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Sample records for bengalese finch lonchura

  1. Syringeal specialization of frequency control during song production in the Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica.

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    Kristen R Secora

    Full Text Available Singing in songbirds is a complex, learned behavior which shares many parallels with human speech. The avian vocal organ (syrinx has two potential sound sources, and each sound generator is under unilateral, ipsilateral neural control. Different songbird species vary in their use of bilateral or unilateral phonation (lateralized sound production and rapid switching between left and right sound generation (interhemispheric switching of motor control. Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata domestica have received considerable attention, because they rapidly modify their song in response to manipulations of auditory feedback. However, how the left and right sides of the syrinx contribute to acoustic control of song has not been studied.Three manipulations of lateralized syringeal control of sound production were conducted. First, unilateral syringeal muscular control was eliminated by resection of the left or right tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve, which provides neuromuscular innervation of the syrinx. Spectral and temporal features of song were compared before and after lateralized nerve injury. In a second experiment, either the left or right sound source was devoiced to confirm the role of each sound generator in the control of acoustic phonology. Third, air pressure was recorded before and after unilateral denervation to enable quantification of acoustic change within individual syllables following lateralized nerve resection.These experiments demonstrate that the left sound source produces louder, higher frequency, lower entropy sounds, and the right sound generator produces lower amplitude, lower frequency, higher entropy sounds. The bilateral division of labor is complex and the frequency specialization is the opposite pattern observed in most songbirds. Further, there is evidence for rapid interhemispheric switching during song production. Lateralized control of song production in Bengalese finches may enhance acoustic

  2. Uropygial gland volatiles may code for olfactory information about sex, individual, and species in Bengalese finches Lonchura striata

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    Jian-Xu ZHANG et al.

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Over-shadowed by eye-catching vocal and visual signals, chemical communication has long been overlooked in birds. This study aimed at exploring whether volatile composition of the uropygial gland secretion (UGS of birds was associated with the information about sex, individual and species. By using dichloromethane extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS, we analyzed the UGS volatiles of domesticated Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata, Estrildiea which is also known as white-rumped munias. We characterized 16 volatile molecules from the UGS, including eight n-alkanols, five diesters, an ester, an aldehyde and a fatty acid, and quantified them in terms of GC peak area percentages (relative abundances. Among these compounds, hexadecanol and octadecanol were major components in both sexes. The former was richer in males than females and the latter richer in females than males, suggesting that they might be male and female pheromone candidates, respectively. The high inter-individual variations, in relative abundance, of the UGS volatiles implied that they might carry information about individuality. The similarity between GC profiles of the UGS and wing feather from same individuals indicates that the birds might preen the secretion to their feathers to transmit chemical cues. Additionally, by comparing with three sympatric passerine species,i.e., zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, yellow-bowed buntings Emberiza chrysophrys and rooks Corvus frugilegus, we found that the composition of C13-C18 alkanols in the UGS might contain information about species. Our study also show that quantitative differences (degree of same UGS volatiles might be the key for the Bengalese finch to code for information about sex and individuality whereas both the kind and degree of UGS constituents could be utilized to code for information about species [Current Zoology 55 (5:–2009].

  3. Sex differences in audiovisual discrimination learning by Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica).

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    Seki, Yoshimasa; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2008-02-01

    Both visual and auditory information are important for songbirds, especially in developmental and sexual contexts. To investigate bimodal cognition in songbirds, the authors conducted audiovisual discrimination training in Bengalese finches. The authors used two types of stimulus: an "artificial stimulus," which is a combination of simple figures and sound, and a "biological stimulus," consisting of video images of singing males along with their songs. The authors found that while both sexes predominantly used visual cues in the discrimination tasks, males tended to be more dependent on auditory information for the biological stimulus. Female responses were always dependent on the visual stimulus for both stimulus types. Only males changed their discrimination strategy according to stimulus type. Although males used both visual and auditory cues for the biological stimulus, they responded to the artificial stimulus depending only on visual information, as the females did. These findings suggest a sex difference in innate auditory sensitivity. (c) 2008 APA.

  4. Comparison of learning ability and memory retention in altricial (Bengalese finch, Lonchura striata var. domestica) and precocial (blue-breasted quail, Coturnix chinensis) birds using a color discrimination task.

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    Ueno, Aki; Suzuki, Kaoru

    2014-02-01

    The present study sought to assess the potential application of avian models with different developmental modes to studies on cognition and neuroscience. Six altricial Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica), and eight precocial blue-breasted quails (Coturnix chinensis) were presented with color discrimination tasks to compare their respective faculties for learning and memory retention within the context of the two developmental modes. Tasks consisted of presenting birds with discriminative cues in the form of colored feeder lids, and birds were considered to have learned a task when 80% of their attempts at selecting the correctly colored lid in two consecutive blocks of 10 trials were successful. All of the finches successfully performed the required experimental tasks, whereas only half of the quails were able to execute the same tasks. In the learning test, finches required significantly fewer trials than quails to learn the task (finches: 13.5 ± 9.14 trials, quails: 45.8 ± 4.35 trials, P memory retention tests, which were conducted 45 days after the learning test, finches retained the ability to discriminate between colors correctly (95.0 ± 4.47%), whereas quails did not retain any memory of the experimental procedure and so could not be tested. These results suggested that altricial and precocial birds both possess the faculty for learning and retaining discrimination-type tasks, but that altricial birds perform better than precocial birds in both faculties. The present findings imply that developmental mode is an important consideration for assessing the suitability of bird species for particular experiments. © 2013 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  5. Social Memory Formation Rapidly and Differentially Affects the Motivation and Performance of Vocal Communication Signals in the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica).

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    Toccalino, Danielle C; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the existence of distinct mechanisms underlying the motivation to

  6. Social Memory Formation Rapidly and Differentially Affects the Motivation and Performance of Vocal Communication Signals in the Bengalese Finch (Lonchura striata var. domestica)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toccalino, Danielle C.; Sun, Herie; Sakata, Jon T.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive processes like the formation of social memories can shape the nature of social interactions between conspecifics. Male songbirds use vocal signals during courtship interactions with females, but the degree to which social memory and familiarity influences the likelihood and structure of male courtship song remains largely unknown. Using a habituation-dishabituation paradigm, we found that a single, brief (female led to the formation of a short-term memory for that female: adult male Bengalese finches were significantly less likely to produce courtship song to an individual female when re-exposed to her 5 min later (i.e., habituation). Familiarity also rapidly decreased the duration of courtship songs but did not affect other measures of song performance (e.g., song tempo and the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing). Consistent with a contribution of social memory to the decrease in courtship song with repeated exposures to the same female, the likelihood that male Bengalese finches produced courtship song increased when they were exposed to a different female (i.e., dishabituation). Three consecutive exposures to individual females also led to the formation of a longer-term memory that persisted over days. Specifically, when courtship song production was assessed 2 days after initial exposures to females, males produced fewer and shorter courtship songs to familiar females than to unfamiliar females. Measures of song performance, however, were not different between courtship songs produced to familiar and unfamiliar females. The formation of a longer-term memory for individual females seemed to require at least three exposures because males did not differentially produce courtship song to unfamiliar females and females that they had been exposed to only once or twice. Taken together, these data indicate that brief exposures to individual females led to the rapid formation and persistence of social memories and support the existence of distinct

  7. Exploring vocal recovery after cranial nerve injury in Bengalese finches.

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    Urbano, Catherine M; Peterson, Jennifer R; Cooper, Brenton G

    2013-02-08

    Songbirds and humans use auditory feedback to acquire and maintain their vocalizations. The Bengalese finch (Lonchura striata domestica) is a songbird species that rapidly modifies its vocal output to adhere to an internal song memory. In this species, the left side of the bipartite vocal organ is specialized for producing louder, higher frequencies (≥2.2kHz) and denervation of the left vocal muscles eliminates these notes. Thus, the return of higher frequency notes after cranial nerve injury can be used as a measure of vocal recovery. Either the left or right side of the syrinx was denervated by resection of the tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve. Histologic analyses of syringeal muscle tissue showed significant muscle atrophy in the denervated side. After left nerve resection, songs were mainly composed of lower frequency syllables, but three out of five birds recovered higher frequency syllables. Right nerve resection minimally affected phonology, but it did change song syntax; syllable sequence became abnormally stereotyped after right nerve resection. Therefore, damage to the neuromuscular control of sound production resulted in reduced motor variability, and Bengalese finches are a potential model for functional vocal recovery following cranial nerve injury. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Alfaxalone anesthesia in the bengalese finch (Lonchura domestica)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perrin, Kathryn L.; Nielsen, Jesper B.; Thomsen, Anders F.

    2017-01-01

    design. Subsequently, a similar protocol was used to compare 30 mg/kg alfaxalone alone or combined with either 0.7 mg/kg midazolam or 1 mg/kg butorphanol SC. Induction and recovery times were recorded and depth of anesthesia monitored at 5-min intervals throughout each procedure. Functional oxygen...... inductions, and the addition of both midazolam and butorphanol resulted in longer durations of anesthesia than alfaxalone alone. The addition of midazolam significantly decreased the pulse rate at 15 min compared with alfaxalone alone. Alfaxalone was found to be an effective agent for inducing anesthesia...... when administered subcutaneously, and no complications were observed. Increasing the dose, and combining with a benzodiazepine or opioid increased the duration of anesthesia with minimal or no effects on respiratory or pulse rates, within the dose range investigated....

  9. Are olfactory cues involved in nest recognition in two social species of estrildid finches?

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    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Reliably recognizing their own nest provides parents with a necessary skill to invest time and resources efficiently in raising their offspring and thereby maximising their own reproductive success. Studies investigating nest recognition in adult birds have focused mainly on visual cues of the nest or the nest site and acoustic cues of the nestlings. To determine whether adult songbirds also use olfaction for nest recognition, we investigated the use of olfactory nest cues for two estrildid finch species, zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata and Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata var. domestica during the nestling and fledgling phase of their offspring. We found similar behavioural responses to nest odours in both songbird species. Females preferred the odour of their own nest over a control and avoided the foreign conspecific nest scent over a control during the nestling phase of their offspring, but when given the own odour and the foreign conspecific odour simultaneously we did not find a preference for the own nest odour. Males of both species did not show any preferences at all. The behavioural reaction to any nest odour decreased after fledging of the offspring. Our results show that only females show a behavioural response to olfactory nest cues, indicating that the use of olfactory cues for nest recognition seems to be sex-specific and dependent on the developmental stage of the offspring. Although estrildid finches are known to use visual and acoustic cues for nest recognition, the similar behavioural pattern of both species indicates that at least females gain additional information by olfactory nest cues during the nestling phase of their offspring. Thus olfactory cues might be important in general, even in situations in which visual and acoustic cues are known to be sufficient.

  10. First record of Tricoloured Munia (Lonchura malacca) for Nicaragua

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    W. J. Arendt; O. Lane; M.A. Torrez; J.C. Gamez Castellon

    2013-01-01

    We report the first published record of Tricolored Munia (Lonchura malacca) for Nicaragua, thus adding to our knowledge of its distribution in the New World. Escaped cage birds have established multi-focal feral populations, thereby expediting the species’ range expansion in Mesoamerica from Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama to northwestern South America (...

  11. FIRST BREEDING RECORD OF JAVAN MUNIA (LONCHURA LEUCOGASTROIDES IN SUMATRA, INDONESIA

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    Muhammad Iqbal

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Javan Munia (Lonchura leucogastroides is recently common bird species in southern Sumatra, but no breeding record reported in Sumatra. On 11 October 2015, an active nest of Javan Munia and few juveniles were seen among bunches of Banana (Musa sp fruits in Sukarejo village, Musi Rawas district, South Sumatra province. This observation is constitute first record of Javan Munia in Sumatra.

  12. Nest destruction elicits indiscriminate con- versus heterospecific brood parasitism in a captive bird.

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    Shaw, Rachael C; Feeney, William E; Hauber, Mark E

    2014-12-01

    Following nest destruction, the laying of physiologically committed eggs (eggs that are ovulated, yolked, and making their way through the oviduct) in the nests of other birds is considered a viable pathway for the evolution of obligate interspecific brood parasitism. While intraspecific brood parasitism in response to nest predation has been experimentally demonstrated, this pathway has yet to be evaluated in an interspecific context. We studied patterns of egg laying following experimental nest destruction in captive zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a frequent intraspecific brood parasite. We found that zebra finches laid physiologically committed eggs indiscriminately between nests containing conspecific eggs and nests containing heterospecific eggs (of Bengalese finches, Lonchura striata vars. domestica), despite the con- and heterospecific eggs differing in both size and coloration. This is the first experimental evidence that nest destruction may provide a pathway for the evolution of interspecific brood parasitism in birds.

  13. Distinction of neurochemistry between the cores and their shells of auditory nuclei in tetrapod species.

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    Zeng, ShaoJu; Li, Jia; Zhang, XinWen; Zuo, MingXue

    2007-01-01

    The distribution of Met-enkephalin (ENK), substance P (SP) and serotonin (5-HT) differs between the core and shell regions of the mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei of the turtle [Belekhova et al., 2002]. These neurochemical distinctions are also found in other tetrapods (mammals, birds and amphibians). The distribution of ENK, SP and 5-HT was examined in the core and shell regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, and in the telencephalic auditory areas of Bengalese finches (Lonchura striata) and mice (Mus musculus), as well as in corresponding auditory areas in toads (Bufo bufo). ENK, SP and 5-HT immunoreactive fibers and perikarya were largely absent from the core regions of both mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei, in comparison with the shell regions of mice and Bengalese finches. In the toad, however, this pattern was observed in the mesencephalic auditory nucleus, but not in the diencephalic auditory areas. ENK and SP immunoreactive perikarya were detected in the telencephalic auditory area of mice, whereas no ENK, SP or 5-HT immunolabeling was observed in the telencephalic auditory area (Field L) of Bengalese finches. These findings are discussed in terms of the evolution of the core-and-shell organization of auditory nuclei of tetrapods. Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. ANDROID BASED TELEOPERATION FOR THE FINCH ROBOT

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    Oliver Faust

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The act of creating a robot involves systems engineering and creative problem solutions. It is about using established components to create a system that works in the natural or at least in the human environment. The current project is no exception, we have used the Robot Operating System (ROS to create an android based teleoperator application for the Finch robot. A Raspberry Pi processing platform establishes the link between the android device and the Finch robot. The most creative task, during the system design, was to translate the commands from the teleoperator application into wheel movements of the Finch robot. The translation must take into account the physical setup of the robot, including unintended negative influences, such as drag. The command translation involved a nonlinear coordinate transformation. The ROS framework enabled us to focus on that nonstandard coordinate translation task by offering a high level of abstraction and the ability to create component functionalities independently.

  15. Ecoimmunity in Darwin's finches: invasive parasites trigger acquired immunity in the medium ground finch (Geospiza fortis.

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    Sarah K Huber

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Invasive parasites are a major threat to island populations of animals. Darwin's finches of the Galápagos Islands are under attack by introduced pox virus (Poxvirus avium and nest flies (Philornis downsi. We developed assays for parasite-specific antibody responses in Darwin's finches (Geospiza fortis, to test for relationships between adaptive immune responses to novel parasites and spatial-temporal variation in the occurrence of parasite pressure among G. fortis populations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs for the presence of antibodies in the serum of Darwin's finches specific to pox virus or Philornis proteins. We compared antibody levels between bird populations with and without evidence of pox infection (visible lesions, and among birds sampled before nesting (prior to nest-fly exposure versus during nesting (with fly exposure. Birds from the Pox-positive population had higher levels of pox-binding antibodies. Philornis-binding antibody levels were higher in birds sampled during nesting. Female birds, which occupy the nest, had higher Philornis-binding antibody levels than males. The study was limited by an inability to confirm pox exposure independent of obvious lesions. However, the lasting effects of pox infection (e.g., scarring and lost digits were expected to be reliable indicators of prior pox infection. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, of parasite-specific antibody responses to multiple classes of parasites in a wild population of birds. Darwin's finches initiated acquired immune responses to novel parasites. Our study has vital implications for invasion biology and ecological immunology. The adaptive immune response of Darwin's finches may help combat the negative effects of parasitism. Alternatively, the physiological cost of mounting such a response could outweigh any benefits, accelerating population decline. Tests

  16. Female Zebra Finches Smell Their Eggs.

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    Sarah Golüke

    Full Text Available Parental investment in unrelated offspring seems maladaptive from an evolutionary perspective, due to the costs of energy and resources that cannot be invested in related offspring at the same time. Therefore selection should favour mechanisms to discriminate between own and foreign offspring. In birds, much emphasis has been placed on understanding the visual mechanisms underlying egg recognition. However, olfactory egg recognition has almost been completely ignored. Here, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata are able to discriminate between their own and a conspecific egg based on olfactory cues alone. Zebra finches are colonial-breeding songbirds. Eggs are monomorphic, i.e. without any spotting pattern, and intraspecific brood parasitism frequently occurs. In a binary choice experiment, female zebra finches were given the choice between the scent of their own and a conspecific egg. After the onset of incubation, females chose randomly and showed no sign of discrimination. However, shortly before hatching, females preferred significantly the odour of their own egg. The finding that females are capable to smell their own egg may inspire more research on the potential of olfaction involved in egg recognition, especially in cases where visual cues might be limited.

  17. Species collapse via hybridization in Darwin's tree finches.

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    Kleindorfer, Sonia; O'Connor, Jody A; Dudaniec, Rachael Y; Myers, Steven A; Robertson, Jeremy; Sulloway, Frank J

    2014-03-01

    Species hybridization can lead to fitness costs, species collapse, and novel evolutionary trajectories in changing environments. Hybridization is predicted to be more common when environmental conditions change rapidly. Here, we test patterns of hybridization in three sympatric tree finch species (small tree finch Camarhynchus parvulus, medium tree finch Camarhynchus pauper, and large tree finch: Camarhynchus psittacula) that are currently recognized on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago. Genetic analysis of microsatellite data from contemporary samples showed two genetic populations and one hybrid cluster in both 2005 and 2010; hybrid individuals were derived from genetic population 1 (small morph) and genetic population 2 (large morph). Females of the large and rare species were more likely to pair with males of the small common species. Finch populations differed in morphology in 1852-1906 compared with 2005/2010. An unsupervised clustering method showed (a) support for three morphological clusters in the historical tree finch sample (1852-1906), which is consistent with current species recognition; (b) support for two or three morphological clusters in 2005 with some (19%) hybridization; and (c) support for just two morphological clusters in 2010 with frequent (41%) hybridization. We discuss these findings in relation to species demarcations of Camarhynchus tree finches on Floreana Island.

  18. RFSP simulations of Darlington FINCH refuelling transient

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carruthers, E.V.; Chow, H.C.

    1997-01-01

    Immediately after refuelling of a channel, the fresh bundles are free of fission products. Xenon-135, the most notable of the saturating fission products, builds up to an equilibrium level in about 30 h. The channel power of the refuelled channel would therefore initially peak and then drop to a steady-state level. The RFSP code can track saturating-fission-product transients and power transients. The Fully INstrumented CHannels (FINCHs) in Darlington NGS provides channel power data on the refuelling power transients. In this paper, such data has been used to identify the physical evidence of the fission-product transient effect on channel power, and to validate RFSP fission-product-driver calculation results. (author)

  19. Fitness consequences of polymorphic inversions in the zebra finch genome.

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    Knief, Ulrich; Hemmrich-Stanisak, Georg; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Griffith, Simon C; Kempenaers, Bart; Forstmeier, Wolfgang

    2016-09-29

    Inversion polymorphisms constitute an evolutionary puzzle: they should increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic individuals but still they are widespread in some taxa. Some insect species have evolved mechanisms to reduce the cost of embryo mortality but humans have not. In birds, a detailed analysis is missing although intraspecific inversion polymorphisms are regarded as common. In Australian zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), two polymorphic inversions are known cytogenetically and we set out to detect these two and potentially additional inversions using genomic tools and study their effects on embryo mortality and other fitness-related and morphological traits. Using whole-genome SNP data, we screened 948 wild zebra finches for polymorphic inversions and describe four large (12-63 Mb) intraspecific inversion polymorphisms with allele frequencies close to 50 %. Using additional data from 5229 birds and 9764 eggs from wild and three captive zebra finch populations, we show that only the largest inversions increase embryo mortality in heterokaryotypic males, with surprisingly small effect sizes. We test for a heterozygote advantage on other fitness components but find no evidence for heterosis for any of the inversions. Yet, we find strong additive effects on several morphological traits. The mechanism that has carried the derived inversion haplotypes to such high allele frequencies remains elusive. It appears that selection has effectively minimized the costs associated with inversions in zebra finches. The highly skewed distribution of recombination events towards the chromosome ends in zebra finches and other estrildid species may function to minimize crossovers in the inverted regions.

  20. Parasitism of wild Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) by the air-sac mite Sternostoma tracheacolum.

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    Tidemann, S C; McOrist, S; Woinarski, J C; Freeland, W J

    1992-01-01

    Sixty-two percent of 26 wild caught Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) were infected with Sternostoma tracheacolum, a parasitic rhinonyssid mite. The intensity of infection was higher in adult finches than juveniles, and higher in juvenile females than juvenile males. Histopathological investigation of wild Gouldian Finches revealed bronchopneumonia and air sacculitis associated with mite infection. Although this mite may not have contributed to the decline of Gouldian finch populations in the wild during the past 20 yr, it may be suppressing the return of the finch to its former status.

  1. Drinking songs: alcohol effects on learned song of zebra finches.

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    Christopher R Olson

    Full Text Available Speech impairment is one of the most intriguing and least understood effects of alcohol on cognitive function, largely due to the lack of data on alcohol effects on vocalizations in the context of an appropriate experimental model organism. Zebra finches, a representative songbird and a premier model for understanding the neurobiology of vocal production and learning, learn song in a manner analogous to how humans learn speech. Here we show that when allowed access, finches readily drink alcohol, increase their blood ethanol concentrations (BEC significantly, and sing a song with altered acoustic structure. The most pronounced effects were decreased amplitude and increased entropy, the latter likely reflecting a disruption in the birds' ability to maintain the spectral structure of song under alcohol. Furthermore, specific syllables, which have distinct acoustic structures, were differentially influenced by alcohol, likely reflecting a diversity in the neural mechanisms required for their production. Remarkably, these effects on vocalizations occurred without overt effects on general behavioral measures, and importantly, they occurred within a range of BEC that can be considered risky for humans. Our results suggest that the variable effects of alcohol on finch song reflect differential alcohol sensitivity of the brain circuitry elements that control different aspects of song production. They also point to finches as an informative model for understanding how alcohol affects the neuronal circuits that control the production of learned motor behaviors.

  2. Zebra finches are sensitive to prosodic features of human speech.

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    Spierings, Michelle J; ten Cate, Carel

    2014-07-22

    Variation in pitch, amplitude and rhythm adds crucial paralinguistic information to human speech. Such prosodic cues can reveal information about the meaning or emphasis of a sentence or the emotional state of the speaker. To examine the hypothesis that sensitivity to prosodic cues is language independent and not human specific, we tested prosody perception in a controlled experiment with zebra finches. Using a go/no-go procedure, subjects were trained to discriminate between speech syllables arranged in XYXY patterns with prosodic stress on the first syllable and XXYY patterns with prosodic stress on the final syllable. To systematically determine the salience of the various prosodic cues (pitch, duration and amplitude) to the zebra finches, they were subjected to five tests with different combinations of these cues. The zebra finches generalized the prosodic pattern to sequences that consisted of new syllables and used prosodic features over structural ones to discriminate between stimuli. This strong sensitivity to the prosodic pattern was maintained when only a single prosodic cue was available. The change in pitch was treated as more salient than changes in the other prosodic features. These results show that zebra finches are sensitive to the same prosodic cues known to affect human speech perception. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Brood size and immunity costs in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhulst, S; Riedstra, B; Wiersma, P

    Birds rearing experimentally enlarged broods have lower antibody responses to a novel antigen, and we tested three hypotheses that could explain this result. We used zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata inoculated with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) as a study system, for which this trade-off was

  4. Detection of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in House Finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus) from Arizona.

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    Staley, Molly; Bonneaud, Camille; McGraw, Kevin J; Vleck, Carol M; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2018-03-01

    In 1994, an endemic poultry pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), was identified as the causative agent of a novel disease in house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus). After an initial outbreak in Maryland, MG spread rapidly throughout eastern North American populations of house finches. Subsequently, MG spread slowly through the northern interior of North America and then into the Pacific Northwest, finally reaching California in 2006. Until 2009, there were no reports of MG in the southwestern United States east of California. In August 2011, after reports of house finches displaying conjunctivitis characteristic of MG infection in Arizona, we trapped house finches at bird feeders in central Arizona (Tempe) and southern Arizona (Tucson and Green Valley) to assay for MG infection. Upon capture, we noted whether birds exhibited conjunctivitis, and we collected choanal swabs to test for the presence of MG DNA using PCR. We detected MG in finches captured from Green Valley (in ∼12% of birds captured), but not in finches from Tucson or Tempe. Based on resampling of house finches at these sites in July 2014, we suggest that central Arizona finches likely remain unexposed to MG. We also suggest that low urban connectivity between arid habitats of southern and central Arizona or a reduction in the prevalence of MG after its initial arrival in Arizona may be limiting the spread of MG from south to north in Arizona. In addition, the observed conjunctivitis-like signs in house finches that were negative for MG by PCR may be caused primarily by avian pox virus.

  5. Attenuated Phenotype of a Recent House Finch-Associated Mycoplasma gallisepticum Isolate in Domestic Poultry.

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    Pflaum, K; Tulman, E R; Beaudet, J; Liao, X; Dhondt, K V; Dhondt, A A; Hawley, D M; Ley, D H; Kerr, K M; Geary, S J

    2017-06-01

    Mycoplasma gallisepticum , known primarily as a respiratory pathogen of domestic poultry, has emerged since 1994 as a significant pathogen of the house finch ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) causing severe conjunctivitis and mortality. House finch-associated M. gallisepticum (HFMG) spread rapidly and increased in virulence for the finch host in the eastern United States. In the current study, we assessed virulence in domestic poultry with two temporally distant, and yet geographically consistent, HFMG isolates which differ in virulence for house finches-Virginia 1994 (VA1994), the index isolate of the epidemic, and Virginia 2013 (VA2013), a recent isolate of increased house finch virulence. Here we report a significant difference between VA1994 and VA2013 in their levels of virulence for chickens; notably, this difference correlated inversely to the difference in their levels of virulence for house finches. VA1994, while moderately virulent in house finches, displayed significant virulence in the chicken respiratory tract. VA2013, while highly virulent in the house finch, was significantly attenuated in chickens relative to VA1994, displaying less-severe pathological lesions in, and reduced bacterial recovery from, the respiratory tract. Overall, these data indicate that a recent isolate of HFMG is greatly attenuated in the chicken host relative to the index isolate, notably demonstrating a virulence phenotype in chickens inversely related to that in the finch host. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  6. Living with diversity in Jane-Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donya Ahmadi

    2017-11-01

    seeks to add to our understanding of urban diversity, as perceived and experienced by those who inhabit, frequent and govern urban areas. It answers the following primary research question: How is diversity experienced at the neighbourhood level, as (a discourse, (b social reality, and (c practice? Diversity as discourse refers to the public narratives around diversity, while diversity as social reality concerns the descriptive characteristics that render an area diverse. Diversity as practice refers to policies, programs and local practices that aim towards managing diversity (see also Berg and Sigona, 2013. The research question is investigated in four interconnected chapters, which engage with the three formerly mentioned dimensions to various degrees. The study further makes use of a variety of qualitative and participatory techniques (i.e. qualitative interviews, roundtable talks, participant observations, and focus groups to gather rigorous empirical data on living with and managing diversity in an inner-suburban neighbourhood of Toronto, namely Jane-Finch.

  7. Analysis of CR1 Repeats in the Zebra Finch Genome

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    George E. Liu

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Most bird species have smaller genomes and fewer repeats than mammals. Chicken Repeat 1 (CR1 repeat is one of the most abundant families of repeats, ranging from ~133,000 to ~187,000 copies accounting for ~50 to ~80% of the interspersed repeats in the zebra finch and chicken genomes, respectively. CR1 repeats are believed to have arisen from the retrotransposition of a small number of master elements, which gave rise to multiple CR1 subfamilies in the chicken. In this study, we performed a global assessment of the divergence distributions, phylogenies, and consensus sequences of CR1 repeats in the zebra finch genome. We identified and validated 34 CR1 subfamilies and further analyzed the correlation between these subfamilies. We also discovered 4 novel lineage-specific CR1 subfamilies in the zebra finch when compared to the chicken genome. We built various evolutionary trees of these subfamilies and concluded that CR1 repeats may play an important role in reshaping the structure of bird genomes.

  8. The perception of regularity in an isochronous stimulus in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Aa, J.; Honing, H.; ten Cate, C.

    2015-01-01

    Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous

  9. Improved axial resolution of FINCH fluorescence microscopy when combined with spinning disk confocal microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Brooker, Gary

    2014-09-22

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. Addition of a Nipkow disk real-time confocal image scanner is shown to reduce the FINCH depth of focus while improving transverse confocal resolution in a combined method called "CINCH".

  10. "Bird Song Metronomics": Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a "signal-derived pulse," or pulse(S), of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulse(S) significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulse(P)), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulses(S) that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulse(S) periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel

  11. Invasive parasites, habitat change and heavy rainfall reduce breeding success in Darwin's finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimadom, Arno; Ulloa, Angel; Meidl, Patrick; Zöttl, Markus; Zöttl, Elisabet; Fessl, Birgit; Nemeth, Erwin; Dvorak, Michael; Cunninghame, Francesca; Tebbich, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundance)is lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.

  12. Invasive parasites, habitat change and heavy rainfall reduce breeding success in Darwin's finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arno Cimadom

    Full Text Available Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus, on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundanceis lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss.

  13. Colour preferences in nest-building zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muth, Felicity; Steele, Matthew; Healy, Susan D

    2013-10-01

    Some bird species are selective in the materials they choose for nest building, preferring, for example, materials of one colour to others. However, in many cases the cause of these preferences is not clear. One of those species is the zebra finch, which exhibits strong preferences for particular colours of nest material. In an attempt to determine why these birds strongly prefer one colour of material over another, we compared the preferences of paired male zebra finches for nest material colour with their preferences for food of the same colours. We found that birds did indeed prefer particular colours of nest material (in most cases blue) but that they did not generally prefer food of one colour over the other colours. It appears, then, that a preference for one colour or another of nest material is specific to the nest-building context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Feeder density enhances house finch disease transmission in experimental epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Thomason, Courtney A; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-05-05

    Anthropogenic food provisioning of wildlife can alter the frequency of contacts among hosts and between hosts and environmental sources of pathogens. Despite the popularity of garden bird feeding, few studies have addressed how feeders influence host contact rates and disease dynamics. We experimentally manipulated feeder density in replicate aviaries containing captive, pathogen-naive, groups of house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ) and continuously tracked behaviours at feeders using radio-frequency identification devices. We then inoculated one bird per group with Mycoplasma gallisepticum (Mg), a common bacterial pathogen for which feeders are fomites of transmission, and assessed effects of feeder density on house finch behaviour and pathogen transmission. We found that pathogen transmission was significantly higher in groups with the highest density of bird feeders, despite a significantly lower rate of intraspecific aggressive interactions relative to the low feeder density groups. Conversely, among naive group members that never showed signs of disease, we saw significantly higher concentrations of Mg-specific antibodies in low feeder density groups, suggesting that birds in low feeder density treatments had exposure to subclinical doses of Mg. We discuss ways in which the density of garden bird feeders could play an important role in mediating the intensity of Mg epidemics.This article is part of the theme issue 'Anthropogenic resource subsidies and host-parasite dynamics in wildlife'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  15. Gaze strategy in the free flying zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    Dennis Eckmeier

    Full Text Available Fast moving animals depend on cues derived from the optic flow on their retina. Optic flow from translational locomotion includes information about the three-dimensional composition of the environment, while optic flow experienced during a rotational self motion does not. Thus, a saccadic gaze strategy that segregates rotations from translational movements during locomotion will facilitate extraction of spatial information from the visual input. We analysed whether birds use such a strategy by highspeed video recording zebra finches from two directions during an obstacle avoidance task. Each frame of the recording was examined to derive position and orientation of the beak in three-dimensional space. The data show that in all flights the head orientation was shifted in a saccadic fashion and was kept straight between saccades. Therefore, birds use a gaze strategy that actively stabilizes their gaze during translation to simplify optic flow based navigation. This is the first evidence of birds actively optimizing optic flow during flight.

  16. Prevalence of blood parasites in eastern versus Western house finches: are eastern birds resistant to infection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Andrew K; Hood, Wendy R; Hill, Geoffrey E

    2013-09-01

    The rapid spread of the bacterial disease, Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), throughout the introduced range of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) in eastern North America, compared to its slower spread through the native western range, has puzzled researchers and highlights the need to understand the relative differences in health state of finches from both populations. We conducted a light-microscope survey of hemoparasites in populations of finches from Arizona (within the western range) and from Alabama (within the eastern range), and compared our estimates of prevalence to published reports from house finches sampled in both ranges. Of the 33 Arizona birds examined, we recorded hematozoan infections in 16 (48.5%) individuals, compared to 1 infected Alabama bird out of 30 birds examined (3.3%). Based on independent surveys of seven western North American and five eastern North American populations of house finches the average prevalence of blood parasites in western populations is 38.8% (±17.9 SD), while the average prevalence within the eastern range is only 5.9% (±6.1 SD). The average rate of infection among all songbirds sampled in the east is 34.2% (±4.8 SD). Thus, our surveys of wild birds as well as previously published observations point to eastern house finches having a much lower prevalence of blood parasite infections than their western counterparts. Combined with the fact that eastern finches also tend to have lower rates of avian pox infections than do western birds (based on a literature review), these observations suggest that eastern birds have either strong resistance to these infections or high susceptibility and associated mortality.

  17. Differing House Finch Cytokine Expression Responses to Original and Evolved Isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum

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    Michal Vinkler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus, which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host–pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes (IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15, and CXCLi2, syn. IL8L. These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994 or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006, which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3–6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival

  18. Differing House Finch Cytokine Expression Responses to Original and Evolved Isolates of Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinkler, Michal; Leon, Ariel E; Kirkpatrick, Laila; Dalloul, Rami A; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-01-01

    The recent emergence of the poultry bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) in free-living house finches ( Haemorhous mexicanus ), which causes mycoplasmal conjunctivitis in this passerine bird species, resulted in a rapid coevolutionary arms-race between MG and its novel avian host. Despite extensive research on the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of this host-pathogen system over the past two decades, the immunological responses of house finches to MG infection remain poorly understood. We developed seven new probe-based one-step quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to investigate mRNA expression of house finch cytokine genes ( IL1B, IL6, IL10, IL18, TGFB2, TNFSF15 , and CXCLi2 , syn. IL8L ). These assays were then used to describe cytokine transcription profiles in a panel of 15 house finch tissues collected at three distinct time points during MG infection. Based on initial screening that indicated strong pro-inflammatory cytokine expression during MG infection at the periorbital sites in particular, we selected two key house finch tissues for further characterization: the nictitating membrane, i.e., the internal eyelid in direct contact with MG, and the Harderian gland, the secondary lymphoid tissue responsible for regulation of periorbital immunity. We characterized cytokine responses in these two tissues for 60 house finches experimentally inoculated either with media alone (sham) or one of two MG isolates: the earliest known pathogen isolate from house finches (VA1994) or an evolutionarily more derived isolate collected in 2006 (NC2006), which is known to be more virulent. We show that the more derived and virulent isolate NC2006, relative to VA1994, triggers stronger local inflammatory cytokine signaling, with peak cytokine expression generally occurring 3-6 days following MG inoculation. We also found that the extent of pro-inflammatory interleukin 1 beta signaling was correlated with conjunctival MG loads

  19. Molecular phylogenetics of finches and sparrows: consequences of character state removal in cytochrome b sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, J G

    1998-12-01

    The complete mitochondrial cytochrome b genes of 53 genera of oscine passerine birds representing the major groups of finches and some allies were compared. Phylogenetic trees resulting from three levels of character partition removal (no data removed, transitions at third positions of codons removed, and all transitions removed [transversion parsimony]) were generally concordant, and all supported several basic statements regarding relationships of finches and finch-like birds, including: (1) larks (Alaudidae) show no close relationship to any finch group; (2) Peucedramus (olive warbler) is phylogenetically far removed from true wood warblers; (3) a clade consisting of fringillids, passerids, motacillids, and emberizids is supported, and this clade is characterized by evolution of a vestigial 10th wing primary; and (4) Hawaiian honeycreepers are derived from within the cardueline finches. Excluding transition substitutions at third positions of codons resulted in phylogenetic trees similar to, but with greater bootstrap nodal support than, trees derived using either all data (equally weighted) or transversion parsimony. Relative to the shortest trees obtained using all data, the topologies obtained after elimination of third-position transitions showed only slight increases in realized treelength and homoplasy. These increases were negligable compared to increases in overall nodal support; therefore, this partition removal scheme may enhance recovery of deep phylogenetic signal in protein-coding DNA datasets. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  20. Is Beak Morphology in Darwin's Finches Tuned to Loading Demands?

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    Joris Soons

    Full Text Available One of nature's premier illustrations of adaptive evolution concerns the tight correspondence in birds between beak morphology and feeding behavior. In seed-crushing birds, beaks have been suggested to evolve at least in part to avoid fracture. Yet, we know little about mechanical relationships between beak shape, stress dissipation, and fracture avoidance. This study tests these relationships for Darwin's finches, a clade of birds renowned for their diversity in beak form and function. We obtained anatomical data from micro-CT scans and dissections, which in turn informed the construction of finite element models of the bony beak and rhamphotheca. Our models offer two new insights. First, engineering safety factors are found to range between 1 and 2.5 under natural loading conditions, with the lowest safety factors being observed in species with the highest bite forces. Second, size-scaled finite element (FE models reveal a correspondence between inferred beak loading profiles and observed feeding strategies (e.g. edge-crushing versus tip-biting, with safety factors decreasing for base-crushers biting at the beak tip. Additionally, we identify significant correlations between safety factors, keratin thickness at bite locations, and beak aspect ratio (depth versus length. These lines of evidence together suggest that beak shape indeed evolves to resist feeding forces.

  1. The perception of regularity in an isochronous stimulus in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Aa, Jeroen; Honing, Henkjan; ten Cate, Carel

    2015-06-01

    Perceiving temporal regularity in an auditory stimulus is considered one of the basic features of musicality. Here we examine whether zebra finches can detect regularity in an isochronous stimulus. Using a go/no go paradigm we show that zebra finches are able to distinguish between an isochronous and an irregular stimulus. However, when the tempo of the isochronous stimulus is changed, it is no longer treated as similar to the training stimulus. Training with three isochronous and three irregular stimuli did not result in improvement of the generalization. In contrast, humans, exposed to the same stimuli, readily generalized across tempo changes. Our results suggest that zebra finches distinguish the different stimuli by learning specific local temporal features of each individual stimulus rather than attending to the global structure of the stimuli, i.e., to the temporal regularity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Acoustic fine structure may encode biologically relevant information for zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prior, Nora H; Smith, Edward; Lawson, Shelby; Ball, Gregory F; Dooling, Robert J

    2018-04-18

    The ability to discriminate changes in the fine structure of complex sounds is well developed in birds. However, the precise limit of this discrimination ability and how it is used in the context of natural communication remains unclear. Here we describe natural variability in acoustic fine structure of male and female zebra finch calls. Results from psychoacoustic experiments demonstrate that zebra finches are able to discriminate extremely small differences in fine structure, which are on the order of the variation in acoustic fine structure that is present in their vocal signals. Results from signal analysis methods also suggest that acoustic fine structure may carry information that distinguishes between biologically relevant categories including sex, call type and individual identity. Combined, our results are consistent with the hypothesis that zebra finches can encode biologically relevant information within the fine structure of their calls. This study provides a foundation for our understanding of how acoustic fine structure may be involved in animal communication.

  3. Animal vocal sequences: not the Markov chains we thought they were.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershenbaum, Arik; Bowles, Ann E; Freeberg, Todd M; Jin, Dezhe Z; Lameira, Adriano R; Bohn, Kirsten

    2014-10-07

    Many animals produce vocal sequences that appear complex. Most researchers assume that these sequences are well characterized as Markov chains (i.e. that the probability of a particular vocal element can be calculated from the history of only a finite number of preceding elements). However, this assumption has never been explicitly tested. Furthermore, it is unclear how language could evolve in a single step from a Markovian origin, as is frequently assumed, as no intermediate forms have been found between animal communication and human language. Here, we assess whether animal taxa produce vocal sequences that are better described by Markov chains, or by non-Markovian dynamics such as the 'renewal process' (RP), characterized by a strong tendency to repeat elements. We examined vocal sequences of seven taxa: Bengalese finches Lonchura striata domestica, Carolina chickadees Poecile carolinensis, free-tailed bats Tadarida brasiliensis, rock hyraxes Procavia capensis, pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus, killer whales Orcinus orca and orangutans Pongo spp. The vocal systems of most of these species are more consistent with a non-Markovian RP than with the Markovian models traditionally assumed. Our data suggest that non-Markovian vocal sequences may be more common than Markov sequences, which must be taken into account when evaluating alternative hypotheses for the evolution of signalling complexity, and perhaps human language origins. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Sexual Dimorphism in the Early Embryogenesis in Zebra Finches.

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    Makhsud Tagirov

    Full Text Available Sex-specific gene expression before the onset of gonadogensis has been documented in embryos of mammals and chickens. In several mammalian species, differences in gene expression are accompanied by faster growth of pre-implantation male embryos. Here we asked whether avian embryos before gonadal differentiation are also sex-dimorphic in size and what genes regulate their growth. We used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata whose freshly laid eggs were artificially incubated for 36-40 hours. Analyses controlling for the exact time of incubation of 81 embryos revealed that males were larger than females in terms of Hamburger and Hamilton stage and number of somites. Expression of 15 genes involved in cell cycle regulation, growth, metabolic activity, steroidogenic pathway and stress modulation were measured using RT-PCR in 5 male and 5 female embryos incubated for exactly 36 h. We found that in the presence of equal levels of the growth hormone itself, the faster growth of male embryos is most likely achieved by the overexpression of the growth hormone receptor gene and three other genes responsible for cell cycle regulation and metabolism, all of them located on the Z chromosome. Autosomal genes did not show sex-specific expression, except for the steroidogenic factor 1 which was expressed only in female embryos. To our knowledge this is the first report of sexual size dimorphism before gonadogenesis in birds. The finding suggests that faster growth of early male embryos is conserved through the mammalian and bird phyla, irrespective of their differential sex chromosome systems.

  5. Examining Natural Selection by Sketching and Making Models of the Finches of the Galapagos Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Phoebe J. Z.; Teske, Jolene K.

    2017-01-01

    This practical lesson describes how students in six eighth grade science classes participated in a lesson combining the National Core Arts Standards with the Next Generation Science Standards. The goal of the lesson was to provide visual representations of finch beak form and function so students could better understand genetic variation and how…

  6. Mechanisms underlying speech sound discrimination and categorization in humans and zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burgering, Merel A.; ten Cate, Carel; Vroomen, Jean

    Speech sound categorization in birds seems in many ways comparable to that by humans, but it is unclear what mechanisms underlie such categorization. To examine this, we trained zebra finches and humans to discriminate two pairs of edited speech sounds that varied either along one dimension (vowel

  7. Bird brains and songs : Neural mechanisms of auditory memory and perception in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gobes, S.M.H.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304832669

    2009-01-01

    Songbirds, such as zebra finches, learn their songs from a ‘tutor’ (usually the father), early in life. There are strong parallels between the behavioural, cognitive and neural processes that underlie vocal learning in humans and songbirds. In both cases there is a sensitive period for auditory

  8. Sex-specific effects of yolk testosterone on survival, begging and growth of zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Engelhardt, N; Carere, C; Dijkstra, C; Groothuis, TGG

    2006-01-01

    Yolk androgens affect offspring hatching, begging, growth and survival in many bird species. If these effects are sex-specific, yolk androgen deposition may constitute a mechanism for differential investment in male and female offspring. We tested this hypothesis in zebra finches. In this species,

  9. Costs of reproduction in the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata : Manipulation of brood size in the laboratory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    deKogel, CH; Overkamp, GFJ

    1996-01-01

    Brood size of Zebra Finches Taeniopygia guttata was manipulated in an attempt to identify a trade-off between current and subsequent reproduction in a laboratory situation with ad libitum food availability. The birds were able to raise a larger brood than the most frequent brood size under the same

  10. Song decrystallization in adult zebra finches does not require the song nucleus NIf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Arani; Mooney, Richard

    2009-08-01

    In adult male zebra finches, transecting the vocal nerve causes previously stable (i.e., crystallized) song to slowly degrade, presumably because of the resulting distortion in auditory feedback. How and where distorted feedback interacts with song motor networks to induce this process of song decrystallization remains unknown. The song premotor nucleus HVC is a potential site where auditory feedback signals could interact with song motor commands. Although the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf) appears to be the primary auditory input to HVC, NIf lesions made in adult zebra finches do not trigger song decrystallization. One possibility is that NIf lesions do not interfere with song maintenance, but do compromise the adult zebra finch's ability to express renewed vocal plasticity in response to feedback perturbations. To test this idea, we bilaterally lesioned NIf and then transected the vocal nerve in adult male zebra finches. We found that bilateral NIf lesions did not prevent nerve section-induced song decrystallization. To test the extent to which the NIf lesions disrupted auditory processing in the song system, we made in vivo extracellular recordings in HVC and a downstream anterior forebrain pathway (AFP) in NIf-lesioned birds. We found strong and selective auditory responses to the playback of the birds' own song persisted in HVC and the AFP following NIf lesions. These findings suggest that auditory inputs to the song system other than NIf, such as the caudal mesopallium, could act as a source of auditory feedback signals to the song motor network.

  11. Behavioral Relevance of Species-Specific Vasotocin Anatomy in Gregarious Finches

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    Aubrey M Kelly

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite substantial species differences in the vasotocin/vasopressin (VT/VP circuitry of the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm and lateral septum (LS; a primary projection target of BSTm VT/VP cells, functional consequences of this variation are poorly known. Previous experiments in the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata demonstrate that BSTm VT neurons promote gregariousness in a male-specific manner and reduce anxiety in both sexes. However, in contrast to the zebra finch, the less gregarious Angolan blue waxbill (Estrildidae: Uraeginthus angolensis exhibits fewer VT-immunoreactive cells in the BSTm as well as differences in receptor distribution across the LS subnuclei, suggesting that knockdown of VT production in the BSTm would produce behavioral effects in Angolan blue waxbills that are distinct from zebra finches. Thus, we here quantified social contact, gregariousness (i.e. preference for the larger of two groups, and anxiety-like behavior following bilateral antisense knockdown of VT production in the BSTm of male and female Angolan blue waxbills. We find that BSTm VT neurons promote social contact, but not gregariousness (as in male zebra finches, and that antisense effects on social contact are significantly stronger in male waxbills than in females. Knockdown of BSTm VT production has no effect on anxiety-like behavior. These data provide novel evidence that species differences in the VT/VP circuitry arising in the BSTm are accompanied by species-specific effects on affiliation behaviors.

  12. Three Molecular Markers Show No Evidence of Population Genetic Structure in the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peri E Bolton

    Full Text Available Assessment of genetic diversity and connectivity between regions can inform conservation managers about risk of inbreeding, potential for adaptation and where population boundaries lie. The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae is a threatened species in northern Australia, occupying the savannah woodlands of the biogeographically complex monsoon tropics. We present the most comprehensive population genetic analysis of diversity and structure the Gouldian finch using 16 microsatellite markers, mitochondrial control region and 3,389 SNPs from genotyping-by-sequencing. Mitochondrial diversity is compared across three related, co-distributed finches with different conservation threat-statuses. There was no evidence of genetic differentiation across the western part of the range in any of the molecular markers, and haplotype diversity but not richness was lower than a common co-distributed species. Individuals within the panmictic population in the west may be highly dispersive within this wide area, and we urge caution when interpreting anecdotal observations of changes to the distribution and/or flock sizes of Gouldian finch populations as evidence of overall changes to the population size of this species.

  13. A three-dimensional MRI atlas of the zebra finch brain in stereotaxic coordinates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poirier, Colline; Vellema, Michiel; Verhoye, Marleen

    2008-01-01

    of different brain areas (nuclei) involved in the sensory and motor control of song. Until now, the only published atlases of songbird brains consisted in drawings based on histological slices of the canary and of the zebra finch brain. Taking advantage of high-magnetic field (7 Tesla) MRI technique, we...

  14. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balakrishnan, Christopher N; Ekblom, Robert; Völker, Martin; Westerdahl, Helena; Godinez, Ricardo; Kotkiewicz, Holly; Burt, David W; Graves, Tina; Griffin, Darren K; Warren, Wesley C; Edwards, Scott V

    2010-04-01

    Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH) evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving chromosomal fission, gene duplication and translocation in the

  15. Ontogeny of adaptive antibody response to a model antigen in captive altricial zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tess L Killpack

    Full Text Available Based on studies from the poultry literature, all birds are hypothesized to require at least 4 weeks to develop circulating mature B-cell lineages that express functionally different immunoglobulin specificities. However, many altricial passerines fledge at adult size less than four weeks after the start of embryonic development, and therefore may experience a period of susceptibility during the nestling and post-fledging periods. We present the first study, to our knowledge, to detail the age-related changes in adaptive antibody response in an altricial passerine. Using repeated vaccinations with non-infectious keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH antigen, we studied the ontogeny of specific adaptive immune response in altricial zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata. Nestling zebra finches were first injected at 7 days (7d, 14 days (14d, or 21 days post-hatch (21d with KLH-adjuvant emulsions, and boosted 7 days later. Adults were vaccinated in the same manner. Induced KLH-specific IgY antibodies were measured using ELISA. Comparisons within age groups revealed no significant increase in KLH-specific antibody levels between vaccination and boost in 7d birds, yet significant increases between vaccination and boost were observed in 14d, 21d, and adult groups. There was no significant difference among age groups in KLH antibody response to priming vaccination, yet KLH antibody response post-boost significantly increased with age among groups. Post-boost antibody response in all nestling age groups was significantly lower than in adults, indicating that mature adult secondary antibody response level was not achieved in zebra finches prior to fledging (21 days post-hatch in zebra finches. Findings from this study contribute fundamental knowledge to the fields of developmental immunology and ecological immunology and strengthen the utility of zebra finches as a model organism for future studies of immune ontogeny.

  16. Experimental demonstration of the fitness consequences of an introduced parasite of Darwin's finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A H Koop

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduced parasites are a particular threat to small populations of hosts living on islands because extinction can occur before hosts have a chance to evolve effective defenses. An experimental approach in which parasite abundance is manipulated in the field can be the most informative means of assessing a parasite's impact on the host. The parasitic fly Philornis downsi, recently introduced to the Galápagos Islands, feeds on nestling Darwin's finches and other land birds. Several correlational studies, and one experimental study of mixed species over several years, reported that the flies reduce host fitness. Here we report the results of a larger scale experimental study of a single species at a single site over a single breeding season.We manipulated the abundance of flies in the nests of medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis and quantified the impact of the parasites on nestling growth and fledging success. We used nylon nest liners to reduce the number of parasites in 24 nests, leaving another 24 nests as controls. A significant reduction in mean parasite abundance led to a significant increase in the number of nests that successfully fledged young. Nestlings in parasite-reduced nests also tended to be larger prior to fledging.Our results confirm that P. downsi has significant negative effects on the fitness of medium ground finches, and they may pose a serious threat to other species of Darwin's finches. These data can help in the design of management plans for controlling P. downsi in Darwin's finch breeding populations.

  17. Selective auditory grouping by zebra finches: testing the iambic-trochaic law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle; Hubert, Jeroen; Ten Cate, Carel

    2017-07-01

    Humans have a strong tendency to spontaneously group visual or auditory stimuli together in larger patterns. One of these perceptual grouping biases is formulated as the iambic/trochaic law, where humans group successive tones alternating in pitch and intensity as trochees (high-low and loud-soft) and alternating in duration as iambs (short-long). The grouping of alternations in pitch and intensity into trochees is a human universal and is also present in one non-human animal species, rats. The perceptual grouping of sounds alternating in duration seems to be affected by native language in humans and has so far not been found among animals. In the current study, we explore to which extent these perceptual biases are present in a songbird, the zebra finch. Zebra finches were trained to discriminate between short strings of pure tones organized as iambs and as trochees. One group received tones that alternated in pitch, a second group heard tones alternating in duration, and for a third group, tones alternated in intensity. Those zebra finches that showed sustained correct discrimination were next tested with longer, ambiguous strings of alternating sounds. The zebra finches in the pitch condition categorized ambiguous strings of alternating tones as trochees, similar to humans. However, most of the zebra finches in the duration and intensity condition did not learn to discriminate between training stimuli organized as iambs and trochees. This study shows that the perceptual bias to group tones alternating in pitch as trochees is not specific to humans and rats, but may be more widespread among animals.

  18. FoxP2 isoforms delineate spatiotemporal transcriptional networks for vocal learning in the zebra finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Nancy F; Kimball, Todd Haswell; Aamodt, Caitlin M; Heston, Jonathan B; Hilliard, Austin T; Xiao, Xinshu; White, Stephanie A

    2018-01-01

    Human speech is one of the few examples of vocal learning among mammals yet ~half of avian species exhibit this ability. Its neurogenetic basis is largely unknown beyond a shared requirement for FoxP2 in both humans and zebra finches. We manipulated FoxP2 isoforms in Area X, a song-specific region of the avian striatopallidum analogous to human anterior striatum, during a critical period for song development. We delineate, for the first time, unique contributions of each isoform to vocal learning. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis of RNA-seq data revealed gene modules correlated to singing, learning, or vocal variability. Coexpression related to singing was found in juvenile and adult Area X whereas coexpression correlated to learning was unique to juveniles. The confluence of learning and singing coexpression in juvenile Area X may underscore molecular processes that drive vocal learning in young zebra finches and, by analogy, humans. PMID:29360038

  19. Peregrine falcon predation of endangered Laysan teal and Laysan Finches on remote Hawaiian atolls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Nash, Sarah A.B.; Courtot, Karen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first records of Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) predation on endangered Laysan teal (or duck; Anas laysanensis) and predation on endangered Laysan finches (Telespiza cantans). At Midway Atoll, vagrant Peregrine falcons killed ≥4% of a newly translocated Laysan teal population in 2006 and ≥2% in 2008. On Laysan Island during 2008–2009, remains of >76 Laysan finches (<1% of the population) were found at peregrine perches. On Midway Atoll, all depredated Laysan teal and other seabirds were recovered at kill sites on tarmac (runways). If the frequency or duration of vagrant raptors visitation increases at small atolls, this could pose a mortality risk to consider, especially during proposed translocations of endangered species. Vegetation restoration of abandoned runways near wetlands at Midway Atoll would provide cover and may help reduce mortality of endangered species due to vagrant raptors.

  20. CINCH (confocal incoherent correlation holography) super resolution fluorescence microscopy based upon FINCH (Fresnel incoherent correlation holography).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Storrie, Brian; Bruce, Marc; Brooker, Gary

    2015-02-07

    FINCH holographic fluorescence microscopy creates high resolution super-resolved images with enhanced depth of focus. The simple addition of a real-time Nipkow disk confocal image scanner in a conjugate plane of this incoherent holographic system is shown to reduce the depth of focus, and the combination of both techniques provides a simple way to enhance the axial resolution of FINCH in a combined method called "CINCH". An important feature of the combined system allows for the simultaneous real-time image capture of widefield and holographic images or confocal and confocal holographic images for ready comparison of each method on the exact same field of view. Additional GPU based complex deconvolution processing of the images further enhances resolution.

  1. Vasodilatory effects of exogenous nitric oxide on the brood patch of the Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Södergren, Anna

    2010-01-01

    In birds like the Zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) the female, but not the male develop a brood patch upon incubation of eggs. The brood patch functions to increase heat exchange between the bird and the eggs. Development of the brood patch includes de-feathering, increased vascularization and edema formation. The increased vascularization is due to the development of arteriovenous anastomoses, AVA. The AVA are thermoregulatory vessels involved in cold induced vasodilation, CIVD, demonstrate...

  2. Estradiol and song affect female zebra finch behavior independent of dopamine in the striatum

    OpenAIRE

    Svec, Lace A.; Lookingland, Keith J.; Wade, Juli

    2009-01-01

    Female songbirds display preferences for certain song characteristics, but the neural and hormonal mechanisms mediating these preferences are not fully clear. The present study sought to further explore the role of estradiol, as well as assess potential roles of dopaminergic systems, on behavioral responses to song. Adult female zebra finches were treated with estradiol and exposed to tutored or untutored song or silence. Behavior was quantified and neurochemistry of the nucleus accumbens and...

  3. Does foraging behaviour affect female mate preferences and pair formation in captive zebra finches?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neeltje J Boogert

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Successful foraging is essential for survival and reproductive success. In many bird species, foraging is a learned behaviour. To cope with environmental change and survive periods in which regular foods are scarce, the ability to solve novel foraging problems by learning new foraging techniques can be crucial. Although females have been shown to prefer more efficient foragers, the effect of males' foraging techniques on female mate choice has never been studied. We tested whether females would prefer males showing the same learned foraging technique as they had been exposed to as juveniles, or whether females would prefer males that showed a complementary foraging technique. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We first trained juvenile male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata to obtain a significant proportion of their food by one of two foraging techniques. We then tested whether females showed a preference for males with the same or the alternative technique. We found that neither a male's foraging technique nor his foraging performance affected the time females spent in his proximity in the mate-choice apparatus. We then released flocks of these finches into an aviary to investigate whether assortative pairing would be facilitated by birds taught the same technique exploiting the same habitat. Zebra finches trained as juveniles in a specific foraging technique maintained their foraging specialisation in the aviary as adults. However, pair formation and nest location were random with regard to foraging technique. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings show that zebra finches can be successfully trained to be foraging specialists. However, the robust negative results of the conditions tested here suggest that learned foraging specializations do not affect mate choice or pair formation in our experimental context.

  4. Immunological investments reflect parasite abundance in island populations of Darwin's finches.

    OpenAIRE

    Lindström, Karin M.; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Pärn, Henrik; Wikelski, Martin

    2004-01-01

    The evolution of parasite resistance can be influenced by the abundance of parasites in the environment. However, it is yet unresolved whether vertebrates change their investment in immune function in response to variation in parasite abundance. Here, we compare parasite abundance in four populations of small ground finches (Geospiza fuliginosa) in the Galapagos archipelago. We predicted that populations exposed to high parasite loads should invest more in immune defence, or alternatively use...

  5. Sex-dependent effects of nutrition on telomere dynamics in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Noguera, Jose C.; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Boner, Winnie; Monaghan, Pat

    2015-01-01

    At a cellular level, oxidative stress is known to increase telomere attrition, and hence cellular senescence and risk of disease. It has been proposed that dietary micronutrients play an important role in telomere protection due to their antioxidant properties. We experimentally manipulated dietary micronutrients during early life in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We found no effects of micronutrient intake on telomere loss during chick growth. However, females given a diet high in micr...

  6. Evaluation of Best Practices for the Euthanasia of Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Kathleen E; Bracchi, Lauren A; Lieberman, Mia T; Hill, Nichola J; Caron, Tyler J; Patterson, Mary M

    2017-11-01

    Although zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) have been used in biomedical research for many years, no published reports are available about euthanizing these small birds. In this study, we compared 5 methods for zebra finch euthanasia: sodium pentobarbital (NaP) given intracoelomically with physical restraint but no anesthesia; isoflurane anesthesia followed by intracoelomic injection of NaP; and CO2 asphyxiation at 20%, 40%, and 80% chamber displacement rates (percentage of chamber volume per minute). Birds undergoing euthanasia were videorecorded and scored by 2 observers for behaviors potentially related to discomfort or distress. Time to recumbency and time until respiratory arrest (RA) were also assessed. RA was achieved faster by using NaP in a conscious bird compared to using isoflurane anesthesia followed by NaP; however, neither method caused behaviors that might affect animal welfare, such as open-mouth breathing, to any appreciable extent. Among the CO2 treatment groups, there was an inverse correlation between the chamber displacement rate used and the duration of open-mouth breathing, onset of head retroflexion, and time to RA. The results demonstrate that the intracoelomic administration of NaP in an awake, restrained zebra finch is a rapid and effective method of euthanasia. If CO2 is used to euthanize these birds, a high displacement rate (for example, 80%) will minimize the duration of the procedure and associated behaviors.

  7. Maternal effects underlie ageing costs of growth in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathilde L Tissier

    Full Text Available Maternal effects provide a mechanism to adapt offspring phenotype and optimize the mother's fitness to current environmental conditions. Transferring steroids to the yolk is one way mothers can translate environmental information into potential adaptive signals for offspring. However, maternally-derived hormones might also have adverse effects for offspring. For example, recent data in zebra finch chicks suggested that ageing related-processes (i.e. oxidative stress and telomere loss were increased after egg-injection of corticosterone (CORT. Still, we have few experimental data describing the effect of maternal effects on the growth-ageing trade-off in offspring. Here, we chronically treated pre-laying zebra finch females (Taeniopygia guttata with 17-β-estradiol (E2 or CORT, and followed offspring growth and cellular ageing rates (oxidative stress and telomere loss. CORT treatment decreased growth rate in male chicks and increased rate of telomere loss in mothers and female offspring. E2 increased body mass gain in male offspring, while reducing oxidative stress in both sexes but without affecting telomere loss. Since shorter telomeres were previously found to be a proxy of individual lifespan in zebra finches, maternal effects may, through pleiotropic effects, be important determinants of offspring life-expectancy by modulating ageing rate during embryo and post-natal growth.

  8. Zebra finch mates use their forebrain song system in unlearned call communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ter Maat, Andries; Trost, Lisa; Sagunsky, Hannes; Seltmann, Susanne; Gahr, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    Unlearned calls are produced by all birds whereas learned songs are only found in three avian taxa, most notably in songbirds. The neural basis for song learning and production is formed by interconnected song nuclei: the song control system. In addition to song, zebra finches produce large numbers of soft, unlearned calls, among which "stack" calls are uttered frequently. To determine unequivocally the calls produced by each member of a group, we mounted miniature wireless microphones on each zebra finch. We find that group living paired males and females communicate using bilateral stack calling. To investigate the role of the song control system in call-based male female communication, we recorded the electrical activity in a premotor nucleus of the song control system in freely behaving male birds. The unique combination of acoustic monitoring together with wireless brain recording of individual zebra finches in groups shows that the neuronal activity of the song system correlates with the production of unlearned stack calls. The results suggest that the song system evolved from a brain circuit controlling simple unlearned calls to a system capable of producing acoustically rich, learned vocalizations.

  9. A daily oscillation in the fundamental frequency and amplitude of harmonic syllables of zebra finch song.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William E Wood

    Full Text Available Complex motor skills are more difficult to perform at certain points in the day (for example, shortly after waking, but the daily trajectory of motor-skill error is more difficult to predict. By undertaking a quantitative analysis of the fundamental frequency (FF and amplitude of hundreds of zebra finch syllables per animal per day, we find that zebra finch song follows a previously undescribed daily oscillation. The FF and amplitude of harmonic syllables rises across the morning, reaching a peak near mid-day, and then falls again in the late afternoon until sleep. This oscillation, although somewhat variable, is consistent across days and across animals and does not require serotonin, as animals with serotonergic lesions maintained daily oscillations. We hypothesize that this oscillation is driven by underlying physiological factors which could be shared with other taxa. Song production in zebra finches is a model system for studying complex learned behavior because of the ease of gathering comprehensive behavioral data and the tractability of the underlying neural circuitry. The daily oscillation that we describe promises to reveal new insights into how time of day affects the ability to accomplish a variety of complex learned motor skills.

  10. Castration modulates singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of RA projection neurons in adult male zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Songhua Wang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Castration can change levels of plasma testosterone. Androgens such as testosterone play an important role in stabilizing birdsong. The robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA is an important premotor nucleus critical for singing. In this study, we investigated the effect of castration on singing patterns and electrophysiological properties of projection neurons (PNs in the RA of adult male zebra finches. Adult male zebra finches were castrated and the changes in bird song assessed. We also recorded the electrophysiological changes from RA PNs using patch clamp recording. We found that the plasma levels of testosterone were significantly decreased, song syllable’s entropy was increased and the similarity of motif was decreased after castration. Spontaneous and evoked firing rates, membrane time constants, and membrane capacitance of RA PNs in the castration group were lower than those of the control and the sham groups. Afterhyperpolarization AHP time to peak of spontaneous action potential (AP was prolonged after castration.These findings suggest that castration decreases song stereotypy and excitability of RA PNs in male zebra finches.

  11. Bill redness is positively associated with reproduction and survival in male and female zebra finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirre J P Simons

    Full Text Available Sexual traits can serve as honest indicators of phenotypic quality when they are costly. Brightly coloured yellow to red traits, which are pigmented by carotenoids, are relatively common in birds, and feature in sexual selection. Carotenoids have been linked to immune and antioxidant function, and the trade-off between ornamentation and these physiological functions provides a potential mechanism rendering carotenoid based signals costly. Mutual ornamentation is also common in birds and can be maintained by mutual mate choice for this ornament or by a correlated response in one sex to selection on the other sex. When selection pressures differ between the sexes this can cause intralocus sexual conflict. Sexually antagonistic selection pressures have been demonstrated for few sexual traits, and for carotenoid-dependent traits there is a single example: bill redness was found to be positively associated with survival and reproductive output in male zebra finches, but negatively so in females. We retested these associations in our captive zebra finch population without two possible limitations of this earlier study. Contrary to the earlier findings, we found no evidence for sexually antagonistic selection. In both sexes, individuals with redder bills showed higher survival. This association disappeared among the females with the reddest bills. Furthermore, females with redder bills achieved higher reproductive output. We conclude that bill redness of male and female zebra finches honestly signals phenotypic quality, and discuss the possible causes of the differences between our results and earlier findings.

  12. Insights into the evolution of Darwin’s finches from comparative analysis of the Geospiza magnirostris genome sequence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rands Chris M

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A classical example of repeated speciation coupled with ecological diversification is the evolution of 14 closely related species of Darwin’s (Galápagos finches (Thraupidae, Passeriformes. Their adaptive radiation in the Galápagos archipelago took place in the last 2–3 million years and some of the molecular mechanisms that led to their diversification are now being elucidated. Here we report evolutionary analyses of genome of the large ground finch, Geospiza magnirostris. Results 13,291 protein-coding genes were predicted from a 991.0 Mb G. magnirostris genome assembly. We then defined gene orthology relationships and constructed whole genome alignments between the G. magnirostris and other vertebrate genomes. We estimate that 15% of genomic sequence is functionally constrained between G. magnirostris and zebra finch. Genic evolutionary rate comparisons indicate that similar selective pressures acted along the G. magnirostris and zebra finch lineages suggesting that historical effective population size values have been similar in both lineages. 21 otherwise highly conserved genes were identified that each show evidence for positive selection on amino acid changes in the Darwin's finch lineage. Two of these genes (Igf2r and Pou1f1 have been implicated in beak morphology changes in Darwin’s finches. Five of 47 genes showing evidence of positive selection in early passerine evolution have cilia related functions, and may be examples of adaptively evolving reproductive proteins. Conclusions These results provide insights into past evolutionary processes that have shaped G. magnirostris genes and its genome, and provide the necessary foundation upon which to build population genomics resources that will shed light on more contemporaneous adaptive and non-adaptive processes that have contributed to the evolution of the Darwin’s finches.

