh and a non-significant 50% in turtle thigh over 30 days, but did not increase in the heart. This developmental trajectory of mitochondrial function is slower and shallower than that previously observed in ducks, which demonstrate a 90% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity in thigh muscles over just a few days, a 60% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of the heart over a few days, and disproportionate growth of the heart and other organs. Our data thus support the hypothesis that these developmental changes in ducks represent mechanistic drivers for attaining endothermy.

  1. Post-hatching development of mitochondrial function, organ mass and metabolic rate in two ectotherms, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah K. G. Sirsat

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The ontogeny of endothermy in birds is associated with disproportionate growth of thermogenic organs and increased mitochondrial oxidative capacity. However, no similar study has been made of the development of these traits in ectotherms. For comparison, we therefore investigated the metabolism, growth and muscle mitochondrial function in hatchlings of a turtle and a crocodilian, two ectotherms that never develop endothermy. Metabolic rate did not increase substantially in either species by 30 days post-hatching. Yolk-free body mass and heart mass did not change through 30 days in alligators and heart mass was a constant proportion of body mass, even after 1 year. Yolk-free body mass and liver mass grew 36% and 27%, respectively, in turtles during the first 30 days post-hatch. The mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of mitochondria, assessed using permeabilized muscle fibers, increased by a non-significant 47% in alligator thigh and a non-significant 50% in turtle thigh over 30 days, but did not increase in the heart. This developmental trajectory of mitochondrial function is slower and shallower than that previously observed in ducks, which demonstrate a 90% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity in thigh muscles over just a few days, a 60% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of the heart over a few days, and disproportionate growth of the heart and other organs. Our data thus support the hypothesis that these developmental changes in ducks represent mechanistic drivers for attaining endothermy.

  2. Reestablishment of male sexual function and appearance 23 years after alligator induced traumatic orchiectomy and penile lacerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katlowitz, N M; Fliescher, A; Benet, A E

    1995-06-01

    We report a case of traumatic sexual dysfunction and genitalia deformity successfully treated with dorsal vein excision, spongiolysis, rotational flaps, split thickness skin grafts, testicular prosthesis implantation and penile autologous fat augmentation 23 years after an alligator attack resulted in amputation of the testes and half of the scrotum, and denudation of the penis with corpus cavernosum to spongiosum fistula formations.

  3. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section 334.760 Navigation and Navigable Waters CORPS OF ENGINEERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE DANGER ZONE AND RESTRICTED AREA REGULATIONS...

  4. Nuclear β-catenin localization supports homology of feathers, avian scutate scales, and alligator scales in early development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musser, Jacob M; Wagner, Günter P; Prum, Richard O

    2015-01-01

    Feathers are an evolutionary novelty found in all extant birds. Despite recent progress investigating feather development and a revolution in dinosaur paleontology, the relationship of feathers to other amniote skin appendages, particularly reptile scales, remains unclear. Disagreement arises primarily from the observation that feathers and avian scutate scales exhibit an anatomical placode-defined as an epidermal thickening-in early development, whereas alligator and other avian scales do not. To investigate the homology of feathers and archosaur scales we examined patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization during early development of feathers and different bird and alligator scales. In birds, nuclear β-catenin is first localized to the feather placode, and then exhibits a dynamic pattern of localization in both epidermis and dermis of the feather bud. We found that asymmetric avian scutate scales and alligator scales share similar patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization with feathers. This supports the hypothesis that feathers, scutate scales, and alligator scales are homologous during early developmental stages, and are derived from early developmental stages of an asymmetric scale present in the archosaur ancestor. Furthermore, given that the earliest stage of β-catenin localization in feathers and archosaur scales is also found in placodes of several mammalian skin appendages, including hair and mammary glands, we hypothesize that a common skin appendage placode originated in the common ancestor of all amniotes. We suggest a skin placode should not be defined by anatomical features, but as a local, organized molecular signaling center from which an epidermal appendage develops.

  5. Ocular disease in American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Millichamp, Nicholas J; Barrantes, Luz Denia Barrantes; Barr, Brady R; Montero, Juan R Bolaños; Platt, Steven G; Abel, Mike T; Cobb, George P; Anderson, Todd A

    2011-04-01

    Beginning in early 2006, an ocular disease of unknown etiology was routinely observed in American crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) inhabiting the highly polluted Tarcoles River in west-central Costa Rica. We examined the nature and incidence of ocular disease in Tarcoles crocodiles and assessed the possible association between the disease and accumulation of chemical pollutants in diseased individuals. During 12-15 September and 12-13 December 2007, crocodiles were captured and examined for ocular disease and sampled to determine environmental contaminant accumulation. Three of 11 (27.3%) crocodiles captured (all males) exhibited unilateral ocular disease, primarily characterized by corneal opacity and scarring, anterior synechia, and phthisis bulbi. Multiple pollutants were detected in crocodile caudal scutes (organochlorine pesticides [OCPs] and metals), crocodile blood (OCPs), and sediments (OCPs and metals) from the Tarcoles, but no associations were found between contaminant accumulation and the incidence of eye disease. On the basis of the limited number of diseased animals examined and the potential exposure of crocodiles to pathogens and other pollutants not targeted in this study, we cannot rule out infection or chemical toxicosis as causes of the eye lesions. However, circumstantial evidence suggests that the observed ocular disease is likely the result of injury-induced trauma (and possibly secondary infection) inflicted during aggressive encounters (e.g., territorial combat) among large adult crocodiles living at relatively high densities.

  6. Age, fertility and reproductive behavior in cuban crocodiles, Crocodylus rhombifer, at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustine, Lauren; Watkins, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    The Smithsonian's National Zoological Park (NZP) has a long history with Cuban crocodiles, Crocodylus rhombifer, beginning in 1900's when the first animals arrived at the NZP. Today, the Zoo has two breeding groups of C. rhombifer and has observed and analyzed reproductive behavior and fertility rates over the last three years. Fertility rates were determined initially by observing the formation of an opaque band that forms on the shell of a fertile egg, called banding. The fertility rates by banding were later compared to the observation made after opening the eggs to verify fertility. In addition to tracking fertility, nesting and agonistic behavior were also observed. Several notable observations were documented over the same period. These included a male predating a nesting female's eggs, increased aggression between two females housed together, the continued development of a partially banded egg, and the discovery of 19 additional egg shells post oviposition by both females in the enclosure. Here we discuss the nest phenology, fertility and behavior of the five exhibited C. rhombifer at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park over a 3-year period. Zoo Biol. 34:278-284, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals Inc.

  7. CHARACTERIZING CALCIUM INFLUX VIA VOLTAGE- AND LIGAND-GATED CALCIUM CHANNELS IN EMBRYONIC ALLIGATOR NEURONS IN CULTURE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Weina; Wu, Jiang; Pritz, Michael B.; Khanna, Rajesh

    2013-01-01

    Vertebrate brains share many features in common. Early in development, both the hindbrain and diencephalon are built similarly. Only later in time do differences in morphology occur. Factors that could potentially influence such changes include certain physiological properties of neurons. As an initial step to investigate this problem, embryonic Alligator brain neurons were cultured and calcium responses were characterized. The present report is the first to document culture of Alligator brain neurons in artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) as well as in standard mammalian tissue culture medium supplemented with growth factors. Alligator brain neuron cultures were viable for at least 1 week with unipolar neurites emerging by 24 hours. Employing Fura-2 AM, robust depolarization-induced calcium influx, was observed in these neurons. Using selective blockers of the voltage-gated calcium channels, the contributions of N-, P/Q-, R-, T-, and L-type channels in these neurons were assessed and their presence documented. Lastly, Alligator brain neurons were challenged with an excitotoxic stimulus (glutamate + glycine) where delayed calcium deregulation could be prevented by a classical NMDA receptor antagonist. PMID:24260711

  8. Dwarfism and feeding behaviours in Oligo–Miocene crocodiles from Riversleigh, northwestern Queensland, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Stein

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Instances of dwarfism in the fossil record are of interest to palaeontologists because they often provide insight into aspects of palaeoecology. Fossil species of Australian-Pacific mekosuchine genus Mekosuchus have been described as dwarf, primarily terrestrial crocodiles, in contrast with the nearly ubiquitous semi-aquatic habitus of extant crocodilians (Willis 1997. This hypothesis has been difficult to test because of limited knowledge of the cranial and postcranial skeleton of extinct taxa and the continuous nature of crocodilian growth. New crocodilian vertebral material from Riversleigh, northwestern Queensland, tentatively referred to Mekosuchus whitehunterensis Willis, 1997, displays morphological maturity indicative of adult snout-vent length little over a half-meter, proportionally smaller than extant dwarf taxa. Further, this material displays morphology that indicates a relatively large epaxial neck musculature for its body-size. These attributes suggest this dwarf mekosuchine employed unusual feeding behaviours. The ability to perform normal death-roll, de-fleshing behaviours would be limited in a mekosuchine of such small size. Given the powerful neck muscles and other anatomical features, it is more likely that this mekosuchine killed and/or dismembered its prey using a relatively forceful lifting and shaking of the head.

  9. Biotransformation and Oxidative Stress Responses in Captive Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus Exposed to Organic Contaminants from the Natural Environment in South Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Augustine Arukwe

    Full Text Available In the present study, the biotransformation and oxidative stress responses in relation to chemical burden in the liver of male and female Nile crocodiles--Crocodylus niloticus--from a commercial crocodile farm passively exposed to various anthropogenic aquatic pollutants was investigated. In general, the data showed that male crocodiles consistently produced higher biotransformation and oxidative stress responses compared to females. Relationships between these responses and concentrations of aliphatic hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs were also observed. Specifically, the catalytic assays for EROD and BROD (not PROD and MROD showed sex-differences between male and female crocodiles and paralleled immunochemically determined CYP1A and CYP3A protein levels; the relatively similar levels of PAHs in both sexes suggest an estrogen-mediated reduction of this pathway in females. The antioxidant system exhibited higher levels in male crocodiles with slight or significant higher values for catalase (CAT, glutathione reductase (GR, glutathione peroxidases-H2O2 (GPx-H2O2, glutathione peroxidases-Cu (GPx-Cu, total antioxidant capacity towards peroxyl radicals (TOSC-ROO and hydroxyl radicals (TOSC-HO, total glutathione (GSH and malondialdehyde (MDA. On the other hand, the activities of acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX and glutathione S-transferases (GST were significantly higher in females. Principal component analysis (PCA produced significant groupings that revealed correlative relationships (both positive and negative between biotransformation/oxidative stress variables and liver PAHs and aliphatic hydrocarbon burden. The overall results suggest that these captive pre-slaughter crocodiles exhibited adverse exposure responses to anthropogenic aquatic contaminants with potentially relevant effects on key cellular pathways, and these responses may be established as relevant species biomarkers of exposure and effects in this endangered species.

  10. Quantification of intraskeletal histovariability in Alligator mississippiensis and implications for vertebrate osteohistology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Holly N. Woodward

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Bone microanalyses of extant vertebrates provide a necessary framework from which to form hypotheses regarding the growth and skeletochronology of extinct taxa. Here, we describe the bone microstructure and quantify the histovariability of appendicular elements and osteoderms from three juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis to assess growth mark and tissue organization within and amongst individuals, with the intention of validating paleohistological interpretations. Results confirm previous observations that lamellar and parallel fibered tissue organization are typical of crocodylians, and also that crocodylians are capable of forming woven tissue for brief periods. Tissue organization and growth mark count varies across individual skeletal elements and reveal that the femur, tibia, and humerus had the highest annual apposition rates in each individual. Cyclical growth mark count also varies intraskeletally, but data suggest these inconsistencies are due to differing medullary cavity expansion rates. There was no appreciable difference in either diaphyseal circumference or cyclical growth mark circumferences between left and right element pairs from an individual if diaphyses were sampled from roughly the same location. The considerable intraskeletal data obtained here provide validation for long-held paleohistology assumptions, but because medullary expansion, cyclical growth mark formation, and variable intraskeletal growth rates are skeletal features found in tetrapod taxa living or extinct, the validations presented herein should be considered during any tetrapod bone microanalysis.

  11. Quantification of intraskeletal histovariability in Alligator mississippiensis and implications for vertebrate osteohistology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Holly N; Horner, John R; Farlow, James O

    2014-01-01

    Bone microanalyses of extant vertebrates provide a necessary framework from which to form hypotheses regarding the growth and skeletochronology of extinct taxa. Here, we describe the bone microstructure and quantify the histovariability of appendicular elements and osteoderms from three juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to assess growth mark and tissue organization within and amongst individuals, with the intention of validating paleohistological interpretations. Results confirm previous observations that lamellar and parallel fibered tissue organization are typical of crocodylians, and also that crocodylians are capable of forming woven tissue for brief periods. Tissue organization and growth mark count varies across individual skeletal elements and reveal that the femur, tibia, and humerus had the highest annual apposition rates in each individual. Cyclical growth mark count also varies intraskeletally, but data suggest these inconsistencies are due to differing medullary cavity expansion rates. There was no appreciable difference in either diaphyseal circumference or cyclical growth mark circumferences between left and right element pairs from an individual if diaphyses were sampled from roughly the same location. The considerable intraskeletal data obtained here provide validation for long-held paleohistology assumptions, but because medullary expansion, cyclical growth mark formation, and variable intraskeletal growth rates are skeletal features found in tetrapod taxa living or extinct, the validations presented herein should be considered during any tetrapod bone microanalysis.

  12. EFFECT OF ACUTE STRESS ON PLASMA CONCENTRATIONS OF SEX AND STRESS HORMONES IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS LIVING IN CONTROL AND CONTAMINATED LAKES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Environmental contaminants can act as stressors, inducing elevated circulating concentrations of stress hormones such as corticosterone and cortisol. Development in contaminated eggs has been reported to modify circulating sex steroid hormone concentrations in alligators (Alligat...

  13. Skeletochronology and isotopic analysis of a captive individual of Alligator mississippiensis Daudin, 1802

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Klein

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, bone histology and isotope composition (C, N, O of a femur and three postcranial osteoderms from an approximately 23–25 year-old captive female Alligator mississippiensis Daudin, 1802 were analyzed to infer the recorded life history. The number of visible annual growth marks in the femur cross-section is less than the known age for the individual concerned, this information clearly shows that skeletochronology has certain limits. However, bone histology reflects very well the traceable life history of this individual and its slow growth in early ontogeny. Bone histology on the basis of the osteoderms shows massive remodeling and an only incompletely preserved growth record, reflecting the egg-laying status of this individual. Interestingly, the carbon and especially the nitrogen isotope compositions of the osteoderms differ from those of the femur. This presumably reflects dietary changes and/or differences in resorption and remodeling processes during tissue formation of these bones. The N, C, and O isotope composition of the femur is consistent with the food and water the alligator had ingested during the last years of its life. Thus, contrary to the osteoderms, the femur yields reliable data for the reconstruction of an individual's dietary and environmental history. doi:10.1002/mmng.200900002

  14. Three-dimensional skeletal kinematics of the shoulder girdle and forelimb in walking Alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baier, David B; Gatesy, Stephen M

    2013-01-01

    Crocodylians occupy a key phylogenetic position for investigations of archosaur locomotor evolution. Compared to the well-studied hindlimb, relatively little is known about the skeletal movements and mechanics of the forelimb. In this study, we employed manual markerless XROMM (X-ray Reconstruction Of Moving Morphology) to measure detailed 3-D kinematics of the shoulder girdle and forelimb bones of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) walking on a treadmill. Digital models of the interclavicle, scapulocoracoid, humerus, radius and ulna were created using a 3-D laser scanner. Models were articulated and aligned to simultaneously recorded frames of fluoroscopic and standard light video to reconstruct and measure joint motion. Joint coordinate systems were established for the coracosternal, glenohumeral and elbow joints. Our analysis revealed that the limb joints only account for about half of fore/aft limb excursion; the remaining excursion results from shoulder girdle movements and lateral bending of the vertebral column. Considerable motion of each scapulocoracoid relative to the vertebral column is consistent with coracosternal mobility. The hemisellar design of the glenohumeral joint permits some additional translation, or sliding in the fore-aft plane, but this movement does not have much of an effect on the distal excursion of the bone. PMID:24102540

  15. A radon and meteorological measurement network for the Alligator Rivers Region, Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, P. E-mail: paul.martin@deh.gov.au; Tims, S. E-mail: steve.tims@anu.edu.au; Ryan, B. E-mail: bruce.ryan@ea.gov.au; Bollhoefer, A. E-mail: andreas.bollhoefer@ea.gov.au

    2004-07-01

    The network described in this paper has been set up to provide detailed time-series data on concentrations of {sup 222}Rn in air at various locations within the Alligator Rivers Region, over a time frame of several years. These data will be important in assessing the effects of uranium mining operations on radon levels in the region, both in providing baseline and monitoring data and in calibrating and verifying predictive models. At present, three stations are operating in the region with a fourth being commissioned. Each station logs half hourly average radon concentrations and relevant meteorological data (wind speed, direction and variability, air pressure and temperature, relative humidity, soil temperature, rain and sunshine rates). It is intended to operate the four stations at selected locations for one- or two-year intervals, at the end of which three will be moved to new locations (one station at Mudginberri will be kept as a constant control station). Sites for which extensive datasets are currently available include: Jabiru Town, Jabiru East, Djarr Djarr, East Alligator Ranger Station and Nabarlek minesite. Illustrative data from these sites are presented.

  16. Radionuclides and metals in freshwater mussels of the upper South Alligator River, Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ryan, Bruce [Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss), GPO Box 461, Darwin NT 0801 (Australia)], E-mail: bruce.ryan@environment.gov.au; Bollhoefer, Andreas [Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss), GPO Box 461, Darwin NT 0801 (Australia); Martin, Paul [Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (eriss), GPO Box 461, Darwin NT 0801 (Australia); Agency' s Laboratories, Seibersdorf, IAEA, A-1400 Vienna (Austria)

    2008-03-15

    During an inspection of the old Rockhole Mine area in Kakadu National Park in 1999, it was found that a small amount of tailings from the former South Alligator uranium (U) mill had been uncovered by wet season rain and road works. Samples of sediment, water and freshwater mussels, Velesunio angasi, were collected from the South Alligator River, near and at the confluence of Rockhole Mine Creek, and adjacent to the exposed tailings. The {sup 228}Ra/{sup 226}Ra activity ratios in sediments and mussel tissue indicate a small influence from the tailings and from Rockhole Mine adit water on {sup 226}Ra concentrations. The uptake of {sup 226}Ra in mussels does not correlate with other alkaline-earth metals. Mussel U concentrations are higher immediately downstream of Rockhole Mine Creek, but there is no noticeable increase in the immediate vicinity of the tailings area. A hypothetical ingestion of 2 kg of mussels from the sites was used to estimate the committed effective dose for a 10-year-old child resulting in a figure of 0.23 mSv per annum, of this total dose, 69% is attributed to {sup 210}Po. Only 0.03 mSv per annum can be directly linked to impacts of the tailings.

  17. In vivo bone strain and finite element modeling of the mandible of Alligator mississippiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porro, Laura B; Metzger, Keith A; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; Ross, Callum F

    2013-01-01

    Forces experienced during feeding are thought to strongly influence the morphology of the vertebrate mandible; in vivo strain data are the most direct evidence for deformation of the mandible induced by these loading regimes. Although many studies have documented bone strains in the mammalian mandible, no information is available on strain magnitudes, orientations or patterns in the sauropsid lower jaw during feeding. Furthermore, strain gage experiments record the mechanical response of bone at a few locations, not across the entire mandible. In this paper, we present bone strain data recorded at various sites on the lower jaw of Alligator mississippiensis during in vivo feeding experiments. These data are used to understand how changes in loading regime associated with changes in bite location are related to changes in strain regime on the working and balancing sides of the mandible. Our results suggest that the working side mandible is bent dorsoventrally and twisted about its long-axis during biting, and the balancing side experiences primarily dorsoventral bending. Strain orientations are more variable on the working side than on the balancing side with changes in bite point and between experiments; the balancing side exhibits higher strain magnitudes. In the second part of this paper, we use principal strain orientations and magnitudes recorded in vivo to evaluate a finite element model of the alligator mandible. Our comparison demonstrates that strain orientations and mandibular deformation predicted by the model closely match in vivo results; however, absolute strain magnitudes are lower in the finite element model. PMID:23855772

  18. Reduction in penis size and plasma testosterone concentrations in juvenile alligators living in a contaminated environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, L J; Pickford, D B; Crain, D A; Rooney, A A; Percival, H F

    1996-01-01

    The development of the male reproductive ducts and external genitalia in vertebrates is dependent on elevated androgen concentrations during embryonic development and the period of postnatal growth. We have observed that a population of juvenile alligators living on Lake Apopka exhibit significantly smaller penis size (24% average decrease) and lower plasma concentrations of testosterone (70% lower concentrations) when compared to animals of similar size on Lake Woodruff. In addition to smaller phalli, no relationship exists between plasma testosterone concentrations and penile size in males from Lake Apopka, whereas a positive relationship exists for males from Lake Woodruff. The alligators on Lake Apopka are known to have elevated concentrations of the antiandrogenic DDT breakdown product p.p'-DDE stored in their fat. We suggest a number of hypotheses that could explain the modification in the phenotype of the juvenile male living in Lake Apopka. These modifications in phenotype include a smaller penis size, lower plasma androgen concentrations, and lack of responsiveness of the penis to the plasma androgens present.

  19. Gene-environment interactions: the potential role of contaminants in somatic growth and the development of the reproductive system of the American alligator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Brandon C; Roark, Alison M; Kohno, Satomi; Hamlin, Heather J; Guillette, Louis J

    2012-05-06

    Developing organisms interpret and integrate environmental signals to produce adaptive phenotypes that are prospectively suited for probable demands in later life. This plasticity can be disrupted when embryos are impacted by exogenous contaminants, such as environmental pollutants, producing potentially deleterious and long-lasting mismatches between phenotype and the future environment. We investigated the ability for in ovo environmental contaminant exposure to alter the growth trajectory and ovarian function of alligators at five months after hatching. Alligators collected as eggs from polluted Lake Apopka, FL, hatched with smaller body masses but grew faster during the first five months after hatching, as compared to reference-site alligators. Further, ovaries from Lake Apopka alligators displayed lower basal expression levels of inhibin beta A mRNA as well as decreased responsiveness of aromatase and follistatin mRNA expression levels to treatment with follicle stimulating hormone. We posit that these differences predispose these animals to increased risks of disease and reproductive dysfunction at adulthood.

  20. Continuing studies of mortality of alligators on central Florida lakes : Pathology and nutrition : Final report to St. Johns River Water Management District

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Investigations into the continuing, unexplained mortality of alligators on Lake Griffin in central Florida were conducted. Lake Griffin was surveyed for dead...

  1. alpha-Crystallin A sequences of Alligator mississippiensis and the lizard Tupinambis teguixin: molecular evolution and reptilian phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, W W; Zweers, A; Versteeg, M; Dessauer, H C; Goodman, M

    1985-11-01

    The amino acid sequences of the eye lens protein alpha-crystallin A from many mammalian and avian species, two frog species, and a dogfish have provided detailed information about the molecular evolution of this protein and allowed some useful inferences about phylogenetic relationships among these species. We now have isolated and sequenced the alpha-crystallins of the American alligator and the common tegu lizard. The reptilian alpha A chains appear to have evolved as slowly as those of other vertebrates, i.e., at two to three amino acid replacements per 100 residues in 100 Myr. The lack of charged replacements and the general types and distribution of replacements also are similar to those in other vertebrate alpha A chains. Maximum-parsimony analyses of the total data set of 67 vertebrate alpha A sequences support the monophyletic origin of alligator, tegu, and birds and favor the grouping of crocodilians and birds as surviving sister groups in the subclass Archosauria.

  2. Evolution of corticosteroid specificity for human, chicken, alligator and frog glucocorticoid receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Kohno, Satomi; Oka, Kaori; Baker, Michael E

    2016-09-01

    We investigated the evolution of the response of human, chicken, alligator and frog glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) to dexamethasone, cortisol, cortisone, corticosterone, 11-deoxycorticosterone, 11-deoxycortisol and aldosterone. We find significant differences among these vertebrates in the transcriptional activation of their full length GRs by these steroids, indicating that there were changes in the specificity of the GR for steroids during the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates. To begin to study the role of interactions between different domains on the GR in steroid sensitivity and specificity for terrestrial GRs, we investigated transcriptional activation of truncated GRs containing their hinge domain and ligand binding domain (LBD) fused to a GAL4 DNA binding domain (GAL4-DBD). Compared to corresponding full length GRs, transcriptional activation of GAL4-DBD_GR-hinge/LBD constructs required higher steroid concentrations and displayed altered steroid specificity, indicating that interactions between the hinge/LBD and other domains are important in glucocorticoid activation of these terrestrial GRs.

  3. Recovery rates, serotypes, and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of Salmonellae isolated from cloacal swabs of wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in Zimbabwe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Mogens; Hangartner, P.; West, K.

    1998-01-01

    Samples from the cloaca and the ventral skin surface of 67 Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) captured in four uninhabited areas at Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, were cultured for Salmonella. All the skin samples tested negative for Salmonella, whereas 18 of 67 (26.9%) cloacal samples grew Salmonell...

  4. Cadmium and lead residues in field-collected red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and uptake by alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxiroides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Naqvi, S.M.; Howell, R.D.; Sholas, M. (Southern Univ., Baton Rouge, LA (United States). Dept. of Biological Sciences and Health Research Center)

    1993-01-01

    The whole-body residues of Cd and Pb in the tissues of Louisiana swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) were determined by flame AAS technique. Test animals were collected from roadside ditches alongside major highways. The water and soil samples were also collected from the same sites. The mean Cd and Pb concentrations in crayfish tissues were 0.46 and 0.07, respectively. The levels of Cd and Pb in the water were 0.09 and 0.04; and in soil were 2.85 and 0.87 mg/1, respectively. The concentration of cadmium was 32 and Pb 12 times more than in the water. The bioaccumulation factors (BF) for Cd and Pb in crayfish tissues were 5.1 and 1.7, respectively. Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxiroides) plants were exposed to 0.5 mg/1 Cd-chloride or Pb-nitrate solutions for 3 wk period, thrice. The mean Pb accumulation in roots was 1.31 mg/1, followed by stem (0.078 mg/1), but Cd only accumulated in root (0.83 mg/1). The BF for Pb and Cd in plant tissues were 14.8 and 16.6, respectively. The uptake of metals was time-dependent. These data suggest that although there is no biomagnification of Cd and Pb from alligator weed to crayfish, both metals readily accumulate in field-collected crayfish and laboratory-exposed alligator weed.

  5. Functional specialization and ontogenetic scaling of limb anatomy in Alligator mississippiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Vivian; Elsey, Ruth M; Jones, Nicola; Wright, Jordon; Hutchinson, John R

    2010-01-01

    Crocodylians exhibit a fascinating diversity of terrestrial gaits and limb motions that remain poorly described and are of great importance to understanding their natural history and evolution. Their musculoskeletal anatomy is pivotal to this diversity and yet only qualitative studies of muscle-tendon unit anatomy exist. The relative masses and internal architecture (fascicle lengths and physiological cross-sectional areas) of muscles of the pectoral and pelvic limbs of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis Daudin 1801) were recorded for an ontogenetic series of wild specimens (n = 15, body masses from 0.5 to 60 kg). The data were analysed by reduced major axis regression to determine scaling relationships with body mass. Physiological cross-sectional areas and therefore muscle force-generating capacity were found to be greater in the extensor (anti-gravity) muscles of the pelvic limb than in the pectoral limb, reflecting how crocodylians differ from mammals in having greater loading of the hindlimbs than the forelimbs. Muscle masses and architecture were generally found to scale isometrically with body mass, suggesting an ontogenetic decrease in terrestrial athleticism. This concurs with the findings of previous studies showing ontogenetic decreases in limb bone length and the general scaling principle of a decline of strength : weight ratios with increasing size in animals. Exceptions to isometric scaling found included positive allometry in fascicle length for extensor musculature of both limbs, suggesting an ontogenetic increase in working range interpreted as increasing postural variability – in particular the major hip extensors – the interpretation of which is complicated by previous described ontogenetic increase of moment arms for these muscles. PMID:20148991

  6. 2011 Invasive Non-native Plant Inventory : Alligator National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The presence of invasive species at Alligator River NWR threatens many of the resources the refuge is tasked with protecting. Alligator River NWR has an extensive...

  7. Population status of the American alligator on the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murphy, T.M.

    1981-04-01

    Estimates are presented of alligator numbers, size distribution, sex ratios, reproductive effort, and population trends for all major components of the entire Savannah River Plant (SRP) alligator population. Savannah River Plant operations have impacted the alligator population in many different ways. The formation of man-made reservoirs has dramatically increased the amount of aquatic habitat available to alligators and has therefore increased the carrying capacity of the SRP site for this species. The thermal alteration of aquatic habitats on the SRP has also impacted the resident alligator population. Temperature elevations of aquatic habitat to greater than 38/sup 0/C result in the loss of this habitat to alligators. Moderate thermal increases on the other hand are responded to by alligator movement. The current information available on the alligators of the SRP suggests the following future trends: low density populations distant from thermally altered areas will continue at a low density with the exception of localized increases.

  8. The provenance of alveolar and parabronchial lungs: insights from paleoecology and the discovery of cardiogenic, unidirectional airflow in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, C G

    2010-01-01

    Birds and mammals evolved greater aerobic abilities than their common ancestor had. This required expansion of the cardiopulmonary system's capacity for gas exchange, but while directional selection for this expanded capacity resulted in extremely similar avian and mammalian hearts, strikingly different lungs arose, and the reasons for this divergence in lung morphology are not understood. In birds, gas exchange occurs in the lungs as air moves through small tubes (parabronchi) in one direction; in mammals, air flows tidally into and out of the alveoli. Here, I present a scenario for the origin of both the alveolar and parabronchial lungs that explains when and how they could have arisen by a gradual sequence of steps. I argue that (1) the alveolar lung evolved in the late Paleozoic, when high levels of atmospheric oxygen relaxed selection for a thin blood-gas barrier within the lung; (2) unidirectional flow originated in the ectothermic ancestral archosaur, the forerunner of birds and crocodilians, to enable the heart to circulate pulmonary gases during apnea. This hypothesis would be supported by a demonstration of unidirectional flow in the lungs of crocodilians, the extant sister taxon of birds. Airflow in the lungs of juvenile alligators was measured during apnea using dual thermistor flowmeters, and cardiac activity was measured with electrocardiography. Coincident with each heartbeat, a pulse of air flowed in the pulmonary conduit under study with a bias in the direction of movement, yielding a net unidirectional flow. These data suggest the internal structures requisite for unidirectional flow were present in the common ancestors of birds and crocodilians and may have preadapted the lungs of archosaurs to function advantageously during the oxygen-poor period of the early Mesozoic.

  9. Diagnostic Value and Effective Factors on Transbronchial Lung Biopsy Using Cup and Alligator Forceps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eslaminejad, Alireza; Kiani, Arda; Sheikhi, Negar; Sadr, Makan; Mohammad Taheri, Zohreh

    2016-01-01

    Background: Lung biopsy through the airways by using a flexible bronchoscope (transbronchial lung biopsy: TBLB) is a suitable method for obtaining tissue specimens. This study aimed at evaluating the factors influencing TBLB results in order to increase the diagnostic power of this method. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective double blind observational study. We had a total of 44 patients with pulmonary lesions who underwent biopsy and 4 specimens were obtained from each patient. A total of 176 specimens were obtained from all patients. Biopsy specimens were taken using cup and alligator forceps alternatively. Characteristics of the obtained specimens including size, floatation, alveolarity, and bleeding were thoroughly studied. After sending to the pathologist, specimens were divided into 2 groups of diagnostic and non-diagnostic specimens. Results: Of a total of 176 specimens, 37 (21%) were diagnostic and 139 (79%) were non-diagnostic. From 88 specimens obtained by the alligator forceps, 16 were diagnostic while from the same number of specimens taken by the cup forceps 21 had diagnostic value. However, this difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). Of the small specimens (57 cases), 12 (21.1%) were diagnostic while among the 66 medium specimens, 12 (18.2%) and from the 53 large specimens, 13 (24.5%) were diagnostic. No statistically significant difference was detected in this respect (P>0.05). Among specimens floating on the surface of the liquid (48 cases), 6 (12.5%) had diagnostic value. Of the 12 specimens suspended in the liquid, 2 (16.7%) and among the 116 specimens precipitated at the bottom, 29 (25%) were diagnostic. These differences were not significant either (P>0.05). Of the 84 specimens with more than 20 alveoli, 31 (36.9%) were diagnostic. Among 26 specimens with less than 20 alveoli 5 (19.2%) were diagnostic. This correlation was statistically significant indicating that the higher the number of alveoli in the biopsy specimen

  10. Distribution of ventilation in American alligator Alligator mississippiensis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bickler, P.E.; Spragg, R.G.; Hartman, M.T.; White, F.N.

    1985-10-01

    The regional distribution of ventilation in the multicameral lung of spontaneously ventilating alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) was studied with TTXe scintigraphy. Frequent gamma camera images of TTXe washin and washout were obtained and processed to allow evaluation of regional ventilation. Washin of TTXe to equilibrium occurred in three to four breaths in anterior, central, and posterior compartments. Washin was most rapid in the posterior compartment and slowest in the anterior. The structure of the lungs and distribution of ventilation of inspired gas is consistent with the rapid radial spread of gas through a parallel arrangement of lung units surrounding the central intrapulmonary bronchus. Washout to equilibrium of TTXe from all compartments occurred within three to four breaths. This rapid washin and washout of gas to all parts of the lung stands in contrast to the lungs of turtles and snakes, in which the caudal air sacs are relatively poorly ventilated.

  11. Dose verification after topical treatment of alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Jennifer K; Scarborough, Janet E; Sepúlveda, María S; Casella, George; Gross, Timothy S; Borgert, Christopher J

    2007-05-01

    Numerous studies have used temperature-dependent sex determination in reptilian eggs to investigate potential developmental effects of exogenously applied substances. However, few studies have measured the dose carried across the eggshell. We report embryonic mortality and internal egg concentrations determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry two weeks after exposure of American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) eggs to chlorinated organic pesticides via injection or topical application. Puncturing the eggshell for injection produced high mortality compared with unpunctured controls; therefore, further evaluation of this method was abandoned. Although higher than controls, mortality was much lower in eggs treated topically than in those injected. Transfer of chemicals across the eggshell was very low, highly variable, and did not correlate with the applied dose after topical application. These results are consistent with previous reports in the literature, casting doubt on whether a reproducible internal dose can be achieved in reptilian eggs by topical treatment.

  12. Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge: Comprehensive Conservation Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) was written to guide management on Crocodile Lake NWR for the next 15 years. This plan outlines the Refuge vision and...

