WorldWideScience

Sample records for bird evolution testing

  1. Bird evolution: testing the Metaves clade with six new mitochondrial genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phillips Matthew J

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary biologists are often misled by convergence of morphology and this has been common in the study of bird evolution. However, the use of molecular data sets have their own problems and phylogenies based on short DNA sequences have the potential to mislead us too. The relationships among clades and timing of the evolution of modern birds (Neoaves has not yet been well resolved. Evidence of convergence of morphology remain controversial. With six new bird mitochondrial genomes (hummingbird, swift, kagu, rail, flamingo and grebe we test the proposed Metaves/Coronaves division within Neoaves and the parallel radiations in this primary avian clade. Results Our mitochondrial trees did not return the Metaves clade that had been proposed based on one nuclear intron sequence. We suggest that the high number of indels within the seventh intron of the β-fibrinogen gene at this phylogenetic level, which left a dataset with not a single site across the alignment shared by all taxa, resulted in artifacts during analysis. With respect to the overall avian tree, we find the flamingo and grebe are sister taxa and basal to the shorebirds (Charadriiformes. Using a novel site-stripping technique for noise-reduction we found this relationship to be stable. The hummingbird/swift clade is outside the large and very diverse group of raptors, shore and sea birds. Unexpectedly the kagu is not closely related to the rail in our analysis, but because neither the kagu nor the rail have close affinity to any taxa within this dataset of 41 birds, their placement is not yet resolved. Conclusion Our phylogenetic hypothesis based on 41 avian mitochondrial genomes (13,229 bp rejects monophyly of seven Metaves species and we therefore conclude that the members of Metaves do not share a common evolutionary history within the Neoaves.

  2. Current perspectives on the evolution of birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ericson, P.G.P.

    2008-01-01

    The paper summarizes the current understanding of the evolution and diversification of birds. New insights into this field have mainly come from two fundamentally different, but complementary sources of information: the many newly discovered Mesozoic bird fossils and the wealth of genetic analyses

  3. Temporal genomic evolution of bird sex chromosomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Zongji; Zhang, Jilin; Yang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Sex chromosomes exhibit many unusual patterns in sequence and gene expression relative to autosomes. Birds have evolved a female heterogametic sex system (male ZZ, female ZW), through stepwise suppression of recombination between chrZ and chrW. To address the broad patterns and complex...... driving forces of Z chromosome evolution, we analyze here 45 newly available bird genomes and four species' transcriptomes, over their course of recombination loss between the sex chromosomes. RESULTS: We show Z chromosomes in general have a significantly higher substitution rate in introns and synonymous...... ('fast-Z' evolution). And species with a lower level of intronic heterozygosities tend to evolve even faster on the Z chromosome. Further analysis of fast-evolving genes' enriched functional categories and sex-biased expression patterns support that, fast-Z evolution in birds is mainly driven by genetic...

  4. Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Graeme T.

    2016-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap between Archaeopteryx and crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. PMID:27053742

  5. Rates of morphological evolution are heterogeneous in Early Cretaceous birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Lloyd, Graeme T

    2016-04-13

    The Early Cretaceous is a critical interval in the early history of birds. Exceptional fossils indicate that important evolutionary novelties such as a pygostyle and a keeled sternum had already arisen in Early Cretaceous taxa, bridging much of the morphological gap between Archaeopteryx and crown birds. However, detailed features of basal bird evolution remain obscure because of both the small sample of fossil taxa previously considered and a lack of quantitative studies assessing rates of morphological evolution. Here we apply a recently available phylogenetic method and associated sensitivity tests to a large data matrix of morphological characters to quantify rates of morphological evolution in Early Cretaceous birds. Our results reveal that although rates were highly heterogeneous between different Early Cretaceous avian lineages, consistent patterns of significantly high or low rates were harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, evidence for accelerated evolutionary rates is strongest at the point when Ornithuromorpha (the clade comprises all extant birds and descendants from their most recent common ancestors) split from Enantiornithes (a diverse clade that went extinct at the end-Cretaceous), consistent with the hypothesis that this key split opened up new niches and ultimately led to greater diversity for these two dominant clades of Mesozoic birds. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Temporal genomic evolution of bird sex chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zongji; Zhang, Jilin; Yang, Wei; An, Na; Zhang, Pei; Zhang, Guojie; Zhou, Qi

    2014-12-12

    Sex chromosomes exhibit many unusual patterns in sequence and gene expression relative to autosomes. Birds have evolved a female heterogametic sex system (male ZZ, female ZW), through stepwise suppression of recombination between chrZ and chrW. To address the broad patterns and complex driving forces of Z chromosome evolution, we analyze here 45 newly available bird genomes and four species' transcriptomes, over their course of recombination loss between the sex chromosomes. We show Z chromosomes in general have a significantly higher substitution rate in introns and synonymous protein-coding sites than autosomes, driven by the male-to-female mutation bias ('male-driven evolution' effect). Our genome-wide estimate reveals that the degree of such a bias ranges from 1.6 to 3.8 among different species. G + C content of third codon positions exhibits the same trend of gradual changes with that of introns, between chrZ and autosomes or regions with increasing ages of becoming Z-linked, therefore codon usage bias in birds is probably driven by the mutational bias. On the other hand, Z chromosomes also evolve significantly faster at nonsynonymous sites relative to autosomes ('fast-Z' evolution). And species with a lower level of intronic heterozygosities tend to evolve even faster on the Z chromosome. Further analysis of fast-evolving genes' enriched functional categories and sex-biased expression patterns support that, fast-Z evolution in birds is mainly driven by genetic drift. Finally, we show in species except for chicken, gene expression becomes more male-biased within Z-linked regions that have became hemizygous in females for a longer time, suggesting a lack of global dosage compensation in birds, and the reported regional dosage compensation in chicken has only evolved very recently. In conclusion, we uncover that the sequence and expression patterns of Z chromosome genes covary with their ages of becoming Z-linked. In contrast to the mammalian X chromosomes, such

  7. Evolution of olfaction in non-avian theropod dinosaurs and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François; Ridgely, Ryan C; McGee, Amanda R; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2011-12-22

    Little is known about the olfactory capabilities of extinct basal (non-neornithine) birds or the evolutionary changes in olfaction that occurred from non-avian theropods through modern birds. Although modern birds are known to have diverse olfactory capabilities, olfaction is generally considered to have declined during avian evolution as visual and vestibular sensory enhancements occurred in association with flight. To test the hypothesis that olfaction diminished through avian evolution, we assessed relative olfactory bulb size, here used as a neuroanatomical proxy for olfactory capabilities, in 157 species of non-avian theropods, fossil birds and living birds. We show that relative olfactory bulb size increased during non-avian maniraptoriform evolution, remained stable across the non-avian theropod/bird transition, and increased during basal bird and early neornithine evolution. From early neornithines through a major part of neornithine evolution, the relative size of the olfactory bulbs remained stable before decreasing in derived neoavian clades. Our results show that, rather than decreasing, the importance of olfaction actually increased during early bird evolution, representing a previously unrecognized sensory enhancement. The relatively larger olfactory bulbs of earliest neornithines, compared with those of basal birds, may have endowed neornithines with improved olfaction for more effective foraging or navigation skills, which in turn may have been a factor allowing them to survive the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