  13. Gene duplication and fragmentation in the zebra finch major histocompatibility complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burt David W

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Due to its high polymorphism and importance for disease resistance, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC has been an important focus of many vertebrate genome projects. Avian MHC organization is of particular interest because the chicken Gallus gallus, the avian species with the best characterized MHC, possesses a highly streamlined minimal essential MHC, which is linked to resistance against specific pathogens. It remains unclear the extent to which this organization describes the situation in other birds and whether it represents a derived or ancestral condition. The sequencing of the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata genome, in combination with targeted bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC sequencing, has allowed us to characterize an MHC from a highly divergent and diverse avian lineage, the passerines. Results The zebra finch MHC exhibits a complex structure and history involving gene duplication and fragmentation. The zebra finch MHC includes multiple Class I and Class II genes, some of which appear to be pseudogenes, and spans a much more extensive genomic region than the chicken MHC, as evidenced by the presence of MHC genes on each of seven BACs spanning 739 kb. Cytogenetic (FISH evidence and the genome assembly itself place core MHC genes on as many as four chromosomes with TAP and Class I genes mapping to different chromosomes. MHC Class II regions are further characterized by high endogenous retroviral content. Lastly, we find strong evidence of selection acting on sites within passerine MHC Class I and Class II genes. Conclusion The zebra finch MHC differs markedly from that of the chicken, the only other bird species with a complete genome sequence. The apparent lack of synteny between TAP and the expressed MHC Class I locus is in fact reminiscent of a pattern seen in some mammalian lineages and may represent convergent evolution. Our analyses of the zebra finch MHC suggest a complex history involving

  14. Model calculations for the airborne Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber FINCH-HALO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nillius, B.; Bingemer, H.; Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.

    2009-04-01

    Ice nuclei (IN) initiate the formation of primary ice in tropospheric clouds. In mixed phase clouds the primary ice crystals can grow very fast by the Bergeron-Findeisen process (Findeisen, 1938) at the expense of evaporating water droplets, and form precipitation. Thus, IN are essential for the development of precipitation in mixed phase clouds in the middle latitude. However, the role of IN in the development of clouds is still poorly understood and needs to be studied (Levin and Cotton, 2007). A Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber (FINCH-HALO) for airborne operation on the High And LOng Range research aircraft (HALO) is under development at the Institute for Atmosphere and Environment University Frankfurt. IN particles are activated within the chamber at certain ice super-saturation and temperature by mixing three gas flows, a warm moist, a cold dry, and an aerosol flow. After activation the particles will grow within a processing chamber. In an optical depolarisation detector droplets and ice crystals are detected separately. The setup of the new FINCH-HALO instrument is based on the ground based IN counter FINCH (Bundke, 2008). In FINCH-HALO a new cooling unit is used. Thus, measurements down to -40°C are possible. Furthermore minor changes of the inlet section where the mixing occurs were done. The contribution will present 3D model calculations with FLUENT of the flow conditions in the new inlet section for different pressure levels during a flight typical for HALO. Growth rates of ice crystals in the chamber at different temperature and super-saturation will be shown. References: Bundke U., B. Nillius, R. Jaenicke, T. Wetter, H. Klein, H. Bingemer, (2008). The Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber FINCH, Atmospheric Research, doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.02.008 Findeisen, R., (1938). Meteorologisch-physikalische Begebenheiten der Vereisung in der Atmosphäre. Hauptversammlung 1938 der Lilienthal-Gesellschaft. Levin, Z., W. Cotton, (2007). Aerosol pollution impact on precipitation

  15. Using Digital Images of the Zebra Finch Song System as a Tool to Teach Organizational Effects of Steroid Hormones: A Free Downloadable Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grisham, William; Schottler, Natalie A.; Beck McCauley, Lisa M.; Pham, Anh P.; Ruiz, Maureen L.; Fong, Michelle C.; Cui, Xinran

    2011-01-01

    Zebra finch song behavior is sexually dimorphic: males sing and females do not. The neural system underlying this behavior is sexually dimorphic, and this sex difference is easy to quantify. During development, the zebra finch song system can be altered by steroid hormones, specifically estradiol, which actually masculinizes it. Because of the…

  16. Exploring the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata as a novel animal model for the speech-language deficit of fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winograd, Claudia; Ceman, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and presents with markedly atypical speech-language, likely due to impaired vocal learning. Although current models have been useful for studies of some aspects of FXS, zebra finch is the only tractable lab model for vocal learning. The neural circuits for vocal learning in the zebra finch have clear relationships to the pathways in the human brain that may be affected in FXS. Further, finch vocal learning may be quantified using software designed specifically for this purpose. Knockdown of the zebra finch FMR1 gene may ultimately enable novel tests of therapies that are modality-specific, using drugs or even social strategies, to ameliorate deficits in vocal development and function. In this chapter, we describe the utility of the zebra finch model and present a hypothesis for the role of FMRP in the developing neural circuitry for vocalization.

  17. Discovery of the First Germline-Restricted Gene by Subtractive Transcriptomic Analysis in the Zebra Finch, Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, Michelle K; Nelson, Megan M; Asalone, Kathryn C; Pedersen, Alyssa L; Saldanha, Colin J; Bracht, John R

    2018-05-21

    Developmentally programmed genome rearrangements are rare in vertebrates, but have been reported in scattered lineages including the bandicoot, hagfish, lamprey, and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) [1]. In the finch, a well-studied animal model for neuroendocrinology and vocal learning [2], one such programmed genome rearrangement involves a germline-restricted chromosome, or GRC, which is found in germlines of both sexes but eliminated from mature sperm [3, 4]. Transmitted only through the oocyte, it displays uniparental female-driven inheritance, and early in embryonic development is apparently eliminated from all somatic tissue in both sexes [3, 4]. The GRC comprises the longest finch chromosome at over 120 million base pairs [3], and previously the only known GRC-derived sequence was repetitive and non-coding [5]. Because the zebra finch genome project was sourced from male muscle (somatic) tissue [6], the remaining genomic sequence and protein-coding content of the GRC remain unknown. Here we report the first protein-coding gene from the GRC: a member of the α-soluble N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion protein (NSF) attachment protein (α-SNAP) family hitherto missing from zebra finch gene annotations. In addition to the GRC-encoded α-SNAP, we find an additional paralogous α-SNAP residing in the somatic genome (a somatolog)-making the zebra finch the first example in which α-SNAP is not a single-copy gene. We show divergent, sex-biased expression for the paralogs and also that positive selection is detectable across the bird α-SNAP lineage, including the GRC-encoded α-SNAP. This study presents the identification and evolutionary characterization of the first protein-coding GRC gene in any organism. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Exploratory behavior is linked to stress physiology and social network centrality in free-living house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyers, Sahnzi C; Adelman, James S; Farine, Damien R; Moore, Ignacio T; Hawley, Dana M

    2018-05-21

    Animal personality has been linked to individual variation in both stress physiology and social behaviors, but few studies have simultaneously examined covariation between personality traits, stress hormone levels, and behaviors in free-living animals. We investigated relationships between exploratory behavior (one aspect of animal personality), stress physiology, and social and foraging behaviors in wild house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus). We conducted novel environment assays after collecting samples of baseline and stress-induced plasma corticosterone concentrations from a subset of house finches. We then fitted individuals with Passive Integrated Transponder tags and monitored feeder use and social interactions at radio-frequency identification equipped bird feeders. First, we found that individuals with higher baseline corticosterone concentrations exhibit more exploratory behaviors in a novel environment. Second, more exploratory individuals interacted with more unique conspecifics in the wild, though this result was stronger for female than for male house finches. Third, individuals that were quick to begin exploring interacted more frequently with conspecifics than slow-exploring individuals. Finally, exploratory behaviors were unrelated to foraging behaviors, including the amount of time spent on bird feeders, a behavior previously shown to be predictive of acquiring a bacterial disease that causes annual epidemics in house finches. Overall, our results indicate that individual differences in exploratory behavior are linked to variation in both stress physiology and social network traits in free-living house finches. Such covariation has important implications for house finch ecology, as both traits can contribute to fitness in the wild. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Mate call as reward: Acoustic communication signals can acquire positive reinforcing values during adulthood in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Alexandra M; Perez, Emilie C; Mulard, Hervé; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2016-02-01

    Social stimuli can have rewarding properties and promote learning. In birds, conspecific vocalizations like song can act as a reinforcer, and specific song variants can acquire particular rewarding values during early life exposure. Here we ask if, during adulthood, an acoustic signal simpler and shorter than song can become a reward for a female songbird because of its particular social value. Using an operant choice apparatus, we showed that female zebra finches display a preferential response toward their mate's calls. This reinforcing value of mate's calls could be involved in the maintenance of the monogamous pair-bond of the zebra finch. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. Faithful reconstruction of digital holograms captured by FINCH using a Hamming window function in the Fresnel propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Nisan; Rosen, Joseph; Brooker, Gary

    2013-10-01

    Recent advances in Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH) increase the signal-to-noise ratio in hologram recording by interference of images from two diffractive lenses with focal lengths close to the image plane. Holograms requiring short reconstruction distances are created that reconstruct poorly with existing Fresnel propagation methods. Here we show a dramatic improvement in reconstructed fluorescent images when a 2D Hamming window function substituted for the disk window typically used to bound the impulse response in the Fresnel propagation. Greatly improved image contrast and quality are shown for simulated and experimentally determined FINCH holograms using a 2D Hamming window without significant loss in lateral or axial resolution.

  1. Oscillating magnetic field disrupts magnetic orientation in Zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wiltschko Wolfgang

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Zebra finches can be trained to use the geomagnetic field as a directional cue for short distance orientation. The physical mechanisms underlying the primary processes of magnetoreception are, however, largely unknown. Two hypotheses of how birds perceive magnetic information are mainly discussed, one dealing with modulation of radical pair processes in retinal structures, the other assuming that iron deposits in the upper beak of the birds are involved. Oscillating magnetic fields in the MHz range disturb radical pair mechanisms but do not affect magnetic particles. Thus, application of such oscillating fields in behavioral experiments can be used as a diagnostic tool to decide between the two alternatives. Methods In a setup that eliminates all directional cues except the geomagnetic field zebra finches were trained to search for food in the magnetic north/south axis. The birds were then tested for orientation performance in two magnetic conditions. In condition 1 the horizontal component of the geomagnetic field was shifted by 90 degrees using a helmholtz coil. In condition 2 a high frequently oscillating field (1.156 MHz was applied in addition to the shifted field. Another group of birds was trained to solve the orientation task, but with visual landmarks as directional cue. The birds were then tested for their orientation performance in the same magnetic conditions as applied for the first experiment. Results The zebra finches could be trained successfully to orient in the geomagnetic field for food search in the north/south axis. They were also well oriented in test condition 1, with the magnetic field shifted horizontally by 90 degrees. In contrast, when the oscillating field was added, the directional choices during food search were randomly distributed. Birds that were trained to visually guided orientation showed no difference of orientation performance in the two magnetic conditions. Conclusion The results

  2. Sexual dimorphism in song-induced ZENK expression in the medial striatum of juvenile zebra finches

    OpenAIRE

    Bailey, David J.; Wade, Juli

    2006-01-01

    In the brains of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), the nuclei that direct song learning and production are larger than the corresponding regions in females, who do not sing. The dimorphism in Area X of the medial striatum (MSt), an area important for song learning, is even more dramatic in that it is identifiable in males but not females by Nissl stain. In the present study, conspecific song, but not other auditory stimuli, induced expression of the immediate early gene ZENK in the MS...

  3. Experimental evidence for millisecond activation timescales using the Fast IN Chamber (FINCH) measurements

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    Bundke, U.; Jaenicke, R.; Klein, H.; Nillius, B.; Reimann, B.; Wetter, T.; Bingemer, H.

    2009-04-01

    Ice formation in clouds is a subject of great practical and fundamental importance since the occurrence of ice particle initializes dramatic changes in the microphysical structure of the cloud, which finally ends in the formation of precipitation. The initially step of ice formation is largely unknown. Homogenous nucleation of ice occurs only below -40 °C. If an ice nucleus (IN) is present, heterogeneous nucleation may occur at higher temperature. Here deposition freezing, condensation and immersion freezing as well as contact freezing are known. Also growth rates of ice particles are known as function of crystal surface properties, temperature and super saturation. Timescales for homogenous freezing activation in the order of 0.01 seconds and nucleation rates have been measured by Anderson et al. (1980) and Hagen et al., (1981) using their expansion cloud chamber. This contribution of deposition mode freezing measurements by the ice nucleus counter FINCH presents evidence that the activation timescale of this freezing mode is in the order of 1E-3 seconds. FINCH is an Ice Nucleus counter which activates IN in a supersaturated environment at freezing temperatures. The activation conditions are actively controlled by mixing three gas flows (aerosol, particle-free cold-dry and warm-humid flows).See Bundke et al. 2008 for details. In a special operation mode of FINCH we are able to produce a controlled peak super saturation in the order of 1 ms duration. For several test aerosols the results observed in this particular mode are comparable to normal mode operations, where the maximum super saturation remains for more than a second, thus leading to the conclusion that the time for activation is in the order of 1ms or less. References: R.J. Anderson et al, "A Study of Homogeneous Condensation Freezing Nucleation of Small Water Droplets in an Expansion Cloud Chamber, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 37, 2508-2520, 1980 U.Bundke et al., "The fast Ice Nucleus

  4. Digital atlas of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain: a high-resolution photo atlas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karten, Harvey J; Brzozowska-Prechtl, Agnieszka; Lovell, Peter V; Tang, Daniel D; Mello, Claudio V; Wang, Haibin; Mitra, Partha P

    2013-11-01

    We describe a set of new comprehensive, high-quality, high-resolution digital images of histological sections from the brain of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and make them publicly available through an interactive website (http://zebrafinch.brainarchitecture.org/). These images provide a basis for the production of a dimensionally accurate and detailed digital nonstereotaxic atlas. Nissl- and myelin-stained brain sections are provided in the transverse, sagittal, and horizontal planes, with the transverse plane approximating the more traditional Frankfurt plane. In addition, a separate set of brain sections in this same plane is stained for tyrosine hydroxylase, revealing the distribution of catecholaminergic neurons (dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and adrenergic) in the songbird brain. For a subset of sagittal sections we also prepared a corresponding set of drawings, defining and annotating various nuclei, fields, and fiber tracts that are visible under Nissl and myelin staining. This atlas of the zebra finch brain is expected to become an important tool for birdsong research and comparative studies of brain organization and evolution. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Use of a barbed tool by an adult and a juvenile woodpecker finch (Cactospiza pallida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabine, Tebbich; Irmgard, Teschke; Erica, Cartmill; Sophia, Stankewitz

    2012-02-01

    Here we describe the modification and use of a new tool type in the woodpecker finch (Cactospiza pallida). This species is known to habitually use twigs or cactus spines to extract arthropods out of tree holes. We observed an adult and a juvenile bird using several barbed twigs from introduced blackberry bushes (Rubus niveus) which the adult bird had first modified by removing leaves and side twigs. The barbs of blackberry tools provide a novel functional feature not present in tools made from native plants and de-leafing of twigs never has been observed before. Both birds were observed using several of these tools to extract prey from under the bark of the native scalesia tree (Scalesia penduculta). They oriented the twigs such that the barbs pointed towards themselves; this rendered the barbs functional as they could be used to drag prey out of a crevice. The juvenile bird first watched the adult using the tool and then used the tool that the adult bird had left under the bark at the same location and in the same way as the adult. Our observation highlights the fact that opportunities for the transmission of social information do occur in the wild and indicates that woodpecker finches are flexible in their choice of tool material and tool modification. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Autoradiographic localization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the brain of the zebra finch (Poephila guttata)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, J.T.; Adkins-Regan, E.; Whiting, P.; Lindstrom, J.M.; Podleski, T.R.

    1988-01-01

    We have localized nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the zebra finch brain by using three 125I-labelled ligands: alpha bungarotoxin and two monoclonal antibodies to neuronal nicotinic receptors. Unfixed brains from intact adult male and female zebra finches were prepared for in vitro autoradiography. Low-resolution film autoradiograms and high-resolution emulsion autoradiograms were prepared for each of the three ligands. The major brain structures that bind all three of the ligands are hippocampus; hyperstriatum dorsalis; hyperstriatum ventralis; nucleus lentiformis mesencephali; nucleus pretectalis, some layers of the optic tectum; nucleus mesencephalicus lateralis; pars dorsalis; locus ceruleus; and all cranial motor nuclei except nucleus nervi hypoglossi. The major structures labelled only by [125I]-alpha bungarotoxin binding included hyperstriatum accessorium and the nuclei: preopticus medialis, medialis hypothalami posterioris, semilunaris, olivarius inferior, and the periventricular organ. Of the song control nuclei, nucleus magnocellularis of the anterior neostriatum; hyperstriatum ventralis, pars caudalis; nucleus intercollicularis; and nucleus hypoglossus were labelled. The binding patterns of the two antibodies were similar to one another but not identical. Both labelled nucleus spiriformis lateralis and nucleus geniculatus lateralis, pars ventralis especially heavily and also labelled the nucleus habenula medialis; nucleus subpretectalis; nucleus isthmi, pars magnocellularis; nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis; nucleus reticularis lateralis; nucleus tractus solitarii; nucleus vestibularis dorsolateralis; nucleus vestibularis lateralis; nucleus descendens nervi trigemini; and the deep cerebellar nuclei

  7. Zebra finches can use positional and transitional cues to distinguish vocal element strings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiani; Ten Cate, Carel

    2015-08-01

    Learning sequences is of great importance to humans and non-human animals. Many motor and mental actions, such as singing in birds and speech processing in humans, rely on sequential learning. At least two mechanisms are considered to be involved in such learning. The chaining theory proposes that learning of sequences relies on memorizing the transitions between adjacent items, while the positional theory suggests that learners encode the items according to their ordinal position in the sequence. Positional learning is assumed to dominate sequential learning. However, human infants exposed to a string of speech sounds can learn transitional (chaining) cues. So far, it is not clear whether birds, an increasingly important model for examining vocal processing, can do this. In this study we use a Go-Nogo design to examine whether zebra finches can use transitional cues to distinguish artificially constructed strings of song elements. Zebra finches were trained with sequences differing in transitional and positional information and next tested with novel strings sharing positional and transitional similarities with the training strings. The results show that they can attend to both transitional and positional cues and that their sequential coding strategies can be biased toward transitional cues depending on the learning context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Familial differences in the effects of mercury on reproduction in zebra finches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2013-01-01

    Ecotoxicologists often implicitly assume that populations are homogenous entities in which all individuals have similar responses to a contaminant. However, genetically variable responses occur within populations. This variation can be visualized using dose–response curves of genetically related groups, similar to the way that evolutionary biologists construct reaction norms. We assessed the variation in reproductive success of full-sibling families of captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) experimentally exposed to methylmercury. We found significant variation among families in the effects of methylmercury on several reproductive parameters. This variation suggests that there may be strong responses to selection for resistant genotypes in contaminated areas. This has important implications for the evolution of tolerance as well as risk assessment and wildlife conservation efforts on sites with legacy contamination. -- Highlights: •Dose-response curves can visualize genetic differences in response to pollutants. •Families of zebra finch respond differently to mercury contamination. •Differences in reproductive success can lead to selection for resistant genotypes. •Resistance to contamination has implications for risk assessment and conservation. -- Genetic variation in response to contaminants can lead to adaptation on long-term contaminated sites, with implications for risk assessment and conservation of impacted populations

  9. Budgerigars and zebra finches differ in how they generalize in an artificial grammar learning experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spierings, Michelle J.; ten Cate, Carel

    2016-01-01

    The ability to abstract a regularity that underlies strings of sounds is a core mechanism of the language faculty but might not be specific to language learning or even to humans. It is unclear whether and to what extent nonhuman animals possess the ability to abstract regularities defining the relation among arbitrary auditory items in a string and to generalize this abstraction to strings of acoustically novel items. In this study we tested these abilities in a songbird (zebra finch) and a parrot species (budgerigar). Subjects were trained in a go/no-go design to discriminate between two sets of sound strings arranged in an XYX or an XXY structure. After this discrimination was acquired, each subject was tested with test strings that were structurally identical to the training strings but consisted of either new combinations of known elements or of novel elements belonging to other element categories. Both species learned to discriminate between the two stimulus sets. However, their responses to the test strings were strikingly different. Zebra finches categorized test stimuli with previously heard elements by the ordinal position that these elements occupied in the training strings, independent of string structure. In contrast, the budgerigars categorized both novel combinations of familiar elements as well as strings consisting of novel element types by their underlying structure. They thus abstracted the relation among items in the XYX and XXY structures, an ability similar to that shown by human infants and indicating a level of abstraction comparable to analogical reasoning. PMID:27325756

  10. Social interaction with a tutor modulates responsiveness of specific auditory neurons in juvenile zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagihara, Shin; Yazaki-Sugiyama, Yoko

    2018-04-12

    Behavioral states of animals, such as observing the behavior of a conspecific, modify signal perception and/or sensations that influence state-dependent higher cognitive behavior, such as learning. Recent studies have shown that neuronal responsiveness to sensory signals is modified when animals are engaged in social interactions with others or in locomotor activities. However, how these changes produce state-dependent differences in higher cognitive function is still largely unknown. Zebra finches, which have served as the premier songbird model, learn to sing from early auditory experiences with tutors. They also learn from playback of recorded songs however, learning can be greatly improved when song models are provided through social communication with tutors (Eales, 1989; Chen et al., 2016). Recently we found a subset of neurons in the higher-level auditory cortex of juvenile zebra finches that exhibit highly selective auditory responses to the tutor song after song learning, suggesting an auditory memory trace of the tutor song (Yanagihara and Yazaki-Sugiyama, 2016). Here we show that auditory responses of these selective neurons became greater when juveniles were paired with their tutors, while responses of non-selective neurons did not change. These results suggest that social interaction modulates cortical activity and might function in state-dependent song learning. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Reproductive behavior of the Red-crested Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus (Aves: Thraupidae in southeastern Brazil

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    Paulo V.Q. Zima

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Several behavioral aspects of the Red-crested Finch Coryphospingus cucullatus (Statius Müller, 1776 are poorly studied. Here we provide reproductive information on 16 active nests. This information may be valuable to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships of this bird, and to design plans to manage it. Nesting activities occurred from October to February. Clutches consisted of two to three eggs (2.06 ± 0.25, which were laid on consecutive days. Incubation usually started the morning the females laid their last egg and lasted 11.27 ± 0.47 days. Hatching was synchronous, or happened at a one-day interval. The nestling stage lasted 12 ± 0.89 days. Only females incubated the eggs and they fed the young more often than the males did. Overall nesting success, from incubation to fledging, was 28.2%. Nest architecture and egg color proved to be diagnostic characteristics of Coryphospingus , supporting its maintenance as a distinct genus within the recently proposed sub-family Tachyphoninae. Red-crested Finches showed a preference for certain nesting sites, i.e., forest borders or a Cerrado in late regeneration stage. This information can be useful to programs aiming to release illegally trapped individuals.

  12. Chick Development and Asynchroneous Hatching in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikebuchi, Maki; Okanoya, Kazuo; Hasegawa, Toshikazu; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2017-10-01

    The mode of hatching in birds has important impacts on both parents and chicks, including the costs and risks of breeding for parents, and sibling competition in a clutch. Birds with multiple eggs in a single clutch often begin incubating when most eggs are laid, thereby reducing time of incubation, nursing burden, and sibling competition. In some songbirds and some other species, however, incubation starts immediately after the first egg is laid, and the chicks thus hatch asynchronously. This may result in differences in parental care and in sibling competition based on body size differences among older and younger chicks, which in turn might produce asynchronous development among siblings favoring the first hatchling, and further affect the development and fitness of the chicks after fledging. To determine whether such processes in fact occur in the zebra finch, we observed chick development in 18 clutches of zebra finches. We found that there were effects of asynchronous hatching, but these were smaller than expected and mostly not significant. Our observations suggest that the amount of care given to each chick may be equated with such factors as a camouflage effect of the down feathers, and that the low illumination within the nest also complicates the determination of the hatching order by the parents.

  13. Altered auditory BOLD response to conspecific birdsong in zebra finches with stuttered syllables.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henning U Voss

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available How well a songbird learns a song appears to depend on the formation of a robust auditory template of its tutor's song. Using functional magnetic resonance neuroimaging we examine auditory responses in two groups of zebra finches that differ in the type of song they sing after being tutored by birds producing stuttering-like syllable repetitions in their songs. We find that birds that learn to produce the stuttered syntax show attenuated blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD responses to tutor's song, and more pronounced responses to conspecific song primarily in the auditory area field L of the avian forebrain, when compared to birds that produce normal song. These findings are consistent with the presence of a sensory song template critical for song learning in auditory areas of the zebra finch forebrain. In addition, they suggest a relationship between an altered response related to familiarity and/or saliency of song stimuli and the production of variant songs with stuttered syllables.

  14. The roles of vocal and visual interactions in social learning zebra finches: A video playback experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D

    2017-06-01

    The transmission of information from an experienced demonstrator to a naïve observer often depends on characteristics of the demonstrator, such as familiarity, success or dominance status. Whether or not the demonstrator pays attention to and/or interacts with the observer may also affect social information acquisition or use by the observer. Here we used a video-demonstrator paradigm first to test whether video demonstrators have the same effect as using live demonstrators in zebra finches, and second, to test the importance of visual and vocal interactions between the demonstrator and observer on social information use by the observer. We found that female zebra finches copied novel food choices of male demonstrators they saw via live-streaming video while they did not consistently copy from the demonstrators when they were seen in playbacks of the same videos. Although naive observers copied in the absence of vocalizations by the demonstrator, as they copied from playback of videos with the sound off, females did not copy where there was a mis-match between the visual information provided by the video and vocal information from a live male that was out of sight. Taken together these results suggest that video demonstration is a useful methodology for testing social information transfer, at least in a foraging context, but more importantly, that social information use varies according to the vocal interactions, or lack thereof, between the observer and the demonstrator. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    OpenAIRE

    Mariam Honarmand; E. Tobias Krause; Marc Naguib

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in ...

  16. In-situ measurements of ice nucleating particles with FINCH (Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, Rebecca; Frank, Fabian; Curtius, Joachim; Rose, Diana

    2017-04-01

    Ice nucleating particles (INPs), which are a small fraction of the total aerosol population, are capable of triggering ice formation under atmospheric conditions. Since INPs play an important role for the radiative properties of clouds as well as for the formation of precipitation it is important to get quantitative information on the ice activity of various atmospheric aerosol species. With the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH; Bundke et al., 2008) the number concentration of INP is determined at different freezing temperatures and supersaturations. In contrast to other commonly used INP counters, i.e., continuous flow diffusion chambers (CFDCs, DeMott et al., 2011), in FINCH the supersaturation is reached by mixing the sample flow of ambient aerosol with a warm moist as well as a cold dry airflow. By changing the flow rates and temperatures of the individual airflows the freezing temperature (down to -50°C) and supersaturation (up to above water saturation) can be varied relatively quickly. Particles that are ice active at the prescribed freezing temperature and supersaturation grow to crystals and are counted by a home-built optical particle counter (OPC) mounted below the chamber (Bundke et al., 2010). FINCH was operated during the four-week INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS field campaign in Cyprus in April 2016. The measuring site was the location of the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO) at Agia Marina Xyliatou, which is typically influenced by dust from the Sahara and the Middle East, an aerosol that is known to have relatively good ice nucleating ability. First results from this campaign will be presented. Acknowledgements: The authors thank the entire INUIT-BACCHUS-ACTRIS campaign team for their cooperation and support. The INUIT-2 project is financed by the German Research Foundation DFG (FOR 1525). The INUIT-Cyprus campaign is a cooperation with the EU-funded project BACCHUS and is also funded by ACTRIS-TNA. References: Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R

  17. Development and validation of a house finch interleukin-1β (HfIL-1β) ELISA system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sungwon; Park, Myeongseon; Leon, Ariel E; Adelman, James S; Hawley, Dana M; Dalloul, Rami A

    2017-08-30

    A unique clade of the bacterium Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), which causes chronic respiratory disease in poultry, has resulted in annual epidemics of conjunctivitis in North American house finches since the 1990s. Currently, few immunological tools have been validated for this songbird species. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) is a prototypic multifunctional cytokine and can affect almost every cell type during Mycoplasma infection. The overall goal of this study was to develop and validate a direct ELISA assay for house finch IL-1β (HfIL-1β) using a cross-reactive chicken antibody. A direct ELISA approach was used to develop this system using two different coating methods, carbonate and dehydration. In both methods, antigens (recombinant HfIL-1b or house finch plasma) were serially diluted in carbonate-bicarbonate coating buffer and either incubated at 4 °C overnight or at 60 °C on a heating block for 2 hr. To generate the standard curve, rHfIL-1b protein was serially diluted at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 ng/mL. Following blocking and washing, anti-chicken IL-1b polyclonal antibody was added, plates were later incubated with detecting antibodies, and reactions developed with tetramethylbenzidine solution. A commercially available anti-chicken IL-1β (ChIL-1β) polyclonal antibody (pAb) cross-reacted with house finch plasma IL-1β as well as bacterially expressed recombinant house finch IL-1β (rHfIL-1β) in immunoblotting assays. In a direct ELISA system, rHfIL-1β could not be detected by an anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated with carbonate-bicarbonate buffer at 4°C overnight. However, rHfIL-1β was detected by the anti-ChIL-1β pAb when the antigen was coated using a dehydration method by heat (60°C). Using the developed direct ELISA for HfIL-1β with commercial anti-ChIL-1β pAb, we were able to measure plasma IL-1β levels from house finches. Based on high amino acid sequence homology, we hypothesized and demonstrated cross-reactivity of

  18. Song exposure regulates known and novel microRNAs in the zebra finch auditory forebrain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Jong H

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In an important model for neuroscience, songbirds learn to discriminate songs they hear during tape-recorded playbacks, as demonstrated by song-specific habituation of both behavioral and neurogenomic responses in the auditory forebrain. We hypothesized that microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs may participate in the changing pattern of gene expression induced by song exposure. To test this, we used massively parallel Illumina sequencing to analyse small RNAs from auditory forebrain of adult zebra finches exposed to tape-recorded birdsong or silence. Results In the auditory forebrain, we identified 121 known miRNAs conserved in other vertebrates. We also identified 34 novel miRNAs that do not align to human or chicken genomes. Five conserved miRNAs showed significant and consistent changes in copy number after song exposure across three biological replications of the song-silence comparison, with two increasing (tgu-miR-25, tgu-miR-192 and three decreasing (tgu-miR-92, tgu-miR-124, tgu-miR-129-5p. We also detected a locus on the Z sex chromosome that produces three different novel miRNAs, with supporting evidence from Northern blot and TaqMan qPCR assays for differential expression in males and females and in response to song playbacks. One of these, tgu-miR-2954-3p, is predicted (by TargetScan to regulate eight song-responsive mRNAs that all have functions in cellular proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Conclusions The experience of hearing another bird singing alters the profile of miRNAs in the auditory forebrain of zebra finches. The response involves both known conserved miRNAs and novel miRNAs described so far only in the zebra finch, including a novel sex-linked, song-responsive miRNA. These results indicate that miRNAs are likely to contribute to the unique behavioural biology of learned song communication in songbirds.

  19. “Bird Song Metronomics”: Isochronous Organization of Zebra Finch Song Rhythm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norton, Philipp; Scharff, Constance

    2016-01-01

    The human capacity for speech and vocal music depends on vocal imitation. Songbirds, in contrast to non-human primates, share this vocal production learning with humans. The process through which birds and humans learn many of their vocalizations as well as the underlying neural system exhibit a number of striking parallels and have been widely researched. In contrast, rhythm, a key feature of language, and music, has received surprisingly little attention in songbirds. Investigating temporal periodicity in bird song has the potential to inform the relationship between neural mechanisms and behavioral output and can also provide insight into the biology and evolution of musicality. Here we present a method to analyze birdsong for an underlying rhythmic regularity. Using the intervals from one note onset to the next as input, we found for each bird an isochronous sequence of time stamps, a “signal-derived pulse,” or pulseS, of which a subset aligned with all note onsets of the bird's song. Fourier analysis corroborated these results. To determine whether this finding was just a byproduct of the duration of notes and intervals typical for zebra finches but not dependent on the individual duration of elements and the sequence in which they are sung, we compared natural songs to models of artificial songs. Note onsets of natural song deviated from the pulseS significantly less than those of artificial songs with randomized note and gap durations. Thus, male zebra finch song has the regularity required for a listener to extract a perceived pulse (pulseP), as yet untested. Strikingly, in our study, pulsesS that best fit note onsets often also coincided with the transitions between sub-note elements within complex notes, corresponding to neuromuscular gestures. Gesture durations often equaled one or more pulseS periods. This suggests that gesture duration constitutes the basic element of the temporal hierarchy of zebra finch song rhythm, an interesting parallel to the

  20. Muscle activation patterns and motor anatomy of Anna's hummingbirds Calypte anna and zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donovan, Edward R; Keeney, Brooke K; Kung, Eric; Makan, Sirish; Wild, J Martin; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2013-01-01

    Flying animals exhibit profound transformations in anatomy, physiology, and neural architecture. Although much is known about adaptations in the avian skeleton and musculature, less is known about neuroanatomy and motor unit integration for bird flight. Hummingbirds are among the most maneuverable and specialized of vertebrate fliers, and two unusual neuromuscular features have been previously reported: (1) the pectoralis major has a unique distribution pattern of motor end plates (MEPs) compared with all other birds and (2) electromyograms (EMGs) from the hummingbird's pectoral muscles, the pectoralis major and the supracoracoideus, show activation bursts composed of one or a few spikes that appear to have a very consistent pattern. Here, we place these findings in a broader context by comparing the MEPs, EMGs, and organization of the spinal motor neuron pools of flight muscles of Anna's hummingbird Calypte anna, zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, and, for MEPs, several other species. The previously shown MEP pattern of the hummingbird pectoralis major is not shared with its closest taxonomic relative, the swift, and appears to be unique to hummingbirds. MEP arrangements in previously undocumented wing muscles show patterns that differ somewhat from other avian muscles. In the parallel-fibered strap muscles of the shoulder, MEP patterns appear to relate to muscle length, with the smallest muscles having fibers that span the entire muscle. MEP patterns in pennate distal wing muscles were the same regardless of size, with tightly clustered bands in the middle portion of the muscle, not evenly distributed bands over the muscle's entire length. Muscle activations were examined during slow forward flight in both species, during hovering in hummingbirds, and during slow ascents in zebra finches. The EMG bursts of a wing muscle, the pronator superficialis, were highly variable in peak number, size, and distribution across wingbeats for both species. In the pectoralis

  1. First Report of Coccidiosis and Gizzard Erosion in a Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata of Iran

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    Moini, M.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Coccidiosis and gizzard erosion are rare conditions in cage bird. A male zebra finch was presented with a history of watery diarrhea, anorexia, ruffled feathers, weight loss, and lethargy and died finally. Gross necropsy revealed small areas of erosions and hemorrhages on the gizzard wall. The intestine was oedematous. The spleen appeared pale and small. The testes were asymmetric.Histologically, necrosis of mucosal layer with infiltration of inflammatory cells observed in cecum. Eimeria stages were detected in the enterocytes. In Gizzard, hemorrhage and ulceration of mucosal layer with infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells in to the underlying mucosa were seen. In hepatic tissue, mild focal necrosis with mononuclear cells infiltration was seen. The disease was diagnosed as coccidiosis and gizzard erosion.

  2. Patterns of call communication between group-housed zebra finches change during the breeding cycle.

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    Gill, Lisa F; Goymann, Wolfgang; Ter Maat, Andries; Gahr, Manfred

    2015-10-06

    Vocal signals such as calls play a crucial role for survival and successful reproduction, especially in group-living animals. However, call interactions and call dynamics within groups remain largely unexplored because their relation to relevant contexts or life-history stages could not be studied with individual-level resolution. Using on-bird microphone transmitters, we recorded the vocalisations of individual zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) behaving freely in social groups, while females and males previously unknown to each other passed through different stages of the breeding cycle. As birds formed pairs and shifted their reproductive status, their call repertoire composition changed. The recordings revealed that calls occurred non-randomly in fine-tuned vocal interactions and decreased within groups while pair-specific patterns emerged. Call-type combinations of vocal interactions changed within pairs and were associated with successful egg-laying, highlighting a potential fitness relevance of calling dynamics in communication systems.

  3. Form of Dietary Methylmercury does not Affect Total Mercury Accumulation in the Tissues of Zebra Finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Whitney, Margaret; Rice, Gary W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-07-01

    Exposure to mercury in humans, other mammals, and birds is primarily dietary, with mercury in the methylated form and bound to cysteine in the tissues of prey items. Yet dosing studies are generally carried out using methylmercury chloride. Here we tested whether the accumulation of total mercury in zebra finch blood, egg, muscle, liver, kidney or brain differed depending on whether dietary mercury was complexed with chloride or cysteine. We found no effect of form of mercury on tissue accumulation. Some previous studies have found lower accumulation of mercury in tissues of animals fed complexed mercury. Much remains to be understood about what happens to ingested mercury once it enters the intestines, but our results suggest that dietary studies using methylmercury chloride in birds will produce similar tissue accumulation levels to those using methylmercury cysteine.

  4. Exposure to dietary mercury alters cognition and behavior of zebra finches.

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    Swaddle, John P; Diehl, Tessa R; Taylor, Capwell E; Fanaee, Aaron S; Benson, Jessica L; Huckstep, Neil R; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-04-01

    Environmental stressors can negatively affect avian cognitive abilities, potentially reducing fitness, for example by altering response to predators, display to mates, or memory of locations of food. We expand on current knowledge by investigating the effects of dietary mercury, a ubiquitous environmental pollutant and known neurotoxin, on avian cognition. Zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata were dosed for their entire lives with sub-lethal levels of mercury, at the environmentally relevant dose of 1.2 parts per million. In our first study, we compared the dosed birds with controls of the same age using tests of three cognitive abilities: spatial memory, inhibitory control, and color association. In the spatial memory assay, birds were tested on their ability to learn and remember the location of hidden food in their cage. The inhibitory control assay measured their ability to ignore visible but inaccessible food in favor of a learned behavior that provided the same reward. Finally, the color association task tested each bird's ability to associate a specific color with the presence of hidden food. Dietary mercury negatively affected spatial memory ability but not inhibitory control or color association. Our second study focused on three behavioral assays not tied to a specific skill or problem-solving: activity level, neophobia, and social dominance. Zebra finches exposed to dietary mercury throughout their lives were subordinate to, and more active than, control birds. We found no evidence that mercury exposure influenced our metric of neophobia. Together, these results suggest that sub-lethal exposure to environmental mercury selectively harms neurological pathways that control different cognitive abilities, with complex effects on behavior and fitness.

  5. Dopamine physiology in the basal ganglia of male zebra finches during social stimulation.

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    Ihle, Eva C; van der Hart, Marieke; Jongsma, Minke; Tecott, Larry H; Doupe, Allison J

    2015-06-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine (DA) is involved in altering neural activity and gene expression in a zebra finch cortical-basal ganglia circuit specialized for singing, upon the shift between solitary singing and singing as a part of courtship. Our objective here was to sample changes in the extracellular concentrations of DA in Area X of adult and juvenile birds, to test the hypothesis that DA levels would change similarly during presentation of a socially salient stimulus in both age groups. We used microdialysis to sample the extracellular milieu of Area X in awake, behaving adult and juvenile male zebra finches, and analysed the dialysate using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrochemical detection. The extracellular levels of DA in Area X increased significantly during both female presentation to adult males and tutor presentation to juvenile males. DA levels were not correlated with the time spent singing. We also reverse-dialysed Area X with pharmacologic agents that act either on DA systems directly or on norepinephrine, and found that all of these agents significantly increased DA levels (3- to 10-fold) in Area X. These findings suggest that changes in extracellular DA levels can be stimulated similarly by very different social contexts (courtship and interaction with tutor), and influenced potently by dopaminergic and noradrenergic drugs. These results raise the possibility that the arousal level or attentional state of the subject (rather than singing behavior) is the common feature eliciting changes in extracellular DA concentration. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience published by Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Diurnal and Reproductive Stage-Dependent Variation of Parental Behaviour in Captive Zebra Finches.

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    Boglárka Morvai

    Full Text Available Parental care plays a key role in ontogeny, life-history trade-offs, sexual selection and intra-familial conflict. Studies focusing on understanding causes and consequences of variation in parental effort need to quantify parental behaviour accurately. The applied methods are, however, diverse even for a given species and type of parental effort, and rarely validated for accuracy. Here we focus on variability of parental behaviour from a methodological perspective to investigate the effect of different samplings on various estimates of parental effort. We used nest box cameras in a captive breeding population of zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata, a widely used model system of sexual selection, intra-familial dynamics and parental care. We investigated diurnal and reproductive stage-dependent variation in parental effort (including incubation, brooding, nest attendance and number of feedings based on 12h and 3h continuous video-recordings taken at various reproductive stages. We then investigated whether shorter (1h sampling periods provided comparable estimates of overall parental effort and division of labour to those of longer (3h sampling periods. Our study confirmed female-biased division of labour during incubation, and showed that the difference between female and male effort diminishes with advancing reproductive stage. We found individually consistent parental behaviours within given days of incubation and nestling provisioning. Furthermore, parental behaviour was consistent over the different stages of incubation, however, only female brooding was consistent over nestling provisioning. Parental effort during incubation did not predict parental effort during nestling provisioning. Our analyses revealed that 1h sampling may be influenced heavily by stochastic and diurnal variation. We suggest using a single longer sampling period (3h may provide a consistent and accurate estimate for overall parental effort during incubation in zebra

  7. An experimental test of condition-dependent male and female mate choice in zebra finches.

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    Marie-Jeanne Holveck

    Full Text Available In mating systems with social monogamy and obligatory bi-parental care, such as found in many songbird species, male and female fitness depends on the combined parental investment. Hence, both sexes should gain from choosing mates in high rather than low condition. However, theory also predicts that an individual's phenotypic quality can constrain choice, if low condition individuals cannot afford prolonged search efforts and/or face higher risk of rejection. In systems with mutual mate choice, the interaction between male and female condition should thus be a better predictor of choice than either factor in isolation. To address this prediction experimentally, we manipulated male and female condition and subsequently tested male and female mating preferences in zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata, a songbird species with mutual mate choice and obligatory bi-parental care. We experimentally altered phenotypic quality by manipulating the brood size in which the birds were reared. Patterns of association for high- or low-condition individuals of the opposite sex differed for male and female focal birds when tested in an 8-way choice arena. Females showed repeatable condition-assortative preferences for males matching their own rearing background. Male preferences were also repeatable, but not predicted by their own or females' rearing background. In combination with a brief review of the literature on condition-dependent mate choice in the zebra finch we discuss whether the observed sex differences and between-studies differences arise because males and females differ in context sensitivity (e.g. male-male competition suppressing male mating preferences, sampling strategies or susceptibility to rearing conditions (e.g. sex-specific effect on physiology. While a picture emerges that juvenile and current state indeed affect preferences, the development and context-dependency of mutual state-dependent mate choice warrants further study.

  8. Mercury alters initiation and construction of nests by zebra finches, but not incubation or provisioning behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Stephanie Y; Hopkins, William A; Cristol, Daniel A

    2017-11-01

    Mercury is an environmental contaminant that impairs avian reproduction, but the behavioral and physiological mechanisms underlying this effect are poorly understood. The objective of this study was to determine whether lifetime dietary exposure to mercury (1.2 µg/g wet weight in food) impacted avian parental behaviors, and how this might influence reproductive success. To distinguish between the direct effects of mercury on parents and offspring, we created four treatment groups of captive-bred zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), with control and mercury-exposed adults raising cross-fostered control or mercury-exposed eggs (from maternal transfer). Control parents were 23% more likely to fledge young than parents exposed to mercury, regardless of egg exposure. Mercury-exposed parents were less likely to initiate nests than controls and spent less time constructing them. Nests of mercury-exposed pairs were lighter, possibly due to an impaired ability to bring nest material into the nestbox. However, nest temperature, incubation behavior, and provisioning rate did not differ between parental treatments. Unexposed control eggs tended to have shorter incubation periods and higher hatching success than mercury-exposed eggs, but there was no effect of parental exposure on these parameters. We accidentally discovered that parent finches transfer some of their body burden of mercury to nestlings during feeding through secretion in the crop. These results suggest that, in mercury-exposed songbirds, pre-laying parental behaviors, combined with direct exposure of embryos to mercury, likely contribute to reduced reproductive success and should be considered in future studies. Further research is warranted in field settings, where parents are exposed to greater environmental challenges and subtle behavioral differences might have more serious consequences than were observed in captivity.

  9. Myosin heavy-chain isoforms in the flight and leg muscles of hummingbirds and zebra finches.

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    Velten, Brandy P; Welch, Kenneth C

    2014-06-01

    Myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoform complement is intimately related to a muscle's contractile properties, yet relatively little is known about avian MHC isoforms or how they may vary with fiber type and/or the contractile properties of a muscle. The rapid shortening of muscles necessary to power flight at the high wingbeat frequencies of ruby-throated hummingbirds and zebra finches (25-60 Hz), along with the varied morphology and use of the hummingbird hindlimb, provides a unique opportunity to understand how contractile and morphological properties of avian muscle may be reflected in MHC expression. Isoforms of the hummingbird and zebra finch flight and hindlimb muscles were electrophoretically separated and compared with those of other avian species representing different contractile properties and fiber types. The flight muscles of the study species operate at drastically different contraction rates and are composed of different histochemically defined fiber types, yet each exhibited the same, single MHC isoform corresponding to the chicken adult fast isoform. Thus, despite quantitative differences in the contractile demands of flight muscles across species, this isoform appears necessary for meeting the performance demands of avian powered flight. Variation in flight muscle contractile performance across species may be due to differences in the structural composition of this conserved isoform and/or variation within other mechanically linked proteins. The leg muscles were more varied in their MHC isoform composition across both muscles and species. The disparity in hindlimb MHC expression between hummingbirds and the other species highlights previously observed differences in fiber type composition and thrust production during take-off. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  10. The relationship between plants used to sustain finches (Fringillidae) and uses for human medicine in southeast Spain

    OpenAIRE

    Belda, Antonio; Peiro, Victoriano; Seva Román, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract fin...

  11. Housing conditions and sacrifice protocol affect neural activity and vocal behavior in a songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elie, Julie Estelle; Soula, Hédi Antoine; Trouvé, Colette; Mathevon, Nicolas; Vignal, Clémentine

    2015-12-01

    Individual cages represent a widely used housing condition in laboratories. This isolation represents an impoverished physical and social environment in gregarious animals. It prevents animals from socializing, even when auditory and visual contact is maintained. Zebra finches are colonial songbirds that are widely used as laboratory animals for the study of vocal communication from brain to behavior. In this study, we investigated the effect of single housing on the vocal behavior and the brain activity of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): male birds housed in individual cages were compared to freely interacting male birds housed as a social group in a communal cage. We focused on the activity of septo-hypothalamic regions of the "social behavior network" (SBN), a set of limbic regions involved in several social behaviors in vertebrates. The activity of four structures of the SBN (BSTm, medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; POM, medial preoptic area; lateral septum; ventromedial hypothalamus) and one associated region (paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus) was assessed using immunoreactive nuclei density of the immediate early gene Zenk (egr-1). We further assessed the identity of active cell populations by labeling vasotocin (VT). Brain activity was related to behavioral activities of birds like physical and vocal interactions. We showed that individual housing modifies vocal exchanges between birds compared to communal housing. This is of particular importance in the zebra finch, a model species for the study of vocal communication. In addition, a protocol that daily removes one or two birds from the group affects differently male zebra finches depending of their housing conditions: while communally-housed males changed their vocal output, brains of individually housed males show increased Zenk labeling in non-VT cells of the BSTm and enhanced correlation of Zenk-revealed activity between the studied structures. These results show that

  12. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge. PMID:22611428

  13. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Belda

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses; thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158, and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (=158. Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  14. The Relationship between Plants Used to Sustain Finches (Fringillidae) and Uses for Human Medicine in Southeast Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belda, Antonio; Peiró, Victoriano; Seva, Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    We analyzed plants that are traditionally used by wild bird hunters and breeders to capture and promote captive breeding of Fringillidae (finches or songbirds) in the province of Alicante, Spain. The majority of plants used in songbird breeding have medicinal properties in traditional human medicine (48 different uses); thus, another main goal was to show their relationships with human medical uses. We compiled a list of 97 plant species from 31 botanical families that are used to attract finches and identified 11 different use categories for these plants in finch keeping. The most common uses were for trapping birds and as a source of food for birds in captivity. Cannabis sativa has the greatest cultural importance index (CI = 1.158), and Phalaris canariensis (annual canary grass or alpist) was the most common species used to attract Fringillidae and was used by all informants (n = 158). Most of the 97 species are wild plants and mainly belong to the families Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae, and Rosaceae and also have medicinal properties for humans. In the study area, the intensification of agriculture and abandonment of traditional management practices have caused the population of many songbirds to decline, as well as the loss of popular ethnographic knowledge.

  15. Is the rate of metabolic ageing and survival determined by Basal metabolic rate in the zebra finch?

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    Bernt Rønning

    Full Text Available The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR, as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (P<0.1. Thus, the effect of BMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.

  16. Is the rate of metabolic ageing and survival determined by Basal metabolic rate in the zebra finch?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rønning, Bernt; Moe, Børge; Berntsen, Henrik H; Noreen, Elin; Bech, Claus

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between energy metabolism and ageing is of great interest because aerobic metabolism is the primary source of reactive oxygen species which is believed to be of major importance in the ageing process. We conducted a longitudinal study on captive zebra finches where we tested the effect of age on basal metabolic rate (BMR), as well as the effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing (decline in BMR with age) and survival. Basal metabolic rate declined with age in both sexes after controlling for the effect of body mass, indicating a loss of functionality with age. This loss of functionality could be due to accumulated oxidative damage, believed to increase with increasing metabolic rate, c.f. the free radical theory of ageing. If so, we would expect the rate of metabolic ageing to increase and survival to decrease with increasing BMR. However, we found no effect of BMR on the rate of metabolic ageing. Furthermore, survival was not affected by BMR in the males. In female zebra finches there was a tendency for survival to decrease with increasing BMR, but the effect did not reach significance (PBMR on the rate of functional deterioration with age, if any, was not strong enough to influence neither the rate of metabolic ageing nor survival in the zebra finches.

  17. Cannabinoid exposure during zebra finch sensorimotor vocal learning persistently alters expression of endocannabinoid signaling elements and acute agonist responsiveness

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    Lichtman Aron H

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previously we have found that cannabinoid treatment of zebra finches during sensorimotor stages of vocal development alters song patterns produced in adulthood. Such persistently altered behavior must be attributable to changes in physiological substrates responsible for song. We are currently working to identify the nature of such physiological changes, and to understand how they contribute to altered vocal learning. One possibility is that developmental agonist exposure results in altered expression of elements of endocannabinoid signaling systems. To test this hypothesis we have studied effects of the potent cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN on endocannabinoid levels and densities of CB1 immunostaining in zebra finch brain. Results We found that late postnatal WIN treatment caused a long-term global disregulation of both levels of the endocannabinoid, 2-arachidonyl glycerol (2-AG and densities of CB1 immunostaining across brain regions, while repeated cannabinoid treatment in adults produced few long-term changes in the endogenous cannabinoid system. Conclusions Our findings indicate that the zebra finch endocannabinoid system is particularly sensitive to exogenous agonist exposure during the critical period of song learning and provide insight into susceptible brain areas.

  18. Naris deformation in Darwin’s finches: Experimental and historical evidence for a post-1960s arrival of the parasite Philornis downsi

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    Sonia Kleindorfer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The rate of evolution depends on the strength of selection, which may be particularly strong for introduced parasites and their naive hosts. Because natural selection acts on phenotypes and because parasites can alter host phenotype, one fruitful starting point to measure the impact of novel pathogens is to quantify parasite-induced changes to host phenotype. Our study system is Darwin’s finches on Floreana Island, Galápagos Archipelago, and the virulent fly larvae of Philornis downsi that were first discovered in Darwin’s finch nests in 1997. We use an experimental approach and measure host phenotype in parasitized and parasite-free chicks in Darwin’s small ground finch (Geospiza fuliginosa. Beak size did not differ between the two treatment groups, but naris size was 106% larger in parasitized chicks (∼3.3 mm versus parasite-free chicks (∼1.6 mm. To test if P. downsi was present prior to the 1960s, we compared naris size in historical (1899–1962 and contemporary birds (2004–2014 on Floreana Island in small ground finches (G. fuliginosa and medium tree finches (Camarhynchus pauper. Contemporary Darwin’s finches had significantly larger naris size (including extreme deformation, whereas historical naris size was both smaller and less variable. These findings provide the first longitudinal analysis for the extent of P. downsi-induced change to host naris size and show that Darwin’s finches, prior to the 1960s, were not malformed. Thus natural selection on altered host phenotype as a consequence of P. downsi parasitism appears to be contemporary and novel.

  19. The evolution of sexual size dimorphism in the house finch. V. Maternal effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V; Beck, Michelle L; Hill, Geoffrey E; Whittingham, Linda A

    2003-02-01

    The phenotype of a mother and the environment that she provides might differentially affect the phenotypes of her sons and daughters, leading to change in sexual size dimorphism. Whereas these maternal effects should evolve to accommodate the adaptations of both the maternal and offspring generations, the mechanisms by which this is accomplished are rarely known. In birds, females adjust the onset of incubation (coincident with the first egg or after all eggs are laid) in response to the environment during breeding, and thus, indirectly, determine the duration of offspring growth. In the two house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) populations that breed at the extremes of the species' distribution (Montana and Alabama), females experience highly distinct climatic conditions during nesting. We show that in close association with these conditions, females adjusted jointly the onset of incubation and the sequence in which they produced male and female eggs and consequently modified the growth of sons and daughters. The onset of incubation in newly breeding females closely tracked ambient temperature in a pattern consistent with the maintenance of egg viability. Because of the very different climates in Montana and Alabama, females in these populations showed the opposite patterns of seasonal change in incubation onset and the opposite sex bias in egg-laying order. In females with breeding experience, incubation onset and sex bias in laying order were closely linked regardless of the climatic variation. In nests in which incubation began with the onset of egg laying, the first-laid eggs were mostly females in Montana, but mostly males in Alabama. Because in both populations, male, but not female, embryos grew faster when exposed to longer incubation, the sex-bias produced highly divergent sizes of male and female juveniles between the populations. Overall, the compensatory interaction between the onset of incubation and the sex-biased laying order achieved a compromise

  20. Metabolic and respiratory costs of increasing song amplitude in zebra finches.

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    Sue Anne Zollinger

    Full Text Available Bird song is a widely used model in the study of animal communication and sexual selection, and several song features have been shown to reflect the quality of the singer. Recent studies have demonstrated that song amplitude may be an honest signal of current condition in males and that females prefer high amplitude songs. In addition, birds raise the amplitude of their songs to communicate in noisy environments. Although it is generally assumed that louder song should be more costly to produce, there has been little empirical evidence to support this assumption. We tested the assumption by measuring oxygen consumption and respiratory patterns in adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata singing at different amplitudes in different background noise conditions. As background noise levels increased, birds significantly increased the sound pressure level of their songs. We found that louder songs required significantly greater subsyringeal air sac pressure than quieter songs. Though increased pressure is probably achieved by increasing respiratory muscle activity, these increases did not correlate with measurable increases in oxygen consumption. In addition, we found that oxygen consumption increased in higher background noise, independent of singing behaviour. This observation supports previous research in mammals showing that high levels of environmental noise can induce physiological stress responses. While our study did not find that increasing vocal amplitude increased metabolic costs, further research is needed to determine whether there are other non-metabolic costs of singing louder or costs associated with chronic noise exposure.

  1. Evolution of female carotenoid coloration by sexual constraint in Carduelis finches

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    Cardoso Gonçalo C

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Females often express the same ornaments as males to a similar or lesser degree. Female ornaments can be adaptive, but little is known regarding their origins and mode of evolution. Current utility does not imply evolutionary causation, and therefore it is possible that female ornamentation evolved due to selection on females, as a correlated response to selection on males (sexual constraint, or a combination of both. We tested these ideas simulating simple models for the evolution of male and female correlated traits, and compared their predictions against the coloration of finches in the genus Carduelis. Results For carotenoid-based ornamental coloration, a model of sexual constraint on females fits the Carduelis data well. The two alternative models (sexual constraint on males, and mutual constraint were rejected as causing the similarities in carotenoid coloration between males and females. For melanin coloration, the correlation between the sexes was weaker, indicating that males and females evolved independently to a greater extent. Conclusions This indicates that sexual constraint on females was an important mechanism for the evolution of ornamental carotenoid coloration in females, but less so for melanin coloration. This does not mean that female carotenoid coloration is non-adaptive or maladaptive, because sexual dichromatism could evolve if it were maladaptive. It suggests, however, that most evolution of female carotenoid coloration was male-driven and, when adaptive, may not be an adaptation stricto sensu.

  2. Maternal antibody transfer can lead to suppression of humoral immunity in developing zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Loren; Grindstaff, Jennifer L

    2014-01-01

    Maternally transferred antibodies have been documented in a wide range of taxa and are thought to adaptively provide protection against parasites and pathogens while the offspring immune system is developing. In most birds, transfer occurs when females deposit immunoglobulin Y into the egg yolk, and it is proportional to the amount in the female's plasma. Maternal antibodies can provide short-term passive protection as well as specific and nonspecific immunological priming, but high levels of maternal antibody can result in suppression of the offspring's humoral immune response. We injected adult female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with one of two antigens (lipopolysaccharide [LPS] or keyhole limpet hemocyanin [KLH]) or a control and then injected offspring with LPS, KLH, or a control on days 5 and 28 posthatch to examine the impact of maternally transferred antibodies on the ontogeny of the offspring's humoral immune system. We found that offspring of females exposed to KLH had elevated levels of KLH-reactive antibody over the first 17-28 days posthatch but reduced KLH-specific antibody production between days 28 and 36. We also found that offspring exposed to either LPS or KLH exhibited reduced total antibody levels, compared to offspring that received a control injection. These results indicate that high levels of maternal antibodies or antigen exposure during development can have negative repercussions on short-term antibody production and may have long-term fitness repercussions for the offspring.

  3. Large-scale synchronized activity during vocal deviance detection in the zebra finch auditory forebrain.

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    Beckers, Gabriël J L; Gahr, Manfred

    2012-08-01

    Auditory systems bias responses to sounds that are unexpected on the basis of recent stimulus history, a phenomenon that has been widely studied using sequences of unmodulated tones (mismatch negativity; stimulus-specific adaptation). Such a paradigm, however, does not directly reflect problems that neural systems normally solve for adaptive behavior. We recorded multiunit responses in the caudomedial auditory forebrain of anesthetized zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) at 32 sites simultaneously, to contact calls that recur probabilistically at a rate that is used in communication. Neurons in secondary, but not primary, auditory areas respond preferentially to calls when they are unexpected (deviant) compared with the same calls when they are expected (standard). This response bias is predominantly due to sites more often not responding to standard events than to deviant events. When two call stimuli alternate between standard and deviant roles, most sites exhibit a response bias to deviant events of both stimuli. This suggests that biases are not based on a use-dependent decrease in response strength but involve a more complex mechanism that is sensitive to auditory deviance per se. Furthermore, between many secondary sites, responses are tightly synchronized, a phenomenon that is driven by internal neuronal interactions rather than by the timing of stimulus acoustic features. We hypothesize that this deviance-sensitive, internally synchronized network of neurons is involved in the involuntary capturing of attention by unexpected and behaviorally potentially relevant events in natural auditory scenes.

  4. Increased fat catabolism sustains water balance during fasting in zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutkowska, Joanna; Sadowska, Edyta T; Cichoń, Mariusz; Bauchinger, Ulf

    2016-09-01

    Patterns of physiological flexibility in response to fasting are well established, but much less is known about the contribution of water deprivation to the observed effects. We investigated body composition and energy and water budget in three groups of zebra finches: birds with access to food and water, food-deprived birds having access to drinking water and food-and-water-deprived birds. Animals were not stimulated by elevated energy expenditure and they were in thermoneutral conditions; thus, based on previous studies, water balance of fasting birds was expected to be maintained by increased catabolism of proteins. In contrast to this expectation, we found that access to water did not prevent reduction of proteinaceous tissue, but it saved fat reserves of the fasting birds. Thus, water balance of birds fasting without access to water seemed to be maintained by elevated fat catabolism, which generated 6 times more metabolic water compared with that in birds that had access to water. Therefore, we revise currently established views and propose fat to serve as the primary source for metabolic water production. Previously assumed increased protein breakdown for maintenance of water budget would occur if fat stores were depleted or if fat catabolism reached its upper limits due to high energy demands. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Mitochondria-targeted molecules determine the redness of the zebra finch bill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantarero, Alejandro; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2017-10-01

    The evolution and production mechanisms of red carotenoid-based ornaments in animals are poorly understood. Recently, it has been suggested that enzymes transforming yellow carotenoids to red pigments (ketolases) in animal cells may be positioned in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM) intimately linked to the electron transport chain. These enzymes may mostly synthesize coenzyme Q 10 (coQ 10 ), a key redox-cycler antioxidant molecularly similar to yellow carotenoids. It has been hypothesized that this shared pathway favours the evolution of red traits as sexually selected individual quality indices by revealing a well-adjusted oxidative metabolism. We administered mitochondria-targeted molecules to male zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) measuring their bill redness, a trait produced by transforming yellow carotenoids. One molecule included coQ 10 (mitoquinone mesylate, MitoQ) and the other one (decyl-triphenylphosphonium; dTPP) has the same structure without the coQ 10 aromatic ring. At the highest dose, the bill colour of MitoQ and dTPP birds strongly differed: MitoQ birds' bills were redder and dTPP birds showed paler bills even compared to birds injected with saline only. These results suggest that ketolases are indeed placed at the IMM and that coQ 10 antioxidant properties may improve their efficiency. The implications for evolutionary theories of sexual signalling are discussed. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Heterologous Synapsis and Crossover Suppression in Heterozygotes for a Pericentric Inversion in the Zebra Finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Priore, Lucía; Pigozzi, María I

    2015-01-01

    In the zebra finch, 2 alternative morphs regarding centromere position were described for chromosome 6. This polymorphism was interpreted to be the result of a pericentric inversion, but other causes of the centromere repositioning were not ruled out. We used immunofluorescence localization to examine the distribution of MLH1 foci on synaptonemal complexes to test the prediction that pericentric inversions cause synaptic irregularities and/or crossover suppression in heterozygotes. We found complete suppression of crossing over in the region involved in the rearrangement in male and female heterozygotes. In contrast, the same region showed high levels of crossing over in homozygotes for the acrocentric form of this chromosome. No inversion loops or synaptic irregularities were detected along bivalent 6 in heterozygotes suggesting that heterologous pairing is achieved during zygotene or early pachytene. Altogether these findings strongly indicate that the polymorphic chromosome 6 originated by a pericentric inversion. Since inversions are common rearrangements in karyotypic evolution in birds, it seems likely that early heterologous pairing could help to fix these rearrangements, preventing crossing overs in heterozygotes and their deleterious effects on fertility. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. Impulsiveness does not prevent cooperation from emerging but reduces its occurrence: an experiment with zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chia, Camille; Dubois, Frédérique

    2017-08-17

    Reciprocal altruism, the most probable mechanism for cooperation among unrelated individuals, can be modelled as a Prisoner's Dilemma. This game predicts that cooperation should evolve whenever the players, who expect to interact repeatedly, make choices contingent to their partner's behaviour. Experimental evidence, however, indicates that reciprocity is rare among animals. One reason for this would be that animals are very impulsive compared to humans. Several studies have reported that temporal discounting (that is, strong preferences for immediate benefits) has indeed a negative impact on the occurrence of cooperation. Yet, the role of impulsive action, another facet of impulsiveness, remains unexplored. Here, we conducted a laboratory experiment in which male and female zebra finches (Taenyopigia guttata) were paired assortatively with respect to their level of impulsive action and then played an alternating Prisoner's Dilemma. As anticipated, we found that self-controlled pairs achieved high levels of cooperation by using a Generous Tit-for-Tat strategy, while impulsive birds that cooperated at a lower level, chose to cooperate with a fixed probability. If the inability of impulsive individuals to use reactive strategies are due to their reduced working memory capacity, thus our findings might contribute to explaining interspecific differences in cooperative behaviour.

  8. Early-Life Stress Triggers Juvenile Zebra Finches to Switch Social Learning Strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farine, Damien R; Spencer, Karen A; Boogert, Neeltje J

    2015-08-17

    Stress during early life can cause disease and cognitive impairment in humans and non-humans alike. However, stress and other environmental factors can also program developmental pathways. We investigate whether differential exposure to developmental stress can drive divergent social learning strategies between siblings. In many species, juveniles acquire essential foraging skills by copying others: they can copy peers (horizontal social learning), learn from their parents (vertical social learning), or learn from other adults (oblique social learning). However, whether juveniles' learning strategies are condition dependent largely remains a mystery. We found that juvenile zebra finches living in flocks socially learned novel foraging skills exclusively from adults. By experimentally manipulating developmental stress, we further show that social learning targets are phenotypically plastic. While control juveniles learned foraging skills from their parents, their siblings, exposed as nestlings to experimentally elevated stress hormone levels, learned exclusively from unrelated adults. Thus, early-life conditions triggered individuals to switch strategies from vertical to oblique social learning. This switch could arise from stress-induced differences in developmental rate, cognitive and physical state, or the use of stress as an environmental cue. Acquisition of alternative social learning strategies may impact juveniles' fit to their environment and ultimately change their developmental trajectories. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Blocking estradiol synthesis affects memory for songs in auditory forebrain of male zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Kathleen M; Lu, Kai; Vicario, David S

    2012-11-14

    Estradiol (E2) has recently been shown to modulate sensory processing in an auditory area of the songbird forebrain, the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM). When a bird hears conspecific song, E2 increases locally in NCM, where neurons express both the aromatase enzyme that synthesizes E2 from precursors and estrogen receptors. Auditory responses in NCM show a form of neuronal memory: repeated playback of the unique learned vocalizations of conspecific individuals induces long-lasting stimulus-specific adaptation of neural responses to each vocalization. To test the role of E2 in this auditory memory, we treated adult male zebra finches (n=16) with either the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD) or saline for 8 days. We then exposed them to 'training' songs and, 6 h later, recorded multiunit auditory responses with an array of 16 microelectrodes in NCM. Adaptation rates (a measure of stimulus-specific adaptation) to playbacks of training and novel songs were computed, using established methods, to provide a measure of neuronal memory. Recordings from the FAD-treated birds showed a significantly reduced memory for the training songs compared with saline-treated controls, whereas auditory processing for novel songs did not differ between treatment groups. In addition, FAD did not change the response bias in favor of conspecific over heterospecific song stimuli. Our results show that E2 depletion affects the neuronal memory for vocalizations in songbird NCM, and suggest that E2 plays a necessary role in auditory processing and memory for communication signals.

  10. VizieR Online Data Catalog: URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) (Finch+, 2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, C. T.; Zacharias, N.