  13. Study on the current population and habitat of the wild Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis)%野生扬子鳄种群及栖息地现状研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    丁由中; 邵民; 等

    2001-01-01

    1999年7~8月及2000年8~9月,利用GPS、激光测距仪等,采用夜间灯光照射计数方法,对有野生扬子鳄(Alligator sinensis)存在的安徽省宣州、泾县、广德、郎溪、南陵等5县市的26个地点进行了调查,包括扬子鳄国家级自然保护区的13个指定保护点。结果发现:目前野生扬子鳄主要生存在第一类栖息地(1999年50.7%、2000年40.0%),面积为17.38 hm2;其他两类栖息地的野生扬子鳄分布比率较小(各为1999年24.0%、2000年30.9%、1999年25.3%、2000年29.1%),面积分别为22.04 hm2、19.03 hm2。两年的平均生态密度分别为1.28条/ hm2和1.79条/ hm2,野生扬子鳄种群数量为145条。其种群已明显分为至少18个数量不等且相互隔离的地方种群。建议恢复足够大的栖息地,并放饲养鳄于其中以重新建立有效野生种群。%A survey of wild Chinese Alligator was conducted from July to August 1999 and from August to September 2000 by direct counting after dark (2000pm) using headlamps or a 12v portable spotlight. At each site visited, the authors mapped the ponds using laser rangefinder and compass, characterized the physical nature of the ponds and vegetation, and conducted interviews with local residents. The location of all sites was recorded using a hand-held GPS. There are 26 sites in 5 counties that were surveyed where wild Chinese Alligators still exist in Anhui province, including 13 designated conservation sites of the National Chinese Alligator Reserve. The current wild alligator populations mainly exist in the best type of habitat, which totals 17.4 ha with estimated populations of 50.7% in 1999 and 40.0% in 2000. This can be compared with the other two types of habitat, which total 22.0 ha and 19.0 ha, with their estimated population numbers of 24.0% in 1999 and 30.9% in 2000, and 25.3% in 1999 and 29.1% in 2000 respectively. The average ecological densities of the alligators in the two years

  14. BRAVING CROCODILES WITH KALI: BEING A PRAWN SEED COLLECTOR AND A MODERN WOMAN IN THE 21ST CENTURY SUNDARBANS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annu Jalais

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available

    Globalisation has undoubtedly shaped popular conceptions of gender and society in innumerable ways. This article studies one such instance - the plight of tiger-prawn collectors in Sundarbans. The discovery of tiger-prawns - the 'living dollars of Sundarbans' - has certainly transformed the lives of women in the region beyond imagination. These women however have had to face strenuous attacks from many spheres. Based on her anthropological fieldwork, the author portrays the struggle of women in the area against patriarchy, traditional modes of exploitation and even urban notions of femininity. Braving crocodiles and even changing their religious allegiances, these women have, carved out a sphere of self-respect for themselves.

  15. Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge [Land Status Map

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This map was produced by the Division of Realty to depict landownership at Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It was generated from rectified aerial...

  16. MORPHOLOGICAL VARIATION IN HATCHLING AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM THREE FLORIDA LAKES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morphological variation of 508 hatchling alligators from three lakes in north central Florida (Lakes Woodruff, Apopka, and Orange) was analyzed using multivariate statistics. Morphological variation was found among clutches as well as among lakes. Principal components analysis wa...

  17. ALTERATIONS IN SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC BIOTRANSFORMATION OF TESTOSTERONE IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED LAKES

    Science.gov (United States)

    The goal of this study was to determine whether hepatic biotransformation of testosterone is normally sexually dimorphic in juvenile alligators and whether living in a contaminated environment affects hepatic dimorphism. Lake Woodruff served as our reference site. Moonshine Bay, ...

  18. Bioprospecting the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis host defense peptidome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barney M Bishop

    Full Text Available Cationic antimicrobial peptides and their therapeutic potential have garnered growing interest because of the proliferation of bacterial resistance. However, the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from animals has proven challenging due to the limitations associated with conventional biochemical purification and difficulties in predicting active peptides from genomic sequences, if known. As an example, no antimicrobial peptides have been identified from the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, although their serum is antimicrobial. We have developed a novel approach for the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from these animals, one that capitalizes on their fundamental and conserved physico-chemical properties. This sample-agnostic process employs custom-made functionalized hydrogel microparticles to harvest cationic peptides from biological samples, followed by de novo sequencing of captured peptides, eliminating the need to isolate individual peptides. After evaluation of the peptide sequences using a combination of rational and web-based bioinformatic analyses, forty-five potential antimicrobial peptides were identified, and eight of these peptides were selected to be chemically synthesized and evaluated. The successful identification of multiple novel peptides, exhibiting antibacterial properties, from Alligator mississippiensis plasma demonstrates the potential of this innovative discovery process in identifying potential new host defense peptides.

  19. Bioprospecting the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) host defense peptidome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Barney M; Juba, Melanie L; Devine, Megan C; Barksdale, Stephanie M; Rodriguez, Carlos Alberto; Chung, Myung C; Russo, Paul S; Vliet, Kent A; Schnur, Joel M; van Hoek, Monique L

    2015-01-01

    Cationic antimicrobial peptides and their therapeutic potential have garnered growing interest because of the proliferation of bacterial resistance. However, the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from animals has proven challenging due to the limitations associated with conventional biochemical purification and difficulties in predicting active peptides from genomic sequences, if known. As an example, no antimicrobial peptides have been identified from the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, although their serum is antimicrobial. We have developed a novel approach for the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from these animals, one that capitalizes on their fundamental and conserved physico-chemical properties. This sample-agnostic process employs custom-made functionalized hydrogel microparticles to harvest cationic peptides from biological samples, followed by de novo sequencing of captured peptides, eliminating the need to isolate individual peptides. After evaluation of the peptide sequences using a combination of rational and web-based bioinformatic analyses, forty-five potential antimicrobial peptides were identified, and eight of these peptides were selected to be chemically synthesized and evaluated. The successful identification of multiple novel peptides, exhibiting antibacterial properties, from Alligator mississippiensis plasma demonstrates the potential of this innovative discovery process in identifying potential new host defense peptides.

  20. Biophysics of directional hearing in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierman, Hilary S; Thornton, Jennifer L; Jones, Heath G; Koka, Kanthaiah; Young, Bruce A; Brandt, Christian; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Carr, Catherine E; Tollin, Daniel J

    2014-04-01

    Physiological and anatomical studies have suggested that alligators have unique adaptations for spatial hearing. Sound localization cues are primarily generated by the filtering of sound waves by the head. Different vertebrate lineages have evolved external and/or internal anatomical adaptations to enhance these cues, such as pinnae and interaural canals. It has been hypothesized that in alligators, directionality may be enhanced via the acoustic coupling of middle ear cavities, resulting in a pressure difference receiver (PDR) mechanism. The experiments reported here support a role for a PDR mechanism in alligator sound localization by demonstrating that (1) acoustic space cues generated by the external morphology of the animal are not sufficient to generate location cues that match physiological sensitivity, (2) continuous pathways between the middle ears are present to provide an anatomical basis for coupling, (3) the auditory brainstem response shows some directionality, and (4) eardrum movement is directionally sensitive. Together, these data support the role of a PDR mechanism in crocodilians and further suggest this mechanism is a shared archosaur trait, most likely found also in the extinct dinosaurs.

  1. IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS FROM THE OVIDUCT OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS). (R824760)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  2. SEX-STEROID AND THYROID HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE LAKES IN FLORIDA, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sex-steroid and thyroid hormones are critical regulators of growth and reproduction in all vertebrates, and several recent studies suggest that environmental chemicals can alter circulating concentrations of these hormones. This study examines plasma concentrations of estradiol-...

  3. Remarkable movements of an American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherkiss, Michael S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Hord, Lindsey; Aldecoa, Mario

    2014-01-01

    Here we present the remarkable movements of an individual Crocodylus acutus (American Crocodile) over a 14-year period. The crocodile was originally marked in Homestead, FL as a young-of-the-year in 1999, and was later recaptured multiple times more than 388 km away along the southwest coast of Florida. After several relocations and numerous sightings, this individual who has become known as Yellow Number 1 was found back within the same canal system in which it was first captured.

  4. An outbreak of chlamydiosis in farmed Indopacific crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.W. Huchzermeyer

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available An outbreak of chlamydiosis was diagnosed in hatchling and juvenile Indopacific crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus on a crocodile farm in Papua New Guinea. The outbreak was characterised by high mortality with hepatitis and exudative conjunctivitis. The agent appears to have been introduced with live wild-caught crocodiles, which are purchased routinely by the farm. Improved quarantine procedures and treatment with tetracycline led to a rapid reduction of losses on the farm.

  5. Development of an ELISA to detect the humoral immune response to Trichinella zimbabwensis in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ludovisi, Alessandra; La Grange, Louis Jacobus; Gómez Morales, Maria Angeles; Pozio, Edoardo

    2013-05-20

    Crocodiles are known reservoir hosts of Trichinella papuae and Trichinella zimbabwensis, two zoonotic parasites that also infect mammals. Since commercial crocodile farming represents a key source of income in several countries, it is important to monitor this nematode infection in both farmed crocodiles and in breeding stocks which are frequently introduced from the wild. For this purpose, an indirect ELISA was developed to detect the anti-Trichinella immune response in crocodile sera. New Zealand rabbits were immunized with pooled sera from non-infected farmed crocodiles in the presence of Freund's complete adjuvant. The anti-crocodile serum was then conjugated with horseradish peroxidase. Serum samples from four Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) experimentally infected with T. zimbabwensis and from four uninfected crocodiles were used to set up the ELISA. The larval burden per gram of muscle tissue was determined by muscle biopsy. The test was performed on serum samples from an additional 15 experimentally infected crocodiles as well as eight wild Nile crocodiles. Among the 19 experimentally infected crocodiles, seroconversion was observed in 11 animals. The highest antibody response was observed six weeks post infection (p.i.), but in most of these animals, antibodies were not detectable after six weeks p.i. even though live larvae were present in the muscles up to six months p.i.

  6. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  7. Gonadotropin-induced changes in oviducal mRNA expression levels of sex steroid hormone receptors and activin-related signaling factors in the alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Brandon C.; Forouhar, Sara; Kohno, Satomi; Botteri, Nicole L.; Hamlin, Heather J.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2011-01-01

    Oviducts respond to hormonal cues from ovaries with tissue proliferation and differentiation in preparation of transporting and fostering gametes. These responses produce oviducal microenvironments conducive to reproductive success. Here we investigated changes in circulating plasma sex steroid hormones concentrations and ovarian and oviducal mRNA expression to an in vivo gonadotropin (FSH) challenge in sexually immature, five-month-old alligators. Further, we investigated differences in these observed responses between alligators hatched from eggs collected at a heavily-polluted (Lake Apopka, FL) and minimally-polluted (Lake Woodruff, FL) site. In oviducts, we measured mRNA expression of estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors and also beta A and B subunits which homo- or heterodimerize to produce the transforming growth factor activin. In comparison, minimal inhibin alpha subunit mRNA expression suggests that these oviducts produce a primarily activin-dominated signaling milieu. Ovaries responded to a five-day FSH challenge with increased expression of steroidogenic enzyme mRNA which was concomitant with increased circulating sex steroid hormone concentrations. Oviducts in the FSH-challenged Lake Woodruff alligators increased mRNA expression of progesterone and androgen receptors, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and the activin signaling antagonist follistatin. In contrast, Lake Apopka alligators displayed a diminished increase in ovarian CYP19A1 aromatase expression and no increase in oviducal AR expression, as compared to those observed in Lake Woodruff alligators. These results demonstrate that five-month-old female alligators display an endocrine-responsive ovarian-oviducal axis and environmental pollution exposure may alter these physiological responses. PMID:22154572

  8. Urinary Phthalate Metabolites in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from Selected Florida Wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, John W; Bell, Jane Margaret; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-07-01

    Phthalates have been shown to cause endocrine disruption in laboratory animals and are associated with altered development of the reproductive system in humans. Further, human have significant exposure to phthalates. However, little is known concerning the exposure of wildlife to phthalates. We report urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations from fifty juvenile alligators from three Florida lakes and a site in the Everglades. Urinary phthalate monoester concentrations varied widely among alligators from the different sites but also among alligators from the same site. Mono-2-ethylhexy phthalate and monobutyl phthalate were found in most samples of alligator urine with maximums of 35,700 ng/mL and 193 ng/mL, respectively. Monobenzyl phthalate was found in 5 alligators with a maximum of 66.7 ng/mL. Other monoesters were found in only one or two alligator urine samples. The wide variation within and among sites, in addition to the high levels of mEHP, mBP and mBzP, is consistent with exposure arising from the intermittent spraying of herbicide formulations to control invasive aquatic plants in Florida freshwater sites. Phthalate diesters are used as adjuvants in many of these formulations.

  9. Normal intestinal flora of wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C.J. Lovely

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial and fungal cultures were performed from cloacal swabs collected from 29 wild Nile crocodiles, captured in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Sixteen species of bacteria and 6 fungal species were cultured. Individual crocodiles yielded 1-4 bacterial species, and 0-2 fungal species. The most commonly isolated bacteria were Microbacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, Aeromonas hydrophila, and Escherichia coli. No salmonellae were cultured. The most commonly occurring fungus was Cladosporium. Several of the bacterial and fungal species isolated have been implicated in cases of septicaemia in crocodilians. Knowledge of the normal intestinal flora will contribute towards the development of a crocodile-specific probiotic for use in farmed crocodiles.

  10. Normal intestinal flora of wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovely, C J; Leslie, A J

    2008-06-01

    Bacterial and fungal cultures were performed from cloacal swabs collected from 29 wild Nile crocodiles, captured in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Sixteen species of bacteria and 6 fungal species were cultured. Individual crocodiles yielded 1-4 bacterial species, and 0-2 fungal species. The most commonly isolated bacteria were Microbacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, Aeromonas hydrophila, and Escherichia coli. No salmonellae were cultured. The most commonly occurring fungus was Cladosporium. Several of the bacterial and fungal species isolated have been implicated in cases of septicaemia in crocodilians. Knowledge of the normal intestinal flora will contribute towards the development of a crocodile-specific probiotic for use in farmed crocodiles.

  11. Very high concentrations of DDE and toxaphene residues in crocodiles from the Ord River, Western Australia: an investigation into possible endocrine disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshikane, Mitsuha; Kay, Winston R; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Inoue, Maki; Yanai, Tokuma; Kamata, Ryo; Edmonds, John S; Morita, Masatoshi

    2006-06-01

    Organochlorine pesticide concentrations, particularly those of the DDT family and of toxaphene, were measured by gas chromatography in samples of liver and body fat taken from Australian freshwater crocodiles Crocodylus johnstoni at three locations along the Ord River in Western Australia. The three sampling sites were the irrigation area, downstream of the irrigation area, and well upstream of the irrigation area; the last site serving as the control. DDT and toxaphene were applied in large and known quantities to cotton grown in the Ord Irrigation Area from 1964 to 1974. Thus the residues in the crocodile tissues are representative of the situation almost thirty years after the use of DDT and toxaphene ceased in the area. Very high concentrations of p,p'-DDE and toxaphene were found in the lipid-rich tissues that were examined. Livers and body fat from estuarine crocodiles Crocodylus porosus from the downstream site were also analysed. As p,p'-DDE and toxaphene are both known to be disruptive of endocrine systems, a range of blood parameters, including estradiol and testesterone concentrations, were also measured for all the animals studied. The ovaries and testes of the freshwater crocodiles were also examined histologically. There were no obvious effects on blood chemistry or gonad histology of the large burden of pesticides and their metabolites carried by exposed animals, although the limited number of samples and the variability of the breeding state of the animals examined may have masked possible effects. The isolation of the area, the accurately known applications of DDT and toxaphene, and the simplicity of the drainage system make the lower Ord River a unique natural laboratory for studying the long term breakdown and effects of pesticides applied in a tropical environment.

  12. Invertebrate community composition differs between invasive herb alligator weed and native sedges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassett, Imogen E.; Paynter, Quentin; Beggs, Jacqueline R.

    2012-05-01

    Chemical and/or architectural differences between native and exotic plants may influence invertebrate community composition. According to the enemy release hypothesis, invasive weeds should host fewer and less specialised invertebrates than native vegetation. Invertebrate communities were compared on invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligator weed) and native sedges (Isolepis prolifer and Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) in a New Zealand lake. A. philoxeroides is more architecturally and chemically similar to I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. Lower invertebrate abundance, richness and proportionally fewer specialists were predicted on A. philoxeroides compared to native sedges, but with greatest differences between A. philoxeroides and S. tabernaemontani. A. philoxeroides is more architecturally and chemically similar to I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. Invertebrate abundance showed taxa-specific responses, rather than consistently lower abundance on A. philoxeroides. Nevertheless, as predicted, invertebrate fauna of A. philoxeroides was more similar to that of I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. The prediction of a depauperate native fauna on A. philoxeroides received support from some but not all taxa. All vegetation types hosted generalist-dominated invertebrate communities with simple guild structures. The enemy release hypothesis thus had minimal ability to predict patterns in this system. Results suggest the extent of architectural and chemical differences between native and invasive vegetation may be useful in predicting the extent to which they will host different invertebrate communities. However, invertebrate ecology also affects whether invertebrate taxa respond positively or negatively to weed invasion. Thus, exotic vegetation may support distinct invertebrate communities despite similar overall invertebrate abundance to native vegetation.

  13. Feeding mechanics in spinosaurid theropods and extant crocodilians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew R Cuff

    Full Text Available A number of extant and extinct archosaurs evolved an elongate, narrow rostrum. This longirostrine condition has been associated with a diet comprising a higher proportion of fish and smaller prey items compared to taxa with broader, more robust snouts. The evolution of longirostrine morphology and a bulbous anterior rosette of premaxillary teeth also occurs in the spinosaurid theropod dinosaurs, leading to suggestions that at least some members of this clade also had a diet comprising a notable proportion of fish or other small vertebrates. Here we compare the rostral biomechanics of the spinosaurs Baryonyx walkeri and Spinosaurus c.f. S. aegyptiacus to three extant crocodilians: two longistrine taxa, the African slender-snouted crocodile Mecistops cataphractus and the Indian gharial Gavialis gangeticus; and the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis. Using computed tomography (CT data, the second moments of area and moments of inertia at successive transverse slices along the rostrum were calculated for each of the species. Size-independent results tested the biomechanical benefits of material distribution within the rostra. The two spinosaur rostra were both digitally reconstructed from CT data and compared against all three crocodilians. Results show that African slender-snouted crocodile skulls are more resistant to bending than an equivalent sized gharial. The alligator has the highest resistances to bending and torsion of the crocodiles for its size and greater than that of the spinosaurs. The spinosaur rostra possess similar resistance to bending and torsion despite their different morphologies. When size is accounted for, B. walkeri performs mechanically differently from the gharial, contradicting previous studies whereas Spinosaurus does not. Biomechanical data support known feeding ecology for both African slender-snouted crocodile and alligator, and suggest that the spinosaurs were not obligate piscivores with diet being

  14. Microhabitat use, home range, and movements of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, in Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedle, J.D.; Shipman, P.A.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie, David M.

    2006-01-01

    Little is known about the ecology of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, particularly dentography and behavior. To learn more about the species in Oklahoma, we conducted a telemetry project on 2 small streams at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, an 8,417.5-ha refuge located in east-central Oklahoma. Between June 1999 and August 2000, we fitted 19 M. temminckii with ultrasonic telemetry tags and studied turtle movements and microhahitat use. Turtles were checked 2 to 3 times weekly in summer and sporadically in winter. Several microhabitat variables were measured at each turtle location and a random location to help quantify microhabitat use vs. availability. We recorded 147 turtle locations. Turtles were always associated with submerged cover with a high percentage of overhead canopy cover. Turtles used deeper depths in late summer (but not deeper depths than random locations) and deeper depths in mid-winter (and deeper depths than random locations) than in early summer. They used shallower depths than random locations in early summer. This seasonal shift in depth use might be thermoregulatory, although evidence for this is indirect. The mean linear home range for all turtles was 777.8 m. Females had larger home ranges than males, and juveniles had larger home ranges than adults, although the latter was not statistically significant. Macrochelys temminckii used submerged structures as a core site, and stayed at each core site for an average of 12.3 d.

  15. Unconformity-related uranium deposits, Athabasca area, Saskatchewan, and East Alligator Rivers area, Northern Territory, Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, L.A.; Burrill, G.H.R. (Saskatchewan Mining Development Corp., Saskatoon (Canada))

    1981-07-01

    Most unconformity-type uranium deposits in Saskatchewan occur within a few tens of metres above and/or below the basal unconformity of the 1.45 b.y. Athabasca Sandstone. Graphitic basement rocks coincident with post-Athabasca faulting or brecciation at or near the unconformity are important in localizing uranium deposits which form as tabular, ribbon-like bodies with grades averaging over 2 percent uranium and containing up to 50,000 tonnes U/sub 3/O/sub 8/. Some of these deposits have similar contents of nickel and arsenic. In the genetic model used to explain these deposits, traces of uranium were leached from the sandstone and basement rocks by oxidized formation waters. A thick clay regolith absorbed uranium from the solution, and the fixed uranium was reduced through an indirect reaction with graphite. The clay mineral surfaces were thus continuously cleared to allow further adsorption. Fluid convection was induced by topographic relief and/or crustal heating from radioactive decay, and would continue uranium deposition until all permeability was plugged by minerals. The East Alligator Rivers uranium deposits in Northern Territory, Australia occur within Middle Proterozoic quartz-chlorite and quartz-muscovite schists overlain by sandstone. Highest grades occur in silicified breccias where carbonate beds were leached out. Mineralization ages are both pre- and post-Kombolgie Sandstone, but, to date, no significant uranium mineralization has been found in the sandstone. There are many similarities with Saskatchewan deposits, but also important differences.

  16. Up-regulation of the alligator CYP3A77 gene by toxaphene and dexamethasone and its short term effect on plasma testosterone concentrations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gunderson, M.P. [Department of Zoology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 118525, Gainesville, FL 32611-8525 (United States) and University of Victoria, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Petch 249/251, P.O. Box 3055 STN CSC, Victoria B.C., V8W 3P6 (Canada)]. E-mail: mgunders@uvic.ca; Kohno, S. [Center for Integrative Bioscience, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki National Research Institutes, 5-1 Higashiyama Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585 (Japan); Blumberg, B. [Department of Developmental and Cell Biology, University of California, 2113E McGaugh Hall, Irvine, CA 92697-2300 (United States); Iguchi, T. [Center for Integrative Bioscience, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki National Research Institutes, 5-1 Higashiyama Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585 (Japan); Guillette, L.J. [Department of Zoology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 118525, Gainesville, FL 32611-8525 (United States)]. E-mail: ljg@zoo.ufl.edu

    2006-06-30

    In this study we describe an alligator hepatic CYP3A gene, CYP3A77, which is inducible by dexamethasone and toxaphene. CYP3A plays a broad role in biotransforming both exogenous compounds and endogenous hormones such as testosterone and estradiol. Alligators collected from sites in Florida that are contaminated with organochlorine compounds exhibit differences in sex steroid concentrations. Many organochlorine compounds induce CYP3A expression in other vertebrates; hence, CYP3A induction by organochlorine contaminants could increase biotransformation and clearance of sex steroids by CYP3A and provide a plausible mechanism for the lowering of endogenous sex steroid concentrations in alligator plasma. We used real time PCR to examine whether known and suspected CYP3A inducers (dexamethasone, metyrapone, rifampicin, and toxaphene) up-regulate steady state levels of hepatic CYP3A77 transcript to determine if induction patterns in female juvenile alligators are similar to those reported in other vertebrates and whether toxaphene, an organochlorine compound found in high concentrations in Lake Apopka alligators, induces this gene. Estrogen receptor {alpha} (ER{alpha}), estrogen receptor {beta} (ER{beta}), androgen receptor (AR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR), progesterone receptor (PR), and steroid-xenobiotic receptor (SXR) transcripts were also measured to determine whether any of these nuclear receptors are also regulated by these compounds in alligators. Dexamethasone (4.2-fold) and toxaphene (3.5-fold) significantly induced CYP3A77 gene transcript, whereas rifampicin (2.8-fold) and metyrapone (2.1-fold) up-regulated ER{beta} after 24 h. None of the compounds significantly up-regulated AR, ER{alpha}, GR, PR, or SXR over this time period. Plasma testosterone (T) did not change significantly after 24 h in alligators from any of the treatment groups. Dexamethasone treated animals exhibited a strong relationship between the 24 h plasma T concentrations and CYP3A77 (R {sup

  17. Sorption of sulphamethoxazole by the biochars derived from rice straw and alligator flag.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tingqiang; Han, Xuan; Liang, Chengfeng; Shohag, M J I; Yang, Xiaoe

    2015-01-01

    The sorption ability of sulphamethoxazole (SMX) by biochar derived from rice straw (RS) and alligator flag (AF) at 600°C was studied to assess the ability of biochar as adsorbent to remove SMX from aqueous solution. The results indicated that sorption of SMX by biochars was well described using the Langmuir equation (R2>0.94), and the maximum sorption parameter (Q) of RS (3650 mg kg(-1)) was much higher than that of AF (1963 mg kg(-1)). Temperature had no effect on SMX sorption by biochars, while thermodynamics analysis indicated that the sorption of SMX on both biochars was a spontaneous physical process. The d 250 RS (diameter of RS sieved through 250 µm) and d 150 AF (diameter of AF sieved through 150 µm) showed excellent sorption ability for SMX. The sorption amount of RS was larger than that of AF when pH<7, whereas, the sorption amount of AF surpassed RS when pH≥7. The presence of Cu2+ and/or Cd2+ ion at low concentrations (20 mg L(-1)) significantly (P<0.05) increased the sorption of SMX on both RS and AF. Our study confirms that biochar derived from the wetland plants could be used as effective adsorbents to remove SMX from aqueous solution.

  18. 鳄鱼肉成分分析及食用安全性研究%Study on the Component Analysis and Safety of Crocodile Meat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周靖宇; 黄晓芬; 卢炼钢

    2015-01-01

    评价鳄鱼肉的安全性和营养性,为进一步开发新的保健食品提供理论依据。方法首先对鳄鱼肉营养成分做了系统的分析,表明含有18种氨基酸和多重矿物质维生素,其中9种为人类必须氨基酸。通过对其营养成分和食用方法的分析,全面了解了鳄鱼肉的安全性和功效性。结论鳄鱼肉具有一定的功效性和安全性,可将其用于保健食品的研究开发中。%The crocodile meat composition has made the system analysis , show that contains 18 kinds of amino acids and multiple minerals and vitamins , including 9 kinds of human essential amino acids. The nutritional components and analysis of edible method , a comprehensive understanding of the safety and efficacy of crocodile meat, the crocodile meat with efficacy and safety, which can be used for the research and development of health food.

  19. 'A pond with crocodiles never dries up’: a frame analysis of human-crocodile relationships in agro-pastoral dams in Northern Benin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kpéra, G.N.; Aarts, N.; Tossou, R.C.; Mensah, G.A.; Saïdou, A.; Kossou, D.K.; Sinsin, A.B.; van der Zijpp, A.J.

    2014-01-01

    Crocodiles, a protected species, share ecosystem services with local communities in agro-pastoral dams in Northern Benin. Using a comparative case study conducted in three villages and a framing perspective, this study aims to elucidate how stakeholders frame the presence of crocodiles, and how they

  20. 'A pond with crocodiles never dries up'. A frame analysis of human –crocodile relationships in agro-pastoral dams in Northern Benin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kpera, G.N.; Aarts, N.; Tossou, R.C.; Mensah, G.A.; Saïdou, A.; Kossou, D.K.; Sinsin, A.B.; Zijpp, van der A.J.

    2014-01-01

    Crocodiles, a protected species, share ecosystem services with local communities in agro-pastoral dams in Northern Benin. Using a comparative case study conducted in three villages and a framing perspective, this study aims to elucidate how stakeholders frame the presence of crocodiles, and how they

  1. Synthesis and Characterization of Ferrocene-terminated Ruthenium Phenylacetylide Complexes with Alligator Clips

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    Ferrocene-terminated trans-Ru(dppm)2 (dppm=Ph2PCH2PPh2)-containing molecularwires with alligator clips were prepared. They are suitable for self-asscmbly on gold electrode toinvestigate the influence of metal incorporation on the electron transportation property of themolecular wires.

  2. Direct comparison of the electronic coupling efficiency of sulfur and selenium alligator clips for molecules adsorbed onto gold electrodes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patrone, L.; Palacin, S.; Bourgoin, J.P

    2003-05-15

    Scanning tunneling microscopy experiments have been performed to compare the electronic coupling provided by S and by Se used as alligator clips for bisthiol- and biselenol-terthiophene molecules adsorbed onto gold. The molecules were inserted in a dodecanethiol (DT) self-assembled monolayer. Their apparent height above the dodecanethiol matrix was used as a measure of the electronic coupling strength corresponding to S and Se, respectively. We show that the insertion behaviors of the two molecules are qualitatively the same, and that Se provides systematically a better coupling link than S, whatever the tunneling conditions.

  3. Tõeline Crocodile Dundee / Aare Ermel

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Ermel, Aare, 1957-2013

    2006-01-01

    4. sept. hukkus veealuse dokfilmi võtetel Austraalia loodusuurija, loomakaitsja, telekanali Animal Planet sarja "Krokodillikütt" ("Crocodile Hunter") populaarne autor ja esineja Steve Irwin (1962-2006)

  4. 鳄鱼资源开发和生物活性物质研究进展%Research Advances in Resource Development and Bioactive Substances of Crocodile

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李海航; 罗嘉玲; 倪贺

    2014-01-01

    Crocodiles are the most primitive vertebrate amphibian reptiles with more than two hundred million years history. They have strong growth and reproductive capacity,resistance to diseases and environmental stresses,and are important species for biomedical,ecological and environmental protection research. Research shows that croco-dile blood has strong antibacterial,antiviral,and anticancer functions,especially for the strong resistance to drug-resistant pathogens and human HIV. Crocodile blood has serum complement activity which can induce the immune function. Meanwhile,the blood produces a variety of low molecular antimicrobial peptides which attack bacterial membrane. Crocodile bile extracts significantly inhibit the growth of cholangiocarcinoma cells and hepatic carcinoma cells,and induce their apoptosis probably through damaging mitochondrial membrane potential and induce the pro-duction of reactive oxygen species. Crocodile oil has antibacterial anti-inflammatory effects,protects the skin from frostbite and promotes healing of skin burns. As their high values for leather industrial material,for pharmaceutical development and for functional food,crocodiles have become farmed animals with high economic value and are widely breed in China. Recent research on crocodile breeding and bioactive ingredients is reviewed.%鳄鱼是两亿多年前与恐龙同时代的最原始脊椎类两栖爬行动物,有强盛的生长、繁殖、抗病和抗逆境能力,是生物医学与生态环保等研究的重要物种。近年研究表明,鳄鱼血有强的抗菌、抗病毒和抗癌活性,特别是对抗药性病源菌和人类艾滋病毒有较强抗性,鳄鱼血的抗菌作用可能通过血清中的补体蛋白诱导机体自身免疫系统和产生多种直接作用于细菌细胞膜的抗菌肽而起作用;鳄鱼胆汁提取物显著抑制胆管癌细胞和肝癌细胞的生长,可能通过破坏线粒体膜电位和提高活性氧含量来诱导癌细胞

  5. Dead or Alive? Factors Affecting the Survival of Victims during Attacks by Saltwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukuda, Yusuke; Manolis, Charlie; Saalfeld, Keith; Zuur, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Conflicts between humans and crocodilians are a widespread conservation challenge and the number of crocodile attacks is increasing worldwide. We identified the factors that most effectively decide whether a victim is injured or killed in a crocodile attack by fitting generalized linear models to a 42-year dataset of 87 attacks (27 fatal and 60 non-fatal) by saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in Australia. The models showed that the most influential factors were the difference in body mass between crocodile and victim, and the position of victim in relation to the water at the time of an attack. In-water position (for diving, swimming, and wading) had a higher risk than on-water (boating) or on-land (fishing, and hunting near the water's edge) positions. In the in-water position a 75 kg person would have a relatively high probability of survival (0.81) if attacked by a 300 cm crocodile, but the probability becomes much lower (0.17) with a 400 cm crocodile. If attacked by a crocodile larger than 450 cm, the survival probability would be extremely low (crocodile attack is drowning and larger crocodiles can drag a victim more easily into deeper water. A higher risk associated with a larger crocodile in relation to victim's size is highlighted by children's vulnerability to fatal attacks. Since the first recently recorded fatal attack involving a child in 2006, six out of nine fatal attacks (66.7%) involved children, and the average body size of crocodiles responsible for these fatal attacks was considerably smaller (384 cm, 223 kg) than that of crocodiles that killed adults (450 cm, 324 kg) during the same period (2006-2014). These results suggest that culling programs targeting larger crocodiles may not be an effective management option to improve safety for children.

  6. Dead or Alive? Factors Affecting the Survival of Victims during Attacks by Saltwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus in Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusuke Fukuda

    Full Text Available Conflicts between humans and crocodilians are a widespread conservation challenge and the number of crocodile attacks is increasing worldwide. We identified the factors that most effectively decide whether a victim is injured or killed in a crocodile attack by fitting generalized linear models to a 42-year dataset of 87 attacks (27 fatal and 60 non-fatal by saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus in Australia. The models showed that the most influential factors were the difference in body mass between crocodile and victim, and the position of victim in relation to the water at the time of an attack. In-water position (for diving, swimming, and wading had a higher risk than on-water (boating or on-land (fishing, and hunting near the water's edge positions. In the in-water position a 75 kg person would have a relatively high probability of survival (0.81 if attacked by a 300 cm crocodile, but the probability becomes much lower (0.17 with a 400 cm crocodile. If attacked by a crocodile larger than 450 cm, the survival probability would be extremely low (<0.05 regardless of the victim's size. These results indicate that the main cause of death during a crocodile attack is drowning and larger crocodiles can drag a victim more easily into deeper water. A higher risk associated with a larger crocodile in relation to victim's size is highlighted by children's vulnerability to fatal attacks. Since the first recently recorded fatal attack involving a child in 2006, six out of nine fatal attacks (66.7% involved children, and the average body size of crocodiles responsible for these fatal attacks was considerably smaller (384 cm, 223 kg than that of crocodiles that killed adults (450 cm, 324 kg during the same period (2006-2014. These results suggest that culling programs targeting larger crocodiles may not be an effective management option to improve safety for children.

  7. Ontogeny of the Alligator Cartilago Transiliens and Its Significance for Sauropsid Jaw Muscle Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Henry P.; Holliday, Casey M.

    2011-01-01

    The cartilago transiliens is a fibrocartilaginous structure within the jaw muscles of crocodylians. The cartilago transiliens slides between the pterygoid buttress and coronoid region of the lower jaw and connects two muscles historically identified as m. pseudotemporalis superficialis and m. intramandibularis. However, the position of cartilago transiliens, and its anatomical similarities to tendon organs suggest the structure may be a sesamoid linking a single muscle. Incompressible sesamoids often form inside tendons that wrap around bone. However, such structures rarely ossify in reptiles and have thus far received scant attention. We tested the hypothesis that the cartilago transiliens is a sesamoid developed within in one muscle by investigating its structure in an ontogenetic series of Alligator mississippiensis using dissection, 3D imaging, and polarizing and standard light microscopy. In all animals studied, the cartilago transiliens receives collagen fibers and tendon insertions from its two main muscular attachments. However, whereas collagen fibers were continuous within the cartilaginous nodule of younger animals, such continuity decreased in older animals, where the fibrocartilaginous core grew to displace the fibrous region. Whereas several neighboring muscles attached to the fibrous capsule in older individuals, only two muscles had significant contributions to the structure in young animals. Our results indicate that the cartilago transiliens is likely a sesamoid formed within a single muscle (i.e., m. pseudotemporalis superficialis) as it wraps around the pterygoid buttress. This tendon organ is ubiquitous among fossil crocodyliforms indicating it is a relatively ancient, conserved structure associated with the development of the large pterygoid flanges in this clade. Finally, these findings indicate that similar tendon organs exist among potentially homologous muscle groups in birds and turtles, thus impacting inferences of jaw muscle homology

  8. Ontogeny of the alligator cartilago transiliens and its significance for sauropsid jaw muscle evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry P Tsai

    Full Text Available The cartilago transiliens is a fibrocartilaginous structure within the jaw muscles of crocodylians. The cartilago transiliens slides between the pterygoid buttress and coronoid region of the lower jaw and connects two muscles historically identified as m. pseudotemporalis superficialis and m. intramandibularis. However, the position of cartilago transiliens, and its anatomical similarities to tendon organs suggest the structure may be a sesamoid linking a single muscle. Incompressible sesamoids often form inside tendons that wrap around bone. However, such structures rarely ossify in reptiles and have thus far received scant attention. We tested the hypothesis that the cartilago transiliens is a sesamoid developed within in one muscle by investigating its structure in an ontogenetic series of Alligator mississippiensis using dissection, 3D imaging, and polarizing and standard light microscopy. In all animals studied, the cartilago transiliens receives collagen fibers and tendon insertions from its two main muscular attachments. However, whereas collagen fibers were continuous within the cartilaginous nodule of younger animals, such continuity decreased in older animals, where the fibrocartilaginous core grew to displace the fibrous region. Whereas several neighboring muscles attached to the fibrous capsule in older individuals, only two muscles had significant contributions to the structure in young animals. Our results indicate that the cartilago transiliens is likely a sesamoid formed within a single muscle (i.e., m. pseudotemporalis superficialis as it wraps around the pterygoid buttress. This tendon organ is ubiquitous among fossil crocodyliforms indicating it is a relatively ancient, conserved structure associated with the development of the large pterygoid flanges in this clade. Finally, these findings indicate that similar tendon organs exist among potentially homologous muscle groups in birds and turtles, thus impacting inferences of jaw

  9. Gene – environment interactions: the potential role of contaminants in somatic growth and the development of the reproductive system of the American alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Brandon C.; Roark, Alison M.; Kohno, Satomi; Hamlin, Heather J.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2011-01-01

    Developing organisms interpret and integrate environmental signals to produce adaptive phenotypes that are prospectively suited for probable demands in later life. This plasticity can be disrupted when embryos are impacted by exogenous contaminants, such as environmental pollutants, producing potentially deleterious and long-lasting mismatches between phenotype and the future environment. We investigated the ability for in ovo environmental contaminant exposure to alter the growth trajectory and ovarian function of alligators at five months after hatching. Alligators collected as eggs from polluted Lake Apopka, FL, hatched with smaller body masses but grew faster during the first five months after hatching, as compared to reference-site alligators. Further, ovaries from Lake Apopka alligators displayed lower basal expression levels of inhibin beta A mRNA as well as decreased responsiveness of aromatase and follistatin mRNA expression levels to treatment with follicle stimulating hormone. We posit that these differences predispose these animals to increased risks of disease and reproductive dysfunction at adulthood. PMID:22061623

  10. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species.