  8. Evolution of the hippocampus in reptiles and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Striedter, Georg F

    2016-02-15

    Although the hippocampus is structurally quite different among reptiles, birds, and mammals, its function in spatial memory is said to be highly conserved. This is surprising, given that structural differences generally reflect functional differences. Here I review this enigma in some detail, identifying several evolutionary changes in hippocampal cytoarchitecture and connectivity. I recognize a lepidosaurid pattern of hippocampal organization (in lizards, snakes, and the tuatara Sphenodon) that differs substantially from the pattern of organization observed in the turtle/archosaur lineage, which includes crocodilians and birds. Although individual subdivisions of the hippocampus are difficult to homologize between these two patterns, both lack a clear homolog of the mammalian dentate gyrus. The strictly trilaminar organization of the ancestral amniote hippocampus was gradually lost in the lineage leading to birds, and birds expanded the system of intrahippocampal axon collaterals, relative to turtles and lizards. These expanded collateral axon branches resemble the extensive collaterals in CA3 of the mammalian hippocampus but probably evolved independently of them. Additional examples of convergent evolution between birds and mammals are the loss of direct inputs to the hippocampus from the primary olfactory cortex and the general expansion of telencephalic regions that communicate reciprocally with the hippocampus. Given this structural convergence, it seems likely that some similarities in the function of the hippocampus between birds and mammals, notably its role in the ability to remember many different locations without extensive training, likewise evolved convergently. The currently available data do not allow for a strong test of this hypothesis, but the hypothesis itself suggests some promising new research directions. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. THE EVOLUTION OF SPERM SIZE IN BIRDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briskie, James V; Montgomerie, Robert; Birkhead, Tim R

    1997-06-01

    Sperm size varies enormously among species, but the reasons for this variation remain obscure. Since it has been suggested that swimming velocity increases with sperm length, earlier studies proposed longer (and therefore faster) sperm are advantageous under conditions of intense sperm competition. Nonetheless, previous work has been equivocal, perhaps because the intensity of sperm competition was measured indirectly. DNA profiling now provides a more direct measure of the number of offspring sired by extrapair males, and thus a more direct method of assessing the potential for sperm competition. Using a sample of 21 species of passerine birds for which DNA profiling data were available, we found a positive relation between sperm length and the degree of extrapair paternity. A path analysis, however, revealed that this relationship arises only indirectly through the positive relationship between the rate of extrapair paternity and length of sperm storage tubules (SSTs) in the female. As sperm length is correlated positively with SST length, an increase in the intensity of sperm competition leads to an increase in sperm length only through its effect on SST length. Why females vary SST length with the intensity of sperm competition is not clear, but one possibility is that it increases female control over how sperm are used in fertilization. Males, in turn, may respond on an evolutionary time scale to changes in SST size by increasing sperm length to prevent displacement from rival sperm. Previous theoretical analyses predicting that sperm size should decrease as sperm competition becomes more intense were not supported by our findings. We suggest that future models of sperm-size evolution consider not only the role of sperm competition, but also how female control and manipulation of ejaculates after insemination selects for different sperm morphologies. © 1997 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  10. Ecological aspects of social evolution: birds and mammals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rubenstein, D.I; Wrangham, R.W

    1986-01-01

    Seeking common principles of social evolution in different taxonomic groups, the contributors to this volume discuss eighteen groups of birds and mammals for which long-term field studies have been carried...

  11. Mosaic and concerted evolution in the visual system of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristián; Iwaniuk, Andrew N; Moore, Bret A; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban; Corfield, Jeremy R; Krilow, Justin M; Kolominsky, Jeffrey; Wylie, Douglas R

    2014-01-01

    Two main models have been proposed to explain how the relative size of neural structures varies through evolution. In the mosaic evolution model, individual brain structures vary in size independently of each other, whereas in the concerted evolution model developmental constraints result in different parts of the brain varying in size in a coordinated manner. Several studies have shown variation of the relative size of individual nuclei in the vertebrate brain, but it is currently not known if nuclei belonging to the same functional pathway vary independently of each other or in a concerted manner. The visual system of birds offers an ideal opportunity to specifically test which of the two models apply to an entire sensory pathway. Here, we examine the relative size of 9 different visual nuclei across 98 species of birds. This includes data on interspecific variation in the cytoarchitecture and relative size of the isthmal nuclei, which has not been previously reported. We also use a combination of statistical analyses, phylogenetically corrected principal component analysis and evolutionary rates of change on the absolute and relative size of the nine nuclei, to test if visual nuclei evolved in a concerted or mosaic manner. Our results strongly indicate a combination of mosaic and concerted evolution (in the relative size of nine nuclei) within the avian visual system. Specifically, the relative size of the isthmal nuclei and parts of the tectofugal pathway covary across species in a concerted fashion, whereas the relative volume of the other visual nuclei measured vary independently of one another, such as that predicted by the mosaic model. Our results suggest the covariation of different neural structures depends not only on the functional connectivity of each nucleus, but also on the diversity of afferents and efferents of each nucleus.

  12. Predictable evolution toward flightlessness in volant island birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Natalie A; Steadman, David W; Witt, Christopher C

    2016-04-26

    Birds are prolific colonists of islands, where they readily evolve distinct forms. Identifying predictable, directional patterns of evolutionary change in island birds, however, has proved challenging. The "island rule" predicts that island species evolve toward intermediate sizes, but its general applicability to birds is questionable. However, convergent evolution has clearly occurred in the island bird lineages that have undergone transitions to secondary flightlessness, a process involving drastic reduction of the flight muscles and enlargement of the hindlimbs. Here, we investigated whether volant island bird populations tend to change shape in a way that converges subtly on the flightless form. We found that island bird species have evolved smaller flight muscles than their continental relatives. Furthermore, in 366 populations of Caribbean and Pacific birds, smaller flight muscles and longer legs evolved in response to increasing insularity and, strikingly, the scarcity of avian and mammalian predators. On smaller islands with fewer predators, birds exhibited shifts in investment from forelimbs to hindlimbs that were qualitatively similar to anatomical rearrangements observed in flightless birds. These findings suggest that island bird populations tend to evolve on a trajectory toward flightlessness, even if most remain volant. This pattern was consistent across nine families and four orders that vary in lifestyle, foraging behavior, flight style, and body size. These predictable shifts in avian morphology may reduce the physical capacity for escape via flight and diminish the potential for small-island taxa to diversify via dispersal.