    2016-04-01

    The URAT Parallax Catalog (UPC) consists of 112177 parallaxes. The catalog utilizes all Northern Hemisphere epoch data from the United States Naval Observatory (USNO) Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT). This data includes all individual exposures from April 2012 to June 2015 giving a larger epoch baseline for determining parallaxes over the 2-year span of the First USNO Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog (URAT1) (Zacharias et al., 2015, Cat. I/329) published data. The URAT parallax pipeline is custom code that utilizes routines from (Jao, C.-W., 2004, PhD thesis Georgia Stat), the JPL DE405 ephemeris and Green's parallax factor (Green, R.M., 1985, Spherical Astronomy) for determining parallaxes from a weighted least-squares reduction. The relative parallaxes have been corrected to absolute by using the distance color relation described in (Finch et. al, 2014, Cat. J/AJ/148/119) to determine a mean distance of all UCAC4 reference stars (R=8-16 mag) used in the astrometric reductions. Presented here are all significant parallaxes from the URAT Northern Hemisphere epoch data comprising of 2 groups: a) URAT parallax results for stars with prior published parallax, and b) first time trigonometric parallaxes as obtained from URAT data of stars without prior published parallax. Note, more stringent selection criteria have been applied to the second group than the first in order to keep the rate of false detections low. For specific information about the astrometric reductions please see 'The First U.S. Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope Catalog' published paper (Zacharias et al., 2015AJ....150..101Z, Cat. I/329). For complete details regarding the parallax pipeline please see 'Parallax Results From URAT Epoch Data' (Finch and Zacharias, 2016, AJ, in press). This catalog gives all positions on the ICRS at Epoch J2014.0; it covers the magnitude range 6.56 to 16.93 in the URAT band-pass, with an average parallax precision of 4.3mas for stars having no known

  11. Experimental Infection and Clearance of Coccidian Parasites in Mercury-Exposed Zebra Finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebers Smith, Jessica H; Cristol, Daniel A; Swaddle, John P

    2018-01-01

    Mercury is a globally distributed, persistent environmental contaminant that affects the health of many taxa. It can suppress the immune system, which often plays a role in defense against parasites. However, there have been few investigations of whether mercury affects the abilities of animals to resist parasitic infection. Here, we exposed zebra finches to a lifetime dietary exposure of methylmercury (1.2 μg/g wet weight) and experimentally infected them with coccidian parasites to examine the effect of methylmercury exposure on parasitic infection. The mercury-exposed birds did not have an altered immune response (heterophil:lymphocyte ratio) nor a reduced ability to clear the infection. However, mercury-exposed birds tended to have higher parasite loads at the time when we expected the greatest immune response (2-3 weeks post-infection). Although mercury did not greatly influence the infection-course of this parasite in captivity, responses may be more accentuated in the wild where birds face additional immune challenges.

  12. Personality is Tightly Coupled to Vasopressin-Oxytocin Neuron Activity in a Gregarious Finch

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey M Kelly

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Nonapeptides of the vasopressin-oxytocin family modulate social processes differentially in relation to sex, species, behavioral phenotype, and human personality. However, the mechanistic bases for these differences are not well understood, in part because multidimensional personality structures remain to be described for common laboratory animals. Based upon principal components (PC analysis of extensive behavioral measures in social and nonsocial contexts, we now describe three complex dimensions of phenotype (personality for the zebra finch, a species that exhibits a human-like social organization that is based upon biparental nuclear families embedded within larger social groups. These dimensions can be characterized as Social competence/dominance, Gregariousness, and Anxiety. We further demonstrate that the phasic Fos response of nonapeptide neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis are significantly predicted by personality, sex, social context, and their interactions. Furthermore the behavioral PCs are each associated with a distinct suite of neural PCs that incorporate both peptide cell numbers and their phasic Fos responses, indicating that personality is reflected in complex patterns of neuromodulation arising from multiple peptide cell groups. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying sex- and phenotype-specific modulation of behavior, and should be broadly relevant, given that vasopressin-oxytocin systems are strongly conserved across vertebrates.

  13. Experimental demonstration of a parasite-induced immune response in wild birds: Darwin's finches and introduced nest flies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koop, Jennifer A H; Owen, Jeb P; Knutie, Sarah A; Aguilar, Maria A; Clayton, Dale H

    2013-08-01

    Ecological immunology aims to explain variation among hosts in the strength and efficacy of immunological defenses. However, a shortcoming has been the failure to link host immune responses to actual parasites under natural conditions. Here, we present one of the first experimental demonstrations of a parasite-induced immune response in a wild bird population. The recently introduced ectoparasitic nest fly Philornis downsi severely impacts the fitness of Darwin's finches and other land birds in the Galápagos Islands. An earlier study showed that female medium ground finches (Geospiza fortis) had P. downsi-binding antibodies correlating with presumed variation in fly exposure over time. In the current study, we experimentally manipulated fly abundance to test whether the fly does, in fact, cause changes in antibody levels. We manipulated P. downsi abundance in nests and quantified P. downsi-binding antibody levels of medium ground finch mothers, fathers, and nestlings. We also quantified host behaviors, such as preening, which can integrate with antibody-mediated defenses against ectoparasites. Philornis downsi-binding antibody levels were significantly higher among mothers at parasitized nests, compared to mothers at (fumigated) nonparasitized nests. Mothers with higher antibody levels tended to have fewer parasites in their nests, suggesting that antibodies play a role in defense against parasites. Mothers showed no behavioral changes that would enhance the effectiveness of the immune response. Neither adult males, nor nestlings, had P. downsi-induced immunological or behavioral responses that would enhance defense against flies. None of the parasitized nests fledged any offspring, despite the immune response by mothers. Thus, this study shows that, while the immune response of mothers appeared to be defensive, it was not sufficient to rescue current reproductive fitness. This study further shows the importance of testing the fitness consequences of immune

  14. Effect of laying sequence on egg mercury in captive zebra finches: an interpretation considering individual variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Langbo; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Cristol, Daniel A

    2015-08-01

    Bird eggs are used widely as noninvasive bioindicators for environmental mercury availability. Previous studies, however, have found varying relationships between laying sequence and egg mercury concentrations. Some studies have reported that the mercury concentration was higher in first-laid eggs or declined across the laying sequence, whereas in other studies mercury concentration was not related to egg order. Approximately 300 eggs (61 clutches) were collected from captive zebra finches dosed throughout their reproductive lives with methylmercury (0.3 μg/g, 0.6 μg/g, 1.2 μg/g, or 2.4 μg/g wet wt in diet); the total mercury concentration (mean ± standard deviation [SD] dry wt basis) of their eggs was 7.03 ± 1.38 μg/g, 14.15 ± 2.52 μg/g, 26.85 ± 5.85 μg/g, and 49.76 ± 10.37 μg/g, respectively (equivalent to fresh wt egg mercury concentrations of 1.24 μg/g, 2.50 μg/g, 4.74 μg/g, and 8.79 μg/g). The authors observed a significant decrease in the mercury concentration of successive eggs when compared with the first egg and notable variation between clutches within treatments. The mercury level of individual females within and among treatments did not alter this relationship. Based on the results, sampling of a single egg in each clutch from any position in the laying sequence is sufficient for purposes of population risk assessment, but it is not recommended as a proxy for individual female exposure or as an estimate of average mercury level within the clutch. © 2015 SETAC.

  15. Effects of acute corticosterone treatment on partner preferences in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPlante, Kimberly A; Huremovic, Enida; Tomaszycki, Michelle L

    2014-04-01

    Stress alters physiology and behavior across species. Most research on the effects of stress on behavior uses chronic stressors, and most are correlational. The effects of acute stressors on physiology and behavior have been mixed. Here, we use zebra finches, a highly gregarious species that forms long-term pair bonds, to test the effects of an acute corticosterone (CORT) on opposite-sex partner preferences over a same-sex individual or a group (the latter is a highly appealing option). We had two competing hypotheses. First, we predicted that acute CORT would alter preferences for the opposite sex bird in both conditions in both sexes. However, since there is a sex difference in the effects of CORT on partner preferences in voles, these effects may be more pronounced in males than in females. To test our hypotheses, we administered 2 doses of CORT (10μg and 20μg) or vehicle (control) using a repeated measures design. In the male vs. female test, there was a significant Sex by Treatment interaction, such that in males, 10μg CORT increased preferences for a female over the male compared to when these same males were treated with saline at baseline. There were no effects of treatment in females. In the opposite-sex vs. group condition, there was an overall effect of Treatment, such that the 10μg dose increased preference for the opposite-sex individual over both saline treatments, regardless of sex. These findings further our understanding of the effects of an acute stressor on sexual partner preferences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Oxytocin mechanisms of stress response and aggression in a territorial finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodson, James L; Schrock, Sara E; Kingsbury, Marcy A

    2015-03-15

    All jawed vertebrates produce a form of oxytocin (OT), and in birds, mammals and fish, OT is strongly associated with affiliation. However, remarkably few data are available on the roles of OT and OT receptors (OTRs) in aggression. Because OT and OTRs exert anxiolytic effects in mammals (although context-specific) and modulate stress coping, we hypothesized that OTR activation is at least permissive for territorial aggression. Indeed, we find that peripheral injections of an OTR antagonist significantly reduce male-male and female-female aggression in a highly territorial finch. This finding suggests the hypothesis that aggression is accompanied by an increase in transcriptional (Fos) activity of OT neurons, but contrary to this hypothesis, we find that dominant male residents do not elevate OT-Fos colocalization following an aggressive encounter and that OT-Fos colocalization in the preoptic area and hypothalamus correlates negatively with aggression. Furthermore, OT-Fos colocalization increases dramatically in males that were aggressively subjugated or pursued by a human hand, likely reflecting OT modulation of stress response. Because OT inhibits the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, the antagonist effects may reflect the fact that aggressive birds and mammals tend to be hyporesponsive to stress. If this is correct, then 1) the observed effects of OTR antagonism may reflect alterations in corticosterone feedback to the brain rather than centrally mediated OTR effects, and 2) the negative correlation between OT-Fos colocalization and aggression may reflect the fact that more aggressive, stress hyporesponsive males require less inhibition of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis than do less aggressive males, despite the requirement of that inhibition for the normal display of aggression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Sexual imprinting on continuous variation: do female zebra finches prefer or avoid unfamiliar sons of their foster parents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schielzeth, H; Burger, C; Bolund, E; Forstmeier, W

    2008-09-01

    Sexual imprinting on discrete variation that serves the identification of species, morphs or sexes is well documented. By contrast, sexual imprinting on continuous variation leading to individual differences in mating preferences within a single species, morph and sex has been studied only once (in humans). We measured female preferences in a captive population of wild-type zebra finches. Individual cross-fostering ensured that all subjects grew up with unrelated foster parents and nest mates. Females from two cohorts (N = 113) were given a simultaneous choice between (two or four) unfamiliar males, one of which was a genetic son of their foster parents (SFP). We found no significant overall preference for the SFP (combined effect size d = 0.14 +/- 0.15). Additionally, we tested if foster parent traits could potentially explain between-female variation in preferences. However, neither the effectiveness of cooperation between the parents nor male contribution to parental care affected female preferences for the son of the foster father. We conclude that at least in zebra finches sexual imprinting is not a major source of between-individual variation in mating preferences.

  18. The influence of inherited plumage colour morph on morphometric traits and breeding investment in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Melanin-based plumage polymorphism occurs in many wild bird populations and has been linked to fitness variation in several species. These fitness differences often arise as a consequence of variation in traits such as behaviour, immune responsiveness, body size and reproductive investment. However, few studies have controlled for genetic differences between colour morphs that could potentially generate artefactual associations between plumage colouration and trait variation. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model system in order to evaluate whether life-history traits such as adult body condition and reproductive investment could be influenced by plumage morph. To maximise any potential differences, we selected wild-type and white plumage morphs, which differ maximally in their extent of melanisation, while using a controlled three-generation breeding design to homogenise the genetic background. We found that F2 adults with white plumage colouration were on average lighter and had poorer body condition than wild-type F2 birds. However, they appeared to compensate for this by reproducing earlier and producing heavier eggs relative to their own body mass. Our study thus reveals differences in morphological and life history traits that could be relevant to fitness variation, although further studies will be required to evaluate fitness effects under natural conditions as well as to characterise any potential fitness costs of compensatory strategies in white zebra finches.

  19. Growth and atrophy of neurons labeled at their birth in a song nucleus of the zebra finch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konishi, M.; Akutagawa, E.

    1990-01-01

    The robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA) is one of the forebrain nuclei that control song production in birds. In the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), this nucleus contains more and larger neurons in the male than in the female. A single injection of tritiated thymidine into the egg on the 6th or 7th day of incubation resulted in labeling of many RA neurons with tritium. The size of tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them did not differ between the sexes at 15 days after hatching. In the adult brain, tritium-labeled neurons and the tissue volume containing them were much larger in the male than in the female. Also, tritium-labeled RA neurons were large in females which received an implant of estrogen immediately after hatching. The gender differences in the neuron size and nuclear volume of the zebra finch RA are, therefore, due not to the replacement of old neurons by new ones during development but to the growth and atrophy of neurons born before hatching. Similarly, the masculinizing effects of estrogen on the female RA are due not to neuronal replacement but to the prevention of atrophy and promotion of growth in preexisting neurons

  20. Sex Differences in Brain Thyroid Hormone Levels during Early Post-Hatching Development in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    Shinji Yamaguchi

    Full Text Available Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3 peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4 in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.

  1. Sex Differences in Brain Thyroid Hormone Levels during Early Post-Hatching Development in Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Shinji; Hayase, Shin; Aoki, Naoya; Takehara, Akihiko; Ishigohoka, Jun; Matsushima, Toshiya; Wada, Kazuhiro; Homma, Koichi J

    2017-01-01

    Thyroid hormones are closely linked to the hatching process in precocial birds. Previously, we showed that thyroid hormones in brain had a strong impact on filial imprinting, an early learning behavior in newly hatched chicks; brain 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) peaks around hatching and imprinting training induces additional T3 release, thus, extending the sensitive period for imprinting and enabling subsequent other learning. On the other hand, blood thyroid hormone levels have been reported to increase gradually after hatching in altricial species, but it remains unknown how the brain thyroid hormone levels change during post-hatching development of altricial birds. Here, we determined the changes in serum and brain thyroid hormone levels of a passerine songbird species, the zebra finch using radioimmunoassay. In the serum, we found a gradual increase in thyroid hormone levels during post-hatching development, as well as differences between male and female finches. In the brain, there was clear surge in the hormone levels during development in males and females coinciding with the time of fledging, but the onset of the surge of thyroxine (T4) in males preceded that of females, whereas the onset of the surge of T3 in males succeeded that of females. These findings provide a basis for understanding the functions of thyroid hormones during early development and learning in altricial birds.

  2. Developmental exposure to a brominated flame retardant: An assessment of effects on physiology, growth, and reproduction in a songbird, the zebra finch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eng, Margaret L.; Williams, Tony D.; Elliott, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Mixtures of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been widely used as additive flame retardants, and BDE-99 is one of the most predominant congeners found in the environment. BDE-99 has been reported in avian samples worldwide, yet knowledge of its toxicity to birds is minimal. We assessed the short- and long-term effects of nestling exposure to environmentally relevant levels of BDE-99 in a model passerine, the zebra finch. Early exposure to BDE-99 did not affect hematocrit, oxidative stress, or thyroid hormones in either the juvenile or adult stages, and there were no effects on chick growth or survival. BDE-99 exposure caused a dose-dependent delay in timing of reproduction, but there were no other effects on reproductive success. In zebra finches, endpoints related to reproductive behavior appear to be the most sensitive to BDE-99. However, passerines overall appear to be less sensitive than birds of prey or mammals to PBDE exposure. -- Highlights: •We exposed zebra finches nestlings to BDE-99 and raised them to sexual maturity. •Found no effects on physiology, chick growth, survival, or reproductive success. •As BDE-99 dose increased, laying interval increased. •Passerine birds possibly less sensitive to BDE-99 than mammals or other bird species. -- Nestling exposure to BDE-99 affects timing of breeding in zebra finches, but overall passerines appear to be less sensitive to PBDEs than mammals or other bird species

  3. Cannabinoid mitigation of neuronal morphological change important to development and learning: insight from a zebra finch model of psychopharmacology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderstrom, Ken; Gilbert, Marcoita T

    2013-03-19

    Normal CNS development proceeds through late-postnatal stages of adolescent development. The activity-dependence of this development underscores the significance of CNS-active drug exposure prior to completion of brain maturation. Exogenous modulation of signaling important in regulating normal development is of particular concern. This mini-review presents a summary of the accumulated behavioral, physiological and biochemical evidence supporting such a key regulatory role for endocannabinoid signaling during late-postnatal CNS development. Our focus is on the data obtained using a unique zebra finch model of developmental psychopharmacology. This animal has allowed investigation of neuronal morphological effects essential to establishment and maintenance of neural circuitry, including processes related to synaptogenesis and dendritic spine dynamics. Altered neurophysiology that follows exogenous cannabinoid exposure during adolescent development has the potential to persistently alter cognition, learning and memory. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Eimeria pileata n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler (Passeriformes: Emberizidae) in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano-Vargas, Edgardo; Medina, Juan Pablo; Salgado-Miranda, Celene; García-Conejo, Michele; Galindo-Sánchez, Karla Patrícia; Janczur, Mariusz Krzysztof; Berto, Bruno Pereira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2015-11-01

    A new coccidian species (Protista: Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) collected from the rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler in the Nevado de Toluca Natural Protected Area, Mexico. Oöcysts of Eimeria pileata n. sp. are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 16.5 × 14.1 μm, with a smooth, bi-layered wall. Micropyle and oöcyst residuum are absent, but a polar granule is present. Sporocysts are ellipsoidal, measuring on average 9.0 × 5.4 μm. Stieda and sub-Stieda bodies are both present. A sporocyst residuum is present as a compact mass of granules. This is the third description of an eimeriid coccidian infecting passerines.

  5. Divergence in problem-solving skills is associated with differential expression of glutamate receptors in wild finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Audet, Jean-Nicolas; Kayello, Lima; Ducatez, Simon; Perillo, Sara; Cauchard, Laure; Howard, Jason T; O'Connell, Lauren A; Jarvis, Erich D; Lefebvre, Louis

    2018-03-01

    Problem solving and innovation are key components of intelligence. We compare wild-caught individuals from two species that are close relatives of Darwin's finches, the innovative Loxigilla barbadensis , and its most closely related species in Barbados, the conservative Tiaris bicolor . We found an all-or-none difference in the problem-solving capacity of the two species. Brain RNA sequencing analyses revealed interspecific differences in genes related to neuronal and synaptic plasticity in the intrapallial neural populations (mesopallium and nidopallium), especially in the nidopallium caudolaterale, a structure functionally analogous to the mammalian prefrontal cortex. At a finer scale, we discovered robust differences in glutamate receptor expression between the species. In particular, the GRIN2B/GRIN2A ratio, known to correlate with synaptic plasticity, was higher in the innovative L. barbadensis . These findings suggest that divergence in avian intelligence is associated with similar neuronal mechanisms to that of mammals, including humans.

  6. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Legge

    Full Text Available Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2 with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires. Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food, different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty, and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation. Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign

  7. A Landscape-Scale, Applied Fire Management Experiment Promotes Recovery of a Population of the Threatened Gouldian Finch, Erythrura gouldiae, in Australia's Tropical Savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, Sarah; Garnett, Stephen; Maute, Kim; Heathcote, Joanne; Murphy, Steve; Woinarski, John C Z; Astheimer, Lee

    2015-01-01

    Fire is an integral part of savanna ecology and changes in fire patterns are linked to biodiversity loss in savannas worldwide. In Australia, changed fire regimes are implicated in the contemporary declines of small mammals, riparian species, obligate-seeding plants and grass seed-eating birds. Translating this knowledge into management to recover threatened species has proved elusive. We report here on a landscape-scale experiment carried out by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) on Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary in northwest Australia. The experiment was designed to understand the response of a key savanna bird guild to fire, and to use that information to manage fire with the aim of recovering a threatened species population. We compared condition indices among three seed-eating bird species--one endangered (Gouldian finch) and two non-threatened (long-tailed finch and double-barred finch)--from two large areas (> 2,830 km2) with initial contrasting fire regimes ('extreme': frequent, extensive, intense fire; versus 'benign': less frequent, smaller, lower intensity fires). Populations of all three species living with the extreme fire regime had condition indices that differed from their counterparts living with the benign fire regime, including higher haematocrit levels in some seasons (suggesting higher levels of activity required to find food), different seasonal haematocrit profiles, higher fat scores in the early wet season (suggesting greater food uncertainty), and then lower muscle scores later in the wet season (suggesting prolonged food deprivation). Gouldian finches also showed seasonally increasing stress hormone concentrations with the extreme fire regime. Cumulatively, these patterns indicated greater nutritional stress over many months for seed-eating birds exposed to extreme fire regimes. We tested these relationships by monitoring finch condition over the following years, as AWC implemented fire management to produce the 'benign' fire regime

  8. The role of stimulus-specific adaptation in songbird syntax generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittenbach, Jason D.

    Sequential behaviors are an important part of the behavioral repertoire of many animals and understanding how neural circuits encode and generate such sequences is a long-standing question in neuroscience. The Bengalese finch is a useful model system for studying variable action sequences. The songs of these birds consist of well-defined vocal elements (syllables) that are strung together to form sequences. The ordering of the syllables within the sequence is variable but not random - it shows complex statistical patterns (syntax). While often thought to be first-order, the syntax of the Bengalese finch song shows a distinct form of history dependence where the probability of repeating a syllable decreases as a function of the number of repetitions that have already occurred. Current models of the Bengalese finch song control circuitry offer no explanation for this repetition adaptation. The Bengalese finch also uses real-time auditory feedback to control the song syntax. Considering these facts, we hypothesize that repetition adaptation in the Bengalese finch syntax may be caused by stimulus-specific adaptation - a wide-spread phenomenon where neural responses to a specific stimulus become weaker with repeated presentations of the same stimulus. We begin by proposing a computational model for the song-control circuit where an auditory feedback signal that undergoes stimulus-specific adaptation helps drive repeated syllables. We show that this model does indeed capture the repetition adaptation observed in Bengalese finch syntax; along the way, we derive a new probabilistic model for repetition adaptation. Key predictions of our model are analyzed in light of experiments performed by collaborators. Next we extend the model in order to predict how the syntax will change as a function of brain temperature. These predictions are compared to experimental results from collaborators where portions of the Bengalese finch song circuit are cooled in awake and behaving birds

  9. Short- and long-term consequences of early developmental conditions: a case study on wild and domesticated zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschirren, B; Rutstein, A N; Postma, E; Mariette, M; Griffith, S C

    2009-02-01

    Divergent selection pressures among populations can result not only in significant differentiation in morphology, physiology and behaviour, but also in how these traits are related to each other, thereby driving the processes of local adaptation and speciation. In the Australian zebra finch, we investigated whether domesticated stock, bred in captivity over tens of generations, differ in their response to a life-history manipulation, compared to birds taken directly from the wild. In a 'common aviary' experiment, we thereto experimentally manipulated the environmental conditions experienced by nestlings early in life by means of a brood size manipulation, and subsequently assessed its short- and long-term consequences on growth, ornamentation, immune function and reproduction. As expected, we found that early environmental conditions had a marked effect on both short- and long-term morphological and life-history traits in all birds. However, although there were pronounced differences between wild and domesticated birds with respect to the absolute expression of many of these traits, which are indicative of the different selection pressures wild and domesticated birds were exposed to in the recent past, manipulated rearing conditions affected morphology and ornamentation of wild and domesticated finches in a very similar way. This suggests that despite significant differentiation between wild and domesticated birds, selection has not altered the relationships among traits. Thus, life-history strategies and investment trade-offs may be relatively stable and not easily altered by selection. This is a reassuring finding in the light of the widespread use of domesticated birds in studies of life-history evolution and sexual selection, and suggests that adaptive explanations may be legitimate when referring to captive bird studies.

  10. The effects of dietary carotenoid supplementation and retinal carotenoid accumulation on vision-mediated foraging in the house finch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B Toomey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: For many bird species, vision is the primary sensory modality used to locate and assess food items. The health and spectral sensitivities of the avian visual system are influenced by diet-derived carotenoid pigments that accumulate in the retina. Among wild House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus, we have found that retinal carotenoid accumulation varies significantly among individuals and is related to dietary carotenoid intake. If diet-induced changes in retinal carotenoid accumulation alter spectral sensitivity, then they have the potential to affect visually mediated foraging performance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In two experiments, we measured foraging performance of house finches with dietarily manipulated retinal carotenoid levels. We tested each bird's ability to extract visually contrasting food items from a matrix of inedible distracters under high-contrast (full and dimmer low-contrast (red-filtered lighting conditions. In experiment one, zeaxanthin-supplemented birds had significantly increased retinal carotenoid levels, but declined in foraging performance in the high-contrast condition relative to astaxanthin-supplemented birds that showed no change in retinal carotenoid accumulation. In experiments one and two combined, we found that retinal carotenoid concentrations predicted relative foraging performance in the low- vs. high-contrast light conditions in a curvilinear pattern. Performance was positively correlated with retinal carotenoid accumulation among birds with low to medium levels of accumulation (∼0.5-1.5 µg/retina, but declined among birds with very high levels (>2.0 µg/retina. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that carotenoid-mediated spectral filtering enhances color discrimination, but that this improvement is traded off against a reduction in sensitivity that can compromise visual discrimination. Thus, retinal carotenoid levels may be optimized to meet the visual demands of specific

  11. Food, stress, and reproduction: short-term fasting alters endocrine physiology and reproductive behavior in the zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn, Sharon E; Stamplis, Teresa B; Barrington, William T; Weida, Nicholas; Hudak, Casey A

    2010-07-01

    Stress is thought to be a potent suppressor of reproduction. However, the vast majority of studies focus on the relationship between chronic stress and reproductive suppression, despite the fact that chronic stress is rare in the wild. We investigated the role of fasting in altering acute stress physiology, reproductive physiology, and reproductive behavior of male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with several goals in mind. First, we wanted to determine if acute fasting could stimulate an increase in plasma corticosterone and a decrease in corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) and testosterone. We then investigated whether fasting could alter expression of undirected song and courtship behavior. After subjecting males to fasting periods ranging from 1 to 10h, we collected plasma to measure corticosterone, CBG, and testosterone. We found that plasma corticosterone was elevated, and testosterone was decreased after 4, 6, and 10h of fasting periods compared with samples collected from the same males during nonfasted (control) periods. CBG was lower than control levels only after 10h of fasting. We also found that, coincident with these endocrine changes, males sang less and courted females less vigorously following short-term fasting relative to control conditions. Our data demonstrate that acute fasting resulted in rapid changes in endocrine physiology consistent with hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activation and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis deactivation. Fasting also inhibited reproductive behavior. We suggest that zebra finches exhibit physiological and behavioral flexibility that makes them an excellent model system for studying interactions of acute stress and reproduction. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Ecologically-relevant exposure to methylmercury during early development does not affect adult phenotype in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morran, Spencer A M; Elliott, John E; Young, Jessica M L; Eng, Margaret L; Basu, Niladri; Williams, Tony D

    2018-04-01

    Methylmercury causes behavioural and reproductive effects in adult mammals via early developmental exposure. Similar studies in birds are limited and mostly focussed on aquatic systems, but recent work has reported high blood mercury concentrations in terrestrial, passerine songbirds. We used the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) as a model to explore the long-term effects of early developmental exposure to methylmercury exposure. Chicks were dosed orally with either the vehicle control, 0.0315 µg Hg/g bw/day, or 0.075 µg Hg/g bw/day throughout the nestling period (days 1-21 post-hatching). We then measured (a) short-term effects on growth, development, and behaviour (time to self-feeding, neophobia) until 30 days of age (independence), and (b) long-term effects on courtship behaviour and song (males) and reproduction (females) once methylmercury-exposed birds reached sexual maturity (90 days post-hatching). High methylmercury treated birds had mean blood mercury of 0.734 ± 0.163 µg/g at 30 days post-hatching, within the range of values reported for field-sampled songbirds at mercury contaminated sites. However, there were no short-term effects of treatment on growth, development, and behaviour of chicks, and no long-term effects on courtship behaviour and song in males or reproductive performance in females. These results suggest that the nestling period is not a critical window for sensitivity to mercury exposure in zebra finches. Growing nestlings can reduce blood mercury levels through somatic growth and depuration into newly growing feathers, and as a result they might actually be less susceptible compared to adult birds receiving the same level of exposure.

  13. Estradiol induces region-specific inhibition of ZENK but does not affect the behavioral preference for tutored song in adult female zebra finches

    OpenAIRE

    Svec, Lace A.; Wade, Juli

    2008-01-01

    Female zebra finches display a preference for songs of males raised with tutors compared to those from males without tutors. To determine howthis behavioral preference may bemediated by auditory perception sites, the social behavior network, and the dopamine reward system, and whether responses of these regions are affected by estradiol, females were treated with hormone or blank implants.An auditory choice test was conducted followed by exposure to tutored or untutored song or silence to exa...

  14. Variability of IN measured with the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch during wintertime 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Bundke, Ulrich; Curtius, Joachim

    2014-05-01

    Ice nuclei (IN) are an important component of the atmospheric aerosol. Despite their low concentrations in the atmosphere, they have an influence on the formation of ice crystals in mixed-phase clouds and therefore on precipitation. The Fast Ice Nucleus CHamber (FINCH)1, a counter for ice nucleating particles developed at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main allows long-term measurements of the IN number concentration. In FINCH the ice activation of the aerosol particles is achieved by mixing air flows with different temperature and humidity. The IN number concentration measurements at different meteorological conditions during the INUIT-JFJ campaign at the high altitude research station Jungfraujoch in Switzerland are presented and its variability are discussed. The good operational performance of the instrument allowed up to 10 hours of continuous measurements. Acknowledgment: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation, DFG Grant: BU 1432/3-2 BU 1432/4-1 in the framework of INUIT (FOR 1525) and SPP 1294 HALO. 1- Bundke, U., Nillius, B., Jaenicke, R., Wetter, T., Klein, H., and Bingemer, H. (2008). The fast ice nucleus chamber finch. Atmospheric Research, 90:180-186.

  15. Exploring sex differences in the adult zebra finch brain: In vivo diffusion tensor imaging and ex vivo super-resolution track density imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamaide, Julie; De Groof, Geert; Van Steenkiste, Gwendolyn; Jeurissen, Ben; Van Audekerke, Johan; Naeyaert, Maarten; Van Ruijssevelt, Lisbeth; Cornil, Charlotte; Sijbers, Jan; Verhoye, Marleen; Van der Linden, Annemie

    2017-02-01

    Zebra finches are an excellent model to study the process of vocal learning, a complex socially-learned tool of communication that forms the basis of spoken human language. So far, structural investigation of the zebra finch brain has been performed ex vivo using invasive methods such as histology. These methods are highly specific, however, they strongly interfere with performing whole-brain analyses and exclude longitudinal studies aimed at establishing causal correlations between neuroplastic events and specific behavioral performances. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to implement an in vivo Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) protocol sensitive enough to detect structural sex differences in the adult zebra finch brain. Voxel-wise comparison of male and female DTI parameter maps shows clear differences in several components of the song control system (i.e. Area X surroundings, the high vocal center (HVC) and the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN)), which corroborate previous findings and are in line with the clear behavioral difference as only males sing. Furthermore, to obtain additional insights into the 3-dimensional organization of the zebra finch brain and clarify findings obtained by the in vivo study, ex vivo DTI data of the male and female brain were acquired as well, using a recently established super-resolution reconstruction (SRR) imaging strategy. Interestingly, the SRR-DTI approach led to a marked reduction in acquisition time without interfering with the (spatial and angular) resolution and SNR which enabled to acquire a data set characterized by a 78μm isotropic resolution including 90 diffusion gradient directions within 44h of scanning time. Based on the reconstructed SRR-DTI maps, whole brain probabilistic Track Density Imaging (TDI) was performed for the purpose of super resolved track density imaging, further pushing the resolution up to 40μm isotropic. The DTI and TDI maps realized atlas

  16. Stressful dieting: nutritional conditions but not compensatory growth elevate corticosterone levels in zebra finch nestlings and fledglings.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariam Honarmand

    Full Text Available Unfavourable conditions throughout the period of parental care can severely affect growth, reproductive performance, and survival. Yet, individuals may be affected differently, depending on the developmental period during which constraints are experienced. Here we tested whether the nestling phase compared to the fledgling phase is more susceptible to nutritional stress by considering biometry, physiology, sexually selected male ornaments and survival using zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model species. As nestlings (day 0-17 or fledglings (day 17-35, subjects were raised either on low or high quality food. A low quality diet resulted in significantly elevated baseline corticosterone titres in both nestlings and fledglings. Subjects showed substantial compensatory growth after they had experienced low quality food as nestlings but catch-up growth did neither lead to elevated baseline corticosterone titres nor did we detect long term effects on biometry, male cheek patch, or survival. The compensation for temporally unfavourable environmental conditions reflects substantial phenotypic plasticity and the results show that costs of catch-up growth were not mediated via corticosterone as a physiological correlate of allostatic load. These findings provide new insights into the mechanisms and plasticity with which animals respond to periods of constraints during development as they may occur in a mistiming of breeding.

  17. MC1R genotype and plumage colouration in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata: population structure generates artefactual associations.

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    Joseph I Hoffman

    Full Text Available Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding region in 162 zebra finches comprising 79 wild type and 83 white individuals from five stocks. Allelic counts differed significantly between the two plumage morphs at multiple segregating sites, but these were mostly synonymous. To provide a control, the birds were genotyped at eight microsatellites and subjected to Bayesian cluster analysis, revealing two distinct groups. We therefore crossed wild type with white individuals and backcrossed the F1s with white birds. No significant associations were detected in the resulting offspring, suggesting that our original findings were a byproduct of genome-wide divergence. Our results are consistent with a previous study that found no association between MC1R polymorphism and plumage coloration in leaf warblers. They also contribute towards a growing body of evidence suggesting that care should be taken to quantify, and where necessary control for, population structure in association studies.

  18. Systemic Amyloidosis and Testicular Interstitial Tumor in a Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata: a Case Report in Iran

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    Mehrnoush Moeini Jazani

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Systemic amyloidosis and testicular interstitial tumor are rare conditions in birds and this is the first report in Iran. A male zebra finch was presented because of white diarrhea, anorexia, loss of weight and lethargy. At necropsy, the small intestine was edematous and congested. The spleen appeared pale. The liver was large, firm and brown. One testis was cystic and neoplastic and the remaining testis was atrophic. Histologically, amyloid materials were seen predominantly in the liver and spleen. Hyaline substances were deposited in the Disse space and in the media of blood vessels of the liver. In spleen, marked deposits thickened the basement membranes of blood vessels and extended into the surrounding parenchyma. In addition, there were lesser degrees of amyloidosis in other organs such as small intestine. Amyloid stained positively with Congo red. In testis, there was encapsulated unilateral interstitial cell tumor, with multiple foci of necrosis and hemorrhage. The neoplastic cells were round to polyhedral, with small round hyperchromatic nuclei and finely vacuolated cytoplasm. Signs of feminization were observed. The cause of amyloidosis in this study was not conclusively identified.

  19. Encoding of naturalistic optic flow by motion sensitive neurons of nucleus rotundus in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

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    Dennis eEckmeier

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The retinal image changes that occur during locomotion, the optic flow, carry information about self-motion and the three-dimensional structure of the environment. Especially fast moving animals with only little binocular vision depend on these depth cues for manoeuvring. They actively control their gaze to facilitate perception of depth based on cues in the optic flow. In the visual system of birds, nucleus rotundus neurons were originally found to respond to object motion but not to background motion. However, when background and object were both moving, responses increase the more the direction and velocity of object and background motion on the retina differed. These properties may play a role in representing depth cues in the optic flow. We therefore investigated how neurons in nucleus rotundus respond to optic flow that contains depth cues. We presented simplified and naturalistic optic flow on a panoramic LED display while recording from single neurons in nucleus rotundus of anaesthetized zebra finches. Unlike most studies on motion vision in birds, our stimuli included depth information.We found extensive responses of motion selective neurons in nucleus rotundus to optic flow stimuli. Simplified stimuli revealed preferences for optic flow reflecting translational or rotational self-motion. Naturalistic optic flow stimuli elicited complex response modulations, but the presence of objects was signalled by only few neurons. The neurons that did respond to objects in the optic flow, however, show interesting properties.

  20. Sexually dimorphic expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 in the song control nuclei of juvenile zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2006-12-18

    Studies evaluating the role of steroid hormones in sexual differentiation of the zebra finch song system have produced complicated and at times paradoxical results, and indicate that additional factors may be critical. Therefore, in a previous study we initiated a screen for differential gene expression in the telencephalon of developing male and female zebra finches. The use of cDNA microarrays and real-time quantitative PCR revealed increased expression of the genes encoding ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37) in the male forebrain as a whole. Preliminary in situ hybridization data then indicated enhanced expression of both these genes in song control regions. Two experiments in the present study quantified the mRNA expression. The first utilized 25-day-old male and female zebra finches. The second compared a separate set of juveniles to adults of both sexes to both re-confirm enhanced expression in juvenile males and to determine whether it is limited to developing animals. In Experiment 1, males exhibited increased expression of both RPL17 and RPL37 compared to females in Area X, the robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and the ventral ventricular zone (VVZ), which may provide neurons to Area X. Experiment 2 replicated the sexually dimorphic expression of these genes at post-hatching day 25, and documented that the sex differences are eliminated or greatly reduced in adults. The results are consistent with the idea that these ribosomal proteins may influence sexual differentiation of Area X and RA, potentially regulating the genesis and/or survival of neurons.

  1. Genoarchitecture of the extended amygdala in zebra finch, and expression of FoxP2 in cell corridors of different genetic profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicario, Alba; Mendoza, Ezequiel; Abellán, Antonio; Scharff, Constance; Medina, Loreta

    2017-01-01

    We used a battery of genes encoding transcription factors (Pax6, Islet1, Nkx2.1, Lhx6, Lhx5, Lhx9, FoxP2) and neuropeptides to study the extended amygdala in developing zebra finches. We identified different components of the central extended amygdala comparable to those found in mice and chickens, including the intercalated amygdalar cells, the central amygdala, and the lateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Many cells likely originate in the dorsal striatal domain, ventral striatal domain, or the pallidal domain, as is the case in mice and chickens. Moreover, a cell subpopulation of the central extended amygdala appears to originate in the prethalamic eminence. As a general principle, these different cells with specific genetic profiles and embryonic origin form separate or partially intermingled cell corridors along the extended amygdala, which may be involved in different functional pathways. In addition, we identified the medial amygdala of the zebra finch. Like in the chickens and mice, it is located in the subpallium and is rich in cells of pallido-preoptic origin, containing minor subpopulations of immigrant cells from the ventral pallium, alar hypothalamus and prethalamic eminence. We also proposed that the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis is composed of several parallel cell corridors with different genetic profile and embryonic origin: preoptic, pallidal, hypothalamic, and prethalamic. Several of these cell corridors with distinct origin express FoxP2, a transcription factor implicated in synaptic plasticity. Our results pave the way for studies using zebra finches to understand the neural basis of social behavior, in which the extended amygdala is involved.

  2. The combined effect of lead exposure and high or low dietary calcium on health and immunocompetence in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snoeijs, Tinne; Dauwe, Tom; Pinxten, Rianne; Darras, Veerle M.; Arckens, Lutgarde; Eens, Marcel

    2005-01-01

    The widespread contamination by lead and the acidification of the environment ask for a better understanding of the effects of the interaction between lead and calcium on various aspects of health, including disease defense, in wildlife. Here, we investigated the effects of chronic exposure to sublethal levels of lead, combined with high or low dietary calcium, on health and several components of immunity in male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Thirty individuals of each sex were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, a group exposed to lead with an additional calcium source (i.e. grit) and a group exposed to lead without access to an extra calcium source. Lead was administered as lead acetate via the drinking water (20 ppm) for 38 consecutive days. Exposure to lead increased significantly the concentrations of lead in kidney and bone in individuals of the experimental groups. Furthermore, the lack of a calcium supplement significantly enhanced the uptake of lead. Lead did not affect health indices such as hematocrit, spleen mass and body mass, nor the adrenal stress response. Cell-mediated immune responsiveness, assessed by a delayed-type hypersensitivity response to phytohaemagglutinin, was also not affected by lead exposure. On the other hand, lead exposure did significantly suppress the secondary humoral immune response towards sheep red blood cells in females, but only when the additional calcium source was not available. This effect was not found in males, suggesting sexual differences in susceptibility of humoral immunity to lead treatment in zebra finches. - Male and female finches may respond to lead differently

  3. Food for Song: Expression of C-Fos and ZENK in the Zebra Finch Song Nuclei during Food Aversion Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokarev, Kirill; Tiunova, Anna

    2011-01-01

    Background Specialized neural pathways, the song system, are required for acquiring, producing, and perceiving learned avian vocalizations. Birds that do not learn to produce their vocalizations lack telencephalic song system components. It is not known whether the song system forebrain regions are exclusively evolved for song or whether they also process information not related to song that might reflect their ‘evolutionary history’. Methodology/Principal Findings To address this question we monitored the induction of two immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-Fos and ZENK in various regions of the song system in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in response to an aversive food learning paradigm; this involves the association of a food item with a noxious stimulus that affects the oropharyngeal-esophageal cavity and tongue, causing subsequent avoidance of that food item. The motor response results in beak and head movements but not vocalizations. IEGs have been extensively used to map neuro-molecular correlates of song motor production and auditory processing. As previously reported, neurons in two pallial vocal motor regions, HVC and RA, expressed IEGs after singing. Surprisingly, c-Fos was induced equivalently also after food aversion learning in the absence of singing. The density of c-Fos positive neurons was significantly higher than that of birds in control conditions. This was not the case in two other pallial song nuclei important for vocal plasticity, LMAN and Area X, although singing did induce IEGs in these structures, as reported previously. Conclusions/Significance Our results are consistent with the possibility that some of the song nuclei may participate in non-vocal learning and the populations of neurons involved in the two tasks show partial overlap. These findings underscore the previously advanced notion that the specialized forebrain pre-motor nuclei controlling song evolved from circuits involved in behaviors related to feeding. PMID:21695176

  4. Male foraging efficiency, but not male problem-solving performance, influences female mating preferences in zebra finches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véronique Chantal

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Experimental evidence suggests that females would prefer males with better cognitive abilities as mates. However, little is known about the traits reflecting enhanced cognitive skills on which females might base their mate-choice decisions. In particular, it has been suggested that male foraging performance could be used as an indicator of cognitive capacity, but convincing evidence for this hypothesis is still lacking. In the present study, we investigated whether female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata modify their mating preferences after having observed the performance of males on a problem-solving task. Specifically, we measured the females’ preferences between two males once before and once after an observation period, during which their initially preferred male was incapable of solving the task contrary to their initially less-preferred male. We also conducted a control treatment to test whether the shift in female preferences was attributable to differences between the two stimulus males in their foraging efficiency. Finally, we assessed each bird’s performance in a color associative task to check whether females can discriminate among males based on their learning speed. We found that females significantly increased their preference toward the most efficient male in both treatments. Yet, there was no difference between the two treatments and we found no evidence that females assess male cognitive ability indirectly via morphological traits. Thus, our results suggest that females would not use the males’ problem-solving performance as an indicator of general cognitive ability to gain indirect fitness benefits (i.e., good genes but rather to assess their foraging efficiency and gain direct benefits.

  5. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariam Honarmand

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.

  6. Mercury reduces avian reproductive success and imposes selection: an experimental study with adult- or lifetime-exposure in zebra finch.

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    Claire W Varian-Ramos

    Full Text Available Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata, at doses from 0.3 - 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive

  7. Parasites in the city: degree of urbanization predicts poxvirus and coccidian infections in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus.

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    Mathieu Giraudeau

    Full Text Available Urbanization can strongly impact the physiology, behavior, and fitness of animals. Conditions in cities may also promote the transmission and success of animal parasites and pathogens. However, to date, no studies have examined variation in the prevalence or severity of several distinct pathogens/parasites along a gradient of urbanization in animals or if these infections increase physiological stress in urban populations.Here, we measured the prevalence and severity of infection with intestinal coccidians (Isospora sp. and the canarypox virus (Avipoxvirus along an urban-to-rural gradient in wild male house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus. In addition, we quantified an important stress indicator in animals (oxidative stress and several axes of urbanization, including human population density and land-use patterns within a 1 km radius of each trapping site. Prevalence of poxvirus infection and severity of coccidial infection were significantly associated with the degree of urbanization, with an increase of infection in more urban areas. The degrees of infection by the two parasites were not correlated along the urban-rural gradient. Finally, levels of oxidative damage in plasma were not associated with infection or with urbanization metrics.These results indicate that the physical presence of humans in cities and the associated altered urban landscape characteristics are associated with increased infections with both a virus and a gastrointestinal parasite in this common songbird resident of North American cities. Though we failed to find elevations in urban- or parasite/pathogen-mediated oxidative stress, humans may facilitate infections in these birds via bird feeders (i.e. horizontal disease transmission due to unsanitary surfaces and/or elevations in host population densities and/or via elevations in other forms of physiological stress (e.g. corticosterone, nutritional.

  8. The songbird syrinx morphome: a three-dimensional, high-resolution, interactive morphological map of the zebra finch vocal organ

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    Düring Daniel N

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Like human infants, songbirds learn their species-specific vocalizations through imitation learning. The birdsong system has emerged as a widely used experimental animal model for understanding the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for vocal production learning. However, how neural impulses are translated into the precise motor behavior of the complex vocal organ (syrinx to create song is poorly understood. First and foremost, we lack a detailed understanding of syringeal morphology. Results To fill this gap we combined non-invasive (high-field magnetic resonance imaging and micro-computed tomography and invasive techniques (histology and micro-dissection to construct the annotated high-resolution three-dimensional dataset, or morphome, of the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata syrinx. We identified and annotated syringeal cartilage, bone and musculature in situ in unprecedented detail. We provide interactive three-dimensional models that greatly improve the communication of complex morphological data and our understanding of syringeal function in general. Conclusions Our results show that the syringeal skeleton is optimized for low weight driven by physiological constraints on song production. The present refinement of muscle organization and identity elucidates how apposed muscles actuate different syringeal elements. Our dataset allows for more precise predictions about muscle co-activation and synergies and has important implications for muscle activity and stimulation experiments. We also demonstrate how the syrinx can be stabilized during song to reduce mechanical noise and, as such, enhance repetitive execution of stereotypic motor patterns. In addition, we identify a cartilaginous structure suited to play a crucial role in the uncoupling of sound frequency and amplitude control, which permits a novel explanation of the evolutionary success of songbirds.

  9. Activation changes in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) brain areas evoked by alterations of the earth magnetic field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keary, Nina; Bischof, Hans-Joachim

    2012-01-01

    Many animals are able to perceive the earth magnetic field and to use it for orientation and navigation within the environment. The mechanisms underlying the perception and processing of magnetic field information within the brain have been thoroughly studied, especially in birds, but are still obscure. Three hypotheses are currently discussed, dealing with ferromagnetic particles in the beak of birds, with the same sort of particles within the lagena organs, or describing magnetically influenced radical-pair processes within retinal photopigments. Each hypothesis is related to a well-known sensory organ and claims parallel processing of magnetic field information with somatosensory, vestibular and visual input, respectively. Changes in activation within nuclei of the respective sensory systems have been shown previously. Most of these previous experiments employed intensity enhanced magnetic stimuli or lesions. We here exposed unrestrained zebra finches to either a stationary or a rotating magnetic field of the local intensity and inclination. C-Fos was used as an activity marker to examine whether the two treatments led to differences in fourteen brain areas including nuclei of the somatosensory, vestibular and visual system. An ANOVA revealed an overall effect of treatment, indicating that the magnetic field change was perceived by the birds. While the differences were too small to be significant in most areas, a significant enhancement of activation by the rotating stimulus was found in a hippocampal subdivision. Part of the hyperpallium showed a strong, nearly significant, increase. Our results are compatible with previous studies demonstrating an involvement of at least three different sensory systems in earth magnetic field perception and suggest that these systems, probably less elaborated, may also be found in nonmigrating birds.

  10. Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success and Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study with Adult- or Lifetime-Exposure in Zebra Finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID

  11. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honarmand, Mariam; Krause, E Tobias; Naguib, Marc

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional independence. Yet under natural conditions, individuals may experience limitations for much shorter periods due to transient environmental fluctuations. Here, we used zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) in captivity to determine if conditions experienced during distinctly different early developmental phases contribute differently to male and female attractiveness and subsequent reproduction. We conducted a breeding experiment in which offspring were exposed to food regimes with (a) low quality food provided only during the nestling period, (b) low quality food provided only during the fledgling period, or (c) high quality food throughout early development. We show that despite short-term effects on biometry and physiology, there were no effects on either male or female attractiveness, as tested in two-way mate choice free-flight aviary experiments. In a subsequent breeding experiment, the offspring from the initial experiment were allowed to breed themselves. The next generation offspring from mothers raised under lower quality nutrition as either nestling or fledging were lighter at hatching compared to offspring from mothers raised under higher quality nutrition whereas paternal early nutrition had no such effects. The lack of early developmental limitations on attractiveness suggests that attractiveness traits were not affected or that birds compensated for any such effects. Furthermore, maternal trans-generational effects of dietary restrictions emphasize the importance of role of limited periods of early developmental stress in the expression of environmentally determined fitness components.

  12. Early fasting is long lasting: differences in early nutritional conditions reappear under stressful conditions in adult female zebra finches.

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    E Tobias Krause

    Full Text Available Conditions experienced during early life can have profound effects on individual development and condition in adulthood. Differences in nutritional provisioning in birds during the first month of life can lead to differences in growth, reproductive success and survival. Yet, under natural conditions shorter periods of nutritional stress will be more prevalent. Individuals may respond differently, depending on the period of development during which nutritional stress was experienced. Such differences may surface specifically when poor environmental conditions challenge individuals again as adults. Here, we investigated long term consequences of differences in nutritional conditions experienced during different periods of early development by female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata on measures of management and acquisition of body reserves. As nestlings or fledglings, subjects were raised under different nutritional conditions, a low or high quality diet. After subjects reached sexual maturity, we measured their sensitivity to periods of food restriction, their exploration and foraging behaviour as well as adult resting metabolic rate (RMR. During a short period of food restriction, subjects from the poor nutritional conditions had a higher body mass loss than those raised under qualitatively superior nutritional conditions. Moreover, subjects that were raised under poor nutritional conditions were faster to engage in exploratory and foraging behaviour. But RMR did not differ among treatments. These results reveal that early nutritional conditions affect adult exploratory behaviour, a representative personality trait, foraging and adult's physiological condition. As early nutritional conditions are reflected in adult phenotypic plasticity specifically when stressful situations reappear, the results suggest that costs for poor developmental conditions are paid when environmental conditions deteriorate.

  13. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch.

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    Binyue Han

    Full Text Available Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua, belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.

  14. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods. PMID:28403146

  15. Three IgH isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY are expressed in Gentoo penguin and zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Binyue; Li, Yan; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Pan, Qingjie; Ren, Liming

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on a limited number of birds suggested that the IgD-encoding gene was absent in birds. However, one of our recent studies showed that the gene was definitely expressed in the ostrich and emu. Interestingly, we also identified subclass diversification of IgM and IgY in these two birds. To better understand immunoglobulin genes in birds, in this study, we analyzed the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) and Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), belonging respectively to the order Passeriformes, the most successful bird order in terms of species diversity and numbers, and Sphenisciformes, a relatively primitive avian order. Similar to the results obtained in chickens and ducks, only three genes encoding immunoglobulin heavy chain isotypes, IgM, IgA and IgY, were identified in both species. Besides, we detected a transcript encoding a short membrane-bound IgA lacking the last two CH exons in the Gentoo penguin. We did not find any evidence supporting the presence of IgD gene or subclass diversification of IgM/IgY in penguin or zebra finch. The obtained data in our study provide more insights into the immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in birds and may help to better understand the evolution of immunoglobulin genes in tetrapods.

  16. Expression analysis of the speech-related genes FoxP1 and FoxP2 and their relation to singing behavior in two songbird species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Qianqian; Heston, Jonathan B.; Burkett, Zachary D.; White, Stephanie A.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Humans and songbirds are among the rare animal groups that exhibit socially learned vocalizations: speech and song, respectively. These vocal-learning capacities share a reliance on audition and cortico-basal ganglia circuitry, as well as neurogenetic mechanisms. Notably, the transcription factors Forkhead box proteins 1 and 2 (FoxP1, FoxP2) exhibit similar expression patterns in the cortex and basal ganglia of humans and the zebra finch species of songbird, among other brain regions. Mutations in either gene are associated with language disorders in humans. Experimental knock-down of FoxP2 in the basal ganglia song control region Area X during song development leads to imprecise copying of tutor songs. Moreover, FoxP2 levels decrease naturally within Area X when zebra finches sing. Here, we examined neural expression patterns of FoxP1 and FoxP2 mRNA in adult Bengalese finches, a songbird species whose songs exhibit greater sequence complexity and increased reliance on audition for maintaining their quality. We found that FoxP1 and FoxP2 expression in Bengalese finches is similar to that in zebra finches, including strong mRNA signals for both factors in multiple song control nuclei and enhancement of FoxP1 in these regions relative to surrounding brain tissue. As with zebra finches, when Bengalese finches sing, FoxP2 is behaviorally downregulated within basal ganglia Area X over a similar time course, and expression negatively correlates with the amount of singing. This study confirms that in multiple songbird species, FoxP1 expression highlights song control regions, and regulation of FoxP2 is associated with motor control of song. PMID:24006346

  17. Carotenoid accumulation in the tissues of zebra finches: predictors of integumentary pigmentation and implications for carotenoid allocation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGraw, Kevin J; Toomey, Matthew B

    2010-01-01

    Carotenoid pigments produce the bright yellow to red ornamental colors of many animals, especially birds, and must ultimately be derived from the diet. However, they are also valuable for many physiological functions (e.g., antioxidants, immunostimulants, photoprotection, visual tuning, yolk nourishment to embryos), and as a result they are present in numerous internal body tissues (e.g., liver, adipose tissue, retina) whose carotenoid types and amounts are rarely studied in the context of color acquisition. Because male and female animals typically place different priorities on fitness-enhancing activities (e.g., gametic investment in females, sexual attraction in males), carotenoid allocation may track such investment patterns in the two sexes, and we can test for such sex-specific priorities of carotenoids by assessing body-tissue distributions of these pigments. We used high-performance liquid chromatography to identify and quantify carotenoid pigments from the plasma, liver, adipose tissue, and retina as well as the beak and legs of male and female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a species in which males display sexually attractive, red, carotenoid-based beak coloration and females also display some (albeit a less rich orange) beak color. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the predictors of carotenoid-based leg coloration-another potentially important visual signal-in this species. The same suite of dietary (e.g., lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin) and metabolically derived (e.g., dehydrolutein, anhydrolutein) yellow and orange carotenoids was present in plasma, liver, and adipose tissue of both sexes. Retina contained two different metabolites (astaxanthin and galloxanthin) that serve specific functions in association with unique photoreceptor types in the eye. Beaks were enriched with four red ketocarotenoid derivatives in both sexes (alpha-doradexanthin, adonirubin, astaxanthin, and canthaxanthin), while the carotenoid profile of legs

  18. Effects of estradiol on incorporation of new cells in the developing zebra finch song system: potential relationship to expression of ribosomal proteins L17 and L37.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Yu Ping; Wade, Juli

    2009-06-01

    Mechanisms regulating masculinization of the zebra finch song system are unclear; both estradiol and sex-specific genes may be important. This study was designed to investigate relationships between estrogen and ribosomal proteins (RPL17 and RPL37; sex-linked genes) that exhibit greater expression in song control nuclei in juvenile males than females. Four studies on zebra finches were conducted using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) injections on posthatching days 6-10 with immunohistochemistry for the ribosomal proteins and the neuronal marker HuC/D at day 25. Volumes of brain regions were also assessed in Nissl-stained tissue. Most BrdU+ cells expressed RPL17 and RPL37. The density and percentage of cells co-expressing BrdU and HuC/D was greatest in Area X. The density of BrdU+ cells in Area X (or its equivalent) and the percentage of these cells that were neurons were greater in males than females. In RA and HVC, total BrdU+ cells were increased in males. A variety of effects of estradiol were also detected, including inducing an Area X in females with a masculine total number of BrdU+ cells, and increasing the volume and percentage of new neurons in the HVC of females. The same manipulation in males decreased the density of BrdU+ cells in Area X, total number of BrdU+ cells in RA, and density of new neurons in HVC and RA. These data are consistent with the idea that RPL17, RPL37, and estradiol might all influence sexual differentiation, perhaps with the hormone and proteins interacting, such that an appropriate balance is required for normal development.

  19. Genomic organization and molecular phylogenies of the beta (β keratin multigene family in the chicken (Gallus gallus and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata: implications for feather evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sawyer Roger H

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The epidermal appendages of reptiles and birds are constructed of beta (β keratins. The molecular phylogeny of these keratins is important to understanding the evolutionary origin of these appendages, especially feathers. Knowing that the crocodilian β-keratin genes are closely related to those of birds, the published genomes of the chicken and zebra finch provide an opportunity not only to compare the genomic organization of their β-keratins, but to study their molecular evolution in archosaurians. Results The subfamilies (claw, feather, feather-like, and scale of β-keratin genes are clustered in the same 5' to 3' order on microchromosome 25 in chicken and zebra finch, although the number of claw and feather genes differs between the species. Molecular phylogenies show that the monophyletic scale genes are the basal group within birds and that the monophyletic avian claw genes form the basal group to all feather and feather-like genes. Both species have a number of feather clades on microchromosome 27 that form monophyletic groups. An additional monophyletic cluster of feather genes exist on macrochromosome 2 for each species. Expression sequence tag analysis for the chicken demonstrates that all feather β-keratin clades are expressed. Conclusions Similarity in the overall genomic organization of β-keratins in Galliformes and Passeriformes suggests similar organization in all Neognathae birds, and perhaps in the ancestral lineages leading to modern birds, such as the paravian Anchiornis huxleyi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that evolution of archosaurian epidermal appendages in the lineage leading to birds was accompanied by duplication and divergence of an ancestral β-keratin gene cluster. As morphological diversification of epidermal appendages occurred and the β-keratin multigene family expanded, novel β-keratin genes were selected for novel functions within appendages such as feathers.

  20. Summer feeding ecology of Great Pampa-finches, Embernagra platensis at Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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    Laura M. Ferman

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assemble data on the summer feeding ecology of the Great Pampa-finch, Embernagra platensis at the Laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and to explore the differences related to the dietary patterns for each sex between winter and summer when possible. The stomach contents of 43 birds were analyzed. The animal fraction was composed of Hymenoptera (45.1%, Coleoptera (32.4%, Lepidoptera (6.0%, Araneae (5% and Orthoptera (3.2%. The application of the index of relative importance (IRI resulted in 1490.4 for Coleoptera, 428.5 for Hymenoptera and 162.5 for Lepidoptera caterpillars. The vegetal fraction consisted of Triticum aestivum (26.9%, Cyperaceous (25%, Poaceae (Gramineae (19.3% and Panicum sp. (11.2%. The IRI values were 893.8 for Triticum aestivum, 174.5 for Gramineae, 126.5 for Panicum sp. and 112.8 for Scirpus sp. The food niche width was 0.33 for both sexes; the diversity index resulted in 1.06 for females and 1.33 for males and specific diversity ranged from 1.87 to 2.84. A canonical component analysis (CCA was performed on environmental and morphometric variables, and a Monte Carlo test confirmed the canonical correlations. A t-test showed that some birds harmonized with a logarithmic model and some with a geometric curve. During the summer, Embernagra platensis ingests Hymenoptera and Coleoptera more often than seeds, suggesting that two biological mechanisms could be taking place in this bird.O objetivo deste estudo foi reunir dados referentes à ecologia alimentar do Sabiá-do-banhado, Embernagra platensis, na laguna de Guaminí, Buenos Aires, Argentina, e explorar as diferenças relacionadas aos padrões dietéticos para cada sexo entre inverno e verão, quando possível. O conteúdo estomacal de 43 pássaros foi analisado. A fração animal foi composta por Hymenoptera (45,1%, Coleoptera (32,4%, Lepidoptera(6,0%, Araneae (5% e Orthoptera (3,2%. A aplicação do índice de importância relativa (IRI

  1. Prolactin is related to individual differences in parental behavior and reproductive success in a biparental passerine, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, Kristina O; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-08-01

    Variation in parental care can lead to important fitness consequences. The endocrine system is known to regulate physiological and behavioral reproductive traits that are important contributors to lifetime reproductive success. However, the hormonal basis of variation in avian parental care is still not well understood. Plasma prolactin (PRL) concentrations are generally high during post-hatch parental care in birds, and may be a candidate mechanism that regulates variation in parental care and other reproductive success outcomes. Here we analyze the relationship between PRL, parental behavior (chick brooding and feeding) and reproductive success outcomes (clutch size, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival) for the first time in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Birds were given cabergoline, a dopamine agonist traditionally used to lower prolactin in mammals, or vehicle in their food. Cabergoline had no effect on prolactin concentrations, but across both groups we found that PRL is positively correlated with parental behavior, number of chicks hatched, and chick survival, but not clutch size. Results from this study will inform hypotheses and predictions for future manipulation studies which test for a causal role for PRL in parental traits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Evidence for cholinergic participation in the control of bird song; acetylcholinesterase distribution and muscarinic receptor autoradiography in the zebra finch brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryan, S.M.; Arnold, A.P.

    1981-01-01

    Brain regions thought to be involved in the control of song in the zebra finch (Poephila guttata), were examined histochemically using the Karnovsky and Roots direct-coloring method for the detection of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and the autoradiographic method for the localization of muscarinic cholinergic receptors following injection of tritiated quinuclidinyl benzilate (3H QNB). All presently identified vocal control nuclei in both males and females contain AChE. These nuclei include Area X, magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum (MAN), nucleus interface (NIF), caudal nucleus of the hyperstriatum ventrale (HVc), intercollicular nucleus (ICo), nucleus uva, robust nucleus of the archistriatum (RA), and tracheosyringeal portion of the hypoglossal nerve nucleus (nXIIts). All nuclei except Area X contain mostly AChE-synthesizing cell bodies. All of these nuclei contain some AChE in the neuropil, with particularly intense staining in Area X, the surrounding LPO, and the dorsomedial portion of ICo. In agreement with this description are very high concentrations of 3H QNB in both Area X and the dorsomedial ICo. HVc also appears specifically labeled. Evidence from these two histological technique suggests that efferent projections of most vocal control area may utilize acetylcholine, and that several of the vocal control nuclei may themselves receive muscarinic cholinergic projection. In Area X, there are sex differences of AChE neuropil staining. This evidence suggesting that sexually dimorphic projections to or within Area X are cholinergic or cholinoceptive

  3. Immunohistochemical localization of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptide (CARTp) in the brain of the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Ibanez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Jensen, Megan; Graham, David J; Pogány, Ákos; Mongomery, Benjamin C; Stafford, James L; Luksch, Harald; Wylie, Douglas R

    2016-12-15

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript peptides (CARTp) are neuropeptides that act as neurotransmitters in the brain of vertebrates. The expression of CARTp has been characterized in teleosts, amphibians, and several mammalian species, but comparative data in reptiles and birds are nonexistent. In this study, we show the distribution of immunoreactivity against CART peptides (CARTp-ir) in the brains of two bird species: the pigeon (Columba livia) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). We found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the brains of both, but no major differences between the two species. As in mammals, teleost fish, and amphibians, CARTp-ir terminals and cells were abundant in subpallial regions, particularly the striatum and nucleus accumbens. We also found CARTp-ir cells and terminals in the hypothalamus, and a large number of CARTp-ir terminals in the substantia nigra, ventral tegmental area, periaqueductal gray, parabrachial nucleus, and dorsal vagal complex. However, in contrast to other vertebrates, CARTp-ir was not found in the olfactory bulb. In addition there was almost no CARTp-ir in the pallium or the hippocampal formation, and little CARTp-ir in the cerebellum. The conserved expression of CARTp in the subpallium, hypothalamus, and dorsal vagal complex of birds suggests that some of the functions of CARTp, such as regulation of food intake and interactions with the social control network and mesolimbic reward system, are conserved among vertebrates. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3747-3773, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. New insights on the rarity of the vulnerable Cinereous Warbling-finch (Aves, Emberizidae based on density, home range, and habitat selection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Marques-Santos

    Full Text Available The Cinereous Warbling-finch Poospiza cinerea (Emberizidae is a Neotropical grassland bird considered rare, with population declining due to habitat loss and classified as vulnerable. However, the species conspicuously remains in several degraded areas, suggesting that it may be favored by these environments. Studies which focus on this species were inexistent until 2012, making questionable any statement about its threaten status. Here we analyzed population density, home range, and habitat selection of two groups of P. cinerea at independent sites that differ in human impact levels. Density was estimated by counting and mapping birds. Kernel density and minimum convex polygon were used to estimate home ranges. Habitat selection was inferred from use and availability of every habitat identified within the home range boundaries. One group positively selected urban tree vegetation, despite the availability of natural habitats in its home range. Based on a review on the literature and our findings, we assume that it is unlikely that P. cinerea is rare owing to habitat degradation, as previously thought. Nevertheless, this species was always recorded around native Cerrado vegetation and thus habitat modification may still threaten this species at some level. It is suggested that this species might be a woodland edge species, but future studies are necessary to confirm this assumption.

  5. Sex- and age-related differences in ribosomal proteins L17 and L37, as well as androgen receptor protein, in the song control system of zebra finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Y P; Wade, J

    2010-12-29

    The zebra finch song system is sexually dimorphic--only males sing, and the morphology of forebrain regions controlling the learning and production of this song is greatly enhanced in males compared to females. Masculinization appears to involve effects of steroid hormones as well as other factors, perhaps including the expression of sex chromosome genes (males: ZZ, females: ZW). The present study investigated three proteins--two encoded by Z-linked genes, ribosomal proteins L17 and L37 (RPL17 and RPL37), including their co-localization with androgen receptor (AR), from post-hatching day 25 to adulthood. Extensive co-expression of AR with the ribosomal proteins was detected in the three song nuclei investigated (HVC, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), and Area X) across these ages. In general, more cells expressed each of these proteins in males compared to females, and the sex differences increased as animals matured. Specific patterns differed across regions and between RPL17 and RPL37, which suggest potential roles of one or both of these proteins in the incorporation and/or differentiation of song system cells. Copyright © 2010 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Activity in a premotor cortical nucleus of zebra finches is locally organized and exhibits auditory selectivity in neurons but not in glia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael H Graber

    Full Text Available Motor functions are often guided by sensory experience, most convincingly illustrated by complex learned behaviors. Key to sensory guidance in motor areas may be the structural and functional organization of sensory inputs and their evoked responses. We study sensory responses in large populations of neurons and neuron-assistive cells in the songbird motor area HVC, an auditory-vocal brain area involved in sensory learning and in adult song production. HVC spike responses to auditory stimulation display remarkable preference for the bird's own song (BOS compared to other stimuli. Using two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized zebra finches we measure the spatio-temporal structure of baseline activity and of auditory evoked responses in identified populations of HVC cells. We find strong correlations between calcium signal fluctuations in nearby cells of a given type, both in identified neurons and in astroglia. In identified HVC neurons only, auditory stimulation decorrelates ongoing calcium signals, less for BOS than for other sound stimuli. Overall, calcium transients show strong preference for BOS in identified HVC neurons but not in astroglia, showing diversity in local functional organization among identified neuron and astroglia populations.

  7. Sex-dependent foraging effort and vigilance in coal-crested finches, Charitospiza eucosma (Aves: Emberizidae during the breeding season: evidence of female-biased predation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Diniz

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Sexual dimorphism in birds is often attributed to sexual selection, but another interpretation suggests the evolution of this phenomenon by natural selection. Predation may be an important selective pressure, acting mainly on females. In this study, I tested the latter hypothesis on the coal-crested finch (Charitospiza eucosma Oberholser, 1905 in a neotropical savanna of the Central Brazil (Cerrado. I used capture methods for ascertaining the sex ratio in the population, and focal observations to gather behavioral data. My results show that the sex ratio is skewed toward males (1:1.39. Males were more vigilant, vocalized for longer periods of time, and used higher perches than females. Females foraged more, spent more time on parental care and remained on the ground for longer periods than males. These results support the 'foraging effort hypothesis, suggesting that females are more preyed upon because they spend more time foraging. Ultimately, this may reflect the fact that females invest more on parental care than males. The sex-dependent parental investment may favor the evolution of different antipredator strategies in males and females: the camouflage in females as a less efficient strategy than vigilance in males.