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    Xifeng Wang

    Full Text Available Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλn. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates.

  11. Should I stay or should I go? Dispersal and population structure in small, isolated desert populations of West African crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velo-Antón, Guillermo; Godinho, Raquel; Campos, João Carlos; Brito, José Carlos

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of both spatial and genetic connectivity is paramount to the long-term persistence of small, isolated populations living in environments with extreme climates. We aim to identify the distribution of genetic diversity and assess population sub-structuring and dispersal across dwarfed desert populations of Crocodylus suchus, which occur in isolated groups, usually less than five individuals, along the mountains of Mauritania (West Africa). We used both invasive and non-invasive sampling methods and a combination of mitochondrial DNA (12 S and ND4) and microsatellite markers (32 loci and a subset of 12 loci). Our results showed high genetic differentiation and geographic structure in Mauritanian populations of C. suchus. We identified a metapopulation system acting within four river sub-basins (high gene flow and absence of genetic structure) and considerable genetic differentiation between sub-basins (FST range: 0.12-0.24) with rare dispersal events. Effective population sizes tend to be low within sub-basins while genetic diversity is maintained. Our study suggests that hydrographic networks (temporal connections along seasonal rivers during rainy periods) allow C. suchus to disperse and maintain metapopulation dynamics within sub-basins, which attenuate the loss of genetic diversity and the risk of extinction. We highlight the need of hydrographic conservation to protect vulnerable crocodiles isolated in small water bodies. We propose C. suchus as an umbrella species in Mauritania based on ecological affinities shared with other water-dependent species in desert environments.

  12. Should I stay or should I go? Dispersal and population structure in small, isolated desert populations of West African crocodiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillermo Velo-Antón

    Full Text Available The maintenance of both spatial and genetic connectivity is paramount to the long-term persistence of small, isolated populations living in environments with extreme climates. We aim to identify the distribution of genetic diversity and assess population sub-structuring and dispersal across dwarfed desert populations of Crocodylus suchus, which occur in isolated groups, usually less than five individuals, along the mountains of Mauritania (West Africa. We used both invasive and non-invasive sampling methods and a combination of mitochondrial DNA (12 S and ND4 and microsatellite markers (32 loci and a subset of 12 loci. Our results showed high genetic differentiation and geographic structure in Mauritanian populations of C. suchus. We identified a metapopulation system acting within four river sub-basins (high gene flow and absence of genetic structure and considerable genetic differentiation between sub-basins (FST range: 0.12-0.24 with rare dispersal events. Effective population sizes tend to be low within sub-basins while genetic diversity is maintained. Our study suggests that hydrographic networks (temporal connections along seasonal rivers during rainy periods allow C. suchus to disperse and maintain metapopulation dynamics within sub-basins, which attenuate the loss of genetic diversity and the risk of extinction. We highlight the need of hydrographic conservation to protect vulnerable crocodiles isolated in small water bodies. We propose C. suchus as an umbrella species in Mauritania based on ecological affinities shared with other water-dependent species in desert environments.

  13. Nest-site selection, nesting behaviour and spatial ecology of female Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combrink, Xander; Warner, Jonathan K; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-02-01

    Nesting biology and ecology have been investigated for Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), but information on behaviour and movement patterns of nesting females during nest guarding is scant. Consequently, we investigated the home ranges, nest-site selection strategies, movement patterns, activity levels and nest fidelity of four nesting females using telemetry. Gravid females selected winter basking/breeding areas close (351±2m) to nest-sites. Mean home range and core-use areas of nesting females were 8539±4752m(2), and 4949±3302m(2) respectively. Mean home range (0.85ha) was significantly smaller than those of non-nesting females (108.4ha) during nesting season. Activity levels and mean daily movements while nesting were 8.1±2.5% and 213±64m, respectively, and increased to 47.9±11.7% and 2176±708m post-nesting. Overall levels of nest fidelity were 82.8±11.7%, (day 78.1±15.9%; night 87.3±7.8%). Highest nest fidelity recorded during incubation was 99.7% over 96days. Telemetry data from nesting females were helpful for elucidating spatial and behavioural patterns during the nest guarding period, and provided novel insights into this biologically important event.

  14. Strong purifying selection in endogenous retroviruses in the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus in the Northern Territory of Australia

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    Chong Amanda Yoon-Yee

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs are remnants of exogenous retroviruses that have integrated into the nuclear DNA of a germ-line cell. Here we present the results of a survey into the ERV complement of Crocodylus porosus, the saltwater crocodile, representing 45 individuals from 17 sampling locations in the Northern Territory of Australia. These retroelements were compared with published ERVs from other species of Crocodylia (Crocodilians; alligators, caimans, gharials and crocodiles as well as representatives from other vertebrates. This study represents one of the first in-depth studies of ERVs within a single reptilian species shedding light on the diversity of ERVs and proliferation mechanisms in crocodilians. Results Analyses of the retroviral pro-pol gene region have corroborated the presence of two major clades of ERVs in C. porosus and revealed 18 potentially functional fragments out of the 227 recovered that encode intact pro-pol ORFs. Interestingly, we have identified some patterns of diversification among those ERVs as well as a novel sequence that suggests the presence of an additional retroviral genus in C. porosus. In addition, considerable diversity but low genetic divergence within one of the C. porosus ERV lineages was identified. Conclusions We propose that the ERV complement of C. porosus has come about through a combination of recent infections and replication of ancestral ERVs. Strong purifying selection acting on these clades suggests that this activity is recent or still occurring in the genome of this species. The discovery of potentially functional elements is an interesting development that warrants further investigation.

  15. American Alligator Research on the Kennedy Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowers, Russell H.

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the research conducted at the Kennedy Space Center on the American Alligator. The objectives of the research were to establish life history baseline at the Kennedy Space Center and at the Merit Island National Wildlife Reserve (MINWR). Some of the factors that were examined are: nesting success, movement patterns, and population structure. Another objective was to determine the overall health of the alligator population, by analyzing blood and tissue chemistry, and urine analysis. A third objective was to compare alligators at KSC/MINWR to the statewide population. Some of the results are shown in charts and graphs.

  16. Variations in hepatic biomarkers in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from three sites in Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunderson, Mark P; Pickett, Melissa A; Martin, Justin T; Hulse, Elizabeth J; Smith, Spenser S; Smith, Levi A; Campbell, Rachel M; Lowers, Russell H; Boggs, Ashley S P; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-07-01

    Sub-individual biomarkers are sub-lethal biological responses commonly used in the assessment of wildlife exposure to environmental contaminants. In this study, we examined the activity of glutathione-s-transferase (GST) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and metallothionein (MT) concentrations among captive-raised alligator hatchlings, wild-caught juveniles, and wild-caught adults. Juveniles and adults were collected from three locations in Florida (USA) with varying degrees of contamination (i.e. Lake Apopka (organochlorine polluted site), Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (metal polluted site), and Lake Woodruff NWR (reference site)). We examined whether changes in the response of these three biomarkers were age and sex dependent or reflected site-specific variations of environmental contaminants. Juvenile alligators from Merritt Island NWR had higher MT concentrations and lower GST activity compared to those from the other two sites. This outcome was consistent with higher metal pollution at this location. Sexually dimorphic patterns of MT and GST (F > M) were observed in juvenile alligators from all sites, although this pattern was not observed in adults. GST activity was lower in captive-raised alligators from Lake Apopka and Merritt Island NWR as compared to animals from Lake Woodruff NWR, suggesting a possible developmental modulator at these sites. No clear patterns were observed in LDH activity. We concluded that GST and MT demonstrate age and sex specific patterns in the alligators inhabiting these study sites and that the observed variation among sites could be due to differences in contaminant exposure.

  17. A Cultural Herpetology of Nile Crocodiles in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Pooley

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Human-wildlife conflict is a growing problem worldwide wherever humans share landscapes with large predators, and negative encounters with eight species of the crocodilians is particularly widespread. Conservationists' responses to these adverse encounters have focused on the ecological and behavioural aspects of predators, rather than on the social, political, and cultural contexts, which have threatened their existence in the first place. Few studies have thus far tried to understand the rich, varied, contradictory, and complex relations that exist between particular humans and human societies, and particular predators and groups of predators. It is in the spirit of Brian Morris's explorations of the interactional encounters and co-produced sociabilities that exist between humans and animals in specific places and regions that this paper offers a cultural herpetology (an account of human-crocodile interrelations of the Nile crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus and C. suchus in Africa. It draws on extensive historical documentation of the interactions of humans and crocodiles across Africa to examine how diverse and complex human responses to Nile crocodiles have been, and continue to be, and suggests some implications for improving human-crocodile relations.

  18. The post-occipital spinal venous sinus of the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus: Its anatomy and use for blood sample collection and intravenous infusions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan G. Myburgh

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The post-occipital sinus of the spinal vein is often used for the collection of blood samples from crocodilians. Although this sampling method has been reported for several crocodilian species, the technique and associated anatomy has not been described in detail in any crocodilian, including the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus. The anatomy of the cranial neck region was investigated macroscopically, microscopically, radiographically and by means of computed tomography. Latex was injected into the spinal vein and spinal venous sinus of crocodiles to visualise the regional vasculature. The spinal vein ran within the vertebral canal, dorsal to and closely associated with the spinal cord and changed into a venous sinus cranially in the post-occipital region. For blood collection, the spinal venous sinus was accessed through the interarcuate space between the atlas and axis (C1 and C2 by inserting a needle angled just off the perpendicular in the midline through the craniodorsal cervical skin, just cranial to the cranial borders of the first cervical osteoderms. The most convenient method of blood collection was with a syringe and hypodermic needle. In addition, the suitability of the spinal venous sinus for intravenous injections and infusions in live crocodiles was evaluated. The internal diameter of the commercial human epidural catheters used during these investigations was relatively small, resulting in very slow infusion rates. Care should be taken not to puncture the spinal cord or to lacerate the blood vessel wall using this route for blood collection or intravenous infusions.

  19. Determinants of habitat selection by hatchling Australian freshwater crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somaweera, Ruchira; Webb, Jonathan K; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Animals almost always use habitats non-randomly, but the costs and benefits of using specific habitat types remain unknown for many types of organisms. In a large lake in northwestern Australia (Lake Argyle), most hatchling (crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) are found in floating vegetation mats or grassy banks rather than the more widely available open banks. Mean body sizes of young crocodiles did not differ among the three habitat types. We tested four potential explanations for non-random habitat selection: proximity to nesting sites, thermal conditions, food availability, and exposure to predation. The three alternative habitat types did not differ in proximity to nesting sites, or in thermal conditions. Habitats with higher food availability harboured more hatchlings, and feeding rates (obtained by stomach-flushing of recently-captured crocodiles) were highest in such areas. Predation risk may also differ among habitats: we were twice as likely to capture a crocodile after seeing it in open-bank sites than in the other two habitat types. Thus, habitat selection of hatchling crocodiles in this system may be driven both by prey availability and by predation risk.

  20. Determinants of habitat selection by hatchling Australian freshwater crocodiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruchira Somaweera

    Full Text Available Animals almost always use habitats non-randomly, but the costs and benefits of using specific habitat types remain unknown for many types of organisms. In a large lake in northwestern Australia (Lake Argyle, most hatchling (<12-month-old freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni are found in floating vegetation mats or grassy banks rather than the more widely available open banks. Mean body sizes of young crocodiles did not differ among the three habitat types. We tested four potential explanations for non-random habitat selection: proximity to nesting sites, thermal conditions, food availability, and exposure to predation. The three alternative habitat types did not differ in proximity to nesting sites, or in thermal conditions. Habitats with higher food availability harboured more hatchlings, and feeding rates (obtained by stomach-flushing of recently-captured crocodiles were highest in such areas. Predation risk may also differ among habitats: we were twice as likely to capture a crocodile after seeing it in open-bank sites than in the other two habitat types. Thus, habitat selection of hatchling crocodiles in this system may be driven both by prey availability and by predation risk.

  1. Bio-gas production from alligator weeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latif, A.

    1976-01-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to study the effect of temperature, sample preparation, reducing agents, light intensity and pH of the media, on bio-gas and methane production from the microbial anaerobic decomposition of alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides. Efforts were also made for the isolation and characterization of the methanogenic bacteria.

  2. Alternathera philoxeroides (Martius) Grisebach - alligator weed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biological control of Alternanthera philoxeroides, alligator weed, began when George Vogt, USDA, conducted several surveys by public transport in South America during the 1960s. Three agents were released in USA and two of them, the flea beetle Agasicles hygrophila and the moth Arcola malloi were re...

  3. Home range utilisation and long-range movement of estuarine crocodiles during the breeding and nesting season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Hamish A; Dwyer, Ross G; Irwin, Terri R; Franklin, Craig E

    2013-01-01

    The estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the apex-predator in waterways and coastlines throughout south-east Asia and Australasia. C. porosus pose a potential risk to humans, and management strategies are implemented to control their movement and distribution. Here we used GPS-based telemetry to accurately record geographical location of adult C. porosus during the breeding and nesting season. The purpose of the study was to assess how C. porosus movement and distribution may be influenced by localised social conditions. During breeding, the females (2.92 ± 0.013 metres total length (TL), mean ± S.E., n = 4) occupied an area<1 km length of river, but to nest they travelled up to 54 km away from the breeding area. All tagged male C. porosus sustained high rates of movement (6.49 ± 0.9 km d(-1); n = 8) during the breeding and nesting period. The orientation of the daily movements differed between individuals revealing two discontinuous behavioural strategies. Five tagged male C. porosus (4.17 ± 0.14 m TL) exhibited a 'site-fidelic' strategy and moved within well-defined zones around the female home range areas. In contrast, three males (3.81 ± 0.08 m TL) exhibited 'nomadic' behaviour where they travelled continually throughout hundreds of kilometres of waterway. We argue that the 'site-fidelic' males patrolled territories around the female home ranges to maximise reproductive success, whilst the 'nomadic' males were subordinate animals that were forced to range over a far greater area in search of unguarded females. We conclude that C. porosus are highly mobile animals existing within a complex social system, and mate/con-specific interactions are likely to have a profound effect upon population density and distribution, and an individual's travel potential. We recommend that impacts on socio-spatial behaviour are considered prior to the implementation of management interventions.

  4. Home range utilisation and long-range movement of estuarine crocodiles during the breeding and nesting season.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamish A Campbell

    Full Text Available The estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus is the apex-predator in waterways and coastlines throughout south-east Asia and Australasia. C. porosus pose a potential risk to humans, and management strategies are implemented to control their movement and distribution. Here we used GPS-based telemetry to accurately record geographical location of adult C. porosus during the breeding and nesting season. The purpose of the study was to assess how C. porosus movement and distribution may be influenced by localised social conditions. During breeding, the females (2.92 ± 0.013 metres total length (TL, mean ± S.E., n = 4 occupied an area<1 km length of river, but to nest they travelled up to 54 km away from the breeding area. All tagged male C. porosus sustained high rates of movement (6.49 ± 0.9 km d(-1; n = 8 during the breeding and nesting period. The orientation of the daily movements differed between individuals revealing two discontinuous behavioural strategies. Five tagged male C. porosus (4.17 ± 0.14 m TL exhibited a 'site-fidelic' strategy and moved within well-defined zones around the female home range areas. In contrast, three males (3.81 ± 0.08 m TL exhibited 'nomadic' behaviour where they travelled continually throughout hundreds of kilometres of waterway. We argue that the 'site-fidelic' males patrolled territories around the female home ranges to maximise reproductive success, whilst the 'nomadic' males were subordinate animals that were forced to range over a far greater area in search of unguarded females. We conclude that C. porosus are highly mobile animals existing within a complex social system, and mate/con-specific interactions are likely to have a profound effect upon population density and distribution, and an individual's travel potential. We recommend that impacts on socio-spatial behaviour are considered prior to the implementation of management interventions.

  5. An experimental and morphometric test of the relationship between vertebral morphology and joint stiffness in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar, Julia L; Pierce, Stephanie E; Hutchinson, John R

    2014-03-01

    Despite their semi-aquatic mode of life, modern crocodylians use a wide range of terrestrial locomotor behaviours, including asymmetrical gaits otherwise only found in mammals. The key to these diverse abilities may lie in the axial skeleton. Correlations between vertebral morphology and both intervertebral joint stiffness and locomotor behaviour have been found in other animals, but the vertebral mechanics of crocodylians have not yet been experimentally and quantitatively tested. We measured the passive mechanics and morphology of the thoracolumbar vertebral column in Crocodylus niloticus in order to validate a method to infer intervertebral joint stiffness based on morphology. Passive stiffness of eight thoracic and lumbar joints was tested in dorsal extension, ventral flexion and mediolateral flexion using cadaveric specimens. Fifteen measurements that we deemed to be potential correlates of stiffness were taken from each vertebra and statistically tested for correlation with joint stiffness. We found that the vertebral column of C. niloticus is stiffer in dorsoventral flexion than in lateral flexion and, in contrast to that of many mammals, shows an increase in joint stiffness in the lumbar region. Our findings suggest that the role of the axial column in crocodylian locomotion may be functionally different from that in mammals, even during analogous gaits. A moderate proportion of variation in joint stiffness (R(2)=0.279-0.520) was predicted by centrum width and height, neural spine angle and lamina width. These results support the possible utility of some vertebral morphometrics in predicting mechanical properties of the vertebral column in crocodiles, which also should be useful for forming functional hypotheses of axial motion during locomotion in extinct archosaurs.

  6. What the Alligator didn't Know: Natural Selection and Love in Our Mutual Friend

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    Nicola Bown

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available This essay reads 'Our Mutual Friend' as Dickens’s rejoinder to Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, and sees it as a novel that is profoundly shaped by the imaginative impact of Darwin’s work. However, the direct influence of 'On the Origin of Species' is not the essay’s major concern. Instead, the essay sees this novel as a response to some of the questions posed by Darwin’s work about how a natural world driven by chance and contigency, death, waste and hunger might be redeemed.   I focus on the figure of Mr Venus, the taxidermist who, I argue, is an affectionate portrait of Dickens’s friend Richard Owen. By tracing Owen’s involvement in debates over evolution and the origins of life, I show that these contemporary debates had a considerable backwash in a novel saturated with the metaphors of evolution, and centrally concerned with the nature of, and the relationship betweeen, life and death. I suggest that Mr Venus’s shop is a comic version of the Hunterian Museum, over which Owen presided, and that its portrayal encapuslates the novel’s concerns with evolution, life and death. I argue that Dickens’s response to the challenge of Darwinism is to see love as the world’s redemption, and that he uses transmuted versions of Mr Venus’s shop as a vivid metaphor for the idea that love is the redeeming spark of life.   I suggest, though, that in the post-Darwinian imaginative landscape, love could not redeem all, and that Dickens’s redeeming vision of love is finally inadequate to save all his characters. ‘What the alligator knew, ages deep in the slime’ was that love was powerless against nature -and what it didn’t know, and Dickens tried to show in this, his last completed novel, is that in spite of the ruthless rapacity of both nature and human society, love makes the world go round.

  7. Low cost of pulmonary ventilation in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) stimulated with doxapram.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skovgaard, Nini; Crossley, Dane A; Wang, Tobias

    2016-04-01

    To determine the costs of pulmonary ventilation without imposing severe oxygen limitations or acidosis that normally accompany exposures to hypoxia or hypercapnia, we opted to pharmacologically stimulate ventilation with doxapram (5 and 10 mg kg(-1)) in alligators. Doxapram is used clinically to alleviate ventilatory depression in response to anaesthesia and acts primarily on the peripheral oxygen-sensitive chemoreceptors. Using this approach, we investigated the hypothesis that pulmonary ventilation is relatively modest in comparison to resting metabolic rate in crocodilians and equipped seven juvenile alligators with masks for concurrent determination of ventilation and oxygen uptake. Doxapram elicited a dose-dependent and up to fourfold rise in ventilation, primarily by increasing ventilatory frequency. The accompanying rise in oxygen uptake was very small; ventilation in resting animals constitutes no more than 5% of resting metabolic rate. The conclusion that pulmonary ventilation is energetically cheap is consistent with earlier studies on alligators where ventilation was stimulated by hypoxia or hypercapnia.

  8. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge: Comprehensive Conservation Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) was written to guide management on Alligator River NWR for the next 15 years. This plan outlines the Refuge vision and...

  9. Check-list of the pentastomid parasites crocodilians and freshwater chelonians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junker, K; Boomker, J

    2006-03-01

    Based on published records and own data a summary is given of the geographical distribution of the currently known species of pentastomid parasites infecting crocodiles and alligators, as well as freshwater chelonians. A brief generic diagnosis is provided for each genus. Fourteen out of the currently 23 living crocodilian species have been recorded as being host to one or more pentastomes. Out of the 32 pentastome species six are considered species inquirendae. Presently, six genera of crocodilian pentastomes, Agema, Alofia, Leiperia, Sebekia, Selfia and Subtriquetra are recognized. African crocodiles harbour eight pentastome species, six of which have been recorded from the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus. Three species belong to the genus Sebekia, Alofia being represented by two and Leiperia by only one species. Two species, Alofia parva and Agema silvae-palustris, occur in the dwarf crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, and the slender-snouted crocodile, Crocodylus cataphractus, exclusively, but a single Sebekia species is shared with the Nile crocodile. The genus Agema is endemic to the African region. Infective stages of the pentastome Subtriquetra rileyi, thought to utilize Nile crocodiles as final hosts, have been recovered only from fishes. The largest number of pentastome species is found in the Australasian region. Of these, the Indo-Pacific crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, harbours seven, representing the genera Alofia, Sebekia, Leiperia and Selfia. Selfia is exclusive to the latter host. The genus Subtriquetra has been reported from "Indian crocodiles", a term possibly referring to either Crocodylus palustris, Crocodylus porosus or Gavialis gangeticus. Ten species of pentastomes parasitizing the crocodilian genera Alligator, Caiman, Crocodylus and Melanosuchus have been recorded from the Neotropical region including the southern states of the North American continent. The two most wide-spread pentastome genera, Alofia and Sebekia, have been recorded

  10. A new method for capturing alligators using electricity

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A study was initiated on Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in order to investigate the possibility of using an electrical current as an aid in capturing alligators. A...

  11. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge Land Status Map

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This map was produced by the Division of Realty to depict landownership at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It was generated from rectified aerial...

  12. Assessment of selected biochemical parameters and humoral immune response of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) experimentally infected with Trichinella zimbabwensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Grange, Louis J; Mukaratirwa, Samson

    2014-08-21

    Fifteen crocodiles were randomly divided into three groups of five animals. They represented high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups of 642 larvae/kg, 414 larvae/kg and 134 larvae/kg bodyweight, respectively. The parameters assessed were blood glucose, creatine phosphokinase (CPK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT). The humoral immune response to Trichinella zimbabwensis infection was evaluated in all three groups by an indirect ELISA method. The results showed deviations from normal parameters of blood glucose, CPK, LDH, AST and ALT when compared with reported levels in uninfected reptiles. Contrary to studies involving mammals, hypoglycaemia was not observed in the infected groups in this study. Peak values of blood glucose were reached on post-infection (PI) Day 49, Day 42 and Day 35 in the high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups, respectively. Peak values of LDH and AST were observed on PI Day 56, Day 49 and Day 42 in the high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups, respectively. Peak values of CPK were observed on Day 35 PI in all three groups. Peak ALT values were reached on Day 56 in the high-infection group and on Day 28 PI in both the medium-infection and low-infection groups. No correlations between the biochemical parameters and infection intensity were observed. Peak antibody titres were reached on Day 49 PI in the medium-infection group, and on Day 42 PI in both the high-infection and low-infection groups. Infection intensity could not be correlated with the magnitude of the humoral immune response or time to sero-conversion. Results from this study were in agreement with results reported in mammals infected with other Trichinella species and showed that antibody titres could not be detected indefinitely.

  13. Assessment of selected biochemical parameters and humoral immune response of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus experimentally infected with Trichinella zimbabwensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louis J. La Grange

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Fifteen crocodiles were randomly divided into three groups of five animals. They represented high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups of 642 larvae/kg, 414 larvae/kg and 134 larvae/kg bodyweight, respectively. The parameters assessed were blood glucose, creatine phosphokinase (CPK, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, aspartate transaminase (AST and alanine transaminase (ALT. The humoral immune response to Trichinella zimbabwensis infection was evaluated in all three groups by an indirect ELISA method. The results showed deviations from normal parameters of blood glucose, CPK, LDH, AST and ALT when compared with reported levels in uninfected reptiles. Contrary to studies involving mammals, hypoglycaemia was not observed in the infected groups in this study. Peak values of blood glucose were reached on post-infection (PI Day 49, Day 42 and Day 35 in the high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups, respectively. Peak values of LDH and AST were observed on PI Day 56, Day 49 and Day 42 in the high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups, respectively. Peak values of CPK were observed on Day 35 PI in all three groups. Peak ALT values were reached on Day 56 in the high-infection group and on Day 28 PI in both the medium-infection and low-infection groups. No correlations between the biochemical parameters and infection intensity were observed. Peak antibody titres were reached on Day 49 PI in the medium-infection group, and on Day 42 PI in both the high-infection and low-infection groups. Infection intensity could not be correlated with the magnitude of the humoral immune response or time to sero-conversion. Results from this study were in agreement with results reported in mammals infected with other Trichinella species and showed that antibody titres could not be detected indefinitely.

  14. Pathology of runting in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shilton, C; Brown, G P; Chambers, L; Benedict, S; Davis, S; Aumann, S; Isberg, S R

    2014-09-01

    Extremely poor growth of some individuals within a birth cohort (runting) is a significant problem in crocodile farming. We conducted a pathological investigation to determine if infectious disease is associated with runting in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) and to look for evidence of other etiologies. In each of 2005 and 2007, 10 normal and 10 runt crocodiles, with an average age of 5.5 months and reared under identical conditions, were sampled. Laboratory testing included postmortem; histological examination of a wide variety of tissues (with quantitation of features that were noted subjectively to be different between groups); hematology; serum biochemistry (total protein, albumin, globulins, total calcium, phosphorus, and iron); bacterial culture of liver and spleen (2005 only); viral culture of liver, thymus, tonsil, and spleen using primary crocodile cell lines (2007 only); and serum corticosterone (2007 only). The only evidence of infectious disease was mild cutaneous poxvirus infection in 45% of normal and 40% of runt crocodiles and rare intestinal coccidia in 5% of normal and 15% of runt crocodiles. Bacterial and viral culture did not reveal significant differences between the 2 groups. However, runt crocodiles exhibited significant (P < .05) increases in adrenocortical cell cytoplasmic vacuolation and serum corticosterone, decreased production of bone (osteoporosis), and reduced lymphoid populations in the spleen, tonsil, and thymus. Runts also exhibited moderate anemia, hypoalbuminemia, and mild hypophosphatemia. Taken together, these findings suggest an association between runting and a chronic stress response (hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis).

  15. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant. Comprehensive Cooling Water Study: Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  16. Low Genetic Variation with Mitochondrial DNA Control Region Sequence in Chinese Alligators (Alligator sinensis) and Implification for Its Conservation%扬子鳄种群的线粒体DNA控制区序列变异性及其对物种保护的启示

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴孝兵; 刘辉; 薛辉; George Amato; John Thorbjarnarson

    2007-01-01

    A portion of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region was sequenced for 64 individual Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) from four different areas: the wild population in Xuanzhou, Anhui; the captive population in Changxin, Zhejiang, the Anhui Research Center for Chinese Alligator Reproduction and the ex situ managed population in the USA. In this research, 4 haplotypes were detected from these sequences with only 3 variable sites. These results suggest that the level of mtDNA genetic variation in Chinese alligators is very low compared with chelonians, birds, mammals and other crocodilians.%测定了来自4个不同地点(包括安徽宣城野生和饲养种群、浙江长兴的饲养种群及在美国的饲养种群)的64个扬子鳄线粒体DNA控制区部分序列.结果共检测出4个单倍型共3个变异位点,与龟类、鸟类、哺乳类及其它鳄类相比较,反央出扬子鳄线粒体区的序列变异性很低.在此基础上,对扬子鳄遗传保护提出了有关建议.

  17. Trichinella zimbabwensis in wild Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) of South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Grange, Louis J; Marucci, Gianluca; Pozio, Edoardo

    2009-04-06

    Recent discovery of Trichinella zimbabwensis in crocodiles from Zimbabwe, Lake Cahora Basa, Mozambique, and from lake Abaja, Ethiopia, prompted strict control measures to curb the possible spread of the infection to humans and also to prevent its introduction to other countries, which were considered free of this pathogen. In 2006, the Chief Directorate Veterinary Services of Mpumalanga Province of South Africa launched a survey to investigate the status of wild and commercial breeding crocodiles in the province. To evaluate if T. zimbabwensis was circulating in the environments where crocodiles are living in South Africa, 9 fish, 36 reptiles (including 27 Nile crocodiles) and 4 mammals have been investigated to detect Trichinella sp. larvae in their muscles. In January 2008, a Nile crocodile from Komatipoort, sampled by means of a tail biopsy, tested positive for Trichinella larvae. In June-July 2008, Trichinella sp. larvae were also detected in four other Nile crocodiles from the Olifants River Gorge. The prevalence of Trichinella infection in the investigated wild Nile crocodiles from South Africa is 38.5%. The larvae were identified as belonging to T. zimbabwensis by multiplex-PCR. These are the first reports of T. zimbabwensis in South Africa and suggest that the distribution area of this parasite species is wider than that believed in the past.

  18. Effect of aqueous extracts of alligator pear seed (Persea americana mill) on blood glucose and histopathology of pancreas in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edem, Do; Ekanem, Is; Ebong, Pe

    2009-07-01

    Effects of aqueous extract of alligator pear seed on normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats were investigated in 6 groups of rats (5 rats per group). Test groups were made diabetic with intra-peritoneal injection of alloxan and treated with 300 mg and 600 mg/kg body weight of alligator pear seed extract. Two non-diabetic groups were also administered with 300 mg and 600 mg/kg body weight extract. The levels of blood glucose were examined in all 6 experimental groups. In diabetic rats, blood glucose levels were significantly reduced (p<0.05) by 73.26-78.24% on consumption of the extracts, with greater effect exhibited by the 600 mg/kg extract. In normal rats, blood glucose levels were significantly reduced (p<0.05) by 34.68-38.9% on consumption of the seed extract. Histological studies showed a degenerative effect on the pancreatic islet cells of diabetic rats. The result suggested restorative (protective) effect of the extract on pancreatic islet cells. Administration of aqueous extract of alligator pear seed may contribute significantly to the reduction of blood glucose levels and can be useful in the treatment of diabetes.

  19. Periods of cardiovascular susceptibility to hypoxia in embryonic american alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Kevin B; Rhen, Turk; Eme, John; Kohl, Zachary F; Crossley, Janna; Elsey, Ruth M; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-06-01

    During embryonic development, environmental perturbations can affect organisms' developing phenotype, a process known as developmental plasticity. Resulting phenotypic changes can occur during discrete, critical windows of development. Critical windows are periods when developing embryos are most susceptible to these perturbations. We have previously documented that hypoxia reduces embryo size and increases relative heart mass in American alligator, and this study identified critical windows when hypoxia altered morphological, cardiovascular function and cardiac gene expression of alligator embryos. We hypothesized that incubation in hypoxia (10% O2) would increase relative cardiac size due to cardiac enlargement rather than suppression of somatic growth. We exposed alligator embryos to hypoxia during discrete incubation periods to target windows where the embryonic phenotype is altered. Hypoxia affected heart growth between 20 and 40% of embryonic incubation, whereas somatic growth was affected between 70 and 90% of incubation. Arterial pressure was depressed by hypoxic exposure during 50-70% of incubation, whereas heart rate was depressed in embryos exposed to hypoxia during a period spanning 70-90% of incubation. Expression of Vegf and PdgfB was increased in certain hypoxia-exposed embryo treatment groups, and hypoxia toward the end of incubation altered β-adrenergic tone for arterial pressure and heart rate. It is well known that hypoxia exposure can alter embryonic development, and in the present study, we have identified brief, discrete windows that alter the morphology, cardiovascular physiology, and gene expression in embryonic American alligator.

  20. Persistent halogenated compounds in captive Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) from China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Ting; Hong, Bing; Wu, Xiaobing; Wu, Jiangping; Wang, Xinming; Yi, Zhigang; Zhao, Juan; Zhan, Miao; Mai, Bixian

    2014-09-01

    While a number of studies have reported residual levels of persistent halogenated compounds (PHCs) in crocodilia, there is still a dearth of information on the Chinese alligator, a critically endangered crocodilian species. In the present study, several PHCs, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), were detected in the adult tissues, neonates, and eggs of captive Chinese alligators from China. The concentrations of ΣPBDEs, ΣPCBs, and ΣDDTs in Chinese alligators ranged from 0.11 to 16.1, 1.12 to 22.2, and 6.03 to 1020ngg(-1) wet weight, respectively, with higher levels of ΣPCBs and ΣDDTs in the neonates and eggs than in muscle tissues. The ΣDDT residues in the studied Chinese alligators were at the high end of reported ranges from crocodilia around the world, and some results exceeded levels known to cause a female-biased sex ratio in crocodilians.