  13. Evolution of bird genomes-a transposon's-eye view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapusta, Aurélie; Suh, Alexander

    2017-02-01

    Birds, the most species-rich monophyletic group of land vertebrates, have been subject to some of the most intense sequencing efforts to date, making them an ideal case study for recent developments in genomics research. Here, we review how our understanding of bird genomes has changed with the recent sequencing of more than 75 species from all major avian taxa. We illuminate avian genome evolution from a previously neglected perspective: their repetitive genomic parasites, transposable elements (TEs) and endogenous viral elements (EVEs). We show that (1) birds are unique among vertebrates in terms of their genome organization; (2) information about the diversity of avian TEs and EVEs is changing rapidly; (3) flying birds have smaller genomes yet more TEs than flightless birds; (4) current second-generation genome assemblies fail to capture the variation in avian chromosome number and genome size determined with cytogenetics; (5) the genomic microcosm of bird-TE "arms races" has yet to be explored; and (6) upcoming third-generation genome assemblies suggest that birds exhibit stability in gene-rich regions and instability in TE-rich regions. We emphasize that integration of cytogenetics and single-molecule technologies with repeat-resolved genome assemblies is essential for understanding the evolution of (bird) genomes. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  14. Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Kieren J; Llamas, Bastien; Soubrier, Julien; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Worthy, Trevor H; Wood, Jamie; Lee, Michael S Y; Cooper, Alan

    2014-05-23

    The evolution of the ratite birds has been widely attributed to vicariant speciation, driven by the Cretaceous breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana. The early isolation of Africa and Madagascar implies that the ostrich and extinct Madagascan elephant birds (Aepyornithidae) should be the oldest ratite lineages. We sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of two elephant birds and performed phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that these birds are the closest relatives of the New Zealand kiwi and are distant from the basal ratite lineage of ostriches. This unexpected result strongly contradicts continental vicariance and instead supports flighted dispersal in all major ratite lineages. We suggest that convergence toward gigantism and flightlessness was facilitated by early Tertiary expansion into the diurnal herbivory niche after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  15. Novel Insights into Chromosome Evolution in Birds, Archosaurs, and Reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farré, Marta; Narayan, Jitendra; Slavov, Gancho T; Damas, Joana; Auvil, Loretta; Li, Cai; Jarvis, Erich D; Burt, David W; Griffin, Darren K; Larkin, Denis M

    2016-08-25

    Homologous synteny blocks (HSBs) and evolutionary breakpoint regions (EBRs) in mammalian chromosomes are enriched for distinct DNA features, contributing to distinct phenotypes. To reveal HSB and EBR roles in avian evolution, we performed a sequence-based comparison of 21 avian and 5 outgroup species using recently sequenced genomes across the avian family tree and a newly-developed algorithm. We identified EBRs and HSBs in ancestral bird, archosaurian (bird, crocodile, and dinosaur), and reptile chromosomes. Genes involved in the regulation of gene expression and biosynthetic processes were preferably located in HSBs, including for example, avian-specific HSBs enriched for genes involved in limb development. Within birds, some lineage-specific EBRs rearranged genes were related to distinct phenotypes, such as forebrain development in parrots. Our findings provide novel evolutionary insights into genome evolution in birds, particularly on how chromosome rearrangements likely contributed to the formation of novel phenotypes. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  16. The evolution of parental cooperation in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remeš, Vladimír; Freckleton, Robert P; Tökölyi, Jácint; Liker, András; Székely, Tamás

    2015-11-03

    Parental care is one of the most variable social behaviors and it is an excellent model system to understand cooperation between unrelated individuals. Three major hypotheses have been proposed to explain the extent of parental cooperation: sexual selection, social environment, and environmental harshness. Using the most comprehensive dataset on parental care that includes 659 bird species from 113 families covering both uniparental and biparental taxa, we show that the degree of parental cooperation is associated with both sexual selection and social environment. Consistent with recent theoretical models parental cooperation decreases with the intensity of sexual selection and with skewed adult sex ratios. These effects are additive and robust to the influence of life-history variables. However, parental cooperation is unrelated to environmental factors (measured at the scale of whole species ranges) as indicated by a lack of consistent relationship with ambient temperature, rainfall or their fluctuations within and between years. These results highlight the significance of social effects for parental cooperation and suggest that several parental strategies may coexist in a given set of ambient environment.

  17. Bird embryos uncover homology and evolution of the dinosaur ankle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ossa-Fuentes, Luis; Mpodozis, Jorge; Vargas, Alexander O

    2015-11-13

    The anklebone (astragalus) of dinosaurs presents a characteristic upward projection, the 'ascending process' (ASC). The ASC is present in modern birds, but develops a separate ossification centre, and projects from the calcaneum in most species. These differences have been argued to make it non-comparable to dinosaurs. We studied ASC development in six different orders of birds using traditional techniques and spin-disc microscopy for whole-mount immunofluorescence. Unexpectedly, we found the ASC derives from the embryonic intermedium, an ancient element of the tetrapod ankle. In some birds it comes in contact with the astragalus, and, in others, with the calcaneum. The fact that the intermedium fails to fuse early with the tibiale and develops an ossification centre is unlike any other amniotes, yet resembles basal, amphibian-grade tetrapods. The ASC originated in early dinosaurs along changes to upright posture and locomotion, revealing an intriguing combination of functional innovation and reversion in its evolution.

  18. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael Galván

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models.

  19. Correlated evolution of sternal keel length and ilium length in birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tao Zhao

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The interplay between the pectoral module (the pectoral girdle and limbs and the pelvic module (the pelvic girdle and limbs plays a key role in shaping avian evolution, but prior empirical studies on trait covariation between the two modules are limited. Here we empirically test whether (size-corrected sternal keel length and ilium length are correlated during avian evolution using phylogenetic comparative methods. Our analyses on extant birds and Mesozoic birds both recover a significantly positive correlation. The results provide new evidence regarding the integration between the pelvic and pectoral modules. The correlated evolution of sternal keel length and ilium length may serve as a mechanism to cope with the effect on performance caused by a tradeoff in muscle mass between the pectoral and pelvic modules, via changing moment arms of muscles that function in flight and in terrestrial locomotion.

  20. The evolution of bird migration--a synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salewski, Volker; Bruderer, Bruno

    2007-04-01

    We approach the problem of the evolution of bird migration by asking whether migration evolves towards new breeding areas or towards survival areas in the non-breeding season. Thus, we avoid the ambiguity of the usually discussed "southern-home-theory" or "northern-home-theory". We argue that migration evolved in birds that spread to seasonal habitats through gradual dispersal to enhance survival during the non-breeding season; this in contrast to the alternative idea suggesting that migration evolved towards new breeding areas to increase reproductive success. Our synthesis is based on the threshold model explaining how migratory traits can change rapidly through microevolutionary processes. Our model brings former theories together and explains how bird migration, with the appropriate direction and time program, evolves through selection after genetically non-directed events such as dispersal and colonization. The model does not need the former untested assumptions such as competition as a reason for migration and for the disappearance of sedentary populations or higher reproductive success in temperate breeding areas. Our theory offers answers to questions such as how birds with a southern origin may gradually reach northern latitudes, why migration routes may follow historical expansion routes and why birds leave an area for the non-breeding season and move back instead of breeding on their wintering grounds. The theory proposes gradual change through selection and not sudden changes such as long distance dispersal or mutations and can be applied to migration at all latitudes and in all directions. The scenario provides a reasonable concept to understand most of the existing migratory phenomena on the basis of the ecology and genetics of migratory behaviour.