  8. A centroid model of species distribution with applications to the Carolina wren Thryothorus ludovicianus and house finch Haemorhous mexicanus in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qiongyu; Sauer, John R.; Swatantran, Anu; Dubayah, Ralph

    2016-01-01

    Drastic shifts in species distributions are a cause of concern for ecologists. Such shifts pose great threat to biodiversity especially under unprecedented anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Many studies have documented recent shifts in species distributions. However, most of these studies are limited to regional scales, and do not consider the abundance structure within species ranges. Developing methods to detect systematic changes in species distributions over their full ranges is critical for understanding the impact of changing environments and for successful conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate a centroid model for range-wide analysis of distribution shifts using the North American Breeding Bird Survey. The centroid model is based on a hierarchical Bayesian framework which models population change within physiographic strata while accounting for several factors affecting species detectability. Yearly abundance-weighted range centroids are estimated. As case studies, we derive annual centroids for the Carolina wren and house finch in their ranges in the U.S. We further evaluate the first-difference correlation between species’ centroid movement and changes in winter severity, total population abundance. We also examined associations of change in centroids from sub-ranges. Change in full-range centroid movements of Carolina wren significantly correlate with snow cover days (r = −0.58). For both species, the full-range centroid shifts also have strong correlation with total abundance (r = 0.65, and 0.51 respectively). The movements of the full-range centroids of the two species are correlated strongly (up to r = 0.76) with that of the sub-ranges with more drastic population changes. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of centroids for analyzing distribution changes in a two-dimensional spatial context. Particularly it highlights applications that associate the centroid with factors such as environmental stressors, population characteristics

  9. Song tutoring in presinging zebra finch juveniles biases a small population of higher-order song-selective neurons toward the tutor song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adret, Patrice; Meliza, C Daniel; Margoliash, Daniel

    2012-10-01

    We explored physiological changes correlated with song tutoring by recording the responses of caudal nidopallium neurons of zebra finches aged P21-P24 (days post hatching) to a broad spectrum of natural and synthetic stimuli. Those birds raised with their fathers tended to show behavioral evidence of song memorization but not of singing; thus auditory responses were not confounded by the birds' own vocalizations. In study 1, 37 of 158 neurons (23%) in 17 of 22 tutored and untutored birds were selective for only 1 of 10 stimuli comprising broadband signals, early juvenile songs and calls, female calls, and adult songs. Approximately 30% of the selective neurons (12/37 neurons in 9 birds) were selective for adult conspecific songs. All these were found in the song system nuclei HVC and paraHVC. Of 122 neurons (17 birds) in tutored birds, all of the conspecific song-selective neurons (8 neurons in 6 birds) were selective for the adult tutor song; none was selective for unfamiliar song. In study 2 with a different sampling strategy, we found that 11 of 12 song-selective neurons in 6 of 7 birds preferred the tutor song; none preferred unfamiliar or familiar conspecific songs. Most of these neurons were found in caudal lateral nidopallium (NCL) below HVC. Thus by the time a bird begins to sing, there are small numbers of tutor song-selective neurons distributed in several forebrain regions. We hypothesize that a small population of higher-order auditory neurons is innately selective for complex features of behaviorally relevant stimuli and these responses are modified by specific perceptual/social experience during development.

  10. Movement Patterns, Home Range Size and Habitat Selection of an Endangered Resource Tracking Species, the Black-Throated Finch (Poephila cincta cincta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rechetelo, Juliana; Grice, Anthony; Reside, April Elizabeth; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Moloney, James

    2016-01-01

    Understanding movement patterns and home range of species is paramount in ecology; it is particularly important for threatened taxa as it can provide valuable information for conservation management. To address this knowledge gap for a range-restricted endangered bird, we estimated home range size, daily movement patterns and habitat use of a granivorous subspecies in northeast Australia, the black-throated finch (Poephila cincta cincta; BTF) using radio-tracking and re-sighting of colour banded birds. Little is known about basic aspects of its ecology including movement patterns and home range sizes. From 2011-2014 we colour-banded 102 BTF and radio-tracked 15 birds. We generated home ranges (calculated using kernel and Minimum Convex Polygons techniques of the 15 tracked BTF). More than 50% of the re-sightings occurred within 200 m of the banding site (n = 51 out of 93 events) and within 100 days of capture. Mean home-range estimates with kernel (50%, 95% probability) and Minimum Convex Polygons were 10.59 ha, 50.79 ha and 46.27 ha, respectively. Home range size differed between two capture sites but no seasonal differences were observed. BTF home ranges overlapped four habitat types among eight available. Habitat selection was different from random at Site 1 (χ2 = 373.41, df = 42, pmovements may be related to resource bottleneck periods. Daily movement patterns differed between sites, which is likely linked to the fact that the sites differ in the spatial distribution of resources. The work provides information about home range sizes and local movement of BTF that will be valuable for targeting effective management and conservation strategies for this endangered granivore.

  11. Effects of the social environment during adolescence on the development of social behaviour, hormones and morphology in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bölting, Stefanie; von Engelhardt, Nikolaus

    2017-01-01

    Individual differences in behaviour are widespread in the animal kingdom and often influenced by the size or composition of the social group during early development. In many vertebrates the effects of social interactions early in life on adult behaviour are mediated by changes in maturation and physiology. Specifically, increases in androgens and glucocorticoids in response to social stimulation seem to play a prominent role in shaping behaviour during development. In addition to the prenatal and early postnatal phase, adolescence has more recently been identified as an important period during which adult behaviour and physiology are shaped by the social environment, which so far has been studied mostly in mammals. We raised zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) under three environmental conditions differing in social complexity during adolescence - juvenile pairs, juvenile groups, and mixed-age groups - and studied males' behavioural, endocrine, and morphological maturation, and later their adult behaviour. As expected, group-housed males exhibited higher frequencies of social interactions. Group housing also enhanced song during adolescence, plumage development, and the frequency and intensity of adult courtship and aggression. Some traits, however, were affected more in juvenile groups and others in mixed-age groups. Furthermore, a testosterone peak during late adolescence was suppressed in groups with adults. In contrast, corticosterone concentrations did not differ between rearing environments. Unexpectedly, adult courtship in a test situation was lowest in pair-reared males and aggression depended upon the treatment of the opponent with highest rates shown by group-reared males towards pair-reared males. This contrasts with previous findings, possibly due to differences in photoperiod and the acoustic environment. Our results support the idea that effects of the adolescent social environment on adult behaviour in vertebrates are mediated by changes in

  12. The Homeschooling of Scout Finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, James B.

    2012-01-01

    Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of the most widely taught texts in language arts classrooms through the English-speaking world and is greatly valued by many readers today for its depiction of youth grappling with racism in the American South of the Depression Era. However, the novel's subtle and sustained critique of…

  13. Multimodal signalling in estrildid finches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gomes, A. C. R.; Funghi, C.; Soma, M.

    2017-01-01

    Sexual traits (e.g. visual ornaments, acoustic signals, courtship behaviour) are often displayed together as multimodal signals. Some hypotheses predict joint evolution of different sexual signals (e.g. to increase the efficiency of communication) or that different signals trade off with each other...... (e.g. due to limited resources). Alternatively, multiple signals may evolve independently for different functions, or to communicate different information (multiple message hypothesis). We evaluated these hypotheses with a comparative study in the family Estrildidae, one of the largest songbird...... compromise, but generally courtship dance also evolved independently from other signals. Instead of correlated evolution, we found that song, dance and colour are each related to different socio-ecological traits. Song complexity evolved together with ecological generalism, song performance with investment...

  14. Measurements of IN and BIO-IN with the fast ice nucleus chamber FINCH at Mt. Zugspitze, Mt. Puy de Dôme and Jungfraujoch during fall and winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nillius, B.; Frank, F.; Bingemer, H.; Curtius, J.; Bundke, U.

    2013-05-01

    In this work we present IN measurements at Mt. Zugspitze, Germany, 2650 m.a.s.l., Mt. Puy de Dôme, France, 1464 m.a.s.l. and Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, 3580 m a.s.l during fall and winter 2012 with the instrument FINCH HALO (Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber for the High Altitude and LOng range research aircraft HALO). In this device the temperature and super saturation for activation of Ice Nuclei (IN) and the growth to ice crystals is obtained by mixing three gas flows of different temperatures and moisture. After the growth of IN and Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) to macroscopic ice crystals and super-cooled water droplets in the development chamber, they are counted using an optical detector. The discrimination between ice and water is made by measuring the circular depolarization ratio of the backscattered laser light of each individual particle. IN are classified as biological particles by measuring their individual intrinsic-fluorescence during the winter campaigns in average 30-40 % of the IN show an intrinsic fluorescence and are supposed to be of biological origin.

  15. Ambient and laboratory measurements of ice nuclei and their biological faction with the Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber FINCH-HALO using the new 405nm Version of the BIO-IN Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundke, U.; Nillius, B.; Bingemer, H.; Curtius, J.

    2012-04-01

    We have designed the BIO-IN detector as part of the ice nucleus counter FINCH (Fast Ice Nuclei CHamber counter) to distinguish activated Ice Nuclei (IN) ice crystals from water droplets (CCN) (Bundke et al. 2008) and their fraction of biological origin (Bundke 2010). The modified BIO-IN sensor illuminates an aerosol stream with a 405 nm laser, replacing a 365nm LED of the original BIO IN design. Particles will scatter the light and those of biological origin will show intrinsic fluorescence emissions by excitation of mainly Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2. The incident laser light is circularly polarized by introducing a quarter-wave-plate. The circular depolarization ratio (p44/p11) of the scattering matrix is measured in the backward direction by two photomultipliers at 110° scattering angle using a combination of quarter-wave-plate and a beam splitting cube to analyze the two circular polarization components. The detection limit was lowered towards particle size of about 400nm diameter (non activated particles). It is now possible to calculate the activated fraction of IN of biological origin with respect to all biological particles measured with one detector. The performance of the sensor will be demonstrated showing the circular- depolarization properties of different test aerosol, dust samples, volcanic ashes as well as different biological particles. Measurements on the mountain Puy de Dôme of IN number concentration of ambient air, as well as measurements at the AIDA facility in Karlsruhe of the IN activation curves from different bacteria are shown. Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation, Grant: BU 1432/3-2 BU 1432/4-1

  16. Consumo e valor nutritivo de alimentos utilizados para Bicudo-verdadeiro (“Sporophila maximiliani” Consumption and nutritive value of feedstuffs used for great-billed seed finch (“Sporophila maximiliani”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elis Regina de Moraes Garcia

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Foi conduzido um estudo para determinar o consumo e o valor nutritivo do alpiste comum (Phalaris Canariensis L., arroz (Oryza Sativa L., painço verde (Panicum Miliaceum L. e capim-arroz (Echinochloa Spp para Bicudo-verdadeiro (Sporophila maximiliani. Foram utilizadas 24 fêmeas adultas com idade média de dois anos, distribuídas em um delineamento inteiramente ao acaso, com quatro tratamentos, três repetições e duas aves por unidade experimental. Foi utilizado o método de coleta total de excretas para determinar os coeficientes de metabolização aparente da matéria seca, proteína e energia, assim como os valores de energia metabolizável aparente e corrigida para o balanço de nitrogênio. Não houve diferença nos consumos, com média de 3,55±0,11 gramas de alimento/ave/dia. O arroz apresentou os melhores valores para os coeficientes de metabolização da matéria seca (90,57% e da energia (90,55%. Os coeficientes de metabolização da proteína não diferiram entre os alimentos. Os melhores valores de energia metabolizável foram obtidos para o alpiste (3.612kcal/EM kg e o capim-arroz (3.509kcal/EM kg.An experiment was carried out to determinate the nutritive value and consumption of canary grass (Phalaris canariensis L., rice (Oryza sativa L., proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L. and barnyard grass (Echinochloa spp for the Great-billed Seed Finch (Sporophila maximiliani. Twenty four adult females averaging two years of age were assigned to a completely randomized design with four treatments, three replicates and two birds per pen. Fecal output was used to determine dry matter, protein and energy metabolizable coefficients, and also the values of apparent metabolizable energy and corrected by nitrogen. No differences were observed in consumption, with 3.55±0.11g of feedstuff/birds/day. Rice provided the best values for metabolization coefficients of dry matter (90.57% and energy (90.55%. No differences were observed for protein

  17. Songbirds and humans apply different strategies in a sound sequence discrimination task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshimasa eSeki

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The abilities of animals and humans to extract rules from sound sequences have previously been compared using observation of spontaneous responses and conditioning techniques. However, the results were inconsistently interpreted across studies possibly due to methodological and/or species differences. Therefore, we examined the strategies for discrimination of sound sequences in Bengalese finches and humans using the same protocol. Birds were trained on a GO/NOGO task to discriminate between two categories of sound stimulus generated based on an AAB or ABB rule. The sound elements used were taken from a variety of male (M and female (F calls, such that the sequences could be represented as MMF and MFF. In test sessions, FFM and FMM sequences, which were never presented in the training sessions but conformed to the rule, were presented as probe stimuli. The results suggested two discriminative strategies were being applied: 1 memorizing sound patterns of either GO or NOGO stimuli and generating the appropriate responses for only those sounds; and 2 using the repeated element as a cue. There was no evidence that the birds successfully extracted the abstract rule (i.e. AAB and ABB; MMF-GO subjects did not produce a GO response for FFM and vice versa. Next we examined whether those strategies were also applicable for human participants on the same task. The results and questionnaires revealed that participants extracted the abstract rule, and most of them employed it to discriminate the sequences. This strategy was never observed in bird subjects, although some participants used strategies similar to the birds when responding to the probe stimuli. Our results showed that the human participants applied the abstract rule in the task even without instruction but Bengalese finches did not, thereby reconfirming that humans have to extract abstract rules from sound sequences that is distinct from non-human animals.

  18. Songbirds and humans apply different strategies in a sound sequence discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seki, Yoshimasa; Suzuki, Kenta; Osawa, Ayumi M; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    The abilities of animals and humans to extract rules from sound sequences have previously been compared using observation of spontaneous responses and conditioning techniques. However, the results were inconsistently interpreted across studies possibly due to methodological and/or species differences. Therefore, we examined the strategies for discrimination of sound sequences in Bengalese finches and humans using the same protocol. Birds were trained on a GO/NOGO task to discriminate between two categories of sound stimulus generated based on an "AAB" or "ABB" rule. The sound elements used were taken from a variety of male (M) and female (F) calls, such that the sequences could be represented as MMF and MFF. In test sessions, FFM and FMM sequences, which were never presented in the training sessions but conformed to the rule, were presented as probe stimuli. The results suggested two discriminative strategies were being applied: (1) memorizing sound patterns of either GO or NOGO stimuli and generating the appropriate responses for only those sounds; and (2) using the repeated element as a cue. There was no evidence that the birds successfully extracted the abstract rule (i.e., AAB and ABB); MMF-GO subjects did not produce a GO response for FFM and vice versa. Next we examined whether those strategies were also applicable for human participants on the same task. The results and questionnaires revealed that participants extracted the abstract rule, and most of them employed it to discriminate the sequences. This strategy was never observed in bird subjects, although some participants used strategies similar to the birds when responding to the probe stimuli. Our results showed that the human participants applied the abstract rule in the task even without instruction but Bengalese finches did not, thereby reconfirming that humans have to extract abstract rules from sound sequences that is distinct from non-human animals.

  19. Análise da condição corpórea, biometria externa e das vísceras do trato gastrointestinal de canários-da-terra, Sicalis flaveola braziliensis Analysis of body condition and external and gastrointestinal biometry of saffron finch, Sicalis flaveola braziliensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raul A.S. Siqueira

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Analisaram-se em canários-da-terra, Sicalis flaveola brasiliensis, apreendidos pelo Cetas-IBAMA/PB e que morreram logo após sua chegada, as medidas biométricas externas, condições corpóreas e de plumagem, medidas biométricas das vísceras do trato gastrointestinal (TGI, assim como a topografia visceral, a fim de fornecer dados morfológicos e caracterizar as condições em esses pássaros chegaram a esse centro de triagem. A topografia visceral estava em consonância com a de periquitos e avestruz, a exceção que essa última espécie apresenta um ceco. Verificou-se que há relação entre as condições corpóreas desfavoráveis e a perda de plumagem. Conclui-se, que S. flaveola braziliensis possui medidas biométricas em consonância á de outros Passeriformes, contudo possui divergências para aves do mesmo gênero e poucas diferenças biométricas entre machos e fêmeas. Através do estudo, verifica-se que as condições corpóreas de animais traficados devem ser consideradas nos centros de triagem, a fim de se fazer um melhor manejo nutricional e/ou clínico, diminuindo a mortalidade.Forty-one saffron finch, Sicalis flaveola brasiliensis, were studied regarding the external biometry, corporeal and plumage conditions, gastrointestinal tract (GIT biometry, and the visceral topography, in order to provide morphological data and to characterize the condition in which these birds came to the wild animal screening Center. The visceral topography was similar to the found in parakeets and ostriches; however the last have a cecum. There was also relationship between the unfavorable body conditions and the loss of feathers. It was concluded that S. flaveola braziliensis has biometric measurements similar to other Passeriformes, however with differences to birds of the same gender, and few biometric differences among males and females. The results demonstrate that the corporal conditions of trafficked animals should be considered in wild

  20. Ancestrality and evolution of trait syndromes in finches (Fringillidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponge, Jean-François; Zuccon, Dario; Elias, Marianne; Pavoine, Sandrine; Henry, Pierre-Yves; Théry, Marc; Guilbert, Éric

    2017-12-01

    Species traits have been hypothesized by one of us (Ponge, 2013) to evolve in a correlated manner as species colonize stable, undisturbed habitats, shifting from "ancestral" to "derived" strategies. We predicted that generalism, r-selection, sexual monomorphism, and migration/gregariousness are the ancestral states (collectively called strategy A) and evolved correlatively toward specialism, K-selection, sexual dimorphism, and residence/territoriality as habitat stabilized (collectively called B strategy). We analyzed the correlated evolution of four syndromes, summarizing the covariation between 53 traits, respectively, involved in ecological specialization, r-K gradient, sexual selection, and dispersal/social behaviors in 81 species representative of Fringillidae, a bird family with available natural history information and that shows variability for all these traits. The ancestrality of strategy A was supported for three of the four syndromes, the ancestrality of generalism having a weaker support, except for the core group Carduelinae (69 species). It appeared that two different B-strategies evolved from the ancestral state A, both associated with highly predictable environments: one in poorly seasonal environments, called B1, with species living permanently in lowland tropics, with "slow pace of life" and weak sexual dimorphism, and one in highly seasonal environments, called B2, with species breeding out-of-the-tropics, migratory, with a "fast pace of life" and high sexual dimorphism.

  1. Ancestrality and evolution of trait syndromes in finches (Fringillidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Ponge, Jean‐François; Zuccon, Dario; Elias, Marianne; Pavoine, Sandrine; Henry, Pierre‐Yves; Théry, Marc; Guilbert, Éric

    2017-01-01

    International audience; Species traits have been hypothesized by one of us (Ponge, 2013) to evolve in a correlated manner as species colonize stable, undisturbed habitats, shifting from “ancestral” to “derived” strategies. We predicted that generalism, r-selection, sexual monomorphism, and migration/gregariousness are the ancestral states (collectively called strategy A) and evolved correlatively toward specialism, K-selection, sexual dimorphism, and residence/territoriality as habitat stabil...

  2. From electromyographic activity to frequency modulation in zebra finch song.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Döppler, Juan F; Bush, Alan; Goller, Franz; Mindlin, Gabriel B

    2018-02-01

    Behavior emerges from the interaction between the nervous system and peripheral devices. In the case of birdsong production, a delicate and fast control of several muscles is required to control the configuration of the syrinx (the avian vocal organ) and the respiratory system. In particular, the syringealis ventralis muscle is involved in the control of the tension of the vibrating labia and thus affects the frequency modulation of the sound. Nevertheless, the translation of the instructions (which are electrical in nature) into acoustical features is complex and involves nonlinear, dynamical processes. In this work, we present a model of the dynamics of the syringealis ventralis muscle and the labia, which allows calculating the frequency of the generated sound, using as input the electrical activity recorded in the muscle. In addition, the model provides a framework to interpret inter-syllabic activity and hints at the importance of the biomechanical dynamics in determining behavior.

  3. Palliative care in Salima district | Finch | Malawi Medical Journal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Malawi Medical Journal. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 20, No 4 (2008) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register · Download this PDF file. The PDF file you selected should load ...

  4. Acetylcholinesterase in central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    paring the data to other singing birds and vocalizing birds. As acquisition ..... In Nissl-stained sec- tions, a small RA and area X can be distinguished from ..... Neurol. 356 345–354. Watson J T, Adkins-Regan E, Whiting P, Lindstrom J M and.

  5. Neural mechanisms of song memory formation in juvenile zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moorman, S.

    2015-01-01

    There are many parallels between the acquisition of spoken language in human infants and song learning in songbirds, at the behavioural, neural, genetic and cognitive levels. Both human infants and juvenile songbirds are able to imitate sounds from adults of the same species (often their parents),

  6. Defects in ultrasonic vocalization of cadherin-6 knockout mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryoko Nakagawa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Although some molecules have been identified as responsible for human language disorders, there is still little information about what molecular mechanisms establish the faculty of human language. Since mice, like songbirds, produce complex ultrasonic vocalizations for intraspecific communication in several social contexts, they can be good mammalian models for studying the molecular basis of human language. Having found that cadherins are involved in the vocal development of the Bengalese finch, a songbird, we expected cadherins to also be involved in mouse vocalizations. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To examine whether similar molecular mechanisms underlie the vocalizations of songbirds and mammals, we categorized behavioral deficits including vocalization in cadherin-6 knockout mice. Comparing the ultrasonic vocalizations of cadherin-6 knockout mice with those of wild-type controls, we found that the peak frequency and variations of syllables were differed between the mutant and wild-type mice in both pup-isolation and adult-courtship contexts. Vocalizations during male-male aggression behavior, in contrast, did not differ between mutant and wild-type mice. Open-field tests revealed differences in locomotors activity in both heterozygote and homozygote animals and no difference in anxiety behavior. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that cadherin-6 plays essential roles in locomotor activity and ultrasonic vocalization. These findings also support the idea that different species share some of the molecular mechanisms underlying vocal behavior.

  7. Songbird Respiration is Controlled by Multispike Patterns at Millisecond Temporal Resolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Caroline; Srivastava, Kyle; Vellema, Michiel; Elemans, Coen; Nemenman, Ilya; Sober, Samuel

    Although the importance of precise timing of neural action potentials (spikes) is well known in sensory systems, approaches to motor control have focused almost exclusively on firing rates. Here we examined whether precise timing of spikes in multispike patterns has an effect on the motor output in the respiratory system of the Bengalese finch, a songbird. By recording from single motor neurons and the muscle fibers they innervate in freely behaving birds, we find that the spike trains are significantly non-Poisson, suggesting that the precise timing of spikes is tightly controlled. We further find that even a one millisecond shift of an individual spike in a multispike pattern predicts a significantly different air sac pressure. Finally, we provide evidence for the causal relation between precise spike timing and the motor output in this organism by stimulating the motor system with precisely timed patterns of electrical impulses. We observe that shifting a single pulse by as little as two milliseconds elicits differences in resulting air sac pressure. These results demonstrate that the precise timing of spikes does play a role in motor control. This work was partially supported by NSF Grant IOS/1208126, NIH Grant 5R90DA033462 , NIH Grant R01NS084844, and NIH Grant F31DC013753.

  8. The neural dynamics of song syntax in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Dezhe

    2010-03-01

    Songbird is ``the hydrogen atom'' of the neuroscience of complex, learned vocalizations such as human speech. Songs of Bengalese finch consist of sequences of syllables. While syllables are temporally stereotypical, syllable sequences can vary and follow complex, probabilistic syntactic rules, which are rudimentarily similar to grammars in human language. Songbird brain is accessible to experimental probes, and is understood well enough to construct biologically constrained, predictive computational models. In this talk, I will discuss the structure and dynamics of neural networks underlying the stereotypy of the birdsong syllables and the flexibility of syllable sequences. Recent experiments and computational models suggest that a syllable is encoded in a chain network of projection neurons in premotor nucleus HVC (proper name). Precisely timed spikes propagate along the chain, driving vocalization of the syllable through downstream nuclei. Through a computational model, I show that that variable syllable sequences can be generated through spike propagations in a network in HVC in which the syllable-encoding chain networks are connected into a branching chain pattern. The neurons mutually inhibit each other through the inhibitory HVC interneurons, and are driven by external inputs from nuclei upstream of HVC. At a branching point that connects the final group of a chain to the first groups of several chains, the spike activity selects one branch to continue the propagation. The selection is probabilistic, and is due to the winner-take-all mechanism mediated by the inhibition and noise. The model predicts that the syllable sequences statistically follow partially observable Markov models. Experimental results supporting this and other predictions of the model will be presented. We suggest that the syntax of birdsong syllable sequences is embedded in the connection patterns of HVC projection neurons.

  9. Catecholaminergic contributions to vocal communication signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T

    2015-05-01

    Social context affects behavioral displays across a variety of species. For example, social context acutely influences the acoustic and temporal structure of vocal communication signals such as speech and birdsong. Despite the prevalence and importance of such social influences, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying the social modulation of communication. Catecholamines are implicated in the regulation of social behavior and motor control, but the degree to which catecholamines influence vocal communication signals remains largely unknown. Using a songbird, the Bengalese finch, we examined the extent to which the social context in which song is produced affected immediate early gene expression (EGR-1) in catecholamine-synthesising neurons in the midbrain. Further, we assessed the degree to which administration of amphetamine, which increases catecholamine concentrations in the brain, mimicked the effect of social context on vocal signals. We found that significantly more catecholaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra (but not the central grey, locus coeruleus or subcoeruleus) expressed EGR-1 in birds that were exposed to females and produced courtship song than in birds that produced non-courtship song in isolation. Furthermore, we found that amphetamine administration mimicked the effects of social context and caused many aspects of non-courtship song to resemble courtship song. Specifically, amphetamine increased the stereotypy of syllable structure and sequencing, the repetition of vocal elements and the degree of sequence completions. Taken together, these data highlight the conserved role of catecholamines in vocal communication across species, including songbirds and humans. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Cooperation of deterministic dynamics and random noise in production of complex syntactical avian song sequences: a neural network model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuichi eYamashita

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available How the brain learns and generates temporal sequences is a fundamental issue in neuroscience. The production of birdsongs, a process which involves complex learned sequences, provides researchers with an excellent biological model for this topic. The Bengalese finch in particular learns a highly complex song with syntactical structure. The nucleus HVC (HVC, a premotor nucleus within the avian song system, plays a key role in generating the temporal structures of their songs. From lesion studies, the nucleus interfacialis (NIf projecting to the HVC is considered one of the essential regions that contribute to the complexity of their songs. However, the types of interaction between the HVC and the NIf that can produce complex syntactical songs remain unclear. In order to investigate the function of interactions between the HVC and NIf, we have proposed a neural network model based on previous biological evidence. The HVC is modeled by a recurrent neural network (RNN that learns to generate temporal patterns of songs. The NIf is modeled as a mechanism that provides auditory feedback to the HVC and generates random noise that feeds into the HVC. The model showed that complex syntactical songs can be replicated by simple interactions between deterministic dynamics of the RNN and random noise. In the current study, the plausibility of the model is tested by the comparison between the changes in the songs of actual birds induced by pharmacological inhibition of the NIf and the changes in the songs produced by the model resulting from modification of parameters representing NIf functions. The efficacy of the model demonstrates that the changes of songs induced by pharmacological inhibition of the NIf can be interpreted as a trade-off between the effects of noise and the effects of feedback on the dynamics of the RNN of the HVC. These facts suggest that the current model provides a convincing hypothesis for the functional role of NIf-HVC interaction.

  11. Neural mechanisms of sequence generation in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langford, Bruce

    Animal models in research are useful for studying more complex behavior. For example, motor sequence generation of actions requiring good muscle coordination such as writing with a pen, playing an instrument, or speaking, may involve the interaction of many areas in the brain, each a complex system in itself; thus it can be difficult to determine causal relationships between neural behavior and the behavior being studied. Birdsong, however, provides an excellent model behavior for motor sequence learning, memory, and generation. The song consists of learned sequences of notes that are spectrographically stereotyped over multiple renditions of the song, similar to syllables in human speech. The main areas of the songbird brain involve in singing are known, however, the mechanisms by which these systems store and produce song are not well understood. We used a custom built, head-mounted, miniature motorized microdrive to chronically record the neural firing patterns of identified neurons in HVC, a pre-motor cortical nucleus which has been shown to be important in song timing. These were done in Bengalese finch which generate a song made up of stereotyped notes but variable note sequences. We observed song related bursting in neurons projecting to Area X, a homologue to basal ganglia, and tonic firing in HVC interneurons. Interneuron had firing rate patterns that were consistent over multiple renditions of the same note sequence. We also designed and built a light-weight, low-powered wireless programmable neural stimulator using Bluetooth Low Energy Protocol. It was able to generate perturbations in the song when current pulses were administered to RA, which projects to the brainstem nucleus responsible for syringeal muscle control.

  12. Strong association between corticosterone levels and temperature-dependent metabolic rate in individual zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jimeno Revilla, Blanca; Hau, Michaela; Verhulst, Simon

    2017-01-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) are often assumed to be indicators of stress. At the same time, one of their fundamental roles is to facilitate metabolic processes to accommodate changes in energetic demands. Although the metabolic function of GCs is thought to be ubiquitous across vertebrates, we are

  13. Sperm Precedence in Zebra Finches Does Not Require Special Mechanisms of Sperm Competition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colegrave, N.; Birkhead, T.R.; Lessells, C.M.

    1995-01-01

    Competition between the spermatozoa of different males to fertilize the eggs of a single female acts as a selection pressure on the behaviour of males and females. However, quantitative predictions about behaviour fan only be made if the paternity consequences of different patterns of copulation are

  14. Diurnal and Reproductive Stage-Dependent Variation of Parental Behaviour in Captive Zebra Finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Morvai, Boglarka; Nanuru, Sabine; Mul, Douwe; Kusche, Nina; Milne, Gregory; Szekely, Tamas; Komdeur, Jan; Miklosi, Adam; Pogany, Akos

    2016-01-01

    Parental care plays a key role in ontogeny, life-history trade-offs, sexual selection and intrafamilial conflict. Studies focusing on understanding causes and consequences of variation in parental effort need to quantify parental behaviour accurately. The applied methods are, however, diverse even

  15. First nesting record of White-naped Brush-Finch (Atlapetes albinucha

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Cisneros Palacios

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Primer registro de animación de Atlapetes albinucha Describo el primer nido localizado de Atlapetes albinucha, y los polluelos que contenía. Este nido lo localicé en un bosque de niebla del Estado de Oaxaca, México.

  16. Bill redness is positively associated with reproduction and survival in male and female zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simons, Mirre J. P.; Briga, Michael; Koetsier, Egbert; Folkertsma, Remco; Wubs, Matthias D.; Dijkstra, Cor; Verhulst, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Sexual traits can serve as honest indicators of phenotypic quality when they are costly. Brightly coloured yellow to red traits, which are pigmented by carotenoids, are relatively common in birds, and feature in sexual selection. Carotenoids have been linked to immune and antioxidant function, and

  17. Neural, not gonadal, origin of brain sex differences in a gynandromorphic finch

    OpenAIRE

    Agate, Robert J.; Grisham, William; Wade, Juli; Mann, Suzanne; Wingfield, John; Schanen, Carolyn; Palotie, Aarno; Arnold, Arthur P.

    2003-01-01

    In mammals and birds, sex differences in brain function and disease are thought to derive exclusively from sex differences in gonadal hormone secretions. For example, testosterone in male mammals acts during fetal and neonatal life to cause masculine neural development. However, male and female brain cells also differ in genetic sex; thus, sex chromosome genes acting within cells could contribute to sex differences in cell function. We analyzed the sexual phenotype of the brain of a rare gyna...

  18. Inbreeding depression of sperm traits in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Opatová, Pavlína; Ihle, M.; Albrechtová, Jana; Tomášek, Oldřich; Kempenaers, B.; Forstmeier, W.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 1 (2016), s. 295-304 ISSN 2045-7758 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : gamete performance * genetic quality * sperm abnormality * sperm morphology * sperm velocity Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 2.440, year: 2016

  19. A charged anisotropic well-behaved Adler-Finch-Skea solution satisfying Karmarkar condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhar, Piyali; Singh, Ksh. Newton; Rahaman, Farook; Pant, Neeraj; Banerjee, Sumita

    In the present paper, we discover a new well-behaved charged anisotropic solution of Einstein-Maxwell’s field equations. We ansatz the metric potential g00 of the form given by Maurya et al. (Eur. Phys. J. C 76(12) (2016) 693) with n = 2. In their paper, it is mentioned that for n = 2, the solution is not well-behaved for neutral configuration as the speed of sound is nondecreasing radially outward. However, the solution can represent a physically possible configuration with the inclusion of some net electric charge, i.e. the solution can become a well-behaved solution with decreasing sound speed radially outward for a charged configuration. Due to the inclusion of electric charge, the solution leads to a very stiff equation-of-state (EoS) with the velocity of sound at the center vr02 = 0.819, vt02 = 0.923 and the compactness parameter u = 0.823 is close to the Buchdahl limit 0.889. This stiff EoS support a compact star configuration of mass 5.418M⊙ and radius of 10.1km.

  20. Anatomically discrete sex differences in neuroplasticity in zebra finches as reflected by perineuronal nets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cornez, Gilles; ter Haar, Sita M; Cornil, Charlotte A; Balthazart, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Large morphological sex differences in the vertebrate brain were initially identified in song control nuclei of oscines. Besides gross differences between volumes of nuclei in males and females, sex differences also concern the size and dendritic arborization of neurons and various neurochemical

  1. The music of language : exploring grammar, prosody and rhythm perception in zebra finches and budgerigars

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spierings, M.J.

    2016-01-01

    Language is a uniquely human trait. All animals have ways to communicate, but these systems do not bear the same complexity as human language. However, this does not mean that all aspects of human language are specifically human. By studying the language perception abilities of other species, we can

  2. The effects of rearing conditions on sexual traits and preferences in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Holveck, Marie-Jeanne

    2008-01-01

    Although theory predicts that females should prefer the highest quality male, female mating preferences within populations often show pronounced variation. What causes and maintains this variation remains poorly understood. This thesis addresses the influence of rearing conditions both on female

  3. Delayed behavioral effects of postnatal exposure to corticosterone in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spencer, K. A.; Verhulst, S.

    Early developmental conditions can significantly influence the growth and survival of many animal species. We studied the consequences of exposure to corticosterone (CORT), a stress hormone, during the nestling stage on two behavioral traits (neophobia, social dominance) measured when the birds had

  4. Proximate control of avian sex allocation : A study on zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    von Engelhardt, Nikolaus Benedikt

    2004-01-01

    Sex allocatie is de strategie van verschillende investering in mannelijke en vrouwelijke nakomelingen. Sex allocatie betreft zowel de investering in het relatieve aantal zoons en dochters, de geslachtsverhouding of sex ratio, als ook de relatieve investering in elke individuele zoon en dochter Zie:

  5. Behavioral and neural lateralization of vision in courtship singing of the zebra finch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Isabelle; Hara, Erina; Hessler, Neal A

    2006-09-01

    Along with human speech and language processing, birdsong has been one of the best-characterized model systems for understanding the relationship of lateralization of brain function to behavior. Lateralization of song production has been extensively characterized, and lateralization of song perception has begun to be studied. Here we have begun to examine whether behavior and brain function are lateralized in relation to communicative aspects of singing, as well. In order to monitor central brain function, we assayed the levels of several activity dependent immediate early genes after directed courtship singing. Consistent with a lateralization of visual processing during communication, there were higher levels of expression of both egr-1 and c-fos in the left optic tectum after directed singing. Because input from the eyes to the brain is almost completely contralateral in birds, these results suggest that visual input from the right eye should be favored during normal singing to females. Consistent with this, we further found that males sang more when they could use only their right eye compared to when they could use only their left eye. Normal levels of singing, though, required free use of both eyes to view the female. These results suggest that there is a preference for visual processing by the right eye and left brain hemisphere during courtship singing. This may reflect a proposed specialization of the avian left hemisphere in sustaining attention on stimuli toward which a motor response is planned.

  6. Development of a bioaerosol single particle detector (BIO IN) for the fast ice nucleus chamber FINCH

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bundke, U.; Reimann, B.; Nillius, B.; Jaenicke, R.; Bingemer, H.

    2009-10-01

    In this work we present the setup and first tests of our new BIO IN detector. This detector is designed to classify atmospheric ice nuclei (IN) for their biological content. Biological material is identified via its auto-fluorescence (intrinsic fluorescence) after irradiation with UV radiation. Ice nuclei are key substances for precipitation development via the Bergeron-Findeisen process. The level of scientific knowledge regarding origin and climatology (temporal and spatial distribution) of IN is very low. Some biological material is known to be active as IN even at relatively high temperatures of up to -2°C (e.g. pseudomonas syringae bacteria). These biological IN could have a strong influence on the formation of clouds and precipitation. We have designed the new BIO IN sensor to analyze the abundance of IN of biological origin. The instrument will be flown on one of the first missions of the new German research aircraft ''HALO'' (High Altitude and LOng Range).

  7. Using David Lack's Observations of Finch Beak Size to Teach Natural Selection & the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierema, Andrea M.-K.; Rudge, David W.

    2014-01-01

    One of the key aspects of natural selection is competition, yet the concept of competition is not necessarily emphasized in explanations of natural selection. Because of this, we developed an activity for our class that focuses on competition and provides an example of the effects of competition on natural selection. This hands-on activity models…

  8. Diversity and social cohesion : the case of Jane-Finch, a highly diverse lower-income Toronto neighbourhood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ahmadi, D.

    2017-01-01

    Diversity has increasingly emerged as the core focus of many studies concerning factors impacting on social cohesion. Various scholars have concluded that diversity is detrimental to cohesion. Most of this research, however, draws generalisations based upon quantitative data and fails to account

  9. The songbird syrinx morphome: a three-dimensional, high-resolution, interactive morphological map of the zebra finch vocal organ

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    During, D. N.; Ziegler, A.; Thompson, C. K.

    2013-01-01

    in unprecedented detail. We provide interactive three-dimensional models that greatly improve the communication of complex morphological data and our understanding of syringeal function in general. Conclusions: Our results show that the syringeal skeleton is optimized for low weight driven by physiological...... and stimulation experiments. We also demonstrate how the syrinx can be stabilized during song to reduce mechanical noise and, as such, enhance repetitive execution of stereotypic motor patterns. In addition, we identify a cartilaginous structure suited to play a crucial role in the uncoupling of sound frequency...

  10. Singing-Related Activity in Anterior Forebrain of Male Zebra Finches Reflects Courtship Motivation for Target Females

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Mai; Poulsen, Thomas M.; Oka, Kotaro; Hessler, Neal A.

    2013-01-01

    A critical function of singing by male songbirds is to attract a female mate. Previous studies have suggested that the anterior forebrain system is involved in this courtship behavior. Neural activity in this system, including the striatal Area X, is strikingly dependent on the function of male singing. When males sing to attract a female bird rather than while alone, less variable neural activity results in less variable song spectral features, which may be attractive to the female. These characteristics of neural activity and singing thus may reflect a male's motivation for courtship. Here, we compared the variability of neural activity and song features between courtship singing directed to a female with whom a male had previously formed a pair-bond or to other females. Surprisingly, across all units, there was no clear tendency for a difference in variability of neural activity or song features between courtship of paired females, nonpaired females, or dummy females. However, across the population of recordings, there was a significant relationship between the relative variability of syllable frequency and neural activity: when syllable frequency was less variable to paired than nonpaired females, neural activity was also less variable (and vice-versa). These results show that the lower variability of neural activity and syllable frequency during directed singing is not a binary distinction from undirected singing, but can vary in intensity, possibly related to the relative preference of a male for his singing target. PMID:24312344

  11. Identification of the first toll-like receptor gene in passerine birds: TLR4 orthologue in zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vinkler, Michal; Bryjová, Anna; Albrecht, Tomáš; Bryja, Josef

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 74, č. 1 (2009), s. 32-41 ISSN 0001-2815 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600930608; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : avian immunogenetics * comparative immunology * evolutionary immunology Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.330, year: 2009

  12. 75 FR 43853 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule to List the Medium Tree-Finch...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-27

    ... confirmation of the success of the goat eradication program, was provided by one peer reviewer and has been... habitat is unprotected. A large amount of the highlands has been cleared or altered for farming. Much of... animals include goats (Capra hircus), donkeys (Equus asinus), cattle (Bos taurus), and pigs (Sus scrofa...

  13. Implications of nutritional stress as nestling or fledgling on subsequent attractiveness and fecundity in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Honarmand, Mariam; Krause, E.T.; Naguib, Marc

    2017-01-01

    The conditions an organism experiences during early development can have profound and long lasting effects on its subsequent behavior, attractiveness, and life history decisions. Most previous studies have exposed individuals to different conditions throughout development until nutritional

  14. Multimodal signalling in estrildid finches: song, dance and colour are associated with different ecological and life-history traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, A C R; Funghi, C; Soma, M; Sorenson, M D; Cardoso, G C

    2017-07-01

    Sexual traits (e.g. visual ornaments, acoustic signals, courtship behaviour) are often displayed together as multimodal signals. Some hypotheses predict joint evolution of different sexual signals (e.g. to increase the efficiency of communication) or that different signals trade off with each other (e.g. due to limited resources). Alternatively, multiple signals may evolve independently for different functions, or to communicate different information (multiple message hypothesis). We evaluated these hypotheses with a comparative study in the family Estrildidae, one of the largest songbird radiations, and one that includes many model species for research in sexual selection and communication. We found little evidence for either joint evolution or trade-offs between song and colour ornamentation. Some negative correlations between dance repertoire and song traits may suggest a functional compromise, but generally courtship dance also evolved independently from other signals. Instead of correlated evolution, we found that song, dance and colour are each related to different socio-ecological traits. Song complexity evolved together with ecological generalism, song performance with investment in reproduction, dance with commonness and habitat type, whereas colour ornamentation was shown previously to correlate mostly with gregariousness. We conclude that multimodal signals evolve in response to various socio-ecological traits, suggesting the accumulation of distinct signalling functions. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. MC1R Genotype and Plumage Colouration in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata): Population Structure Generates Artefactual Associations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoffman, J.L.; Krause, E.T.; Lehmann, K.; Krüger, O.

    2014-01-01

    Polymorphisms at the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene have been linked to coloration in many vertebrate species. However, the potentially confounding influence of population structure has rarely been controlled for. We explored the role of the MC1R in a model avian system by sequencing the coding

  16. Plasma reactive oxygen metabolites and non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity are not affected by an acute increase of metabolic rate in zebra finches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beamonte Barrientos, Rene; Verhulst, Simon

    Understanding the sources of variation in oxidative stress level is a challenging issue due to the implications of oxidative stress for late age diseases, longevity and life-history trade-offs. Reactive oxygen species that cause oxidative stress are mostly a by-product of energy metabolism and it is

  17. Optical sectioning using a digital Fresnel incoherent-holography-based confocal imaging system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelner, Roy; Katz, Barak; Rosen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    We propose a new type of confocal microscope using Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH). Presented here is a confocal configuration of FINCH using a phase pinhole and point illumination that is able to suppress out-of-focus information from the recorded hologram and hence combine the super-resolution capabilities of FINCH with the sectioning capabilities of confocal microscopy. PMID:26413560

  18. Optical sectioning using a digital Fresnel incoherent-holography-based confocal imaging system

    OpenAIRE

    Kelner, Roy; Katz, Barak; Rosen, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    We propose a new type of confocal microscope using Fresnel incoherent correlation holography (FINCH). Presented here is a confocal configuration of FINCH using a phase pinhole and point illumination that is able to suppress out-of-focus information from the recorded hologram and hence combine the super-resolution capabilities of FINCH with the sectioning capabilities of confocal microscopy.

  19. Chewing lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from estrildid finches (Aves: Passeriformes: Estrildidae) and louse-flies (Insecta: Diptera: Hippoboscidae) from birds in Senegal, with descriptions of three new species of the genus Brueelia

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sychra, O.; Literák, I.; Najer, T.; Čapek, Miroslav; Koubek, Petr; Procházka, Petr

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 2714, - (2010), s. 59-68 ISSN 1175-5326 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA6093404; GA AV ČR IAA601690901; GA MŠk LC06073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : chewing lice * louse-flies * Passeriformes * Senegal Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.853, year: 2010 http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2010/f/zt02714p068.pdf

  20. Compensation in resting metabolism for experimentally increased activity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deerenberg, C; Overkamp, GJF; Visser, GH; Daan, S; Heldmaier, G.

    1998-01-01

    To study zebra finch allocation of energy to day and night at two different workloads, we assessed the daily energy turnover from: (1) metabolizable energy of the food, and (2) doubly-labeled water. In both experiments we imposed two levels of activity on captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata),

  1. Risk and Resilience in Deployed Air Force Medical Personnel Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-15

    e.g., Linley, Andrews, & Joseph, 2007; Morris, Shakespeare - Finch, Rieck, & Newbery, 2005; Taku, Cann, Calhoun, & Tede- schi, 2008). These factors...providers. Military Psychology, 16, 99–114. doi:10.1207/ S15327876MP1602_2 Morris, B. A., Shakespeare -Finch, J., Rieck, M., & Newbery, J. (2005

  2. Research Article Special Issue

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2018-01-15

    Jan 15, 2018 ... Anti-predator behaviors that look very effective on. Finch-billed Myna ... boisterous voice, then suddenly there are eagles flying closed towards them. The Finch-billed .... population: lessons from birds and fish. In M. D. Hunter ...

  3. The genome of a songbird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warren, Wesley C.; Clayton, David F.; Ellegren, Hans

    2010-01-01

    The zebra finch is an important model organism in several fields with unique relevance to human neuroscience. Like other songbirds, the zebra finch communicates through learned vocalizations, an ability otherwise documented only in humans and a few other animals and lacking in the chickenthe only...

  4. Soome disainiklassika Adamson-Ericus / Kersti Koll

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Koll, Kersti

    2000-01-01

    Adamson-Ericu muuseumis näitus "Soome disain 1900. Tehas "Iris", Louis Sparre ja Alfred William Finch". Näha saab ka Aito Mäkineni filmi "A. W. Finch - eurooppalainen". Koostajad ja kujundajad Marketta Tamminen, Heidi Gustafsson, Juha Jämbäck

  5. Granivorous birds and sorghum crop in the province of Villa Clara,Cuba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orlando Miguel Saucedo Castillo

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In order to reduce the damages granivorous birds cause to sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench in the province of Villa Clara, Cuba, research based on the determination of the major endemic, migratory birds and their relationship with the distribution were made space of historical meteorological variables in the province in the seasonal behavior of birds in different climatic regions. Population to sorghum producers grouped in different forms surveys were conducted, which yielded a large database, such as the determination of the main grain-eating birds percentage damage incurred, varieties, grain color, growth stage and other indicators. Nine main species affecting sorghum grain-eating birds in our province were recorded; Passer domesticus, Lonchura malacca, Lonchura punctulata, Dives atroviolaceus, Passerina cyanea, Zonotrichia leucophrys, Columbina passerine, Zenaida macroura y Zenaida asiatica. The spatial distribution of meteorological variables and their relation to the seasonal behavior of birds in different climatic regions of the province was determined, based on record four preferential habitat areas. The results allowed us to provide companies and different forms of production in Villa Clara, the possibility of a varietal structure planting of sorghum on the basis of different preferential areas granivorous birds, together with the morphological and physiological characteristics of different genotypes introduced in agricultural production of the province and nationally.

  6. Plaadid / Brigitta Davidjants

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Davidjants, Brigitta, 1983-

    2005-01-01

    Uutest heliplaatidest Vincente Amigo "Un Momento En El Sonido", Faithless "Forever Faithless", Megadeth "Greatest Hits", Transplants "Haunted Cities", Finch "Say Hello To Sunshine", Alanis Morissetee "Jagged Little Pill Acoustic", Shelton San "Shelton San Ep"

  7. Stationing a U.S. Army Reserve Black Hawk Helicopter Company at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    include the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglotos), black phoebe (Saynoris nigricans), house finch (Carpodacus...cumulative impacts. Any wildlife killed during aviation activities is reported to the JFTB Los Alamitos Environmental Office for proper identification

  8. 76 FR 29274 - Notice of Determinations Regarding Eligibility To Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-20

    ... country under the Andean Trade Preference Act, African Growth and Opportunity Act, or the Caribbean Basin... the petition be withdrawn. TA-W-80,045; Brookline Furniture LLC, formerly known as Brooks Finch LLC...

  9. Metabolic rate and body temperature of an African sun bird ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1997-02-19

    Feb 19, 1997 ... has a wide distribution in southern Africa. ... sample the voltage output of the oxygen analyser every 2 min ... Bailey Bat thermocouple thermometer, and the system was .... A similar 50% drop in metabolic rate in finches at.

  10. Disease: H01212 [KEGG MEDICUS

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available iott PR, Finch JT, Carrell RW, Lomas DA ... TITLE ... Familial dementia caused by polymerization of mutant neuroserpin. ... JOURNAL ... Nat...ure 401:376-9 (1999) DOI:10.1038/43894 ... PMID:19164889 ... AUTHORS ... Belorgey D, Haggl

  11. the theological responses to the socio -economic activities that ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-06-02

    Jun 2, 2010 ... The RDP recognizes the economic value of water and the environment, and advocates an economically, environmentally .... other withdrawal uses combined' (Finch 1957:394). ... cause great disruptions in agricultural areas.

  12. Nonnative trout impact an alpine-nesting bird by altering aquatic-insect subsidies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epanchin, Peter N; Knapp, Roland A; Lawler, Sharon P

    2010-08-01

    Adjacent food webs may be linked by cross-boundary subsidies: more-productive donor systems can subsidize consumers in less-productive neighboring recipient systems. Introduced species are known to have direct effects on organisms within invaded communities. However, few studies have addressed the indirect effects of nonnative species in donor systems on organisms in recipient systems. We studied the direct role of introduced trout in altering a lake-derived resource subsidy and their indirect effects in altering a passerine bird's response to that subsidy. We compared the abundance of aquatic insects and foraging Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches (Leucosticte tephrocotis dawsoni, "Rosy-Finch") at fish-containing vs. fishless lakes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California (USA). Introduced trout outcompeted Rosy-Finches for emerging aquatic insects (i.e., mayflies). Fish-containing lakes had 98% fewer mayflies than did fishless lakes. In lakes without fish, Rosy-Finches showed an aggregative response to emerging aquatic insects with 5.9 times more Rosy-Finches at fishless lakes than at fish-containing lakes. Therefore, the introduction of nonnative fish into the donor system reduced both the magnitude of the resource subsidy and the strength of cross-boundary trophic interactions. Importantly, the timing of the subsidy occurs when Rosy-Finches feed their young. If Rosy-Finches rely on aquatic-insect subsidies to fledge their young, reductions in the subsidy by introduced trout may have decreased Rosy-Finch abundances from historic levels. We recommend that terrestrial recipients of aquatic subsidies be included in conservation and restoration plans for ecosystems with alpine lakes.

  13. Ultrafast evolution and loss of CRISPRs following a host shift in a novel wildlife pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel F Delaney

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Measureable rates of genome evolution are well documented in human pathogens but are less well understood in bacterial pathogens in the wild, particularly during and after host switches. Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG is a pathogenic bacterium that has evolved predominantly in poultry and recently jumped to wild house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus, a common North American songbird. For the first time we characterize the genome and measure rates of genome evolution in House Finch isolates of MG, as well as in poultry outgroups. Using whole-genome sequences of 12 House Finch isolates across a 13-year serial sample and an additional four newly sequenced poultry strains, we estimate a nucleotide diversity in House Finch isolates of only ∼2% of ancestral poultry strains and a nucleotide substitution rate of 0.8-1.2×10(-5 per site per year both in poultry and in House Finches, an exceptionally fast rate rivaling some of the highest estimates reported thus far for bacteria. We also found high diversity and complete turnover of CRISPR arrays in poultry MG strains prior to the switch to the House Finch host, but after the invasion of House Finches there is progressive loss of CRISPR repeat diversity, and recruitment of novel CRISPR repeats ceases. Recent (2007 House Finch MG strains retain only ∼50% of the CRISPR repertoire founding (1994-95 strains and have lost the CRISPR-associated genes required for CRISPR function. Our results suggest that genome evolution in bacterial pathogens of wild birds can be extremely rapid and in this case is accompanied by apparent functional loss of CRISPRs.

  14. A sex-chromosome inversion causes strong overdominance for sperm traits that affect siring success

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Knief, U.; Forstmeier, W.; Pei, Y.; Ihle, M.; Wang, D.; Martin, K.; Opatová, Pavlína; Albrechtová, Jana; Wittig, M.; Franke, A.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Kempenaers, B.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 8 (2017), s. 1177-1184 E-ISSN 2397-334X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Finch Taeniopygia guttata * mixed-effects models * zebra finch * pericentric inversions * fitness consequences * genetic parameters Subject RIV: EG - Zoology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology

  15. Opposing effects of oxidative challenge and carotenoids on antioxidant status and condition-dependent sexual signalling

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tomášek, Oldřich; Gabrielová, B.; Kačer, P.; Maršík, Petr; Svobodová, J.; Syslová, K.; Vinkler, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 6, č. 23546 (2016), s. 23546 ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2472; GA ČR GA15-11782S Institutional support: RVO:68081766 ; RVO:61389030 Keywords : finch Taenopygia guttata * plumage coloration * in-vivo * information content * immune activation * zebra finches * life span * stress * expression * capacity Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 4.259, year: 2016

  16. Mesotocin and nonapeptide receptors promote estrildid flocking behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodson, James L; Schrock, Sara E; Klatt, James D; Kabelik, David; Kingsbury, Marcy A

    2009-08-14

    Proximate neural mechanisms that influence preferences for groups of a given size are almost wholly unknown. In the highly gregarious zebra finch (Estrildidae: Taeniopygia guttata), blockade of nonapeptide receptors by an oxytocin (OT) antagonist significantly reduced time spent with large groups and familiar social partners independent of time spent in social contact. Opposing effects were produced by central infusions of mesotocin (MT, avian homolog of OT). Most drug effects appeared to be female-specific. Across five estrildid finch species, species-typical group size correlates with nonapeptide receptor distributions in the lateral septum, and sociality in female zebra finches was reduced by OT antagonist infusions into the septum but not a control area. We propose that titration of sociality by MT represents a phylogenetically deep framework for the evolution of OT's female-specific roles in pair bonding and maternal functions.

  17. Diversification in the Andes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sánchez-González, Luis A.; Navarro-Sigüenza, Adolfo G.; Krabbe, Niels Kaare

    2015-01-01

    With nearly 30 species, the Atlapetes brush-finches are one of the most species-rich genera in the New World sparrows (Passerellidae). Atlapetes is mainly distributed in highland forests from Mexico to north-western Argentina, with a few taxa in the foothills (......With nearly 30 species, the Atlapetes brush-finches are one of the most species-rich genera in the New World sparrows (Passerellidae). Atlapetes is mainly distributed in highland forests from Mexico to north-western Argentina, with a few taxa in the foothills (...

  18. Scopus: Journal of East African Ornithology - Vol 35, No 1 (2015)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    First recorded breeding of Clarke's Weaver Ploceus golandi · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. CHW Jackson, F Ng'weno, J Mwambire, J Mwachongo, A Baya, P Changawa, J Garama, S Kenga, S Katisho, S Barisa, K Thuva, P Wario, B Finch, S Ekesa, ...

  19. Book reviews | Lindsell | Scopus: Journal of East African Ornithology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Birds of the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Socotra. Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe with contributions from Nik Borrow and Brian Finch. Illustrated by John Gale and Brian Small. 2009. Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea: an atlas of distribution. John Ash and John Atkins.

  20. Birds and babies : a comparison of the early development in vocal learners

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haar, Sita Minke ter

    2013-01-01

    This thesis provides a comparison of mostly perceptual development during vocal learning in songbirds (zebra finches) and human infants. The aim is to disentangle experience dependent and independent processes during vocal learning. In both human infants and juvenile songbirds, a perceptual

  1. SWS2 visual pigment evolution as a test of historically contingent patterns of plumage color evolution in warblers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloch, Natasha I; Morrow, James M; Chang, Belinda S W; Price, Trevor D

    2015-02-01

    Distantly related clades that occupy similar environments may differ due to the lasting imprint of their ancestors-historical contingency. The New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) are ecologically similar clades that differ strikingly in plumage coloration. We studied genetic and functional evolution of the short-wavelength-sensitive visual pigments (SWS2 and SWS1) to ask if altered color perception could contribute to the plumage color differences between clades. We show SWS2 is short-wavelength shifted in birds that occupy open environments, such as finches, compared to those in closed environments, including warblers. Phylogenetic reconstructions indicate New World warblers were derived from a finch-like form that colonized from the Old World 15-20 Ma. During this process, the SWS2 gene accumulated six substitutions in branches leading to New World warblers, inviting the hypothesis that passage through a finch-like ancestor resulted in SWS2 evolution. In fact, we show spectral tuning remained similar across warblers as well as the finch ancestor. Results reject the hypothesis of historical contingency based on opsin spectral tuning, but point to evolution of other aspects of visual pigment function. Using the approach outlined here, historical contingency becomes a generally testable theory in systems where genotype and phenotype can be connected. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Status of population, occupation and seasonal habitat displacement ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    indigenous, foreign or exotic) to a particular ecosystem. Commonly, they are intentionally or unintentionally introduced into an ecosystem. It is suspected that the discovery of a population of Finch-billed Myna in the forest of West Java resulted from the ...

  3. Large diurnal temperature range increases bird sensitivity to climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Briga, Michael; Verhulst, Simon

    2015-01-01

    Climate variability is changing on multiple temporal scales, and little is known of the consequences of increases in short-term variability, particularly in endotherms. Using mortality data with high temporal resolution of zebra finches living in large outdoor aviaries (5 years, 359.220 bird-days),

  4. Effect of Egg Size on Predation by White-Footed Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. M. DeGraaf; T. J. Maier

    1996-01-01

    We compared predation by wild-trapped, caged white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) on eggs of Japanese Quail (Coturnix coturnix) and Zebra Finches (Poephila guttata) to test the effect of egg size. Nine male and nine female mice were weighed, acclimated to cages for 24 h, and presented with two wicker nests,...

  5. to view fulltext PDF

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    2004-05-02

    May 2, 2004 ... number of survivors to the age a in suitable time units. (like years for ...... Finch C E 1990 Longevity, senescence, and the genome (Uni- versity of ... Joeng K S, Song E J, Lee K J and Lee J 2004 Long lifespan in worms with ...

  6. V. Terrestrial vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean Pearson; Deborah Finch

    2011-01-01

    Within the Interior West, terrestrial vertebrates do not represent a large number of invasive species relative to invasive weeds, aquatic vertebrates, and invertebrates. However, several invasive terrestrial vertebrate species do cause substantial economic and ecological damage in the U.S. and in this region (Pimental 2000, 2007; Bergman and others 2002; Finch and...

  7. A Study of the Correlation between Home Literacy Behaviors for Children Birth to Age 5 and Subsequent Kindergarten Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert E., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    This research study investigated the at-home literacy behaviors and experiences of young children before and during their kindergarten year. Research has shown that the frequency and quality of at-home literacy experiences can either hinder or hamper children as their formal schooling begins (Fletcher, Cross, Tanney, Schneider, & Finch, 2008;…

  8. Scopus: Journal of East African Ornithology - Vol 32 (2012)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Remarks concerning the East African coastal form of the Tropical Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus sublacteus (Cassin 1851), and its supposed black morph · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT. DA Turner, BW Finch, ND Hunter, 47-49 ...

  9. Journal of Biosciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The distribution of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the central vocal control nuclei of the zebra finch was studied using enzyme histochemistry. AChE fibres and cells are intensely labelled in the forebrain nucleus area X, strongly labelled in high vocal centre (HVC) perikarya, and moderately to lightly labelled in the somata ...

  10. Remarks concerning two sympatric seedeaters Poliospiza spp. in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Turner, D.A., Finch, B.F, & Hunter, N.D. Remarks concerning the all-black coastal boubous. (Laniarius ... Currently, however, there is little evidence to support such a theory, and it is .... twigs with its beak in order to increase the size of the hole.

  11. Chapter 7: Migration and winter ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Jeffrey F. Kelly; Jean-Luc E. Cartron

    2000-01-01

    The willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii) is a Neotropical migrant that breeds in North America, but winters in Central and northern South America. Little specific information is known about migration and wintering ecology of the southwestern willow flycatcher (E. t. extimus) (Yong and Finch 1997). Our report applies principally...

  12. Landscape dynamics and considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Rich; Patricia Mehlhop

    1997-01-01

    Many studies in Southwestern ponderosa pine forests have investigated the relationships between songbirds and habitat characteristics at the level of individual patches (Hall et al. and Finch et al., this volume). To date, though, no published studies from Southwestern ponderosa pine forests have examined the relationships between songbirds and spatial patterns at the...

  13. Meeting to discuss laser cavity design for photon linear collider ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    linear collider – Daresbury, UK, 10 January 2006. ALEXANDER JOHN FINCH ... On 10 January 2006, a meeting to discuss laser cavity design for the photon linear collider was held at the Daresbury .... important to continue making contact with people in fields outside the accelerator community. Few experts at this meeting ...

  14. Neoimpressionismi klassikud Kumus / Ragne Nukk

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Nukk, Ragne, 1984-

    2010-01-01

    Näitus "Neoimpressionismi jälgedes. Mägi ja Finch" Kumu Kunstimuuseumis 12. septembrini 2010. Kuraator Tiina Abel, kujundaja Inga Heamägi. Eksponeeritakse Soome muuseumide kogudesse kuuluvaid prantsuse maalikunstnike töid ja eesti kunstnike teoseid. Lühidalt neoimpressionismist

  15. Terve maailma arhitektuurifestival / Urmas Oja

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Oja, Urmas, 1981-2012

    2008-01-01

    Muljeid Barcelonas toimunud Maailma arhitektuurifestivalilt (World Architecture Festival) 22.-24. okt. 2008. a. Keskseks ürituseks oli rahvusvaheline arhitektuurikonkurss, esitati 722 tööd 63 riigist. Võidutöid kommenteerib Ene Läkk. Raivo Kotovi kommentaar "Eesti seekord ei osalenud". Küsimustele vastab arhitektuurifestivali programmidirektor Paul Finch. 17 fotot

  16. Halvad, halvemad ja äravalitud / Aare Ermel

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Ermel, Aare, 1957-2013

    2003-01-01

    Ameerika Filmiinstituudi küsitluse järgi on maailma kõigi aegade kõige meeldejäävamaks kurjuse kehastuseks kinolinal Hannibal Lecter mängufilmides "Voonakeste vaikimine", "Hannibal" ja "Punane draakon" Anthony Hopkinsi kehastuses. Kõige sümpaatsemaks positiivseks tegelaseks valiti Atticus Finch draamas "Tappa laulurästast" Gregory Pecki kehastuses

  17. A demonstration of mobile phone deployment to support the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A demonstration of mobile phone deployment to support the treatment of acutely ill children under five in Bushenyi district, Uganda. Jerome Kabakyenga, Celestine Barigye, Jennifer Brenner, Samuel Maling, Denise Buchner, Alberto Nettle-Aquirre, Nalini Singhal, Teddy Kyomuhangi, David Tumusiime, Janet Finch, Stuart ...

  18. Vocal Communication: Decoding Sexy Songs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gahr, Manfred

    2018-04-02

    Male birds communicate sexual motivation via song performance, and receiving females might eventually respond to such 'ornaments'. A new study now shows that female zebra finches have a specialized higher order sensory (forebrain) region that preferably responds to the males' mating songs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Aspects of nestling growth in Abert's Towhee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    1984-01-01

    Among factors selecting for rapid growth rates in avian young are those that cause mortality of whole broods (e.g., predation, weather) (Ricklefs, Ecology 50:1031-1039, 1969). Abert's Towhee (Pipilo aberti) endures a high rate of nesting mortality caused by predation and brood parasitism (Finch, Condor 83:389, 1981; Condor 85:355-359, 1983). Predation is the...

  20. Species Diversity and Bird Feed in Residential Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadinoto; Suhesti, Eni

    2017-12-01

    Bird is one component of the ecosystem which has an important role in supporting the occurrence of an organism's life cycle. Therefore, the presence of birds in an area is important, because it can affect the existence and distribution of plant species. The purpose of this study is to calculate the diversity of bird species and identify the source of bird feed in the compound. This study was conducted by field surveys in the residential complex. In addition to the birds as a research object vegetation as habitat / foraging birds were also observed. Data were analyzed by using the bird diversity index, richenes index, bundance index, dominance analysis, analysis of bird distribution and analysis of the level of meeting types, while vegetation will be analyzed based on the type and part of what is eaten by birds. In Pandau Jaya housing complex, found as many as 12 species of birds which consists of seven families. Bird species often present is Cucak Kutilang (Pycnonotus aurigaster) of 20 individuals, Bondol Peking (Lonchura punctulata) 14 individuals and Perkutut Jawa (Geopelia striata) 10 individuals. Bird species diversity (H ‘) in Pandau Jaya housing complex is still relatively moderate with a value of 2.27, while the Evenness Index (E) of 0.91 and Richenes Index (R) of 2.45. Types of vegetation as a food source, among others: mango, guava, cherry, jackfruit, ketapang, coconut, areca, palm, banana, papaya, flowers and grasses.

  1. Host selection by the shiny cowbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, J.W.

    1988-01-01

    Factors important in Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) host selection were examined within the mangrove community in Puerto Rico. Cowbirds did not parasitize birds in proportion to their abundance. The cowbird breeding season coincided with those of its major hosts, which were 'high-quality' foster species (i.e., species that fledge .gtoreq. 55% of cowbirds hatched: Yellow Warbler, Dendroica petechia; Yellow-shouldered Blackbird, Agelaius xanthomus; Black-whiskered Vireo, Vireo altiloquus; Black-cowled Oriole, Icterus dominicensis; Peurto Rican Flycatcher, Myiarchus antillarum; Troupial, Icterus icterus), and did not extend into other periods even though nests of 'low-quality: species (i.e., species that fledge < 55% of cowbird chicks that hatched: Bronze Mannikin, Lonchura cucullata; Greater Antillean Grackle, Quiscalus niger; Gray Kingbird, Tyrannus dominicensis; Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos; Red-legged Thrush, Turdus plumbeus) were available. Shiny Cowbird food habits and egg size were similar to those of their hosts, suggesting that cowbirds choose hosts partly on the basis of this combination. Cowbirds located host nests primarily by cryptically watching activities of birds in likely habitats. Other nest locating strategies were active searching of suitable habitat and 'flushing' of hosts by the cowbird's noisy approach. Cowbirds closely monitored nest status with frequent visits that peaked on the host's first day of egg laying. Hosts using covered nests (e.g., cavities, domed nests) were as vulnerable to cowbird parasitism as those building open nests.