  1. Fluctuating water depths affect American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) body condition in the Everglades, Florida, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Laura A.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2016-01-01

    Successful restoration of wetland ecosystems requires knowledge of wetland hydrologic patterns and an understanding of how those patterns affect wetland plant and animal populations.Within the Everglades, Florida, USA restoration, an applied science strategy including conceptual ecological models linking drivers to indicators is being used to organize current scientific understanding to support restoration efforts. A key driver of the ecosystem affecting the distribution and abundance of organisms is the timing, distribution, and volume of water flows that result in water depth patterns across the landscape. American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) are one of the ecological indicators being used to assess Everglades restoration because they are a keystone species and integrate biological impacts of hydrological operations through all life stages. Alligator body condition (the relative fatness of an animal) is one of the metrics being used and targets have been set to allow us to track progress. We examined trends in alligator body condition using Fulton’s K over a 15 year period (2000–2014) at seven different wetland areas within the Everglades ecosystem, assessed patterns and trends relative to restoration targets, and related those trends to hydrologic variables. We developed a series of 17 a priori hypotheses that we tested with an information theoretic approach to identify which hydrologic factors affect alligator body condition. Alligator body condition was highest throughout the Everglades during the early 2000s and is approximately 5–10% lower now (2014). Values have varied by year, area, and hydrology. Body condition was positively correlated with range in water depth and fall water depth. Our top model was the “Current” model and included variables that describe current year hydrology (spring depth, fall depth, hydroperiod, range, interaction of range and fall depth, interaction of range and hydroperiod). Across all models, interaction

  2. Organochlorine contaminants in Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs from Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, T H; Rainwater, T R; Platt, S G; McMurry, S T; Anderson, T A

    2000-03-01

    Non-viable eggs of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) were collected from Gold Button (GBL) and New River lagoons (NRL) in northern Belize and screened for organochlorine (OC) compounds using gas chromatography (GC) with electron capture detection (ECD). All egg samples from both lagoons (n = 24) tested positive for one or more OCs. Primary contaminants were p,p-DDE and methoxychlor, detected in 100% and 29% of the eggs examined, respectively. Concentrations of individual OC contaminants ranged from 1 ppb (ng chemical/g egg) to > 0.5 ppm (microgram chemical/g egg). Total concentrations of OCs (sum of all OCs) for one egg collected from a nest at GBL reached as high as 0.7 ppm. Sediment samples from both lagoons also tested positive for OCs (lindane, aldrin, methoxychlor, heptachlor epoxide, p,p-DDT, among others). Nest media (soil and plant material) collected from crocodile nests at GBL were positive for p,p-DDT, methoxychlor, aldrin, endosulfan II, and endrin aldehyde. Based on the 24 egg samples analyzed to date, crocodiles from both lagoons are being exposed to OCs. Such exposure may present a health threat to populations of crocodiles in Central America.

  3. The occurrence of Trichinella zimbabwensis in naturally infected wild crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) from the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Grange, L J; Govender, D; Mukaratirwa, S

    2013-03-01

    Trichinella zimbabwensis has been found naturally infecting crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ethiopia and South Africa, as well as monitor lizards (Varanus niloticus) in Zimbabwe. The reports on natural infections were mostly accidental rather than structured surveys and involved very few animals. Previous surveillance studies in South Africa reported a 38.5% prevalence of T. zimbabwensis among wild crocodiles tested from the Mpumalanga province and Kruger National Park (KNP). No studies have been conducted to date on the geographical distribution and occurrence of T. zimbabwensis in wild crocodiles and varans in countries in southern Africa. Recent outbreaks of pansteatitis in crocodile populations of the KNP, South Africa, provided an opportunity to conduct a more structured survey aimed at elucidating the occurrence and distribution of T. zimbabwensis in culled wild crocodile populations within the KNP. Results from this study showed that T. zimbabwensis occurred in 10 out of 12 culled crocodiles form the KNP. The results also showed that the natural distribution of T. zimbabwensis in crocodiles includes all the major river systems in the KNP. The predilection sites of larvae in muscles followed a different pattern in naturally infected crocodiles compared to observations in experimentally infected mammalian hosts.

  4. A check-list of the pentastomid parasites of crocodilians and freshwater chelonians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Junker

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Based on published records and own data a summary is given of the geographical distribution of the currently known species of pentastomid parasites infecting crocodiles and alligators, as well as freshwater chelonians. A brief generic diagnosis is provided for each genus. Fourteen out of the currently 23 living crocodilian species have been recorded as being host to one or more pentastomes. Out of the 32 pentastome species six are considered species inquirendae. Presently, six genera of crocodilian pentastomes, Agema, Alofia, Leiperia, Sebekia, Selfia and Subtriquetra are recognized. African crocodiles harbour eight pentastome species, six of which have been recorded from the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus. Three species belong to the genus Sebekia, Alofia being represented by two and Leiperia by only one species. Two species, Alofia parva and Agema silvaepalustris, occur in the dwarf crocodile, Osteolaemus tetraspis, and the slender-snouted crocodile, Crocodylus cataphractus, exclusively, but a single Sebekia species is shared with the Nile crocodile. The genus Agema is endemic to the African region. Infective stages of the pentastome Sub triquetra rileyi, thought to utilize Nile crocodiles as final hosts, have been recovered only from fishes. The largest number of pentastome species is found in the Australasian region. Of these, the Indo-Pacific croc odile, Crocodylus porosus, harbours seven, representing the genera Alofia, Sebekia, Lei peria and Selfia. Selfia is exclusive to the latter host. The genus Subtriquetra has been reported from "Indian crocodiles", a term possibly referring to either Crocodylus palustris, Crocodylus porosus or Gavialis gangeticus. Ten species of pentastomes parasitizing the crocodilian genera Alligator, Caiman, Crocodylus and Melanosuchus have been recorded from the Neotropical region including the southern states of the North American continent. The two most wide-spread pentastome genera, Alofia and Sebekia

  5. The probable role of cannibalism in spreading Trichinella papuae infection in a crocodile farm in Papua New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Ifor L; Awui, Columba; Langelet, Eric; Soctine, Wenda; Reid, Simon

    2014-07-14

    Between 2003 and 2007, 83 (50%) of 167 crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) purchased as juveniles by a crocodile farm 3 or 4 years earlier from Kikori, Gulf Province, were found to be infected with Trichinella papuae. Between 2005 and 2007 infection was detected in a number of crocodiles at the farm obtained from six localities other than Kikori, as well as in a few animals born on the farm. Up to 2004, all juveniles at the farm, whether wild- or farm-born, were penned together; the practice was then stopped to prevent possible infection through cannibalism. The last infected animal from Kikori was seen in 2007, 4 years after the purchase of crocodiles from there ceased. The last non-Kikori infected crocodile was seen, also, in 2007. None of the 1972 crocodiles (comprising wild- and farm-born animals) tested from 2008 to 2013, using the digestion method, was infected with T. papuae. This indicates that infection of non-Kikori crocodiles was the result of cannibalism within the farm during the years up to 2004 when juvenile crocodiles were kept together, and that the farm is now free of the infection.

  6. Chinese alligator genome illustrates molecular adaptations

    OpenAIRE

    Castoe, Todd A; Pollock, David D.

    2013-01-01

    In the September issue of Cell Research, Wan et al. analyze the Chinese Alligator genome and identify multiple instances of positively-selected changes in protein-coding genes and expansions of multi-gene families that appear to explain suites of phenotypes central to the unique habits and physiology of crocodilian reptiles. They demonstrate the effectiveness of comparative systems genomics in integrating information from comparative genomics, molecular evolution, and systems biology to under...

  7. Effects of prolonged lung inflation or deflation on pulmonary stretch receptor discharge in the alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marschand, Rachel E; Wilson, Jenna L; Burleson, Mark L; Crossley, Dane A; Hedrick, Michael S

    2014-08-15

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is a semi-aquatic diving reptile that has a periodic breathing pattern. Previous work identified pulmonary stretch receptors, that are rapidly and slowly adapting, as well as intrapulmonary chemoreceptors (IPC), sensitive to CO2, that modulate breathing patterns in alligators. The purpose of the present study was to quantify the effects of prolonged lung inflation and deflation (simulated dives) on pulmonary stretch receptors (PSR) and/or IPC discharge characteristics. The effects of airway pressure (0-20 cm H2O), hypercapnia (7% CO2), and hypoxia (5% O2) on dynamic and static responses of PSR were studied in juvenile alligators (mean mass=246 g) at 24°C. Alligators were initially anesthetized with isoflurane, cranially pithed, tracheotomized and artificially ventilated. Vagal afferent tonic and phasic activity was recorded with platinum hook electrodes. Receptor activity was a mixture of slowly adapting PSR (SAR) and rapidly adapting PSR (RAR) with varying thresholds and degrees of adaptation, without CO2 sensitivity. Receptor activity before, during and after 1 min periods of lung inflation and deflation was quantified to examine the effect of simulated breath-hold dives. Some PSR showed a change in dynamic response, exhibiting inhibition for several breaths after prolonged lung inflation. Following 1 min deflation, RAR, but not SAR, exhibited a significant potentiation of burst frequency relative to control. For SAR, the post-inflation receptor inhibition was blocked by CO2 and hypoxia; for RAR, the post-inflation inhibition was potentiated by CO2 and blocked by hypoxia. These results suggest that changes in PSR firing following prolonged inflation and deflation may promote post-dive ventilation in alligators. We hypothesize that PSR in alligators may be involved in recovery of breathing patterns and lung volume during pre- and post-diving behavior and apneic periods in diving reptiles.

  8. Body condition of Morelet’s Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from northern Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Brandt, Laura A.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen; Jeffery, Brian; McMurry, Scott T.; Platt, Steven G.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Vinci, Joy

    2012-01-01

    Body condition factors have been used as an indicator of health and well-being of crocodilians. We evaluated body condition of Morelet's Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) in northern Belize in relation to biotic (size, sex, and habitat) and abiotic (location, water level, and air temperature) factors. We also tested the hypothesis that high water levels and warm temperatures combine or interact to result in a decrease in body condition. Size class, temperature, and water level explained 20% of the variability in condition of Morelet's Crocodiles in this study. We found that adult crocodiles had higher condition scores than juveniles/subadults but that sex, habitat, and site had no effect. We confirmed our hypothesis that warm temperatures and high water levels interact to decrease body condition. We related body condition of Morelet's Crocodiles to natural fluctuations in air temperatures and water levels in northern Belize, providing baseline conditions for population and ecosystem monitoring.

  9. Diagnostic investigation of new disease syndromes in farmed Australian saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) reveals associations with herpesviral infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shilton, Catherine M; Jerrett, Ian V; Davis, Steven; Walsh, Susan; Benedict, Suresh; Isberg, Sally R; Webb, Grahame J W; Manolis, Charlie; Hyndman, Timothy H; Phalen, David; Brown, Gregory P; Melville, Lorna

    2016-05-01

    Since 2006, 3 new disease syndromes have emerged in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in the Northern Territory of Australia. We describe the syndromes through a retrospective study of laboratory findings from 187 diagnostic cases submitted to Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories between 2005 and 2014. The first syndrome was characterized by conjunctivitis and/or pharyngitis (CP), primarily in hatchlings. Herpesviruses were isolated in primary crocodile cell culture, or were detected by PCR directly from conjunctiva or pharyngeal tissue, in 21 of 39 cases of CP (54%), compared with 9 of 64 crocodiles without the syndrome (14%, p crocodiles without the syndrome (5%, p crocodiles. Herpesviruses were isolated from at least 1 skin lesion in 4 of these 6 cases. Although our study revealed strong associations between herpesvirus and the CP and SLPE syndromes, the precise nature of the role of herpesvirus, along with the pathogenesis and epidemiology of the syndromes, requires further investigation.

  10. Body temperature null distributions in reptiles with nonzero heat capacity: seasonal thermoregulation in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seebacher, Frank; Elsey, Ruth M; Trosclair, Phillip L

    2003-01-01

    Regulation of body temperature may increase fitness of animals by ensuring that biochemical and physiological processes proceed at an optimal rate. The validity of current methods of testing whether or not thermoregulation in reptiles occurs is often limited to very small species that have near zero heat capacity. The aim of this study was to develop a method that allows estimation of body temperature null distributions of large reptiles and to investigate seasonal thermoregulation in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Continuous body temperature records of wild alligators were obtained from implanted dataloggers in winter (n=7, mass range: 1.6-53.6 kg) and summer (n=7, mass range: 1.9-54.5 kg). Body temperature null distributions were calculated by randomising behavioural postures, thereby randomly altering relative animal surface areas exposed to different avenues of heat transfer. Core body temperatures were predicted by calculations of transient heat transfer by conduction and blood flow. Alligator body temperatures follow regular oscillations during the day. Occasionally, body temperature steadied during the day to fall within a relatively narrow range. Rather than indicating shuttling thermoregulation, however, this pattern could be predicted from random movements. Average daily body temperature increases with body mass in winter but not in summer. Daily amplitudes of body temperature decrease with increasing body mass in summer but not in winter. These patterns result from differential exposure to heat transfer mechanisms at different seasons. In summer, alligators are significantly cooler than predictions for a randomly moving animal, and the reverse is the case in winter. Theoretical predictions show, however, that alligators can be warmer in winter if they maximised their sun exposure. We concluded that alligators may not rely exclusively on regulation of body temperature but that they may also acclimatise biochemically to seasonally

  11. Identification of the Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus by the use of natural tail marks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.G.J. Swanepoel

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available The tail marks of 190 Nile crocodiles Crocodylus niloticus were documented and processed into codes. The size of the crocodiles varied from 45 cm to 4.6 m in total length. Wherever possible, both sides of the tails were observed and the marks documented. In all remaining instances only one side could be identified. A total of 267 sides were identified. The natural marks on nine segments of a specific portion of the tail was recorded and compared as codes. For this comparison two methods were employed. Differences of 95.1 and 100 was found with the respective methods. This is an indication that every crocodile has a unique pattern of natural marks on its tail. The marks can therefore be used to allocate a code to an individual crocodile that partially eliminates the necessity of artificial marking methods.

  12. Morphological characteristics regulating phallic glans engorgement in the American alligator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Brandon C; Spears, David; Mascari, Taylor; Kelly, Diane A

    2016-10-01

    The distal part of the crocodilian phallus consists of a bulbous glans containing well-developed vascular tissues that can inflate before or during sexual activity, enlarging and elaborating the glans into a complex, though still functionally undefined, copulatory structure. An enlarged glans putatively interacts with the female cloaca and may change the shape of her reproductive tract to facilitate insemination and increase the probability of fertilization. Here, we investigated the cellular-level properties of the glans and other inflatable phallic tissues associated with the sperm-conducting sulcus spermaticus in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Using histochemical staining, we visualized and defined collagen and elastin fiber densities and orientations in these tissues. Extracellular matrix architectures provided insights about phallic glans material properties and how they may affect tissue strength and flexibility during inflation and in response to copulatory forces. We also investigated the potential sources of fluids that induce inflation in alligator phalli. Combining serial sectioning and three-dimensional reconstruction, we identified a pair of supracrucal plexus vascular bodies at the proximal end of the alligator phallus that extend distally adjacent to ventro-medial sulcus tissues. Together, our gross and histological examination of the American alligator phallic glans suggests that its tissues are arranged in a manner that would allow vascular inflation to expand the glans to a specific and repeatable shape, and potentially release secretory products into the female reproductive tract. Both elements could play roles in postcopulatory sexual selection, by mechanically and/or chemically affecting female reproductive physiology.

  13. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) and their variability in two other species (Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus) of Lepisosteidae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyer, G.R.; Sloss, Brian L.; Kreiser, B.R.; Feldheim, K.A.

    2009-01-01

    We report on the isolation of 17 polymorphic microsatellite loci from alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), a large-bodied species that has experienced population declines across much of its range. These loci possessed 2-19 alleles and observed heterozygosities of 0-0.974. All loci conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium expectations, and none exhibited linkage disequilibrium. Nine and eight of these loci were found to be polymorphic in the related species Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus, respectively. These microsatellite loci should prove useful in conservation efforts of A. spatula through the study of population structure and hatchery broodstock management. ?? 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. An 11-digit identification system for individual Nile crocodiles using natural markings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hindrik Bouwman

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Research and conservation of wild crocodiles and husbandry of captive crocodiles requires the reliable identification of individuals. We present a method using the individual colour markings on the first 10 single-crest scutes on the tails of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus. The scutes are scored by number for colour, with a prefix for left or right providing a binary 11-digit identification number (identification numbers [IDs]; e.g. 12232232242 and 22333233232 per crocodile. A survey of 359 captive Nile crocodiles showed no duplication. However, 42% had asymmetrical scute markings requiring a binary approach. There does not seem to be a change in patterns with age, except that the number of missing scutes increased. A small trial showed that this method can be applied in the field, although more work is needed to determine observer bias and establish parameters for observability in the field. It is unlikely that both left and right IDs would be obtainable for each individual, but other distinctive markings such as scute shape and damage can be used to register the two IDs to one individual. Having two independent IDs for each crocodile provides the possibility of two independent population estimates for equal effort without having to link left and right IDs to individuals. Our proposed method would be useful in conservation, individual tracking and husbandry.Conservation implications: A non-invasive marking and recapture method for Nile crocodile is presented whereby the first 10 single-crest scutes are scored for colour, allowing conservation practitioners to count and monitor crocodile populations and individuals. This method provides two equal-effort estimations of population size, as left and right hand sides are scored independently.Keywords: Crocodylus niloticus; identification; mark - recapture; mark - resight

  15. An ancient icon reveals new mysteries: mummy DNA resurrects a cryptic species within the Nile crocodile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hekkala, Evon; Shirley, Matthew H; Amato, George; Austin, James D; Charter, Suellen; Thorbjarnarson, John; Vliet, Kent A; Houck, Marlys L; Desalle, Rob; Blum, Michael J

    2011-10-01

    The Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is an ancient icon of both cultural and scientific interest. The species is emblematic of the great civilizations of the Nile River valley and serves as a model for international wildlife conservation. Despite its familiarity, a centuries-long dispute over the taxonomic status of the Nile crocodile remains unresolved. This dispute not only confounds our understanding of the origins and biogeography of the 'true crocodiles' of the crown genus Crocodylus, but also complicates conservation and management of this commercially valuable species. We have taken a total evidence approach involving phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear markers, as well as karyotype analysis of chromosome number and structure, to assess the monophyletic status of the Nile crocodile. Samples were collected from throughout Africa, covering all major bioregions. We also utilized specimens from museum collections, including mummified crocodiles from the ancient Egyptian temples at Thebes and the Grottes de Samoun, to reconstruct the genetic profiles of extirpated populations. Our analyses reveal a cryptic evolutionary lineage within the Nile crocodile that elucidates the biogeographic history of the genus and clarifies long-standing arguments over the species' taxonomic identity and conservation status. An examination of crocodile mummy haplotypes indicates that the cryptic lineage corresponds to an earlier description of C. suchus and suggests that both African Crocodylus lineages historically inhabited the Nile River. Recent survey efforts indicate that C. suchus is declining or extirpated throughout much of its distribution. Without proper recognition of this cryptic species, current sustainable use-based management policies for the Nile crocodile may do more harm than good.

  16. Can isotope markers differentiate between wild and captive reptile populations? A case study based on crocodile lizards (Shinisaurus crocodilurus from Vietnam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mona van Schingen

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The international wildlife trade in allegedly “captive-bred” specimens has globally increased during recent years, while the legal origin of respective animals frequently remains doubtful. Worldwide, authorities experience strong challenges to effectively control the international trade in CITES-listed species and are struggling to uncover fraudulent claims of “captive-breeding”. Forensic analytical methods are being considered as potential tools to investigate wildlife crime. The present case study is the first of its kind in reptiles that investigates the application of δ13C and δ15N stable isotope ratios to discriminate between captive and wild crocodile lizards from Vietnam. The CITES-listed crocodile lizard Shinisaurus crocodilurus is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List mainly due to habitat loss and unsustainable exploitation for the international pet trade. Our results revealed significant differences in the composition of the two tested isotope systems between captive and wild individuals. Isotope values of skin samples from captive specimens were significantly enriched in 13C and 15N as compared to specimens from the wild. We also used the weighted k-Nearest Neighbor classifier to assign simulated samples back to their alleged place of origin and demonstrated that captive bred individuals could be distinguished with a high degree of accuracy from specimens that were not born in captivity. We conclude that isotope analysis appears to be highly attractive as a forensic tool to reduce laundering of wild caught lizards via breeding farms, but acknowledge that this potential might be limited to range restricted or ecologically specialist species.

  17. Comparison of beam theory and finite-element analysis with in vivo bone strain data from the alligator cranium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, Keith A; Daniel, William J T; Ross, Callum F

    2005-04-01

    The mechanical behavior of the vertebrate skull is often modeled using free-body analysis of simple geometric structures and, more recently, finite-element (FE) analysis. In this study, we compare experimentally collected in vivo bone strain orientations and magnitudes from the cranium of the American alligator with those extrapolated from a beam model and extracted from an FE model. The strain magnitudes predicted from beam and FE skull models bear little similarity to relative and absolute strain magnitudes recorded during in vivo biting experiments. However, quantitative differences between principal strain orientations extracted from the FE skull model and recorded during the in vivo experiments were smaller, and both generally matched expectations from the beam model. The differences in strain magnitude between the data sets may be attributable to the level of resolution of the models, the material properties used in the FE model, and the loading conditions (i.e., external forces and constraints). This study indicates that FE models and modeling of skulls as simple engineering structures may give a preliminary idea of how these structures are loaded, but whenever possible, modeling results should be verified with either in vitro or preferably in vivo testing, especially if precise knowledge of strain magnitudes is desired.

  18. Distribution of endocrine cells in the digestive tract of Alligator sinensis during the active and hibernating period.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Huan; Zhang, Shengzhou; Zhou, Naizhen; Wang, Chaolin; Wu, Xiaobing

    2014-10-01

    The digestive tract is the largest endocrine organ in the body; the distribution pattern of endocrine cells varies with different pathological and physiological states. The aim of the present study was to investigate the distributed density of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), gastrin (GAS), somatostatin (SS) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) immunoreactive (IR) cells in the digestive tract of Alligator sinensis during the active and hibernating period by immunohistochemical (IHC) method. The results indicated that 5-HT-IR cells were distributed throughout the entire digestive tract, which were most predominant in duodenum and jejunum. The density increased significantly in stomach and duodenum during hibernation. GAS-IR cells were limited in small stomach and small intestine. The density decreased significantly in small stomach during hibernation, while increased in duodenum. What's more, most of the endocrine cells in duodenum were generally spindle shaped with long cytoplasmic processes ending in the lumen during hibernation. SS-IR cells were limited in stomach and small stomach. The density increased in stomach while decreased in small stomach during hibernation, meanwhile, fewer IR cells occurred in small intestine. VIP-IR cells occurred in stomach and small stomach. The density decreased in small stomach, while increased in stomach during hibernation. These results indicated that the endocrine cells in different parts of digestive tract varied differently during hibernation, their changes were adaptive response to the hibernation.

  19. The Alligator rivers natural analogue - Modelling of uranium and thorium migration in the weathered zone at Koongarra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skagius, K.; Lindgren, M.; Boghammar, A.; Brandberg, F.; Pers, K.; Widen, H. [Kemakta, Stockholm (Sweden)

    1993-08-01

    The Koongarra Uranium Deposit in the Alligator Rivers Region in the Northern Territory of Australia is a natural analogue being investigated with the aim to contribute to the understanding of the scientific basis for the long term prediction of radionuclide migration within geological environments relevant to radioactive waste repositories. The dispersion of uranium and decay products in the weathered zone has been modelled with a simple advection-dispersion-reversible sorption model and with a model extended to also consider {alpha}-recoil and transfer of radionuclides between different mineral phases of the rock. The modelling work was carried out in several iterations, each including a review of available laboratory and field data, selection of the system to be modelled and suitable model, and a comparison of modelling results with field observations. Uranium concentrations in bulk rock calculated with the simple advection-dispersion- reversible sorption model were in fair agreement with observed data using parameter values within ranges recommended based on independent interpretations. The advection-dispersion-reversible sorption model is a large simplification of the system among other things because the partitioning of radionuclides between water and solid phase is described with a sorption equilibrium term only. Although the results from this study not are enough to validate simple performance assessment models in a strict sense, it has been shown that even simple models are able to describe the present day distribution of uranium in the weathered zone at Koongarra. 23 refs, 61 figs.

  20. Blood lead concentrations in free-ranging Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) from South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Jonathan K; Combrink, Xander; Myburgh, Jan G; Downs, Colleen T

    2016-07-01

    Generally crocodilians have received little attention with regard to the effects of lead toxicity despite their trophic status as apex, generalist predators that utilize both aquatic and terrestrial habitats, thereby exposing them to a potentially wide range of environmental contaminants. During July-October 2010 we collected whole blood from 34 sub-adult and adult free-ranging Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) from three separate populations in northeastern South Africa in order to analyze their blood lead concentrations (BPb). Concentrations ranged from below detectability (crocodile size and population sampled. On average, crocodiles had higher BPbs at Lake St Lucia than at Ndumo Game Reserve or Kosi Bay, which we attribute to lead sinker ingestion during normal gastrolith acquisition. No clinical effects of lead toxicosis were observed in these crocodiles, even though the highest concentration (960 μg/dL) we report represents the most elevated BPb recorded to date for a free-ranging vertebrate. Although we suggest adult Nile crocodiles are likely tolerant of elevated Pb body burdens, experimental studies on other crocodilian species suggest the BPb levels reported here may have harmful or fatal effects to egg development and hatchling health. In light of recent Nile crocodile nesting declines in South Africa we urge further BPb monitoring and ecotoxicology research on reproductive females and embryos.

  1. HNK-1 immunoreactivity during early morphogenesis of the head region in a nonmodel vertebrate, crocodile embryo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundrát, Martin

    2008-11-01

    The present study examines HNK-1 immunoidentification of a population of the neural crest (NC) during early head morphogenesis in the nonmodel vertebrate, the crocodile ( Crocodylus niloticus) embryos. Although HNK-1 is not an exclusive NC marker among vertebrates, temporospatial immunoreactive patterns found in the crocodile are almost consistent with NC patterns derived from gene expression studies known in birds (the closest living relatives of crocodiles) and mammals. In contrast to birds, the HNK-1 epitope is immunoreactive in NC cells at the neural fold level in crocodile embryos and therefore provides sufficient base to assess early migratory events of the cephalic NC. I found that crocodile NC forms three classic migratory pathways in the head: mandibular, hyoid, and branchial. Further, I demonstrate that, besides this classic phenotype, there is also a forebrain-derived migratory population, which consolidates into a premandibular stream in the crocodile. In contrast to the closely related chick model, crocodilian premandibular and mandibular NC cells arise from the open neural tube suggesting that species-specific heterochronic behavior of NC may be involved in the formation of different vertebrate facial phenotypes.

  2. Conservation genetics of the alligator snapping turtle: cytonuclear evidence of range-wide bottleneck effects and unusually pronounced geographic structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echelle, A.A.; Hackler, J.C.; Lack, Justin B.; Ballard, S. R.; Roman, J.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie,, David M.; Van Den Bussche, Ronald A.

    2010-01-01

    A previous mtDNA study indicated that female-mediated gene flow was extremely rare among alligator snapping turtle populations in different drainages of the Gulf of Mexico. In this study, we used variation at seven microsatellite DNA loci to assess the possibility of male-mediated gene flow, we augmented the mtDNA survey with additional sampling of the large Mississippi River System, and we evaluated the hypothesis that the consistently low within-population mtDNA diversity reflects past population bottlenecks. The results show that dispersal between drainages of the Gulf of Mexico is rare (F STmsat  = 0.43, ΦSTmtDNA = 0.98). Past range-wide bottlenecks are indicated by several genetic signals, including low diversity for microsatellites (1.1–3.9 alleles/locus; H e = 0.06–0.53) and mtDNA (h = 0.00 for most drainages; π = 0.000–0.001). Microsatellite data reinforce the conclusion from mtDNA that the Suwannee River population might eventually be recognized as a distinct taxonomic unit. It was the only population showing fixation or near fixation for otherwise rare microsatellite alleles. Six evolutionarily significant units are recommended on the basis of reciprocal mtDNA monophyly and high levels of microsatellite DNA divergence.

  3. Peroxidase as a metric of stress tolerance and invasive potential of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides growing in aquatic habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anindita Chatterjee

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available An attempt was made to understand the potential of Alternanthera philoxeroides, alligator weed to adapt to diverse conditions present in pond ecosystems, through a correlative investigation of its natural growth pattern and peroxidase level. Eleven ponds were graded into twosubjective categories: “A. philoxeroides Infestation” (High, Medium, Low and “Level of Pollution” (High and Low, to test for difference in mean peroxidase concentration in A. philoxeroides populations. Significant changes in mean peroxidase concentration in A. philoxeroides were found in ponds categorized on the basis of level of pollution, indicating the adaptability of this plant to propagate under pollution stress.On the other hand, there was no significant change in mean peroxidase concentration for plants growing in ponds categorized on the basis ofinfestation showed that dense, vegetative proliferation caused no stress in A. philoxeroides. An efficient method of assaying peroxidase in A. philoxeroides, under field conditions, using the best suited leaf group (Tips, Tips + 1st leaf pair”, 2nd leaf pair was also explored. “Tips + 1st leaf pair” proved to be a better sample than mature leaves for estimation of peroxidase concentration in A. philoxeroides.

  4. Preliminary report on the intestinal parasites and their diversity in captive Chinese alligators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jinhong; Zhou, Yongkang; Wang, Shaosheng; Tu, Genjun; Tang, Xiaoniu; Wu, Xiaobing

    2014-10-20

    Objetivo: Aunque los parásitos intestinales son comúnmente detectados en los cocodrilos salvajes o en criados en cautividad en otras partes del mundo, existen muy pocos informes el caso concreto del caimán chino criado en cautividad (Alligator sinensis), ya que sólo están distribuidos en las zonas del sur del río Yangtze. El presente trabajo fue realizado para investigar los parásitos intestinales y su diversidad en las especies de cocodrilo chino. Métodos: En mayo y octubre de 2013, se recopilaron aleatoriamente un total de 328 muestras fecales de caimanes chinos en cautividad de un centro de cría en el sur de la provincia de Anhui. Resultados: Fueron identificados tres géneros de protozoos (Entaoeba, Eimeria e Isospora), cinco géneros de nematodos (Ascaris, Dujardin Ascaris, Capillaria, Toxocara y Strongylus), dos géneros de trematodos (Echinostoma y Clonorchis) y dos familias de trematodos (Schistosomatidae y Cryptogonimidae), de los cuales la mayor prevalencia correspondió a Dujardin Ascaris y producían la mayor tasa de infección (14,33%); entaoeba se situó en el segundo puesto (13,11%). El número de especies, índice de riqueza, índice de diversidad y de equitatividad fue superior en los meses de julio y agosto, y éstos, relativamente más para caimanes jóvenes y sub-adultos. Conclusiones: Nuestros resultados apuntan la prevalencia de la infección por parásitos intestinales en caimanes chinos en cautividad y ello exige nuestra atención, ya sea para controlar o prevenir la propagación de la enfermedad parasitaria intestinal a los seres humanos, o para la conservación de esta especie en peligro de extinción.

  5. Intra-population variation in activity ranges, diel patterns, movement rates, and habitat use of American alligators in a subtropical estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mazzotti, Frank M; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Jeffery, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    Movement and habitat use patterns are fundamental components of the behaviors of mobile animals and help determine the scale and types of interactions they have with their environments. These behaviors are especially important to quantify for top predators because they can have strong effects on lower trophic levels as well as the wider ecosystem. Many studies of top predator movement and habitat use focus on general population level trends, which may overlook important intra-population variation in behaviors that now appear to be common. In an effort to better understand the prevalence of intrapopulation variation in top predator movement behaviors and the potential effects of such variation on ecosystem dynamics, we examined the movement and habitat use patterns of a population of adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in a subtropical estuary for nearly four years. We found that alligators exhibited divergent behaviors with respect to activity ranges, movement rates, and habitat use, and that individualized behaviors were stable over multiple years. We also found that the variations across the three behavioral metrics were correlated such that consistent behavioral types emerged, specifically more exploratory individuals and more sedentary individuals. Our study demonstrates that top predator populations can be characterized by high degrees of intra-population variation in terms of movement and habitat use behaviors that could lead to individuals filling different ecological roles in the same ecosystem. By extension, one-size-fits-all ecosystem and species-specific conservation and management strategies that do not account for potential intra-population variation in top predator behaviors may not produce the desired outcomes in all cases.

  6. Identification of Chlamydial species in crocodiles and chickens by PCR-HRM curve analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, T; Bibby, S; O'Rourke, D; Belfiore, T; Agnew-Crumpton, R; Noormohammadi, A H

    2010-10-26

    Recently, a PCR protocol (16SG), targeting 16S rRNA gene coupled with high resolution melt (HRM) curve analysis was developed in our laboratory and shown to reliably detect and identify the seven different Chlamydiaceae spp. In this study, the potential of this method was assessed for detection and differentiation of Chlamydiosis in clinical specimens. Of the total number of 733 specimens from a range of animal species, 219 (30%) were found positive by 16SG PCR. When a sufficient amount of DNA was available (64 submissions), amplicons generated by the 16SG PCR were subjected to HRM curve analysis and results were compared to that of nucleotide sequencing. In all instances, the infecting Chlamydiaceae spp. was genotyped according to the identity of its nucleotide sequence to a reference species. Analysis of the HRM curves and nucleotide sequences from 16SG PCR amplicons also revealed the occurrence of a Chlamydophila-like, a Parachlamydia-like and a variant of Chlamydophila psittaci in chickens. These results reveal the potential of 16SG PCR-HRM curve analysis for rapid and simultaneous detection and identification of Chlamydiaceae spp. in animals and demonstrate the capacity of this system for rapid identification of new Chlamydiaceae spp. in animals during routine diagnostic testings.

  7. The relationship between early growth and survival of hatchling saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brien, Matthew L; Webb, Grahame J; McGuinness, Keith; Christian, Keith A

    2014-01-01

    Hatchling fitness in crocodilians is affected by "runtism" or failure to thrive syndrome (FTT) in captivity. In this study, 300 hatchling C. porosus, artificially incubated at 32°C for most of their embryonic development, were raised in semi-controlled conditions, with growth criteria derived for the early detection of FTT (within 24 days). Body mass, four days after hatching (BM4d), was correlated with egg size and was highly clutch specific, while snout-vent length (SVL4d) was much more variable within and between clutches. For the majority of hatchlings growth trajectories within the first 24 days continued to 90 days and could be used to predict FTT affliction up to 300 days, highlighting the importance of early growth. Growth and survival of hatchling C. porosus in captivity was not influenced by initial size (BM4d), with a slight tendency for smaller hatchlings to grow faster in the immediate post-hatching period. Strong clutch effects (12 clutches) on affliction with FTT were apparent, but could not be explained by measured clutch variables or other factors. Among individuals not afflicted by FTT (N = 245), mean growth was highly clutch specific, and the variation could be explained by an interaction between clutch and season. FTT affliction was 2.5 times higher among clutches (N = 7) that hatched later in the year when mean minimum air temperatures were lower, compared with those clutches (N = 5) that hatched early in the year. The results of this study highlight the importance of early growth in hatchling C. porosus, which has implications for the captive management of this species.

  8. The relationship between early growth and survival of hatchling saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus in captivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L Brien

    Full Text Available Hatchling fitness in crocodilians is affected by "runtism" or failure to thrive syndrome (FTT in captivity. In this study, 300 hatchling C. porosus, artificially incubated at 32°C for most of their embryonic development, were raised in semi-controlled conditions, with growth criteria derived for the early detection of FTT (within 24 days. Body mass, four days after hatching (BM4d, was correlated with egg size and was highly clutch specific, while snout-vent length (SVL4d was much more variable within and between clutches. For the majority of hatchlings growth trajectories within the first 24 days continued to 90 days and could be used to predict FTT affliction up to 300 days, highlighting the importance of early growth. Growth and survival of hatchling C. porosus in captivity was not influenced by initial size (BM4d, with a slight tendency for smaller hatchlings to grow faster in the immediate post-hatching period. Strong clutch effects (12 clutches on affliction with FTT were apparent, but could not be explained by measured clutch variables or other factors. Among individuals not afflicted by FTT (N = 245, mean growth was highly clutch specific, and the variation could be explained by an interaction between clutch and season. FTT affliction was 2.5 times higher among clutches (N = 7 that hatched later in the year when mean minimum air temperatures were lower, compared with those clutches (N = 5 that hatched early in the year. The results of this study highlight the importance of early growth in hatchling C. porosus, which has implications for the captive management of this species.