  1. HIGH RATES OF EVOLUTION PRECEDED THE ORIGIN OF BIRDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puttick, Mark N; Thomas, Gavin H; Benton, Michael J; Polly, P David

    2014-01-01

    The origin of birds (Aves) is one of the great evolutionary transitions. Fossils show that many unique morphological features of modern birds, such as feathers, reduction in body size, and the semilunate carpal, long preceded the origin of clade Aves, but some may be unique to Aves, such as relative elongation of the forelimb. We study the evolution of body size and forelimb length across the phylogeny of coelurosaurian theropods and Mesozoic Aves. Using recently developed phylogenetic comparative methods, we find an increase in rates of body size and body size dependent forelimb evolution leading to small body size relative to forelimb length in Paraves, the wider clade comprising Aves and Deinonychosauria. The high evolutionary rates arose primarily from a reduction in body size, as there were no increased rates of forelimb evolution. In line with a recent study, we find evidence that Aves appear to have a unique relationship between body size and forelimb dimensions. Traits associated with Aves evolved before their origin, at high rates, and support the notion that numerous lineages of paravians were experimenting with different modes of flight through the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. PMID:24471891

  2. Modular color evolution facilitated by a complex nanostructure in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliason, Chad M; Maia, Rafael; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2015-02-01

    The way in which a complex trait varies, and thus evolves, is critically affected by the independence, or modularity, of its subunits. How modular designs facilitate phenotypic diversification is well studied in nonornamental (e.g., cichlid jaws), but not ornamental traits. Diverse feather colors in birds are produced by light absorption by pigments and/or light scattering by nanostructures. Such structural colors are deterministically related to the nanostructures that produce them and are therefore excellent systems to study modularity and diversity of ornamental traits. Elucidating if and how these nanostructures facilitate color diversity relies on understanding how nanostructural traits covary, and how these traits map to color. Both of these remain unknown in an evolutionary context. Most dabbling ducks (Anatidae) have a conspicuous wing patch with iridescent color caused by a two-dimensional photonic crystal of small (100-200 nm) melanosomes. Here, we ask how this complex nanostructure affects modularity of color attributes. Using a combination of electron microscopy, spectrophotometry, and comparative methods, we show that nanostructural complexity causes functional decoupling and enables independent evolution of different color traits. These results demonstrate that color diversity is facilitated by how nanostructures function and may explain why some birds are more color-diverse than others. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  3. Structuring evolution: biochemical networks and metabolic diversification in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Erin S; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2016-08-25

    Recurrence and predictability of evolution are thought to reflect the correspondence between genomic and phenotypic dimensions of organisms, and the connectivity in deterministic networks within these dimensions. Direct examination of the correspondence between opportunities for diversification imbedded in such networks and realized diversity is illuminating, but is empirically challenging because both the deterministic networks and phenotypic diversity are modified in the course of evolution. Here we overcome this problem by directly comparing the structure of a "global" carotenoid network - comprising of all known enzymatic reactions among naturally occurring carotenoids - with the patterns of evolutionary diversification in carotenoid-producing metabolic networks utilized by birds. We found that phenotypic diversification in carotenoid networks across 250 species was closely associated with enzymatic connectivity of the underlying biochemical network - compounds with greater connectivity occurred the most frequently across species and were the hotspots of metabolic pathway diversification. In contrast, we found no evidence for diversification along the metabolic pathways, corroborating findings that the utilization of the global carotenoid network was not strongly influenced by history in avian evolution. The finding that the diversification in species-specific carotenoid networks is qualitatively predictable from the connectivity of the underlying enzymatic network points to significant structural determinism in phenotypic evolution.

  4. The evolution of plumage polymorphism in birds of prey and owls: the apostatic selection hypothesis revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowlie, M K; Krüger, O

    2003-07-01

    Co-evolution between phenotypic variation and other traits is of paramount importance for our understanding of the origin and maintenance of polymorphism in natural populations. We tested whether the evolution of plumage polymorphism in birds of prey and owls was supported by the apostatic selection hypothesis using ecological and life-history variables in birds of prey and owls and performing both cross taxa and independent contrast analyses. For both bird groups, we did not find any support for the apostatic selection hypothesis being the maintaining factor for the polymorphism: plumage polymorphism was not more common in taxa hunting avian or mammalian prey, nor in migratory species. In contrast, we found that polymorphism was related to variables such as sexual plumage dimorphism, population size and range size, as well as breeding altitude and breeding latitude. These results imply that the most likely evolutionary correlate of polymorphism in both bird groups is population size, different plumage morphs might simply arise in larger populations most likely because of a higher probability of mutations and then be maintained by sexual selection.

  5. Bone-associated gene evolution and the origin of flight in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, João Paulo; Johnson, Warren E; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Zhang, Guojie; Jarvis, Erich D; O'Brien, Stephen J; Antunes, Agostinho

    2016-05-18

    Bones have been subjected to considerable selective pressure throughout vertebrate evolution, such as occurred during the adaptations associated with the development of powered flight. Powered flight evolved independently in two extant clades of vertebrates, birds and bats. While this trait provided advantages such as in aerial foraging habits, escape from predators or long-distance travels, it also imposed great challenges, namely in the bone structure. We performed comparative genomic analyses of 89 bone-associated genes from 47 avian genomes (including 45 new), 39 mammalian, and 20 reptilian genomes, and demonstrate that birds, after correcting for multiple testing, have an almost two-fold increase in the number of bone-associated genes with evidence of positive selection (~52.8 %) compared with mammals (~30.3 %). Most of the positive-selected genes in birds are linked with bone regulation and remodeling and thirteen have been linked with functional pathways relevant to powered flight, including bone metabolism, bone fusion, muscle development and hyperglycemia levels. Genes encoding proteins involved in bone resorption, such as TPP1, had a high number of sites under Darwinian selection in birds. Patterns of positive selection observed in bird ossification genes suggest that there was a period of intense selective pressure to improve flight efficiency that was closely linked with constraints on body size.