  2. Mist-netting records of some pest and non-pest rice field birds of the MUDA rice agroecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maimon Abdullah

    2002-01-01

    An initial survey was conducted to determine the status of bird population in the Muda rice area of Kedah. Sighting records as well as netting and bird ringing in conjunction with Capture-Recapture method were carried out on two occasions during the planting seasons of June 1993 and August 1994, respectively. On the former occasion, a total of 25 birds were captured by mist?netting at Kampung Kangkong, Mucla, of which 14 comprised of grainivores: twelve specimens of baya weavers or ciak tempua, Ploceusphilippinus and two specimens of scaly-breasted munias or, pipit pinang (Lonchura punctulata). Some nine specimens of white-throated kingfisher or pekaka belukar (Halcyon smyrnensis), a magpie robin or murai kampung (Copsychus sauiaris) and a greater painted snipe or meragi (Rostratula benghalensis) were also ringed and released. A 33% recapture success was recorded during the three-day netting period. On the second occasion, some 15 specimens comprising members of Columbidae, Ploceidae, Motacillidae, Alcedinidae, Apodidae and Caprimulgidae were mist-netted at Alor Serdang, Kota Sarang Semut, Muda. Likewise, the highest number netted (7) were the ubiquitous pest and commensal species, viz; baya weavers, ciak urasia and Richards pipit; followed by four white-breasted kingfishers, two peaceful doves, a house swift and a large-tailed nightjar. Details of vital statistics for each specimen captured were recorded and the results of our field observations showed that insectivores and darters were more likely to be netted than waterbirds and ground dwelling species. (Author)

  3. Waterbirds diversity in Peniti mangrove forest, Pontianak Regency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DEWI ELFIDASARI

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research was to know waterbirds diversity in the Peniti mangrove forest, Pontianak Regency. This research was found 19 species (9 families of waterbirds that living in the Peniti mangrove forest, Pontianak Regency, West Kalimantan. This identification showed that four species were member of Sternitidae Family, three species were member of Ardeidae Family, other three species were member of Anatidae Family, two species were member of Laridae Family, two species from Accipritidae Family, and Alcedinidae Family. One species from Ciconidae Family, Scolopacidae Family, and Ploceidae Family. Thirteen species of them were protected in Indonesia; there were Egretta garzetta, E. sacra, Ardea cinerea, Ciconia episcopus, Larus ridibundus, L. brunnicephalus, Sterna sumatrana, S. dougallii, Anous minutus, Gygis alba, Halcyon pileata, Todirhamphus chloris, and Lonchura fuscans. Lochura fuscans was belonging to Indonesian endemic birds, because we only found this bird species in Kalimantan Islands. Two species, Haliaetus leucogaster and Haliastur indus were the International protected species according to Appendix II Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES.

  4. Sexual dimorphism in striatal dopaminergic responses promotes monogamy in social songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokarev, Kirill; Hyland Bruno, Julia; Ljubičić, Iva; Kothari, Paresh J; Helekar, Santosh A; Tchernichovski, Ofer; Voss, Henning U

    2017-08-11

    In many songbird species, males sing to attract females and repel rivals. How can gregarious, non-territorial songbirds such as zebra finches, where females have access to numerous males, sustain monogamy? We found that the dopaminergic reward circuitry of zebra finches can simultaneously promote social cohesion and breeding boundaries. Surprisingly, in unmated males but not in females, striatal dopamine neurotransmission was elevated after hearing songs. Behaviorally too, unmated males but not females persistently exchanged mild punishments in return for songs. Song reinforcement diminished when dopamine receptors were blocked. In females, we observed song reinforcement exclusively to the mate's song, although their striatal dopamine neurotransmission was only slightly elevated. These findings suggest that song-triggered dopaminergic activation serves a dual function in social songbirds: as low-threshold social reinforcement in males and as ultra-selective sexual reinforcement in females. Co-evolution of sexually dimorphic reinforcement systems can explain the coexistence of gregariousness and monogamy.

  5. Workers of the world unite (or not?) The effect of ethnic diversity on the participation in trade unions

    OpenAIRE

    Benos, Nikos; Kammas, Pantelis

    2018-01-01

    This paper advances the hypothesis that workers participate less in trade unions in more ethnically fragmented societies. This hypothesis dates back at least to Marx and Engels who first suggested that increased ethnic and racial antipathies among workers undermine class consciousness and weaken the unity of the working class in the United States. Building on a set of innovative instruments derived from biogeography and more precisely the parasite-stress theory of values and sociality (Finche...

  6. Androgens regulate gene expression in avian skeletal muscles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J Fuxjager

    Full Text Available Circulating androgens in adult reproductively active male vertebrates influence a diversity of organ systems and thus are considered costly. Recently, we obtained evidence that androgen receptors (AR are expressed in several skeletal muscles of three passeriform birds, the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus, zebra finch (Taenopygia guttata, and ochre-bellied flycatcher (Mionectes oleagieus. Because skeletal muscles that control wing movement make up the bulk of a bird's body mass, evidence for widespread effects of androgen action on these muscles would greatly expand the functional impact of androgens beyond their well-characterized effects on relatively discrete targets throughout the avian body. To investigate this issue, we use quantitative PCR (qPCR to determine if androgens alter gene mRNA expression patterns in wing musculature of wild golden-collared manakins and captive zebra finches. In manakins, the androgen testosterone (T up-regulated expression of parvalbumin (PV and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I, two genes whose products enhance cellular Ca(2+ cycling and hypertrophy of skeletal muscle fibers. In T-treated zebra finches, the anti-androgen flutamide blunted PV and IGF-I expression. These results suggest that certain transcriptional effects of androgen action via AR are conserved in passerine skeletal muscle tissue. When we examined wing muscles of manakins, zebra finches and ochre-bellied flycatchers, we found that expression of PV and IGF-I varied across species and in a manner consistent with a function for AR-dependent gene regulation. Together, these findings imply that androgens have the potential to act on avian muscle in a way that may enhance the physicality required for successful reproduction.

  7. Dirty Pop: Contemporary British Painting, Group Exhibition

    OpenAIRE

    Stubbs, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Phil Allen, Peter Ashton Jones, Jake Clark, Richard Clegg, Dan Coombs, Nelson Diplexcito, Nadine Feinson, Mick Finch, Richard Hamilton, Dan Hays, Gavin Lockheart, Andrea Medjesi Jones, David Leeson, Duncan Newton, Sarah Pickstone, Colin Smith, John Stark, Michael Stubbs, James White, Mark Wright.\\ud \\ud Dirty Pop, curated for &Model by Mark Wright, presents twenty contemporary painters whose work connects with Pop Art of the 1960’s, and particularly the legacy of the important British artist ...

  8. Hemispheric dominance underlying the neural substrate for learned vocalizations develops with experience

    OpenAIRE

    Chirathivat, Napim; Raja, Sahitya C.; Gobes, Sharon M. H.

    2015-01-01

    Many aspects of song learning in songbirds resemble characteristics of speech acquisition in humans. Genetic, anatomical and behavioural parallels have most recently been extended with demonstrated similarities in hemispheric dominance between humans and songbirds: the avian higher order auditory cortex is left-lateralized for processing song memories in juvenile zebra finches that already have formed a memory of their fathers? song, just like Wernicke?s area in the left hemisphere of the hum...

  9. A hitchhikers guide to the Galapagos: co-phylogeography of Galapagos mockingbirds and their parasites

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Štefka, Jan; Hoeck, P.E.A.; Keller, L. F.; Smith, V. S.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 11, - (2011), e284 ISSN 1471-2148 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA206/08/1019 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : MULTILOCUS GENOTYPE DATA * DNA POLYMORPHISM DATA * POPULATION-STRUCTURE * MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA * LICE INSECTA * PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS * MAXIMUM-LIKELIHOOD * HOST-SPECIFICITY * DARWINS FINCHES * SPECIES TREES Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.521, year: 2011

  10. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird

    OpenAIRE

    Milenkaya, Olga; Catlin, Daniel H.; Legge, Sarah; Walters, Jeffrey R.

    2015-01-01

    Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival ove...

  11. Light scattering measurements supporting helical structures for chromatin in solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A M; Cotter, R I; Pardon, J F

    1978-05-01

    Laser light scattering measurements have been made on a series of polynucleosomes containing from 50 to 150 nucleosomes. Radii of gyration have been determined as a function of polynucleosome length for different ionic strength solutions. The results suggest that at low ionic strength the chromatin adopts a loosely helical structure rather than a random coil. The helix becomes more regular on increasing the ionic strength, the dimension resembling those proposed by Finch and Klug for their solenoid model.

  12. Genomic analysis of $\\textit{Salmonella enterica}$ serovar Typhimurium from wild passerines in England and Wales

    OpenAIRE

    Mather, Alison E; Lawson, Becki; de, Pinna Elizabeth; Wigley, Paul; Parkhill, Julian; Thomson, Nicholas R; Page, Andrew J; Holmes, Mark Adrian; Paterson, Gavin K

    2016-01-01

    Passerine salmonellosis is a well-recognised disease of birds in the order Passeriformes, including common songbirds such as finches and sparrows, caused by infection with $\\textit{Salmonella enterica}$ serovar Typhimurium. Previous research has suggested that some subtypes of S. Typhimurium – definitive phage types (DT) 40, 56 variant, and 160 – are host-adapted to passerines, and that these birds may represent a reservoir of infection for humans and other animals. Here, we have used whole g...

  13. The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-06-01

    Ambush 23 Vignette 7 - Two Convoys in the Kill Zone 27 Vignette 8 - Ambush Near Abdullah-e Burj 31 Vignette 9 - Deh-Khwaja Ambush 35 Vignette 10...Although Arab leaders and the West supplied arms and material to the Mujahideen, they did so with the hope of creat- ing a permanent, bleeding ulcer on...and Major Ray Finch. Robert Love helped with translation support and Linda Pride and Al Lindman provided computer assistance. The Combined Arms

  14. Open Access von A bis Z

    OpenAIRE

    Stieg, Kerstin; Pavlovic, Karlo

    2012-01-01

    The glossary „Open Access from A to Z“ comprises essential key terms on Open Access such as arXiv, The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI), Creative Commons (CC), the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR), the EU project Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research (DRIVER), the Finch Report,...

  15. Evidence for an edge effect on avian nest predation in fragmented afromontane forests in the Bamenda-Banso Highlands, NW Cameroon

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sedláček, O.; Mikeš, M.; Albrecht, Tomáš; Reif, J.; Hořák, D.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 4 (2014), s. 720-732 ISSN 1940-0829 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/1617 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Artificial nest s * Zebra finch eggs * Montane forest * Endemic species * Cameroon Mountains Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.125, year: 2014 http://tropicalconservationscience.mongabay.com/content/v7/TCS-2014-Vol7(4)_720-732_%20Ondrej.pdf

  16. Final Environmental Assessment Realignment of Jenkins Armed Forces Reserve Center (AFRC), Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, BRAC 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-05-01

    cryptoleucus Northern mockingbird Mimus polyglottos Black-throated sparrow Amphispiza bilineata Eastern meadowlark Sturnella magna House finch...Americans- and ealii~ kills 5,000 each year. :ses1 The network combines nub lie e sJ\\ awareness with an Internet- based information service and -qnd...scientists agree that p;roper cooking · will kill HEAL:: s most kinds of harmful bacteria, nobody is convinced that the bulk of consumers know what

  17. Belda et al., Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. (2013) 10(2):299 ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    AJTCAM

    Análisis de la biodiversidad de fauna vertebrada en el Parque Natural de la Serra de Mariola mediante fototrampeo. Mediter., 20: 7-34. 7. Belda, A., Martínez, J.E., Martín, C., Peiró, V. and Seva, E. (2010). Plants used to capture and sustain wild finches. (Fringillidae) in Southeast Spain. Econ. Bot., 64(4): 367–373. 8.

  18. An Epidemiological Investigation of Hart Park and Turlock Viruses in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    A closely related virus, Umbra, infects man in Malaysia (Wallace et al, 1977). .4 Umbra virus is also thought to be maintained in a Culex app...Tempelis et al, 1965). Isolations of FLA virus were made only after sampling emphasis was shifted to nestling birds (Kokernot et al, 1969) * -,and this...may parallel the nestling season in birds. House sparrows and house finches neat in Kern County during the months of March to August and the bulk of

  19. Repeatability of host female and male aggression towards a brood parasite

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Trnka, A.; Požgayová, Milica; Samaš, P.; Honza, Marcel

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 119, č. 10 (2013), s. 907-917 ISSN 0179-1613 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP506/12/2404 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Cuckoo Cuculus canorus * Great reed warblers * Nest defense * Behavioral syndromes * Plumage polymorphism * Enemy recognition * Potential hosts * Practical guide * Zebra finches Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.556, year: 2013

  20. Värvi triumf / Mai Levin

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Levin, Mai, 1942-

    2010-01-01

    Näitus "Neoimpressionismi jälgedes. Mägi ja Finch" Kumu Kunstimuuseumis 12. septembrini 2010. Kuraator Tiina Abel, kuraatori abi Liisa Kaljula, kujundaja Inga Heamägi. Puäntillismi mõjust, Konrad Mäe pöördumisest täppiva laadi poole. Inglise päritolu belgia-soome kunstniku Alfred William Finchi avastamisest. Prantsuse ja eesti kunstnike töödest näitusel

  1. Measures of Effectiveness for Non-Lethal Weapons: Aligning Behavioral Experiments with Operational Success

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    the task effectiveness of the NLW, so that the value of the NLW to the warfighter can be extrapolated to other missions with similar tasks. At first...Kenny, J. M., Scholl, D., Murray, B., Farrer, D., Sokolowski, J., Dolan, D., Peters, D., McShea, L., & Finch , K. (2007). Establishing a framework to...3), 452–477. doi:10.1080/14702436.2012.703847 Rahimi, R., Borve, S., & Arnesen, O. H. (2013). Disrupting verbal communication with high-intensity

  2. Equipment Health Monitoring with Non-Parametric Statistics for Online Early Detection and Scoring of Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-10-02

    defined by Eqs. (3)–(4) (Greenwell & Finch , 2004) (Kar & Mohanty, 2006). The p value provides the metric for novelty scoring. p = QKS(z) = 2 ∞∑ j=1 (−1...provides early detection of degradation and ability to score its significance in order to inform maintenance planning and consequently reduce disruption ...actionable information, sig- nals are typically processed from raw measurements into a reduced dimension novelty summary value that may be more easily

  3. Of blood, bones, and ribosomes: is Swachman-Diamond syndrome a ribosomopathy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Arlen W; Ellis, Steve R

    2011-05-01

    Mutations in the human SBDS (Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome) gene are the most common cause of Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome. In this issue of Genes & Development, Finch and colleagues (pp. 917-929) establish that SBDS functions in ribosome synthesis by promoting the recycling of eukaryotic initiation factor 6 (eIF6) in a GTP-dependent manner. This work supports the idea that a ribosomopathy may underlie this syndrome.

  4. Of blood, bones, and ribosomes: is Swachman-Diamond syndrome a ribosomopathy?

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Arlen W.; Ellis, Steve R.

    2011-01-01

    Mutations in the human SBDS (Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome) gene are the most common cause of Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome. In this issue of Genes & Development, Finch and colleagues (pp. 917–929) establish that SBDS functions in ribosome synthesis by promoting the recycling of eukaryotic initiation factor 6 (eIF6) in a GTP-dependent manner. This work supports the idea that a ribosomopathy may underlie this syndrome.

  5. A sensorimotor area in the songbird brain is required for production of vocalizations in the song learning period of development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piristine, Hande C; Choetso, Tenzin; Gobes, Sharon M H

    2016-11-01

    Sensory feedback is essential for acquiring and maintaining complex motor behaviors, including birdsong. In zebra finches, auditory feedback reaches the song control circuits primarily through the nucleus interfacialis nidopalii (Nif), which provides excitatory input to HVC (proper name)-a premotor region essential for the production of learned vocalizations. Despite being one of the major inputs to the song control pathway, the role of Nif in generating vocalizations is not well understood. To address this, we transiently inactivated Nif in late juvenile zebra finches. Upon Nif inactivation (in both hemispheres or on one side only), birds went from singing stereotyped zebra finch song to uttering highly variable and unstructured vocalizations resembling sub-song, an early juvenile song form driven by a basal ganglia circuit. Simultaneously inactivating Nif and LMAN (lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium), the output nucleus of a basal ganglia circuit, inhibited song production altogether. These results suggest that Nif is required for generating the premotor drive for song. Permanent Nif lesions, in contrast, have only transient effects on vocal production, with song recovering within a day. The sensorimotor nucleus Nif thus produces a premotor drive to the motor pathway that is acutely required for generating learned vocalizations, but once permanently removed, the song system can compensate for its absence. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1213-1225, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. In vivo detection of fluctuating brain steroid levels SHORT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Maaya; Rensel, Michelle A.; Schlinger, Barney A.; Remage-Healey, Luke

    2015-01-01

    This protocol describes a method for in vivo measurement of steroid hormones in brain circuits of the zebra finch. In vivo microdialysis has been used successfully to detect fluctuating neurosteroids in the auditory forebrain (Remage-Healey et al., 2008; 2012; Ikeda et al., 2012) and in the hippocampus (Rensel et al., 2012; 2013) of behaving adult zebra finches. In some cases, the steroids measured are derived locally (e.g., ‘neurosteroids’ like estrogens in males) whereas in other cases the steroids measured reflect systemic circulating levels and/or central conversion (e.g., the primary androgen testosterone and the primary glucocorticoid corticosterone). We also describe the method of reverse-microdialysis (‘retrodialysis’) of compounds that can influence local steroid neurochemistry as well as behavior. In vivo microdialysis can now be used to study steroid signaling in the brain for a variety of experimental purposes. Furthermore, similar methods have been developed to examine changing levels of catecholamines in behaving zebra finches (e.g., Sasaki et al., 2006). Thus, the combined study of neurochemistry and behavior in a vocal learning species now has a new set of powerful tools. PMID:25342066

  7. Gold or green: the debate on open access policies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abadal, Ernest

    2013-09-01

    The movement for open access to science seeks to achieve unrestricted and free access to academic publications on the Internet. To this end, two mechanisms have been established: the gold road, in which scientific journals are openly accessible, and the green road, in which publications are self-archived in repositories. The publication of the Finch Report in 2012, advocating exclusively the adoption of the gold road, generated a debate as to whether either of the two options should be prioritized. The recommendations of the Finch Report stirred controversy among academicians specialized in open access issues, who felt that the role played by repositories was not adequately considered and because the green road places the burden of publishing costs basically on authors. The Finch Report's conclusions are compatible with the characteristics of science communication in the UK and they could surely also be applied to the (few) countries with a powerful publishing industry and substantial research funding. In Spain, both the current national legislation and the existing rules at universities largely advocate the green road. This is directly related to the structure of scientific communication in Spain, where many journals have little commercial significance, the system of charging a fee to authors has not been adopted, and there is a good repository infrastructure. As for open access policies, the performance of the scientific communication system in each country should be carefully analyzed to determine the most suitable open access strategy.

  8. The songbird as a percussionist: syntactic rules for non-vocal sound and song production in Java sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayo Soma

    Full Text Available Music and dance are two remarkable human characteristics that are closely related. Communication through integrated vocal and motional signals is also common in the courtship displays of birds. The contribution of songbird studies to our understanding of vocal learning has already shed some light on the cognitive underpinnings of musical ability. Moreover, recent pioneering research has begun to show how animals can synchronize their behaviors with external stimuli, like metronome beats. However, few studies have applied such perspectives to unraveling how animals can integrate multimodal communicative signals that have natural functions. Additionally, studies have rarely asked how well these behaviors are learned. With this in mind, here we cast a spotlight on an unusual animal behavior: non-vocal sound production associated with singing in the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora, a songbird. We show that male Java sparrows coordinate their bill-click sounds with the syntax of their song-note sequences, similar to percussionists. Analysis showed that they produced clicks frequently toward the beginning of songs and before/after specific song notes. We also show that bill-clicking patterns are similar between social fathers and their sons, suggesting that these behaviors might be learned from models or linked to learning-based vocalizations. Individuals untutored by conspecifics also exhibited stereotypical bill-clicking patterns in relation to song-note sequence, indicating that while the production of bill clicking itself is intrinsic, its syncopation appears to develop with songs. This paints an intriguing picture in which non-vocal sounds are integrated with vocal courtship signals in a songbird, a model that we expect will contribute to the further understanding of multimodal communication.

  9. Separation and sampling of ice nucleation chamber generated ice particles by means of the counterflow virtual impactor technique for the characterization of ambient ice nuclei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, Ludwig; Mertes, Stephan; Kästner, Udo; Schmidt, Susan; Schneider, Johannes; Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Worringen, Annette; Kandler, Konrad; Ebert, Martin; Stratmann, Frank

    2014-05-01

    In 2011, the German research foundation (DFG) research group called Ice Nuclei Research Unit (INUIT (FOR 1525, project STR 453/7-1) was established with the objective to achieve a better understanding concerning heterogeneous ice formation. The presented work is part of INUIT and aims for a better microphysical and chemical characterization of atmospheric aerosol particles that have the potential to act as ice nuclei (IN). For this purpose a counterflow virtual impactor (Kulkarni et al., 2011) system (IN-PCVI) was developed and characterized in order to separate and collect ice particles generated in the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH; Bundke et al., 2008) and to release their IN for further analysis. Here the IN-PCVI was used for the inertial separation of the IN counter produced ice particles from smaller drops and interstitial particles. This is realized by a counterflow that matches the FINCH output flow inside the IN-PCVI. The choice of these flows determines the aerodynamic cut-off diameter. The collected ice particles are transferred into the IN-PCVI sample flow where they are completely evaporated in a particle-free and dry carrier air. In this way, the aerosol particles detected as IN by the IN counter can be extracted and distributed to several particle sensors. This coupled setup FINCH, IN-PCVI and aerosol instrumentation was deployed during the INUIT-JFJ joint measurement field campaign at the research station Jungfraujoch (3580m asl). Downstream of the IN-PCVI, the Aircraft-based Laser Ablation Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (ALABAMA; Brands et al., 2011) was attached for the chemical analysis of the atmospheric IN. Also, number concentration and size distribution of IN were measured online (TROPOS) and IN impactor samples for electron microscopy (TU Darmstadt) were taken. Therefore the IN-PCVI was operated with different flow settings than known from literature (Kulkarni et al., 2011), which required a further characterisation of its cut

  10. Learning to breathe and sing: development of respiratory-vocal coordination in young songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veit, Lena; Aronov, Dmitriy; Fee, Michale S

    2011-10-01

    How do animals with learned vocalizations coordinate vocal production with respiration? Songbirds such as the zebra finch learn their songs, beginning with highly variable babbling vocalizations known as subsong. After several weeks of practice, zebra finches are able to produce a precisely timed pattern of syllables and silences, precisely coordinated with expiratory and inspiratory pulses (Franz M, Goller F. J Neurobiol 51: 129-141, 2002). While respiration in adult song is well described, relatively little is known about respiratory patterns in subsong or about the processes by which respiratory and vocal patterns become coordinated. To address these questions, we recorded thoracic air sac pressure in juvenile zebra finches prior to the appearance of any consistent temporal or acoustic structure in their songs. We found that subsong contains brief inspiratory pulses (50 ms) alternating with longer pulses of sustained expiratory pressure (50-500 ms). In striking contrast to adult song, expiratory pulses often contained multiple (0-8) variably timed syllables separated by expiratory gaps and were only partially vocalized. During development, expiratory pulses became shorter and more stereotyped in duration with shorter and fewer nonvocalized parts. These developmental changes eventually resulted in the production of a single syllable per expiratory pulse and a single inspiratory pulse filling each gap, forming a coordinated sequence similar to that of adult song. To examine the role of forebrain song-control nuclei in the development of respiratory patterns, we performed pressure recordings before and after lesions of nucleus HVC (proper name) and found that this manipulation reverses the developmental trends in measures of the respiratory pattern.

  11. Differences in number and distribution of striatal calbindin medium spiny neurons between a vocal-learner (Melopsittacus undulatus and a non-vocal learner bird (Colinus virginianus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena eGarcia-Calero

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projecting neurons, known as medium spiny neurons (MSNs, segregate into two compartments called matrix and striosome in the mammalian striatum. The matrix domain is characterized by the presence of calbindin immunopositive (CB+ MSNs, not observed in the striosome subdivision. The existence of a similar CB+ MSN population has recently been described in two striatal structures in male zebra finch (a vocal learner bird: the striatal capsule and the Area X, a nucleus implicated in song learning. Female zebra finches show a similar pattern of CB+ MSNs than males in the developing striatum but loose these cells in juveniles and adult stages. In the present work we analyzed the existence and allocation of CB+MSNs in the striatal domain of the vocal learner bird budgerigar (representative of psittaciformes order and the non-vocal learner bird quail (representative of galliformes order. We studied the co-localization of CB protein with FoxP1, a transcription factor expressed in vertebrate striatal MSNs. We observed CB+ MSNs in the medial striatal domain of adult male and female budgerigars, although this cell type was missing in the potentially homologous nucleus for Area X in budgerigar. In quail, we observed CB+ cells in the striatal domain at developmental and adult stages but they did not co-localize with the MSN marker FoxP1. We also described the existence of the CB+ striatal capsule in budgerigar and quail and compared these results with the CB+ striatal capsule observed in juvenile zebra finches. Together, these results point out important differences in CB+MSN distribution between two representative species of vocal learner and non-vocal learner avian orders (respectively the budgerigar and the quail, but also between close vocal learner bird families.

  12. Nonapeptides and the Evolution of Social Group Sizes in Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James L. Goodson

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Species-typical patterns of grouping have profound impacts on many aspects of physiology and behavior. However, prior to our recent studies in estrildid finches, neural mechanisms that titrate species-typical group size preferences, independent of other aspects of social organization (e.g., mating system and parental care, have been wholly unexplored, likely because species-typical group size is typically confounded with other aspects of behavior and biology. An additional complication is that components of social organization are evolutionarily labile and prone to repeated divergence and convergence. Hence, we cannot assume that convergence in social structure has been produced by convergent modifications to the same neural characters, and thus any comparative approach to grouping must include not only species that differ in their species-typical group sizes, but also species that exhibit convergent evolution in this aspect of social organization. Using five estrildid finch species that differ selectively in grouping (all biparental and monogamous we have demonstrated that neural motivational systems evolve in predictable ways in relation to species-typical group sizes, including convergence in two highly gregarious species and convergence in two relatively asocial, territorial species. These systems include nonapeptide (vasotocin and mesotocin circuits that encode the valence of social stimuli (positive-negative, titrate group-size preferences, and modulate anxiety-like behaviors. Nonapeptide systems exhibit functional and anatomical properties that are biased towards gregarious species, and experimental reductions of nonapeptide signaling by receptor antagonism and antisense oligonucleotides significantly decrease preferred group sizes in the gregarious zebra finch. Combined, these findings suggest that selection on species-typical group size may reliably target the same neural motivation systems when a given social structure evolves

  13. Neural expression and post-transcriptional dosage compensation of the steroid metabolic enzyme 17β-HSD type 4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wise Petra M

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Steroids affect many tissues, including the brain. In the zebra finch, the estrogenic steroid estradiol (E2 is especially effective at promoting growth of the neural circuit specialized for song. In this species, only the males sing and they have a much larger and more interconnected song circuit than females. Thus, it was surprising that the gene for 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 4 (HSD17B4, an enzyme that converts E2 to a less potent estrogen, had been mapped to the Z sex chromosome. As a consequence, it was likely that HSD17B4 was differentially expressed in males (ZZ and females (ZW because dosage compensation of Z chromosome genes is incomplete in birds. If a higher abundance of HSD17B4 mRNA in males than females was translated into functional enzyme in the brain, then contrary to expectation, males could produce less E2 in their brains than females. Results Here, we used molecular and biochemical techniques to confirm the HSD17B4 Z chromosome location in the zebra finch and to determine that HSD17B4 mRNA and activity were detectable in the early developing and adult brain. As expected, HSD17B4 mRNA expression levels were higher in males compared to females. This provides further evidence of the incomplete Z chromosome inactivation mechanisms in birds. We detected HSD17B4 mRNA in regions that suggested a role for this enzyme in the early organization and adult function of song nuclei. We did not, however, detect significant sex differences in HSD17B4 activity levels in the adult brain. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the HSD17B4 gene is expressed and active in the zebra finch brain as an E2 metabolizing enzyme, but that dosage compensation of this Z-linked gene may occur via post-transcriptional mechanisms.

  14. Low diversity, activity, and density of transposable elements in five avian genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Bo; Wang, Saisai; Wang, Yali; Shen, Dan; Xue, Songlei; Chen, Cai; Cui, Hengmi; Song, Chengyi

    2017-07-01

    In this study, we conducted the activity, diversity, and density analysis of transposable elements (TEs) across five avian genomes (budgerigar, chicken, turkey, medium ground finch, and zebra finch) to explore the potential reason of small genome sizes of birds. We found that these avian genomes exhibited low density of TEs by about 10% of genome coverages and low diversity of TEs with the TE landscapes dominated by CR1 and ERV elements, and contrasting proliferation dynamics both between TE types and between species were observed across the five avian genomes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that CR1 clade was more diverse in the family structure compared with R2 clade in birds; avian ERVs were classified into four clades (alpha, beta, gamma, and ERV-L) and belonged to three classes of ERV with an uneven distributed in these lineages. The activities of DNA and SINE TEs were very low in the evolution history of avian genomes; most LINEs and LTRs were ancient copies with a substantial decrease of activity in recent, with only LTRs and LINEs in chicken and zebra finch exhibiting weak activity in very recent, and very few TEs were intact; however, the recent activity may be underestimated due to the sequencing/assembly technologies in some species. Overall, this study demonstrates low diversity, activity, and density of TEs in the five avian species; highlights the differences of TEs in these lineages; and suggests that the current and recent activity of TEs in avian genomes is very limited, which may be one of the reasons of small genome sizes in birds.

  15. Sex Reversal and Comparative Data Undermine the W Chromosome and Support Z-linked DMRT1 as the Regulator of Gonadal Sex Differentiation in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirst, Claire E; Major, Andrew T; Ayers, Katie L; Brown, Rosie J; Mariette, Mylene; Sackton, Timothy B; Smith, Craig A

    2017-09-01

    The exact genetic mechanism regulating avian gonadal sex differentiation has not been completely resolved. The most likely scenario involves a dosage mechanism, whereby the Z-linked DMRT1 gene triggers testis development. However, the possibility still exists that the female-specific W chromosome may harbor an ovarian determining factor. In this study, we provide evidence that the universal gene regulating gonadal sex differentiation in birds is Z-linked DMRT1 and not a W-linked (ovarian) factor. Three candidate W-linked ovarian determinants are HINTW, female-expressed transcript 1 (FET1), and female-associated factor (FAF). To test the association of these genes with ovarian differentiation in the chicken, we examined their expression following experimentally induced female-to-male sex reversal using the aromatase inhibitor fadrozole (FAD). Administration of FAD on day 3 of embryogenesis induced a significant loss of aromatase enzyme activity in female gonads and masculinization. However, expression levels of HINTW, FAF, and FET1 were unaltered after experimental masculinization. Furthermore, comparative analysis showed that FAF and FET1 expression could not be detected in zebra finch gonads. Additionally, an antibody raised against the predicted HINTW protein failed to detect it endogenously. These data do not support a universal role for these genes or for the W sex chromosome in ovarian development in birds. We found that DMRT1 (but not the recently identified Z-linked HEMGN gene) is male upregulated in embryonic zebra finch and emu gonads, as in the chicken. As chicken, zebra finch, and emu exemplify the major evolutionary clades of birds, we propose that Z-linked DMRT1, and not the W sex chromosome, regulates gonadal sex differentiation in birds. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society.

  16. Neuroinflammation induces glial aromatase expression in the uninjured songbird brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saldanha Colin J

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Estrogens from peripheral sources as well as central aromatization are neuroprotective in the vertebrate brain. Under normal conditions, aromatase is only expressed in neurons, however following anoxic/ischemic or mechanical brain injury; aromatase is also found in astroglia. This increased glial aromatization and the consequent estrogen synthesis is neuroprotective and may promote neuronal survival and repair. While the effects of estradiol on neuroprotection are well studied, what induces glial aromatase expression remains unknown. Methods Adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata were given a penetrating injury to the entopallium. At several timepoints later, expression of aromatase, IL-1β-like, and IL-6-like were examined using immunohisotchemistry. A second set of zebra birds were exposed to phytohemagglutinin (PHA, an inflammatory agent, directly on the dorsal surface of the telencephalon without creating a penetrating injury. Expression of aromatase, IL-1β-like, and IL-6-like were examined using both quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to examine mRNA expression and immunohistochemistry to determine cellular expression. Statistical significance was determined using t-test or one-way analysis of variance followed by the Tukey Kramers post hoc test. Results Following injury in the zebra finch brain, cytokine expression occurs prior to aromatase expression. This temporal pattern suggests that cytokines may induce aromatase expression in the damaged zebra finch brain. Furthermore, evoking a neuroinflammatory response characterized by an increase in cytokine expression in the uninjured brain is sufficient to induce glial aromatase expression. Conclusions These studies are among the first to examine a neuroinflammatory response in the songbird brain following mechanical brain injury and to describe a novel neuroimmune signal to initiate aromatase expression in glia.

  17. Distribution of language-related Cntnap2 protein in neural circuits critical for vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Condro, Michael C; White, Stephanie A

    2014-01-01

    Variants of the contactin associated protein-like 2 (Cntnap2) gene are risk factors for language-related disorders including autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment, and stuttering. Songbirds are useful models for study of human speech disorders due to their shared capacity for vocal learning, which relies on similar cortico-basal ganglia circuitry and genetic factors. Here we investigate Cntnap2 protein expression in the brain of the zebra finch, a songbird species in which males, but not females, learn their courtship songs. We hypothesize that Cntnap2 has overlapping functions in vocal learning species, and expect to find protein expression in song-related areas of the zebra finch brain. We further expect that the distribution of this membrane-bound protein may not completely mirror its mRNA distribution due to the distinct subcellular localization of the two molecular species. We find that Cntnap2 protein is enriched in several song control regions relative to surrounding tissues, particularly within the adult male, but not female, robust nucleus of the arcopallium (RA), a cortical song control region analogous to human layer 5 primary motor cortex. The onset of this sexually dimorphic expression coincides with the onset of sensorimotor learning in developing males. Enrichment in male RA appears due to expression in projection neurons within the nucleus, as well as to additional expression in nerve terminals of cortical projections to RA from the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the nidopallium. Cntnap2 protein expression in zebra finch brain supports the hypothesis that this molecule affects neural connectivity critical for vocal learning across taxonomic classes. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. The Enigma of Progressively Partial Endoreplication: New Insights Provided by Flow Cytometry and Next-Generation Sequencing

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hřibová, Eva; Holušová, Kateřina; Trávníček, Pavel; Petrovská, Beáta; Ponert, J.; Šimková, Hana; Kubátová, B.; Jersáková, J.; Čurn, V.; Suda, Jan; Doležel, Jaroslav; Vrána, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 6 (2016), s. 1996-2005 ISSN 1759-6653 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP506/12/1320; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : nuclear-dna content * genome size * repetitive dna * zebra finch * chromosome * elimination * endoreduplication * replication * evolution * orchids * cell cycle * DNA replication * EdU * endoreduplication * Ludisia discolor * orchids Subject RIV: EF - Botanics; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 3.979, year: 2016

  19. Birth of projection neurons in adult avian brain may be related to perceptual or motor learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvarez-Buylla, A.; Kirn, J.R.; Nottebohm, F.

    1990-01-01

    Projection neurons that form part of the motor pathway for song control continue to be produced and to replace older projection neurons in adult canaries and zebra finches. This is shown by combining [3H]thymidine, a cell birth marker, and fluorogold, a retrogradely transported tracer of neuronal connectivity. Species and seasonal comparisons suggest that this process is related to the acquisition of perceptual or motor memories. The ability of an adult brain to produce and replace projection neurons should influence our thinking on brain repair

  20. Juvenile i`iwi detected in lower elevations of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudioso, Jacqueline M.; Beck, Angela T.

    2013-01-01

    The Hawaiian islands are home to a diverse array of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. Among the most famous of these are the spectacular Hawaiian honeycreepers, a group that evolved from a single flock of ancestral finches into at least 54 unique species. Unfortunately, the same isolation that fostered such dramatic adaptive radiation left Hawaiian species vulnerable. Under the onslaught of alien species predation and competition, habitat degradation, and introduced infectious diseases and parasites, most of the surviving honeycreepers have become largely confined to higher elevations. Intact habitat exists above the warm-weather range of deadly introduced avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum), and its mosquito vector (Culex quinquefasciatus).

  1. Songbirds use pulse tone register in two voices to generate low-frequency sound

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kenneth Kragh; Cooper, Brenton G.; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    2007-01-01

    , the syrinx, is unknown. We present the first high-speed video records of the intact syrinx during induced phonation. The syrinx of anaesthetized crows shows a vibration pattern of the labia similar to that of the human vocal fry register. Acoustic pulses result from short opening of the labia, and pulse...... generation alternates between the left and right sound sources. Spontaneously calling crows can also generate similar pulse characteristics with only one sound generator. Airflow recordings in zebra finches and starlings show that pulse tone sounds can be generated unilaterally, synchronously...

  2. Occurrence of Ornithonyssus sylviarum in pet birds from the district of Setúbal, Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waap, Helga; Paulino, Diana; Cardoso, Rita

    2017-07-01

    Ornithonyssus sylviarum is a blood-feeding ectoparasite of birds and the most serious pest in poultry farms in North America. Although the mites are typically adapted to temperate climates, information on this mite in Europe is sparse, and Dermanyssus gallinae is considered to be the only mite impacting the poultry industry. The present study reports the occurrence of O. sylviarum in pet birds in Portugal. Mites were collected directly from birds and with traps placed in cages and nests at 20 different sampling places belonging to 6 municipalities in the district of Setúbal. In a total of 217 birds, O. sylviarum was identified in 47 out of 147 (32.0%) canaries (Serinus canaria), 14 out of 21 (14.3%) estrildid finches, 1 out of 24 (4.2%) budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and 1 out of 15 (6.7%) lovebirds (Agapornis spp.). Mites of the genus Dermanyssus were identified in 8 canaries (5.4%), 8 estrildid finches (38.1%) and 1 lovebird (6.7%). No mites were found in 6 cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), 2 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), 1 Bourke's parrot (Neophema bourkii) and 1 rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri). Considering the zoonotic potential and the risk of dissemination to poultry, the present findings underline the need for further monitoring of O. sylviarum in the wild and domestic avifauna in Portugal.

  3. Variation in the structure of bird nests between northern Manitoba and southeastern Ontario.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carla A Crossman

    Full Text Available Traits that converge in appearance under similar environmental conditions among phylogenetically independent lineages are thought to represent adaptations to local environments. We tested for convergence in nest morphology and composition of birds breeding in two ecologically different locations in Canada: Churchill in northern Manitoba and Elgin in southeastern Ontario. We examined nests from four families of passerine birds (Turdidae: Turdus, Parulidae: Dendroica, Emberizidae: Passerculus and Fringillidae: Carduelis where closely related populations or species breed in both locations. Nests of American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches had heavier nest masses, and tended to have thicker nest-walls, in northern Manitoba compared with conspecifics or congenerics breeding in southeastern Ontario. Together, all species showed evidence for wider internal and external nest-cup diameters in northern Manitoba, while individual species showed varying patterns for internal nest-cup and external nest depths. American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches in northern Manitoba achieved heavier nest masses in different ways. American Robins increased all materials in similar proportions, and Yellow Warblers and Common Redpolls used greater amounts of select materials. While changes in nest composition vary uniquely for each species, the pattern of larger nests in northern Manitoba compared to southeastern Ontario in three of our four phylogenetically-independent comparisons suggests that birds are adapting to similar selective pressures between locations.

  4. Hemispheric dominance underlying the neural substrate for learned vocalizations develops with experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirathivat, Napim; Raja, Sahitya C; Gobes, Sharon M H

    2015-06-22

    Many aspects of song learning in songbirds resemble characteristics of speech acquisition in humans. Genetic, anatomical and behavioural parallels have most recently been extended with demonstrated similarities in hemispheric dominance between humans and songbirds: the avian higher order auditory cortex is left-lateralized for processing song memories in juvenile zebra finches that already have formed a memory of their fathers' song, just like Wernicke's area in the left hemisphere of the human brain is dominant for speech perception. However, it is unclear if hemispheric specialization is due to pre-existing functional asymmetry or the result of learning itself. Here we show that in juvenile male and female zebra finches that had never heard an adult song before, neuronal activation after initial exposure to a conspecific song is bilateral. Thus, like in humans, hemispheric dominance develops with vocal proficiency. A left-lateralized functional system that develops through auditory-vocal learning may be an evolutionary adaptation that could increase the efficiency of transferring information within one hemisphere, benefiting the production and perception of learned communication signals.

  5. Early life manipulations of vasopressin-family peptides alter vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baran, Nicole M; Peck, Samantha C; Kim, Tabitha H; Goldstein, Michael H; Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2017-07-26

    Vocal learning from social partners is crucial for the successful development of communication in a wide range of species. Social interactions organize attention and enhance motivation to learn species-typical behaviour. However, the neurobiological mechanisms connecting social motivation and vocal learning are unknown. Using zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ), a ubiquitous model for vocal learning, we show that manipulations of nonapeptide hormones in the vasopressin family (arginine vasotocin, AVT) early in development can promote or disrupt both song and social motivation. Young male zebra finches, like human infants, are socially gregarious and require interactive feedback from adult tutors to learn mature vocal forms. To investigate the role of social motivational mechanisms in song learning, in two studies, we injected hatchling males with AVT or Manning compound (MC, a nonapeptide receptor antagonist) on days 2-8 post-hatching and recorded song at maturity. In both studies, MC males produced a worse match to tutor song than controls. In study 2, which experimentally controlled for tutor and genetic factors, AVT males also learned song significantly better compared with controls. Furthermore, song similarity correlated with several measures of social motivation throughout development. These findings provide the first evidence that nonapeptides are critical to the development of vocal learning. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spencer, Karen A.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P.; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M.; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if or how the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or color-imparting structural feather microstructure may be adversely affected by condition. Here we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, while in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account.

  7. Exact reconstruction formula for the spherical mean Radon transform on ellipsoids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haltmeier, Markus

    2014-01-01

    Many modern imaging and remote sensing applications require reconstructing a function from spherical averages (mean values). Examples include photoacoustic tomography, ultrasound imaging or SONAR. Several formulas of the back-projection type for recovering a function in n spatial dimensions from mean values over spheres centered on a sphere have been derived by D Finch, S K Patch and Rakesh (2004 SIAM J. Math. Anal. 35 1213–1240) for odd spatial dimension and by D Finch, M Haltmeier and Rakesh (2007 SIAM J. Appl. Math. 68 392–412) for even spatial dimension. In this paper we generalize some of these formulas to the case where the centers of integration lie on the boundary of an arbitrary ellipsoid. For the special cases n = 2 and n = 3 our results have recently been established by Y Salman (2014 J. Math. Anal. Appl. 420 612–20). For the higher dimensional case n>3 we establish proof techniques extending the ones in the above references. Back-projection type inversion formulas for recovering a function from spherical means with centers on an ellipsoid have first been derived by F Natterer (2012 Inverse Problems Imaging 6 315–20) for n = 3 and by V Palamodov (2012 Inverse Problems 28 065014) for arbitrary dimension. The results of Natterer have later been generalized to arbitrary dimension by M Haltmeier (2014 SIAM J. Math. Anal. 46 214–32). Note that these formulas are different from the ones derived in the present paper. (paper)

  8. Mammal-like organization of the avian midbrain central gray and a reappraisal of the intercollicular nucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcy A Kingsbury

    Full Text Available In mammals, rostrocaudal columns of the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG regulate diverse behavioral and physiological functions, including sexual and fight-or-flight behavior, but homologous columns have not been identified in non-mammalian species. In contrast to mammals, in which the PAG lies ventral to the superior colliculus and surrounds the cerebral aqueduct, birds exhibit a hypertrophied tectum that is displaced laterally, and thus the midbrain central gray (CG extends mediolaterally rather than dorsoventrally as in mammals. We therefore hypothesized that the avian CG is organized much like a folded open PAG. To address this hypothesis, we conducted immunohistochemical comparisons of the midbrains of mice and finches, as well as Fos studies of aggressive dominance, subordinance, non-social defense and sexual behavior in territorial and gregarious finch species. We obtained excellent support for our predictions based on the folded open model of the PAG and further showed that birds possess functional and anatomical zones that form longitudinal columns similar to those in mammals. However, distinguishing characteristics of the dorsal/dorsolateral PAG, such as a dense peptidergic innervation, a longitudinal column of neuronal nitric oxide synthase neurons, and aggression-induced Fos responses, do not lie within the classical avian CG, but in the laterally adjacent intercollicular nucleus (ICo, suggesting that much of the ICo is homologous to the dorsal PAG.

  9. Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. from fecal samples of birds kept in captivity in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Alex Akira; Simões, Daniel Castendo; Antunes, Rômulo Godik; da Silva, Deuvânia Carvalho; Meireles, Marcelo Vasconcelos

    2009-12-03

    The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium species and genotypes in birds kept in captivity in Brazil. A total of 966 samples from 18 families of birds was collected and stored in 5% potassium dichromate solution at 4 degrees C until processing. Oocysts were purified in Sheather sugar solution following extraction of genomic DNA. Molecular analyses were performed using nested-PCR for amplification of fragments of the 18S subunit of rRNA gene and of the actin gene. Amplification of Cryptosporidium DNA fragments was obtained in 47 (4.86%) samples. Sequencing of amplified fragments and phylogenetic analyses allowed the identification of Cryptosporidium baileyi in a black vulture (Coragyps atratus), a domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) and a saffron finch (Sicalis flaveola); Cryptosporidium galli in canaries (Serinus canaria), a cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) and lesser seed-finches (Oryzoborus angolensis); Cryptosporidium meleagridis in a domestic chicken (G. g. domesticus); Cryptosporidium parvum in a cockatiel (N. hollandicus); Cryptosporidium avian genotype I in a canary (S. canaria) and an Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus); Cryptosporidium avian genotype II in ostriches (Struthio camelus) and Cryptosporidium avian genotype III in a cockatiel (N. hollandicus) and a peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicolis).

  10. Eimeria atlapetesi nom. nov., a replacement name for Eimeria pileata Soriano-Vargas et al., 2015 (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae), preoccupied by Eimeria pileata Straneva and Kelley, 1979 (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae), with observations on histopathology and phylogenetic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriano-Vargas, Edgardo; Salgado-Miranda, Celene; Zepeda-Velázquez, Andrea Paloma; Medina, Juan Pablo; Janczur, Mariusz Krzysztof; González-Gómez, Maricruz; Flores-Valle, Izanami Tereira; Berto, Bruno Pereira; Lopes, Carlos Wilson Gomes

    2017-01-31

    Eimeria pileata Soriano-Vargas, Medina, Salgado-Miranda, García-Conejo, Galindo-Sánchez, Janczur, Berto and Lopes, 2015 is a junior homonym of Eimeria pileata Straneva and Kelley, 1979 and needs to be replaced. This coccidium was described from a rufous-capped brush finch Atlapetes pileatus Wagler in the Nevado de Toluca Natural Protected Area, Mexico. Thus, to maintain the original intent of the specific epithet derived from the scientific name of the type-host, the name Eimeria atlapetesi nom. nov. is proposed as a replacement name. Additionally, the current work reports another rufous-capped brush finch A. pileatus parasitized by E. atlapetesi in co-infection with an Isospora sp., providing observations of histopathology and phylogenetic analysis of 18S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene from E. atlapetesi. Endogenous forms of E. atlapetesi and Isospora sp. were observed in intestinal sections. Few oocysts of Isospora sp. were observed; therefore they were not morphologically or molecularly identified. In return, E. atlapetesi was identified and it was phylogenetically close to Eimeria dispersa Tyzzer, 1929 from the domestic turkey Meleagris gallopavo Linnaeus.

  11. Basal metabolic rate can evolve independently of morphological and behavioural traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathot, K J; Martin, K; Kempenaers, B; Forstmeier, W

    2013-09-01

    Quantitative genetic analyses of basal metabolic rate (BMR) can inform us about the evolvability of the trait by providing estimates of heritability, and also of genetic correlations with other traits that may constrain the ability of BMR to respond to selection. Here, we studied a captive population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) in which selection lines for male courtship rate have been established. We measure BMR in these lines to see whether selection on male sexual activity would change BMR as a potentially correlated trait. We find that the genetic correlation between courtship rate and BMR is practically zero, indicating that the two traits can evolve independently of each other. Interestingly, we find that the heritability of BMR in our population (h(2)=0.45) is markedly higher than was previously reported for a captive zebra finch population from Norway. A comparison of the two studies shows that additive genetic variance in BMR has been largely depleted in the Norwegian population, especially the genetic variance in BMR that is independent of body mass. In our population, the slope of BMR increase with body mass differs not only between the sexes but also between the six selection lines, which we tentatively attribute to genetic drift and/or founder effects being strong in small populations. Our study therefore highlights two things. First, the evolvability of BMR may be less constrained by genetic correlations and lack of independent genetic variation than previously described. Second, genetic drift in small populations can rapidly lead to different evolvabilities across populations.

  12. Stress Responses to Heat Exposure in Three Species of Australian Desert Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Shangzhe; Romero, L Michael; Htut, Zaw Win; McWhorter, Todd J

    Birds need to respond to weather changes quickly and appropriately for their own well-being and survival. The inability to respond appropriately to heat waves can be fatal to individual birds and can translate into large-scale mortality events. We investigated corticosterone (CORT) and heterophil∶lymphocyte (H∶L) ratio responses of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), and diamond doves (Geopelia cuneata) to heat exposures. The birds were exposed to a temperature similar to what they experience during a typical summer day (35°C) and a higher temperature (45°C) similar to that experienced during a heat wave. There were no significant increases between the CORT concentrations before and after heat exposure in zebra finches and budgerigars at 35° and 45°C, but there was a significant increase in CORT concentrations in diamond doves after exposure to 45°C. The H∶L ratios increased significantly after heat exposure in budgerigars at 35° and 45°C and in diamond doves at 35°C. No significant correlation was found between the changes in CORT and H∶L ratios. The data suggest that there are species differences in birds' stress responses to heat exposure that may reflect their ability to detect and adapt to high temperatures. There appear to be differences between the two types of stress measurements, which may reflect differences in the timescales of these responses.

  13. Variation in the Structure of Bird Nests between Northern Manitoba and Southeastern Ontario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossman, Carla A.; Rohwer, Vanya G.; Martin, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    Traits that converge in appearance under similar environmental conditions among phylogenetically independent lineages are thought to represent adaptations to local environments. We tested for convergence in nest morphology and composition of birds breeding in two ecologically different locations in Canada: Churchill in northern Manitoba and Elgin in southeastern Ontario. We examined nests from four families of passerine birds (Turdidae: Turdus, Parulidae: Dendroica, Emberizidae: Passerculus and Fringillidae: Carduelis) where closely related populations or species breed in both locations. Nests of American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches had heavier nest masses, and tended to have thicker nest-walls, in northern Manitoba compared with conspecifics or congenerics breeding in southeastern Ontario. Together, all species showed evidence for wider internal and external nest-cup diameters in northern Manitoba, while individual species showed varying patterns for internal nest-cup and external nest depths. American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches in northern Manitoba achieved heavier nest masses in different ways. American Robins increased all materials in similar proportions, and Yellow Warblers and Common Redpolls used greater amounts of select materials. While changes in nest composition vary uniquely for each species, the pattern of larger nests in northern Manitoba compared to southeastern Ontario in three of our four phylogenetically-independent comparisons suggests that birds are adapting to similar selective pressures between locations. PMID:21552515

  14. Inhibition of hippocampal aromatization impairs spatial memory performance in a male songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, David J; Ma, Chunqi; Soma, Kiran K; Saldanha, Colin J

    2013-12-01

    Recent studies have revealed the presence and regulation of aromatase at the vertebrate synapse, and identified a critical role played by presynaptic estradiol synthesis in the electrophysiological response to auditory and other social cues. However, if and how synaptic aromatization affects behavior remains to be directly tested. We have exploited 3 characteristics of the zebra finch hippocampus (HP) to test the role of synaptocrine estradiol provision on spatial memory function. Although the zebra finch HP contains abundant aromatase transcripts and enzyme activity, immunocytochemical studies reveal widespread pre- and postsynaptic, but sparse to undetectable somal, localization of this enzyme. Further, the superficial location of the avian HP makes possible the more exclusive manipulation of its neurochemical characteristics without perturbation of the neuropil and the resultant induction of astroglial aromatase. Last, as in other vertebrates, the HP is critical for spatial memory performance in this species. Here we report that local inhibition of hippocampal aromatization impairs spatial memory performance in an ecologically valid food-finding task. Local aromatase inhibition also resulted in lower levels of estradiol in the HP, but not in adjacent brain areas, and was achieved without the induction of astroglial aromatase. The observed decrement in acquisition and subsequent memory performance as a consequence of lowered aromatization was similar to that achieved by lesioning this locus. Thus, hippocampal aromatization, much of which is achieved at the synapse in this species, is critical for spatial memory performance.

  15. Social learning in nest-building birds: a role for familiarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Scott, Alice C Y; Healy, Susan D

    2016-03-30

    It is becoming apparent that birds learn from their own experiences of nest building. What is not clear is whether birds can learn from watching conspecifics build. As social learning allows an animal to gain information without engaging in costly trial-and-error learning, first-time builders should exploit the successful habits of experienced builders. We presented first-time nest-building male zebra finches with either a familiar or an unfamiliar conspecific male building with material of a colour the observer did not like. When given the opportunity to build, males that had watched a familiar male build switched their material preference to that used by the familiar male. Males that observed unfamiliar birds did not. Thus, first-time nest builders use social information and copy the nest material choices when demonstrators are familiar but not when they are strangers. The relationships between individuals therefore influence how nest-building expertise is socially transmitted in zebra finches. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Variation in the structure of bird nests between northern Manitoba and southeastern Ontario.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossman, Carla A; Rohwer, Vanya G; Martin, Paul R

    2011-04-28

    Traits that converge in appearance under similar environmental conditions among phylogenetically independent lineages are thought to represent adaptations to local environments. We tested for convergence in nest morphology and composition of birds breeding in two ecologically different locations in Canada: Churchill in northern Manitoba and Elgin in southeastern Ontario. We examined nests from four families of passerine birds (Turdidae: Turdus, Parulidae: Dendroica, Emberizidae: Passerculus and Fringillidae: Carduelis) where closely related populations or species breed in both locations. Nests of American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches had heavier nest masses, and tended to have thicker nest-walls, in northern Manitoba compared with conspecifics or congenerics breeding in southeastern Ontario. Together, all species showed evidence for wider internal and external nest-cup diameters in northern Manitoba, while individual species showed varying patterns for internal nest-cup and external nest depths. American Robins, Yellow Warblers, and Carduelis finches in northern Manitoba achieved heavier nest masses in different ways. American Robins increased all materials in similar proportions, and Yellow Warblers and Common Redpolls used greater amounts of select materials. While changes in nest composition vary uniquely for each species, the pattern of larger nests in northern Manitoba compared to southeastern Ontario in three of our four phylogenetically-independent comparisons suggests that birds are adapting to similar selective pressures between locations.

  17. Impact of nest sanitation on the immune system of parents and nestlings in a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jessica K; Griffith, Simon C; Klasing, Kirk C; Buchanan, Katherine L

    2016-07-01

    Bacterial communities are thought to have fundamental effects on the growth and development of nestling birds. The antigen exposure hypothesis suggests that, for both nestlings and adult birds, exposure to a diverse range of bacteria would select for stronger immune defences. However, there are relatively few studies that have tested the immune/bacterial relationships outside of domestic poultry. We therefore sought to examine indices of immunity (microbial killing ability in naive birds, which is a measure of innate immunity, and the antibody response to sheep red blood cells, which measures adaptive immunity) in both adult and nestling zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We did this throughout breeding and between reproductive attempts in nests that were experimentally manipulated to change the intensity of bacterial exposure. Our results suggest that nest sanitation and bacterial load affected measures of the adaptive immune system, but not the innate immune parameters tested. Adult finches breeding in clean nests had a lower primary antibody response to sheep red blood cells, particularly males, and a greater difference between primary and secondary responses. Adult microbial killing of Escherichia coli decreased as parents moved from incubation to nestling rearing for both nest treatments; however, killing of Candida albicans remained consistent throughout. In nestlings, both innate microbial killing and the adaptive antibody response did not differ between nest environments. Together, these results suggest that exposure to microorganisms in the environment affects the adaptive immune system in nesting birds, with exposure upregulating the antibody response in adult birds. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. Synchronised provisioning at the nest: parental coordination over care in a socially monogamous species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Rooij, Erica P; Griffith, Simon C

    2013-12-19

    Bi-parental care is very common in birds, occurring in over 90% of species, and is expected to evolve whenever the benefits of enhanced offspring survival exceed the costs to both parents of providing care. In altricial species, where the nestlings are entirely dependent on the parents for providing food until fledging, reproductive success is related to the capacity of the parents to provision the offspring at the nest. The degree to which parents synchronise their visits to the nest is rarely considered by studies of bi-parental care, and yet may be an important component of parental care, affecting the outcome of the reproductive attempt, and the dynamics of sexual conflict between the parents. Here we studied this aspect of parental care in the long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda), a socially monogamous estrildid finch. We monitored parental nest visit rates and the degree of parental visit synchrony, and assessed their effects on reproductive success (e.g., brood size, number of offspring fledged and nestling growth). The frequency of nest visits in a day was low in this species (nest visit synchrony may primarily be driven by the benefit of parents being together whilst foraging away from the nest, or may reduce nest predation by reducing the level of activity around the nest throughout the day.

  19. Vasotocin neurons and septal V1a-like receptors potently modulate songbird flocking and responses to novelty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Aubrey M; Kingsbury, Marcy A; Hoffbuhr, Kristin; Schrock, Sara E; Waxman, Brandon; Kabelik, David; Thompson, Richmond R; Goodson, James L

    2011-06-01

    Previous comparisons of territorial and gregarious finches (family Estrildidae) suggest the hypothesis that arginine vasotocin (VT) neurons in the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTm) and V(1a)-like receptors in the lateral septum (LS) promote flocking behavior. Consistent with this hypothesis, we now show that intraseptal infusions of a V(1a) antagonist in male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) reduce gregariousness (preference for a group of 10 versus 2 conspecific males), but have no effect on the amount of time that subjects spend in close proximity to other birds ("contact time"). The antagonist also produces a profound increase in anxiety-like behavior, as exhibited by an increased latency to feed in a novelty-suppressed feeding test. Bilateral knockdown of VT production in the BSTm using LNA-modified antisense oligonucleotides likewise produces increases in anxiety-like behavior and a potent reduction in gregariousness, relative to subjects receiving scrambled oligonucleotides. The antisense oligonucleotides also produced a modest increase in contact time, irrespective of group size. Together, these combined experiments provide clear evidence that endogenous VT promotes preferences for larger flock sizes, and does so in a manner that is coupled to general anxiolysis. Given that homologous peptide circuitry of the BSTm-LS is found across all tetrapod vertebrate classes, these findings may be predictive for other highly gregarious species. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  20. Pronounced within-individual plasticity in sperm morphometry across social environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immler, Simone; Pryke, Sarah R; Birkhead, Tim R; Griffith, Simon C

    2010-06-01

    Sperm morphometry (i.e., size and shape) and function are important determinants of male reproductive success and are thought to be under stabilizing selection. However, recent studies suggest that sperm morphometry can be a phenotypically plastic trait, which can be adjusted to varying conditions. We tested whether different behavioral strategies in aggression between aggressive red and nonaggressive black males of the color polymorphic Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) can influence sperm morphometry. We show pronounced within-individual phenotypic plasticity in sperm morphometry of male Gouldian finches in three different social environments. Both red and black males placed in intermediate to high competitive environments (high frequency of red males) increased the relative length of their sperm midpiece. By contrast, red males placed in low to intermediate competitive environments (higher frequency of black males) increased the length of the sperm flagellum. Significant changes in stress and sex steroid hormone levels (in response to the competitive environment) appear to influence sperm traits in red but not in black males, suggesting that changes in hormonal levels are not solely responsible for the observed changes in sperm morphometry. These findings imply that males can adjust sperm morphometry across social environments.

  1. Developmental song learning as a model to understand neural mechanisms that limit and promote the ability to learn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    London, Sarah E

    2017-11-20

    Songbirds famously learn their vocalizations. Some species can learn continuously, others seasonally, and still others just once. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) learns to sing during a single developmental "Critical Period," a restricted phase during which a specific experience has profound and permanent effects on brain function and behavioral patterns. The zebra finch can therefore provide fundamental insight into features that promote and limit the ability to acquire complex learned behaviors. For example, what properties permit the brain to come "on-line" for learning? How does experience become encoded to prevent future learning? What features define the brain in receptive compared to closed learning states? This piece will focus on epigenomic, genomic, and molecular levels of analysis that operate on the timescales of development and complex behavioral learning. Existing data will be discussed as they relate to Critical Period learning, and strategies for future studies to more directly address these questions will be considered. Birdsong learning is a powerful model for advancing knowledge of the biological intersections of maturation and experience. Lessons from its study not only have implications for understanding developmental song learning, but also broader questions of learning potential and the enduring effects of early life experience on neural systems and behavior. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. A draft de novo genome assembly for the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus reveals evidence for a rapid decline in effective population size beginning in the Late Pleistocene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvette A Halley

    Full Text Available Wild populations of northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite have declined across nearly all of their U.S. range, and despite their importance as an experimental wildlife model for ecotoxicology studies, no bobwhite draft genome assembly currently exists. Herein, we present a bobwhite draft de novo genome assembly with annotation, comparative analyses including genome-wide analyses of divergence with the chicken (Gallus gallus and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata genomes, and coalescent modeling to reconstruct the demographic history of the bobwhite for comparison to other birds currently in decline (i.e., scarlet macaw; Ara macao. More than 90% of the assembled bobwhite genome was captured within 14,000 unique genes and proteins. Bobwhite analyses of divergence with the chicken and zebra finch genomes revealed many extremely conserved gene sequences, and evidence for lineage-specific divergence of noncoding regions. Coalescent models for reconstructing the demographic history of the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw provided evidence for population bottlenecks which were temporally coincident with human colonization of the New World, the late Pleistocene collapse of the megafauna, and the last glacial maximum. Demographic trends predicted for the bobwhite and the scarlet macaw also were concordant with how opposing natural selection strategies (i.e., skewness in the r-/K-selection continuum would be expected to shape genome diversity and the effective population sizes in these species, which is directly relevant to future conservation efforts.

  3. Single-particle characterization of ice-nucleating particles and ice particles residuals sampled by three different techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandler, Konrad; Worringen, Annette; Benker, Nathalie; Dirsch, Thomas; Mertes, Stephan; Schenk, Ludwig; Kästner, Udo; Frank, Fabian; Nillius, Björn; Bundke, Ulrich; Rose, Diana; Curtius, Joachim; Kupiszewski, Piotr; Weingartner, Ernest; Vochezer, Paul; Schneider, Johannes; Schmidt, Susan; Weinbruch, Stephan; Ebert, Martin

    2015-04-01

    During January/February 2013, at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch a measurement campaign was carried out, which was centered on atmospheric ice-nucleating particles (INP) and ice particle residuals (IPR). Three different techniques for separation of INP and IPR from the non-ice-active particles are compared. The Ice Selective Inlet (ISI) and the Ice Counterflow Virtual Impactor (Ice-CVI) sample ice particles from mixed phase clouds and allow for the analysis of the residuals. The combination of the Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) and the Ice Nuclei Pumped Counterflow Virtual Impactor (IN-PCVI) provides ice-activating conditions to aerosol particles and extracts the activated INP for analysis. Collected particles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis to determine size, chemical composition and mixing state. All INP/IPR-separating techniques had considerable abundances (median 20 - 70 %) of instrumental contamination artifacts (ISI: Si-O spheres, probably calibration aerosol; Ice-CVI: Al-O particles; FINCH+IN-PCVI: steel particles). Also, potential sampling artifacts (e.g., pure soluble material) occurred with a median abundance of separated by all three techniques. Soot was a minor contributor. Lead was detected in less than 10 % of the particles, of which the majority were internal mixtures with other particle types. Sea-salt and sulfates were identified by all three methods as INP/IPR. Most samples showed a maximum of the INP/IPR size distribution at 400 nm geometric diameter. In a few cases, a second super-micron maximum was identified. Soot/carbonaceous material and metal oxides were present mainly in the submicron range. ISI and FINCH yielded silicates and Ca-rich particles mainly with diameters above 1 µm, while the Ice-CVI also separated many submicron IPR. As strictly parallel sampling could not be performed, a part of the discrepancies between the different techniques may result from

  4. The Songbird Neurogenomics (SoNG Initiative: Community-based tools and strategies for study of brain gene function and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lewin Harris A

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Songbirds hold great promise for biomedical, environmental and evolutionary research. A complete draft sequence of the zebra finch genome is imminent, yet a need remains for application of genomic resources within a research community traditionally focused on ethology and neurobiological methods. In response, we developed a core set of genomic tools and a novel collaborative strategy to probe gene expression in diverse songbird species and natural contexts. Results We end-sequenced cDNAs from zebra finch brain and incorporated additional sequences from community sources into a database of 86,784 high quality reads. These assembled into 31,658 non-redundant contigs and singletons, which we annotated via BLAST search of chicken and human databases. The results are publicly available in the ESTIMA:Songbird database. We produced a spotted cDNA microarray with 20,160 addresses representing 17,214 non-redundant products of an estimated 11,500–15,000 genes, validating it by analysis of immediate-early gene (zenk gene activation following song exposure and by demonstrating effective cross hybridization to genomic DNAs of other songbird species in the Passerida Parvorder. Our assembly was also used in the design of the "Lund-zfa" Affymetrix array representing ~22,000 non-redundant sequences. When the two arrays were hybridized to cDNAs from the same set of male and female zebra finch brain samples, both arrays detected a common set of regulated transcripts with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.895. To stimulate use of these resources by the songbird research community and to maintain consistent technical standards, we devised a "Community Collaboration" mechanism whereby individual birdsong researchers develop experiments and provide tissues, but a single individual in the community is responsible for all RNA extractions, labelling and microarray hybridizations. Conclusion Immediately, these results set the foundation for a

  5. Comparative genomic data of the Avian Phylogenomics Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guojie; Li, Bo; Li, Cai; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Jarvis, Erich D; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    The evolutionary relationships of modern birds are among the most challenging to understand in systematic biology and have been debated for centuries. To address this challenge, we assembled or collected the genomes of 48 avian species spanning most orders of birds, including all Neognathae and two of the five Palaeognathae orders, and used the genomes to construct a genome-scale avian phylogenetic tree and perform comparative genomics analyses (Jarvis et al. in press; Zhang et al. in press). Here we release assemblies and datasets associated with the comparative genome analyses, which include 38 newly sequenced avian genomes plus previously released or simultaneously released genomes of Chicken, Zebra finch, Turkey, Pigeon, Peregrine falcon, Duck, Budgerigar, Adelie penguin, Emperor penguin and the Medium Ground Finch. We hope that this resource will serve future efforts in phylogenomics and comparative genomics. The 38 bird genomes were sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform and assembled using a whole genome shotgun strategy. The 48 genomes were categorized into two groups according to the N50 scaffold size of the assemblies: a high depth group comprising 23 species sequenced at high coverage (>50X) with multiple insert size libraries resulting in N50 scaffold sizes greater than 1 Mb (except the White-throated Tinamou and Bald Eagle); and a low depth group comprising 25 species sequenced at a low coverage (~30X) with two insert size libraries resulting in an average N50 scaffold size of about 50 kb. Repetitive elements comprised 4%-22% of the bird genomes. The assembled scaffolds allowed the homology-based annotation of 13,000 ~ 17000 protein coding genes in each avian genome relative to chicken, zebra finch and human, as well as comparative and sequence conservation analyses. Here we release full genome assemblies of 38 newly sequenced avian species, link genome assembly downloads for the 7 of the remaining 10 species, and provide a guideline of

  6. Catarrhal proventriculitis associated with a filamentous organism in pet birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, S S; Park, J H; Hirai, K; Itakura, C

    1992-12-01

    Catarrhal proventriculitis due to infection by an unidentified organism was diagnosed in 79 of 534 pet birds examined histologically. It was more prevalent in domestic birds (70 cases) than in imported ones (9 cases). A high incidence of the disease was encountered in budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) and it was occasionally found in finches (Poephila gouldiae gouldiae), parakeets (Psittacula Krameri manillensis), Amazona parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva) and cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). The agent was a large filamentous rod, and was stained positively with Gram, GMS and PAS methods. Histologically, it induced a mild to moderate exudative or proliferative inflammation in the proventriculus. All the cases had an erosion in the gizzard. Ultrastructurally, the organism had a eukaryotic nucleus and three cell-wall layers. Concurrent infections were very common, including adenoviruses (37 cases), giardiasis (31 cases), candidiasis (13 cases), papovaviruses (11 cases) and knemidocoptic mites (11 cases).