  9. Thermoregulation and temperature relations of alligators and other large ectotherms inhabiting thermally stressed habitats. Annual progress report, July 1, 1975--June 30, 1976

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spotila, J.R.

    1976-03-01

    The effects of radiation and convection on the equilibrium body temperatures of alligators have been determined. Gaping has been shown to be an effective thermoregulatory device for retarding heat gain in the heads of these animals. Initial time dependent experiments have been completed and ketamine hydrochloride has been shown to be an effective anesthetic for alligators. Evaporative water loss rates have been measured as a function of size, temperature and wind speed for the turtle Chrysemys scripta. Convection coefficients have been determined and climate spaces are being formulated. Field studies are under way at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Convection coefficients for largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides change as a function of temperature and water speed. Steady state heat energy budgets have been computed for this fish. The effects of arsenic and temperature on the temperature tolerance of larval muskellunge, Esox masquinongy, have been determined. The thermal tolerances of several species of minnows have also been measured. The role of the skin in the control of evaporation from amphibians and reptiles has been assessed. During the past year one article has been published, two are in press, one is in review, and eight are in preparation. Five masters theses will be completed by July 1976.

  10. Inappropriate feeding practice favors the transmission of Trichinella papuae from wild pigs to saltwater crocodiles in Papua New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozio, Edoardo; Owen, Ifor L; Marucci, Gianluca; La Rosa, Giuseppe

    2005-02-28

    The recent discovery of Trichinella zimbabwensis in farmed crocodiles (Crocodilus niloticus) of Zimbabwe and its ability to infect mammals, and the development of both T. zimbabwensis and Trichinella papuae in experimentally infected reptiles led to an investigation of Trichinella infection in saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) and in wild pigs (Sus scrofa) of Papua New Guinea, to see if T. papuae also, is present in both cold- and warm-blooded animals. Of 222 crocodiles examined, 47 animals (21.2%), all from Kikori, Gulf Province, were positive for non-encapsulated larvae in the muscles. The greatest number of larvae was found usually in the biceps, with an average of 7 larvae/g. One isolate from a crocodile infected successfully both laboratory rats and mice. Of 81 wild pigs examined, 9 from Bensbach river area (Western Province) and 1 from Kikori area (Gulf Province) were positive for non-encapsulated larvae in the muscles. Trichinella larvae from both saltwater crocodiles and wild pigs have been identified by multiplex-PCR analysis as T. papuae. The sequence analysis of the region within the large subunit ribosomal DNA, known as the expansion segment V, has shown the presence of a molecular marker distinguishing T. papuae isolates of Bensbach river area from those of Kikori area. This marker could be useful to trace back the geographical origin of the infected animal. The epidemiological investigation carried out in the Kikori area has shown that local people catch young crocodiles in the wild and keep them in holding pens for several months, before sending them to the crocodile farm in Lae (Morobe Province). They feed the crocodiles primarily with wild pig meat bought at the local market and also with fish. These results stress the importance of using artificial digestion for routinely screening of swine and crocodiles, and of adopting measures for preventing the spread of infection, such as the proper disposal of carcasses and the adequate freezing of

  11. The South Alligator valley, northern Australia, then and now. Rehabilitating 60's uranium mines to 2000 standards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waggitt, P.W. [Office of the Supervising Scientist, Darwin, N.T. (Australia)

    2000-07-01

    From 1956 to 1964 the upper South Alligator valley, an area in northern Australia about 200 km south east of Darwin, was the location for 13 operating uranium mines and a number of prospects. In each case the exploration involved drilling, costeaning and development of adits and shafts. The sites were abandoned in 1964 along with a small mill and solvent extraction plant and a gravity battery plant. There were no rehabilitation requirements under the regulations in force at that time. In 1986 a survey of abandoned mines was undertaken by the Commonwealth Government to establish the size and scope of a possible rehabilitation project. The area lay within the boundaries of the World Heritage Kakadu National Park and visitor numbers were increasing annually. The funds available from the Commonwealth rehabilitation fund were insufficient to permit a major rehabilitation program. In 1988, after discussions between the various agencies involved, it was agreed that a hazard reduction program would be undertaken. This was to include reductions in physical, as well as radiological hazards for visitors to the area. The program required that old mine workings be made physically safe and that potentially hazardous radioactive material be buried. The works took place from 1990 to 1992. The methodology and outcomes of the program are described. Monitoring was undertaken during and after the program and results of the studies for erosion, radiation and revegetation aspects of the work are described and discussed. In 1996 the land was returned to the Aboriginal Traditional Owners and leased back to the Commonwealth Government to remain in Kakadu National Park. The lease requires all evidence of former mining to be rehabilitated by 2015. The paper concludes by describing the planning and consultation processes for this rehabilitation program that have been taking place since 1997 and outlines the proposed schedule of works due to commence in 2001. 9 refs.

  12. Size and Size Distribution of Crocodile Blood Hemoglobin as Functions of Concentration,Temperature and pH%鳄鱼血血红蛋白大小随浓度、温度和pH的变化

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    雷健明; 朱志远; 黄耀熊

    2012-01-01

    目的:应用激光散射技术对鳄鱼血血红蛋白的大小及粒度分布等特性进行系统性测定分析,并研究其在不同温度、浓度及pH值下的变化规律.方法:用激光散射装置测定不同浓度、温度和pH值下的鳄鱼血红蛋白的粒度及粒度分布.结果:①鳄鱼血红蛋白的粒径基本不随其浓度变化,不会发生解聚或聚集的情况.②鳄鱼血红蛋白粒径在10℃~48℃之间基本不变,但在高温时(≥48℃)会发生聚集而使其粒径变大一倍.③鳄鱼血红蛋白耐碱,其粒径从生理pH升到9.21都不会发生变化.但在酸性的情况下会发生聚集粒径变大一倍.结论:①鳄鱼血红蛋白的粒径在不同Hb浓度下基本保持不变,说明其结构比较稳定,在不同浓度下都不会发生聚集或解聚现象.②鳄鱼血红蛋白在10℃~48℃的条件下,其粒径都没有变化,说明了血红蛋白的结构对于温度来说也是相当稳定的.③鳄鱼血红蛋白在正常pH至高碱性环境下,其粒径也基本不会变化.说明了鳄鱼血红蛋白在碱性的环境下其稳定性很好,不会发生聚集或解聚的情况.%The sizes and size distribution of crocodile blood hemoglobin are investigated as functions of hemoglobin concentration, temperature, and pH. Methods: Laser light scattering was employed to determine the sizes and size distributions of the hemoglobin. Results: ①The size of crocodile hemoglobin in normal condition is 5.3 nm and monodispersed in solution, and does not change with concentration. ②The size of Crocodile hemoglobin keeps approximately the same in the temperature range between 10t:~48t, but increases to double when temperature is higher than 48tl, indicating particle aggregation may happen. ③Crocodile hemoglobin has a good resistance to alkalis, and its size does not change from physiological pH to 9.21. But in acid conditions, its size increases to double folds, indicating particle aggregation. Conclusions:

  13. International Alligator Rivers Analog Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bichard, G.F.

    1988-01-01

    The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, the U.K. Department of the Environment, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation of Japan are participating under the aegis of the Nuclear Energy Agency in the International Alligator Rivers Analog Project. The project has a duration of 3 yr, starting in 1988. The project has grown out of a research program on uranium ore bodies as analogs of high-level waste (HLW) repositories undertaken by ANSTO supported by the NRC. A primary objective of the project is to develop an approach to radionuclide transport model validation that may be used by the participants to support assessments of the safety of radioactive waste repositories. The approach involves integrating mathematical and physical modeling with hydrological and geochemical field and laboratory investigations of the analog site. The Koongarra uranium ore body has been chosen as the analog site because it has a secondary ore body that has formed over the past million years as a result of leaching by groundwater flowing through fractures in the primary ore body.

  14. Alligator pepper/Grain of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta) modulates Angiotensin-I converting enzyme activity, lipid profile and oxidative imbalances in a rat model of hypercholesterolemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adefegha, Stephen A; Oboh, Ganiyu; Adefegha, Omowunmi M; Henle, Thomas

    2016-09-01

    Alligator pepper [Aframomum melegueta Roscoe K. (Zingiberaceae)] seeds have been reportedly used in folkloric medicine in the management of hypercholesterolemia and hypertension with limited scientific basis for their action. This study was conducted to characterize the amino acids in Alligator pepper seeds (APS), assess their effects on lipid profile and enzyme linked to blood pressure regulation in hypercholesterolemic rat (rats fed 2% cholesterol diet) model. Free and total amino acids of APS were extracted and their various constituents were analyzed using the amino acid analyzer and ultra-performance liquid chromatography. The effect of dietary inclusion of APS (2-4%) on the lipid profile, angiotensin I-enzyme (ACE) activity and antioxidant status in hypercholesterolemic rats (HCR) for 30days was assessed. The results suggest that APS may modulate blood lipid profile, ameliorate blood pressure, attenuate hepatotoxicity and exert antihypercholesterolemic effect. γ - amino butyric acid (GABA), tyrosine, phenylalanine and tryptophan that were subsequently detected in APS. The observed salutary effects of APS may be attributed to the synergistic or/and additive actions of the amino acids present with other antioxidant phytoconstituents. These findings may therefore provide pharmacological basis for APS use in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia and hypertension.

  15. Odours Discrimination between Familiar and Unfamiliar Individuals by Crocodile Lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus)%鳄蜥对熟悉和陌生个体气味的辨别

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    蒋洁; 武正军; 于海; 黄乘明; 蔡凤金; 王振兴; 何南

    2012-01-01

    个体辨别对于减少同种争斗以及配偶选择具有重要意义.我们用棉棒粘取鳄蜥(Shinisaurus crocodilurus)尿液作为气味源,以香水作为对照,测定鳄蜥对熟悉个体气味、陌生个体气味以及香水的舔舌次数和舔舌潜伏期,来探讨鳄蜥通过化学信息辨别熟悉和陌生个体的能力.结果显示,不论是雌性还是雄性,对不同个体尿液的舔舌次数均显著高于对香水的,舔舌潜伏期显著短于香水的;尽管雄性对陌生同性个体气味与熟悉同性个体气味的舔舌次数无显著差异,但对前者的舔舌潜伏期显著短于后者;雄性对陌生雌性气味的舔舌次数显著多于熟悉雌性气味的,对前者的舔舌潜伏期显著短于后者;雌性对陌生雄性气味的舔舌潜伏期显著短于对熟悉雄性气味的;雄鳄蜥对陌生雌性气味的舔舌次数显著多于雌鳄蜥对陌生雄性的.结果表明,鳄蜥能辨别同种个体的化学信息,并能通过化学信息来辨别熟悉和陌生个体,推测鳄蜥的这种辨别能力对其领域分配以及繁殖交配有重要作用.%Chemical discrimination is important for reptiles in reducing population competition and mating choice. In order to understand the discriminating ability of Crocodile Lizard ( Shinisaurus crocodilurus) on familiar and unfamiliar individual through chemical cues, we used cotton swabs containing perfume ( cologne) , chemical stimuli from urine of familiar and unfamiliar individuals as chemical odours, to test the discrimination ability of lizard by counting the times of tongue flicking and latency duration. Both of male and female Crocodile Lizards flicked their tongue much higher frequency when they were served cotton swabs with familiar and unfamiliar odours than they did with cologne; the latency time toward familiar and unfamiliar odours were significantly shorter than that toward cologne. However, the tongue-flick frequency of males toward unfamiliar and

  16. Sacrificing Steve: How I Killed the Crocodile Hunter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke Carman

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Bob Hodge and Vijay Mishra argue that the complex issues of illegitimacy at the core of Australian identity are repressed through a continual process of cyclical silencing, where traces of a shameful past are exorcised by a focus on images of a mythologised ‘legend’, embodied in characters such as 'The Man from Snowy River'. This article explores such a 'schizophrenic' cycle in relation to the life, death and resurrection of Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin.

  17. Mercury in Morelet's crocodile eggs from northern Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, T R; Adair, B M; Platt, S G; Anderson, T A; Cobb, G P; McMurry, S T

    2002-04-01

    Recent studies have examined mercury accumulation in crocodilians. However, though most researchers have focused on tissue concentrations, few have examined mercury levels in crocodilian eggs. In July 1995, we analyzed mercury in 31 nonviable Morelet's crocodile ( Crocodylus moreletii) eggs collected from eight nests across three localities in northern Belize. All eggs were found to contain mercury. Based on an individual egg basis, mean concentration of mercury for all three localities was among the lowest reported for any crocodilian species. When localities were examined separately, mean concentrations for Laguna Seca and Gold Button Lagoon were comparable to those observed in other studies, and the mean for Sapote Lagoon was the lowest ever reported. Based on mean nest concentrations, mercury in eggs from Laguna Seca was approximately two- and tenfold higher than for Gold Button Lagoon and Sapote Lagoon, respectively. Variability in mercury concentrations among localities is likely the result of site-specific differences in mercury input, bioavailabilty, and bioaccumulation. Mercury concentrations were relatively uniform in eggs from the same nest and among nests from the same localities. The presence of mercury in Morelet's crocodile eggs suggests exposure in adult females, developing embryos, and neonates. However, crocodiles in these areas show no overt signs of mercury toxicity, and no indication of population decline is evident. A paucity of data on the effects of mercury on crocodilians precludes meaningful speculation as to the biological significance of tissue and egg concentrations. Controlled laboratory studies and long-term population monitoring are needed to address these questions.

  18. 扬子鳄的现状与保护%THE CURRENT STATUS OF ALLIGATOR SINENSIS FAUVEL AND ITS CONSERVATION

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汪仁平

    1998-01-01

    @@扬子鳄为我国特有的珍稀爬行动物,被我国政府列为国家一级保护,在我国有关它的记载已有三千多年的历史.古典文献把它记作"鼍",民间称为"土龙"、"猪婆龙",拉丁学名叫Alligator sinensis.

  19. Lacoste Launches Its First Operation to Safeguard Endangered Crocodile Species

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    In 1927, when René Lacoste chose the crocodile as his emblem, he had not imagined that 80 years later, millions of people would bear this logo. He could also not imagine that the crocodile would be threatened

  20. Evolutionary history of trypanosomes from South American caiman (Caiman yacare) and African crocodiles inferred by phylogenetic analyses using SSU rDNA and gGAPDH genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viola, L B; Almeida, R S; Ferreira, R C; Campaner, M; Takata, C S A; Rodrigues, A C; Paiva, F; Camargo, E P; Teixeira, M M G

    2009-01-01

    In this study, using a combined data set of SSU rDNA and gGAPDH gene sequences, we provide phylogenetic evidence that supports clustering of crocodilian trypanosomes from the Brazilian Caiman yacare (Alligatoridae) and Trypanosoma grayi, a species that circulates between African crocodiles (Crocodilydae) and tsetse flies. In a survey of trypanosomes in Caiman yacare from the Brazilian Pantanal, the prevalence of trypanosome infection was 35% as determined by microhaematocrit and haemoculture, and 9 cultures were obtained. The morphology of trypomastigotes from caiman blood and tissue imprints was compared with those described for other crocodilian trypanosomes. Differences in morphology and growth behaviour of caiman trypanosomes were corroborated by molecular polymorphism that revealed 2 genotypes. Eight isolates were ascribed to genotype Cay01 and 1 to genotype Cay02. Phylogenetic inferences based on concatenated SSU rDNA and gGAPDH sequences showed that caiman isolates are closely related to T. grayi, constituting a well-supported monophyletic assemblage (clade T. grayi). Divergence time estimates based on clade composition, and biogeographical and geological events were used to discuss the relationships between the evolutionary histories of crocodilian trypanosomes and their hosts.

  1. SEX-STEROID AND THYROID HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE LAKES IN FLORIDA. (R824760)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  2. Evaluating effects of Everglades restoration on American crocodile populations in south Florida using a spatially-explicit, stage-based population model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Timothy W.; Slone, Daniel H.; Swain, Eric D.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Lohmann, Melinda; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Rice, Kenneth G.

    2014-01-01

    The distribution and abundance of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in the Florida Everglades is dependent on the timing, amount, and location of freshwater flow. One of the goals of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) is to restore historic freshwater flows to American crocodile habitat throughout the Everglades. To predict the impacts on the crocodile population from planned restoration activities, we created a stage-based spatially explicit crocodile population model that incorporated regional hydrology models and American crocodile research and monitoring data. Growth and survival were influenced by salinity, water depth, and density-dependent interactions. A stage-structured spatial model was used with discrete spatial convolution to direct crocodiles toward attractive sources where conditions were favorable. The model predicted that CERP would have both positive and negative impacts on American crocodile growth, survival, and distribution. Overall, crocodile populations across south Florida were predicted to decrease approximately 3 % with the implementation of CERP compared to future conditions without restoration, but local increases up to 30 % occurred in the Joe Bay area near Taylor Slough, and local decreases up to 30 % occurred in the vicinity of Buttonwood Canal due to changes in salinity and freshwater flows.

  3. Pansteatitis of unknown etiology associated with large-scale Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) mortality in Kruger National Park, South Africa: pathologic findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lane, Emily P; Huchzermeyer, Fritz W; Govender, Danny; Bengis, Roy G; Buss, Peter E; Hofmeyr, Markus; Myburgh, Jan G; Steyl, Johan C A; Pienaar, Daniel J; Kotze, Antoinette

    2013-12-01

    Annual mortality events in Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in the Olifants River Gorge in Kruger National Park, South Africa, were experienced between 2008 and 2012, during which at least 216 crocodiles died. Live crocodiles were lethargic. Necropsy examination of 56 affected crocodiles showed dark yellow-brown firm nodules in both somatic fat and the abdominal fat body. In all of the 11 crocodiles submitted for histology, degenerative, necrotic, and inflammatory changes supported a diagnosis of steatitis in both fat types. Crocodiles are apex predators in this anthropogenically changed aquatic ecosystem that is used by humans upstream and downstream from the park for domestic, agricultural, fishing, and recreational purposes. This pathologic review of pansteatitis in crocodiles in the Olifants River system was part of a broad multidisciplinary research program. To date, no definitive causative agent has been identified. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that this event may have been a one-time event with long-standing repercussions on the health of the crocodiles. Pathologic findings are rarely documented in wild crocodilians. This study also reports on other conditions, including the presence of coccidian oocysts, capillarid and filaroid nematodes, digenetic trematodes, and pentastomes.

  4. Bio-gas production from alligator weeds semiannual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Latif, A.

    1976-01-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to study the effect of temperature, sample preparation, reducing agents, light intensity and pH of the media, on bio-gas and methane production from the microbial anaerobic decomposition of alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides). Efforts were also made for the isolation and characterization of the methanogenic bacteria.

  5. Antibacterial activity of plasma from crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis against pathogenic bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kommanee Jintana

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis is a critically endangered species of freshwater crocodiles. Crocodilians live with opportunistic bacterial infection but normally suffer no adverse effects. They are not totally immune to microbial infection, but their resistance thereto is remarkably effective. In this study, crude and purified plasma extracted from the Siamese crocodile were examined for antibacterial activity against clinically isolated, human pathogenic bacterial strains and the related reference strains. Methods Crude plasma was prepared from whole blood of the Siamese crocodile by differential sedimentation. The crude plasma was examined for antibacterial activity by the liquid growth inhibition assay. The scanning electron microscopy was performed to confirm the effect of crude crocodile plasma on the cells of Salmonella typhi ATCC 11778. Effect of crude crocodile plasma on cell viability was tested by MTT assay. In addition, the plasma was purified by anion exchange column chromatography with DEAE-Toyopearl 650 M and the purified plasma was tested for antibacterial activity. Results Crude plasma was prepared from whole blood of the Siamese crocodile and exhibited substantial antibacterial activities of more than 40% growth inhibition against the six reference strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, Escherichia coli, Vibrio cholerae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus epidermidis, and the four clinical isolates of Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, and Vibrio cholerae. Especially, more than 80% growth inhibition was found in the reference strains of Salmonella typhi, Vibrio cholerae, and Staphylococcus epidermidis and in the clinical isolates of Salmonella typhi and Vibrio cholerae. The effect of the crude plasma on bacterial cells of Salmonella typhi, a certain antibacterial material probably penetrates progressively into the cytoplasmic space

  6. Armadillos, Boatbills & Crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkovits, Annette; Greenblatt, Esther

    1980-01-01

    Recounts the unique partnership in science instruction developed between Nassau and Suffolk County (New York) schools and the Bronx Zoo to provide educational experiences for handicapped and mentally retarded students. Discussion focuses on a five-phase program developed for 200 elementary secondary students from Rosemary Kennedy Center through…

  7. A new horned crocodile from the Plio-Pleistocene hominid sites at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher A Brochu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The fossil record reveals surprising crocodile diversity in the Neogene of Africa, but relationships with their living relatives and the biogeographic origins of the modern African crocodylian fauna are poorly understood. A Plio-Pleistocene crocodile from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, represents a new extinct species and shows that high crocodylian diversity in Africa persisted after the Miocene. It had prominent triangular "horns" over the ears and a relatively deep snout, these resemble those of the recently extinct Malagasy crocodile Voay robustus, but the new species lacks features found among osteolaemines and shares derived similarities with living species of Crocodylus. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The holotype consists of a partial skull and skeleton and was collected on the surface between two tuffs dated to approximately 1.84 million years (Ma, in the same interval near the type localities for the hominids Homo habilis and Australopithecus boisei. It was compared with previously-collected material from Olduvai Gorge referable to the same species. Phylogenetic analysis places the new form within or adjacent to crown Crocodylus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The new crocodile species was the largest predator encountered by our ancestors at Olduvai Gorge, as indicated by hominid specimens preserving crocodile bite marks from these sites. The new species also reinforces the emerging view of high crocodylian diversity throughout the Neogene, and it represents one of the few extinct species referable to crown genus Crocodylus.

  8. Estimating trends in alligator populations from nightlight survey data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Cherkiss, Michael; Jeffery, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Nightlight surveys are commonly used to evaluate status and trends of crocodilian populations, but imperfect detection caused by survey- and location-specific factors makes it difficult to draw population inferences accurately from uncorrected data. We used a two-stage hierarchical model comprising population abundance and detection probability to examine recent abundance trends of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in subareas of Everglades wetlands in Florida using nightlight survey data. During 2001–2008, there were declining trends in abundance of small and/or medium sized animals in a majority of subareas, whereas abundance of large sized animals had either demonstrated an increased or unclear trend. For small and large sized class animals, estimated detection probability declined as water depth increased. Detection probability of small animals was much lower than for larger size classes. The declining trend of smaller alligators may reflect a natural population response to the fluctuating environment of Everglades wetlands under modified hydrology. It may have negative implications for the future of alligator populations in this region, particularly if habitat conditions do not favor recruitment of offspring in the near term. Our study provides a foundation to improve inferences made from nightlight surveys of other crocodilian populations.

  9. 75 FR 34365 - Safety Zone, Alligator River, NC

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-17

    ...The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone on the waters of the Alligator River at East Lake, North Carolina. The safety zone is intended to temporarily restrict vessel traffic movement in the zone area and is necessary to provide for the safety of mariners on navigable waters during maintenance on the U.S. Highway 64 Swing...

  10. QTL mapping for two commercial traits in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, L G; Isberg, S R; Thomson, P C; Glenn, T C; Lance, S L; Dalzell, P; Moran, C

    2010-04-01

    The recent generation of a genetic linkage map for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) has now made it possible to carry out the systematic searches necessary for the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting traits of economic, as well as evolutionary, importance in crocodilians. In this study, we conducted genome-wide scans for two commercially important traits, inventory head length (which is highly correlated with growth rate) and number of scale rows (SR, a skin quality trait), for the existence of QTL in a commercial population of saltwater crocodiles at Darwin Crocodile Farm, Northern Territory, Australia. To account for the uncommonly large difference in sex-specific recombination rates apparent in the saltwater crocodile, a duel mapping strategy was employed. This strategy employed a sib-pair analysis to take advantage of our full-sib pedigree structure, together with a half-sib analysis to account for, and take advantage of, the large difference in sex-specific recombination frequencies. Using these approaches, two putative QTL regions were identified for SR on linkage group 1 (LG1) at 36 cM, and on LG12 at 0 cM. The QTL identified in this investigation represent the first for a crocodilian and indeed for any non-avian member of the Class Reptilia. Mapping of QTL is an important first step towards the identification of genes and causal mutations for commercially important traits and the development of selection tools for implementation in crocodile breeding programmes for the industry.

  11. Similarity of Crocodilian and Avian Lungs Indicates Unidirectional Flow Is Ancestral for Archosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, C G

    2015-12-01

    Patterns of airflow and pulmonary anatomy were studied in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus), the dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis), the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), and Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). In addition, anatomy was studied in the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius). Airflow was measured using heated thermistor flow meters and visualized by endoscopy during insufflation of aerosolized propolene glycol and glycerol. Computed tomography and gross dissection were used to visualize the anatomy. In all species studied a bird-like pattern of unidirectional flow was present, in which air flowed caudad in the cervical ventral bronchus and its branches during both lung inflation and deflation and craniad in dorsobronchi and their branches. Tubular pathways connected the secondary bronchi to each other and allowed air to flow from the dorsobronchi into the ventrobronchi. No evidence for anatomical valves was found, suggesting that aerodynamic valves cause the unidirectional flow. In vivo data from the American alligator showed that unidirectional flow is present during periods of breath-holding (apnea) and is powered by the beating heart, suggesting that this pattern of flow harnesses the heart as a pump for air. Unidirectional flow may also facilitate washout of stale gases from the lung, reducing the cost of breathing, respiratory evaporative water loss, heat loss through the heat of vaporization, and facilitating crypsis. The similarity in structure and function of the bird lung with pulmonary anatomy of this broad range of crocodilian species indicates that a similar morphology and pattern of unidirectional flow were present in the lungs of the common ancestor of crocodilians and birds. These data suggest a paradigm shift is needed in our understanding of the evolution of this

  12. Quantitative analysis of production traits in saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus): III. juvenile survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isberg, S R; Thomson, P C; Nicholas, F W; Barker, S G; Moran, C

    2006-02-01

    Mortality records of 1302 juvenile crocodiles were available for analysis. Crocodiles that were slaughtered during this study were treated as censored (n = 2151). Additionally, records from animals that had neither died nor been slaughtered, i.e. were still alive in the production system (n = 1582), were censored at the last date of data collection. There were a total of 3733 censored records. The data were all full-sib records from 29 parental pairs from Janamba Croc Farm (Northern Territory, Australia), collected over nine consecutive years. Data were analysed using an extension of Cox's proportional hazards model to include frailty (random) terms to account for genetic effects. Heritability of log survival time for juvenile crocodile survival was 0.15 (SE 0.04). The probability of a juvenile crocodile surviving to day 400 was estimated to be only 51%. These results are the first to quantify juvenile survival in a captive breeding situation. Also, this is the first heritability estimate of crocodile survival and is a fundamental element in the development of a genetic improvement programme.

  13. Characterization of Serum Phospholipase A2 Activity in Three Diverse Species of West African Crocodiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Merchant

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Secretory phospholipase A2, an enzyme that exhibits substantial immunological activity, was measured in the serum of three species of diverse West African crocodiles. Incubation of different volumes of crocodile serum with bacteria labeled with a fluorescent fatty acid in the sn-2 position of membrane lipids resulted in a volume-dependent liberation of fluorescent probe. Serum from the Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus exhibited slightly higher activity than that of the slender-snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus and the African dwarf crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis. Product formation was inhibited by BPB, a specific PLA2 inhibitor, confirming that the activity was a direct result of the presence of serum PLA2. Kinetic analysis showed that C. niloticus serum produced product more rapidly than M. cataphractus or O. tetraspis. Serum from all three species exhibited temperature-dependent PLA2 activities but with slightly different thermal profiles. All three crocodilian species showed high levels of activity against eight different species of bacteria.

  14. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 2007

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR and Pea Island NWR outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 2007 calendar year. The report begins with a...

  15. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 1994

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges summarizes refuge activities during 1994. The report begins with an...

  16. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR and Pea Island NWR outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 2008 calendar year. The report begins with a...

  17. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 2003

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges summarizes refuge activities during 2003. The report begins with an...

  18. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island NWRs outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 2004 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  19. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 1996

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges summarizes refuge activities during 1996. The report begins with an...

  20. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island NWRs outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 2006 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  1. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges summarizes refuge activities during 2002. The report begins with an...

  2. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 1993

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges summarizes refuge activities during 1993. The report begins with an...

  3. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual Narrative Report : Calendar Year 1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR and Pea Island NWR summarizes Refuge activities during the 1990 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  4. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual Narrative Report : Calendar Year 1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR and Pea Island NWR summarizes Refuge activities during the 1991 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  5. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 2005

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island NWRs outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 2005 calendar year. The report begins with a summary...

  6. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge [Land Status Map: Sheet 4 of 6

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This map was produced by the Division of Realty to depict landownership at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It was generated from rectified aerial...

  7. The Trail Inventory of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge [Cycle 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of this report is to create a baseline inventory of all non-motorized trails on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Trails in this inventory are...

  8. Concentrations of contaminants in muscle of the American alligator in Florida

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delany, M.F.; Bell, J.U.; Sundlof, S.F.

    1988-01-01

    Samples of tail muscle from 32 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida were analyzed for contaminant concentrations to provide preliminary information on the potential public health hazard of meat consumption. Detectable levels were found for eight metals; copper, zinc, iron, chromium, mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Mean residue was highest for mercury (geometric mean = 0.61 ppm). DDE, DDD, DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, lindane, and PCB's were found. Mean residue concentrations were compared by lake. Alligators appeared to be suitable monitors of environmental pollution. Concentrations of contaminants found in these animals probably pose little threat to public health. However, recommendations must await analysis of larger sample sizes and information on amount and frequency of meat consumption. Alligators killed for human consumption should continue to be monitored for contaminant residues.

  9. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge [Land Status Map: Sheet 5 of 6

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This map was produced by the Division of Realty to depict landownership at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It was generated from rectified aerial...

  10. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge [Land Status Map: Sheet 1 of 6

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This map was produced by the Division of Realty to depict landownership at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It was generated from rectified aerial...

  11. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge [Land Status Map: Sheet 2 of 6

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This map was produced by the Division of Realty to depict landownership at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It was generated from rectified aerial...

  12. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge [Land Status Map: Sheet 3 of 6

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This map was produced by the Division of Realty to depict landownership at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It was generated from rectified aerial...

  13. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge [Land Status Map: Sheet 6 of 6

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This map was produced by the Division of Realty to depict landownership at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. It was generated from rectified aerial...

  14. Intense and specialized dendritic localization of the fragile X mental retardation protein in binaural brainstem neurons: a comparative study in the alligator, chicken, gerbil, and human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuan; Sakano, Hitomi; Beebe, Karisa; Brown, Maile R; de Laat, Rian; Bothwell, Mark; Kulesza, Randy J; Rubel, Edwin W

    2014-06-15

    Neuronal dendrites are structurally and functionally dynamic in response to changes in afferent activity. The fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is an mRNA binding protein that regulates activity-dependent protein synthesis and morphological dynamics of dendrites. Loss and abnormal expression of FMRP occur in fragile X syndrome (FXS) and some forms of autism spectrum disorders. To provide further understanding of how FMRP signaling regulates dendritic dynamics, we examined dendritic expression and localization of FMRP in the reptilian and avian nucleus laminaris (NL) and its mammalian analogue, the medial superior olive (MSO), in rodents and humans. NL/MSO neurons are specialized for temporal processing of low-frequency sounds for binaural hearing, which is impaired in FXS. Protein BLAST analyses first demonstrate that the FMRP amino acid sequences in the alligator and chicken are highly similar to human FMRP with identical mRNA-binding and phosphorylation sites, suggesting that FMRP functions similarly across vertebrates. Immunocytochemistry further reveals that NL/MSO neurons have very high levels of dendritic FMRP in low-frequency hearing vertebrates including alligator, chicken, gerbil, and human. Remarkably, dendritic FMRP in NL/MSO neurons often accumulates at branch points and enlarged distal tips, loci known to be critical for branch-specific dendritic arbor dynamics. These observations support an important role for FMRP in regulating dendritic properties of binaural neurons that are essential for low-frequency sound localization and auditory scene segregation, and support the relevance of studying this regulation in nonhuman vertebrates that use low frequencies in order to further understand human auditory processing disorders.

  15. 扬子鳄卵不同部位中的Cu、Zn、Cd和Pb重金属元素分布%A Primelinary Study on Heavy Metal Elements (Cu,Zn,Cd and Pb) in Different Parts of the Eggs of Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis )

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    With two whole infertile eggs and two incomplete infertile eggs (having shell me mbrane and shell) of Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis) from the artific ial condition and the field in Anhui Province,the authors studied the concentra tion of four heavy metal elements (Cu,Zn,Cd and Pb) in the different parts (al bumen,yolk,shell membrane and shell) with Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) .Our results showed that these four elements' concentration was quite different in the different parts of the same egg.The concentration of these four elements from high to low is Zn,Cu,Pb,Cd in the albumen,yolk and shell membrane of th e infertile egg.However the sequence is Zn,Pb,Cu,Cd in the shell of the infer tile egg.The concentration of Zn (the highest is 63.29 mg/kg) is higher than t he other three elements in the same egg.The concentration of Cu (the highest is 20.03 mg/kg) is higher in the shell membrane than the others parts of the same egg.The concentration of Pb (the highest is 26.8 mg/kg) is higher in the shel l than the other parts of the same egg.The concentration of Cd (the minimum is 0 .024 mg/kg) is much lower than the other three elements in the albumen,yolk a nd shell membrane of the same egg.In addition,our results also showed that the concentration of these four elements tended higher in the infertile egg from the artificial condition than that from the field.The results should be considered by Chinese Alligator Breeding Center.

  16. Molecular Genetics and Genetic Diversity of Chinese Alligator,Alligator sinensis%扬子鳄分子遗传学与遗传多样性研究现状

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄磊; 王义权

    2004-01-01

    扬子鳄(Alligator sinensis)是中国特有的珍稀物种,其遗传资源的保护已受到广泛关注和重视.本文简要介绍了近年来有关扬子鳄在分子系统学、遗传多样性与种群遗传结构、线粒体基因组、个体识别以及性别决定方面的分子遗传学研究状况.

  17. A preliminary disease survey in the wild Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) population in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, A J; Lovely, C J; Pittman, J M

    2011-09-01

    The objective of this study was to conduct a preliminary survey of diseases that might be present in the wild Nile crocodile population in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Blood samples were collected from crocodiles ranging in size from 34.0 cm to 463.0 cm total length. Samples were examined for blood parasites and underwent a haematological analysis. Before release the crocodiles were examined for various clinical abnormalities. Of the 144 crocodiles examined, none were visibly sick or displayed any signs of disease. No antibodies to Mycoplasma crocodyli were detected. Hepatozoon pettiti was present in 55.3% of blood smears examined, but there was no significant difference in any of the haematological values between the infected and uninfected crocodiles, and a high prevalence of Hepatozoon infection is not uncommon in other species. Only 7.6% of the examined crocodiles were infested with leeches. Further research is required for several of the crocodilian diseases, in particular to elucidate the role of wild crocodilians as reservoirs of infection.