  6. Song evolution, speciation, and vocal learning in passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Nicholas A; Burns, Kevin J; Tobias, Joseph A; Claramunt, Santiago; Seddon, Nathalie; Derryberry, Elizabeth P

    2017-03-01

    Phenotypic divergence can promote reproductive isolation and speciation, suggesting a possible link between rates of phenotypic evolution and the tempo of speciation at multiple evolutionary scales. To date, most macroevolutionary studies of diversification have focused on morphological traits, whereas behavioral traits─including vocal signals─are rarely considered. Thus, although behavioral traits often mediate mate choice and gene flow, we have a limited understanding of how behavioral evolution contributes to diversification. Furthermore, the developmental mode by which behavioral traits are acquired may affect rates of behavioral evolution, although this hypothesis is seldom tested in a phylogenetic framework. Here, we examine evidence for rate shifts in vocal evolution and speciation across two major radiations of codistributed passerines: one oscine clade with learned songs (Thraupidae) and one suboscine clade with innate songs (Furnariidae). We find that evolutionary bursts in rates of speciation and song evolution are coincident in both thraupids and furnariids. Further, overall rates of vocal evolution are higher among taxa with learned rather than innate songs. Taken together, these findings suggest an association between macroevolutionary bursts in speciation and vocal evolution, and that the tempo of behavioral evolution can be influenced by variation in developmental modes among lineages. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. Brood parasitism and the evolution of cooperative breeding in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feeney, W E; Medina, I; Somveille, M; Heinsohn, R; Hall, M L; Mulder, R A; Stein, J A; Kilner, R M; Langmore, N E

    2013-12-20

    The global distribution of cooperatively breeding birds is highly uneven, with hotspots in Australasia and sub-Saharan Africa. The ecological drivers of this distribution remain enigmatic yet could yield insights into the evolution and persistence of cooperative breeding. We report that the global distributions of avian obligate brood parasites and cooperatively breeding passerines are tightly correlated and that the uneven phylogenetic distribution of cooperative breeding is associated with the uneven targeting of hosts by brood parasites. With a long-term field study, we show that brood parasites can acquire superior care for their young by targeting cooperative breeders. Conversely, host defenses against brood parasites are strengthened by helpers at the nest. Reciprocally selected interactions between brood parasites and cooperative breeders may therefore explain the close association between these two breeding systems.

  8. Visual modelling suggests a weak relationship between the evolution of ultraviolet vision and plumage coloration in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, O; Delhey, K

    2015-03-01

    Birds have sophisticated colour vision mediated by four cone types that cover a wide visual spectrum including ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths. Many birds have modest UV sensitivity provided by violet-sensitive (VS) cones with sensitivity maxima between 400 and 425 nm. However, some birds have evolved higher UV sensitivity and a larger visual spectrum given by UV-sensitive (UVS) cones maximally sensitive at 360-370 nm. The reasons for VS-UVS transitions and their relationship to visual ecology remain unclear. It has been hypothesized that the evolution of UVS-cone vision is linked to plumage colours so that visual sensitivity and feather coloration are 'matched'. This leads to the specific prediction that UVS-cone vision enhances the discrimination of plumage colours of UVS birds while such an advantage is absent or less pronounced for VS-bird coloration. We test this hypothesis using knowledge of the complex distribution of UVS cones among birds combined with mathematical modelling of colour discrimination during different viewing conditions. We find no support for the hypothesis, which, combined with previous studies, suggests only a weak relationship between UVS-cone vision and plumage colour evolution. Instead, we suggest that UVS-cone vision generally favours colour discrimination, which creates a nonspecific selection pressure for the evolution of UVS cones. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. Evolution: How Some Birds Survived When All Other Dinosaurs Died.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L

    2016-05-23

    The end-Cretaceous mass extinction wiped out the dinosaurs, including many birds. But some bird lineages survived. May seed-eating have been the key? Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition and behaviour in birds and mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain eWillemet

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Despite decades of research, some of the most basic issues concerning the extraordinarily complex brains and behaviour of birds and mammals, such as the factors responsible for the diversity of brain size and composition, are still unclear. This is partly due to a number of conceptual and methodological issues. Determining species and group differences in brain composition requires accounting for the presence of taxon-cerebrotypes and the use of precise statistical methods. The role of allometry in determining brain variables should be revised. In particular, bird and mammalian brains appear to have evolved in response to a variety of selective pressures influencing both brain size and composition. Brain and cognition are indeed meta-variables, made up of the variables that are ecologically relevant and evolutionarily selected. External indicators of species differences in cognition and behaviour are limited by the complexity of these differences. Indeed, behavioural differences between species and individuals are caused by cognitive and affective components. Although intra-species variability forms the basis of species evolution, some of the mechanisms underlying individual differences in brain and behaviour appear to differ from those between species. While many issues have persisted over the years because of a lack of appropriate data or methods to test them; several fallacies, particularly those related to the human brain, reflect scientists’ preconceptions. The theoretical framework on the evolution of brain, cognition and behaviour in birds and mammals should be reconsidered with these biases in mind.

  11. Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior in birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willemet, Romain

    2013-01-01

    Despite decades of research, some of the most basic issues concerning the extraordinarily complex brains and behavior of birds and mammals, such as the factors responsible for the diversity of brain size and composition, are still unclear. This is partly due to a number of conceptual and methodological issues. Determining species and group differences in brain composition requires accounting for the presence of taxon-cerebrotypes and the use of precise statistical methods. The role of allometry in determining brain variables should be revised. In particular, bird and mammalian brains appear to have evolved in response to a variety of selective pressures influencing both brain size and composition. "Brain" and "cognition" are indeed meta-variables, made up of the variables that are ecologically relevant and evolutionarily selected. External indicators of species differences in cognition and behavior are limited by the complexity of these differences. Indeed, behavioral differences between species and individuals are caused by cognitive and affective components. Although intra-species variability forms the basis of species evolution, some of the mechanisms underlying individual differences in brain and behavior appear to differ from those between species. While many issues have persisted over the years because of a lack of appropriate data or methods to test them; several fallacies, particularly those related to the human brain, reflect scientists' preconceptions. The theoretical framework on the evolution of brain, cognition, and behavior in birds and mammals should be reconsidered with these biases in mind.

  12. Widespread correlations between climatic niche evolution and species diversification in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooney, Christopher R; Seddon, Nathalie; Tobias, Joseph A

    2016-07-01

    The adaptability of species' climatic niches can influence the dynamics of colonization and gene flow across climatic gradients, potentially increasing the likelihood of speciation or reducing extinction in the face of environmental change. However, previous comparative studies have tested these ideas using geographically, taxonomically and ecologically restricted samples, yielding mixed results, and thus the processes linking climatic niche evolution with diversification remain poorly understood. Focusing on birds, the largest and most widespread class of terrestrial vertebrates, we test whether variation in species diversification among clades is correlated with rates of climatic niche evolution and the extent to which these patterns are modified by underlying gradients in biogeography and species' ecology. We quantified climatic niches, latitudinal distribution and ecological traits for 7657 (˜75%) bird species based on geographical range polygons and then used Bayesian phylogenetic analyses to test whether niche evolution was related to species richness and rates of diversification across genus- and family-level clades. We found that the rate of climatic niche evolution has a positive linear relationship with both species richness and diversification rate at two different taxonomic levels (genus and family). Furthermore, this positive association between labile climatic niches and diversification was detected regardless of variation in clade latitude or key ecological traits. Our findings suggest either that rapid adaptation to unoccupied areas of climatic niche space promotes avian diversification, or that diversification promotes adaptation. Either way, we propose that climatic niche evolution is a fundamental process regulating the link between climate and biodiversity at global scales, irrespective of the geographical and ecological context of speciation and extinction. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  13. Environmental acoustics and the evolution of bird song

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brumm, H.; Naguib, M.