  7. Quantitative densitometry of neurotransmitter receptors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rainbow, T.C.; Bleisch, W.V.; Biegon, A.; McEwen, B.S.

    1982-01-01

    An autoradiographic procedure is described that allows the quantitative measurement of neurotransmitter receptors by optical density readings. Frozen brain sections are labeled in vitro with [ 3 H]ligands under conditions that maximize specific binding to neurotransmitter receptors. The labeled sections are then placed against the 3 H-sensitive LKB Ultrofilm to produce the autoradiograms. These autoradiograms resemble those produced by [ 14 C]deoxyglucose autoradiography and are suitable for quantitative analysis with a densitometer. Muscarinic cholinergic receptors in rat and zebra finch brain and 5-HT receptors in rat brain were visualized by this method. When the proper combination of ligand concentration and exposure time are used, the method provides quantitative information about the amount and affinity of neurotransmitter receptors in brain sections. This was established by comparisons of densitometric readings with parallel measurements made by scintillation counting of sections. (Auth.)

  8. Single-particle characterization of ice-nucleating particles and ice particle residuals sampled by three different techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worringen, A.; Kandler, K.; Benker, N.; Dirsch, T.; Mertes, S.; Schenk, L.; Kästner, U.; Frank, F.; Nillius, B.; Bundke, U.; Rose, D.; Curtius, J.; Kupiszewski, P.; Weingartner, E.; Vochezer, P.; Schneider, J.; Schmidt, S.; Weinbruch, S.; Ebert, M.

    2015-04-01

    In the present work, three different techniques to separate ice-nucleating particles (INPs) as well as ice particle residuals (IPRs) from non-ice-active particles are compared. The Ice Selective Inlet (ISI) and the Ice Counterflow Virtual Impactor (Ice-CVI) sample ice particles from mixed-phase clouds and allow after evaporation in the instrument for the analysis of the residuals. The Fast Ice Nucleus Chamber (FINCH) coupled with the Ice Nuclei Pumped Counterflow Virtual Impactor (IN-PCVI) provides ice-activating conditions to aerosol particles and extracts the activated particles for analysis. The instruments were run during a joint field campaign which took place in January and February 2013 at the High Alpine Research Station Jungfraujoch (Switzerland). INPs and IPRs were analyzed offline by scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis to determine their size, chemical composition and mixing state. Online analysis of the size and chemical composition of INP activated in FINCH was performed by laser ablation mass spectrometry. With all three INP/IPR separation techniques high abundances (median 20-70%) of instrumental contamination artifacts were observed (ISI: Si-O spheres, probably calibration aerosol; Ice-CVI: Al-O particles; FINCH + IN-PCVI: steel particles). After removal of the instrumental contamination particles, silicates, Ca-rich particles, carbonaceous material and metal oxides were the major INP/IPR particle types obtained by all three techniques. In addition, considerable amounts (median abundance mostly a few percent) of soluble material (e.g., sea salt, sulfates) were observed. As these soluble particles are often not expected to act as INP/IPR, we consider them as potential measurement artifacts. Minor types of INP/IPR include soot and Pb-bearing particles. The Pb-bearing particles are mainly present as an internal mixture with other particle types. Most samples showed a maximum of the INP/IPR size distribution at 200

  9. Do Hypervolumes Have Holes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blonder, Benjamin

    2016-04-01

    Hypervolumes are used widely to conceptualize niches and trait distributions for both species and communities. Some hypervolumes are expected to be convex, with boundaries defined by only upper and lower limits (e.g., fundamental niches), while others are expected to be maximal, with boundaries defined by the limits of available space (e.g., potential niches). However, observed hypervolumes (e.g., realized niches) could also have holes, defined as unoccupied hyperspace representing deviations from these expectations that may indicate unconsidered ecological or evolutionary processes. Detecting holes in more than two dimensions has to date not been possible. I develop a mathematical approach, implemented in the hypervolume R package, to infer holes in large and high-dimensional data sets. As a demonstration analysis, I assess evidence for vacant niches in a Galapagos finch community on Isabela Island. These mathematical concepts and software tools for detecting holes provide approaches for addressing contemporary research questions across ecology and evolutionary biology.

  10. Reviews of recent publications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Paul Kong. The Raiders and Writers of Cervantes’ Archive: Borges, Puig, and García Márquez by José Fernando Olascoaga J. J. Long. W. G. Sebald: Image, Archive, Modernity by Helen Finch Andrew Baruch Wachtel. Plays of Expectations: Intertextual Relations in Russian Twentieth-Century Drama by Volha Isakava David Jenemann. Adorno in America by Ruth Starkman Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe. Heidegger and the Politics of Poetry by Derek Hillard Horacio Legras. Literature and Subjection: the Economy of Writing and Marginality in Latin America by Abraham Acosta Hélène Cixous. Love Itself in the Letterbox by Natalie Edwards Zulema Moret. Esas niñas cuando crecen, ¿Dónde van a parar? by Julia A. Kushigian Terry Eagleton. Trouble with Strangers: A Study of Ethics by Melanie Collado Dominic Moran. Pablo Neruda by Donald Shaw

  11. [Leukosis in captive wild birds].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loupal, G

    1984-10-01

    Among 2589 captive wild birds, examined between 1974 and 1983, we found leukosis in 26 birds belonging to 13 different species and five orders. We diagnosed lymphoid leukosis in 11 birds (two Melopsittacus undulatus, two Psittacus erithacus one Platycerus eximius, one Columba livia, one Streptopelia decaocto, one Polyplectron bicalcaratum, one Pavo cristatus, one Aptenodytes patachonia and one finch, species unknown), myeloid leukosis in 14 (nine Melopsittacus undulatus, two Agapomis personata fischeri, two Urgeainthus bengalus and one Neophemia pulchella) and stem cell leukosis in one bird (Serinus canaria). Among the cases with lymphoid leukosis we distinguished between lymphoblastic (four cases) and prolymphocytic forms (seven). Myeloid leukosis was subdivided into poorly differentiated (12 cases) and well differentiated myeloblastosis (two).

  12. A Neural Code That Is Isometric to Vocal Output and Correlates with Its Sensory Consequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexei L Vyssotski

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available What cortical inputs are provided to motor control areas while they drive complex learned behaviors? We study this question in the nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf, which is required for normal birdsong production and provides the main source of auditory input to HVC, the driver of adult song. In juvenile and adult zebra finches, we find that spikes in NIf projection neurons precede vocalizations by several tens of milliseconds and are insensitive to distortions of auditory feedback. We identify a local isometry between NIf output and vocalizations: quasi-identical notes produced in different syllables are preceded by highly similar NIf spike patterns. NIf multiunit firing during song precedes responses in auditory cortical neurons by about 50 ms, revealing delayed congruence between NIf spiking and a neural representation of auditory feedback. Our findings suggest that NIf codes for imminent acoustic events within vocal performance.

  13. Dynamics of faunistic complexes of parasitic organisms in the Chernobyl' NPP zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labetskaya, A.G.; Balashina, N.S.; Kireenko, K.M.; Bychkova, E.I.; Efremova, G.A.; Tereshkina, N.V.

    1990-01-01

    The results of studies made in the Chernobyl' NPP 30-km zone, which deal with estimation of species composition and number of parasites, mammals, birds, their nest inhabitants and blood-suching insects, are discussed. It is shown that parasite species variaty is higher on the contaminated territory as compared with the control one. Number of arthropoda is greater, and those of helmines and winged blood-suching insects are smaller on the contaminated territories. The main carriers of parasites among birds are starlings, larks and tomtits in contaminated regions and those are chiff-chaff and finches in the control areas. The level of nest contaminations for rodents and birds correlates with environment contamination level

  14. A sex-chromosome inversion causes strong overdominance for sperm traits that affect siring success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knief, Ulrich; Forstmeier, Wolfgang; Pei, Yifan; Ihle, Malika; Wang, Daiping; Martin, Katrin; Opatová, Pavlína; Albrechtová, Jana; Wittig, Michael; Franke, Andre; Albrecht, Tomáš; Kempenaers, Bart

    2017-08-01

    Male reproductive success depends on the competitive ability of sperm to fertilize the ova, which should lead to strong selection on sperm characteristics. This raises the question of how heritable variation in sperm traits is maintained. Here we show that in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) nearly half of the variance in sperm morphology is explained by an inversion on the Z chromosome with a 40% allele frequency in the wild. The sperm of males that are heterozygous for the inversion had the longest midpieces and the highest velocity. Furthermore, such males achieved the highest fertility and the highest siring success, both within-pair and extra-pair. Males homozygous for the derived allele show detrimental sperm characteristics and the lowest siring success. Our results suggest heterozygote advantage as the mechanism that maintains the inversion polymorphism and hence variance in sperm design and in fitness.

  15. A canonical neural mechanism for behavioral variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darshan, Ran; Wood, William E.; Peters, Susan; Leblois, Arthur; Hansel, David

    2017-05-01

    The ability to generate variable movements is essential for learning and adjusting complex behaviours. This variability has been linked to the temporal irregularity of neuronal activity in the central nervous system. However, how neuronal irregularity actually translates into behavioural variability is unclear. Here we combine modelling, electrophysiological and behavioural studies to address this issue. We demonstrate that a model circuit comprising topographically organized and strongly recurrent neural networks can autonomously generate irregular motor behaviours. Simultaneous recordings of neurons in singing finches reveal that neural correlations increase across the circuit driving song variability, in agreement with the model predictions. Analysing behavioural data, we find remarkable similarities in the babbling statistics of 5-6-month-old human infants and juveniles from three songbird species and show that our model naturally accounts for these `universal' statistics.

  16. Supervised learning in spiking neural networks with FORCE training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicola, Wilten; Clopath, Claudia

    2017-12-20

    Populations of neurons display an extraordinary diversity in the behaviors they affect and display. Machine learning techniques have recently emerged that allow us to create networks of model neurons that display behaviors of similar complexity. Here we demonstrate the direct applicability of one such technique, the FORCE method, to spiking neural networks. We train these networks to mimic dynamical systems, classify inputs, and store discrete sequences that correspond to the notes of a song. Finally, we use FORCE training to create two biologically motivated model circuits. One is inspired by the zebra finch and successfully reproduces songbird singing. The second network is motivated by the hippocampus and is trained to store and replay a movie scene. FORCE trained networks reproduce behaviors comparable in complexity to their inspired circuits and yield information not easily obtainable with other techniques, such as behavioral responses to pharmacological manipulations and spike timing statistics.

  17. Breeding of the plain-mantled tit-spintail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides in a variable hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma nest in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrich Cerpa

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A strategy to avoid nest predation by various bird species is the selection of inaccessible sites or sites of actual danger for potential predators. In this sense nesting near a top predator may be an effective strategy to avoid nest predation, if this predator does not have a preference for eggs or nestlings of the first species. This note reports the first record of nesting by Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail (Leptasthenura aegithaloides Kittlitz, 1830 in an active nest of the variable Hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma Quoy & Gaimard, 1824 and the nesting of the common diuca-finch (Diuca diuca Molina, 1782 nearby, during two consecutive years, in the Atacama Desert, Chile. This occurred during the “flowering desert” phenomenon in October of 2014 and September of 2015. We discuss hypotheses that may explain this biological association and its possible ecological implications.

  18. From neurons to nests: nest-building behaviour as a model in behavioural and comparative neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Zachary J; Meddle, Simone L; Healy, Susan D

    Despite centuries of observing the nest building of most extant bird species, we know surprisingly little about how birds build nests and, specifically, how the avian brain controls nest building. Here, we argue that nest building in birds may be a useful model behaviour in which to study how the brain controls behaviour. Specifically, we argue that nest building as a behavioural model provides a unique opportunity to study not only the mechanisms through which the brain controls behaviour within individuals of a single species but also how evolution may have shaped the brain to produce interspecific variation in nest-building behaviour. In this review, we outline the questions in both behavioural and comparative neuroscience that nest building could be used to address, summarize recent findings regarding the neurobiology of nest building in lab-reared zebra finches and across species building different nest structures, and suggest some future directions for the neurobiology of nest building.

  19. Higher-dimensional relativistic-fluid spheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, L. K.; Ahmedabad, Gujarat Univ.

    1997-01-01

    They consider the hydrostatic equilibrium of relativistic-fluid spheres for a D-dimensional space-time. Three physically viable interior solutions of the Einstein field equations corresponding to perfect-fluid spheres in a D-dimensional space-time are obtained. When D = 4 they reduce to the Tolman IV solution, the Mehra solution and the Finch-Skea solution. The solutions are smoothly matched with the D-dimensional Schwarzschild exterior solution at the boundary r = a of the fluid sphere. Some physical features and other related details of the solutions are briefly discussed. A brief description of two other new solutions for higher-dimensional perfect-fluid spheres is also given

  20. Sensorimotor nucleus NIf is necessary for auditory processing but not vocal motor output in the avian song system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardin, Jessica A; Raksin, Jonathan N; Schmidt, Marc F

    2005-04-01

    Sensorimotor integration in the avian song system is crucial for both learning and maintenance of song, a vocal motor behavior. Although a number of song system areas demonstrate both sensory and motor characteristics, their exact roles in auditory and premotor processing are unclear. In particular, it is unknown whether input from the forebrain nucleus interface of the nidopallium (NIf), which exhibits both sensory and premotor activity, is necessary for both auditory and premotor processing in its target, HVC. Here we show that bilateral NIf lesions result in long-term loss of HVC auditory activity but do not impair song production. NIf is thus a major source of auditory input to HVC, but an intact NIf is not necessary for motor output in adult zebra finches.

  1. Seed dispersal networks in the Galápagos and the consequences of alien plant invasions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heleno, R. H.; Olesen, Jens Mogens; Nogales, M.

    2013-01-01

    Alien plants are a growing threat to the Gala´pagos unique biota. We evaluated the impact of alien plants on eight seed dispersal networks from two islands of the archipelago. Nearly 10 000 intact seeds from 58 species were recovered from the droppings of 18 bird and reptile dispersers. The most......, followed by small ground finch, two mockingbirds, the giant tortoise and two insectivorous birds. Most animals dispersed alien seeds, but these formed a relatively small proportion of the interactions. Nevertheless, the integration of aliens was higher in the island that has been invaded for longest......, suggesting a time-lag between alien plant introductions and their impacts on seed dispersal networks. Alien plants become more specialized with advancing invasion, favouring more simplified plant and disperser communities. However, only habitat type significantly affected the overall network structure. Alien...

  2. Twenty-first century vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rappuoli, Rino

    2011-01-01

    In the twentieth century, vaccination has been possibly the greatest revolution in health. Together with hygiene and antibiotics, vaccination led to the elimination of many childhood infectious diseases and contributed to the increase in disability-free life expectancy that in Western societies rose from 50 to 78–85 years (Crimmins, E. M. & Finch, C. E. 2006 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103, 498–503; Kirkwood, T. B. 2008 Nat. Med 10, 1177–1185). In the twenty-first century, vaccination will be expected to eliminate the remaining childhood infectious diseases, such as meningococcal meningitis, respiratory syncytial virus, group A streptococcus, and will address the health challenges of this century such as those associated with ageing, antibiotic resistance, emerging infectious diseases and poverty. However, for this to happen, we need to increase the public trust in vaccination so that vaccines can be perceived as the best insurance against most diseases across all ages. PMID:21893537

  3. The effect of mercury on baseline corticosterone in a breeding songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddux, Sarah L; Cristol, Daniel A; Varian-Ramos, Claire W; Bradley, Eric L

    2015-02-01

    Although songbirds accumulate mercury at rates equivalent to better-studied aquatic avian species, effects of mercury bioaccumulation in songbirds remain understudied. Little is known about the effects of mercury on endocrine physiology, but recent evidence indicates that mercury may disrupt the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Both field-based correlational studies and a recent dosing experiment suggest that mercury exposure alters levels of the primary avian stress hormone, CORT. We sampled zebra finches that had been dosed with 0, 0.5, or 1.0 ppm dietary methylmercury for baseline CORT twice; once during pairing and once after successfully fledging young. Circulating levels of CORT were not significantly affected by mercury exposure. However, our findings indicate potentially important differences in CORT responses between the sexes when exposed to environmentally relevant doses of mercury across the nesting cycle.

  4. Compact objects in pure Lovelock theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadhich, Naresh; Hansraj, Sudan; Chilambwe, Brian

    For static fluid interiors of compact objects in pure Lovelock gravity (involving only one Nth order term in the equation), we establish similarity in solutions for the critical odd and even d = 2N + 1, 2N + 2 dimensions. It turns out that in critical odd d = 2N + 1 dimensions, there cannot exist any bound distribution with a finite radius, while in critical even d = 2N + 2 dimensions, all solutions have similar behavior. For exhibition of similarity, we would compare star solutions for N = 1, 2 in d = 4 Einstein and d = 6 in Gauss-Bonnet theory, respectively. We also obtain the pure Lovelock analogue of the Finch-Skea model.

  5. Cryptosporidium spp. in pet birds: genetic diversity and potential public health significance.

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    Qi, Meng; Wang, Rongjun; Ning, Changshen; Li, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Longxian; Jian, Fuchun; Sun, Yanru; Xiao, Lihua

    2011-08-01

    To characterize the prevalence and assess the zoonotic transmission burden of Cryptosporidium species/genotypes in pet birds in Henan, China, 434 fecal samples were acquired from 14 families of birds in pet shops. The overall prevalence of Cryptopsoridium was 8.1% (35/434) by the Sheather's sugar flotation technique. The Cryptosporidium-positive samples were analyzed by DNA sequence analysis of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene. Three Cryptosporidium species and two genotypes were identified, including C. baileyi (18/35 or 51.4%) in five red-billed leiothrixes (Leiothrix lutea), four white Java sparrows (Padda oryzivora), four common mynas (Acridotheres tristis), two zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), a crested Lark (Galerida cristata), a Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae), and a black-billed magpie (Pica pica); Cryptosporidium meleagridis (3/35 or 8.6%) in a Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), a Rufous turtle dove (Streptopelia orientalis), and a fan-tailed pigeon (Columba livia); Cryptosporidium galli (5/35 or 14.3%) in four Bohemian waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) and a silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris); Cryptosporidium avian genotype III (3/35 or 8.6%) in two cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) and a red-billed blue magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha); and Cryptosporidium avian genotype V (6/35 or 17.1%) in six cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus). Among the pet birds, 12 species represented new hosts for Cryptosporidum infections. The presence of C. meleagridis raises questions on potential zoonotic transmission of cryptosporidiosis from pet birds to humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Mate choice for a male carotenoid-based ornament is linked to female dietary carotenoid intake and accumulation

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    Toomey Matthew B

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The coevolution of male traits and female mate preferences has led to the elaboration and diversification of sexually selected traits; however the mechanisms that mediate trait-preference coevolution are largely unknown. Carotenoid acquisition and accumulation are key determinants of the expression of male sexually selected carotenoid-based coloration and a primary mechanism maintaining the honest information content of these signals. Carotenoids also influence female health and reproduction in ways that may alter the costs and benefits of mate choice behaviours and thus provide a potential biochemical link between the expression of male traits and female preferences. To test this hypothesis, we manipulated the dietary carotenoid levels of captive female house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus and assessed their mate choice behavior in response to color-manipulated male finches. Results Females preferred to associate with red males, but carotenoid supplementation did not influence the direction or strength of this preference. Females receiving a low-carotenoid diet were less responsive to males in general, and discrimination among the colorful males was positively linked to female plasma carotenoid levels at the beginning of the study when the diet of all birds was carotenoid-limited. Conclusions Although female preference for red males was not influenced by carotenoid intake, changes in mating responsiveness and discrimination linked to female carotenoid status may alter how this preference is translated into choice. The reddest males, with the most carotenoid rich plumage, tend to pair early in the breeding season. If carotenoid-related variations in female choice behaviour shift the timing of pairing, then they have the potential to promote assortative mating by carotenoid status and drive the evolution of carotenoid-based male plumage coloration.

  7. Human-like brain hemispheric dominance in birdsong learning.

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    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M H; Kuijpers, Maaike; Kerkhofs, Amber; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2012-07-31

    Unlike nonhuman primates, songbirds learn to vocalize very much like human infants acquire spoken language. In humans, Broca's area in the frontal lobe and Wernicke's area in the temporal lobe are crucially involved in speech production and perception, respectively. Songbirds have analogous brain regions that show a similar neural dissociation between vocal production and auditory perception and memory. In both humans and songbirds, there is evidence for lateralization of neural responsiveness in these brain regions. Human infants already show left-sided dominance in their brain activation when exposed to speech. Moreover, a memory-specific left-sided dominance in Wernicke's area for speech perception has been demonstrated in 2.5-mo-old babies. It is possible that auditory-vocal learning is associated with hemispheric dominance and that this association arose in songbirds and humans through convergent evolution. Therefore, we investigated whether there is similar song memory-related lateralization in the songbird brain. We exposed male zebra finches to tutor or unfamiliar song. We found left-sided dominance of neuronal activation in a Broca-like brain region (HVC, a letter-based name) of juvenile and adult zebra finch males, independent of the song stimulus presented. In addition, juvenile males showed left-sided dominance for tutor song but not for unfamiliar song in a Wernicke-like brain region (the caudomedial nidopallium). Thus, left-sided dominance in the caudomedial nidopallium was specific for the song-learning phase and was memory-related. These findings demonstrate a remarkable neural parallel between birdsong and human spoken language, and they have important consequences for our understanding of the evolution of auditory-vocal learning and its neural mechanisms.

  8. Phylogenetics and diversification of tanagers (Passeriformes: Thraupidae), the largest radiation of Neotropical songbirds.

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    Burns, Kevin J; Shultz, Allison J; Title, Pascal O; Mason, Nicholas A; Barker, F Keith; Klicka, John; Lanyon, Scott M; Lovette, Irby J

    2014-06-01

    Thraupidae is the second largest family of birds and represents about 4% of all avian species and 12% of the Neotropical avifauna. Species in this family display a wide range of plumage colors and patterns, foraging behaviors, vocalizations, ecotypes, and habitat preferences. The lack of a complete phylogeny for tanagers has hindered the study of this evolutionary diversity. Here, we present a comprehensive, species-level phylogeny for tanagers using six molecular markers. Our analyses identified 13 major clades of tanagers that we designate as subfamilies. In addition, two species are recognized as distinct branches on the tanager tree. Our topologies disagree in many places with previous estimates of relationships within tanagers, and many long-recognized genera are not monophyletic in our analyses. Our trees identify several cases of convergent evolution in plumage ornaments and bill morphology, and two cases of social mimicry. The phylogeny produced by this study provides a robust framework for studying macroevolutionary patterns and character evolution. We use our new phylogeny to study diversification processes, and find that tanagers show a background model of exponentially declining diversification rates. Thus, the evolution of tanagers began with an initial burst of diversification followed by a rate slowdown. In addition to this background model, two later, clade-specific rate shifts are supported, one increase for Darwin's finches and another increase for some species of Sporophila. The rate of diversification within these two groups is exceptional, even when compared to the overall rapid rate of diversification found within tanagers. This study provides the first robust assessment of diversification rates for the Darwin's finches in the context of the larger group within which they evolved. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Singing modulates parvalbumin interneurons throughout songbird forebrain vocal control circuitry

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    Zengin-Toktas, Yildiz

    2017-01-01

    Across species, the performance of vocal signals can be modulated by the social environment. Zebra finches, for example, adjust their song performance when singing to females (‘female-directed’ or FD song) compared to when singing in isolation (‘undirected’ or UD song). These changes are salient, as females prefer the FD song over the UD song. Despite the importance of these performance changes, the neural mechanisms underlying this social modulation remain poorly understood. Previous work in finches has established that expression of the immediate early gene EGR1 is increased during singing and modulated by social context within the vocal control circuitry. Here, we examined whether particular neural subpopulations within those vocal control regions exhibit similar modulations of EGR1 expression. We compared EGR1 expression in neurons expressing parvalbumin (PV), a calcium buffer that modulates network plasticity and homeostasis, among males that performed FD song, males that produced UD song, or males that did not sing. We found that, overall, singing but not social context significantly affected EGR1 expression in PV neurons throughout the vocal control nuclei. We observed differences in EGR1 expression between two classes of PV interneurons in the basal ganglia nucleus Area X. Additionally, we found that singing altered the amount of PV expression in neurons in HVC and Area X and that distinct PV interneuron types in Area X exhibited different patterns of modulation by singing. These data indicate that throughout the vocal control circuitry the singing-related regulation of EGR1 expression in PV neurons may be less influenced by social context than in other neuron types and raise the possibility of cell-type specific differences in plasticity and calcium buffering. PMID:28235074

  10. Sex differences in the representation of call stimuli in a songbird secondary auditory area.

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    Giret, Nicolas; Menardy, Fabien; Del Negro, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how communication sounds are encoded in the central auditory system is critical to deciphering the neural bases of acoustic communication. Songbirds use learned or unlearned vocalizations in a variety of social interactions. They have telencephalic auditory areas specialized for processing natural sounds and considered as playing a critical role in the discrimination of behaviorally relevant vocal sounds. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species, forms lifelong pair bonds. Only male zebra finches sing. However, both sexes produce the distance call when placed in visual isolation. This call is sexually dimorphic, is learned only in males and provides support for individual recognition in both sexes. Here, we assessed whether auditory processing of distance calls differs between paired males and females by recording spiking activity in a secondary auditory area, the caudolateral mesopallium (CLM), while presenting the distance calls of a variety of individuals, including the bird itself, the mate, familiar and unfamiliar males and females. In males, the CLM is potentially involved in auditory feedback processing important for vocal learning. Based on both the analyses of spike rates and temporal aspects of discharges, our results clearly indicate that call-evoked responses of CLM neurons are sexually dimorphic, being stronger, lasting longer, and conveying more information about calls in males than in females. In addition, how auditory responses vary among call types differ between sexes. In females, response strength differs between familiar male and female calls. In males, temporal features of responses reveal a sensitivity to the bird's own call. These findings provide evidence that sexual dimorphism occurs in higher-order processing areas within the auditory system. They suggest a sexual dimorphism in the function of the CLM, contributing to transmit information about the self-generated calls in males and to storage of information about the

  11. Sex differences in the representation of call stimuli in a songbird secondary auditory area

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    Nicolas eGiret

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding how communication sounds are encoded in the central auditory system is critical to deciphering the neural bases of acoustic communication. Songbirds use learned or unlearned vocalizations in a variety of social interactions. They have telencephalic auditory areas specialized for processing natural sounds and considered as playing a critical role in the discrimination of behaviorally relevant vocal sounds. The zebra finch, a highly social songbird species, forms lifelong pair bonds. Only male zebra finches sing. However, both sexes produce the distance call when placed in visual isolation. This call is sexually dimorphic, is learned only in males and provides support for individual recognition in both sexes. Here, we assessed whether auditory processing of distance calls differs between paired males and females by recording spiking activity in a secondary auditory area, the caudolateral mesopallium (CLM, while presenting the distance calls of a variety of individuals, including the bird itself, the mate, familiar and unfamiliar males and females. In males, the CLM is potentially involved in auditory feedback processing important for vocal learning. Based on both the analyses of spike rates and temporal aspects of discharges, our results clearly indicate that call-evoked responses of CLM neurons are sexually dimorphic, being stronger, lasting longer and conveying more information about calls in males than in females. In addition, how auditory responses vary among call types differ between sexes. In females, response strength differs between familiar male and female calls. In males, temporal features of responses reveal a sensitivity to the bird’s own call. These findings provide evidence that sexual dimorphism occurs in higher-order processing areas within the auditory system. They suggest a sexual dimorphism in the function of the CLM, contributing to transmit information about the self-generated calls in males and to storage of

  12. A general auditory bias for handling speaker variability in speech? Evidence in humans and songbirds

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    Buddhamas eKriengwatana

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Different speakers produce the same speech sound differently, yet listeners are still able to reliably identify the speech sound. How listeners can adjust their perception to compensate for speaker differences in speech, and whether these compensatory processes are unique only to humans, is still not fully understood. In this study we compare the ability of humans and zebra finches to categorize vowels despite speaker variation in speech in order to test the hypothesis that accommodating speaker and gender differences in isolated vowels can be achieved without prior experience with speaker-related variability. Using a behavioural Go/No-go task and identical stimuli, we compared Australian English adults’ (naïve to Dutch and zebra finches’ (naïve to human speech ability to categorize /ɪ/ and /ɛ/ vowels of an novel Dutch speaker after learning to discriminate those vowels from only one other speaker. Experiment 1 and 2 presented vowels of two speakers interspersed or blocked, respectively. Results demonstrate that categorization of vowels is possible without prior exposure to speaker-related variability in speech for zebra finches, and in non-native vowel categories for humans. Therefore, this study is the first to provide evidence for what might be a species-shared auditory bias that may supersede speaker-related information during vowel categorization. It additionally provides behavioural evidence contradicting a prior hypothesis that accommodation of speaker differences is achieved via the use of formant ratios. Therefore, investigations of alternative accounts of vowel normalization that incorporate the possibility of an auditory bias for disregarding inter-speaker variability are warranted.

  13. Undirected (solitary birdsong in female and male blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus and its endocrine correlates.

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    Nicole Geberzahn

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Birdsong is a popular model system in research areas such as vocal communication, neuroethology or neuroendocrinology of behaviour. As most research has been conducted on species with male-only song production, the hormone-dependency of male song is well established. However, female singing and its mechanisms are poorly understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We characterised the song and its endocrine correlates of blue-capped cordon-bleus (Uraeginthus cyanocephalus, a species in which both sexes sing. Like other estrildids, they produce directed song during courtship and undirected (or solitary song in isolation, i.e. when the mate is not visible or absent. We compare solitary song of blue-capped cordon-bleus to published descriptions of the song of its relative, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata. Solitary song of cordon-bleus shared some overall song features with that of zebra finches but differed in spectro-temporal song features, sequential stereotypy and sequential organisation. The song of cordon-bleus was dimorphic with respect to the larger size of syllable repertoires, the higher song duration and the lower variability of pitch goodness (measuring the pureness of harmonic sounds in males. However, in both sexes the overall plasma testosterone concentrations were low (ca. 300 pg/ml and did not correlate with the sexually dimorphic song motor pattern. Despite such low concentrations, the increase in the rate of solitary song coincided with an increase in the level of testosterone. Furthermore, the latency to start singing after the separation from the mate was related to hormone levels. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that the occurrence of solitary song but not its motor pattern might be under the control of testosterone in female and male cordon-bleus.

  14. Going to extremes: contrasting rates of diversification in a recent radiation of new world passerine birds.

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    Barker, F Keith; Burns, Kevin J; Klicka, John; Lanyon, Scott M; Lovette, Irby J

    2013-03-01

    Recent analyses suggest that a few major shifts in diversification rate may be enough to explain most of the disparity in diversity among vertebrate lineages. At least one significant increase in diversification rate appears to have occurred within the birds; however, several nested lineages within birds have been identified as hyperdiverse by different studies. A clade containing the finches and relatives (within the avian order Passeriformes), including a large radiation endemic to the New World that comprises ~8% of all bird species, may be the true driver of this rate increase. Understanding the patterns and processes of diversification of this diverse lineage may go a long way toward explaining the apparently rapid diversification rates of both passerines and of birds as a whole. We present the first multilocus phylogenetic analyses of this endemic New World radiation of finch relatives that include sampling of all recognized genera, a relaxed molecular clock analysis of its divergence history, and an analysis of its broad-scale diversification patterns. These analyses recovered 5 major lineages traditionally recognized as avian families, but identified an additional 10 relatively ancient lineages worthy of recognition at the family level. Time-calibrated diversification analyses suggested that at least 3 of the 15 family-level lineages were significantly species poor given the entire group's background diversification rate, whereas at least one-the tanagers of family Thraupidae-appeared significantly more diverse. Lack of an age-diversity relationship within this clade suggests that, due to rapid initial speciation, it may have experienced density-dependent ecological limits on its overall diversity.

  15. At the interface of the auditory and vocal motor systems: NIf and its role in vocal processing, production and learning.

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    Lewandowski, Brian; Vyssotski, Alexei; Hahnloser, Richard H R; Schmidt, Marc

    2013-06-01

    Communication between auditory and vocal motor nuclei is essential for vocal learning. In songbirds, the nucleus interfacialis of the nidopallium (NIf) is part of a sensorimotor loop, along with auditory nucleus avalanche (Av) and song system nucleus HVC, that links the auditory and song systems. Most of the auditory information comes through this sensorimotor loop, with the projection from NIf to HVC representing the largest single source of auditory information to the song system. In addition to providing the majority of HVC's auditory input, NIf is also the primary driver of spontaneous activity and premotor-like bursting during sleep in HVC. Like HVC and RA, two nuclei critical for song learning and production, NIf exhibits behavioral-state dependent auditory responses and strong motor bursts that precede song output. NIf also exhibits extended periods of fast gamma oscillations following vocal production. Based on the converging evidence from studies of physiology and functional connectivity it would be reasonable to expect NIf to play an important role in the learning, maintenance, and production of song. Surprisingly, however, lesions of NIf in adult zebra finches have no effect on song production or maintenance. Only the plastic song produced by juvenile zebra finches during the sensorimotor phase of song learning is affected by NIf lesions. In this review, we carefully examine what is known about NIf at the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral levels. We reexamine conclusions drawn from previous studies in the light of our current understanding of the song system, and establish what can be said with certainty about NIf's involvement in song learning, maintenance, and production. Finally, we review recent theories of song learning integrating possible roles for NIf within these frameworks and suggest possible parallels between NIf and sensorimotor areas that form part of the neural circuitry for speech processing in humans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier

  16. The proper time for antioxidant consumption.

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    Beaulieu, Michaël; Schaefer, H Martin

    2014-04-10

    Consuming food rich in antioxidants may help organisms to increase their antioxidant defences and avoid oxidative damage. Under the hypothesis that organisms actively consume food for its antioxidant properties, they would need to do so in view of other physiological requirements, such as energy requirements. Here, we observed that Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) consumed most seeds rich in antioxidants in the middle of the day, while their consumption of staple seeds more profitable in energy intake (and poor in antioxidants) was maximal in the morning and the evening. This consumption of seeds rich in antioxidants in the middle of the day may be explicable (1) because birds took advantage of a time window associated with relaxed energy requirements to ingest antioxidant resources, or (2) because birds consumed antioxidant resources as a response to the highest antioxidant requirements in the middle of the day. If the latter hypothesis holds true, having the possibility to ingest antioxidants should be most beneficial in terms of oxidative balance in the middle of the day. Even though feeding on seeds rich in antioxidants improved Gouldian finches' overall antioxidant capacity, we did not detect any diurnal effect of antioxidant intake on plasma oxidative markers (as measured by the d-ROM and the OXY-adsorbent tests). This indicates that the diurnal pattern of antioxidant intake that we observed was most likely constrained by the high consumption of staple food to replenish or build up body reserves in the morning and in the evening, and not primarily determined by elevated antioxidant requirements in the middle of the day. Consequently, animals appear to have the possibility to increase antioxidant defences by selecting food rich in antioxidants, only when energetic constraints are relaxed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Reward and vocal production: song-associated place preference in songbirds.

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    Riters, Lauren V; Stevenson, Sharon A

    2012-05-15

    Vocal production is crucial for successful social interactions in multiple species. Reward can strongly influence behavior; however, the extent to which reward systems influence vocal behavior is unknown. In songbirds, singing occurs in different contexts. It can be spontaneous and undirected (e.g., song produced alone or as part of a large flock) or directed towards a conspecific (e.g., song used to attract a mate or influence a competitor). In this study, we developed a conditioned place preference paradigm to measure reward associated with different types of singing behavior in two songbird species. Both male zebra finches and European starlings developed a preference for a chamber associated with production of undirected song, suggesting that the production of undirected song is tightly coupled to intrinsic reward. In contrast, neither starlings nor zebra finches developed a place preference in association with directed song; however, male starlings singing directed song that failed to attract a female developed a place aversion. Unsuccessful contact calling behavior was also associated with a place aversion. These findings suggest that directed vocal behavior is not tightly linked to intrinsic reward but may be externally reinforced by social interactions. Data across two species thus support the hypothesis that the production of undirected but not directed song is tightly coupled to intrinsic reward. This study is the first to identify song-associated reward and suggests that reward associated with vocal production differs depending upon the context in which communication occurs. The findings have implications for understanding what motivates animals to engage in social behaviors and ways in which distinct reward mechanisms function to direct socially appropriate behaviors. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Amplification Biases and Consistent Recovery of Loci in a Double-Digest RAD-seq Protocol

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    DaCosta, Jeffrey M.; Sorenson, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    A growing variety of “genotype-by-sequencing” (GBS) methods use restriction enzymes and high throughput DNA sequencing to generate data for a subset of genomic loci, allowing the simultaneous discovery and genotyping of thousands of polymorphisms in a set of multiplexed samples. We evaluated a “double-digest” restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (ddRAD-seq) protocol by 1) comparing results for a zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) sample with in silico predictions from the zebra finch reference genome; 2) assessing data quality for a population sample of indigobirds (Vidua spp.); and 3) testing for consistent recovery of loci across multiple samples and sequencing runs. Comparison with in silico predictions revealed that 1) over 90% of predicted, single-copy loci in our targeted size range (178–328 bp) were recovered; 2) short restriction fragments (38–178 bp) were carried through the size selection step and sequenced at appreciable depth, generating unexpected but nonetheless useful data; 3) amplification bias favored shorter, GC-rich fragments, contributing to among locus variation in sequencing depth that was strongly correlated across samples; 4) our use of restriction enzymes with a GC-rich recognition sequence resulted in an up to four-fold overrepresentation of GC-rich portions of the genome; and 5) star activity (i.e., non-specific cutting) resulted in thousands of “extra” loci sequenced at low depth. Results for three species of indigobirds show that a common set of thousands of loci can be consistently recovered across both individual samples and sequencing runs. In a run with 46 samples, we genotyped 5,996 loci in all individuals and 9,833 loci in 42 or more individuals, resulting in <1% missing data for the larger data set. We compare our approach to similar methods and discuss the range of factors (fragment library preparation, natural genetic variation, bioinformatics) influencing the recovery of a consistent set of loci among

  19. Synchronised provisioning at the nest: parental coordination over care in a socially monogamous species

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    Erica P. van Rooij

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Bi-parental care is very common in birds, occurring in over 90% of species, and is expected to evolve whenever the benefits of enhanced offspring survival exceed the costs to both parents of providing care. In altricial species, where the nestlings are entirely dependent on the parents for providing food until fledging, reproductive success is related to the capacity of the parents to provision the offspring at the nest. The degree to which parents synchronise their visits to the nest is rarely considered by studies of bi-parental care, and yet may be an important component of parental care, affecting the outcome of the reproductive attempt, and the dynamics of sexual conflict between the parents. Here we studied this aspect of parental care in the long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda, a socially monogamous estrildid finch. We monitored parental nest visit rates and the degree of parental visit synchrony, and assessed their effects on reproductive success (e.g., brood size, number of offspring fledged and nestling growth.The frequency of nest visits in a day was low in this species (<1 visit/h, but there was a high level of synchrony by the two partners with 73% of visits made together. There was a correlation between the proportion of visits that were made by the pair together and the size of the brood at hatching, although it was not related to the number of fledglings a pair produced, or the quality of those offspring. We suggest that nest visit synchrony may primarily be driven by the benefit of parents being together whilst foraging away from the nest, or may reduce nest predation by reducing the level of activity around the nest throughout the day.

  20. Neurons Responsive to Global Visual Motion Have Unique Tuning Properties in Hummingbirds.

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    Gaede, Andrea H; Goller, Benjamin; Lam, Jessica P M; Wylie, Douglas R; Altshuler, Douglas L

    2017-01-23

    Neurons in animal visual systems that respond to global optic flow exhibit selectivity for motion direction and/or velocity. The avian lentiformis mesencephali (LM), known in mammals as the nucleus of the optic tract (NOT), is a key nucleus for global motion processing [1-4]. In all animals tested, it has been found that the majority of LM and NOT neurons are tuned to temporo-nasal (back-to-front) motion [4-11]. Moreover, the monocular gain of the optokinetic response is higher in this direction, compared to naso-temporal (front-to-back) motion [12, 13]. Hummingbirds are sensitive to small visual perturbations while hovering, and they drift to compensate for optic flow in all directions [14]. Interestingly, the LM, but not other visual nuclei, is hypertrophied in hummingbirds relative to other birds [15], which suggests enhanced perception of global visual motion. Using extracellular recording techniques, we found that there is a uniform distribution of preferred directions in the LM in Anna's hummingbirds, whereas zebra finch and pigeon LM populations, as in other tetrapods, show a strong bias toward temporo-nasal motion. Furthermore, LM and NOT neurons are generally classified as tuned to "fast" or "slow" motion [10, 16, 17], and we predicted that most neurons would be tuned to slow visual motion as an adaptation for slow hovering. However, we found the opposite result: most hummingbird LM neurons are tuned to fast pattern velocities, compared to zebra finches and pigeons. Collectively, these results suggest a role in rapid responses during hovering, as well as in velocity control and collision avoidance during forward flight of hummingbirds. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Aksu-Zhabagly Nature Reserve's 90-anniversary

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    Anatoliy F. Kovshar

    2016-05-01

    whistling thrush (Myophonus caeruleus turcestanicus, paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi leucogaster and several species of highland finches, including Eurasian crimson-winged finch (Rhodopechys sanguinea, white-winged snowfinch (Montifringilla nivalis alpicola and Brandt's mountain finch (Leucosticte brandti; reptiles – Ophisaurus apodus, Elape dione and Coluber rhodorhachis. 18 Vertebrate and 26 invertebrate species are listed in the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan. In the 90 years of its existence a huge research was carried out and the scientific staff of field biologists, botanists and zoologists were prepared (N.K. Karmysheva, V.V. Shevchenko, F.D. Shaposhnikov, V.D. Utekhin, A.F. Kovshar, A.A. Ivaschenko, B.M. Gubin, Yu.A. Grachyov, etc.. At the same time dozens of expeditions were working on this territory from several scientific institutions – institutes of botany and zoology (Alma-Ata, Tashkent, Leningrad, Kiev, botanical gardens (Moscow, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, All-Union Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Moscow, All-Union Institute of Pharmacology (Moscow, Institute of Plant Protection (Alma-Ata, Zoological Museum of Moscow State University (Moscow, Palaeontological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of USSR and many others. As a result from the material collected on the territory of the nature reserve, more than 900 scientific works were published, including 11 issues of Proceedings of the nature reserve, published since 1948 till 2016.

  2. The birds-consumers of the fruits and disseminators of Phellodendron Rupr. seeds in the south of Russian Far East

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    V. A. Nechaev

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Based on the results of the long-term investigation, carried out in the Russian Far East (Primorye and Khabarovsk Territories, Amur and Sakhalin regions, and published data about bird ecology, the actual material about the birds feeding seeds and berries of the Amur cork-tree, Phellodendron amurense Rupr. and Sakhalin cork-tree, Ph. sachalinensis (Fr. Schmidt Sarg., is given in the article. It has been found 43 carpophagous bird species from 15 families and 5 orders. The cork-tree berries, small roundish juicy fruits with little stones, are eaten by the birds of 40 species from 13 families; basically by Grey-headed Woodpecker – Picus canus, Azure-winged Magpies – Cyanopica cyanus, Bohemian and Japanaese Waxwings – Bombycilla garrulus and B. japonica, Thrushes: Pale Thrush – Turdus pallidus, Eyebrowed Thrush – Turdus obscurus, Grey-backed Thrush – T. hortulorum, Naumann’s Thrush – T. naumanni, and Dusky Thrush – T. eunomus, Eurasian Nuthatch – Sitta europaea, Pallas’s Rose Finch – Carpodacus roseus. The secondary birds – 16 species. On the Sakhalin isl. the Sakhalin cork-tree, Ph. sachalinensis berries are eaten by the birds of 33 species from 12 families, on the South Kuriles (Kunashir isl. – by the birds of 28 species from 11 families. On Sakhalin the berries are eaten basically by the Waxwings (2 species, Dusky and Brown-headed – Turdus chrysolaus – Thrushes, Eurasian Nuthatch, Pallas’s Rose Finch; and secondary birds – 12 species. There are 5 species of the primary birds and 8 species of the secondary birds on the Kunashir isl. A participation of the birds in the dissemination of the cork-tree, Phellodendron Rupr., during seasonal migrations in winter and autumn has been considered. The active birds in the seed distribution are Grey-headed Woodpecker, Azure-winged Magpies, Waxwings, Thrushes and others; while they are eating the berries, the seeds are not damaged in the gastrointestinal tract and pushed

  3. PREVALÊNCIA DE LEUCOSE ENZOÓTICA BOVINA, DIARRÉIA VIRAL BOVINA RINOTRAQUEÍTE INFECCIOSA BOVINA E NEOSPOROSE BOVINA EM 26 PROPRIEDADES LEITEIRAS DA REGIÃO NORDESTE DO RIO GRANDE DO SUL, BRASIL PREVALENCE OF ENZOOTIC BOVINE LEUKOSIS, BOVINE VIRAL DIARRHEA, INFECTIOUS BOVINE RHINOTRACHEITIS AND BOVINE NEOSPOROSIS IN 26 DAIRY CATTLE FARMS FROM THE NORTHEAST REGION OF RIO GRANDE DO SUL , BRAZIL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cleber Fiori

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Objetivou-se investigar a freqüência de aglutininas anti-Brucella abortus em caprinos e ovinos do Sertão do Estado de Pernambuco, Brasil. Foram processadas 700 amostras de soros sangüíneos, das quais 340 eram da espécie caprina (115 machos e 225 fêmeas e 360 (136 machos e 224 fêmeas ovina. Empregou-se a técnica do antígeno acidificado tamponado (AAT corado com rosa bengala (RB. Das 340 amostras de caprinos avaliadas, duas (0,6% foram reagentes ao AAT. Não se observaram associações significativas para as variáveis faixa etária (p= 0,430, raça (p= 0,936 e sexo (p= 0,562. Das 360 amostras de ovinos, nove (2,5% foram reagentes. Também não houve associação significativa entre as variáveis analisadas e a soropositividade para brucelose: faixa etária (p= 0,522; raça (p= 0,576 e sexo (p= 0,461. Verificou-se associação significativa (p= 0,042 entre as espécies estudadas e soropositividade para brucelose nos animais investigados. A soropositividade para Brucella abortus em caprinos e ovinos foi descrita pela primeira vez no Sertão de Pernambuco, fato que pode dificultar o sucesso do Programa Nacional de Controle e Erradicação da Brucelose, tendo em vista que nessa região é comum a criação consorciada de pequenos ruminantes com bovinos, além de representar riscos à Saúde Pública.

    PALAVRAS-CHAVES: Brucelose, ovinos, caprinos, pequenos ruminantes, sorodiagnóstico. The objective was to investigate the frequency of anti-Brucella abortus agglutinins in goats and sheep of the backlands of the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. 700 samples of sanguine serums were processed, of which 340 were of the goat (115 males and 225 females and 360 (136 males and 224 females sheep. The technique of the Tamponed Acidified Antigen (AAT dyed with Bengalese Rose (BR was used. Of the 340 samples of goat evaluated two (0.6% were reactive to AAT. Significant associations were not observed for the variable age group (p = 0.430; race (p = 0

  4. FREQÜÊNCIA DE AGLUTININAS ANTI-Brucella abortus EM CAPRINOS E OVINOS DO SERTÃO DO ESTADO DE PERNAMBUCO, BRASIL FREQUENCY OF ANTI-Brucella abortus AGGLUTININS IN GOATS AND sheep OF THE “SERTÃO” (BACKLANDS OF THE STATE OF PERNAMBUCO, BRAZIL

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    Vânia Lúcia de Assis Santana

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Objetivou-se investigar a freqüência de aglutininas anti-Brucella abortus em caprinos e ovinos do Sertão do Estado de Pernambuco, Brasil. Foram processadas 700 amostras de soros sangüíneos, das quais 340 eram da espécie caprina (115 machos e 225 fêmeas e 360 (136 machos e 224 fêmeas ovina. Empregou-se a técnica do antígeno acidificado tamponado (AAT corado com rosa bengala (RB. Das 340 amostras de caprinos avaliadas, duas (0,6% foram reagentes ao AAT. Não se observaram associações significativas para as variáveis faixa etária (p= 0,430, raça (p= 0,936 e sexo (p= 0,562. Das 360 amostras de ovinos, nove (2,5% foram reagentes. Também não houve associação significativa entre as variáveis analisadas e a soropositividade para brucelose: faixa etária (p= 0,522; raça (p= 0,576 e sexo (p= 0,461. Verificou-se associação significativa (p= 0,042 entre as espécies estudadas e soropositividade para brucelose nos animais investigados. A soropositividade para Brucella abortus em caprinos e ovinos foi descrita pela primeira vez no Sertão de Pernambuco, fato que pode dificultar o sucesso do Programa Nacional de Controle e Erradicação da Brucelose, tendo em vista que nessa região é comum a criação consorciada de pequenos ruminantes com bovinos, além de representar riscos à Saúde Pública.

    PALAVRAS-CHAVES: Brucelose, ovinos, caprinos, pequenos ruminantes, sorodiagnóstico. The objective was to investigate the frequency of anti-Brucella abortus agglutinins in goats and sheep of the backlands of the State of Pernambuco, Brazil. 700 samples of sanguine serums were processed, of which 340 were of the goat (115 males and 225 females and 360 (136 males and 224 females sheep. The technique of the Tamponed Acidified Antigen (AAT dyed with Bengalese Rose (BR was used. Of the 340 samples of goat evaluated two (0.6% were reactive to AAT. Significant associations were not observed for the variable age group (p = 0.430; race (p = 0

  5. Social context-induced song variation affects female behavior and gene expression.

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    Sarah C Woolley

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Social cues modulate the performance of communicative behaviors in a range of species, including humans, and such changes can make the communication signal more salient. In songbirds, males use song to attract females, and song organization can differ depending on the audience to which a male sings. For example, male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata change their songs in subtle ways when singing to a female (directed song compared with when they sing in isolation (undirected song, and some of these changes depend on altered neural activity from a specialized forebrain-basal ganglia circuit, the anterior forebrain pathway (AFP. In particular, variable activity in the AFP during undirected song is thought to actively enable syllable variability, whereas the lower and less-variable AFP firing during directed singing is associated with more stereotyped song. Consequently, directed song has been suggested to reflect a "performance" state, and undirected song a form of vocal motor "exploration." However, this hypothesis predicts that directed-undirected song differences, despite their subtlety, should matter to female zebra finches, which is a question that has not been investigated. We tested female preferences for this natural variation in song in a behavioral approach assay, and we found that both mated and socially naive females could discriminate between directed and undirected song-and strongly preferred directed song. These preferences, which appeared to reflect attention especially to aspects of song variability controlled by the AFP, were enhanced by experience, as they were strongest for mated females responding to their mate's directed songs. We then measured neural activity using expression of the immediate early gene product ZENK, and found that social context and song familiarity differentially modulated the number of ZENK-expressing cells in telencephalic auditory areas. Specifically, the number of ZENK-expressing cells in the

  6. Single Neurons in the Avian Auditory Cortex Encode Individual Identity and Propagation Distance in Naturally Degraded Communication Calls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouterde, Solveig C; Elie, Julie E; Mathevon, Nicolas; Theunissen, Frédéric E

    2017-03-29

    One of the most complex tasks performed by sensory systems is "scene analysis": the interpretation of complex signals as behaviorally relevant objects. The study of this problem, universal to species and sensory modalities, is particularly challenging in audition, where sounds from various sources and localizations, degraded by propagation through the environment, sum to form a single acoustical signal. Here we investigated in a songbird model, the zebra finch, the neural substrate for ranging and identifying a single source. We relied on ecologically and behaviorally relevant stimuli, contact calls, to investigate the neural discrimination of individual vocal signature as well as sound source distance when calls have been degraded through propagation in a natural environment. Performing electrophysiological recordings in anesthetized birds, we found neurons in the auditory forebrain that discriminate individual vocal signatures despite long-range degradation, as well as neurons discriminating propagation distance, with varying degrees of multiplexing between both information types. Moreover, the neural discrimination performance of individual identity was not affected by propagation-induced degradation beyond what was induced by the decreased intensity. For the first time, neurons with distance-invariant identity discrimination properties as well as distance-discriminant neurons are revealed in the avian auditory cortex. Because these neurons were recorded in animals that had prior experience neither with the vocalizers of the stimuli nor with long-range propagation of calls, we suggest that this neural population is part of a general-purpose system for vocalizer discrimination and ranging. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding how the brain makes sense of the multitude of stimuli that it continually receives in natural conditions is a challenge for scientists. Here we provide a new understanding of how the auditory system extracts behaviorally relevant information

  7. Characterization of Plasmodium relictum, a cosmopolitan agent of avian malaria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkiunas, Gediminas; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Bukauskaitė, Dovilė; Fragner, Karin; Weissenböck, Herbert; Atkinson, Carter T.; Iezhova, Tatjana

    2018-01-01

    BackgroundMicroscopic research has shown that Plasmodium relictum is the most common agent of avian malaria. Recent molecular studies confirmed this conclusion and identified several mtDNA lineages, suggesting the existence of significant intra-species genetic variation or cryptic speciation. Most identified lineages have a broad range of hosts and geographical distribution. Here, a rare new lineage of P. relictum was reported and information about biological characters of different lineages of this pathogen was reviewed, suggesting issues for future research.MethodsThe new lineage pPHCOL01 was detected in Common chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita,and the parasite was passaged in domestic canaries Serinus canaria. Organs of infected birds were examined using histology and chromogenic in situ hybridization methods. Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, Zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata, Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus and European goldfinch Carduelis carduelis were exposed experimentally. Both Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood analyses identified the same phylogenetic relationships among different, closely-related lineages pSGS1, pGRW4, pGRW11, pLZFUS01, pPHCOL01 of P. relictum. Morphology of their blood stages was compared using fixed and stained blood smears, and biological properties of these parasites were reviewed.ResultsCommon canary and European goldfinch were susceptible to the parasite pPHCOL01, and had markedly variable individual prepatent periods and light transient parasitaemia. Exo-erythrocytic and sporogonic stages were not seen. The Zebra finch and Budgerigar were resistant. Neither blood stages nor vector stages of all examined P. relictum lineages can be distinguished morphologically.ConclusionWithin the huge spectrum of vertebrate hosts, mosquito vectors, and ecological conditions, different lineages of P. relictum exhibit indistinguishable, markedly variable morphological forms. Parasites of same lineages often develop differently

  8. Perineuronal satellite neuroglia in the telencephalon of New Caledonian crows and other Passeriformes: evidence of satellite glial cells in the central nervous system of healthy birds?

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    Felipe S. Medina

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Glia have been implicated in a variety of functions in the central nervous system, including the control of the neuronal extracellular space, synaptic plasticity and transmission, development and adult neurogenesis. Perineuronal glia forming groups around neurons are associated with both normal and pathological nervous tissue. Recent studies have linked reduction in the number of perineuronal oligodendrocytes in the prefrontal cortex with human schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Therefore, perineuronal glia may play a decisive role in homeostasis and normal activity of the human nervous system.Here we report on the discovery of novel cell clusters in the telencephala of five healthy Passeriforme, one Psittaciform and one Charadriiforme bird species, which we refer to as Perineuronal Glial Clusters (PGCs. The aim of this study is to describe the structure and distribution of the PGCs in a number of avian species.PGCs were identified with the use of standard histological procedures. Heterochromatin masses visible inside the nuclei of these satellite glia suggest that they may correspond to oligodendrocytes. PGCs were found in the brains of nine New Caledonian crows, two Japanese jungle crows, two Australian magpies, two Indian mynah, three zebra finches (all Passeriformes, one Southern lapwing (Charadriiformes and one monk parakeet (Psittaciformes. Microscopic survey of the brain tissue suggests that the largest PGCs are located in the hyperpallium densocellulare and mesopallium. No clusters were found in brain sections from one Gruiform (purple swamphen, one Strigiform (barn owl, one Trochiliform (green-backed firecrown, one Falconiform (chimango caracara, one Columbiform (pigeon and one Galliform (chick.Our observations suggest that PGCs in Aves are brain region- and taxon-specific and that the presence of perineuronal glia in healthy human brains and the similar PGCs in avian gray matter is the result of convergent evolution. The

  9. HDAC3 Inhibitor RGFP966 Modulates Neuronal Memory for Vocal Communication Signals in a Songbird Model

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    Mimi L. Phan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Epigenetic mechanisms that modify chromatin conformation have recently been under investigation for their contributions to learning and the formation of memory. For example, the role of enzymes involved in histone acetylation are studied in the formation of long-lasting memories because memory consolidation requires gene expression events that are facilitated by an open state of chromatin. We recently proposed that epigenetic events may control the entry of specific sensory features into long-term memory by enabling transcription-mediated neuronal plasticity in sensory brain areas. Histone deacetylases, like HDAC3, may thereby regulate the specific sensory information that is captured for entry into long-term memory stores (Phan and Bieszczad, 2016. To test this hypothesis, we used an HDAC3-selective inhibitor (RGFP966 to determine whether its application after an experience with a sound stimulus with unique acoustic features could contribute to the formation of a memory that would assist in mediating its later recognition. We gave adult male zebra finches limited exposure to unique conspecific songs (20 repetitions each, well below the normal threshold to form long-term memory, followed by treatment with RGFP966 or vehicle. In different groups, we either made multi-electrode recordings in the higher auditory area NCM (caudal medial nidopallidum, or determined expression of an immediate early gene, zenk (also identified as zif268, egr-1, ngfi-a and krox24, known to participate in neuronal memory in this system. We found that birds treated with RGFP966 showed neuronal memory after only limited exposure, while birds treated with vehicle did not. Strikingly, evidence of neuronal memory in NCM induced by HDAC3-inhibition was lateralized to the left-hemisphere, consistent with our finding that RGFP966-treatment also elevated zenk expression only in the left hemisphere. The present findings show feasibility for epigenetic mechanisms to control neural

  10. HDAC3 Inhibitor RGFP966 Modulates Neuronal Memory for Vocal Communication Signals in a Songbird Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Mimi L; Gergues, Mark M; Mahidadia, Shafali; Jimenez-Castillo, Jorge; Vicario, David S; Bieszczad, Kasia M

    2017-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms that modify chromatin conformation have recently been under investigation for their contributions to learning and the formation of memory. For example, the role of enzymes involved in histone acetylation are studied in the formation of long-lasting memories because memory consolidation requires gene expression events that are facilitated by an open state of chromatin. We recently proposed that epigenetic events may control the entry of specific sensory features into long-term memory by enabling transcription-mediated neuronal plasticity in sensory brain areas. Histone deacetylases, like HDAC3, may thereby regulate the specific sensory information that is captured for entry into long-term memory stores (Phan and Bieszczad, 2016). To test this hypothesis, we used an HDAC3-selective inhibitor (RGFP966) to determine whether its application after an experience with a sound stimulus with unique acoustic features could contribute to the formation of a memory that would assist in mediating its later recognition. We gave adult male zebra finches limited exposure to unique conspecific songs (20 repetitions each, well below the normal threshold to form long-term memory), followed by treatment with RGFP966 or vehicle. In different groups, we either made multi-electrode recordings in the higher auditory area NCM (caudal medial nidopallidum), or determined expression of an immediate early gene, zenk (also identified as zif268 , egr-1 , ngfi-a and krox24 ), known to participate in neuronal memory in this system. We found that birds treated with RGFP966 showed neuronal memory after only limited exposure, while birds treated with vehicle did not. Strikingly, evidence of neuronal memory in NCM induced by HDAC3-inhibition was lateralized to the left-hemisphere, consistent with our finding that RGFP966-treatment also elevated zenk expression only in the left hemisphere. The present findings show feasibility for epigenetic mechanisms to control neural plasticity

  11. Behavioral and physiological flexibility are used by birds to manage energy and support investment in the early stages of reproduction

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    François VÉzina, Katrina G. SALVANTE

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Interest in phenotypic flexibility has increased dramatically over the last decade, but flexibility during reproduction has received relatively little attention from avian scientists, despite its possible impact on fitness. Because most avian species maintain atrophied reproductive organs when not active, reproduction in birds requires major tissue remodeling in preparation for breeding. Females undergo rapid (days recrudescence and regression of their reproductive organs at each breeding attempt, while males grow their organs ahead of time at a much slower rate (weeks and may maintain them at maximal size throughout the breeding season. Reproduction is associated with significant metabolic costs. Egg production leads to a 22–27% increase in resting metabolic rate (RMR over non-reproductive values. This is partly due to the activity of the oviduct, an organ that may allow females to adjust reproductive investment by modulating egg size and quality. In males, gonadal recrudescence may lead to a 30% increase in RMR, but the data are inconsistent and general conclusions regarding energetic costs of reproduction in males will require more research. Recent studies on captive female zebra finches describe the impacts of these costs on daily energy budgets and highlight the strategies used by birds to maintain their investment in reproduction when energy is limited. Whenever possible, birds use behavioral flexibility as a first means of saving energy. Decreasing locomotor activity saves energy during challenges such as egg production or exposure to cold temperatures and is an efficient way to buffer variation in individual daily energy budgets. However, when behavioral flexibility is not possible, birds must rely on flexibility at the physiological level to meet energy demands. In zebra finches breeding in the cold, this results in a reduced pace of laying, likely due to down-regulation of both reproductive and non-reproductive function, allowing

  12. Article Processing Charges and OpenAPC

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2017-01-01

    The publication landscape is about to change. While being largely operated by subscription based journals in the past, recent political decisions force the publishing industry towards OpenAccess. Especially, the publication of the Finch report in 2012 put APC based Gold OpenAccess models almost everywhere on the agenda. These models also require quite some adoptions for library work flows to handle payments, bills and centralized funds for publication fees. Sometimes handled in specialized systems (e.g. first setups in Jülich) pretty early on discussions started to handle APCs in local repositories which would also hold the OpenAccess content resulting from these fees, e.g. the University of Regenburg uses ePrints for this purpose. Backed up by the OpenData movmement, libraries also saw opportunity to exchange data about fees payed. Thus, OpenAPC.de was born in 2014 on github to facilitate this exchange and aggregate large amounts of data for evaluation and comparison. Using the repository to hold payment d...

  13. Postnatal nutrition influences male attractiveness and promotes plasticity in male mating preferences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguera, José C.; Metcalfe, Neil B.; Monaghan, Pat

    2017-12-01

    Poor early-life nutrition could reduce adult reproductive success by negatively affecting traits linked to sexual attractiveness such as song complexity. If so, this might favor strategic mate choice, allowing males with less complex songs to tailor their mating tactics to maximize the reproductive benefits. However, this possibility has been ignored in theoretical and empirical studies. By manipulating the micronutrient content of the diet (e.g., low or high) during the postnatal period of male zebra finches, we show for the first time (1) that males reared on a poor (low) micronutrient diet had less complex songs as adults; (2) that these males, in contrast to the high micronutrient diet group, were more selective in their mating strategies, discriminating against those females most likely to reduce their clutch size when paired with males having less complex songs; and (3) that by following different mating strategies, males reared on the contrasting diets obtained similar reproductive benefits. These results suggest that early-life dietary conditions can induce multiple and long-lasting effects on male and female reproductive traits. Moreover, the results seem to reflect a previously unreported case of adaptive plasticity in mate choice in response to a nutritionally mediated reduction in sexual attractiveness.

  14. Feeder use predicts both acquisition and transmission of a contagious pathogen in a North American songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adelman, James S; Moyers, Sahnzi C; Farine, Damien R; Hawley, Dana M

    2015-09-22

    Individual heterogeneity can influence the dynamics of infectious diseases in wildlife and humans alike. Thus, recent work has sought to identify behavioural characteristics that contribute disproportionately to individual variation in pathogen acquisition (super-receiving) or transmission (super-spreading). However, it remains unknown whether the same behaviours enhance both acquisition and transmission, a scenario likely to result in explosive epidemics. Here, we examined this possibility in an ecologically relevant host-pathogen system: house finches and their bacterial pathogen, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, which causes severe conjunctivitis. We examined behaviours likely to influence disease acquisition (feeder use, aggression, social network affiliations) in an observational field study, finding that the time an individual spends on bird feeders best predicted the risk of conjunctivitis. To test whether this behaviour also influences the likelihood of transmitting M. gallisepticum, we experimentally inoculated individuals based on feeding behaviour and tracked epidemics within captive flocks. As predicted, transmission was fastest when birds that spent the most time on feeders initiated the epidemic. Our results suggest that the same behaviour underlies both pathogen acquisition and transmission in this system and potentially others. Identifying individuals that exhibit such behaviours is critical for disease management. © 2015 The Author(s).

  15. Detailed temporal structure of communication networks in groups of songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stowell, Dan; Gill, Lisa; Clayton, David

    2016-06-01

    Animals in groups often exchange calls, in patterns whose temporal structure may be influenced by contextual factors such as physical location and the social network structure of the group. We introduce a model-based analysis for temporal patterns of animal call timing, originally developed for networks of firing neurons. This has advantages over cross-correlation analysis in that it can correctly handle common-cause confounds and provides a generative model of call patterns with explicit parameters for the influences between individuals. It also has advantages over standard Markovian analysis in that it incorporates detailed temporal interactions which affect timing as well as sequencing of calls. Further, a fitted model can be used to generate novel synthetic call sequences. We apply the method to calls recorded from groups of domesticated zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) individuals. We find that the communication network in these groups has stable structure that persists from one day to the next, and that 'kernels' reflecting the temporal range of influence have a characteristic structure for a calling individual's effect on itself, its partner and on others in the group. We further find characteristic patterns of influences by call type as well as by individual. © 2016 The Authors.

  16. URAT South Parallax Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finch, Charlie T.; Zacharias, Norbert; Jao, Wei-Chun

    2018-04-01

    We present 916 trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions of newly discovered nearby stars from the United States Naval Observatory Robotic Astrometric Telescope (URAT). Observations were taken at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory over a 2-year period from 2015 to 2017 October covering the entire sky south of about +25° decl. SPM4 and UCAC4 early epoch catalog data were added to extend the temporal coverage for the parallax and proper motion fit up to 48 years. Using these new URAT parallaxes, optical and near-IR photometry from the AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey and Two Micron All-Sky Survey catalogs, we identify possible new nearby dwarfs, young stars, low-metallicity subdwarfs and white dwarfs. Comparison to known trigonometric parallaxes shows a high quality of the URAT-based results confirming the error in parallax of the URAT south parallaxes reported here to be between 2 and 13 mas. We also include additional 729 trigonometric parallaxes from the URAT north 25 pc sample published in Finch & Zacharias here after applying the same criterion as for the southern sample to have a complete URAT 25 pc sample presented in this paper.