  18. A preliminary disease survey in the wild Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus population in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Leslie

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to conduct a preliminary survey of diseases that might be present in the wild Nile crocodile population in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Blood samples were collected from crocodiles ranging in size from 34.0cmto 463.0cmtotal length. Samples were examined for blood parasites and underwent a haematological analysis. Before release the crocodiles were examined for various clinical abnormalities. Of the 144 crocodiles examined, none were visibly sick or displayed any signs of disease. No antibodies to Mycoplasma crocodyli were detected. Hepatozoon pettiti was present in 55.3 % of blood smears examined, but there was no significant difference in any of the haematological values between the infected and uninfected crocodiles, and a high prevalence of Hepatozoon infection is not uncommon in other species. Only 7.6 % of the examined crocodiles were infested with leeches. Further research is required for several of the crocodilian diseases, in particular to elucidate the role of wild crocodilians as reservoirs of infection.

  19. Experimental study of blood lead kinetics in estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) exposed to ingested lead shot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerton, K M; Jayasinghe, N; Jeffree, R A; Lim, R P

    2003-10-01

    A previous study of lead (Pb) contamination in estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in Kakadu National Park, Australia, found elevated Pb levels in bone and flesh from individuals caught in habitats where hunting with lead ammunition had occurred. Lead shot was suspected as the potential source of Pb in these animals. An investigation was designed to determine if crocodiles are capable of retaining and dissolving lead shot in their stomachs and absorbing the ionic Pb into the blood. Four of the six juvenile crocodiles (C. porosus) used in the experiment were fed an initial dose of five or ten lead shot each. Most of the lead shot were retained in the stomach over the 20-week experimental period, as confirmed by stomach lavage and radiography of the stomach region. From 13 to 30% of the original weight of individual lead shot had been eroded in that time. In vitro experiments confirmed that lead shot could be dissolved under conditions simulating those known for the crocodilian stomach. Blood Pb concentrations increased by an order of magnitude within a week after dosing three crocodiles with five lead shot each, and then attained steady-state equilibrium 5-20 weeks after dosing, with blood Pb steady-state levels ranging from 278 to 363 microg/dL. The blood Pb concentration-time curves in these crocodiles followed a one-compartment model with first-order loss kinetics that yielded an apparent biological half-life for Pb in blood of about 3.4 days. Throughout the experiment, the crocodiles remained in apparent good physical condition and displayed no clinical signs of Pb toxicosis. These observations, together with the very high blood Pb levels that were sustained for several months, suggest that crocodilians may possess a relatively high degree of resistance to Pb toxicity.

  20. Nonlinearities in mating sounds of American crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benko, Tina P; Perc, Matjaz

    2009-09-01

    We use nonlinear time series analysis methods to analyze the dynamics of the sound-producing apparatus of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). We capture its dynamics by analyzing a recording of the singing activity during mating time. First, we reconstruct the phase space from the sound recording and thereby reveal that the attractor needs no less than five degrees of freedom to fully evolve in the embedding space, which suggests that a rather complex nonlinear dynamics underlies its existence. Prior to investigating the dynamics more precisely, we test whether the reconstructed attractor satisfies the notions of determinism and stationarity, as a lack of either of these properties would preclude a meaningful further analysis. After positively establishing determinism and stationarity, we proceed by showing that the maximal Lyapunov exponent of the recording is positive, which is a strong indicator for the chaotic behavior of the system, confirming that dynamical nonlinearities are an integral part of the examined sound-producing apparatus. At the end, we discuss that methods of nonlinear time series analysis could yield instructive insights and foster the understanding of vocal communication among certain reptile species.

  1. Mathematical models for growth in alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) embryos developing at different incubation temperatures.

    OpenAIRE

    Bardsley, W G; Ackerman, R A; Bukhari, N A; Deeming, D.C.; Ferguson, M. W.

    1995-01-01

    A variety of model-based (growth models) and model-free (cubic splines, exponentials) equations were fitted using weighted-nonlinear least squares regression to embryonic growth data from Alligator mississippiensis eggs incubated at 30 and 33 degrees C. Goodness of fit was estimated using a chi 2 on the sum of squared, weighted residuals, and run and sign tests on the residuals. One of the growth models used (Preece & Baines, 1978) was found to be superior to the classical growth models (expo...

  2. Molecular cloning and evolution analysis of the CaSox4 gene of Alligator sinensis%扬子鳄的CaSox4基因的分子克隆和进化分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郑济芳; 朱睦元

    2003-01-01

    The completely identical HMG-box motif of CaSox4 gene from both male and female genomic DNA of the Chinese alligator (alligator sinensis) was cloned and sequenced by degenerate primer PCR.Compared with the human and mouse SRY,CaSox4 revealed 51% and 57% nucleotide homology respectively and 49% and 55% amino acid identity respectively,CaSox4 belongs to subgroup C of the Sox gene family.The GC content is 86% in the HMG-box region of the CaSox4 gene,Blast analysis showed that the CaSox4 gene shares 100 amino acid identity with human Sox4.bird SoxLF4,turtle Sra4 and lizard CvSox4 genes.Casox4 may be orthologous with the human SOx4 gene.This indicates that CaSox4 gene shows the remarkable evolutionary conservation during the evolution of Alligator Sinensis,The extensive sequence conservation of the Sox4 gene between reptiles,mammals and birds suggests major functional constraints[Acta Zoologica Sinica 49(3):404-407,2003].

  3. A genetic linkage map for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lance Stacey L

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genome elucidation is now in high gear for many organisms, and whilst genetic maps have been developed for a broad array of species, surprisingly, no such maps exist for a crocodilian, or indeed any other non-avian member of the Class Reptilia. Genetic linkage maps are essential tools for the mapping and dissection of complex quantitative trait loci (QTL, and in order to permit systematic genome scans for the identification of genes affecting economically important traits in farmed crocodilians, a comprehensive genetic linage map will be necessary. Results A first-generation genetic linkage map for the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus was constructed using 203 microsatellite markers amplified across a two-generation pedigree comprising ten full-sib families from a commercial population at Darwin Crocodile Farm, Northern Territory, Australia. Linkage analyses identified fourteen linkage groups comprising a total of 180 loci, with 23 loci remaining unlinked. Markers were ordered within linkage groups employing a heuristic approach using CRIMAP v3.0 software. The estimated female and male recombination map lengths were 1824.1 and 319.0 centimorgans (cM respectively, revealing an uncommonly large disparity in recombination map lengths between sexes (ratio of 5.7:1. Conclusion We have generated the first genetic linkage map for a crocodilian, or indeed any other non-avian reptile. The uncommonly large disparity in recombination map lengths confirms previous preliminary evidence of major differences in sex-specific recombination rates in a species that exhibits temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD. However, at this point the reason for this disparity in saltwater crocodiles remains unclear. This map will be a valuable resource for crocodilian researchers, facilitating the systematic genome scans necessary for identifying genes affecting complex traits of economic importance in the crocodile industry. In addition

  4. Ontogenetic development of otoliths in Alligator Gar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, James M.; Snow, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    The Alligator Gar Atractosteus spatula is a species of conservation concern throughout its range, and better definition of otoliths during early development would aid understanding its life history and ecology. We conducted X-ray computed tomography scans, scanning electron microscopy, and light microscopy to examine the three pairs of otoliths and how they developed over time in relation to fish size and age. The sagittae are the largest, possessing distinct dorsal and ventral lobes covered with small otoconia concentrated in the sulcul region. The sagittae exhibited allometric growth, increasing more rapidly in the ventral lobe than in the dorsal. The asterisci were smaller and also exhibited small otoconia on their surface, but much less than the sagittae. The lapilli were oriented laterally, in contrast to the sagittae and asterisci, which were oriented vertically, with a hump on the dorsum and very large otoconia on the lateral surface that appeared to fuse into the main otolith as the fish grew. Based on size measurements and ring counts in all three pairs of otoliths from 101 known-age Alligator Gar sampled weekly through 91 d after hatch, we developed regression models to examine otolith growth and predict age. All relationships were significant and highly explanatory, but the strongest relationships were between otolith and fish size (for measurements from sagittae) and for age predictions from the lapillus. Age prediction models all resulted in a slope near unity, indicating that ring deposition occurred approximately daily. The first ring in sagittae and lapilli corresponded to swim-up, whereas the first ring formed in asterisci approximately 8 d after swim-up. These results fill a gap in knowledge and can aid understanding of evolutionary processes as well as provide useful information for management and conservation.

  5. REPRODUCTIVE TOXINS AND ALLIGATOR ABNORMALITIES AT LAKE APOPKA, FLORIDA. (R824760)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  6. An examination of the sensory structures in the oral cavity of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehorek, Susan J; Duffy, Michael; Zacherl, Janelle R; Anand, Kusuma; Elsey, Ruth M; Smith, Timothy S

    2014-11-01

    The location and distribution of mucosal sensory structures of the crocodilian oral cavity are poorly understood. Although there are several descriptions of these structures in adults, nothing is known about their development. The purpose of this study was to document location, morphology, and relative abundance of these mucosal sensory structures in both hatchling and subadult alligators. Numerous mucosal sensory structures and pale staining dome-shaped papillae were observed only in the upper palate and tongue. In hatchlings, these papillae, which house either mechanoreceptive or chemosensory (taste buds) structures, were larger and more prevalent on the tongue than the upper palate. In the subadult, however, these papillae housed primarily mechanoreceptive structures and possibly degenerate taste buds. Although the presence of the mechanoreceptive structures in the palates of the suabadult alligator are to be expected, the loss of most taste buds is hitherto undocumented. Thus, there is morphological support for an ontogenetic shift in the role of the sensory palate, from a prey detection gustatory sensory system in hatchlings to a prey-manipulative mechanoreceptive system in subadults.

  7. Percutaneous antegrade ureteric stent removal using a rigid alligator forceps.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Given, M F

    2008-12-01

    To evaluate the safety and efficacy of percutaneous antegrade ureteric stent removal using a rigid alligator forceps. Twenty patients were included in our study. Indications for ureteric stent insertion included stone disease (n = 7), malignancy (n = 8) and transplant anastomotic strictures (n = 5). Stent retrieval was carried out for proximal stent placement\\/migration in seven patients and encrustation in the remaining 13. Twenty-two stents were successfully retrieved in 20 patients. There was one technical failure (5%). There were no major complications. We had four minor complications, which included nephrostomy site pain (n = 2), periprocedural sepsis (n = 1) and a small urinoma (n = 1). All patients settled with conservative management. Percutaneous radiologically guided antegrade ureteric stent removal with an alligator forceps is safe and effective, particularly when initial surgical removal has failed.

  8. Distribution of NOS and AChE positive neurons in the neocortex of alligator sinensis%扬子鳄新皮质NOS、AChE阳性神经元的分布

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    龚鑫; 熊克仁; 汪仁平

    2012-01-01

    目的 观察扬子鳄新皮质内一氧化氮合酶(nitric oxide synthase,NOS)和乙酰胆碱酯酶(acetylcholinesterase,AChE)阳性神经元的形态和分布,为扬子鳄脑的比较解剖学积累资料,为其机能研究提供形态学依据.方法 采用还原型尼克酰胺腺嘌呤二核苷酸黄递酶(NADPH-d)法和亚铁氰化酮法观察扬子鳄新皮质内NOS和AChE阳性神经元的分布和特征.结果 扬子鳄新皮质内有NOS和AChE阳性神经元分布,为大、中、小型细胞,以中小型细胞为主,胞体呈圆形、椭圆形、三角形和梭形.结论 扬子鳄新皮质内有NOS和AChE阳性神经元分布.%Objective To observe the distribution of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and acetylcholinest-erase (AChE) positive neurons in the neocortex of Alligator sinensis. Therefore, to accumulate data for comparative anatomy of Alligator sinensis' brain, and to provide morphological foundation for its functional research. Methods The nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) and acetyl-cholinesterase histochemical technique were used to observe the distribution and morphology of NOS and AChE positive neurons in the neocortex of Alligator sinensis. Results The NOS and AChE positive neurons were observed in the neocortex of Alligator sinensis. They were large, middle or small sized cells, but most of them were middle and small. The cell bodies were round, oval, triangular or fusiform in shape. Conclusion The neocortex of Alligator sinensis contains NOS and AChE positive neurons.

  9. Alligator gets its teeth into the conveyor market

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-08-01

    Founded in 1907 in Chicago, USA, the Flexible Steel Lacing Company grew from a manufacturer of mechanical conveyor belt fasteners to become an international leader in the manufacture of belt fasteners and related products for conveyor systems. Although operating in the local market for decades through agencies, a subsidiary company was only formed in South Africa in 1992, a decision which has served to strengthen its presence even further. Markets are in the coal, gold and metalliferous mining sectors. The Flexco and Alligator range of fasteners are marketed in the US, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Mexico and South Africa. The most recent acquisition was Clipper, based in Grand Rapids, USA. Clipper has a range of light weight fasteners complementary to the Alligator range. 2 photos.

  10. High Resolution Electron Microbeam Examination and 3D Reconstruction of Alligator Gar Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-27

    TERMS b. ABSTRACT 2. REPORT TYPE 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 15. NUMBER OF PAGES 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 5e. TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 5c...detailed structural and chemical information to ERDC for use in the development of the In-House Meso-Scale Scientific and Engineering-Discrete Element...who graduated during this period and intend to work for the Department of Defense The number of undergraduates funded by your agreement who graduated

  11. Phenotypic variation and water selection potential in the stem structure of invasive alligator weed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Leshan; Yang, Beifen; Guan, Wenbin; Li, Junmin

    2016-02-01

    The morphological and anatomical characteristics of stems have been found to be related to drought resistance in plants. Testing the phenotypic selection of water availability on stem anatomical traits would be useful for exploring the evolutionary potential of the stem in response to water availability. To test the phenotypic variation of the stem anatomical traits of an invasive plant in response to water availability, we collected a total of 320 individuals of Alternanthera philoxeroides from 16 populations from terrestrial and aquatic habitats in 8 plots in China and then analyzed the variation, differentiation, plasticity and selection potential of water availability on the stem anatomical traits. We found that except for the thickness of the cortex, all of the examined phenotypic parameters of the A. philoxeroides stem were significantly and positively correlated with soil water availability. The phenotypic differentiation coefficient for all of the anatomical structural parameters indicated that most of the variation existed between habitats within the same plot, whereas there was little variation among plots or among individuals within the same habitat except for variation in the thickness of the cortex. A significant phenotypic plasticity response to water availability was found for all of the anatomical traits of A. philoxeroides stem except for the thickness of the cortex. The associations between fitness and some of the anatomical traits, such as the stem diameter, the cortex area-to-stem area ratio, the pith cavity area-to-stem area ratio and the density of vascular bundles, differed with heterogeneous water availability. In both the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, no significant directional selection gradient was found for the stem diameter, the cortex area-to-stem area ratio or the density of vascular bundles. These results indicated that the anatomical structure of the A. philoxeroides stem may play an important role in the adaptation to changes

  12. Aeromonas hydrophila as an agent of infection in alligators. Phase I, final report. Progress report, September 1, 1976--September 30, 1977, Part I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gorden, R.W.; Esch, G.W.

    1977-01-01

    Experimental alligators were exposed to various concentrations of young, washed cells of Aeromonas hydrophila under controlled conditions. Responses of all alligators were monitored on the basis of: observations of external lesions; immunoglobulin production; blood chemistry and hematology; bacteriology, parasitology, and pathology of internal organs, skeletal muscle and external lesions at necropsy. The findings are summarized.

  13. Alginate increases water stability whilst maintaining diet digestibility in farmed saltwater crocodiles ().

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Magdalene; Morel, Patrick C H; Wilkinson, Brian H P; Wester, Timothy J

    2017-02-01

    Saltwater crocodile () farming in Papua New Guinea is an emerging industry that supplies high-quality skins to the fashion industry. Crocodiles are semiaquatic and fed high-quality feed made from extrudated animal byproducts (i.e., forced through a die at low pressure but not heat treated); however, it disintegrates on contact with water, and this leads to low utilization. Alginate is used extensively in food and pharmaceutical processes because it quickly forms a gel at room temperature; however, its effects on nutrient availability are equivocal, and its utility in crocodile diets is unknown. Extrudated chicken byproduct-based crocodile diets were formulated (as-fed) with and without 1.7 and 3.3% Na alginate with either CaCl or CaCO to cross-link. After immersion in water at 30°C for 24 h, feed retained on a 0.5-mm screen was measured to determine DM retention (DMR). Regardless of inclusion level, alginate addition resulted in a 13-fold increase in DMR ( wastage, which ultimately will benefit Papua New Guinea by simultaneously increasing economic returns and decreasing environmental impacts.

  14. Estuarine crocodiles ride surface currents to facilitate long-distance travel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Hamish A; Watts, Matthew E; Sullivan, Scott; Read, Mark A; Choukroun, Severine; Irwin, Steve R; Franklin, Craig E

    2010-09-01

    1. The estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the world's largest living reptile. It predominately inhabits freshwater and estuarine habitats, but widespread geographic distribution throughout oceanic islands of the South-east Pacific suggests that individuals undertake sizeable ocean voyages. 2. Here we show that adult C. porosus adopt behavioural strategies to utilise surface water currents during long-distance travel, enabling them to move quickly and efficiently over considerable distances. 3. We used acoustic telemetry to monitor crocodile movement throughout 63 km of river, and found that when individuals engaged in a long-distance, constant direction journey (>10 km day(-1)), they would only travel when current flow direction was favourable. Depth and temperature measurements from implanted transmitters showed that they remained at the water surface during travel but would dive to the river substratum or climb out on the river bank if current flow direction became unfavourable. 4. Satellite positional fixes from tagged crocodiles engaged in ocean travel were overlaid with residual surface current (RSC) estimates. The data showed a strong correlation existed between the bearing of the RSC and that of the travelling crocodile (r(2) = 0.92, P < 0.0001). 5. The study demonstrates that C. porosus dramatically increase their travel potential by riding surface currents, providing an effective dispersal strategy for this species.

  15. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 1997-1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island NWRs outlines Refuge accomplishments during 1997 and 1998. The report begins with a summary of the...

  16. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 1999, 2000, 2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island NWRs outlines Refuge accomplishments between 1999 and 2001. The report begins with a summary of the...

  17. Using the American alligator and a repeated-measures design to place constraints on in vivo shoulder joint range of motion in dinosaurs and other fossil archosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutson, Joel D; Hutson, Kelda N

    2013-01-15

    Using the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs (crocodylians and birds), recent work has reported that elbow joint range of motion (ROM) studies of fossil dinosaur forearms may be providing conservative underestimates of fully fleshed in vivo ROM. As humeral ROM occupies a more central role in forelimb movements, the placement of quantitative constraints on shoulder joint ROM could improve fossil reconstructions. Here, we investigated whether soft tissues affect the more mobile shoulder joint in the same manner in which they affect elbow joint ROM in an extant archosaur. This test involved separately and repeatedly measuring humeral ROM in Alligator mississippiensis as soft tissues were dissected away in stages to bare bone. Our data show that the ROMs of humeral flexion and extension, as well as abduction and adduction, both show a statistically significant increase as flesh is removed, but then decrease when the bones must be physically articulated and moved until they separate from one another and/or visible joint surfaces. A similar ROM pattern is inferred for humeral pronation and supination. All final skeletonized ROMs were less than initial fully fleshed ROMs. These results are consistent with previously reported elbow joint ROM patterns from the extant phylogenetic bracket of dinosaurs. Thus, studies that avoid separation of complementary articular surfaces may be providing fossil shoulder joint ROMs that underestimate in vivo ROM in dinosaurs, as well as other fossil archosaurs.

  18. Thermoregulation and temperature relations of alligators and other large ectotherms inhabiting thermally stressed habitats. Progress report, 1 October 1974--30 September 1977

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spotila, J.R.

    1977-06-01

    Significant progress has been made in determining the mechanisms by which large ectotherms adjust to thermal stress in their natural environment. The effect of mouth gaping on head temperatures and the role of radiation, conduction and convection on body temperatures of alligators have been determined. The utility of energy budget modeling as a method for studying the thermoregulatory mechanisms of animals has been demonstrated. Steady state and time dependent models of body temperature have been tested. Convection coefficients and evaporative water loss rates have been measured for the turtle, Chysemys scripta. Climate space diagrams have been formulated and are being tested. Behavioral thermoregulation of turtles has been studied in PAR pond on the Savannah River Plant, Aiken, S.C. Steady state energy budget equations have been computed for largemouth bass. Experimental heat transfer coefficients indicate that most heat transfer is through the body wall and not via the gills. A time dependent model is being tested. It predicts the body temperature of a fish in a heterothermal environment. Theoretical calculations have been made of the effects of body size, color, and metabolism on the temperature regulation of ectotherms.

  19. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Manteo : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 1992

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges summarizes refuge activities during 1992. The report begin with an...

  20. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Currituck National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual Narrative Report : Calendar Year 1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR, Currituck NWR, and Pea Island NWR summarizes Refuge activities during the 1986 calendar year. The report begins...

  1. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Currituck National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual Narrative Report : Calendar Year 1987

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR, Currituck NWR, and Pea Island NWR summarizes Refuge activities during the 1987 calendar year. The report begins...

  2. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Currituck National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual Narrative Report : Calendar Year 1989

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR, Currituck NWR, and Pea Island NWR summarizes Refuge activities during the 1989 calendar year. The report begins...

  3. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Currituck National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual Narrative Report : Calendar Year 1988

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR, Currituck NWR, and Pea Island NWR summarizes Refuge activities during the 1988 calendar year. The report begins...

  4. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Manteo : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 1995

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges summarizes refuge activities during 1995. The report begins with an...

  5. Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge : Currituck National Wildlife Refuge : Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge : Annual Narrative Report : Calendar Year 1985

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Alligator River NWR, Currituck NWR, and Pea Island NWR summarizes Refuge activities during the 1985 calendar year. The report begins...

  6. Non-invasive assessment of adrenocortical function in captive Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganswindt, Stefanie B; Myburgh, Jan G; Cameron, Elissa Z; Ganswindt, Andre

    2014-11-01

    The occurrence of stress-inducing factors in captive crocodilians is a concern, since chronic stress can negatively affect animal health and reproduction, and hence production. Monitoring stress in wild crocodiles could also be beneficial for assessing the state of health in populations which are potentially threatened by environmental pollution. In both cases, a non-invasive approach to assess adrenocortical function as a measure of stress would be preferable, as animals are not disturbed during sample collection, and therefore sampling is feedback-free. So far, however, such a non-invasive method has not been established for any crocodilian species. As an initial step, we therefore examined the suitability of two enzyme-immunoassays, detecting faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGMs) with a 11β,21-diol-20-one and 5β-3α-ol-11-one structure, respectively, for monitoring stress-related physiological responses in captive Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). An adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge was performed on 10 sub-adult crocodiles, resulting in an overall increase in serum corticosterone levels of 272% above the pre-injection levels 5h post-injection. Saline-treated control animals (n=8) showed an overall increase of 156% in serum corticosterone levels 5h post-administration. Faecal samples pre- and post-injection could be obtained from three of the six individually housed crocodiles, resulting in FGM concentrations 136-380% above pre-injection levels, always detected in the first sample collected post-treatment (7-15 days post-injection). FGM concentrations seem comparatively stable at ambient temperatures for up to 72 h post-defaecation. In conclusion, non-invasive hormone monitoring can be used for assessing adrenocortical function in captive Nile crocodiles based on FGM analysis.

  7. Re-evaluation of potential impacts of runoff from a Dare County Landfill On Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Sediment samples were collected from 9 sites on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge (Dare County, NC) in September 2005 to re-evaluate the potential impacts of...

  8. 人工饲养条件下扬子鳄的营巢和产卵行为%Ecology on the Making Nest and Laying Eggs of Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis ) under Artificial Feeding Conditions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张方; 吴孝兵; 孟维志; 朱家龙

    2006-01-01

    2003~2005年,利用红外线摄像仪,对人工饲养条件下扬子鳄(Alligator sinensis)的营巢和产卵行为进行了研究.扬子鳄在产卵前,有营造后肢落脚洞的行为;在产卵后期,一边产卵,一边覆盖.为探讨气候对营巢的影响,采用线性回归对气候和扬子鳄营巢开始时间进行分析后的结果表明,对营巢开始时间影响最大的是4月的平均气温,较高的平均气温会导致扬子鳄营巢开始时间提前.运用主成分分析饲养条件下巢址的环境因子,得出巢址的植被盖度、离水源距离等对扬子鳄的巢址利用有较大影响.

  9. Thermoregulation and temperature relations of alligators and other large ectotherms inhabiting thermally stressed habitats. Annual progress report, 1 July 1976--30 September 1977. [Ecology of Par Pond, Savannah River Reservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spotila, J.R.

    1977-06-01

    Progress is reported on studies of the biophysical and thermal relationships between large ectotherms and their aquatic environment. Data are reported from laboratory and field studies on alligators, turtles, and fish. Mathematical models of the effect of body size and physical characteristics on temperature regulation of ectotherms and of thermal stress in aquatic organisms were developed. Results are included of field studies on the physiological and behavioral adjustments of turtles in response to changes in water temperature produced by thermal effluents in PAR Pond at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL).

  10. Activities That May Influence the Risk of Crocodile (Crocodylus Acutus: Reptilia: Crocodilidae) Attack to Humans in the Tempisque River Area, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

    OpenAIRE

    Sandoval-Hernández, Iván; Duran-Apuy, Alejandro; Quirós-Valerio, Jacqueline

    2017-01-01

    One of the largest populations of crocodiles in Costa Rica is located at the Tempisque River. The species is threatened by habitat loss and poaching; but its populations have grown due to the protection given by law. The research was conducted in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We made a characterization of popular knowledge, activities and perceptions of 374 residents of the study area. It was found that 55% believe that the crocodiles are abundant, 70% believe that populations have increased. The m...

  11. American alligator proximal pedal phalanges resemble human finger bones: Diagnostic criteria for forensic investigators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferraro, Joseph V; Binetti, Katie M

    2014-07-01

    A scientific approach to bone and tooth identification requires analysts to pursue the goal of empirical falsification. That is, they may attribute a questioned specimen to element and taxon only after having ruled out all other possible attributions. This requires analysts to possess a thorough understanding of both human and non-human osteology, particularly so for remains that may be morphologically similar across taxa. To date, forensic anthropologists have identified several potential 'mimics' for human skeletal remains, including pig teeth and bear paws. Here we document another possible mimic for isolated human skeletal elements--the proximal pedal phalanges of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) closely resemble the proximal and intermediate hand phalanges of adult humans. We detail morphological similarities and differences between these elements, with the goal of providing sufficient information for investigators to confidently falsify the hypothesis that a questioned phalanx is derived from an American alligator.

  12. Wrestling the process alligator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Springer, F.E.

    1993-04-01

    The Office of Hydropower Licensing's (FERC) current efforts to address the procedural problems in hydropower licensing are briefly described. A reorganization has taken place along functional lines to focus efforts in the three major programmatic functions: licensing, compliance, and dam safety. Other measures are also described.

  13. Concentrations of trace elements in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from Florida, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horai, Sawako; Itai, Takaaki; Noguchi, Takako; Yasuda, Yusuke; Adachi, Haruki; Hyobu, Yuika; Riyadi, Adi S; Boggs, Ashley S P; Lowers, Russell; Guillette, Louis J; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2014-08-01

    Concentrations of 28 trace elements (Li, Mg, Al, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Cs, Tl, Hg, Pb, and Bi) in the livers of juvenile and adult American alligators inhabiting two central Florida lakes, Lake Apopka (LA), and Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge (LW) and one lagoon population located in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR; NASA), were determined. In juveniles from MINWR, concentrations of nine elements (Li, Fe, Ni, Sr, In, Sb, Hg, Pb and Bi) were significantly higher, whereas six elements (V, Fe, As, Sr, Hg and Bi) were elevated in adults (p<0.05) obtained from MINWR. Significant enrichment of some trace elements in adults, relative to juveniles, was observed at all three sampling areas. Specifically, Fe, Pb and Hg were significantly elevated in adults when compared to juveniles, suggesting age-dependent accumulation of these elements. Further, As, Se and Sn showed the same trend but only in animals collected from MINWR. Mean Fe concentrations in the livers of adults from LA, LW and MINWR were 1770 μg g(-1) DW, 3690 μg g(-1) DW and 5250 μg g(-1) DW, respectively. More than half of the adult specimens from LW and MINWR exhibited elevated hepatic Fe concentrations that exceed the threshold value for toxic effects in donkey, red deer and human. These results prompted us to express our concern on possible exposure and health effects in American alligators by some trace elements derived from NASA activities.

  14. Taxonomy Icon Data: Nile crocodile [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus Chordata/Vertebrata/Reptilia/etc Crocodylus_niloticus_L.png Croco...dylus_niloticus_NL.png Crocodylus_niloticus_S.png Crocodylus_niloticus_NS.png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_ico...n/icon.cgi?i=Crocodylus+niloticus&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Croco...dylus+niloticus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Croco...dylus+niloticus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Crocodylus+niloticus&t=NS ...

  15. Use of immunoblotting to detect antibodies to Mycoplasma crocodyli infection in the sera of crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawo, Fufa; Mohan, Krishna

    2008-02-01

    An immunoblotting protocol for the detection of antibodies to Mycoplasma crocodyli was developed using sonicated antigen of the reference strain 266/93. Immunoblotting detected nine reacting antigens, of which the 33 and 40kDa antigens were immunodominant. There was no difference in reactivity of the antigens against sera obtained from vaccinated and infected crocodiles. Both antigens are candidates for other serological and molecular studies. This is the first report to develop and apply an immunoblotting test for detection of antibody to M. crocodyli infection in crocodiles.

  16. Nuclear microprobe analysis of lead profile in crocodile bones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlic, I.; Siegele, R.; Hammerton, K.; Jeffree, R. A.; Cohen, D. D.

    2003-09-01

    Elevated concentrations of lead were found in Australian free ranging saltwater crocodile ( Crocodylus porosus) bone and flesh. Lead shots were found as potential source of lead in these animals. ANSTO's heavy ion nuclear microprobe was used to measure the distribution of Pb in a number of bones and osteoderms. The aim was to find out if elevated Pb concentration remains in growth rings and if the concentration is correlated with the blood levels recorded at the time. Results of our study show a very distinct distribution of accumulated Pb in bones and osteoderms as well as good correlation with the level of lead concentration in blood. To investigate influence of ion species on detection limits measurements of the same sample were performed by using 3 MeV protons, 9 MeV He ions and 20 MeV carbon ions. Peak to background ratios, detection limits and the overall 'quality' of obtained spectra are compared and discussed.

  17. 超声成像在扬子鳄卵巢等器官形态检测中的应用%Ultrasonography of Ovaries and Other Organs in Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    赵丹阳; 江峰; 孙拂晓; 周永康; 王朝林; 吴孝兵

    2016-01-01

    扬子鳄(Alligator sinensis)是中国特有的珍稀物种,该物种的生长、繁殖状况一直备受关注,分别在2014年3月(冬眠期)和6月(繁殖期)对17条成年雌性扬子鳄腹部应用VIVID Ⅰ型彩色多普勒超声(B型超声)便携诊断仪进行检测,并对3月份卵巢卵泡大小用SPSS 19.0回归分析.扬子鳄心、肝、肠等内脏器官形态在B型超声诊断仪下清晰可见.冬眠期17条扬子鳄两侧卵巢中共检测到41枚卵泡,繁殖期共42枚.冬眠期卵泡处于低回声暗区或无回声暗区的未成熟状态,繁殖期多数卵泡的发育状态与3月相同,少数卵泡呈高回声暗区,此时已形成卵黄颗粒,也有呈高回声亮光区形成卵黄膜的卵泡.对3月份检测的17条扬子鳄具有卵泡的19个卵巢大小与卵泡大小进行回归分析,卵巢随卵泡发育而增大.本研究探讨了B超这种低损伤方法对扬子鳄检测的有效性,同时评估卵泡发育状况,提高繁殖鳄的筛选正确率.

  18. From crocodile to woman - the multidimensionality and energy dynamic of movement seen in light of the dance therapy form Dansergia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winther, Helle Dagmar

    2006-01-01

    The chapter focuses on movement as primary language, exxploring the multidimensionality and energy dynamics of movement through the connections between the concepts of body and energy. A session from the dance therapy form Dansergia with a woman, here called Clara, is narrated, analysed and compa......The chapter focuses on movement as primary language, exxploring the multidimensionality and energy dynamics of movement through the connections between the concepts of body and energy. A session from the dance therapy form Dansergia with a woman, here called Clara, is narrated, analysed...

  19. How did you feel when "The Crocodile Hunter" died? Voicing and silencing in conversation influences memory for an autobiographical event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Celia B; Barnier, Amanda J; Sutton, John; Keil, Paul G

    2010-02-01

    Conversations about the past can involve voicing and silencing; processes of validation and invalidation that shape recall. In this experiment we examined the products and processes of remembering a significant autobiographical event in conversation with others. Following the death of Australian celebrity Steve Irwin, in an adapted version of the collaborative recall paradigm, 69 participants described and rated their memories for hearing of his death. Participants then completed a free recall phase where they either discussed the event in groups of three or wrote about the event on their own. Finally, participants completed the original questionnaire again, both 1 week and 1 month after the free recall phase. Discussion influenced later memories for hearing of Irwin's death, particularly memories for emotion and shock. Qualitative analysis of the free recall phase suggested that during conversation a shared understanding of the event developed, but that emotional reactions to the event were silenced in ways that minimised the event's impact. These findings are discussed in terms of the processes and consequences of sharing public and personal memories in conversation.

  20. Beethoven's Last Piano Sonata and Those Who Follow Crocodiles: Cross-Domain Mappings of Auditory Pitch in a Musical Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eitan, Zohar; Timmers, Renee

    2010-01-01

    Though auditory pitch is customarily mapped in Western cultures onto spatial verticality (high-low), both anthropological reports and cognitive studies suggest that pitch may be mapped onto a wide variety of other domains. We collected a total number of 35 pitch mappings and investigated in four experiments how these mappings are used and…

  1. Braving Crocodiles with Kali: Being a prawn-seed collector and a modern woman in the 21st century Sundarbans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jalais, A.