    2009-01-01

    Any signal must get from a sender to a receiver if information is to be transmitted. In the case of bird song, the acoustic properties of the habitat may hinder this being achieved. However, birds as senders and receivers have evolved numerous adaptations to overcome the problem of getting the

  14. THE EVOLUTION OF PLUMAGE BRIGHTNESS IN BIRDS IS RELATED TO EXTRAPAIR PATERNITY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, A P; Birkhead, T R

    1994-08-01

    A positive association between plumage brightness of male birds and the degree of polygyny may be the result of sexual selection. Although most birds have a socially monogamous mating system, recent paternity analyses show that many offspring are fathered by nonmates. Extrapair paternity arises from extrapair copulations which are frequently initiated by females. Not all females will be able to mate with a male of the preferred phenotype, because of the mating decisions of earlier paired females; extrapair copulations may be a means for females to adjust their precopulation mate choice. We use two comparative analyses (standardized linear contrasts and pairwise comparisons between closely related taxa) to test the idea that male plumage brightness is related to extrapair paternity. Brightness of male plumage and sexual dimorphism in brightness were positively associated with high levels of extrapair paternity, even when potentially confounding variables were controlled statistically. This association between male brightness and extrapair paternity was considerably stronger than the association between male brightness and the degree of polygyny. Cuckoldry thus forms an important component of sexual selection in birds. © 1994 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  15. Rates of dinosaur limb evolution provide evidence for exceptional radiation in Mesozoic birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Choiniere, Jonah N

    2013-10-07

    Birds are the most diverse living tetrapod group and are a model of large-scale adaptive radiation. Neontological studies suggest a radiation within the avian crown group, long after the origin of flight. However, deep time patterns of bird evolution remain obscure because only limited fossil data have been considered. We analyse cladogenesis and limb evolution on the entire tree of Mesozoic theropods, documenting the dinosaur-bird transition and immediate origins of powered flight. Mesozoic birds inherited constraints on forelimb evolution from non-flying ancestors, and species diversification rates did not accelerate in the earliest flying taxa. However, Early Cretaceous short-tailed birds exhibit both phenotypic release of the hindlimb and increased diversification rates, unparalleled in magnitude at any other time in the first 155 Myr of theropod evolution. Thus, a Cretaceous adaptive radiation of stem-group birds was enabled by restructuring of the terrestrial locomotor module, which represents a key innovation. Our results suggest two phases of radiation in Avialae: with the Cretaceous diversification overwritten by extinctions of stem-group birds at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary, and subsequent diversification of the crown group. Our findings illustrate the importance of fossil data for understanding the macroevolutionary processes generating modern biodiversity.

  16. Evolution of reproductive life histories in island birds worldwide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covas, Rita

    2012-04-22

    Island environments typically share characteristics such as impoverished biotas and less-seasonal climates, which should be conducive to specific adaptations by organisms. However, with the exception of morphological studies, broad-scale tests of patterns of adaptation on islands are rare. Here, I examine reproductive patterns in island birds worldwide. Reproductive life histories are influenced by latitude, which could affect the response to insularity; therefore, I additionally test this hypothesis. Island colonizers showed mostly bi-parental care, but there was a significant increase in cooperative breeding on islands. Additionally, I found support for previous suggestions of reduced fecundity, longer developmental periods and increased investment in young on islands. However, clutch size increased with latitude at a rate nearly five times faster on the mainland than on the islands revealing a substantially stronger effect of insularity at higher latitudes. Latitude and insularity may also interact to determine egg volume and incubation periods, but these effects were less clear. Analyses of reproductive success did not support an effect of reduced nest predation as a driver of reproductive change, but this requires further study. The effect of latitude detected here suggests that the evolutionary changes associated with insularity relate to environmental stability and improved adult survival.

  17. The primary feather lengths of early birds with respect to avian wing shape evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, X; Nudds, R L; Dyke, G J

    2011-06-01

    We examine the relationships between primary feather length (f(prim)) and total arm length (ta) (sum of humerus, ulna and manus lengths) in Mesozoic fossil birds to address one aspect of avian wing shape evolution. Analyses show that there are significant differences in the composition of the wing between the known lineages of basal birds and that mean f(prim) (relative to ta length) is significantly shorter in Archaeopteryx and enantiornithines than it is in Confuciusornithidae and in living birds. Based on outgroup comparisons with nonavian theropods that preserve forelimb primary feathers, we show that the possession of a relatively shorter f(prim) (relative to ta length) must be the primitive condition for Aves. There is also a clear phylogenetic trend in relative primary feather length throughout bird evolution: our analyses demonstrate that the f(prim)/ta ratio increases among successive lineages of Mesozoic birds towards the crown of the tree ('modern birds'; Neornithes). Variance in this ratio also coincides with the enormous evolutionary radiation at the base of Neornithes. Because the f(prim)/ta ratio is linked to flight mode and performance in living birds, further comparisons of wing proportions among Mesozoic avians will prove informative and certainly imply that the aerial locomotion of the Early Cretaceous Confuciusornis was very different to other extinct and living birds. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. Hind wings in Basal birds and the evolution of leg feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiaoting; Zhou, Zhonghe; Wang, Xiaoli; Zhang, Fucheng; Zhang, Xiaomei; Wang, Yan; Wei, Guangjin; Wang, Shuo; Xu, Xing

    2013-03-15

    Recent discoveries of large leg feathers in some theropods have implications for our understanding of the evolution of integumentary features on the avialan leg, and particularly of their relevance for the origin of avialan flight. Here we report 11 basal avialan specimens that will greatly improve our knowledge of leg integumentary features among early birds. In particular, they provide solid evidence for the existence of enlarged leg feathers on a variety of basal birds, suggest that extensively scaled feet might have appeared secondarily at an early stage in ornithuromorph evolution, and demonstrate a distal-to-proximal reduction pattern for leg feathers in avialan evolution.