  17. Brain transcriptome sequencing and assembly of three songbird model systems for the study of social behavior

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    Christopher N. Balakrishnan

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Emberizid sparrows (emberizidae have played a prominent role in the study of avian vocal communication and social behavior. We present here brain transcriptomes for three emberizid model systems, song sparrow Melospiza melodia, white-throated sparrow Zonotrichia albicollis, and Gambel’s white-crowned sparrow Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii. Each of the assemblies covered fully or in part, over 89% of the previously annotated protein coding genes in the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata, with 16,846, 15,805, and 16,646 unique BLAST hits in song, white-throated and white-crowned sparrows, respectively. As in previous studies, we find tissue of origin (auditory forebrain versus hypothalamus and whole brain as an important determinant of overall expression profile. We also demonstrate the successful isolation of RNA and RNA-sequencing from post-mortem samples from building strikes and suggest that such an approach could be useful when traditional sampling opportunities are limited. These transcriptomes will be an important resource for the study of social behavior in birds and for data driven annotation of forthcoming whole genome sequences for these and other bird species.

  18. Histopathological survey of protozoa, helminths and acarids of imported and local psittacine and passerine birds in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, S S; Hirai, K; Itakura, C

    1992-12-01

    A total of 534 psittacine and passerine birds consisting of 241 imported and 293 local birds were examined histologically. As a result, the following parasites were found: Giardia (86 cases), Knemido-coptes (26 cases), coccidia (10 cases), Ascaridia (6 cases), Cryptosporidium (5 cases), Sarcocystis (5 cases), tapeworm (4 cases), microfilaria (2 cases), Hexamita (1 case), and Spiroptera (1 case). High incidences of giardiasis and knemido-coptic infestation were detected in the local birds, but rarely in the imported birds. Giardial trophozoites were observed mainly in the duodenum of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Knemidocoptic mites burrowed into the epidermis producing proliferative dermatitis in 25 budgerigars and 1 African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus erithacus). This ectoparasite often infested the skin around the cloaca. Coccidiosis was seen only in the small intestines of the finch (Poephila gouldiae gouldiae), African Grey Parrot, Rainbow lory (Trichoglossus haematodus), Indian Ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri manillensis) and peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis). Two parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva and Psittacus erithacus erithacus) and two budgerigars had intestinal cryptosporidiosis. Conjunctivitis associated with cryptosporidial infection was seen in a lovebird. Sarcocystis cysts containing crescent-shaped bradyzoites were found not only in the thigh and breast but also in the heart and cloacal muscles. Other organisms such as Ascaridia, tapeworm, microfilaria, Hexamita, and Spiroptera were clinically less significant. However, infections such as Giardia and Cryptosporidim might have zoonotic implications.

  19. Eye lesions in pet birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, S S; Park, J H; Hirai, K; Itakura, C

    1993-03-01

    Amongst eye lesions in birds that died in quarantine, cataracts were the most common disorders (37/241, 15.4%), being prevalent in the annular pads of cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). The incidence in male birds was more than twice that in females. Deposition of crystals, mostly in the cornea, was the second most frequent lesion (21/293, 8.7%), mainly found in cockatiels, parakeets (Psittacula krameri manillensis), Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva aestiva), budgerigars and finches (Poephila gouldiae gouldiae). These corneal crystals were negative to PAS and Kossa's stains. Six parakeets (Psittacula krameri manillensis) had calcium salts deposited in the inner plexiform layer of the retina and occasionally in the iris and ciliary body. Neither inflammation nor neo-vascularization was observed when cataracts, corneal crystalline deposition, and retinal and ciliary calcification were present. Intranuclear inclusion bodies typical for papovavirus infection were found in the eyelids of six budgerigars (2.5%). Similar inclusions were simultaneously found in the pars ciliaris retinae (4, 1.7%), inner plexiform of retina (1, 0.4%) and anterior epithelium of the cornea (1, 0.4%). Other lesions such as candidial endophthalmitis, conjunctival cryptosporidiosis, corneal dystrophy, keratitis, corneal perforation and iridocyclitis, were occasional findings.

  20. Increased Fos expression among midbrain dopaminergic cell groups during birdsong tutoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordeen, E J; Holtzman, D A; Nordeen, K W

    2009-08-01

    During avian vocal learning, birds memorize conspecific song patterns and then use auditory feedback to match their vocal output to this acquired template. Some models of song learning posit that during tutoring, conspecific visual, social and/or auditory cues activate neuromodulatory systems that encourage acquisition of the tutor's song and attach incentive value to that specific acoustic pattern. This hypothesis predicts that stimuli experienced during social tutoring activate cell populations capable of signaling reward. Using immunocytochemistry for the protein product of the immediate early gene c-Fos, we found that brief exposure of juvenile male zebra finches to a live familiar male tutor increased the density of Fos+ cells within two brain regions implicated in reward processing: the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). This activation of Fos appears to involve both dopaminergic and non-dopaminergic VTA/SNc neurons. Intriguingly, a familiar tutor was more effective than a novel tutor in stimulating Fos expression within these regions. In the periaqueductal gray, a dopamine-enriched cell population that has been implicated in emotional processing, Fos labeling also was increased after tutoring, with a familiar tutor again being more effective than a novel conspecific. As several neural regions implicated in song acquisition receive strong dopaminergic projections from these midbrain nuclei, their activation in conjunction with hearing the tutor's song could help to establish sensory representations that later guide motor sequence learning.

  1. Statistical learning in songbirds: from self-tutoring to song culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fehér, Olga; Ljubičić, Iva; Suzuki, Kenta; Okanoya, Kazuo; Tchernichovski, Ofer

    2017-01-05

    At the onset of vocal development, both songbirds and humans produce variable vocal babbling with broadly distributed acoustic features. Over development, these vocalizations differentiate into the well-defined, categorical signals that characterize adult vocal behaviour. A broadly distributed signal is ideal for vocal exploration, that is, for matching vocal production to the statistics of the sensory input. The developmental transition to categorical signals is a gradual process during which the vocal output becomes differentiated and stable. But does it require categorical input? We trained juvenile zebra finches with playbacks of their own developing song, produced just a few moments earlier, updated continuously over development. Although the vocalizations of these self-tutored (ST) birds were initially broadly distributed, birds quickly developed categorical signals, as fast as birds that were trained with a categorical, adult song template. By contrast, siblings of those birds that received no training (isolates) developed phonological categories much more slowly and never reached the same level of category differentiation as their ST brothers. Therefore, instead of simply mirroring the statistical properties of their sensory input, songbirds actively transform it into distinct categories. We suggest that the early self-generation of phonological categories facilitates the establishment of vocal culture by making the song easier to transmit at the micro level, while promoting stability of shared vocabulary at the group level over generations.This article is part of the themed issue 'New frontiers for statistical learning in the cognitive sciences'. © 2016 The Authors.

  2. Ticks associated with macquarie island penguins carry arboviruses from four genera.

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    Lee Major

    Full Text Available Macquarie Island, a small subantarctic island, is home to rockhopper, royal and king penguins, which are often infested with the globally distributed seabird tick, Ixodes uriae. A flavivirus, an orbivirus, a phlebovirus, and a nairovirus were isolated from these ticks and partial sequences obtained. The flavivirus was nearly identical to Gadgets Gully virus, isolated some 30 year previously, illustrating the remarkable genetic stability of this virus. The nearest relative to the orbivirus (for which we propose the name Sandy Bay virus was the Scottish Broadhaven virus, and provided only the second available sequences from the Great Island orbivirus serogroup. The phlebovirus (for which we propose the name Catch-me-cave virus and the previously isolated Precarious Point virus were distinct but related, with both showing homology with the Finnish Uukuniemi virus. These penguin viruses provided the second and third available sequences for the Uukuniemi group of phleboviruses. The nairovirus (for which we propose the name Finch Creek virus was shown to be related to the North American Tillamook virus, the Asian Hazara virus and Nairobi sheep disease virus. Macquarie Island penguins thus harbour arboviruses from at least four of the seven arbovirus-containing genera, with related viruses often found in the northern hemisphere.

  3. Two-dimensional Fourier analysis of the spongy medullary keratin of structurally coloured feather barbs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prum, R. O.; Torres, R.; Williamson, S.; Dyck, J.

    1999-01-01

    We conducted two-dimensional (2D) discrete Fourier analyses of the spatial variation in refractive index of the spongy medullary keratin from four different colours of structurally coloured feather barbs from three species of bird: the rose-faced lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis (Psittacidae), the budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus (Psittacidae), and the Gouldian finch, Poephila guttata (Estrildidae). These results indicate that the spongy medullary keratin is a nanostructured tissue that functions as an array of coherent scatterers. The nanostructure of the medullary keratin is nearly uniform in all directions. The largest Fourier components of spatial variation in refractive index in the tissue are of the appropriate size to produce the observed colours by constructive interference alone. The peaks of the predicted reflectance spectra calculated from the 2D Fourier power spectra are congruent with the reflectance spectra measured by using microspectrophotometry. The alternative physical models for the production of these colours, the Rayleigh and Mie theories, hypothesize that medullary keratin is an incoherent array and that scattered waves are independent in phase. This assumption is falsified by the ring-like Fourier power spectra of these feathers, and the spacing of the scattering air vacuoles in the medullary keratin. Structural colours of avian feather barbs are produced by constructive interference of coherently scattered light waves from the optically heterogeneous matrix of keratin and air in the spongy medullary layer.

  4. Bilateral LMAN lesions cancel differences in HVC neuronal recruitment induced by unilateral syringeal denervation. Lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum.

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    Wilbrecht, L; Petersen, T; Nottebohm, F

    2002-12-01

    Twenty-six-day-old male zebra finches received (1) unilateral section of their tracheosyringeal nerve, (2) bilateral lesions of the lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior neostriatum (LMAN), and (3) both operations. All birds were kept with an adult, singing male as a tutor until day 65. Tracheo-syringeal nerve-cut birds were able to imitate this model, but LMAN-lesioned birds were not. Bromodeoxyuridine, a marker of cell division, was injected intramuscularly during post-hatching days 61-65 and all birds were killed at 91 days of age. The number of bromodeoxyuridine+ neurons in the high vocal center of the tracheosyringeal-cut birds was twice as high in the intact as in the nerve cut side. This asymmetry disappeared when nerve section was combined with bilateral LMAN lesions. The latter operation, by itself, had no effect on new neuron counts. We suggest that the single nerve cut produced a hemispheric asymmetry in learning, reflected in new neuron recruitment, which disappeared when LMAN lesions blocked learning.

  5. Learning-related brain hemispheric dominance in sleeping songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M H; van de Kamp, Ferdinand C; Zandbergen, Matthijs A; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2015-03-12

    There are striking behavioural and neural parallels between the acquisition of speech in humans and song learning in songbirds. In humans, language-related brain activation is mostly lateralised to the left hemisphere. During language acquisition in humans, brain hemispheric lateralisation develops as language proficiency increases. Sleep is important for the formation of long-term memory, in humans as well as in other animals, including songbirds. Here, we measured neuronal activation (as the expression pattern of the immediate early gene ZENK) during sleep in juvenile zebra finch males that were still learning their songs from a tutor. We found that during sleep, there was learning-dependent lateralisation of spontaneous neuronal activation in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a secondary auditory brain region that is involved in tutor song memory, while there was right hemisphere dominance of neuronal activation in HVC (used as a proper name), a premotor nucleus that is involved in song production and sensorimotor learning. Specifically, in the NCM, birds that imitated their tutors well were left dominant, while poor imitators were right dominant, similar to language-proficiency related lateralisation in humans. Given the avian-human parallels, lateralised neural activation during sleep may also be important for speech and language acquisition in human infants.

  6. Evolution of sex-biased maternal effects in birds: I. Sex-specific resource allocation among simultaneously growing oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, R L; Badyaev, A V

    2004-11-01

    Females in species that produce broods of multiple offspring need to partition resources among simultaneously growing ova, embryos or neonates. In birds, the duration of growth of a single egg exceeds the ovulation interval, and when maternal resources are limited, a temporal overlap among several developing follicles in the ovary might result in a trade-off of resources among them. We studied growth of oocytes in relation to their future ovulation order, sex, and overlap with other oocytes in a population of house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus) where strongly sex-biased maternal effects are favoured by natural selection. We found pronounced differences in growth patterns between oocytes that produced males and females. Male oocytes grew up to five times faster and reached their ovulation size earlier than female oocytes. Early onset and early termination of male oocytes' growth in relation to their ovulation resulted in their lesser temporal overlap with other growing ova compared with female oocytes. Consequently, ovulation mass of female but not male oocytes was strongly negatively affected by temporal overlap with other oocytes. In turn, mass of male oocytes was mostly affected by the order of ovulation and by maternal incubation strategy. These results provide a mechanism for sex-biased allocation of maternal resources during egg formation and provide insights into the timing of the sex-determining meiotic division in relation to ovulation in this species.

  7. Individually variable energy management during egg production is repeatable across breeding attempts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Tony D; Vézina, François; Speakman, John R

    2009-04-01

    It is axiomatic that whole-animal metabolism, measured for example as daily energy expenditure (DEE), plays a central role in determining reproductive success and survival (fitness) in all organisms. Nevertheless, strong evidence for consistent systematic relationships between DEE and either individual traits (age, sex, body size), environmental factors (e.g. food availability, temperature) or 'fitness' traits (e.g. number of offspring, survival) remains far from compelling in birds and mammals. Recently, we suggested that female birds might utilise complex, individually variable energy management strategies to meet the metabolic demands of reproduction, generating a wide spectrum of effects on reproductive DEE, from overcompensation (net decrease in DEE) to additive effects (net increase in DEE). Here we show that this individually variable adjustment or 'plasticity' in energy expenditure associated with egg production is repeatable among individuals between successive breeding attempts in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). Our study highlights the importance (a) of measuring 'plasticity' or change associated with transitions of physiological state (e.g. non-breeding to breeding) based on multiple measurements of the same individual, and (b) of extending consideration of how selection might drive the evolution of phenotypic plasticity per se to include physiological and metabolic traits.

  8. A critical analysis of the new biology and the biological revolution: their impact - from medicine to evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Sukhendu B

    2010-01-01

    In this article, I critically analyze the impact of the new biology and the biological revolution. I argue that indiscriminate use of the words such as 'interdisciplinary,' 'integrative,' and 'revolution' has caused only confusion when applied to biology. The recent debate, especially after the exploding field of systems biology, has brought back the controversy whether molecular biology is reductionist or holistic. I look at the issues involved critically. I discuss the problem of defining the word 'gene' and argue that recent attempts to redefine the central dogma of molecular biology about the information flow from DNA to RNA to protein are not justified. I support my view with comments from the scientist who discovered RNA splicing. Several aspects of evo-devo, a new branch of biology, are discussed. I give examples from this evolution-developmental biology to show how some of Darwin's inspired guesses have had resounding victory when it was found that specific genes during embryonic development of the Galapagos finches decided the size and shape of their beaks. I discuss the recent publications which show that the conditions in the island, such as wet to dry to wet season, can bring about evolutionary changes from year to year. Thus it is essential to monitor both short and long-term evolutionary changes to get the full picture of evolution.

  9. Mothers adjust offspring sex to match the quality of the rearing environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pryke, Sarah R; Rollins, Lee A

    2012-10-07

    Theory predicts that mothers should adjust offspring sex ratios when the expected fitness gains or rearing costs differ between sons and daughters. Recent empirical work has linked biased offspring sex ratios to environmental quality via changes in relative maternal condition. It is unclear, however, whether females can manipulate offspring sex ratios in response to environmental quality alone (i.e. independent of maternal condition). We used a balanced within-female experimental design (i.e. females bred on both low- and high-quality diets) to show that female parrot finches (Erythrura trichroa) manipulate primary offspring sex ratios to the quality of the rearing environment, and not to their own body condition and health. Individual females produced an unbiased sex ratio on high-quality diets, but over-produced sons in poor dietary conditions, even though they maintained similar condition between diet treatments. Despite the lack of sexual size dimorphism, such sex ratio adjustment is in line with predictions from sex allocation theory because nutritionally stressed foster sons were healthier, grew faster and were more likely to survive than daughters. These findings suggest that mothers may adaptively adjust offspring sex ratios to optimally match their offspring to the expected quality of the rearing environment.

  10. The relationship between intraspecific assortative mating and reproductive isolation between divergent populations

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    Daniel I. BOLNICK, Mark KIRKPATRICK

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The term 'assortative mating' has been applied to describe two very different phenomena: (1 the tendency for individuals to choose phenotypically similar mates from among conspecifics; or (2 the tendency to prefer conspecific over hete- rospecific mates (behavioral reproductive isolation. Both forms of assortative mating are widespread in nature, but the relationship between these behaviors remains unclear. Namely, it is plausible that a preference for phenotypically similar conspecifics incidentally reduces the probability of mating with phenotypically divergent heterospecifics. We present a model to calculate how the level of reproductive isolation depends on intraspecific assortative mating and the phenotypic divergence between species. For empirically reasonable levels of intraspecific assortment on a single trait axis, we show that strong reproductive isolation requires very substantial phenotypic divergence. We illustrate this point by applying our model to empirical data from threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus and Darwin’s Finches (Geospiza spp. We conclude that typical levels of intraspecific assortment cannot generally be extrapolated to explain levels of interspecific reproductive isolation. Instead, reproductive isolation between species likely arises from different mate choice behaviors, or multivariate assortative mating [Current Zoology 58 (3: 481–489, 2012].

  11. Personality may confound common measures of mate-choice.

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    Morgan David

    Full Text Available The measurement of female mating preferences is central to the study of the evolution of male ornaments. Although several different methods have been developed to assess sexual preference in some standardized way, the most commonly used procedure consists of recording female spatial association with different males presented simultaneously. Sexual preference is then inferred from time spent in front of each male. However, the extent to which the measurement of female mate-choice is related to exploration tendencies has not been addressed so far. In the present study we assessed the influence of variation in exploration tendencies, a trait closely associated to global personality, on the measurement of female mating preference in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata using the widely used four-chamber choice-apparatus. The number of movements performed within both exploration and mate-choice apparatus was consistent within and across the two contexts. In addition, personality explained variation in selectivity, preference strength and consistency. High-exploratory females showed lower selectivity, lower preference scores and displayed more consistent preference scores. Our results suggest that variation in personality may affect the measurement of female mating preference and may contribute to explain existing inconsistencies across studies.

  12. Competing sound sources reveal spatial effects in cortical processing.

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    Ross K Maddox

    Full Text Available Why is spatial tuning in auditory cortex weak, even though location is important to object recognition in natural settings? This question continues to vex neuroscientists focused on linking physiological results to auditory perception. Here we show that the spatial locations of simultaneous, competing sound sources dramatically influence how well neural spike trains recorded from the zebra finch field L (an analog of mammalian primary auditory cortex encode source identity. We find that the location of a birdsong played in quiet has little effect on the fidelity of the neural encoding of the song. However, when the song is presented along with a masker, spatial effects are pronounced. For each spatial configuration, a subset of neurons encodes song identity more robustly than others. As a result, competing sources from different locations dominate responses of different neural subpopulations, helping to separate neural responses into independent representations. These results help elucidate how cortical processing exploits spatial information to provide a substrate for selective spatial auditory attention.

  13. Discovery of the elusive leptin in birds: identification of several 'missing links' in the evolution of leptin and its receptor.

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    Jeremy W Prokop

    Full Text Available Leptin is a pleiotropic protein best known for regulation of appetite and fat storage in mammals. While many leptin orthologs have been identified among vertebrates, an authentic leptin in birds has remained elusive and controversial. Here we identify leptin sequence from the Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus (pfleptin, and identify sequences from two other birds (mallard and zebra finch, and 'missing' vertebrates (elephant shark, alligator, Indian python, Chinese soft-shelled turtle, and coelacanth. The pattern of genes surrounding leptin (snd1, rbm28 is syntenic between the falcon and mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analysis of all known leptin protein sequences improves our understanding of leptin's evolution. Structural modeling of leptin orthologs highlights a highly conserved hydrophobic core in the four-helix cytokine packing domain. A docked model of leptin with the leptin receptor for Peregrine falcon reveals several conserved amino acids important for the interaction and possible coevolution of leptin with its receptor. We also show for the first time, an authentic avian leptin sequence that activates the JAK-STAT signaling pathway. These newly identified sequences, structures, and tools for avian leptin and its receptor will allow elucidation of the function of these proteins in feral and domestic birds.

  14. Una finestra sul polo

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    Graziella Busso

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Rabbia, dolore, incredulità si mescolano in un turbinio di emozioni quando, dalle affissioni che quasi quotidianamente si danno il cambio, si legge il necrologio di un “qualcuno” che sappiamo ucciso dal cancro. E pensiamo che, ancora e forse per tanto tempo, potremmo essere più fortunati. E non c’è pace, non c’è consolazione per quei giorni di vita vissuta, strappata, stropicciata, rubata da un mostro che non sempre è possibile sconfiggere finché non subentra la stanchezza, la rassegnazione, la secchezza delle ghiandole lacrimali. Unico strumento per cercare di “cambiare le cose”, per quanto difficile possa sembrare farlo, è combattere, perché la lotta per un ambiente più vivibile sarà una conquista per noi e per i nostri figli, un’eredità che non ha prezzo. La voglia di “gridare” la sofferenza di chi vive la realtà di uno sviluppo insostenibile si è da tempo trasformata ad Augusta in una battaglia di sensibilizzazione alla ormai annosa problematica e nel profondo desiderio di raccontare, far conoscere, testimoniare emozioni, desideri, sogni di chi vive in prima persona o ha vissuto la malattia di un proprio caro perché tutto questo possa servire a spingere verso quel mutamento culturale, storico, ambientale a cui tutti noi agogniamo.

  15. Ventilation patterns of the songbird lung/air sac system during different behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackelprang, Rebecca; Goller, Franz

    2013-10-01

    Unidirectional, continuous airflow through the avian lung is achieved through an elaborate air sac system with a sequential, posterior to anterior ventilation pattern. This classical model was established through various approaches spanning passively ventilated systems to mass spectrometry analysis of tracer gas flow into various air sacs during spontaneous breathing in restrained ducks. Information on flow patterns in other bird taxa is missing, and these techniques do not permit direct tests of whether the basic flow pattern can change during different behaviors. Here we use thermistors implanted into various locations of the respiratory system to detect small pulses of tracer gas (helium) to reconstruct airflow patterns in quietly breathing and behaving (calling, wing flapping) songbirds (zebra finch and yellow-headed blackbird). The results illustrate that the basic pattern of airflow in these two species is largely consistent with the model. However, two notable differences emerged. First, some tracer gas arrived in the anterior set of air sacs during the inspiration during which it was inhaled, suggesting a more rapid throughput through the lung than previously assumed. Second, differences in ventilation between the two anterior air sacs emerged during calling and wing flapping, indicating that adjustments in the flow pattern occur during dynamic behaviors. It is unclear whether this modulation in ventilation pattern is passive or active. This technique for studying ventilation patterns during dynamic behaviors proves useful for establishing detailed timing of airflow and modulation of ventilation in the avian respiratory system.

  16. Inference of Ancestral Recombination Graphs through Topological Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cámara, Pablo G.; Levine, Arnold J.; Rabadán, Raúl

    2016-01-01

    The recent explosion of genomic data has underscored the need for interpretable and comprehensive analyses that can capture complex phylogenetic relationships within and across species. Recombination, reassortment and horizontal gene transfer constitute examples of pervasive biological phenomena that cannot be captured by tree-like representations. Starting from hundreds of genomes, we are interested in the reconstruction of potential evolutionary histories leading to the observed data. Ancestral recombination graphs represent potential histories that explicitly accommodate recombination and mutation events across orthologous genomes. However, they are computationally costly to reconstruct, usually being infeasible for more than few tens of genomes. Recently, Topological Data Analysis (TDA) methods have been proposed as robust and scalable methods that can capture the genetic scale and frequency of recombination. We build upon previous TDA developments for detecting and quantifying recombination, and present a novel framework that can be applied to hundreds of genomes and can be interpreted in terms of minimal histories of mutation and recombination events, quantifying the scales and identifying the genomic locations of recombinations. We implement this framework in a software package, called TARGet, and apply it to several examples, including small migration between different populations, human recombination, and horizontal evolution in finches inhabiting the Galápagos Islands. PMID:27532298

  17. Obesity and the Social Withdrawal Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotenberg, Ken J; Bharathi, Carla; Davies, Helen; Finch, Tom

    2017-08-01

    The relation between obesity and Social Withdrawal Syndrome (SWS) was examined using the data gathered by Rotenberg, Bharathi, Davies, and Finch (2013). One hundred and 35 undergraduates (80 females; Mage=21years-10months) completed standardized scales that assessed the SWS (low emotional trust beliefs in close others, low disclosure to close others, and high loneliness). BMI was calculated from self-reported weight and height. As hypothesized, quadratic relations were found in which participants with BMI>30 (i.e., obese) demonstrated the SWS pattern of low emotional trust beliefs in close others, low disclosure to close others, and high loneliness. As further evidence, lower emotional trust in close others, lower disclosure to close others, and greater loneliness were found for obese participants (>30 BMI, n=27) than both normal weight (<25 BMI, n=67) and overweight participants (25 to 30 BMI, n=41). The findings confirmed the hypothesis that obesity was associated with the SWS. The findings suggested that the lack of trust in others by obese individuals contributes to their unwillingness to seek out help for health and psychosocial problems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Palila (Loxioides bailleui)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Johnson, Luanne; Lindsey, Gerald D.; Fancy, Steven G.; Pratt, Thane K.; Jacobi, James; Banko, Winston E.

    2002-01-01

    One of the last surviving of the extraordinary “finch-billed” Hawaiian honeycreepers (Drepanidinae), the Palila epitomizes specialization for seed-eating as it relies almost entirely on immature (soft) seeds, flowers, and other resources produced or supported by mämane (Sophora chrysophylla: Fabaceae), an endemic dry-forest tree. Mämane seeds are highly nutritious, but a strong, sharp bill is necessary to remove and rip open the tough, fibrous pods that protect them. In addition, the seeds contain high levels of potentially toxic secondary compounds, which may also explain why they are eaten by so few other native or alien species. The Palila's close association with mämane influences not only its foraging behavior but also its distribution, abundance, dispersal, and breeding ecology. Like most drepanidines, the Palila produces small clutches, usually only 2 eggs. However, Palila embryos and chicks develop slowly, so eggs and nestlings are threatened by storms and predators for a longer time than many other small passerine species.

  19. A mechanism for frequency modulation in songbirds shared with humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador, Ana; Margoliash, Daniel

    2013-07-03

    In most animals that vocalize, control of fundamental frequency is a key element for effective communication. In humans, subglottal pressure controls vocal intensity but also influences fundamental frequency during phonation. Given the underlying similarities in the biomechanical mechanisms of vocalization in humans and songbirds, songbirds offer an attractive opportunity to study frequency modulation by pressure. Here, we present a novel technique for dynamic control of subsyringeal pressure in zebra finches. By regulating the opening of a custom-built fast valve connected to the air sac system, we achieved partial or total silencing of specific syllables, and could modify syllabic acoustics through more complex manipulations of air sac pressure. We also observed that more nuanced pressure variations over a limited interval during production of a syllable concomitantly affected the frequency of that syllable segment. These results can be explained in terms of a mathematical model for phonation that incorporates a nonlinear description for the vocal source capable of generating the observed frequency modulations induced by pressure variations. We conclude that the observed interaction between pressure and frequency was a feature of the source, not a result of feedback control. Our results indicate that, beyond regulating phonation or its absence, regulation of pressure is important for control of fundamental frequencies of vocalizations. Thus, although there are separate brainstem pathways for syringeal and respiratory control of song production, both can affect airflow and frequency. We hypothesize that the control of pressure and frequency is combined holistically at higher levels of the vocalization pathways.

  20. Imaging auditory representations of song and syllables in populations of sensorimotor neurons essential to vocal communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peh, Wendy Y X; Roberts, Todd F; Mooney, Richard

    2015-04-08

    Vocal communication depends on the coordinated activity of sensorimotor neurons important to vocal perception and production. How vocalizations are represented by spatiotemporal activity patterns in these neuronal populations remains poorly understood. Here we combined intracellular recordings and two-photon calcium imaging in anesthetized adult zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to examine how learned birdsong and its component syllables are represented in identified projection neurons (PNs) within HVC, a sensorimotor region important for song perception and production. These experiments show that neighboring HVC PNs can respond at markedly different times to song playback and that different syllables activate spatially intermingled PNs within a local (~100 μm) region of HVC. Moreover, noise correlations were stronger between PNs that responded most strongly to the same syllable and were spatially graded within and between classes of PNs. These findings support a model in which syllabic and temporal features of song are represented by spatially intermingled PNs functionally organized into cell- and syllable-type networks within local spatial scales in HVC. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/355589-17$15.00/0.

  1. Spatial variation in host feeding patterns of Culex tarsalis and the Culex pipiens complex (Diptera: Culicidae) in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiemann, T C; Lemenager, D A; Kluh, S; Carroll, B D; Lothrop, H D; Reisen, W K

    2012-07-01

    West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) is now endemic in California across a variety of ecological regions that support a wide diversity of potential avian and mammalian host species. Because different avian hosts have varying competence for WNV, determining the blood-feeding patterns of Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) vectors is a key component in understanding the maintenance and amplification of the virus as well as tangential transmission to humans and horses. We investigated the blood-feeding patterns of Culex tarsalis Coquillett and members of the Culex pipiens L. complex from southern to northern California. Nearly 100 different host species were identified from 1,487 bloodmeals, by using the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase I (COI). Cx. tarsalis fed on a higher diversity of hosts and more frequently on nonhuman mammals than did the Cx. pipiens complex. Several WNV-competent host species, including house finch and house sparrow, were common bloodmeal sources for both vector species across several biomes and could account for WNV maintenance and amplification in these areas. Highly competent American crow, western scrub-jay and yellow-billed magpie also were fed upon often when available and are likely important as amplifying hosts for WNV in some areas. Neither species fed frequently on humans (Cx. pipiens complex [0.4%], Cx. tarsalis [0.2%]), but with high abundance, both species could serve as both enzootic and bridge vectors for WNV.

  2. Environmental conditions shape the temporal pattern of investment in reproduction and survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marasco, Valeria; Boner, Winnie; Griffiths, Kate; Heidinger, Britt; Monaghan, Pat

    2018-01-10

    The relationship between environmental stress exposure and ageing is likely to vary with stressor severity, life-history stage and the time scale over which effects are measured. Such factors could influence whether stress exposure accelerates or slows the ageing process, but their interactions have not previously been experimentally investigated. We found that experimental exposure of zebra finches to mildly challenging environmental circumstances from young to old adulthood, which increased exposure to stress hormones, reduced breeding performance during early adulthood, but had positive effects when individuals were bred in old adulthood. This difference was not due to selective mortality, because the effects were evident within individuals, and no evidence of habituation in the response to the stressor was found. The more stressful environment had no effects on survival during young or old adulthood, but substantially improved survival during middle age. Changes in the effects at different ages could be due to the duration and nature of the challenging exposure, or to variation in coping capacity or strategy with age. These results show that living under challenging environmental circumstances can influence ageing trajectories in terms of both reproductive performance and longevity. Our results provide experimental support for the emerging idea that stress exposure needs to be optimized rather than minimized to obtain the best health outcomes. © 2018 The Author(s).

  3. Environmental conditions can modulate the links among oxidative stress, age, and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marasco, Valeria; Stier, Antoine; Boner, Winnie; Griffiths, Kate; Heidinger, Britt; Monaghan, Pat

    2017-06-01

    Understanding the links between environmental conditions and longevity remains a major focus in biological research. We examined within-individual changes between early- and mid-adulthood in the circulating levels of four oxidative stress markers linked to ageing, using zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata): a DNA damage product (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine; 8-OHdG), protein carbonyls (PC), non-enzymatic antioxidant capacity (OXY), and superoxide dismutase activity (SOD). We further examined whether such within-individual changes differed among birds living under control (ad lib food) or more challenging environmental conditions (unpredictable food availability), having previously found that the latter increased corticosterone levels when food was absent but improved survival over a three year period. Our key findings were: (i) 8-OHdG and PC increased with age in both environments, with a higher increase in 8-OHdG in the challenging environment; (ii) SOD increased with age in the controls but not in the challenged birds, while the opposite was true for OXY; (iii) control birds with high levels of 8-OHdG died at a younger age, but this was not the case in challenged birds. Our data clearly show that while exposure to the potentially damaging effects of oxidative stress increases with age, environmental conditions can modulate the pace of this age-related change. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Surveillance potential of non-native Hawaiian birds for detection of West Nile Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, Erik K.; Dusek, Robert J.; Brand, Christopher J.

    2015-01-01

    West Nile virus (WNV) was first detected in North America in 1999. Alaska and Hawaii (HI) remain the only U.S. states in which transmission of WNV has not been detected. Dead bird surveillance has played an important role in the detection of the virus geographically, as well as temporally. In North America, corvids have played a major role in WNV surveillance; however, the only corvid in HI is the endangered Hawaiian crow that exists only in captivity, thus precluding the use of this species for WNV surveillance in HI. To evaluate the suitability of alternate avian species for WNV surveillance, we experimentally challenged seven abundant non-native bird species present in HI with WNV and compared mortality, viremia, oral shedding of virus, and seroconversion. For detection of WNV in oral swabs, we compared viral culture, reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and the RAMP® test. For detection of antibodies to WNV, we compared an indirect and a competitive enzyme-linked immunoassay. We found four species (house sparrow, house finch, Japanese white-eye, and Java sparrow) that may be useful in dead bird surveillance for WNV; while common myna, zebra dove, and spotted dove survived infection and may be useful in serosurveillance.

  5. The Galápagos Islands: relatively untouched, but increasingly endangered

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus P. Tellkamp

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Hardly any place on the planet evokes a sense of mystique and wonder like the Galápagos Islands (Figure 1. They are the cradle of evolutionary thought. They also are home to an unusual menagerie of animals, such as prehistoric-looking iguanas that feed on algae, giant tortoises, the only species of penguin to live on the equator, a flightless cormorant, a group of unique an famous finches, furtive and shy rice rats, sea lions and fur seals. Visitors have to be careful not to step on the oxymoronically extremely tame wildlife. Endemic plants, such as tree-like cacti, Scalesia trees and shrubs (relatives of sunflowers and daisies, and highland Miconia shrubs cover different island life zones. Around the world, people may not have heard much of Ecuador, the small South American country that proudly calls the islands its own, but they likely have heard of the famed Galapagos. Apart from the extraordinary sensation of experiencing wildlife up close, however, what makes these islands so special?

  6. Unexpected Diversity and Expression of Avian Endogenous Retroviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolisetty, Mohan; Blomberg, Jonas; Benachenhou, Farid; Sperber, Göran; Beemon, Karen

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) were identified and characterized in three avian genomes to gain insight into early retroviral evolution. Using the computer program RetroTector to detect relatively intact ERVs, we identified 500 ERVs in the chicken genome, 150 in the turkey genome, and 1,200 in the zebra finch genome. Previous studies suggested that endogenous alpharetroviruses were present in chicken genomes. In this analysis, a small number of alpharetroviruses were seen in the chicken and turkey genomes; however, these were greatly outnumbered by beta-like, gamma-like, and alphabeta proviruses. While the avian ERVs belonged to the same major groups as mammalian ERVs, they were more heterogeneous. In particular, the beta-like viruses revealed an evolutionary continuum with the gradual acquisition and loss of betaretroviral markers and a transition from beta to alphabeta and then to alpharetroviruses. Thus, it appears that birds may resemble a melting pot for early ERV evolution. Many of the ERVs were integrated in clusters on chromosomes, often near centromeres. About 25% of the chicken ERVs were in or near cellular transcription units; this is nearly random. The majority of these integrations were in the sense orientation in introns. A higher-than-random number of integrations were >100 kb from the nearest gene. Deep-sequencing studies of chicken embryo fibroblasts revealed that about 20% of the 500 ERVs were transcribed and translated. A subset of these were also transcribed in vivo in chickens, showing tissue-specific patterns of expression. PMID:23073767

  7. Projection neuron circuits resolved using correlative array tomography

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniele eOberti

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of three-dimensional morphological structure and synaptic connectivity is essential for a comprehensive understanding of neural processes controlling behavior. Different microscopy approaches have been proposed based on light microcopy (LM, electron microscopy (EM, or a combination of both. Correlative array tomography (CAT is a technique in which arrays of ultrathin serial sections are repeatedly stained with fluorescent antibodies against synaptic molecules and neurotransmitters and imaged with LM and EM (Micheva and Smith, 2007. The utility of this correlative approach is limited by the ability to preserve fluorescence and antigenicity on the one hand, and EM tissue ultrastructure on the other. We demonstrate tissue staining and fixation protocols and a workflow that yield an excellent compromise between these multimodal imaging constraints. We adapt CAT for the study of projection neurons between different vocal brain regions in the songbird. We inject fluorescent tracers of different colors into afferent and efferent areas of HVC in zebra finches. Fluorescence of some tracers is lost during tissue preparation but recovered using anti-dye antibodies. Synapses are identified in EM imagery based on their morphology and ultrastructure and classified into projection neuron type based on fluorescence signal. Our adaptation of array tomography, involving the use of fluorescent tracers and heavy-metal rich staining and embedding protocols for high membrane contrast in EM will be useful for research aimed at statistically describing connectivity between different projection neuron types and for elucidating how sensory signals are routed in the brain and transformed into a meaningful motor output.

  8. Natural selection in avian protein-coding genes expressed in brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axelsson, Erik; Hultin-Rosenberg, Lina; Brandström, Mikael; Zwahlén, Martin; Clayton, David F; Ellegren, Hans

    2008-06-01

    The evolution of birds from theropod dinosaurs took place approximately 150 million years ago, and was associated with a number of specific adaptations that are still evident among extant birds, including feathers, song and extravagant secondary sexual characteristics. Knowledge about the molecular evolutionary background to such adaptations is lacking. Here, we analyse the evolution of > 5000 protein-coding gene sequences expressed in zebra finch brain by comparison to orthologous sequences in chicken. Mean d(N)/d(S) is 0.085 and genes with their maximal expression in the eye and central nervous system have the lowest mean d(N)/d(S) value, while those expressed in digestive and reproductive tissues exhibit the highest. We find that fast-evolving genes (those which have higher than expected rate of nonsynonymous substitution, indicative of adaptive evolution) are enriched for biological functions such as fertilization, muscle contraction, defence response, response to stress, wounding and endogenous stimulus, and cell death. After alignment to mammalian orthologues, we identify a catalogue of 228 genes that show a significantly higher rate of protein evolution in the two bird lineages than in mammals. These accelerated bird genes, representing candidates for avian-specific adaptations, include genes implicated in vocal learning and other cognitive processes. Moreover, colouration genes evolve faster in birds than in mammals, which may have been driven by sexual selection for extravagant plumage characteristics.

  9. Blood-feeding patterns of the Culex pipiens complex in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Matthew J; Thiemann, Tara; Macedo, Paula; Brown, David A; Scott, Thomas W

    2011-03-01

    Mosquitoes in the Culex pipiens complex are competent vectors of West Nile virus (WNV; family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) in the laboratory, and field-collected mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus in California and elsewhere. A better understanding of Cx. pipiens complex blood-feeding patterns will help define the threat that these mosquitoes pose to human health and their role in WNV amplification in northern California. We collected blood-engorged Cx. pipiens complex mosquitoes from resting sites near and away from human habitation in Sacramento and Yolo Counties. Cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene sequences were used to identify the vertebrate species from which blood meals were taken. Of 330 engorged mosquitoes collected at 28 sites from June through August 2007 and May through August 2008, >99% fed on an avian host. Three mosquitoes contained bovine blood and none had fed on a human. American Robins (Turdus migratorius) were bitten most often, and the proportion of American Robin blood meals increased significantly over the summer. Other important avian hosts included House Finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica), Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta), and Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura). In rural areas, Barn Swallows, Brewer's Blackbirds (Euphagus cyanocephalus), and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) were frequent hosts. In settings near human habitation, Mourning Doves and Western Meadowlarks were common hosts. Our data indicate that in north central California mosquitoes in the Cx. pipiens complex may be more important as epiornitic than epidemic vectors of WNV.

  10. Physical cognition: birds learn the structural efficacy of nest material.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Ida E; Morgan, Kate V; Bertin, Marion; Meddle, Simone L; Healy, Susan D

    2014-06-07

    It is generally assumed that birds' choice of structurally suitable materials for nest building is genetically predetermined. Here, we tested that assumption by investigating whether experience affected male zebra finches' (Taeniopygia guttata) choice of nest material. After a short period of building with relatively flexible string, birds preferred to build with stiffer string while those that had experienced a stiffer string were indifferent to string type. After building a complete nest with either string type, however, all birds increased their preference for stiff string. The stiffer string appeared to be the more effective building material as birds required fewer pieces of stiffer than flexible string to build a roofed nest. For birds that raised chicks successfully, there was no association between the material they used to build their nest and the type they subsequently preferred. Birds' material preference reflected neither the preference of their father nor of their siblings but juvenile experience of either string type increased their preference for stiffer string. Our results represent two important advances: (i) birds choose nest material based on the structural properties of the material; (ii) nest material preference is not entirely genetically predetermined as both the type and amount of experience influences birds' choices.

  11. Worldwide open access: UK leadership?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stevan Harnad

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The web is destined to become humankind's cognitive commons, where digital knowledge is jointly created and freely shared. The UK has been a leader in the global movement toward open access (OA to research but recently its leadership has been derailed by the joint influence of the publishing industry lobby from without and well-intentioned but premature and unhelpful over-reaching from within the OA movement itself. The result has been the extremely counterproductive ‘Finch Report’ followed by a new draft of the Research Councils UK (RCUK OA mandate, downgrading the role of cost-free OA self-archiving of research publications (‘green OA’ in favor of paying subscription publishers over and above subscriptions, out of scarce research funds, in exchange for making single articles OA (‘hybrid gold OA’. The motivation of the new policy is to reform publication and to gain certain re-use rights (CC-BY, but the likely effect would be researcher resistance, very little OA and a waste of research funds. There is still time to fix the RCUK mandate and restore the UK's leadership by taking a few very specific steps to clarify and strengthen the green component by adding a mechanism for monitoring and verifying compliance, with consequences for non-compliance, along lines also being adopted in the EC and the US.

  12. To flock or fight: neurochemical signatures of divergent life histories in sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodson, James L; Wilson, Leah C; Schrock, Sara E

    2012-06-26

    Many bird species exhibit dramatic seasonal switches between territoriality and flocking, but whereas neuroendocrine mechanisms of territorial aggression have been extensively studied, those of seasonal flocking are unknown. We collected brains in spring and winter from male field sparrows (Spizella pusilla), which seasonally flock, and male song sparrows (Melospiza melodia), which are territorial year-round in much of their range. Spring collections were preceded by field-based assessments of aggression. Tissue series were immunofluorescently multilabeled for vasotocin, mesotocin (MT), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, tyrosine hydroxylase, and aromatase, and labeling densities were measured in many socially relevant brain areas. Extensive seasonal differences are shared by both species. Many measures correlate significantly with both individual and species differences in aggression, likely reflecting evolved mechanisms that differentiate the less aggressive field sparrow from the more aggressive song sparrow. Winter-specific species differences include a substantial increase of MT and CRH immunoreactivity in the dorsal lateral septum (LS) and medial amygdala of field sparrows but not song sparrows. These species differences likely relate to flocking rather than the suppression of winter aggression in field sparrows, because similar winter differences were found for two other emberizids that are not territorial in winter--dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), which seasonally flock, and eastern towhees (Pipilo erythropthalmus), which do not flock. MT signaling in the dorsal LS is also associated with year-round species differences in grouping in estrildid finches, suggesting that common mechanisms are targeted during the evolution of different life histories.

  13. Baseline glucose level is an individual trait that is negatively associated with lifespan and increases due to adverse environmental conditions during development and adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montoya, Bibiana; Briga, Michael; Jimeno, Blanca; Moonen, Sander; Verhulst, Simon

    2018-05-01

    High baseline glucose levels are associated with pathologies and shorter lifespan in humans, but little is known about causes and consequences of individual variation in glucose levels in other species. We tested to what extent baseline blood glucose level is a repeatable trait in adult zebra finches, and whether glucose levels were associated with age, manipulated environmental conditions during development (rearing brood size) and adulthood (foraging cost), and lifespan. We found that: (1) repeatability of glucose levels was 30%, both within and between years. (2) Having been reared in a large brood and living with higher foraging costs as adult were independently associated with higher glucose levels. Furthermore, the finding that baseline glucose was low when ambient temperature was high, and foraging costs were low, indicates that glucose is regulated at a lower level when energy turnover is low. (3) Survival probability decreased with increasing baseline glucose. We conclude that baseline glucose is an individual trait negatively associated with survival, and increases due to adverse environmental conditions during development (rearing brood size) and adulthood (foraging cost). Blood glucose may be, therefore, part of the physiological processes linking environmental conditions to lifespan.

  14. Impact of participant incentives and direct and snowball sampling on survey response rate in an ethnically diverse community: results from a pilot study of physical activity and the built environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Daniel F; Nie, Jason X; Ardern, Chris I; Radhu, Natasha; Ritvo, Paul

    2013-02-01

    Community-wide efforts to encourage healthy behaviours must respond to the needs of existing neighbourhoods, especially those where low physical activity (PA) is associated with social, economic, and cultural challenges. This study reports on the effect of direct and snowball sampling strategies and financial incentive levels on the response rates of a built environment and PA survey in a predominately urban, low-SES new-immigrant community. Women residing in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario were selected to participate by quasi-random sampling, yielding a response rate of 41.5%. The survey completion rate per contact attempt increased 2-fold when incentives were increased from $10 to $20 and a further threefold following the increase from $20 to $30. Snowball sampled respondents were older, less likely to have full-time employment, and had lower educational attainment than directly sampled participants. With appropriate incentives, face-to-face contact, and snowball sampling, survey-based research is feasible within a low-SES, high minority population.

  15. Equilibrium and non-equilibrium dynamics simultaneously operate in the Galápagos islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Luis M; Phillimore, Albert B; Etienne, Rampal S

    2015-08-01

    Island biotas emerge from the interplay between colonisation, speciation and extinction and are often the scene of spectacular adaptive radiations. A common assumption is that insular diversity is at a dynamic equilibrium, but for remote islands, such as Hawaii or Galápagos, this idea remains untested. Here, we reconstruct the temporal accumulation of terrestrial bird species of the Galápagos using a novel phylogenetic method that estimates rates of biota assembly for an entire community. We show that species richness on the archipelago is in an ascending phase and does not tend towards equilibrium. The majority of the avifauna diversifies at a slow rate, without detectable ecological limits. However, Darwin's finches form an exception: they rapidly reach a carrying capacity and subsequently follow a coalescent-like diversification process. Together, these results suggest that avian diversity of remote islands is rising, and challenge the mutual exclusivity of the non-equilibrium and equilibrium ecological paradigms. © 2015 The Authors Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  16. Theoretical integration and the psychology of sport injury prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Derwin King-Chung; Hagger, Martin S

    2012-09-01

    Integrating different theories of motivation to facilitate or predict behaviour change has received an increasing amount of attention within the health, sport and exercise science literature. A recent review article in Sports Medicine, by Keats, Emery and Finch presented an integrated model using two prominent theories in social psychology, self-determination theory (SDT) and the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), aimed at explaining and enhancing athletes' adherence to sport injury prevention. While echoing their optimistic views about the utility of these two theories to explain adherence in this area and the virtues of theoretical integration, we would like to seize this opportunity to clarify several conceptual principles arising from the authors' integration of the theories. Clarifying the theoretical assumptions and explaining precisely how theoretical integration works is crucial not only for improving the comprehensiveness of the integrated framework for predicting injury prevention behaviour, but also to aid the design of effective intervention strategies targeting behavioural adherence. In this article, we use the integration of SDT and TPB as an example to demonstrate how theoretical integration can advance the understanding of injury prevention behaviour in sport.

  17. [Book review] Cowbirds and Other Brood Parasites by Catherine Ortega. Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press (1998). The Avian Brood Parasites: Deception at the Nest by Paul A. Johnsgard. New York: Oxford University Press (1997) Parasitic Birds and their Hosts: Studies in Coevolution edited by S.I. Rothstein & S.K. Robinson. New York: Oxford University Press (1998)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, D.C.

    1999-01-01

    We are in a golden age for the study of brood parasitism, judging from both the quantity and quality of recent scientific publications on cuckoos, cowbirds and parasitic finches by investigators working in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. As Johnsgard (1997) remarks in his preface, the evolutionary, ecological, and behavioural questions posed by obligate brood parasites are among the most intriguing contemporary ornithological topics. Rothstein & Robinson (1998) explain that brood parasites make ideal subjects for testing the generality of models for the evolution of social and mating behaviour, foraging behaviour, spatial distribution, and vocal development, because the strategy of providing no parental care removes constraints imposed on other birds. Since Aristotle, people have been fascinated by brood parasites, but only in the past two decades has the number of investigators working on this topic reached a critical mass and created momentum that promises many breakthroughs. New studies are being completed so rapidly that a general book is inevitably out of date on some topics by the time it is published. A complete library on brood parasitism should add two recent volumes (Morrison et al. 1999; Smith et al., in press).to the three reviewed here.

  18. Nature or Nurture? Heritability in the Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiramatsu, Layla; Garland, Theodore

    Understanding evolution is a necessary component of undergraduate education in biology, and evolution is difficult to explain without studying the heritability of traits. However, in most classes, heritability is presented with only a handful of graphs showing typical morphological traits, for example, beak size in finches and height in humans. The active-inquiry exercise outlined in the following pages allows instructors to engage students in this formerly dry subject by bringing their own data as the basis for estimates of heritability. Students are challenged to come up with their own hypotheses regarding how and to what extent their traits are inherited from their parents and then gather, analyze data, and make inferences with help from the instructor. The exercise is simple in concept and execution but uncovers many new avenues of inquiry for students, including potential biases in their estimates of heritability and misconceptions that they may have had about the extent of inference that can be made from their heritability estimates. The active-inquiry format of the exercise prioritizes curiosity and discussion, leading to a much deeper understanding of heritability and the scientific method.

  19. Prevalence of bovine subclinical mastitis, its etiology and diagnosis of antibiotic resistance of dairy farms in four municipalities of a tropical region of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivares-Pérez, Jaime; Kholif, Ahmed Eid; Rojas-Hernández, Saul; Elghandour, Mona Mohamed Mohamed Yasseen; Salem, Abdelfattah Zeidan Mohamed; Bastida, Adrian Zaragoza; Velázquez-Reynoso, David; Cipriano-Salazar, Moisés; Camacho-Díaz, Luis Miguel; Alonso-Fresán, María Uxúa; DiLorenzo, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    A region-wide survey was conducted in the tropical area of Tierra Caliente, State of Guerrero, Mexico to estimate the prevalence of subclinical bovine mastitis (SCM), distribution of mastitis pathogens, and in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of different mastitis pathogens in dairy farms. In total, 1036 quarter milk samples were obtained from 259 cows at 87 different dairy farms. Collected quarter milk samples were submitted for California Mastitis Test (CMT), bacteriological examination, and testing for antimicrobial susceptibility. Overall prevalence of SCM in the studied area was 20.5 %. Prevalence in the different regions was as follows: 28 % in Arcelia municipality, 21 % in Tlalchapa municipality, 19.4 % in Pungarabato municipality, and 14.3 % in Finch Cutzamala municipality. Of all positive isolates, 97.5 % were Gram-negative bacteria. Moreover, of all positive isolates, 37.5 % were Proteus vulgaris, 25 % Salmonella spp., 12.5 % Enterobacter aerogenes, and 10 % Escherichia coli. Klebsiella pneumonia and E. coli were sensitive for netilmicin antimicrobial. However, E. coli was sensitive for pefloxacin and gentamicin with a sensitivity for pefloxacin for E. aerogenes, while Staphylococci were sensitive for gentamicin and dicloxacillin. It could be concluded that practices such as the implementation of mastitis control programs, improved milking hygiene together with an intramammary treatment with netilmicin, pefloxacin, and gentamicin antimicrobials should be considered for mastitis prevention in the study area of Tierra Caliente, in the tropical area of Guerrero, Mexico.

  20. Sex, estradiol, and spatial memory in a food-caching corvid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rensel, Michelle A; Ellis, Jesse M S; Harvey, Brigit; Schlinger, Barney A

    2015-09-01

    Estrogens significantly impact spatial memory function in mammalian species. Songbirds express the estrogen synthetic enzyme aromatase at relatively high levels in the hippocampus and there is evidence from zebra finches that estrogens facilitate performance on spatial learning and/or memory tasks. It is unknown, however, whether estrogens influence hippocampal function in songbirds that naturally exhibit memory-intensive behaviors, such as cache recovery observed in many corvid species. To address this question, we examined the impact of estradiol on spatial memory in non-breeding Western scrub-jays, a species that routinely participates in food caching and retrieval in nature and in captivity. We also asked if there were sex differences in performance or responses to estradiol. Utilizing a combination of an aromatase inhibitor, fadrozole, with estradiol implants, we found that while overall cache recovery rates were unaffected by estradiol, several other indices of spatial memory, including searching efficiency and efficiency to retrieve the first item, were impaired in the presence of estradiol. In addition, males and females differed in some performance measures, although these differences appeared to be a consequence of the nature of the task as neither sex consistently out-performed the other. Overall, our data suggest that a sustained estradiol elevation in a food-caching bird impairs some, but not all, aspects of spatial memory on an innate behavioral task, at times in a sex-specific manner. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Avian cytochrome P450 (CYP 1-3 family genes: isoforms, evolutionary relationships, and mRNA expression in chicken liver.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kensuke P Watanabe

    Full Text Available Cytochrome P450 (CYP of chicken and other avian species have been studied primarily with microsomes or characterized by cloning and protein expression. However, the overall existing isoforms in avian CYP1-3 families or dominant isoforms in avian xenobiotic metabolism have not yet been elucidated. In this study, we aimed to clarify and classify all of the existing isoforms of CYP1-3 in avian species using available genome assemblies for chicken, zebra finch, and turkey. Furthermore, we performed qRT-PCR assay to identify dominant CYP genes in chicken liver. Our results suggested that avian xenobiotic-metabolizing CYP genes have undergone unique evolution such as CYP2C and CYP3A genes, which have undergone avian-specific gene duplications. qRT-PCR experiments showed that CYP2C45 was the most highly expressed isoform in chicken liver, while CYP2C23b was the most highly induced gene by phenobarbital. Considering together with the result of further enzymatic characterization, CYP2C45 may have a dominant role in chicken xenobiotic metabolism due to the constitutive high expression levels, while CYP2C23a and CYP2C23b can be greatly induced by chicken xenobiotic receptor (CXR activators. These findings will provide not only novel insights into avian xenobiotic metabolism, but also a basis for the further characterization of each CYP gene.

  2. [E]motion in the Nineteenth Century: A Culture of Fidgets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Chase

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available I see the fidget as a neglected aspect of the sense of touch, which collects a range of suggestive imaginative movements and which opens towards a rereading of Dickens's construal of character, its relation to the self, and its social world. An affective swamping of personality repeatedly overwhelms the barriers of personality. A tic, a flick, an insult, a plea, a joke, a contortion, a wink, a tickle, a prod - such fidgets lead an active life in the novels. They often reflect the friction of inter-subjectivity, but also the abrasions between character and the universe of objects. The twittering of a Miss Flite in 'Bleak House', Bradley Headstone's physical eruptions of rage, Mr F's Aunt's proleptic warnings and Flora Finching's galloping tale-telling in 'Little Dorrit', the handiwork of Uriah Heep in 'David Copperfield', the insuppressible hyphenated speech of Jingle in 'Pickwick Papers' - these are radiant instances. My article looks to give the fidget its due and to initiate more scholarly conversation on the circle of issues that it generates: mind and body, subjects and objects, textual continuity and its disruptions.

  3. Multi-platform next-generation sequencing of the domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo: genome assembly and analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rami A Dalloul

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available A synergistic combination of two next-generation sequencing platforms with a detailed comparative BAC physical contig map provided a cost-effective assembly of the genome sequence of the domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo. Heterozygosity of the sequenced source genome allowed discovery of more than 600,000 high quality single nucleotide variants. Despite this heterozygosity, the current genome assembly (∼1.1 Gb includes 917 Mb of sequence assigned to specific turkey chromosomes. Annotation identified nearly 16,000 genes, with 15,093 recognized as protein coding and 611 as non-coding RNA genes. Comparative analysis of the turkey, chicken, and zebra finch genomes, and comparing avian to mammalian species, supports the characteristic stability of avian genomes and identifies genes unique to the avian lineage. Clear differences are seen in number and variety of genes of the avian immune system where expansions and novel genes are less frequent than examples of gene loss. The turkey genome sequence provides resources to further understand the evolution of vertebrate genomes and genetic variation underlying economically important quantitative traits in poultry. This integrated approach may be a model for providing both gene and chromosome level assemblies of other species with agricultural, ecological, and evolutionary interest.

  4. Cryptic differentiation in the endemic micromoth Galagete darwini (Lepidoptera, Autostichidae) on Galápagos volcanoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Patrick; Cibois, Alice; Landry, Bernard

    2008-10-27

    To gain insight into the early stages of speciation, we reconstructed a DNA-based phylogeny, using combined mitochondrial (cytochrome c oxidase subunits I and II: 1008 bp) and nuclear (elongation factor 1-alpha and wingless: 1062 bp) markers of populations of the moth Galagete darwini endemic to the Galápagos, which belongs to an insular radiation similar in size to that of Darwin's finches. Adults of G. darwini were collected in the arid lowlands of 11 of the Galápagos Islands (Baltra, Española, Fernandina, Floreana, Isabela, Pinta, Pinzón, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Santiago and Seymour) and the humid highlands of a subset of 5 of them (Fernandina, Floreana, Isabela, Santa Cruz and Santiago). The combined phylogeographic analysis surprisingly revealed that G. darwini populations at higher elevation on the western islands (Fernandina, Isabela and Santiago) represent a distinct lineage from the one in the low arid zones of these same islands. This is the first reported case in the archipelago of genetic cryptic differentiation correlated with elevation on the western Galápagos volcanoes.

  5. Aerodynamic tricks for pitching oscillation and visual stabilization in a hovering bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jian-Yuan; Ting, Shang-Chieh; Yang, Jing-Tang

    2010-11-01

    We experimentally investigate how small birds attain a stabilized vision and body posture during hovering. Wing-beats of finches and passerines executing asymmetrical hovering provide lift merely during the downstroke. The downstroke lift is significantly greater than the bird weight, thereby causing a pitch-up swing of the bird body. A hovering bird skillfully and unceasingly tunes the position and orientation of lift force to stabilize its vision, so that the eye displacement is approximately one-tenth less than the tail, causing an illusion that the bird body is rotating about the eye. The hovering birds also spread and fold periodically their tail with an evident phase relationship with respect to the beating wings. We found that hovering birds use their tail to intercept the strong downward air-flow induced by the downstroking wings, and sophisticatedly spread their tail upon the arrival of the downward air-flow, rendering a pitch-up moment that effectively counteracts the pitch-down body rotation. Hence during hovering the bird essentially undergoes a dynamically-stable pitching oscillation, and concurrently attains a stabilized vision.

  6. Maternal corticosterone exposure has transgenerational effects on grand-offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Nicola; Peters, Richard A; Richardson, Emily; Robert, Kylie A

    2016-11-01

    The hormone fluctuations that an animal experiences during ovulation can have lifelong effects on developing offspring. These hormones may act as an adaptive mechanism, allowing offspring to be 'pre-programmed' to survive in an unstable environment. Here, we used a transgenerational approach to examine the effects of elevated maternal corticosterone (CORT) on the future reproductive success of female offspring. We show that female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) exposed to embryonic CORT produce daughters that have equal reproductive success (clutch sizes, fertility, hatching success) compared with the daughters produced from untreated mothers, but their offspring had accelerated post-hatching growth rates and were significantly heavier by nutritional independence. Although there was no significant effect on primary offspring sex ratio, females from CORT-treated mothers produced significantly female-biased clutches by nutritional independence. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first record of a transgenerational sex ratio bias in response to elevated maternal CORT in any avian species. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Learning-related brain hemispheric dominance in sleeping songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorman, Sanne; Gobes, Sharon M. H.; van de Kamp, Ferdinand C.; Zandbergen, Matthijs A.; Bolhuis, Johan J.

    2015-01-01

    There are striking behavioural and neural parallels between the acquisition of speech in humans and song learning in songbirds. In humans, language-related brain activation is mostly lateralised to the left hemisphere. During language acquisition in humans, brain hemispheric lateralisation develops as language proficiency increases. Sleep is important for the formation of long-term memory, in humans as well as in other animals, including songbirds. Here, we measured neuronal activation (as the expression pattern of the immediate early gene ZENK) during sleep in juvenile zebra finch males that were still learning their songs from a tutor. We found that during sleep, there was learning-dependent lateralisation of spontaneous neuronal activation in the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM), a secondary auditory brain region that is involved in tutor song memory, while there was right hemisphere dominance of neuronal activation in HVC (used as a proper name), a premotor nucleus that is involved in song production and sensorimotor learning. Specifically, in the NCM, birds that imitated their tutors well were left dominant, while poor imitators were right dominant, similar to language-proficiency related lateralisation in humans. Given the avian-human parallels, lateralised neural activation during sleep may also be important for speech and language acquisition in human infants. PMID:25761654

  8. ZENK activation in the nidopallium of black-capped chickadees in response to both conspecific and heterospecific calls.

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    Marc T Avey

    Full Text Available Neuronal populations in the songbird nidopallium increase in activity the most to conspecific vocalizations relative to heterospecific songbird vocalizations or artificial stimuli such as tones. Here, we tested whether the difference in neural activity between conspecific and heterospecific vocalizations is due to acoustic differences or to the degree of phylogenetic relatedness of the species producing the vocalizations. To compare differences in neural responses of black-capped chickadees, Poecile atricapillus, to playback conditions we used a known marker for neural activity, ZENK, in the caudal medial nidopallium and caudomedial mesopallium. We used the acoustically complex 'dee' notes from chick-a-dee calls, and vocalizations from other heterospecific species similar in duration and spectral features. We tested the vocalizations from three heterospecific species (chestnut-backed chickadees, tufted titmice, and zebra finches, the vocalizations from conspecific individuals (black-capped chickadees, and reversed versions of the latter. There were no significant differences in the amount of expression between any of the groups except in the control condition, which resulted in significantly less neuronal activation. Our results suggest that, in certain cases, neuronal activity is not higher in response to conspecific than in response to heterospecific vocalizations for songbirds, but rather is sensitive to the acoustic features of the signal. Both acoustic features of the calls and the phylogenetic relationship between of the signaler and the receiver interact in the response of the nidopallium.

  9. Generalized spheroidal spacetimes in 5-D Einstein-Maxwell-Gauss-Bonnet gravity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansraj, Sudan [University of KwaZulu Natal, Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, Durban (South Africa)

    2017-08-15

    The field equations for static EGBM gravity are obtained and transformed to an equivalent form through a coordinate redefinition. A form for one of the metric potentials that generalizes the spheroidal ansatz of Vaidya-Tikekar superdense stars and additionally prescribing the electric field intensity yields viable solutions. Some special cases of the general solution are considered and analogous classes in the Einstein framework are studied. In particular the Finch-Skea ansatz is examined in detail and found to satisfy the elementary physical requirements. These include positivity of pressure and density, the existence of a pressure free hypersurface marking the boundary, continuity with the exterior metric, a subluminal sound speed as well as the energy conditions. Moreover, the solution possesses no coordinate singularities. It is found that the impact of the Gauss-Bonnet term is to correct undesirable features in the pressure profile and sound speed index when compared to the equivalent Einstein gravity model. Furthermore graphical analyses suggest that higher densities are achievable for the same radial values when compared to the 5-dimensional Einstein case. The case of a constant gravitational potential, isothermal distribution as well as an incompressible fluid are studied. All exact solutions derived exhibit an equation of state explicitly. (orig.)

  10. Opposing effects of oxidative challenge and carotenoids on antioxidant status and condition-dependent sexual signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomášek, Oldřich; Gabrielová, Barbora; Kačer, Petr; Maršík, Petr; Svobodová, Jana; Syslová, Kamila; Vinkler, Michal; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2016-03-22

    Several recent hypotheses consider oxidative stress to be a primary constraint ensuring honesty of condition-dependent carotenoid-based signalling. The key testable difference between these hypotheses is the assumed importance of carotenoids for redox homeostasis, with carotenoids being either antioxidant, pro-oxidant or unimportant. We tested the role of carotenoids in redox balance and sexual signalling by exposing adult male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) to oxidative challenge (diquat dibromide) and manipulating carotenoid intake. As the current controversy over the importance of carotenoids as antioxidants could stem from the hydrophilic basis of commonly-used antioxidant assays, we used the novel measure of in vivo lipophilic antioxidant capacity. Oxidative challenge reduced beak pigmentation but elicited an increase in antioxidant capacity suggesting resource reallocation from signalling to redox homeostasis. Carotenoids counteracted the effect of oxidative challenge on lipophilic (but not hydrophilic) antioxidant capacity, thereby supporting carotenoid antioxidant function in vivo. This is inconsistent with hypotheses proposing that signalling honesty is maintained through either ROS-induced carotenoid degradation or the pro-oxidant effect of high levels of carotenoid-cleavage products acting as a physiological handicap. Our data further suggest that assessment of lipophilic antioxidant capacity is necessary to fully understand the role of redox processes in ecology and evolution.

  11. When mothers make sons sexy: maternal effects contribute to the increased sexual attractiveness of extra-pair offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschirren, Barbara; Postma, Erik; Rutstein, Alison N; Griffith, Simon C

    2012-03-22

    Quality differences between offspring sired by the social and by an extra-pair partner are usually assumed to have a genetic basis, reflecting genetic benefits of female extra-pair mate choice. In the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), we identified a colour ornament that is under sexual selection and appears to have a heritable basis. Hence, by engaging in extra-pair copulations with highly ornamented males, females could, in theory, obtain genes for increased offspring attractiveness. Indeed, sons sired by extra-pair partners had larger ornaments, seemingly supporting the genetic benefit hypothesis. Yet, when comparing ornament size of the social and extra-pair partners, there was no difference. Hence, the observed differences most likely had an environmental basis, mediated, for example, via differential maternal investment of resources into the eggs fertilized by extra-pair and social partners. Such maternal effects may (at least partly) be mediated by egg size, which we found to be associated with mean ornament expression in sons. Our results are consistent with the idea that maternal effects can shape sexual selection by altering the genotype-phenotype relationship for ornamentation. They also caution against automatically attributing greater offspring attractiveness or viability to an extra-pair mate's superior genetic quality, as without controlling for differential maternal investment we may significantly overestimate the role of genetic benefits in the evolution of extra-pair mating behaviour.

  12. Sensitive Periods, Vasotocin-Family Peptides, and the Evolution and Development of Social Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole M. Baran

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Nonapeptides, by modulating the activity of neural circuits in specific social contexts, provide an important mechanism underlying the evolution of diverse behavioral phenotypes across vertebrate taxa. Vasotocin-family nonapeptides, in particular, have been found to be involved in behavioral plasticity and diversity in social behavior, including seasonal variation, sexual dimorphism, and species differences. Although nonapeptides have been the focus of a great deal of research over the last several decades, the vast majority of this work has focused on adults. However, behavioral diversity may also be explained by the ways in which these peptides shape neural circuits and influence social processes during development. In this review, I synthesize comparative work on vasotocin-family peptides during development and classic work on early forms of social learning in developmental psychobiology. I also summarize recent work demonstrating that early life manipulations of the nonapeptide system alter attachment, affiliation, and vocal learning in zebra finches. I thus hypothesize that vasotocin-family peptides are involved in the evolution of social behaviors through their influence on learning during sensitive periods in social development.