    2010-01-01

    Globalisation has undoubtedly shaped popular conceptions of gender and society in innumerable ways. This article studies one such instance - the plight of tiger-prawn collectors in Sundarbans. The discovery of tiger-prawns - the 'living dollars of Sundarbans' - has certainly transformed the lives of

  2. The impact of bone and suture material properties on mandibular function in Alligator mississippiensis: testing theoretical phenotypes with finite element analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, David A; Porro, Laura B; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; Lemberg, Justin B; Holliday, Casey M; Anapol, Fred; Ross, Callum F

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The functional effects of bone and suture stiffness were considered here using finite element models representing three different theoretical phenotypes of an Alligator mississippiensis mandible. The models were loaded using force estimates derived from muscle architecture in dissected specimens, constrained at the 18th and 19th teeth in the upper jaw and 19th tooth of the lower jaw, as well as at the quadrate-articular joint. Stiffness was varied systematically in each theoretical phenotype. The three theoretical phenotypes included: (i) linear elastic isotropic bone of varying stiffness and no sutures; (ii) linear elastic orthotropic bone of varying stiffness with no sutures; and (iii) linear elastic isotropic bone of a constant stiffness with varying suture stiffness. Variation in the isotropic material properties of bone primarily resulted in changes in the magnitude of principal strain. By comparison, variation in the orthotropic material properties of bone and isotropic material properties of sutures resulted in: a greater number of bricks becoming either more compressive or more tensile, changing between being either dominantly compressive or tensile, and having larger changes in the orientation of maximum principal strain. These data indicate that variation in these model properties resulted in changes to the strain regime of the model, highlighting the importance of using biologically verified material properties when modeling vertebrate bones. When bones were compared within each set, the response of each to changing material properties varied. In two of the 12 bones in the mandible, varied material properties within sutures resulted in a decrease in the magnitude of principal strain in bricks adjacent to the bone/suture interface and decreases in stored elastic energy. The varied response of the mandibular bones to changes in suture stiffness highlights the importance of defining the appropriate functional unit when addressing relationships of

  3. The utility of captive animals in actualistic research: A geometric morphometric exploration of the tooth row of Alligator mississippiensis suggesting ecophenotypic influences and functional constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drumheller, Stephanie K; Wilberg, Eric W; Sadleir, Rudyard W

    2016-07-01

    Captive broad snouted crocodylians are generally thought to have wider, shorter rostra than their wild counterparts. Interpreted to reflect morphological change in response to the conditions of captivity, this qualitative pattern could affect the utility of these animals in a variety of fields of research. However, due to relative ease of access and availability of life history data, captive animals are often utilized in actualistic research. Thus, this issue should be addressed in more detail. Here we explore snout shape variation between captive and wild members of Alligator mississippiensis using two-dimensional (2D) morphometric techniques. Several landmark schemesare used to assess the utility of different aspects of morphology in distinguishing the groups. While statistical analyses consistently differentiated between the groups, the area of morphospace occupied by wild members of A. mississippiensis generally overlapped with the larger area encompassing the captive specimens. This indicates that the captive condition is not as uniform as previously thought and instead encompasses a large spectrum of morphologies, ranging from the stereotypical broad, shortened snouts to outlines that are indistinguishable from the wild morphotype. These results align well with the interpretation that this change reflects an extreme example of ecophenotypy, since ranched, farmed, or zoo organisms are held in an array of enclosures, ranging from indoor, climate controlled pens to outdoor, more natural areas. This variation in environments should be reflected in different reactions to the animals' surroundings, resulting in a broad spectrum of morphotypes. While wild specimens are still preferred, especially for fine scale analyses, these results indicate that not all captive members of A. mississippiensis exhibit the extreme morphological alterations often cited in the literature. Weighing the conditions in which the animals are held and exploring the possibility of

  4. Validation of a multiplex PCR assay for the forensic identification of Indian crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meganathan, Poorlin Ramakodi; Dubey, Bhawna; Jogayya, Kothakota Naga; Haque, Ikramul

    2011-09-01

    A dependable and efficient wildlife species identification system is essential for swift dispensation of the justice linking wildlife crimes. Development of molecular techniques is befitting the need of the time. The forensic laboratories often receive highly ill-treated samples for identification purposes, and thus, validation of any novel methodology is necessary for forensic usage. We validate a novel multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay, developed at this laboratory for the forensic identification of three Indian crocodiles, Crocodylus palustris, Crocodylus porosus, and Gavialis gangeticus, following the guidelines of Scientific Working Group on DNA Analysis Methods. The multiplex PCR was tested for its specificity, reproducibility, sensitivity, and stability. This study also includes the samples treated with various chemical substances and exposed to various environmental regimes. The result of this validation study promises this technique to be an efficient identification tool for Indian crocodiles and therefore is recommended for forensic purposes.

  5. Evidence of multiple paternity in Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in Belize, CA, inferred from microsatellite markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McVay, John D; Rodriguez, David; Rainwater, Thomas R; Dever, Jennifer A; Platt, Steven G; McMurry, Scott T; Forstner, Michael R J; Densmore, Llewellyn D

    2008-12-01

    Microsatellite data were generated from hatchlings collected from ten nests of Morelet's Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) from New River Lagoon and Gold Button Lagoon in Belize to test for evidence of multiple paternity. Nine microsatellite loci were genotyped for 188 individuals from the 10 nests, alongside 42 nonhatchlings from Gold Button Lagoon. Then mitochondrial control region sequences were generated for the nonhatchlings and for one individual from each nest to test for presence of C. acutus-like haplotypes. Analyses of five of the nine microsatellite loci revealed evidence that progeny from five of the ten nests were sired by at least two males. These data suggest the presence of multiple paternity as a mating strategy in the true crocodiles. This information may be useful in the application of conservation and management techniques to the 12 species in this genus, most of which are threatened or endangered.

  6. Plasma vitellogenin in Morelet's crocodiles from contaminated habitats in northern Belize.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainwater, Thomas R; Selcer, Kyle W; Nespoli, Lisa M; Finger, Adam G; Ray, David A; Platt, Steven G; Smith, Philip N; Densmore, Llewellyn D; Anderson, Todd A; McMurry, Scott T

    2008-05-01

    Vitellogenin induction has been widely used as a biomarker of endocrine disruption in wildlife, but few studies have investigated its use in wild reptiles living in contaminated habitats. This study examined vitellogenin induction in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from wetlands in northern Belize contaminated with organochlorine (OC) pesticides. Vitellogenin was measured in 381 crocodile plasma samples using a vitellogenin ELISA previously developed for this species. Vitellogenin was detected in nine samples, all from adult females sampled during the breeding season. Males and juvenile females did not contain detectable levels of vitellogenin; however, many of these animals contained OC pesticides in their caudal scutes, confirming contaminant exposure. The lack of a vitellogenic response in these animals may be attributable to several factors related to the timing and magnitude of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should not be interpreted as an absence of other contaminant-induced biological responses.

  7. 33 CFR 165.T05-0091 - Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC. 165.T05-0091 Section 165.T05-0091 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (CONTINUED) PORTS AND WATERWAYS SAFETY REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS Specific Regulated Navigation Areas and...

  8. Perfluorinated alkyl acids in the plasma of South African crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christie, Ian; Reiner, Jessica L; Bowden, John A; Botha, Hannes; Cantu, Theresa M; Govender, Danny; Guillette, Matthew P; Lowers, Russell H; Luus-Powell, Wilmien J; Pienaar, Danie; Smit, Willem J; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-07-01

    Perfluorinated alkyl acids (PFAAs) are environmental contaminants that have been used in many products for over 50 years. Interest and concern has grown since 2000 on the widespread presence of PFAAs, when it was discovered that PFAAs were present in wildlife samples around the northern hemisphere. Since then, several studies have reported PFAAs in wildlife from many locations, including the remote regions of Antarctica and the Arctic. Although there are a multitude of studies, few have reported PFAA concentrations in reptiles and wildlife in the Southern Hemisphere. This study investigated the presence of PFAAs in the plasma of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) from South Africa. Crocodiles were captured from five sites in and around the Kruger National Park, South Africa, and plasma samples examined for PFAAs. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the most frequent PFAA detected; with median values of 13.5 ng/g wet mass in crocodiles. In addition to PFOS, long chain perfluorinated carboxylic acids were also detected. Correlations between total length and PFAA load were investigated, as were differences in PFAA accumulation between sexes. No correlations were seen between crocodile size, nor were there sex-related differences. Spatial differences were examined and significant differences were observed in samples collected from the different sites (p < 0.05). Flag Boshielo Dam had the highest PFOS measurements, with a median concentration of 50.3 ng/g wet mass, when compared to the other sites (median concentrations at other sites below 14.0 ng/g wet mass). This suggests a point source of PFOS in this area.

  9. Were human babies used as bait in crocodile hunts in colonial Sri Lanka?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anslem de Silva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Use of live animals as bait is not an uncommon practice in hunting worldwide.  However, some curious accounts of the use of human babies as bait to lure crocodiles in sport hunting exist on the island of Sri Lanka, where sport hunting was common during the British colonial period.  Herein we compile the available records, review other records of the practice, and discuss the likelihood of the exercise actually having taken place. 

  10. Population genetics implications for the conservation of the Philippine Crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis Schmidt, 1935 (Crocodylia: Crocodylidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R.P. Hinlo

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Limited information is available on the Philippine Crocodile, Crocodylus mindorensis, concerning levels of genetic diversity either relative to other crocodilian species or among populations of the species itself. With only two known extant populations of C. mindorensis remaining, potentially low levels of genetic diversity are a conservation concern. Here, we evaluated 619 putative Philippine Crocodiles using a suite of 11 microsatellite markers, and compared them to four other crocodilian species sample sets. The two remaining populations from the island of Luzon and the island of Mindanao, representing the extremes of the former species’ distribution, appear to be differentiated as a result of genetic drift rather than selection. Both extant populations demonstrate lower genetic diversity and effective population sizes relative to other studied crocodilian species. The 57 C. mindorensis and C. porosus, Saltwater Crocodile, hybrids identified earlier from the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center were revalidated with a suite of 20 microsatellite loci; however, the timing of the event and the prevalence of hybridization in the species had yet to be fully determined. We defined the hybrids as one first cross from a C. porosus female and a C. mindorensis male and 56 C. mindorensis backcross individuals. This hybridization event appears to be confined to the PWRCC collection.

  11. Several techniques for the preparation of flour from carcasses of the Pantanal alligator (Caiman crocodilus yacare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitória Regina Takeuchi FERNANDES

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available AbstractFlour prepared via current assay methodologies from the carcasses of the Pantanal alligator (Caiman crocodilus yacare was analyzed for its chemical composition, minerals, fatty acids, and sensorial profile. Carcasses of the Pantanal alligator, originating from the Coocrijapan scientific zoo, Cáceres MT Brazil, were utilized. The carcasses were cooked for 60 minutes in a pressure cooker with water containing 2% salt and 5% chimichurri. The cooked carcasses were then ground and the mass was used for the manufacture of flour via three techniques: non-smoked, hot-smoked, and liquid-smoked. After each technique, the carcasses were dehydrated at 60ºC for 3h and were ground. Alligator flour was then produced. The moisture of liquid-smoked flour (10.97% was higher than that of non-smoked flour (3.78% and hot-smoked flour (4.43%. The flours provided high protein (57.11% - 58.27% and ash (23.45 – 26.42% rates, and were predominantly calcium (6.77% - 7.69%, phosphorus (3.67% - 4.05%, and iron (73.13 – 273.73 ppm/100 mg. Smoked-flour had a better acceptance rate by tasters when compared to non-smoked flour. Results show that flours produced from alligator carcasses had high protein, ash, and mineral rates and a reasonable acceptability by most tasters.

  12. Re-evaluating the effect of harvesting regimes on Nile crocodiles using an integral projection model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Kevin; Leslie, Alison; Coulson, Tim

    2013-01-01

    Crocodile populations are size-structured, and for populations that are subject to harvesting, removal is typically size selective. For this reason, size-structured matrix models are typically used to analyse the dynamics of crocodile populations. The boundaries between the size classes used to classify individuals in these models are typically chosen arbitrarily. This is problematic because results can depend upon the number and width of size classes. The recent development of continuous character population models termed integral projection models (IPM) has removed the need to arbitrarily classify individuals. These models are yet to be applied to harvested animal populations. Using information obtained from the literature, we develop an IPM for crocodiles. We use perturbation analyses to investigate how altering size-specific demographic rates influences the population growth rate and the strength of selection on snout to vent length. We find that perturbations can lead to complex responses. Sensitivity analysis to population growth and fertility selection reveals that the smallest animals and the sizes of early breeding individuals and their eggs may have more influence on these population biology parameters than previously thought. Although our model is relatively simple, our results show that IPM can be used to gain theoretical insight into the possible consequences of altering size-specific demographic rates on the population and evolutionary ecology of harvested populations.

  13. Quantitative analysis of production traits in saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus): II. age at slaughter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isberg, S R; Thomson, P C; Nicholas, F W; Barker, S G; Moran, C

    2005-12-01

    Crocodile morphometric (head, snout-vent and total length) measurements were recorded at three stages during the production chain: hatching, inventory [average age (+/-SE) is 265.1 +/- 0.4 days] and slaughter (average age is 1037.8 +/- 0.4 days). Crocodile skins are used for the manufacture of exclusive leather products, with the most common-sized skin sold having 35-45 cm in belly width. One of the breeding objectives for inclusion into a multitrait genetic improvement programme for saltwater crocodiles is the time taken for a juvenile to reach this size or age at slaughter. A multivariate restricted maximum likelihood analysis provided (co)variance components for estimating the first published genetic parameter estimates for these traits. Heritability (+/-SE) estimates for the traits hatchling snout-vent length, inventory head length and age at slaughter were 0.60 (0.15), 0.59 (0.12) and 0.40 (0.10) respectively. There were strong negative genetic (-0.81 +/- 0.08) and phenotypic (-0.82 +/- 0.02) correlations between age at slaughter and inventory head length.

  14. The evolutionary history of an invasive species: alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides

    Science.gov (United States)

    The eco-evolutionary mechanisms of biological invasions are still not thoroughly understood. Alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides (Martius) Gisebach (Amaranthaceae), is a plant native to South America and a weed in Australia and other countries. To better understand its success as an invader,...

  15. Plasma vitellogenin in Morelet's crocodiles from contaminated habitats in northern Belize

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rainwater, Thomas R. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: thomas.rainwater@gmail.com; Selcer, Kyle W. [Department of Biological Sciences, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282 (United States)], E-mail: selcer@duq.edu; Nespoli, Lisa M. [Department of Biological Sciences, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282 (United States)], E-mail: nespoli345@duq.edu; Finger, Adam G. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: agfinger@tiehh.ttu.edu; Ray, David A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)], E-mail: david.ray@mail.wvu.edu; Platt, Steven G. [Department of Biology, P.O. Box C-64, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX 79832 (United States)], E-mail: splatt@sulross.edu; Smith, Philip N. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: philip.smith@tiehh.ttu.edu; Densmore, Llewellyn D. [Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)], E-mail: lou.densmore@ttu.edu; Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: todd.anderson@tiehh.ttu.edu; McMurry, Scott T. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: scott.mcmurry@tiehh.ttu.edu

    2008-05-15

    Vitellogenin induction has been widely used as a biomarker of endocrine disruption in wildlife, but few studies have investigated its use in wild reptiles living in contaminated habitats. This study examined vitellogenin induction in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from wetlands in northern Belize contaminated with organochlorine (OC) pesticides. Vitellogenin was measured in 381 crocodile plasma samples using a vitellogenin ELISA previously developed for this species. Vitellogenin was detected in nine samples, all from adult females sampled during the breeding season. Males and juvenile females did not contain detectable levels of vitellogenin; however, many of these animals contained OC pesticides in their caudal scutes, confirming contaminant exposure. The lack of a vitellogenic response in these animals may be attributable to several factors related to the timing and magnitude of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should not be interpreted as an absence of other contaminant-induced biological responses. - Wild crocodiles living in habitats polluted with organochlorine pesticides did not exhibit contaminant-induced vitellogenin induction in blood plasma.

  16. "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile": A New Musical Based on the Books by Bernard Waber. Cue Sheet for Teachers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selwyn, Karen P.

    This performance guide is designed for teachers to use with students before and after a performance of "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile," a musical based on the books by Bernard Waber, with book by Michael Slade, music by David Evans, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. The guide, called a "Cuesheet," contains four activity sheets for use in…

  17. Never smile at a crocodile: betting on electronic gaming machines is intensified by reptile-induced arousal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rockloff, Matthew J; Greer, Nancy

    2010-12-01

    Tourists at the Koorana Saltwater Crocodile Farm in Coowonga, Queensland, Australia, including 62 males and 41 females, aged 18-66 (M = 34.2, SD = 13.3), were randomly assigned to play a laptop-simulated Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) either: (1) prior to entry, or (2) after having held a 1-m saltwater-crocodile. Gambling behavior; including bet-size, speed of betting, final payouts and trials played on the EGM; was investigated with respect to participants' assigned arousal condition, problem-gambling status, and affective state. At-risk gamblers with few self-reported negative emotions placed higher average bets at the EGM after having held the crocodile when compared to the control. In contrast, at-risk gamblers with many self-reported negative emotions placed lower average bets at the EGM after having held the crocodile. The results suggest that high arousal can intensify gambling in at-risk players, but only if this feeling state is not perceived as a negative emotion.

  18. Crocodile Physics. [CD-ROM].

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999

    This high school physics resource is a simulator for optics, electronics, force, motion, and sound. Students can study oscillations, look at sound waves, and use probes to graph a wide variety of quantities. Over 100 activities are pre-written, and students can easily create their own additional activities using the multimedia editor. (WRM)

  19. Crocodile Chemistry. [CD-ROM].

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999

    This high school chemistry resource is an on-screen chemistry lab. In the program, students can experiment with a huge range of chemicals, choosing the form, quantity and concentrations. Dangerous or difficult experiments can be investigated safely and easily. A vast range of equipment can be set up, and complex simulations can be put together and…

  20. The evolution of HoxD-11 expression in the bird wing: insights from Alligator mississippiensis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander O Vargas

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Comparative morphology identifies the digits of the wing of birds as 1,2 and 3, but they develop at embryological positions that become digits 2, 3 and 4 in other amniotes. A hypothesis to explain this is that a homeotic frame shift of digital identity occurred in the evolution of the bird wing, such that digits 1,2 and 3 are developing from embryological positions 2, 3 and 4. Digit 1 of the mouse is the only digit that shows no late expression of HoxD-11. This is also true for the anterior digit of the bird wing, suggesting this digit is actually a digit 1. If this is the case, we can expect closer relatives of birds to show no HoxD-11 expression only in digit 1. To test this prediction we investigate HoxD-11 expression in crocodilians, the closest living relatives of birds. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using degenerate primers we cloned a 606 nucleotide fragment of exon 1 of the alligator HoxD-11 gene and used it for whole-mount in-situ detection in alligator embryos. We found that in the pentadactyl forelimbs of alligator, as in the mouse, late expression of HoxD-11 is absent only in digit 1. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The ancestral condition for amniotes is that late-phase HoxD-11 expression is absent only in digit 1. The biphalangeal morphology and lack of HoxD-11 expression of the anterior digit of the wing is like digit 1 of alligator and mouse, but its embryological position as digit 2 is derived. HoxD-11 expression in alligator is consistent with the hypothesis that both digit morphology as well as HoxD-11 expression are shifted towards posterior in the bird wing.

  1. The Evolution of HoxD-11 Expression in the Bird Wing: Insights from Alligator mississippiensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Alexander O.; Kohlsdorf, Tiana; Fallon, John F.; VandenBrooks, John; Wagner, Günter P.

    2008-01-01

    Background Comparative morphology identifies the digits of the wing of birds as 1,2 and 3, but they develop at embryological positions that become digits 2, 3 and 4 in other amniotes. A hypothesis to explain this is that a homeotic frame shift of digital identity occurred in the evolution of the bird wing, such that digits 1,2 and 3 are developing from embryological positions 2, 3 and 4. Digit 1 of the mouse is the only digit that shows no late expression of HoxD-11. This is also true for the anterior digit of the bird wing, suggesting this digit is actually a digit 1. If this is the case, we can expect closer relatives of birds to show no HoxD-11 expression only in digit 1. To test this prediction we investigate HoxD-11 expression in crocodilians, the closest living relatives of birds. Methodology/Principal Findings Using degenerate primers we cloned a 606 nucleotide fragment of exon 1 of the alligator HoxD-11 gene and used it for whole-mount in-situ detection in alligator embryos. We found that in the pentadactyl forelimbs of alligator, as in the mouse, late expression of HoxD-11 is absent only in digit 1. Conclusions/Significance The ancestral condition for amniotes is that late-phase HoxD-11 expression is absent only in digit 1. The biphalangeal morphology and lack of HoxD-11 expression of the anterior digit of the wing is like digit 1 of alligator and mouse, but its embryological position as digit 2 is derived. HoxD-11 expression in alligator is consistent with the hypothesis that both digit morphology as well as HoxD-11 expression are shifted towards posterior in the bird wing. PMID:18833328

  2. Detection of Interaural Time Differences in the Alligator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Catherine E.; Soares, Daphne; Smolders, Jean; Simon, Jonathan Z.

    2011-01-01

    The auditory systems of birds and mammals use timing information from each ear to detect interaural time difference (ITD). To determine whether the Jeffress-type algorithms that underlie sensitivity to ITD in birds are an evolutionarily stable strategy, we recorded from the auditory nuclei of crocodilians, who are the sister group to the birds. In alligators, precisely timed spikes in the first-order nucleus magnocellularis (NM) encode the timing of sounds, and NM neurons project to neurons in the nucleus laminaris (NL) that detect interaural time differences. In vivo recordings from NL neurons show that the arrival time of phase-locked spikes differs between the ipsilateral and contralateral inputs. When this disparity is nullified by their best ITD, the neurons respond maximally. Thus NL neurons act as coincidence detectors. A biologically detailed model of NL with alligator parameters discriminated ITDs up to 1 kHz. The range of best ITDs represented in NL was much larger than in birds, however, and extended from 0 to 1000 μs contralateral, with a median ITD of 450 μs. Thus, crocodilians and birds employ similar algorithms for ITD detection, although crocodilians have larger heads. PMID:19553438

  3. A Chinese alligator in heliox: formant frequencies in a crocodilian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reber, Stephan A; Nishimura, Takeshi; Janisch, Judith; Robertson, Mark; Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2015-08-01

    Crocodilians are among the most vocal non-avian reptiles. Adults of both sexes produce loud vocalizations known as 'bellows' year round, with the highest rate during the mating season. Although the specific function of these vocalizations remains unclear, they may advertise the caller's body size, because relative size differences strongly affect courtship and territorial behaviour in crocodilians. In mammals and birds, a common mechanism for producing honest acoustic signals of body size is via formant frequencies (vocal tract resonances). To our knowledge, formants have to date never been documented in any non-avian reptile, and formants do not seem to play a role in the vocalizations of anurans. We tested for formants in crocodilian vocalizations by using playbacks to induce a female Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) to bellow in an airtight chamber. During vocalizations, the animal inhaled either normal air or a helium/oxygen mixture (heliox) in which the velocity of sound is increased. Although heliox allows normal respiration, it alters the formant distribution of the sound spectrum. An acoustic analysis of the calls showed that the source signal components remained constant under both conditions, but an upward shift of high-energy frequency bands was observed in heliox. We conclude that these frequency bands represent formants. We suggest that crocodilian vocalizations could thus provide an acoustic indication of body size via formants. Because birds and crocodilians share a common ancestor with all dinosaurs, a better understanding of their vocal production systems may also provide insight into the communication of extinct Archosaurians.

  4. A Lesson from the Crocodile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohanian, Susan

    1988-01-01

    A teacher encourages other teachers to look beyond rigid, locked-in, over-organized instructional approaches by pointing out the advantages of creativity, risk-taking, and flexibility in classroom teaching. (CB)

  5. Surgical removal of right-to-left cardiac shunt in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) causes ventricular enlargement but does not alter apnoea or metabolism during diving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eme, John; Gwalthney, June; Blank, Jason M.; Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Barron, Gildardo; Hicks, James W.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Crocodilians have complete anatomical separation between the ventricles, similar to birds and mammals, but retain the dual aortic arch system found in all non-avian reptiles. This cardiac anatomy allows surgical modification that prevents right-to-left (R–L) cardiac shunt. A R–L shunt is a bypass of the pulmonary circulation and recirculation of oxygen-poor blood back to the systemic circulation and has often been observed during the frequent apnoeic periods of non-avian reptiles, particularly during diving in aquatic species. We eliminated R–L shunt in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) by surgically occluding the left aorta (LAo; arising from right ventricle) upstream and downstream of the foramen of Panizza (FoP), and we tested the hypotheses that this removal of R–L shunt would cause afterload-induced cardiac remodelling and adversely affect diving performance. Occlusion of the LAo both upstream and downstream of the FoP for ∼21 months caused a doubling of RV pressure and significant ventricular enlargement (average ∼65%) compared with age-matched, sham-operated animals. In a separate group of recovered, surgically altered alligators allowed to dive freely in a dive chamber at 23°C, occlusion of the LAo did not alter oxygen consumption or voluntary apnoeic periods relative to sham animals. While surgical removal of R–L shunt causes considerable changes in cardiac morphology similar to aortic banding in mammals, its removal does not affect the respiratory pattern or metabolism of alligators. It appears probable that the low metabolic rate of reptiles, rather than pulmonary circulatory bypass, allows for normal aerobic dives. PMID:19837897

  6. 鳄鱼血蛋白酶解产物抗氧化特性和血管紧张素转化酶抑制活性研究%Study on the antioxidant properties and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitory activity of crocodile blood protein enzymatic hydrolysate

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    黄和平; 陈孙福; 罗永康

    2014-01-01

    研究了鳄鱼血蛋白酶解产物的抗氧化特性和对血管紧张素转化酶( ACE)的抑制活性。利用木瓜蛋白酶酶解鳄鱼血浆蛋白和血球蛋白,用分光光度法测定了酶解产物的抗氧化能力和用高效液相色谱( HPLC)测定其ACE的抑制率。结果显示:鳄鱼血浆和血球蛋白酶解产物的亚铁离子螯合能力差异性不显著( P>0.05);在0~5 mg/mL的浓度范围内,血球蛋白酶解产物清除ABTS自由基的能力大于血浆蛋白酶解产物,且在浓度为1 mg/mL时,两者清除ABTS自由基的能力差异性极显著( P<0.01);血浆蛋白酶解产物清除DPPH自由基的能力在0~5 mg/mL的浓度范围内随着蛋白浓度的增加而升高,血球蛋白酶解产物在蛋白浓度为4 mg/mL处达到最大清除率,之后下降;在0~20 mg/mL的浓度范围内,两种酶解产物的还原力随着蛋白浓度的提高显著升高,但两者还原力的差异性不显著( P>0.05);鳄鱼血浆和血球蛋白酶解产物对ACE具有良好的抑制力,其最大抑制率可分别达到75.56%和86.42%。研究表明,鳄鱼血蛋白酶解产物在体外具有抗氧化和抑制ACE的活性。%The antioxidant properties and angiotensin-converting enzyme ( ACE) inhibitory activity of enzymatic hydrolysate from crocodile blood protein were analyzed. The crocodile plasma and blood cell protein were hydrolyzed by papain, and then antioxidant properties and ACE inhibition rate of enzymatic hydrolysate were measured by spectrophotometer and HPLC. Results showed that there were no statistical significance ( P>0.05) between the enzymatic hydrolysate of crocodile plasma and blood cell protein; the ABTS radical-scavenging ability of enzymatic hydrolysate from blood cell protein was higher than that from crocodile plasma protein from 0 to 5 mg/mL of protein concentration, and there were statistical significance at P0.05) between them ; crocodile plasma

  7. Biophysics of directional hearing in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bierman, Hilary S; Thornton, Jennifer L; Jones, Heath G

    2014-01-01

    mechanism in alligator sound localization by demonstrating that (1) acoustic space cues generated by the external morphology of the animal are not sufficient to generate location cues that match physiological sensitivity, (2) continuous pathways between the middle ears are present to provide an anatomical...... in the extinct dinosaurs....

  8. Clay vein and its implication for uranium exploration activity in the northern part of the Alligator Rivers Uranium Field, northern Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sasao, Eiji [Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Inst., Toki, Gifu (Japan). Tono Geoscience Center

    2003-07-01

    Clay veins have been found by uranium exploration drilling around the Black Rock uranium prospect in the northern part of the alligator Rivers Uranium Field (ARUF), northern Australia. The mineralogical and chemical features are described to clarify relations with uranium mineralization, because it is not accompanied by uranium mineralization. X-ray diffraction and chemical analysis for major elements indicate that the clay vein consists mainly of chlorite (clinochlore to ferroan clinochlore) and lesser mica clay mineral (t-1M dominant). The clay vein is compared with the clay alteration zone around the uranium deposits in ARUF in terms of mode of occurrence, mineral and chemical compositions. Mineral composition of the clay vein is only in accordance with that of the inner alteration halo of the clay alteration zone. It is, however, different from mineral composition of the outer alteration halo in terms of lack of Fe chlorite in the clay vein. Chemical composition of the clay vein is similar to that of the clay alteration zone, except for lack in the vein of high iron content which is observed in some samples of the alteration zone. As a whole, the feature of the clay vein corresponds to the inner alteration zone around the uranium deposit in ARUF. The mode of occurrence of the clay vein is very different from that of the clay alteration zone. Mode of occurrence, and mineral and chemical compositions of the clay vein resemble a chlorite vein in the Lower to Middle Proterozoic sandstone above the Jabiluka deposit, one of major uranium deposit in the ARUF. Because of the similarity between the clay and the chlorite veins, the clay vein is regarded as marginal facies of an alteration zone. The fluid that formed the clay vein is estimated to have been oxidized, because of the existence of hematite and ubiquitous Mg chlorite. This nature is in accordance with the mineralizing fluid that formed the inner alteration zone in the Nabarlek deposit. In conclusion, the vein

  9. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Alligator Database, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_gator_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for American alligator in coastal Louisiana. Vector polygons represent alligator habitats with nest density...

  10. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ...) CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES) International Trade... of the species in the wild. (1) A State or Tribe seeking initial CITES export program approval must... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false How can I trade internationally......

  11. The Gulf Sturgeon in the Suwannee River - Questions and Answers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulak, Kenneth J.; Randall, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Sturgeons and paddlefishes are modern descendants of an ancient group of freshwater fishes, the Chondrostei (a group of bony fishes with mostly cartilaginous skeletons). Sturgeons evolved during the Age of the Dinosaurs, and have prospered in the large rivers and lakes of North America, Europe and Asia for 200 million years. Together with alligators and crocodiles, they survived the mass extinction at the end of the Mesozoic Era, when the dinosaurs and many other groups of animals disappeared forever. They originated prior to the creation of the Atlantic Ocean, when the Northern Hemisphere supercontinent Pangea broke into North America and Eurasia. Most sturgeons are highly specialized to feed in the sediment on small invertebrate prey, a radical evolutionary departure from most of their fish-eating ancestors.

  12. Biochemical composition of the alligator pipefish, Syngnathoides biaculeatus (Bloch, 1785)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanaye, Sushant Vilas; Pawar, Ashwini Pandurang; Rivonker, Chandrasheker Umanath; Sreepada, Rayadurga Anantha; Ansari, Zakir Ali; Ram, Anirudh

    2016-12-01

    Considering the economic importance in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and lack of baseline information, we evaluated the proximate composition, fatty acid and amino acid profiles, trace element content and C:N ratio in the alligator pipefish, Syngnathoides biaculeatus. Amongst proximate principals, a crude protein formed the major biochemical component ((58.9±2.2)% dry weight). Mean percent concentrations (dry weight) of other components such as a total lipid (TL), ash and nitrogen-free extract measured were, (1.8±0.2)%, (19.2±2.2)% and (20.1±0.45)%, respectively. The fatty acid profile revealed the presence of 27 saturated fatty acids (SFA) with 13 straight-chained and 14 branched-chained, 28 unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) with 14 monounsaturated and 14 polyunsaturated and nine other minor fatty acids. Mean percent contributions of total SFAs and UFAs to TL were found to be (55.41±0.24)% and (44.05±0.25)%, respectively. Altogether, 16 different amino acids with an equal number of essential (EAA) and non-essential (NAA) ones were identified. Percent contributions by EAA and NAA to the total amino acid content were 38.11% and 61.89%, respectively. Trace metal concentrations in S. biaculeatus were generally low and their distribution followed the order, Mg>Fe>Zn>Mn>Cu>Cr>Ni>Hg>Co. The C:N ratio was (4.37±0.04)%. The profile of major biochemical constituents in alligator pipefish, S. biaculeatus revealed its potential use in TCM as well as a nutritional diet for human consumption. The results of the study would also form the basis for formulation and optimization of diets for the culture of S. biaculeatus.

  13. Groundwater as an emergency source for drought mitigation in the Crocodile River catchment, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. E. F. Mussá

    2014-03-01

    and environmental damages to the society. In this study, we assess the drought intensity and severity and the groundwater potential to be used as a supplement source of water to mitigate drought impacts in the Crocodile River catchment, a water-stressed sub-catchment of the Incomati River catchment in South Africa. The research methodology consists mainly of three parts. First, the spatial and temporal variation of the meteorological and hydrological drought severity and intensity over the catchment were evaluated. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI was used to analyse the meteorological drought and the Standardized Runoff Index (SRI was used for the hydrological drought. Second, the water deficit in the catchment during the drought period was computed using a simple water balance method. Finally, a groundwater model was constructed in order to assess the feasibility of using groundwater as an emergency source for drought impact mitigation. Results show that the meteorological drought severity varies accordingly with the precipitation; the low rainfall areas are more vulnerable to severe meteorological droughts (lower and upper crocodile. Moreover, the most water stressed sub-catchments with high level of water uses but limited storage, such as the Kaap located in the middle catchment and the Lower Crocodile sub-catchments are those which are more vulnerable to severe hydrological droughts. The analysis of the potential groundwater use during droughts showed that a deficit of 97 Mm3 yr−1 could be supplied from groundwater without considerable adverse impacts on the river base flow and groundwater storage. Abstraction simulations for different scenarios of extremely severe droughts reveal that it is possible to use groundwater to cope with the droughts in the catchment. However, local groundwater exploitation in Nelspruit and White River sub-catchment will cause large drawdowns (> 10 m and high base flow reduction (> 20%. This case study shows that

  14. Alligator rivers analogue project an OECD/NEA international project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duerden, P.; Airey, P. [ANSTO, Menai (Australia); Pescatore, C. [OECD/NEA Issy-les-Moulineaux (France)

    1994-12-31

    The Koongarra uranium deposit in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia was studied as a natural analogue of the far field behaviour of high level waste repositories following groundwater ingress. A number of mathematical modelling approaches were developed for processes as diverse as groundwater transport, host rock weathering, radionuclide sorption, evolution of the uranium dispersion fan and the distribution of uranium series nuclides between mineral assemblages in weathered host rock. Some of these models are relevant to performance assessment at the level of individual processes and subsystem performance. Through the project, new insights into the application of the natural analogue approach to the assessment of potential waste repository sites were obtained.

  15. Long-term surgical anaesthesia with isoflurane in human habituated Nile Crocodiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George F. Stegmann

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A suitable long-term anaesthetic technique was required for implantation of physiological sensors and telemetric devices in sub-adult Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus to allow the collection of physiological data. Five Nile crocodiles with a median body mass of 24 kg were used. After manual capture, they were blindfolded and 0.2 mL (1 mg/mL medetomidine was administered intramuscularly in four of the animals which had an estimated body mass between 20 kg and 30 kg. One crocodile with an estimated body mass of 50 kg received 0.5 mL. For induction, 5 mL propofol (10 mg/mL was injected intravenously into the occipital sinus. Additional doses were given when required to ensure adequate anaesthesia. Anaesthesia was maintained with 1.5% isoflurane. Ventilation was controlled. Local anaesthesia was administered for surgical incision and external placement of the radio transmitter. Medetomidine was antagonised with atipamezole at the end of surgery. Median heart rate during surgery was 22 beats/min, at extubation 32 beats per min and 30 beats per min the following day at the same body temperature as under anaesthesia. Median body temperature of the animals increased from 27.3 °C to 27.9 °C during anaesthesia, as room temperature increased from 24.5 °C to 29.0 °C during surgery. Anaesthesia was successfully induced with intramuscular medetomidine and intravenous propofol and was maintained with isoflurane for the placement of telemetric implants. Intraoperative analgesia was supplemented with lidocaine infiltration. Perioperative physiological parameters remained stable and within acceptable clinical limits. Multiple factors appear to influence these variables during the recovery period, including residual anaesthetic effects, environmental temperature and physical activity. 

  16. Thermoregulatory behavior is widespread in the embryos of reptiles and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Teng; Zhao, Bo; Zhou, Yong-Kang; Hu, Rui; Du, Wei-Guo

    2014-03-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that thermoregulatory behavior occurs not only in posthatching turtles but also in turtles prior to hatching. Does thermoregulatory behavior also occur in the embryos of other reptile and bird species? Our experiments show that such behavior is widespread but not universal in reptile and bird embryos. We recorded repositioning within the egg, in response to thermal gradients, in the embryos of three species of snakes (Xenochrophis piscator, Elaphe bimaculata, and Zaocys dhumnades), two turtles (Chelydra serpentina and Ocadia sinensis), one crocodile (Alligator sinensis), and four birds (Coturnix coturnix, Gallus gallus domesticus, Columba livia domestica, and Anas platyrhynchos domestica). However, we detected no significant thermoregulation by the embryos of two lizard species (Takydromus septentrionalis and Phrynocephalus frontalis). Overall, embryonic thermoregulatory behavior is widespread in reptile as well as bird species but may be unimportant in the small eggs laid by most lizards.