  19. Dinosaur evolution. Sustained miniaturization and anatomical innovation in the dinosaurian ancestors of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Michael S Y; Cau, Andrea; Naish, Darren; Dyke, Gareth J

    2014-08-01

    Recent discoveries have highlighted the dramatic evolutionary transformation of massive, ground-dwelling theropod dinosaurs into light, volant birds. Here, we apply Bayesian approaches (originally developed for inferring geographic spread and rates of molecular evolution in viruses) in a different context: to infer size changes and rates of anatomical innovation (across up to 1549 skeletal characters) in fossils. These approaches identify two drivers underlying the dinosaur-bird transition. The theropod lineage directly ancestral to birds undergoes sustained miniaturization across 50 million years and at least 12 consecutive branches (internodes) and evolves skeletal adaptations four times faster than other dinosaurs. The distinct, prolonged phase of miniaturization along the bird stem would have facilitated the evolution of many novelties associated with small body size, such as reorientation of body mass, increased aerial ability, and paedomorphic skulls with reduced snouts but enlarged eyes and brains. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Ecology and caudal skeletal morphology in birds: the convergent evolution of pygostyle shape in underwater foraging taxa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felice, Ryan N; O'Connor, Patrick M

    2014-01-01

    Birds exhibit a specialized tail that serves as an integral part of the flight apparatus, supplementing the role of the wings in facilitating high performance aerial locomotion. The evolution of this function for the tail contributed to the diversification of birds by allowing them to utilize a wider range of flight behaviors and thus exploit a greater range of ecological niches. The shape of the wings and the tail feathers influence the aerodynamic properties of a bird. Accordingly, taxa that habitually utilize different flight behaviors are characterized by different flight apparatus morphologies. This study explores whether differences in flight behavior are also associated with variation in caudal vertebra and pygostyle morphology. Details of the tail skeleton were characterized in 51 Aequornithes and Charadriiformes species. Free caudal vertebral morphology was measured using linear metrics. Variation in pygostyle morphology was characterized using Elliptical Fourier Analysis, a geometric morphometric method for the analysis of outline shapes. Each taxon was categorized based on flight style (flap, flap-glide, dynamic soar, etc.) and foraging style (aerial, terrestrial, plunge dive, etc.). Phylogenetic MANOVAs and Flexible Discriminant Analyses were used to test whether caudal skeletal morphology can be used to predict flight behavior. Foraging style groups differ significantly in pygostyle shape, and pygostyle shape predicts foraging style with less than 4% misclassification error. Four distinct lineages of underwater foraging birds exhibit an elongate, straight pygostyle, whereas aerial and terrestrial birds are characterized by a short, dorsally deflected pygostyle. Convergent evolution of a common pygostyle phenotype in diving birds suggests that this morphology is related to the mechanical demands of using the tail as a rudder during underwater foraging. Thus, distinct locomotor behaviors influence not only feather attributes but also the underlying

  1. Fluctuating environments, sexual selection and the evolution of flexible mate choice in birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos A Botero

    Full Text Available Environmentally-induced fluctuation in the form and strength of natural selection can drive the evolution of morphology, physiology, and behavior. Here we test the idea that fluctuating climatic conditions may also influence the process of sexual selection by inducing unexpected reversals in the relative quality or sexual attractiveness of potential breeding partners. Although this phenomenon, known as 'ecological cross-over', has been documented in a variety of species, it remains unclear the extent to which it has driven the evolution of major interspecific differences in reproductive behavior. We show that after controlling for potentially influential life history and demographic variables, there are significant positive associations between the variability and predictability of annual climatic cycles and the prevalence of infidelity and divorce within populations of a taxonomically diverse array of socially monogamous birds. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental factors have shaped the evolution of reproductive flexibility and suggest that in the absence of severe time constraints, secondary mate choice behaviors can help prevent, correct, or minimize the negative consequences of ecological cross-overs. Our findings also illustrate how a basic evolutionary process like sexual selection is susceptible to the increasing variability and unpredictability of climatic conditions that is resulting from climate change.

  2. Fluctuating environments, sexual selection and the evolution of flexible mate choice in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botero, Carlos A; Rubenstein, Dustin R

    2012-01-01

    Environmentally-induced fluctuation in the form and strength of natural selection can drive the evolution of morphology, physiology, and behavior. Here we test the idea that fluctuating climatic conditions may also influence the process of sexual selection by inducing unexpected reversals in the relative quality or sexual attractiveness of potential breeding partners. Although this phenomenon, known as 'ecological cross-over', has been documented in a variety of species, it remains unclear the extent to which it has driven the evolution of major interspecific differences in reproductive behavior. We show that after controlling for potentially influential life history and demographic variables, there are significant positive associations between the variability and predictability of annual climatic cycles and the prevalence of infidelity and divorce within populations of a taxonomically diverse array of socially monogamous birds. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that environmental factors have shaped the evolution of reproductive flexibility and suggest that in the absence of severe time constraints, secondary mate choice behaviors can help prevent, correct, or minimize the negative consequences of ecological cross-overs. Our findings also illustrate how a basic evolutionary process like sexual selection is susceptible to the increasing variability and unpredictability of climatic conditions that is resulting from climate change.

  3. Extrapair paternity and the evolution of bird song

    OpenAIRE

    László Zsolt Garamszegi; Anders Pape Møller

    2004-01-01

    Bird song is usually considered to have evolved in the context of sexual selection. Because extrapair paternity is a major component of sexual selection, mating advantages at the social level for males that produce songs of high quality may be transformed into higher success in extrapair paternity. Therefore, males with longer and more complex songs should suffer less from extrapair paternity intraspecifically, whereas species with high rates of extrapair paternity, reflecting intense sperm c...

  4. Coos, booms, and hoots: The evolution of closed-mouth vocal behavior in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riede, Tobias; Eliason, Chad M; Miller, Edward H; Goller, Franz; Clarke, Julia A

    2016-08-01

    Most birds vocalize with an open beak, but vocalization with a closed beak into an inflating cavity occurs in territorial or courtship displays in disparate species throughout birds. Closed-mouth vocalizations generate resonance conditions that favor low-frequency sounds. By contrast, open-mouth vocalizations cover a wider frequency range. Here we describe closed-mouth vocalizations of birds from functional and morphological perspectives and assess the distribution of closed-mouth vocalizations in birds and related outgroups. Ancestral-state optimizations of body size and vocal behavior indicate that closed-mouth vocalizations are unlikely to be ancestral in birds and have evolved independently at least 16 times within Aves, predominantly in large-bodied lineages. Closed-mouth vocalizations are rare in the small-bodied passerines. In light of these results and body size trends in nonavian dinosaurs, we suggest that the capacity for closed-mouth vocalization was present in at least some extinct nonavian dinosaurs. As in birds, this behavior may have been limited to sexually selected vocal displays, and hence would have co-occurred with open-mouthed vocalizations. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Pollinator shifts drive petal epidermal evolution on the Macaronesian Islands bird-flowered species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojeda, Dario I; Valido, Alfredo; Fernández de Castro, Alejandro G; Ortega-Olivencia, Ana; Fuertes-Aguilar, Javier; Carvalho, José A; Santos-Guerra, Arnoldo