  13. Buchdahl-Vaidya-Tikekar model for stellar interior in pure Lovelock gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina, Alfred; Dadhich, Naresh; Khugaev, Avas

    2017-07-01

    In the paper (Khugaev et al. in Phys Rev D94:064065. arXiv: 1603.07118, 2016), we have shown that for perfect fluid spheres the pressure isotropy equation for Buchdahl-Vaidya-Tikekar metric ansatz continues to have the same Gauss form in higher dimensions, and hence higher dimensional solutions could be obtained by redefining the space geometry characterizing Vaidya-Tikekar parameter K. In this paper we extend this analysis to pure Lovelock gravity; i.e. a (2N+2)-dimensional solution with a given K_{2N+2} can be taken over to higher n-dimensional pure Lovelock solution with K_n=(K_{2N+2}-n+2N+2)/(n-2N-1) where N is degree of Lovelock action. This ansatz includes the uniform density Schwarzshild and the Finch-Skea models, and it is interesting that the two define the two ends of compactness, the former being the densest and while the latter rarest. All other models with this ansatz lie in between these two limiting distributions.

  14. Carotenoid coloration is related to fat digestion efficiency in a wild bird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madonia, Christina; Hutton, Pierce; Giraudeau, Mathieu; Sepp, Tuul

    2017-12-01

    Some of the most spectacular visual signals found in the animal kingdom are based on dietarily derived carotenoid pigments (which cannot be produced de novo), with a general assumption that carotenoids are limited resources for wild organisms, causing trade-offs in allocation of carotenoids to different physiological functions and ornamentation. This resource trade-off view has been recently questioned, since the efficiency of carotenoid processing may relax the trade-off between allocation toward condition or ornamentation. This hypothesis has so far received little exploratory support, since studies of digestive efficiency of wild animals are limited due to methodological difficulties. Recently, a method for quantifying the percentage of fat in fecal samples to measure digestive efficiency has been developed in birds. Here, we use this method to test if the intensity of the carotenoid-based coloration predicts digestive efficiency in a wild bird, the house finch ( Haemorhous mexicanus). The redness of carotenoid feather coloration (hue) positively predicted digestion efficiency, with redder birds being more efficient at absorbing fats from seeds. We show for the first time in a wild species that digestive efficiency predicts ornamental coloration. Though not conclusive due to the correlative nature of our study, these results strongly suggest that fat extraction might be a crucial but overlooked process behind many ornamental traits.

  15. How the songbird brain listens to its own songs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahnloser, Richard

    2010-03-01

    Songbirds are capable of vocal learning and communication and are ideally suited to the study of neural mechanisms of auditory feedback processing. When a songbird is deafened in the early sensorimotor phase after tutoring, it fails to imitate the song of its tutor and develops a highly aberrant song. It is also known that birds are capable of storing a long-term memory of tutor song and that they need intact auditory feedback to match their own vocalizations to the tutor's song. Based on these behavioral observations, we investigate feedback processing in single auditory forebrain neurons of juvenile zebra finches that are in a late developmental stage of song learning. We implant birds with miniature motorized microdrives that allow us to record the electrical activity of single neurons while birds are freely moving and singing in their cages. Occasionally, we deliver a brief sound through a loudspeaker to perturb the auditory feedback the bird experiences during singing. These acoustic perturbations of auditory feedback reveal complex sensitivity that cannot be predicted from passive playback responses. Some neurons are highly feedback sensitive in that they respond vigorously to song perturbations, but not to unperturbed songs or perturbed playback. These findings suggest that a computational function of forebrain auditory areas may be to detect errors between actual feedback and mirrored feedback deriving from an internal model of the bird's own song or that of its tutor.

  16. Variation in social relationships relates to song preferences and EGR1 expression in a female songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubloom, Hannah E; Woolley, Sarah C

    2016-09-01

    Social experiences can profoundly shape social behavior and the underlying neural circuits. Across species, the formation of enduring social relationships is associated with both neural and behavioral changes. However, it remains unclear how longer-term relationships between individuals influence brain and behavior. Here, we investigated how variation in social relationships relates to variation in female preferences for and neural responses to song in a pair-bonding songbird. We assessed variation in the interactions between individuals in male-female zebra finch pairs and found that female preferences for their mate's song were correlated with the degree of affiliation and amount of socially modulated singing, but not with the frequency of aggressive interactions. Moreover, variation in measures of pair quality and preference correlated with variation in the song-induced expression of EGR1, an immediate early gene related to neural activity and plasticity, in brain regions important for auditory processing and social behavior. For example, females with weaker preferences for their mate's song had greater EGR1 expression in the nucleus Taeniae, the avian homologue of the mammalian medial amygdala, in response to playback of their mate's courtship song. Our data indicate that the quality of social interactions within pairs relates to variation in song preferences and neural responses to ethologically relevant stimuli and lend insight into neural circuits sensitive to social information. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 1029-1040, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Melding Research and Education in a Zoological Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, Dustin

    The first zoo was opened in London in 1828 and was intended for scientific study, but was eventually opened to the public in 1847. Since then, public dogma has dictated the development, role, and standards concerning the use of animals across the zoological community. Too often there is disconnect between research programs, captive propagation, and public education. In the fight against human driven extinction of earth's flora and fauna, it is vital that these areas be aligned. Thus in an effort to unite research and education in a zoological setting, East Carolina University (ECU) and Sylvan Heights Bird Park (SHBP) have partnered for a collaborative project involving the study of evolution in the African brood parasitic finches (Viduidae), specifically he Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura). I attempt to quantify the educational impact of Avian Pirates and SHBP, and assess basic demographic factors that will allow insights into what areas of exhibit design pertain to education. It is important to understand what aspects of zoos facilitate visitor learning in areas of conservation and biodiversity. This is vital as Zoos are under new pressure to substantiate claims of education during visits.

  18. Avian disease assessment in seabirds and non-native passerines birds at Midway Atoll NWR

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPointe, Dennis A.; Atkinson, Carter T.; Klavitter, John L.

    2013-01-01

    Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands supports the largest breeding colony of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) in the world and is a proposed site for the translocation of endangered Northwestern Hawaiian Island passerine birds such as the Nihoa finch (Telespiza ultima), Nihoa millerbird (Acrocephalus familiaris kingi), or Laysan finch (Telespiza cantans). On the main Hawaiian Islands, introduced mosquito-borne avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and avian pox (Avipoxvirus) have contributed to the extinction and decline of native Hawaiian avifauna. The mosquito vector (Culex quinquefasciatus) is present on Sand Island, Midway Atoll, where epizootics of Avipoxvirus have been reported among nestling Laysan albatross, black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), and red-tailed tropicbirds (Phaethon rubricauda) since 1963. Two introduced passerines, the common canary (Serinus canaria) and the common myna (Acridotheres tristis), are also present on Sand Island and may serve as reservoirs of mosquito-borne pathogens. Assessing disease prevalence and transmission potential at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a critical first step to translocation of Nihoa endemic passerines. In May 2010 and April 2012 we surveyed Midway Atoll NWR for mosquitoes and evidence of mosquito-borne disease. Although we did not observe active pox infections on albatross nestlings in May 2010, active infections were prevalent on albatross nestlings in April 2012. Presumptive diagnosis of Avipoxvirus was confirmed by PCR amplification of the Avipoxvirus 4b core protein gene from lesions collected from 10 albatross nestlings. Products were sequenced and compared to 4b core protein sequences from 28 Avipoxvirus isolates from the Hawaiian Islands and other parts of the world. Sequences from all Midway isolates were identical and formed a clade with other Avipoxvirus isolates from seabirds that was distinct from other Avipoxvirus isolates from the Hawaiian Islands

  19. Molecular evolution and expression of archosaurian β-keratins: diversification and expansion of archosaurian β-keratins and the origin of feather β-keratins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwold, Matthew J; Sawyer, Roger H

    2013-09-01

    The archosauria consist of two living groups, crocodilians, and birds. Here we compare the structure, expression, and phylogeny of the beta (β)-keratins in two crocodilian genomes and two avian genomes to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary origin of the feather β-keratins. Unlike squamates such as the green anole with 40 β-keratins in its genome, the chicken and zebra finch genomes have over 100 β-keratin genes in their genomes, while the American alligator has 20 β-keratin genes, and the saltwater crocodile has 21 β-keratin genes. The crocodilian β-keratins are similar to those of birds and these structural proteins have a central filament domain and N- and C-termini, which contribute to the matrix material between the twisted β-sheets, which form the 2-3 nm filament. Overall the expression of alligator β-keratin genes in the integument increases during development. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that a crocodilian β-keratin clade forms a monophyletic group with the avian scale and feather β-keratins, suggesting that avian scale and feather β-keratins along with a subset of crocodilian β-keratins evolved from a common ancestral gene/s. Overall, our analyses support the view that the epidermal appendages of basal archosaurs used a diverse array of β-keratins, which evolved into crocodilian and avian specific clades. In birds, the scale and feather subfamilies appear to have evolved independently in the avian lineage from a subset of archosaurian claw β-keratins. The expansion of the avian specific feather β-keratin genes accompanied the diversification of birds and the evolution of feathers. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Glucose transporter expression in an avian nectarivore: the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth C Welch

    Full Text Available Glucose transporter (GLUT proteins play a key role in the transport of monosaccharides across cellular membranes, and thus, blood sugar regulation and tissue metabolism. Patterns of GLUT expression, including the insulin-responsive GLUT4, have been well characterized in mammals. However, relatively little is known about patterns of GLUT expression in birds with existing data limited to the granivorous or herbivorous chicken, duck and sparrow. The smallest avian taxa, hummingbirds, exhibit some of the highest fasted and fed blood glucose levels and display an unusual ability to switch rapidly and completely between endogenous fat and exogenous sugar to fuel energetically expensive hovering flight. Despite this, nothing is known about the GLUT transporters that enable observed rapid rates of carbohydrate flux. We examined GLUT (GLUT1, 2, 3, & 4 expression in pectoralis, leg muscle, heart, liver, kidney, intestine and brain from both zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata and ruby-throated hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris. mRNA expression of all four transporters was probed using reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR. In addition, GLUT1 and 4 protein expression were assayed by western blot and immunostaining. Patterns of RNA and protein expression of GLUT1-3 in both species agree closely with published reports from other birds and mammals. As in other birds, and unlike in mammals, we did not detect GLUT4. A lack of GLUT4 correlates with hyperglycemia and an uncoupling of exercise intensity and relative oxidation of carbohydrates in hummingbirds. The function of GLUTs present in hummingbird muscle tissue (e.g. GLUT1 and 3 remain undescribed. Thus, further work is necessary to determine if high capillary density, and thus surface area across which cellular-mediated transport of sugars into active tissues (e.g. muscle occurs, rather than taxon-specific differences in GLUT density or kinetics, can account for observed rapid rates of sugar flux into these

  1. Song practice promotes acute vocal variability at a key stage of sensorimotor learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie E Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trial by trial variability during motor learning is a feature encoded by the basal ganglia of both humans and songbirds, and is important for reinforcement of optimal motor patterns, including those that produce speech and birdsong. Given the many parallels between these behaviors, songbirds provide a useful model to investigate neural mechanisms underlying vocal learning. In juvenile and adult male zebra finches, endogenous levels of FoxP2, a molecule critical for language, decrease two hours after morning song onset within area X, part of the basal ganglia-forebrain pathway dedicated to song. In juveniles, experimental 'knockdown' of area X FoxP2 results in abnormally variable song in adulthood. These findings motivated our hypothesis that low FoxP2 levels increase vocal variability, enabling vocal motor exploration in normal birds. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: After two hours in either singing or non-singing conditions (previously shown to produce differential area X FoxP2 levels, phonological and sequential features of the subsequent songs were compared across conditions in the same bird. In line with our prediction, analysis of songs sung by 75 day (75d birds revealed that syllable structure was more variable and sequence stereotypy was reduced following two hours of continuous practice compared to these features following two hours of non-singing. Similar trends in song were observed in these birds at 65d, despite higher overall within-condition variability at this age. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Together with previous work, these findings point to the importance of behaviorally-driven acute periods during song learning that allow for both refinement and reinforcement of motor patterns. Future work is aimed at testing the observation that not only does vocal practice influence expression of molecular networks, but that these networks then influence subsequent variability in these skills.

  2. Aging

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sasaki, Hideo; Kodama, Kazunori; Yamada, Michiko

    1991-01-01

    The hypothesis that exposure to ionizing radiation accelerates the aging process has been actively investigated at ABCC-RERF since 1958, when longitudinal cohort studies of the Adult Health Study (AHS) and the Life Span Study (LSS) were initiated. In their 1975 overall review of aging studies related to the atomic bomb (A-bomb) survivors, Finch and Beebe concluded that while most studies had shown no correlation between aging and radiation exposure, they had not involved the large numbers of subjects required to provide strong evidence for or against the hypothesis. Extending LSS mortality data up to 1978 did not alter the earlier conclusion that any observed life-shortening was associated primarily with cancer induction rather than with any nonspecific cause. The results of aging studies conducted during the intervening 15 years using data from the same populations are reviewed in the present paper. Using clinical, epidemiological, and laboratory techniques, a broad spectrum of aging parameters have been studied, such as postmortem morphological changes, tests of functional capacity, physical tests and measurements, laboratory tests, tissue changes, and morbidity. With respect to the aging process, the overall results have not been consistent and are generally thought to show no relation to radiation exposure. Although some preliminary results suggest a possible radiation-induced increase in atherosclerotic diseases and acceleration of aging in the T-cell-related immune system, further study is necessary to confirm these findings. In the future, applying the latest gerontological study techniques to data collected from subjects exposed 45 years ago to A-bomb radiation at relatively young ages will present a new body of data relevant to the study of late radiation effects. (author) 103 refs

  3. A generalized linear model for estimating spectrotemporal receptive fields from responses to natural sounds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Calabrese

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the auditory system, the stimulus-response properties of single neurons are often described in terms of the spectrotemporal receptive field (STRF, a linear kernel relating the spectrogram of the sound stimulus to the instantaneous firing rate of the neuron. Several algorithms have been used to estimate STRFs from responses to natural stimuli; these algorithms differ in their functional models, cost functions, and regularization methods. Here, we characterize the stimulus-response function of auditory neurons using a generalized linear model (GLM. In this model, each cell's input is described by: 1 a stimulus filter (STRF; and 2 a post-spike filter, which captures dependencies on the neuron's spiking history. The output of the model is given by a series of spike trains rather than instantaneous firing rate, allowing the prediction of spike train responses to novel stimuli. We fit the model by maximum penalized likelihood to the spiking activity of zebra finch auditory midbrain neurons in response to conspecific vocalizations (songs and modulation limited (ml noise. We compare this model to normalized reverse correlation (NRC, the traditional method for STRF estimation, in terms of predictive power and the basic tuning properties of the estimated STRFs. We find that a GLM with a sparse prior predicts novel responses to both stimulus classes significantly better than NRC. Importantly, we find that STRFs from the two models derived from the same responses can differ substantially and that GLM STRFs are more consistent between stimulus classes than NRC STRFs. These results suggest that a GLM with a sparse prior provides a more accurate characterization of spectrotemporal tuning than does the NRC method when responses to complex sounds are studied in these neurons.

  4. Body temperature changes during simulated bacterial infection in a songbird: fever at night and hypothermia during the day.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sköld-Chiriac, Sandra; Nord, Andreas; Tobler, Michael; Nilsson, Jan-Åke; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2015-09-01

    Although fever (a closely regulated increase in body temperature in response to infection) typically is beneficial, it is energetically costly and may induce detrimentally high body temperatures. This can increase the susceptibility to energetic bottlenecks and risks of overheating in some organisms. Accordingly, it could be particularly interesting to study fever in small birds, which have comparatively high metabolic rates and high, variable body temperatures. We therefore investigated two aspects of fever and other sickness behaviours (circadian variation, dose dependence) in a small songbird, the zebra finch. We injected lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at the beginning of either the day or the night, and subsequently monitored body temperature, body mass change and food intake for the duration of the response. We found pronounced circadian variation in the body temperature response to LPS injection, manifested by (dose-dependent) hypothermia during the day but fever at night. This resulted in body temperature during the peak response being relatively similar during the day and night. Day-to-night differences might be explained in the context of circadian variation in body temperature: songbirds have a high daytime body temperature that is augmented by substantial heat production peaks during activity. This might require a trade-off between the benefit of fever and the risk of overheating. In contrast, at night, when body temperature is typically lower and less variable, fever can be used to mitigate infection. We suggest that the change in body temperature during infection in small songbirds is context dependent and regulated to promote survival according to individual demands at the time of infection. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Un Manifesto economico per i paesi del Golfo Persico esportatori di petrolio(An Economic Manifesto for the Oil Exporting Countries of the Persian Gulf

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Askari

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The oil-exporting countries of the Persian Gulf have failed economically and socially. It is time for a radical new approach to managing oil revenues while oil and gas reserves last. We propose an approach to cut the level of oil revenues available to governments to zero while incorporating a formal "Oil Fund for All Generations". Others have proposed and implemented oil funds but in our proposal the government would (in time lose all access to oil revenues; by taking easy money away from governments and rulers, waste, corruption, military expenditures and wars will be reduced, there will be better chance of adopting and implementing rational economic policies, and equity across generations may be enhanced. Hope may be slowly restored to a region that has lost hope. I paesi del Golfo Persico esportatori di petrolio hanno fallito dal punto di vista economico e sociale. È tempo di adottare un approccio radicalmente nuovo alla gestione dei ricavi petroliferi finché vi sono ancora riserve di petrolio e di gas. Noi proponiamo un approccio finalizzato ad azzerare il livello dei ricavi disponibili per i governi, istituendo allo stesso tempo un formale “Fondo petrolifero per tutte le generazioni”. Fondi petroliferi sono stati ipotizzati e realizzati anche da altri, ma nella nostra proposta il governo perderebbe (col tempo qualunque accesso ai ricavi petroliferi; sottraendo denaro facile ai governi e ai sovrani, la probabilità di sprechi, corruzione e guerre risulterebbe ridotta, e vi sarebbe maggiore possibilità di adottare e mettere in pratica politiche economiche razionali finalizzate ad accrescere l’equità tra le generazioni.  JEL Codes: O13, O53, Q48Keywords: Gas; Oil

  6. Epilepsy and catalepsy in Anglo-American literature between romanticism and realism: Tennyson, Poe, Eliot and Collins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, P

    2000-12-01

    Epilepsy and catalepsy were not clearly separated in the minds of people in the early 19th century, and catalepsy may have been used as a diagnostic euphemism for epilepsy. Tennyson, in "The Princess" describes, under the diagnosis of catalepsy, probable temporal lobe epileptic dreamy states with derealization which serve as a metaphor of sexual and moral ambivalence, the poem's central theme. It seems that Tennyson knew such seizures from his own father who had been given a diagnosis of catalepsy. Poe gave his Berenice in the novella of the same title a diagnosis of epilepsy as a reason for a premature burial. However, there was a good deal of unlikelyhood in this, and when he came to this theme in "The Fall of the House of Usher" and in "The Premature Burial" he chose instead a diagnosis of catalepsy which fitted better with the plot. The fits of the title character in George Eliot's Silas Marner, diagnosed as catalepsy, would today rather be seen as epileptic twilight states. It would seem that this author drew from contemporary dictionary descriptions which described conditions similar to Marner's fits under the heading of catalepsy. In Eliot's "legend with a realistic treatment", the twilight states are a central factor in the plot and explain Marner's reclusion and passivity. In Poor Miss Finch by English realist Wilkie Collins, the post-traumatic seizures of Oscar, one of the main characters, their cause, their treatment with silver nitrate, and the subsequent discoloration of his skin are central supporting elements of a perfectly constructed plot. Collins gives an exact description of a right versive seizure with secondary generalisation, and how to deal with it. In none of these works seizures are seen in a negative light. They rather evoke reactions of sympathy and support.

  7. SURVEILLANCE FOR NEWCASTLE DISEASE VIRUS, AVIAN INFLUENZA VIRUS AND MYCOPLASMA GALLISEPTICUM IN WILD BIRDS NEAR COMMERCIAL POULTRY FARMS SURROUNDED BY ATLANTIC RAINFOREST REMNANTS, SOUTHEASTERN BRAZIL

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    MB Guimarães

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The geographic overlap between areas of Atlantic rainforest and human activities allows interactions to occur between humans and wild and domestic animals. Despite the great importance of the domestic animal-wildlife-human interface that occurs at poultry farms in terms of public health, economic production and wildlife conservation, there are few studies in Brazil examining the distribution and health of wild birds that interact with poultry farms. From January to December 2010, mist nets were used to capture 166 free-ranging birds that were within close proximity to three poultry farms in Atlantic rainforest remnants in south-eastern Brazil. The species composition was examined, and molecular methods were used to test for avian influenza virus, Newcastle disease virus, and Mycoplasma gallisepticum. The avian communities near the poultry farms were dominated by three synanthropic species, which corresponded to 70% of all captured individuals: house sparrows Passer domesticus (33%, saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola (22%, and ruddy ground-doves (Columbina talpacoti (15%. These predominant bird species were in poor body condition (27%, were infested with feather mites (43%, or presented both conditions (23%. No evidence of infection by avian influenza virus, Newcastle disease virus or M. gallisepticum was identified in any of the studied birds. Although no evidence of the studied pathogens was, our findings demonstrate that differences in the environmental characteristics and biosecurity practices influence the wild bird community near poultry farms, which in turn may affect the health status of these synanthropic birds and strengthen their role in the transmission of pathogens.

  8. Polarized light modulates light-dependent magnetic compass orientation in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muheim, Rachel; Sjöberg, Sissel; Pinzon-Rodriguez, Atticus

    2016-01-01

    Magnetoreception of the light-dependent magnetic compass in birds is suggested to be mediated by a radical-pair mechanism taking place in the avian retina. Biophysical models on magnetic field effects on radical pairs generally assume that the light activating the magnetoreceptor molecules is nondirectional and unpolarized, and that light absorption is isotropic. However, natural skylight enters the avian retina unidirectionally, through the cornea and the lens, and is often partially polarized. In addition, cryptochromes, the putative magnetoreceptor molecules, absorb light anisotropically, i.e., they preferentially absorb light of a specific direction and polarization, implying that the light-dependent magnetic compass is intrinsically polarization sensitive. To test putative interactions between the avian magnetic compass and polarized light, we developed a spatial orientation assay and trained zebra finches to magnetic and/or overhead polarized light cues in a four-arm “plus” maze. The birds did not use overhead polarized light near the zenith for sky compass orientation. Instead, overhead polarized light modulated light-dependent magnetic compass orientation, i.e., how the birds perceive the magnetic field. Birds were well oriented when tested with the polarized light axis aligned parallel to the magnetic field. When the polarized light axis was aligned perpendicular to the magnetic field, the birds became disoriented. These findings are the first behavioral evidence to our knowledge for a direct interaction between polarized light and the light-dependent magnetic compass in an animal. They reveal a fundamentally new property of the radical pair-based magnetoreceptor with key implications for how birds and other animals perceive the Earth’s magnetic field. PMID:26811473

  9. Vulnerability of birds to climate change in California's Sierra Nevada

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    Rodney B. Siegel

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In a rapidly changing climate, effective bird conservation requires not only reliable information about the current vulnerability of species of conservation concern, but also credible projections of their future vulnerability. Such projections may enable managers to preempt or reduce emerging climate-related threats through appropriate habitat management. We used NatureServe's Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI to predict vulnerability to climate change of 168 bird species that breed in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, USA. The CCVI assesses species-specific exposure and sensitivity to climate change within a defined geographic area, through the integration of (a species' range maps, (b information about species' natural history traits and ecological relationships, (c historic and current climate data, and (d spatially explicit climate change projections. We conducted the assessment under two different downscaled climate models with divergent projections about future precipitation through the middle of the 21st century. Assessments differed relatively little under the two climate models. Of five CCVI vulnerability ranking categories, only one species, White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura, received the most vulnerable rank, Extremely Vulnerable. No species received the second-highest vulnerability ranking, Highly Vulnerable. Sixteen species scored as Moderately Vulnerable using one or both climate models: Common Merganser (Mergus merganser, Osprey (Pandion haliaetus, Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis, Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus, Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus, Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius, Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa, Black Swift (Cypseloides niger, Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana, American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus, Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus, American Pipit (Anthus rubescens, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis, Pine Grosbeak

  10. Using genes as characters and a parsimony analysis to explore the phylogenetic position of turtles.

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    Bin Lu

    Full Text Available The phylogenetic position of turtles within the vertebrate tree of life remains controversial. Conflicting conclusions from different studies are likely a consequence of systematic error in the tree construction process, rather than random error from small amounts of data. Using genomic data, we evaluate the phylogenetic position of turtles with both conventional concatenated data analysis and a "genes as characters" approach. Two datasets were constructed, one with seven species (human, opossum, zebra finch, chicken, green anole, Chinese pond turtle, and western clawed frog and 4584 orthologous genes, and the second with four additional species (soft-shelled turtle, Nile crocodile, royal python, and tuatara but only 1638 genes. Our concatenated data analysis strongly supported turtle as the sister-group to archosaurs (the archosaur hypothesis, similar to several recent genomic data based studies using similar methods. When using genes as characters and gene trees as character-state trees with equal weighting for each gene, however, our parsimony analysis suggested that turtles are possibly sister-group to diapsids, archosaurs, or lepidosaurs. None of these resolutions were strongly supported by bootstraps. Furthermore, our incongruence analysis clearly demonstrated that there is a large amount of inconsistency among genes and most of the conflict relates to the placement of turtles. We conclude that the uncertain placement of turtles is a reflection of the true state of nature. Concatenated data analysis of large and heterogeneous datasets likely suffers from systematic error and over-estimates of confidence as a consequence of a large number of characters. Using genes as characters offers an alternative for phylogenomic analysis. It has potential to reduce systematic error, such as data heterogeneity and long-branch attraction, and it can also avoid problems associated with computation time and model selection. Finally, treating genes as

  11. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird.

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    Olga Milenkaya

    Full Text Available Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch, a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival over four breeding seasons, and sampled them for commonly used condition indices: mass adjusted for body size, muscle and fat scores, packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, total plasma protein, and heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. Our study population is well suited for this research because individuals forage in common areas and do not hold territories such that variation in condition between individuals is not confounded by differences in habitat quality. Furthermore, we controlled for factors that are known to impact condition indices in our study population (e.g., breeding stage such that we assessed individual condition relative to others in the same context. Condition indices that reflect energy reserves predicted both the probability of an individual fledging young and the number of young produced that survived to independence, but only during some years. Those that were relatively heavy for their body size produced about three times more independent young compared to light individuals. That energy reserves are a meaningful predictor of reproductive success in a sedentary passerine supports the idea that energy reserves are at least sometimes predictors of fitness. However, hematological indices failed to predict reproductive success and none of the indices predicted survival. Therefore, some but not all condition indices may be informative, but because we found that most indices did not predict any component of fitness, we question the ubiquitous

  12. Chronic mitochondrial uncoupling treatment prevents acute cold-induced oxidative stress in birds.

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    Stier, Antoine; Massemin, Sylvie; Criscuolo, François

    2014-12-01

    Endotherms have evolved two major types of thermogenesis that allow them to actively produce heat in response to cold exposure, either through muscular activity (i.e. shivering thermogenesis) or through futile electro-chemical cycles (i.e. non-shivering thermogenesis). Amongst the latter, mitochondrial uncoupling is of key importance because it is suggested to drive heat production at a low cost in terms of oxidative stress. While this has been experimentally shown in mammals, the oxidative stress consequences of cold exposure and mitochondrial uncoupling are clearly less understood in the other class of endotherms, the birds. We compared metabolic and oxidative stress responses of zebra finches chronically treated with or without a chemical mitochondrial uncoupler (2,4-dinitrophenol: DNP), undergoing an acute (24 h) and a chronic (4 weeks) cold exposure (12 °C). We predicted that control birds should present at least a transient elevation of oxidative stress levels in response to cold exposure. This oxidative stress cost should be more pronounced in control birds than in DNP-treated birds, due to their lower basal uncoupling state. Despite similar increase in metabolism, control birds presented elevated levels of DNA oxidative damage in response to acute (but not chronic) cold exposure, while DNP-treated birds did not. Plasma antioxidant capacity decreased overall in response to chronic cold exposure. These results show that acute cold exposure increases oxidative stress in birds. However, uncoupling mitochondrial functioning appears as a putative compensatory mechanism preventing cold-induced oxidative stress. This result confirms previous observations in mice and underlines non-shivering thermogenesis as a putative key mechanism for endotherms in mounting a response to cold at a low oxidative cost.

  13. Noradrenergic control of gene expression and long-term neuronal adaptation evoked by learned vocalizations in songbirds.

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    Tarciso A F Velho

    Full Text Available Norepinephrine (NE is thought to play important roles in the consolidation and retrieval of long-term memories, but its role in the processing and memorization of complex acoustic signals used for vocal communication has yet to be determined. We have used a combination of gene expression analysis, electrophysiological recordings and pharmacological manipulations in zebra finches to examine the role of noradrenergic transmission in the brain's response to birdsong, a learned vocal behavior that shares important features with human speech. We show that noradrenergic transmission is required for both the expression of activity-dependent genes and the long-term maintenance of stimulus-specific electrophysiological adaptation that are induced in central auditory neurons by stimulation with birdsong. Specifically, we show that the caudomedial nidopallium (NCM, an area directly involved in the auditory processing and memorization of birdsong, receives strong noradrenergic innervation. Song-responsive neurons in this area express α-adrenergic receptors and are in close proximity to noradrenergic terminals. We further show that local α-adrenergic antagonism interferes with song-induced gene expression, without affecting spontaneous or evoked electrophysiological activity, thus dissociating the molecular and electrophysiological responses to song. Moreover, α-adrenergic antagonism disrupts the maintenance but not the acquisition of the adapted physiological state. We suggest that the noradrenergic system regulates long-term changes in song-responsive neurons by modulating the gene expression response that is associated with the electrophysiological activation triggered by song. We also suggest that this mechanism may be an important contributor to long-term auditory memories of learned vocalizations.

  14. Body Condition Indices Predict Reproductive Success but Not Survival in a Sedentary, Tropical Bird.

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    Milenkaya, Olga; Catlin, Daniel H; Legge, Sarah; Walters, Jeffrey R

    2015-01-01

    Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival over four breeding seasons, and sampled them for commonly used condition indices: mass adjusted for body size, muscle and fat scores, packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, total plasma protein, and heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. Our study population is well suited for this research because individuals forage in common areas and do not hold territories such that variation in condition between individuals is not confounded by differences in habitat quality. Furthermore, we controlled for factors that are known to impact condition indices in our study population (e.g., breeding stage) such that we assessed individual condition relative to others in the same context. Condition indices that reflect energy reserves predicted both the probability of an individual fledging young and the number of young produced that survived to independence, but only during some years. Those that were relatively heavy for their body size produced about three times more independent young compared to light individuals. That energy reserves are a meaningful predictor of reproductive success in a sedentary passerine supports the idea that energy reserves are at least sometimes predictors of fitness. However, hematological indices failed to predict reproductive success and none of the indices predicted survival. Therefore, some but not all condition indices may be informative, but because we found that most indices did not predict any component of fitness, we question the ubiquitous interpretation of

  15. Genetic mapping of the female mimic morph locus in the ruff

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Ruffs (Aves: Philomachus pugnax) possess a genetic polymorphism for male mating behaviour resulting in three permanent alternative male reproductive morphs: (i) territorial ‘Independents’, (ii) non-territorial ‘Satellites’, and (iii) female-mimicking ‘Faeders’. Development into independent or satellite morphs has previously been shown to be due to a single-locus, two-allele autosomal Mendelian mode of inheritance at the Satellite locus. Here, we use linkage analysis to map the chromosomal location of the Faeder locus, which controls development into the Faeder morph, and draw further conclusions about candidate genes, assuming shared synteny with other birds. Results Segregation data on the Faeder locus were obtained from captive-bred pedigrees comprising 64 multi-generation families (N = 381). There was no evidence that the Faeder locus was linked to the Satellite locus, but it was linked with microsatellite marker Ppu020. Comparative mapping of ruff microsatellite markers against the chicken (Gallus gallus) and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) genomes places the Ppu020 and Faeder loci on a region of chromosome 11 that includes the Melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene, which regulates colour polymorphisms in numerous birds and other vertebrates. Melanin-based colouration varies with life-history strategies in ruffs and other species, thus the MC1R gene is a strong candidate to play a role in alternative male morph determination. Conclusion Two unlinked loci appear to control behavioural development in ruffs. The Faeder locus is linked to Ppu020, which, assuming synteny, is located on avian chromosome 11. MC1R is a candidate gene involved in alternative male morph determination in ruffs. PMID:24256185

  16. Specialization of Bacillus in the Geochemically Challenged Environment of Death Valley

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    Kopac, S.

    2014-04-01

    Death Valley is the hottest, driest place in North America, a desert with soils containing toxic elements such as boron and lead. While most organisms are unable to survive under these conditions, a diverse community of bacteria survives here. What has enabled bacteria to adapt and thrive in a plethora of extreme and stressful environments where other organisms are unable to grow? The unique environmental adaptations that distinguish ecologically distinct bacterial groups (ecotypes) remain a mystery, in contrast to many animal species (perhaps most notably Darwin's ecologically distinct finch species). We resolve the ecological factors associated with recently diverged ecotypes of the soil bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis, isolated from the dry, geochemically challenging soils of Death Valley, CA. To investigate speciation associated with challenging environmental parameters, we sampled soil transects along a 400m stretch that parallels a decrease in salinity adjacent to a salt flat; transects also encompass gradients in soil B, Cu, Fe, NO3, and P, all of which were quantified in our soil samples. We demarcated strains using Ecotype Simulation, a sequence-based algorithm. Each ecotype's habitat associations were determined with respect to salinity, B, Cu, Fe, NO3, and P. In addition, our sample strains were tested for tolerance of copper, boron and salinity (all known to inhibit growth at high concentrations) by comparing their growth over a 20 hour period. Ecotypes differed in their habitat associations with salinity, boron, copper, iron, and other ecological factors; these environmental dimensions are likely causing speciation of B. subtilis-licheniformis ecotypes at our sample site. Strains also differed in tolerance of boron and copper, providing evidence that our sequence-based demarcations reflect real differences in metabolism. By better understanding the relationship between bacterial speciation and the environment, we can begin to

  17. Psittacid herpesviruses associated with mucosal papillomas in neotropical parrots

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Styles, Darrel K.; Tomaszewski, Elizabeth K.; Jaeger, Laurie A.; Phalen, David N.

    2004-01-01

    Mucosal papillomas are relatively common lesions in several species of captive neotropical parrots. They cause considerable morbidity and in some cases, result in mortality. Previous efforts to identify papillomavirus DNA and proteins in these lesions have been largely unsuccessful. In contrast, increasing evidence suggests that mucosal papillomas may contain psittacid herpesviruses (PsHVs). In this study, 41 papillomas from 30 neotropical parrots were examined by PCR with PsHV-specific primers. All 41 papillomas were found to contain PsHV DNA. This 100% prevalence of PsHV infection in the papilloma population was found to be significantly higher than PsHV infection prevalence observed in other surveys of captive parrots. PsHV genotypes 1, 2, and 3, but not 4 were found in these lesions. Psittacus erithacus papillomavirus DNA and finch papillomavirus DNA were not found in the papillomas. A papilloma from a hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) was found to contain cells that had immunoreactivity to antiserum made to the common antigenic region of human papillomavirus (HPV) L1 major capsid protein. However, four other mucosal papillomas were negative for this immunoreactivity, and negative control tissues from a parrot embryo showed a similar staining pattern to that seen in the cloaca papilloma of the hyacinth macaw, strongly suggesting that the staining seen in hyacinth macaw papilloma was nonspecific. Based on these findings, it was concluded that specific genotypes of PsHV play a direct role in the development of mucosal papillomas of neotropical parrots and there is no evidence to suggest the concurrent presence of a papillomavirus in these lesions

  18. Effects of Patagonian pine forestry on native breeding birds

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    Moises Pescador

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim of the study: The objective is to assess the influences of the tree stand age and other forestry management practices on species richness, composition, and distribution of the Patagonian pine plantation bird assemblages. Area of Study: The work was carried out in forested plots of Ponderosa pine located at the Lanín National Park (Patagonia, Argentina.Material and Methods: Birds were sampled using 25 m fixed radius point counts, at four plots varying in age, management, and forest structure. Main Results: A total of 2090 individuals belonging to 34 bird species were observed, their numbers vary significantly depending on the different modes of plantation management. The population density of the 14 most abundant bird species was compared among the four plantation plots and ten species don’t show statistically significant differences in their population density among the different forest plots. The California Quail, the White-Crested Elaenia and the Southern House Wren showed higher densities in pine plantations with lower tree densities and fewer cutting treatments. The Diuca Finch had high densities in the younger plantations not subjected to any treatment. Research highlights: Most of these bird species are opportunistic and a few are found more regularly in these non-native woods than in other native forested or afforested areas. Our data suggest that a mixed scenario based on a mosaic of plantation with patches of native deciduous forest may help maximize the bird diversity in the management of northwestern Patagonian plantation landscapes.Keywords: Bird population; diversity; exotic plantations; Patagonia; tree-age.

  19. Pāhoehoe, `a`ā, and block lava: an illustrated history of the nomenclature

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    Harris, Andrew J. L.; Rowland, Scott K.; Villeneuve, Nicolas; Thordarson, Thor

    2017-01-01

    Lava flows occur worldwide, and throughout history, various cultures (and geologists) have described flows based on their surface textures. As a result, surface morphology-based nomenclature schemes have been proposed in most languages to aid in the classification and distinction of lava surface types. One of the first to be published was likely the nine-class, Italian-language description-based classification proposed by Mario Gemmellaro in 1858. By far, the most commonly used terms to describe lava surfaces today are not descriptive but, instead, are merely words, specifically the Hawaiian words `a`ā (rough brecciated basalt lava) and pāhoehoe (smooth glassy basalt lava), plus block lava (thick brecciated lavas that are typically more silicic than basalt). `A`ā and pāhoehoe were introduced into the Western geological vocabulary by American geologists working in Hawai`i during the 1800s. They and other nineteenth century geologists proposed formal lava-type classification schemes for scientific use, and most of them used the Hawaiian words. In 1933, Ruy Finch added the third lava type, block lava, to the classification scheme, with the tripartite system being formalized in 1953 by Gordon Macdonald. More recently, particularly since the 1980s and based largely on studies of lava flow interiors, a number of sub-types and transitional forms of all three major lava types have been defined. This paper reviews the early history of the development of the pāhoehoe, `a`ā, and block lava-naming system and presents a new descriptive classification so as to break out the three parental lava types into their many morphological sub-types.

  20. Concomitant duplications of opioid peptide and receptor genes before the origin of jawed vertebrates.

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    Görel Sundström

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The opioid system is involved in reward and pain mechanisms and consists in mammals of four receptors and several peptides. The peptides are derived from four prepropeptide genes, PENK, PDYN, PNOC and POMC, encoding enkephalins, dynorphins, orphanin/nociceptin and beta-endorphin, respectively. Previously we have described how two rounds of genome doubling (2R before the origin of jawed vertebrates formed the receptor family. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Opioid peptide gene family members were investigated using a combination of sequence-based phylogeny and chromosomal locations of the peptide genes in various vertebrates. Several adjacent gene families were investigated similarly. The results show that the ancestral peptide gene gave rise to two additional copies in the genome doublings. The fourth member was generated by a local gene duplication, as the genes encoding POMC and PNOC are located on the same chromosome in the chicken genome and all three teleost genomes that we have studied. A translocation has disrupted this synteny in mammals. The PDYN gene seems to have been lost in chicken, but not in zebra finch. Duplicates of some peptide genes have arisen in the teleost fishes. Within the prepropeptide precursors, peptides have been lost or gained in different lineages. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The ancestral peptide and receptor genes were located on the same chromosome and were thus duplicated concomitantly. However, subsequently genetic linkage has been lost. In conclusion, the system of opioid peptides and receptors was largely formed by the genome doublings that took place early in vertebrate evolution.

  1. Do individual females differ intrinsically in their propensity to engage in extra-pair copulations?

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    Wolfgang Forstmeier

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: While many studies have investigated the occurrence of extra-pair paternity in wild populations of birds, we still know surprisingly little about whether individual females differ intrinsically in their principal readiness to copulate, and to what extent this readiness is affected by male attractiveness. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: To address this question I used captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata as a model system. I first measured female readiness to copulate when courted by a male for the first time in life. Second, I conducted choice-chamber experiments to assess the mating preferences of individual females prior to pair formation. I then paired females socially with a non-desired mate and once they had formed a stable pair bond, I observed the inclination of these females to engage in extra-pair copulations with various males. Females showing a high readiness to copulate when courted by a male for the first time in life were much more likely to engage in extra-pair copulations later in life than others. Male attractiveness, as measured in choice tests, was a useful predictor of whether females engaged in extra-pair copulations with these males, but, surprisingly, the attractiveness of a female's social partner had no effect on her fidelity. However, it remained unclear what made some males more attractive than others. Contrary to a widespread but rarely tested hypothesis, females did not preferentially copulate with males having a redder beak or singing at a higher rate. Rather it seemed that song rate was a confounding factor in choice-chamber experiments: song attracted the female's attention but did not increase the male's attractiveness as a copulation partner. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Intrinsic variation in female readiness to copulate as well as variation in the attractiveness of the extra-pair male but not the social partner decided the outcome of extra-pair encounters.

  2. Semi-Markov Arnason-Schwarz models.

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    King, Ruth; Langrock, Roland

    2016-06-01

    We consider multi-state capture-recapture-recovery data where observed individuals are recorded in a set of possible discrete states. Traditionally, the Arnason-Schwarz model has been fitted to such data where the state process is modeled as a first-order Markov chain, though second-order models have also been proposed and fitted to data. However, low-order Markov models may not accurately represent the underlying biology. For example, specifying a (time-independent) first-order Markov process involves the assumption that the dwell time in each state (i.e., the duration of a stay in a given state) has a geometric distribution, and hence that the modal dwell time is one. Specifying time-dependent or higher-order processes provides additional flexibility, but at the expense of a potentially significant number of additional model parameters. We extend the Arnason-Schwarz model by specifying a semi-Markov model for the state process, where the dwell-time distribution is specified more generally, using, for example, a shifted Poisson or negative binomial distribution. A state expansion technique is applied in order to represent the resulting semi-Markov Arnason-Schwarz model in terms of a simpler and computationally tractable hidden Markov model. Semi-Markov Arnason-Schwarz models come with only a very modest increase in the number of parameters, yet permit a significantly more flexible state process. Model selection can be performed using standard procedures, and in particular via the use of information criteria. The semi-Markov approach allows for important biological inference to be drawn on the underlying state process, for example, on the times spent in the different states. The feasibility of the approach is demonstrated in a simulation study, before being applied to real data corresponding to house finches where the states correspond to the presence or absence of conjunctivitis. © 2015, The International Biometric Society.

  3. Identification of a feather β-keratin gene exclusively expressed in pennaceous barbule cells of contour feathers in chicken.

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    Kowata, Kinue; Nakaoka, Minori; Nishio, Kaori; Fukao, Ayaka; Satoh, Akira; Ogoshi, Maho; Takahashi, Sumio; Tsudzuki, Masaoki; Takeuchi, Sakae

    2014-05-25

    Feathers are elaborate skin appendages shared by birds and theropod dinosaurs that have hierarchical branching of the rachis, barbs, and barbules. Feather filaments consist of β-keratins encoded by multiple genes, most of which are located in tandem arrays on chromosomes 2, 25, and 27 in chicken. The expansion of the genes is thought to have contributed to feather evolution; however, it is unclear how the individual genes are involved in feather formation. The aim of the present study was to identify feather keratin genes involved in the formation of barbules. Using a combination of microarray analysis, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, and in situ hybridization, we found an uncharacterized keratin gene on chromosome 7 that was expressed specifically in barbule cells in regenerating chicken feathers. We have named the gene barbule specific keratin 1 (BlSK1). The BlSK1 gene structure was similar to the gene structure of previously characterized feather keratin genes, and consisted of a non-coding leader exon, an intron, and an exon with an open reading frame (ORF). The ORF was predicted to encode a 98 aa long protein, which shared 59% identity with feather keratin B. Orthologs of BlSK1 were found in the genomes of other avian species, including turkey, duck, zebra finch, and flycatcher, in regions that shared synteny with chromosome 7 of chicken. Interestingly, BlSK1 was expressed in feather follicles that generated pennaceous barbules but not in follicles that generated plumulaceous barbules. These results suggested that the composition of feather keratins probably varies depending on the structure of the feather filaments and, that individual feather keratin genes may be involved in building different portions and/or types of feathers in chicken. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Efferent innervation of turtle semicircular canal cristae: comparisons with bird and mouse

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    Jordan, Paivi M.; Fettis, Margaret; Holt, Joseph C.

    2014-01-01

    In the vestibular periphery of nearly every vertebrate, cholinergic vestibular efferent neurons give rise to numerous presynaptic varicosities that target hair cells and afferent processes in the sensory neuroepithelium. Although pharmacological studies have described the postsynaptic actions of vestibular efferent stimulation in several species, characterization of efferent innervation patterns and the relative distribution of efferent varicosities among hair cells and afferents are also integral to understanding how efferent synapses operate. Vestibular efferent markers, however, have not been well characterized in the turtle, one of the animal models utilized by our laboratory. Here, we sought to identify reliable efferent neuronal markers in the vestibular periphery of turtle, to utilize these markers to understand how efferent synapses are organized, and to compare efferent neuronal labeling patterns in turtle with two other amniotes using some of the same markers. Efferent fibers and varicosities were visualized in the semicircular canal of Red-Eared Turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans), Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata), and mice (Mus musculus) utilizing fluorescent immunohistochemistry with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Vestibular hair cells and afferents were counterstained using antibodies to myosin VIIa and calretinin. In all species, ChAT labeled a population of small diameter fibers giving rise to numerous spherical varicosities abutting type II hair cells and afferent processes. That these ChAT-positive varicosities represent presynaptic release sites were demonstrated by colabeling with antibodies against the synaptic vesicle proteins synapsin I, SV2, or syntaxin and the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Comparisons of efferent innervation patterns among the three species are discussed. PMID:25560461

  5. Neural processing of short-term recurrence in songbird vocal communication.

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    Gabriël J L Beckers

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Many situations involving animal communication are dominated by recurring, stereotyped signals. How do receivers optimally distinguish between frequently recurring signals and novel ones? Cortical auditory systems are known to be pre-attentively sensitive to short-term delivery statistics of artificial stimuli, but it is unknown if this phenomenon extends to the level of behaviorally relevant delivery patterns, such as those used during communication. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We recorded and analyzed complete auditory scenes of spontaneously communicating zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata pairs over a week-long period, and show that they can produce tens of thousands of short-range contact calls per day. Individual calls recur at time scales (median interval 1.5 s matching those at which mammalian sensory systems are sensitive to recent stimulus history. Next, we presented to anesthetized birds sequences of frequently recurring calls interspersed with rare ones, and recorded, in parallel, action and local field potential responses in the medio-caudal auditory forebrain at 32 unique sites. Variation in call recurrence rate over natural ranges leads to widespread and significant modulation in strength of neural responses. Such modulation is highly call-specific in secondary auditory areas, but not in the main thalamo-recipient, primary auditory area. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results support the hypothesis that pre-attentive neural sensitivity to short-term stimulus recurrence is involved in the analysis of auditory scenes at the level of delivery patterns of meaningful sounds. This may enable birds to efficiently and automatically distinguish frequently recurring vocalizations from other events in their auditory scene.

  6. Social learning in nest-building birds watching live-streaming video demonstrators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillette, Lauren M; Healy, Susan D

    2018-02-13

    Determining the role that social learning plays in construction behaviours, such as nest building or tool manufacture, could be improved if more experimental control could be gained over the exact public information that is provided by the demonstrator, to the observing individual. Using video playback allows the experimenter to choose what information is provided, but will only be useful in determining the role of social learning if observers attend to, and learn from, videos in a manner that is similar to live demonstration. The goal of the current experiment was to test whether live-streamed video presentations of nest building by zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata would lead observers to copy the material choice demonstrated to them. Here, males that had not previously built a nest were given an initial preference test between materials of two colours. Those observers then watched live-stream footage of a familiar demonstrator building a nest with material of the colour that the observer did not prefer. After this experience, observers were given the chance to build a nest with materials of the two colours. Although two-thirds of the observer males preferred material of the demonstrated colour after viewing the demonstrator build a nest with material of that colour more than they had previously, their preference for the demonstrated material was not as strong as that of observers that had viewed live demonstrator builders in a previous experiment. Our results suggest researchers should proceed with caution before using video demonstration in tests of social learning. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  7. Epidemiology of a Salmonella enterica subsp. Enterica serovar Typhimurium strain associated with a songbird outbreak.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blehert, David S.; Hernandez, Sonia M.; Keel, Kevin; Sanchez, Susan; Trees, Eija; ,

    2012-01-01

    Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium is responsible for the majority of salmonellosis cases worldwide. This Salmonella serovar is also responsible for die-offs in songbird populations. In 2009, there was an S. Typhimurium epizootic reported in pine siskins in the eastern United States. At the time, there was also a human outbreak with this serovar that was associated with contaminated peanuts. As peanuts are also used in wild-bird food, it was hypothesized that the pine siskin epizootic was related to this human outbreak. A comparison of songbird and human S. Typhimurium pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns revealed that the epizootic was attributed not to the peanut-associated strain but, rather, to a songbird strain first characterized from an American goldfinch in 1998. This same S. Typhimurium strain (PFGE type A3) was also identified in the PulseNet USA database, accounting for 137 of 77,941 total S. Typhimurium PFGE entries. A second molecular typing method, multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA), confirmed that the same strain was responsible for the pine siskin epizootic in the eastern United States but was distinct from a genetically related strain isolated from pine siskins in Minnesota. The pine siskin A3 strain was first encountered in May 2008 in an American goldfinch and later in a northern cardinal at the start of the pine siskin epizootic. MLVA also confirmed the clonal nature of S. Typhimurium in songbirds and established that the pine siskin epizootic strain was unique to the finch family. For 2009, the distribution of PFGE type A3 in passerines and humans mirrored the highest population density of pine siskins for the East Coast.

  8. Pairing Behavior of the Monogamous King Quail, Coturnix chinensis.

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    Elizabeth Adkins-Regan

    Full Text Available Animals with socially monogamous mating systems are valuable for discovering proximate mechanisms of prosocial behavior and close social relationships. Especially powerful are comparisons between related species that differ in monogamous tendency. Birds are the most socially monogamous vertebrates. Thus far most research on mechanisms of pairing has used zebra finches, which do not have a relative with a different mating system, however. The goal of the experiments reported here was to develop a new comparative avian system by studying the pairing behavior of a reportedly strongly monogamous quail, the king quail (Coturnix chinensis, a species in the same clade as the less monogamous Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica, the subject of much prior research. In Experiment 1 male-female pairs of king quail housed together were initially avoidant or aggressive but most rapidly progressed to allopreening and huddling. A separation-reunion paradigm reliably elicited both of these behaviors in males that had cohabited for one week. In Experiment 2 the allopreening and huddling behavior of males in cohabiting pairs was highly selective, and a majority of the males were aggressive toward a familiar female that was not the cohabitation partner. In Experiment 3 males were separated from their female cohabitation partners for 9-10 weeks and then given two-choice tests. All but one male spent more time near an unfamiliar female, which may have reflected aggression and shows recognition of and memory for the past pairing experience. Thus king quail show robust, selective and easy to measure pairing behavior that can be reliably elicited with simple separation-reunion testing procedures. Copulation is rarely seen during tests. The behavior of king quail is a striking contrast to that of Japanese quail, providing a new comparative system for discovering mechanisms of behavior related to close social relationships and monogamy.

  9. Pairing Behavior of the Monogamous King Quail, Coturnix chinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adkins-Regan, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    Animals with socially monogamous mating systems are valuable for discovering proximate mechanisms of prosocial behavior and close social relationships. Especially powerful are comparisons between related species that differ in monogamous tendency. Birds are the most socially monogamous vertebrates. Thus far most research on mechanisms of pairing has used zebra finches, which do not have a relative with a different mating system, however. The goal of the experiments reported here was to develop a new comparative avian system by studying the pairing behavior of a reportedly strongly monogamous quail, the king quail (Coturnix chinensis), a species in the same clade as the less monogamous Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), the subject of much prior research. In Experiment 1 male-female pairs of king quail housed together were initially avoidant or aggressive but most rapidly progressed to allopreening and huddling. A separation-reunion paradigm reliably elicited both of these behaviors in males that had cohabited for one week. In Experiment 2 the allopreening and huddling behavior of males in cohabiting pairs was highly selective, and a majority of the males were aggressive toward a familiar female that was not the cohabitation partner. In Experiment 3 males were separated from their female cohabitation partners for 9-10 weeks and then given two-choice tests. All but one male spent more time near an unfamiliar female, which may have reflected aggression and shows recognition of and memory for the past pairing experience. Thus king quail show robust, selective and easy to measure pairing behavior that can be reliably elicited with simple separation-reunion testing procedures. Copulation is rarely seen during tests. The behavior of king quail is a striking contrast to that of Japanese quail, providing a new comparative system for discovering mechanisms of behavior related to close social relationships and monogamy.

  10. Comparative BAC-based mapping in the white-throated sparrow, a novel behavioral genomics model, using interspecies overgo hybridization

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    Gonser Rusty A

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genomics era has produced an arsenal of resources from sequenced organisms allowing researchers to target species that do not have comparable mapping and sequence information. These new "non-model" organisms offer unique opportunities to examine environmental effects on genomic patterns and processes. Here we use comparative mapping as a first step in characterizing the genome organization of a novel animal model, the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis, which occurs as white or tan morphs that exhibit alternative behaviors and physiology. Morph is determined by the presence or absence of a complex chromosomal rearrangement. This species is an ideal model for behavioral genomics because the association between genotype and phenotype is absolute, making it possible to identify the genomic bases of phenotypic variation. Findings We initiated a genomic study in this species by characterizing the white-throated sparrow BAC library via filter hybridization with overgo probes designed for the chicken, turkey, and zebra finch. Cross-species hybridization resulted in 640 positive sparrow BACs assigned to 77 chicken loci across almost all macro-and microchromosomes, with a focus on the chromosomes associated with morph. Out of 216 overgos, 36% of the probes hybridized successfully, with an average number of 3.0 positive sparrow BACs per overgo. Conclusions These data will be utilized for determining chromosomal architecture and for fine-scale mapping of candidate genes associated with phenotypic differences. Our research confirms the utility of interspecies hybridization for developing comparative maps in other non-model organisms.

  11. Exploring the nature of science through courage and purpose: a case study of Charles Darwin's way of knowing.

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    Cohen, Joel I

    2016-01-01

    In 1836, Charles Darwin returned to England with finches classified and seemingly showing little resemblance. However, subsequent examination by John Gould revealed 13 closely related species endemic to the Galápagos Islands. Despite initial confusion, and Darwin's overlooking to label these birds by island, some 100 years later they had become evolution's icon. The same could be said of Darwin's education and scientific pursuits, beginning in a rough, trial and error manner, lacking direction, but eventually benefitting from an unexpected opportunity that would lead to his theory of natural selection. This case study examines Darwin's way of learning and the reserve of courage and perseverance that he would need to see his treatise on evolution and natural selection published. To do this, themes from studying the "Nature of Science" are used to examine how Darwin's "way of knowing" advanced before and after his voyage upon HMS Beagle. Five themes from the "Nature of Science" were selected to illustrate Darwin's struggles and triumph: creating scientific knowledge is a human endeavor, such knowledge can explain an order and consistency in natural systems, knowledge comes from a scientist's way of knowing, is open to revision, and based on empirical evidence. The "Nature of Science" as applied to Charles Darwin is explored through the three above mentioned themes identified by the Next Generation Science Standards. Together, the themes help explain Darwin's way of knowing, from boyhood to manhood. This explanation helps humanize Darwin, allows students to see how he arrived at his theories, how the time taken to do so wore on his health and safety, and the risk Darwin had to weigh from their eventual publication. Each theme ends with a summary and related extension questions to draw students into the case, and facilitate inquiry. They relate Darwin's way of learning from the 1800s and his commitment to see his work published, to the learning environment of

  12. The seasonal role of field characteristics on seed-eating bird abundances in agricultural landscapes

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    Codesido, Mariano; Abba, Agustín M.; Bilenca, David

    2017-01-01

    Abstract In temperate agroecosystems, avian responses in abundance and distribution to landscape attributes may be exacerbated by the coupling of natural seasons and farming practices. We assessed the seasonal roles of field type, field use in the surroundings, and distance from a field to the nearest woodlot on the abundance of seed-eating birds in a 225,000 km2 study area in the Pampas of central Argentina. During spring-summer and autumn of 2011–2013, we randomly selected 392 fields and used transect samples to collect data on abundance and presence of seed-eating bird species. We recorded a total of 11,579 individuals belonging to 15 seed-eating bird species. We used generalized lineal mixed models to relate bird abundance to field type, field use in the surroundings, and distance to the nearest woodlot. In spring-summer (breeding season) most bird responses were associated with their nesting requirements. Species that build their nests in trees, such as eared doves Zenaida auriculata, picazuro pigeons Patagioenas picazuro, and monk parakeets Myiopsitta monachus, were more abundant in fields closer to woodlots, whereas grassland yellow-finches Sicalis luteola, which nest at areas with tall grasses, were more abundant in fields with livestock use patches in the field surroundings. In autumn (non-breeding season), most bird responses were associated with foraging and refuge needs. The high abundance of eared doves in crop stubbles and the association of pigeons at field surroundings dominated by croplands or at crop stubbles surrounded by livestock use fields revealed the intimate association of these species to sites with high availability of food resources. In addition, both picazuro pigeons and spot-winged pigeons Patagioenas maculosa were associated with woodlots, which provide suitable roosting sites. Our results show that in temperate agroecosystems, the relationships between field characteristics and seed-eating bird abundances vary with season. PMID

  13. Cortical inter-hemispheric circuits for multimodal vocal learning in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, Amy K; Bottjer, Sarah W

    2017-10-15

    Vocal learning in songbirds and humans is strongly influenced by social interactions based on sensory inputs from several modalities. Songbird vocal learning is mediated by cortico-basal ganglia circuits that include the SHELL region of lateral magnocellular nucleus of the anterior nidopallium (LMAN), but little is known concerning neural pathways that could integrate multimodal sensory information with SHELL circuitry. In addition, cortical pathways that mediate the precise coordination between hemispheres required for song production have been little studied. In order to identify candidate mechanisms for multimodal sensory integration and bilateral coordination for vocal learning in zebra finches, we investigated the anatomical organization of two regions that receive input from SHELL: the dorsal caudolateral nidopallium (dNCL SHELL ) and a region within the ventral arcopallium (Av). Anterograde and retrograde tracing experiments revealed a topographically organized inter-hemispheric circuit: SHELL and dNCL SHELL , as well as adjacent nidopallial areas, send axonal projections to ipsilateral Av; Av in turn projects to contralateral SHELL, dNCL SHELL , and regions of nidopallium adjacent to each. Av on each side also projects directly to contralateral Av. dNCL SHELL and Av each integrate inputs from ipsilateral SHELL with inputs from sensory regions in surrounding nidopallium, suggesting that they function to integrate multimodal sensory information with song-related responses within LMAN-SHELL during vocal learning. Av projections share this integrated information from the ipsilateral hemisphere with contralateral sensory and song-learning regions. Our results suggest that the inter-hemispheric pathway through Av may function to integrate multimodal sensory feedback with vocal-learning circuitry and coordinate bilateral vocal behavior. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Evolution of trappin genes in mammals

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    Furutani Yutaka

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Trappin is a multifunctional host-defense peptide that has antiproteolytic, antiinflammatory, and antimicrobial activities. The numbers and compositions of trappin paralogs vary among mammalian species: human and sheep have a single trappin-2 gene; mouse and rat have no trappin gene; pig and cow have multiple trappin genes; and guinea pig has a trappin gene and two other derivativegenes. Independent duplications of trappin genes in pig and cow were observed recently after the species were separated. To determine whether these trappin gene duplications are restricted only to certain mammalian lineages, we analyzed recently-developed genome databases for the presence of duplicate trappin genes. Results The database analyses revealed that: 1 duplicated trappin multigenes were found recently in the nine-banded armadillo; 2 duplicated two trappin genes had been found in the Afrotherian species (elephant, tenrec, and hyrax since ancient days; 3 a single trappin-2 gene was found in various eutherians species; and 4 no typical trappin gene has been found in chicken, zebra finch, and opossum. Bayesian analysis estimated the date of the duplication of trappin genes in the Afrotheria, guinea pig, armadillo, cow, and pig to be 244, 35, 11, 13, and 3 million-years ago, respectively. The coding regions of trappin multigenes of almadillo, bovine, and pig evolved much faster than the noncoding exons, introns, and the flanking regions, showing that these genes have undergone accelerated evolution, and positive Darwinian selection was observed in pig-specific trappin paralogs. Conclusion These results suggest that trappin is an eutherian-specific molecule and eutherian genomes have the potential to form trappin multigenes.

  15. The effect of recumbency position on the ultrasound measurement of the canine adrenal gland in non-adrenal gland illness

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    Rose AM

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Anne Marie Rose,1 Thurid Johnstone,1,2 Sue Finch,3 Cathy Beck1 1U-Vet Animal Hospital Werribee, The University of Melbourne, 2TRACTS Translational Research and Clinical Trial Study Group, The University of Melbourne, 3Statistical Consulting Centre, School of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia Abstract: Abdominal ultrasound is frequently used to assess the canine adrenal gland (AG and subjective and objective features of normal AGs have been described. The effect of the dogs’ recumbency position on the accuracy of AG measurement acquisition is not known. This prospective study, performed in dogs with non-adrenal illness, compared ultrasonographic AG measurements made in dogs placed in dorsal recumbency with those made in left or right lateral recumbency. AG length, height and width measurements made in the longitudinal image plane, and height and width measurements from the transverse image plane were assessed. The level and limits of agreement between the dorsal and lateral recumbency for each of the measurements were determined using the Bland–Altman analysis. The measurement with the best agreement between the dorsal and lateral recumbency was the caudal pole thickness (CPT from the longitudinal image plane. Agreement between lateral and dorsal recumbency was poorer for the measurements derived from the transverse image plane and poorest for measurements of AG length in the longitudinal plane. This study demonstrates that there is some difference in the measurements acquired in dorsal compared with lateral recumbency; however, the difference is small for the CPT from the longitudinal plane. This finding suggests that the CPT from the longitudinal image plane is the most reliable measurement in terms of agreement between dorsal and lateral recumbency in dogs with non-AG illness. Keywords: adrenal glands, ultrasonography, normal, dog, recumbency

  16. Physiological effects of increased foraging effort in a small passerine.

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    Yap, Kang Nian; Kim, Oh Run; Harris, Karilyn C; Williams, Tony D

    2017-11-15

    Foraging to obtain food, either for self-maintenance or at presumably elevated rates to provide for offspring, is thought to be an energetically demanding activity but one that is essential for fitness (higher reproductive success and survival). Nevertheless, the physiological mechanisms that allow some individuals to support higher foraging performance, and the mechanisms underlying costs of high workload, remain poorly understood. We experimentally manipulated foraging behaviour in zebra finches ( Taeniopygia guttata ) using the technique described by Koetsier and Verhulst (2011) Birds in the 'high foraging effort' (HF) group had to obtain food either while flying/hovering or by making repeated hops or jumps from the ground up to the feeder, behaviour typical of the extremely energetically expensive foraging mode observed in many free-living small passerines. HF birds made significantly more trips to the feeder per 10 min, whereas control birds spent more time (perched) at the feeder. Despite this marked change in foraging behaviour, we documented few short- or long-term effects of 'training' (3 days and 90 days of 'training', respectively) and some of these effects were sex specific. There were no effects of treatment on basal metabolic rate, haematocrit, haemoglobin or plasma glycerol, triglyceride and glucose levels, and masses of kidney, crop, large intestine, small intestine, gizzard and liver. HF females had higher masses of flight muscle, leg muscle, heart and lung compared with controls. In contrast, HF males had lower heart mass than controls and there were no differences for other organs. When both sexes were pooled, there were no effects of treatment on body composition. Finally, birds in the HF treatment group had higher levels of reactive oxygen metabolites (dROMs) and, consequently, although treatment did not affect total anti-oxidant capacity, birds in the HF treatment group had higher oxidative stress. © 2017. Published by The Company of

  17. A micro-scale printable nanoclip for electrical stimulation and recording in small nerves

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    Lissandrello, Charles A.; Gillis, Winthrop F.; Shen, Jun; Pearre, Ben W.; Vitale, Flavia; Pasquali, Matteo; Holinski, Bradley J.; Chew, Daniel J.; White, Alice E.; Gardner, Timothy J.

    2017-06-01

    Objective. The vision of bioelectronic medicine is to treat disease by modulating the signaling of visceral nerves near various end organs. In small animal models, the nerves of interest can have small diameters and limited surgical access. New high-resolution methods for building nerve interfaces are desirable. In this study, we present a novel nerve interface and demonstrate its use for stimulation and recording in small nerves. Approach. We design and fabricate micro-scale electrode-laden nanoclips capable of interfacing with nerves as small as 50 µm in diameter. The nanoclips are fabricated using a direct laser writing technique with a resolution of 200 nm. The resolution of the printing process allows for incorporation of a number of innovations such as trapdoors to secure the device to the nerve, and quick-release mounts that facilitate keyhole surgery, obviating the need for forceps. The nanoclip can be built around various electrode materials; here we use carbon nanotube fibers for minimally invasive tethering. Main results. We present data from stimulation-evoked responses of the tracheal syringeal (hypoglossal) nerve of the zebra finch, as well as quantification of nerve functionality at various time points post implant, demonstrating that the nanoclip is compatible with healthy nerve activity over sub-chronic timescales. Significance. Our nerve interface addresses key challenges in interfacing with small nerves in the peripheral nervous system. Its small size, ability to remain on the nerve over sub-chronic timescales, and ease of implantation, make it a promising tool for future use in the treatment of disease.

  18. Sleep and Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margoliash, Daniel

    2010-03-01

    The neural basis of cognition represents a grand challenge problem involving multiple disciplines and approaches to the analysis of behavior. Song learning by juvenile songbirds such as zebra finches has proven to have considerable utility for exploring how behavior is represented at multiple levels of brain function. As classically described, young birds are exposed to a ``tutor'' (adult) song and commit that song to memory early in life, then engage in an extended period (weeks) of plastic singing as they slowly learn to match vocal output to the tutor song memory via auditory feedback. In recent years, the role of sleep in learning processes has been actively explored. Young birds isolated from adult songs, then suddenly given access to such songs at circa 40 days of age, show a sudden change in their singing behavior starting on the day following first exposure. Such birds sing songs that have less structure in the mornings than do the songs sung in the afternoons before or after that morning. This fluctuation is directly the result of sleep (not circadian rhythm), and the magnitude of fluctuation is positively correlated with the ultimate similarity to the tutor song. Examining spontaneous neuronal activity in certain brain structures during the night in sleeping adults shows ``replay'' of the patterns of activity the same neurons exhibit during daytime singing, and ``preplay'' of new patterns that will first be incorporated into daytime singing the following day. In experiments on juveniles, nighttime neuronal activity shows dramatic changes associated with song learning, even on the night after the first day of tutor song exposure (preceding changes in singing behavior). Offline processing, especially sleep, has been well documented to participate in memory consolidation in a very broad range of behaviors including in humans. Placing the bird song results in a theoretical framework thereby helps to inform a very broad range of phenomena.

  19. Early development conditions and the oxidative cost of social context in adulthood: an experimental study in birds

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    Ana eRomero-Haro

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Environmental conditions during early life may shape phenotype in adulthood. Early adverse conditions may increase the oxidative stress in adults, which could affect their reproductive output and survival. It has also been hypothesized that the larger the reproductive investment, the higher the oxidative stress. We tested this and the potential influence of early oxidative stress on how individuals respond to a reproductive stimulation. The synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione was inhibited in captive zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata during growth. In adulthood, the expression of a carotenoid-b