  17. Scaling of standard metabolic rate in estuarine crocodiles Crocodylus porosus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Roger S; Gienger, C M; Brien, Matthew L; Tracy, Christopher R; Charlie Manolis, S; Webb, Grahame J W; Christian, Keith A

    2013-05-01

    Standard metabolic rate (SMR, ml O2 min(-1)) of captive Crocodylus porosus at 30 °C scales with body mass (kg) according to the equation, SMR = 1.01 M(0.829), in animals ranging in body mass of 3.3 orders of magnitude (0.19-389 kg). The exponent is significantly higher than 0.75, so does not conform to quarter-power scaling theory, but rather is likely an emergent property with no single explanation. SMR at 1 kg body mass is similar to the literature for C. porosus and for alligators. The high exponent is not related to feeding, growth, or obesity of captive animals. The log-transformed data appear slightly curved, mainly because SMR is somewhat low in many of the largest animals (291-389 kg). A 3-parameter model is scarcely different from the linear one, but reveals a declining exponent between 0.862 and 0.798. A non-linear model on arithmetic axes overestimates SMR in 70% of the smallest animals and does not satisfactorily represent the data.

  18. Spatial Ecology of the American Crocodile in a Tropical Pacific Island in Central America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balaguera-Reina, Sergio A.; Venegas-Anaya, Miryam; Sánchez, Andrés; Arbelaez, Italo; Lessios, Harilaos A.; Densmore, Llewellyn D.

    2016-01-01

    Conservation of large predators has long been a challenge for biologists due to the limited information we have about their ecology, generally low numbers in the wild, large home ranges and the continuous expansion of human settlements. The American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is a typical apex predator, that has suffered from all of these characteristic problems, especially the latter one. Humans have had a major impact on the recovery of this species throughout its range, even though most of the countries it inhabits have banned hunting. The last decade has made it clear that in order to implement sound conservation and management programs, we must increase our understanding of crocodile spatial ecology. However, in only two countries where American crocodiles have telemetry studies even been published. Herein we have characterized the spatial ecology of C. acutus on Coiba Island, Panama, by radio-tracking (VHF transmitters) 24 individuals between 2010 and 2013, to determine movement patterns, home range, and habitat use. We have then compared our findings with those of previous studies to develop the most comprehensive assessment of American crocodile spatial ecology to date. Females showed a higher average movement distance (AMD) than males; similarly, adults showed a higher AMD than sub-adults and juveniles. However, males exhibited larger home ranges than females, and concomitantly sub-adults had larger home ranges than juveniles, hatchlings, and adults. There was an obvious relationship between seasonal precipitation and AMD, with increased AMD in the dry and “low-wet” seasons, and reduced AMD during the “true” wet season. We found disaggregate distributions according to age groups throughout the 9 habitat types in the study area; adults and hatchlings inhabited fewer habitat types than juveniles and sub-adults. These sex- and age-group discrepancies in movement and habitat choice are likely due to the influences of reproductive biology and Coiba

  19. A Chinese alligator in heliox: formant frequencies in a crocodilian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reber, Stephan A.; Nishimura, Takeshi; Janisch, Judith; Robertson, Mark; Fitch, W. Tecumseh

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Crocodilians are among the most vocal non-avian reptiles. Adults of both sexes produce loud vocalizations known as ‘bellows’ year round, with the highest rate during the mating season. Although the specific function of these vocalizations remains unclear, they may advertise the caller's body size, because relative size differences strongly affect courtship and territorial behaviour in crocodilians. In mammals and birds, a common mechanism for producing honest acoustic signals of body size is via formant frequencies (vocal tract resonances). To our knowledge, formants have to date never been documented in any non-avian reptile, and formants do not seem to play a role in the vocalizations of anurans. We tested for formants in crocodilian vocalizations by using playbacks to induce a female Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) to bellow in an airtight chamber. During vocalizations, the animal inhaled either normal air or a helium/oxygen mixture (heliox) in which the velocity of sound is increased. Although heliox allows normal respiration, it alters the formant distribution of the sound spectrum. An acoustic analysis of the calls showed that the source signal components remained constant under both conditions, but an upward shift of high-energy frequency bands was observed in heliox. We conclude that these frequency bands represent formants. We suggest that crocodilian vocalizations could thus provide an acoustic indication of body size via formants. Because birds and crocodilians share a common ancestor with all dinosaurs, a better understanding of their vocal production systems may also provide insight into the communication of extinct Archosaurians. PMID:26246611

  20. INTERACTION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS WITH THE ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS FROM THE OVIDUCT OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR. (R824760)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  1. SERUM CONCENTRATIONS OF VARIOUS ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO SEX STEROID CONCENTRATIONS IN THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR. (R824760)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  2. IN VITRO SYNERGISTIC INTERACTION OF ALLIGATOR AND HUMAN ESTROGEN RECEPTORS WITH COMBINATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS. (R824760)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  3. Environmental surveillance monitoring in the Alligator Rivers Region. Report No. 34

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-12-31

    This report outlines the activities of the Northern Territory Supervising Authorities (NTSAs) in meeting their responsibilities for environmental management and surveillance of environmental monitoring relating to uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region for the six-month period to 30 September 1997. Detailed results of assessments, inspections and check monitoring for Nabarlek and Ranger deposits are presented. The current status of Jabiluka and Koongarra projects is briefly outlined. 14 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. EAARL Coastal Topography--Alligator Point, Louisiana, 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — A digital elevation model (DEM) of a portion of Alligator Point, Louisiana, was produced from remotely sensed, geographically referenced elevation measurements by...

  5. Temperature has species-specific effects on corticosterone in alligator lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Telemeco, Rory S; Addis, Elizabeth A

    2014-09-15

    In response to conditions that threaten homeostasis and/or life, vertebrates generally increase production of glucocorticoid hormones, such as corticosterone (CORT), which induces an emergency physiological state referred to as the stress response. Given that extreme temperatures pose a threat to performance and survival, glucocorticoid upregulation might be an important component of a vertebrate ectotherm's response to extreme thermal conditions. To address this hypothesis, we experimentally examined the effects of body temperature (10, 20, 28, and 35°C; 5-h exposure) on CORT in two congeneric species of lizard naturally exposed to different thermal environments, northern and southern alligator lizards (Elgaria coerulea and Elgaria multicarinata, respectively). In both species, CORT was similarly elevated at medium and high temperatures (28 and 35°C, respectively), but CORT was only elevated at low temperatures (10°C) in southern alligator lizards. We also examined CORT before and after adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) challenge. In both species, ACTH induced higher CORT levels than any temperature, suggesting that these animals could respond to further stressors at all experimental temperatures. Finally, we compared our laboratory results to measurements of CORT in field-active southern alligator lizards. Plasma CORT concentrations from our laboratory experiment had the same mean and less variance than the field lizards, suggesting that our laboratory lizards displayed CORT within natural levels. Our results demonstrate that body temperature directly affects CORT in alligator lizards. Moreover, the CORT response of these lizards appears to be adapted to their respective thermal environments. Species-specific differences in the thermal CORT response might be common in vertebrate ectotherms and have implications for species' biogeography and responses to climate change.

  6. Effects of Elimination of Alligator Weed on Certain Aquatic Plants and the Value of these Plants as Waterfowl Foods

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The effects of elimination of alligatorweed by granular silvex on the abundance of 12 species of aquatic plants were studied on the Santee National Wildlife Refuge,...

  7. De novo characterization of the alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) transcriptome illuminates gene expression under potassium deprivation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Liqin Li; Li Xu; Xiyao Wang; Gang Pan; Liming Lu

    2015-03-01

    As one of the three macronutrients, potassium participates in many physiological processes in plant life cycle. Recently, potassium-dependent transcriptome analysis has been reported in Arabidopsis, rice and soybean. Alligator weed is well known, particularly for its strong ability to accumulate potassium. However, the molecular mechanism that underlies potassium starvation responses has not yet been described. In this study, we used Illumina (Solexa) sequencing technology to analyse the root transcriptome information of alligator weed under low potassium stress. Further analysis suggested that 9253 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were upregulated, and 2138 DEGs were downregulated after seven days of potassium deficiency. These factors included 121 transcription factors, 108 kinases, 136 transporters and 178 genes that were related to stress. Twelve transcription factors were randomly selected for further analysis. The expression level of each transcription factor was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR, and the results of this secondary analysis were consistent with the results of Solexa sequencing. Enrichment analysis indicated that 10,993 DEGs were assigned to 54 gene ontology terms and 123 KEGG pathways. Approximately 24% of DEGs belong to the metabolic, ribosome and biosynthesis of secondary metabolite KEGG pathways. Our results provide a comprehensive analysis of the gene regulatory network of alligator weed under low potassium stress, and afford a valuable resource for genetic and genomic research on plant potassium deficiency.

  8. Estimating spawning times of Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula) in Lake Texoma, Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow, Richard A.; Long, James M.

    2015-01-01

    In 2013, juvenile Alligator Gar were sampled in the reservoir-river interface of the Red River arm of Lake Texoma. The Red River, which flows 860 km along Oklahoma’s border with Texas, is the primary in-flow source of Lake Texoma, and is impounded by Denison Dam. Minifyke nets were deployed using an adaptive random cluster sampling design, which has been used to effectively sample rare species. Lapilli otoliths (one of the three pair of ear stones found within the inner ear of fish) were removed from juvenile Alligator Gar collected in July of 2013. Daily ages were estimated by counting the number of rings present, and spawn dates were back-calculated from date of capture and subtracting 8 days (3 days from spawn to hatch and 5 days from hatch to swimup when the first ring forms). Alligator Gar daily age estimation ranged from 50 to 63 days old since swim-up. Spawn dates corresponded to rising pool elevations of Lake Texoma and water pulses of tributaries.

  9. The first fossil skull of Alligator sinensis from the Pleistocene, Taiwan, with a paleogeographic implication of the species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsi-yin, Shan; Yen-nien, Cheng; Xiao-chun, Wu

    2013-06-01

    A nearly complete fossil skull of Alligatoridae from the Pleistocene, Penghu Channel, east of Taiwan, is reported. It can be referred to the most latest clade of Alligatorinae, which includes Alligator sinensis, Alligator mississippiensis and Alligator mefferdi, on the basis of the following features: the splenial is excluded from the mandibular symphysis; the anterior tip of the splenial passes dorsal to the Meckelian groove; and the mandible is gently curved between the fourth alveoli and the mid dentary. It differs from A. mississippiensis and A. mefferdi mainly in the following characters: the breadth between the supratemporal fenestrae is approximately equal to the interorbital width, the snout is about half the length of the skull; and the anterior part of the snout is subtriangular in dorsal view. These features suggest that the Penghu alligator is most probably referable to A. sinensis. This is the only fossil skull of A. sinensis known. The discovery of the skull in Penghu Channel not only provides the first solid fossil evidence to indicate that the geological distribution of A. sinensis extended farther southeast than the historical/archeological range of the species but also adds new information on the biodiversity of the Penghu fauna.

  10. Distinguish crocodile blood by SDS- PAGE%鳄鱼血SDS - PAGE鉴别方法的研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张敏; 王春梅; 李耀武; 吴先敏; 赵增荣; 张露

    2011-01-01

    Objective:To establish the SDS - PAGE identification method for crocodile blood. Methods: Electro-phoresis buffer was used to prepare six animals' whole blood sample solution. The animals were: crocodile, sheep, guinea pig, chicken, rabbit, and deer. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis ( SDS - PAGE ) method was used to identify six animals' whole blood. Results:The best SDS -PAGE conditions to get good resolution were 60 μg protein sample loaded to each well and using the 7. 5% - 11% gradient separating gel plate ( 16 cm × 20 cm) to run the samples. The obviously different electrophoresis bands of six animals' whole blood were obtained by the method and crocodile blood has the characteristic bands. Conclusion: This method is sensitive and could be used easily to distinguish the crocodile blood from other five kinds bleed.%目的:建立鳄鱼血SDS - PAGE鉴别方法.方法:利用电泳缓冲液制备鳄鱼血、绵羊血、豚鼠血、鸡血、兔血、鹿血等6种动物全血样品液,采用十二烷基磺酸钠-聚丙烯酰胺凝胶电泳(SDS- PAGE)法,对6种动物全血进行鉴别研究.结果:以7.5% ~11%的梯度分离胶、60μg蛋白量上样,大板(16 cm×20 cm)进行SDS- PAGE鉴别,6种动物全血的电泳谱带有明显差异,鳄鱼血存在特征条带.结论:本方法灵敏度高、专属性强,可作为鳄鱼血与其他动物血的鉴别依据.

  11. Injuries, envenomations and stings from exotic pets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warwick, Clifford; Steedman, Catrina

    2012-07-01

    A variety of exotic vertebrate and invertebrate species are kept as 'pets' including fishes, amphibians (for example, frogs and toads), reptiles (turtles, crocodiles, lizards and snakes), birds, mammals (for example, primates, civets, and lions), and invertebrates (for example spiders, scorpions, and centipedes), and ownership of some of these animals is rising. Data for 2009-2011 suggest that the number of homes with reptiles rose by approximately 12.5%. Recent surveys, including only some of these animals, indicated that they might be present in around 18.6% of homes (equal to approximately 42 million animals of which around 40 million are indoor or outdoor fish). Many exotic 'pets' are capable of causing injury or poisoning to their keepers and some contacts prove fatal. We examined NHS Health Episode Statistics for England using selected formal categories for hospital admissions and bed days for 2004-2010 using the following categories of injury, envenomation or sting; bitten or struck by crocodile or alligator; bitten or crushed by other reptiles: contact with venomous snakes and lizards; contact with scorpions. Between 2004 and 2010 these data conservatively show a total of 760 full consultation episodes, 709 admissions and 2,121 hospital bed days were associated with injuries probably from exotic pets. Injuries, envenomations and stings from exotic pets constitute a small but important component of emerging medical problems. Greater awareness of relevant injuries and medical sequelae from exotic pet keeping may help medics formulate their clinical assessment and advice to patients.

  12. General morphology of the oral cavity of the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus (Laurenti, 1768. II. The tongue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.F. Putterill

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The heads of nine 2.5 to 3-year-old Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus were obtained from a commercial farm where crocodiles are raised for their skins and meat. The animals from which these specimens were obtained appeared clinically healthy at the time they were slaughtered. A description of the macroscopic and microscopic features of the tongue of the Nile crocodile is presented and the results are compared with published information on this species and other Crocodylia. The histological features are supplemented by information supplied by scanning electron microscopy. Macroscopic features of interest were the dome shaped structures grouped in a triangular formation on the posterior two-thirds of the dorsum of the tongue. These structures were identified by light microscopy to contain well-developed branched, coiled tubular glands and associated lymphoid tissue. Other histological features included a lightly keratinised stratified squamous surface epithelium supported by a thick layer of irregular dense fibrous connective tissue. Deep to this region was a clearly demarcated adipose tissue core with a dense mass of striated lingual musculature. Localised thickenings were present in the epithelium which were associated with ellipsoid intra-epithelial structures resembling taste buds.

  13. Qualidade e composição química de cortes comerciais de carne de jacaré-do-pantanal (Caiman yacare Quality and chemistry composition of comercial cuts of alligator swanpland meat (Cayman yacare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Cristina Rodrigues

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Com o objetivo de caracterizar a carne de jacaré-do-pantanal, 20 peças (cortes comerciais foram obtidas de cinco carcaças de animais oriundos de zoocriadouros (Cáceres - MT, abatidos com peso entre 2,5 a 3,0 kg. Os cortes comparados foram: filé de cauda, filé de dorso, filé de lombo e membros. As características físico-químicas de perda de peso por cozimento (médias com variação de 38,99 a 42,28 %; força de cisalhamento (2,29 a 2,50 kgf e o componente de cor luminosidade (54,01 a 56,02 foram semelhantes nos diferentes cortes. O teor de vermelho foi mais elevado (PWith the objective of characterize the alligator swampland meat, a total of 20 parts (commercial cuts were taken of 5 carcass from these animals kept in captivity (Cáceres MT slaughtered with the weight ranged 2.5 to 3 Kg. The commercial cuts were tail filet, back filet, loin filet and members. The physical chemistry characterizes of weight loss (ranged means from 38.99 to 42.28% shear force (2.29 to 2.50 kgf and the color component luminosity (54.01 to 56.02 were similar in the different cuts. However, the tenor of red was higher (P0,05 among the cuts to total protein content. Therefore the results shows different in moisture, fat and ashes . The cut tail filet showed (P>0,05 higher fat percentage (0,54% than the others cuts loin filet, back filet and members (0,29; 0,40, and 0,34% respectively These results show that the meat of alligator presents cuts with appearance very clear, similar to the color of fish, and when cooked, presents high tenderness. Also the cuts shows low percentage of total lipids and the cut tail filet show to have more fat than the others cuts.

  14. Crocodile-inspired dome-shaped pressure receptors for passive hydrodynamic sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanhere, Elgar; Wang, Nan; Kottapalli, Ajay Giri Prakash; Asadnia, Mohsen; Subramaniam, Vignesh; Miao, Jianmin; Triantafyllou, Michael

    2016-08-22

    Passive mechanosensing is an energy-efficient and effective recourse for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) for perceiving their surroundings. The passive sensory organs of aquatic animals have provided inspiration to biomimetic researchers for developing underwater passive sensing systems for AUVs. This work is inspired by the 'integumentary sensory organs' (ISOs) which are dispersed on the skin of crocodiles and are equipped with slowly adapting (SA) and rapidly adapting (RA) receptors. ISOs assist crocodiles in locating the origin of a disturbance, both on the water surface and under water, thereby enabling them to hunt prey even in a dark environment and turbid waters. In this study, we construct SA dome receptors embedded with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) piezoresistive sensors to measure the steady-state pressures imparted by flows and RA dome receptors embedded with MEMS piezoelectric sensors to detect oscillatory pressures in water. Experimental results manifest the ability of SA and RA dome receptors to sense the direction of steady-state flows and oscillatory disturbances, respectively. As a proof of concept, the SA domes are tested on the hull of a kayak under various pressure variations owing to different types of movements of the hull. Our results indicate that the dome receptors are capable of discerning the angle of attack and speed of the flow.

  15. beta-Keratins in crocodiles reveal amino acid homology with avian keratins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Changjiang; Wu, Xiaobing; Yan, Peng; Amato, George

    2010-03-01

    The DNA sequences encoding beta-keratin have been obtained from Marsh Mugger (Crocodylus palustris) and Orinoco Crocodiles (Crocodylus intermedius). Through the deduced amino acid sequence, these proteins are rich in glycine, proline and serine. The central region of the proteins are composed of two beta-folded regions and show a high degree of identity with beta-keratins of aves and squamates. This central part is thought to be the site of polymerization to build the framework of beta-keratin filaments. It is believed that the beta-keratins in reptiles and birds share a common ancestry. Near the C-terminal, these beta-keratins contain a peptide rich in glycine-X and glycine-X-X, and the distinctive feature of the region is some 12-amino acid repeats, which are similar to the 13-amino acid repeats in chick scale keratin but absent from avian feather keratin. From our phylogenetic analysis, the beta-keratins in crocodile have a closer relationship with avian keratins than the other keratins in reptiles.

  16. A time-calibrated species tree of Crocodylia reveals a recent radiation of the true crocodiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oaks, Jamie R

    2011-11-01

    True crocodiles (Crocodylus) are the most broadly distributed, ecologically diverse, and species-rich crocodylian genus, comprising about half of extant crocodylian diversity and exhibiting a circumtropical distribution. Crocodylus traditionally has been viewed as an ancient group of morphologically conserved species that originated in Africa prior to continental breakup. In this study, these long-held notions about the temporal and geographic origin of Crocodylus are tested using DNA sequence data of 10 loci from 76 individuals representing all 23 crocodylian species. I infer a time-calibrated species tree of all Crocodylia and estimate the spatial pattern of diversification within Crocodylus. For the first time, a fully resolved phylogenetic estimate of all Crocodylia is well-supported. The results overturn traditional views of the evolution of Crocodylus by demonstrating that the true crocodiles are not "living-fossils" that originated in Africa. Rather, Crocodylus originated from an ancestor in the tropics of the Late Miocene Indo-Pacific, and rapidly radiated and dispersed around the globe during a period marked by mass extinctions of fellow crocodylians. The findings also reveal more diversity within the genus than is recognized by current taxonomy.

  17. Exercise training enhances aerobic capacity in juvenile estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Baudinette, Russell V

    2008-06-01

    Aerobic capacity (VO2max) of endothermic vertebrates is known to increase with exercise training, but this effect has not been found to-date in non-avian reptiles. We exercised juvenile estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) to walk at 0.75-0.88 km/h on a treadmill for up to 20 min a day over 16 weeks, and compared their aerobic performance with that of unexercised crocodiles. In the exercised group, VO2max increased from 6.9 to 8.5 mLO2/kg/min (+28%), and locomotor endurance increased from 3.8 to 6.9 min (+82%). Neither VO2max nor endurance changed significantly in the sedentary group. This finding extends the exercise training effect onto another vertebrate clade, and demonstrates that ectothermic amniotes are capable of elevating their aerobic capacity in response to exercise training. We propose that differences in cardiopulmonary structure and function in non-avian reptiles may be responsible for the absence (in squamates) or presence (in crocodilians) of a strong training effect on aerobic capacity.

  18. Sound Localization in the Alligator

    OpenAIRE

    Bierman, Hilary S.; Carr, Catherine E.

    2015-01-01

    In early tetrapods, it is assumed that the tympana were acoustically coupled through the pharynx and therefore inherently directional, acting as pressure difference receivers. The later closure of the middle ear cavity in turtles, archosaurs, and mammals is a derived condition, and would have changed the ear by decoupling the tympana. Isolation of the middle ears would then have led to selection for structural and neural strategies to compute sound source localization in both archosaurs and m...

  19. The alligator rivers analogue project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duerden, P. (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Lucas Heights (Australia))

    1991-01-01

    The Koongarra uranium ore deposit in the Northern Territory of Australia is being studied to evaluate the processes and mechanisms involved in the hydrological/geochemical alteration of the primary uranium and model the formation of the secondary uranium mineralisation and the dispersion fan. A wide range of research is undertaken in the field and at laboratories in Australia, Japan, Sweden, the UK and the USA. The experimental and modelling tasks consider the original weathering of the region, the alteration of the host rock and primary uranium, groundwater flow and migration pathways, rock/groundwater interactions, such as adsorption desorption, nuclide transport and the relative distribution of the uranium/thorium radionuclides in the multi-phase system, and the continued development of the dispersion fan. The study of the in-situ production and mobility of long lived fission products eg Tc-99 and I-129 and transuranic nuclides such as Pu-239 is also possible. The methods used in collecting data for a repository are similar to those applied at Koongarra, hence, an analysis of the many different approaches taken may help evaluate and decrease the uncertainties of with field and laboratory measurements. (J.P.N.).

  20. Sound localization in the alligator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierman, Hilary S; Carr, Catherine E

    2015-11-01

    In early tetrapods, it is assumed that the tympana were acoustically coupled through the pharynx and therefore inherently directional, acting as pressure difference receivers. The later closure of the middle ear cavity in turtles, archosaurs, and mammals is a derived condition, and would have changed the ear by decoupling the tympana. Isolation of the middle ears would then have led to selection for structural and neural strategies to compute sound source localization in both archosaurs and mammalian ancestors. In the archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) the presence of air spaces in the skull provided connections between the ears that have been exploited to improve directional hearing, while neural circuits mediating sound localization are well developed. In this review, we will focus primarily on directional hearing in crocodilians, where vocalization and sound localization are thought to be ecologically important, and indicate important issues still awaiting resolution.

  1. Alligator clips to molecular dimensions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prokopuk, Nicholas [NAVAIR Research Department, Chemistry Branch, China Lake, CA 93555-6100 (United States); Son, Kyung-Ah [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2008-09-17

    Techniques for fabricating nanospaced electrodes suitable for studying electron tunneling through metal-molecule-metal junctions are described. In one approach, top contacts are deposited/placed on a self-assembled monolayer or Langmuir-Blodgett film resting on a conducting substrate, the bottom contact. The molecular component serves as a permanent spacer that controls and limits the electrode separations. The top contact can be a thermally deposited metal film, liquid mercury drop, scanning probe tip, metallic wire or particle. Introduction of the top contact can greatly affect the electrical conductance of the intervening molecular film by chemical reaction, exerting pressure, or simply migrating through the organic layer. Alternatively, vacant nanogaps can be fabricated and the molecular component subsequently inserted. Strategies for constructing vacant nanogaps include mechanical break junction, electromigration, shadow mask lithography, focused ion beam deposition, chemical and electrochemical plating techniques, electron-beam lithography, and molecular and atomic rulers. The size of the nanogaps must be small enough to allow the molecule to connect both leads and large enough to keep the molecules in a relaxed and undistorted state. A significant advantage of using vacant nanogaps in the construction of metal-molecule-metal devices is that the junction can be characterized with and without the molecule in place. Any electrical artifacts introduced by the electrode fabrication process are more easily deconvoluted from the intrinsic properties of the molecule.

  2. Alligator clips to molecular dimensions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prokopuk, Nicholas; Son, Kyung-Ah

    2008-09-01

    Techniques for fabricating nanospaced electrodes suitable for studying electron tunneling through metal-molecule-metal junctions are described. In one approach, top contacts are deposited/placed on a self-assembled monolayer or Langmuir-Blodgett film resting on a conducting substrate, the bottom contact. The molecular component serves as a permanent spacer that controls and limits the electrode separations. The top contact can be a thermally deposited metal film, liquid mercury drop, scanning probe tip, metallic wire or particle. Introduction of the top contact can greatly affect the electrical conductance of the intervening molecular film by chemical reaction, exerting pressure, or simply migrating through the organic layer. Alternatively, vacant nanogaps can be fabricated and the molecular component subsequently inserted. Strategies for constructing vacant nanogaps include mechanical break junction, electromigration, shadow mask lithography, focused ion beam deposition, chemical and electrochemical plating techniques, electron-beam lithography, and molecular and atomic rulers. The size of the nanogaps must be small enough to allow the molecule to connect both leads and large enough to keep the molecules in a relaxed and undistorted state. A significant advantage of using vacant nanogaps in the construction of metal-molecule-metal devices is that the junction can be characterized with and without the molecule in place. Any electrical artifacts introduced by the electrode fabrication process are more easily deconvoluted from the intrinsic properties of the molecule.

  3. The effect of high level of manganese in the soil on the growth and glyphosate tolerance of alligator weed ( Alternanthera philoxeroides )%土壤高锰对空心莲子草生长与草甘膦耐性的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李洁; 朱金文; 刘亚光; 刘蕊; 朱国念

    2011-01-01

    The growth and glyphosate tolerance of alligator weed (Altemanthera philoxeroides) under high level of manganese (Mn) condition were studied. The results showed that when treated with 8 -128 mg/kg Mn in the soil for 20 days, the branch numbers of alligator weed were significantly increased by 22. 57% -48.31% compared to that of the control (4. 43 per plant) ,the length of the longest stems was significantly increased by 16. 60% -19. 87% compared to that of the control (23. 85 cm) ,the total rhizomes number were significantly increased by 29. 87% -47. 40% comparedto that of the control (1. 54 per plant), and the dry weight of the alligator weed were significantly increased by 22. 45% - 27. 00% compared to that of the control (0. 23 g). The areas of the leaves were also larger than that of the control in 32-128 mg/kg Mn treatment. 21 days after the application of glyphosate in the dosage of 68,102 and 136 g ae/ha,the reduction of fresh weight of alligator weed declined by 27. 39% ,24. 57% and 30. 06% , respectively, in Mn 128 mg/kg treatment. The results indicated that the growth and propagation of alligator weed were stimulated when the Mn content in soil was increased, and this might be one of the major reasons leading to the spreading of the weed in acidic soil environment. Alligator weed showed remarkably tolerance to glyphosate under high Mn condition in the soil, implying it might be difficult to control the weed in the future.%研究了空心莲子草Alternanthera philoxeroides在土壤中含高浓度锰(简称高锰)胁迫下的生长特性及对草甘膦的耐性.空心莲子草在锰添加量为8~128 mg/kg的土壤中培养20 d后,分枝数比对照(4.43个/株)增加了22.57% ~48.31%,主茎长度比对照(23.85 cm)增长了16.60% ~19.87%,地下根茎数比对照(1.54个/株)增加29.87%~47.40%,全株干重比对照(0.23 g)增加22.45% ~ 27.00%;植株叶面积在锰添加量为32~128 mg/kg范围内也显著高于对照(增加10

  4. From the curve of the snake, and the scene of the crocodile: musings on learning and losing space, place and body

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Gannon

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Where else can educational research begin and end, if not with the body of the researcher, if not with the particular material/ corporeal/ affective assemblages that this body is and has been part of? This paper traces the mutual constitution of bodies, identities and landscapes through memory as the body of this educator travels through multiple scenes of geo-spatial-temporal movement, and down the east coast of Australia. This movement parallels the movement from being a school teacher to becoming an academic. Throughout the paper landscape is foregrounded, and the body in landscape is evoked through poetic and literary modes of writing around the themes of learning and losing. The body in landscape is not merely the body of the writer. Other bodies in the landscape include ‘the curve of the snake’ - the row of protective hills that were said to protect her tropical home from cyclones – and the ‘scene of the crocodile’ – the rock that hung over the valley she passed on her way to school that she had learned of from Indigenous teachers. The political and ethical consequences of memory work, of body and place writing, and of genres of writing in educational research, are also considered. The paper argues for an embodied and reflexive literacy of place that incorporates multiple modes of knowing, being and writing.

  5. Patterns of sexual dimorphism in Mexican alligator lizards, Barisia imbricata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dashevsky, Daniel; Meik, Jesse M; Mociño-Deloya, Estrella; Setser, Kirk; Schaack, Sarah

    2013-01-01

    We compare morphological characteristics of male and female Barisia imbricata, Mexican alligator lizards, and find that mass, head length, coloration, incidence of scars from conspecifics, tail loss, and frequency of bearing the color/pattern of the opposite sex are all sexually dimorphic traits. Overall size (measured as snout–vent length), on the other hand, is not different between the two sexes. We use data on bite scar frequency and fecundity to evaluate competing hypotheses regarding the selective forces driving these patterns. We contend that sexual selection, acting through male-male competition, may favor larger mass and head size in males, whereas large females are likely favored by natural selection for greater fecundity. In addition, the frequency of opposite-sex patterning in males versus females may indicate that the costs of agonistic interactions among males are severe enough to allow for an alternative mating strategy. Finally, we discuss how sexual and natural selective forces may interact to drive or mask the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits. PMID:23467394

  6. Physiological response of alligator gar juveniles (Atractosteus spatula) exposed to sub-lethal doses of pollutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González, Carlos Aguilera; Cruz, Julio; Alfaro, Roberto Mendoza

    2015-08-01

    Alligator gar populations have declined because of overfishing, habitat loss and pollution. Over time, the exposure to different pollutants have affected these fishes as a consequence of their high trophic level, bottom-dwelling habits and long life span. In order to evaluate the physiological effects of pollutants on alligator gar, juveniles (6, 12 and 24 months) were exposed to sub-lethal doses of diazinon, β-naphthoflavone (BNF) and 17 β-estradiol (E2) by intraperitoneal injection. After 2 days of exposure, liver samples were taken to determine the activities of acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase; alkaline and acid phosphatases (ALP and ACP); ethoxyresorufin o-deethylase (EROD); glutathione s-transferase (GST); superoxide dismutase (SOD), and vitellogenin (VTG) concentration. Two additional bioassays consisting on the exposure of compounds through water or food were performed and after 4 and 28 days, respectively, biomarkers were determined. All esterases were inhibited in organisms exposed to diazinon as well as in 6-months gar exposed to E2 and BNF. In contrast, ALP activity increased in gar exposed to diazinon and E2, while ACP activity did not show any variations. No EROD activity was registered after exposure to the different pollutants, despite being one of the most sensitive and common detoxification biomarkers used for fishes. GST activity reduction was detected when gar were exposed to E2 and BNF, while SOD activity increased after exposure to diazinon and E2. Finally, VTG levels were higher in animals exposed to E2 compared to other treatments. Overall, these results suggest that alligator gar juveniles have a low biotransformation metabolism and show that they are especially sensitive to those pollutants affecting the nervous system.

  7. Alligator rivers analogue project. Final report; volume 1; summary of findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duerden, P.; Lever, D.A.; Sverjensky, D.A.; Townley, L.R

    1992-07-01

    The Koongarra uranium ore deposit is located in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia. Many of the processes that have controlled the development of this natural system are relevant to the performance assessment of radioactive waste repositories. An agreement was reached in 1987 by a number of agencies concerned with radioactive waste disposal to set up the International Alligator Rivers Analogue Project (ARAP) to study relevant aspects of the hydrological and geochemical evolution of the site. The Project ran for five years. The aims of the study were: to contribute to the production of reliable and realistic models for radionuclide migration within geological environments relevant to the assessment of the safety of radioactive waste repositories; to develop methods of validation of models using a combination of laboratory and field data associated with the Koongarra uranium deposit; and to encourage maximum interaction between modellers and experimentalists in achieving these objectives. It was anticipated that the substantial databases generated in the field and laboratory studies would then be used to develop and test geochemical and radionuclide transport models. The findings from the technical studies are discussed in the context of assessments of the long-term performance of geological repositories for radioactive wastes, which are being undertaken in many countries. They are also considered in an integrated 'Scenario Development' approach, aimed to understand the formation of the ore deposit. Despite their inherent uncertainties, the findings provide a basis for assessing the way in which radionuclides will migrate in environments with a variety of geologic settings and over a range of different geologic timescales. This summary report, which highlights the work and findings of the Alligator Rivers Analogue Project is one of a series of 16 volumes.

  8. DIFFERENCES IN SENSITIVITY BUT NOT SELECTIVITY OF XENOESTROGEN BINDING TO ALLIGATOR VERSUS HUMAN ESTROGEN RECEPTOR ALPHA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rider, Cynthia V.; Hartig, Phillip C.; Cardon, Mary C.; Lambright, Christy R.; Bobseine, Kathy L.; Guillette, Louis J.; Gray, L. Earl; Wilson, Vickie S.

    2010-01-01

    Reproductive abnormalities in alligators exposed to contaminants in Lake Apopka, Florida, USA represent a clear example of endocrine disruption in wildlife. Several of these contaminants that are not able to bind to mammalian estrogen receptors (such as atrazine and cyanazine) have previously been reported to bind to the alligator estrogen receptor from oviductal tissue. Binding of known Lake Apopka contaminants to full length estrogen receptors alpha from human (hERα) and alligator (aERα) was assessed in a side-by-side comparison within the same assay system. Baculovirus-expressed recombinant hERα and aERα were used in a competitive binding assay. Atrazine and cyanazine were not able to bind to either receptor. p,p′-Dicofol was able to bind to aERα with a concentration inhibiting 50% of binding (IC50) of 4 μM, while only partially displacing 17β-estradiol (E2) from hERα and yielding a projected IC50 of 45 μM. Chemicals that only partially displaced E2 from either receptor, including some dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) metabolites and trans-nonachlor, appeared to have higher affinity for aERα than hERα. p,p′-Dicofol-mediated transcriptional activation through aERα and hERα was assessed to further explore the preferential binding of p,p′-dicofol to aERα over hERα. p,p′-Dicofol was able to stimulate transcriptional activation in a similar manner with both receptors. However, the in vitro results obtained with p,p′-dicofol were not reflected in an in vivo mammalian model, where Kelthane™ (mixed o,p′-and p,p′-dicofol isomers) did not elicit estrogenic effects. In conclusion, although there was no evidence of exclusively species-specific estrogen receptor binders, some xenoestrogens, especially p,p′-dicofol, had a higher affinity for aERα than for hERα. PMID:20821664