    2016-04-01

    Pollinator shifts are considered to drive floral trait evolution, yet little is still known about the modifications of petal epidermal surface at a biogeographic region scale. Here we investigated how independent shifts from insects to passerine birds in the Macaronesian Islands consistently modified this floral trait (i.e. absence of papillate cells). Using current phylogenies and extensive evidence from field observations, we selected a total of 81 plant species and subspecies for petal microscopy and comparative analysis, including 19 of the 23 insular species pollinated by opportunistic passerine birds (Macaronesian bird-flowered element). Species relying on passerine birds as the most effective pollinators (bird-pollinated) independently evolved at least five times and in all instances associated with a loss of papillate cells, whereas species with a mixed pollination system (birds plus insects and/or other vertebrates) evolved at least five times in Macaronesia and papillate cells were lost in only 25% of these transitions. Our findings suggest that petal micromorphology is a labile trait during pollinator shifts and that papillate cells tend to be absent on those species where pollinators have limited mechanical interaction with flowers, including opportunistic passerine birds that forage by hovering or from the ground. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. A new time tree reveals Earth history's imprint on the evolution of modern birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claramunt, Santiago; Cracraft, Joel

    2015-12-01

    Determining the timing of diversification of modern birds has been difficult. We combined DNA sequences of clock-like genes for most avian families with 130 fossil birds to generate a new time tree for Neornithes and investigated their biogeographic and diversification dynamics. We found that the most recent common ancestor of modern birds inhabited South America around 95 million years ago, but it was not until the Cretaceous-Paleogene transition (66 million years ago) that Neornithes began to diversify rapidly around the world. Birds used two main dispersion routes: reaching the Old World through North America, and reaching Australia and Zealandia through Antarctica. Net diversification rates increased during periods of global cooling, suggesting that fragmentation of tropical biomes stimulated speciation. Thus, we found pervasive evidence that avian evolution has been influenced by plate tectonics and environmental change, two basic features of Earth's dynamics.

  7. A new time tree reveals Earth history’s imprint on the evolution of modern birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claramunt, Santiago; Cracraft, Joel

    2015-01-01

    Determining the timing of diversification of modern birds has been difficult. We combined DNA sequences of clock-like genes for most avian families with 130 fossil birds to generate a new time tree for Neornithes and investigated their biogeographic and diversification dynamics. We found that the most recent common ancestor of modern birds inhabited South America around 95 million years ago, but it was not until the Cretaceous-Paleogene transition (66 million years ago) that Neornithes began to diversify rapidly around the world. Birds used two main dispersion routes: reaching the Old World through North America, and reaching Australia and Zealandia through Antarctica. Net diversification rates increased during periods of global cooling, suggesting that fragmentation of tropical biomes stimulated speciation. Thus, we found pervasive evidence that avian evolution has been influenced by plate tectonics and environmental change, two basic features of Earth’s dynamics. PMID:26824065

  8. From Smiling Birds to Danc-ing Gods: A View of Evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 7; Issue 11. From Smiling Birds to Dancing Gods: A View of Evolution. Amitabh Joshi. Book Review Volume 7 Issue 11 November ... Author Affiliations. Amitabh Joshi1. Evolutionary Biology Laboratory, JNCASR, Jakkur PO, Bangalore 560 064, India.

  9. Positive Selection Underlies Faster-Z Evolution of Gene Expression in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Rebecca; Harrison, Peter W; Wright, Alison E; Zimmer, Fabian; Mank, Judith E

    2015-10-01

    The elevated rate of evolution for genes on sex chromosomes compared with autosomes (Fast-X or Fast-Z evolution) can result either from positive selection in the heterogametic sex or from nonadaptive consequences of reduced relative effective population size. Recent work in birds suggests that Fast-Z of coding sequence is primarily due to relaxed purifying selection resulting from reduced relative effective population size. However, gene sequence and gene expression are often subject to distinct evolutionary pressures; therefore, we tested for Fast-Z in gene expression using next-generation RNA-sequencing data from multiple avian species. Similar to studies of Fast-Z in coding sequence, we recover clear signatures of Fast-Z in gene expression; however, in contrast to coding sequence, our data indicate that Fast-Z in expression is due to positive selection acting primarily in females. In the soma, where gene expression is highly correlated between the sexes, we detected Fast-Z in both sexes, although at a higher rate in females, suggesting that many positively selected expression changes in females are also expressed in males. In the gonad, where intersexual correlations in expression are much lower, we detected Fast-Z for female gene expression, but crucially, not males. This suggests that a large amount of expression variation is sex-specific in its effects within the gonad. Taken together, our results indicate that Fast-Z evolution of gene expression is the product of positive selection acting on recessive beneficial alleles in the heterogametic sex. More broadly, our analysis suggests that the adaptive potential of Z chromosome gene expression may be much greater than that of gene sequence, results which have important implications for the role of sex chromosomes in speciation and sexual selection. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  10. On the evolution of noise-dependent vocal plasticity in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Sophie; Zollinger, Sue Anne; Lesku, John A; Brumm, Henrik

    2012-12-23

    Signal plasticity is considered an important step in the evolution of animal communication. In acoustic communication, signal transmission is often constrained by background noise. One adaptation to evade acoustic signal masking is the Lombard effect, in which an animal increases its vocal amplitude in response to an increase in background noise. This form of signal plasticity has been found in mammals, including humans, and some birds, but not frogs. However, the evolution of the Lombard effect is still unclear. Here we demonstrate for the first time the Lombard effect in a phylogentically basal bird species, the tinamou Eudromia elegans. By doing so, we take a step towards reconstructing the evolutionary history of noise-dependent vocal plasticity in birds. Similar to humans, the tinamous also raised their vocal pitch in noise, irrespective of any release from signal masking. The occurrence of the Lombard effect in a basal bird group suggests that this form of vocal plasticity was present in the common ancestor of all living birds and thus evolved at least as early as 119 Ma.

  11. The evolution of hindlimb tendons and muscles on the line to crown-group birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, John R

    2002-12-01

    The anatomy and functions of muscle-tendon complexes and their bony attachments in birds and their outgroups show how the major pelvic limb muscle groups evolved. Fossils reveal that most changes evolved after the divergence of archosaurs in the Triassic, particularly in the dinosaurian precursors to birds. Three-dimensional limb control became concentrated at the hip joint; more distal joints and muscles were restricted to flexion or extension early in dinosaur evolution. Hip extensors expanded even though the primary femoral retractor M. caudofemoralis longus was reduced. Hip flexors and two-joint "hamstring" muscles were simplified to a few large heads. Knee extensors increased their sizes and moment arms early in bipedal dinosaurs, but the patella and cranial cnemial crest evolved later in birds. Lower limb muscles expanded as ossifications such as the hypotarsus increased their moment arms. The ossification of lower limb tendons, particularly in extensors, is a recent novelty of birds. Muscles and tendons that develop large forces, stresses, and moments to stabilize or move the limbs became increasingly prominent on the line to birds. Locomotion evolved in a stepwise pattern that only recently produced the derived limb control mechanisms of crown-group birds, such as the strongly flexed hip and knee joints.

  12. The evolution of song structure in southern African birds: an ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Song is critical to territory defence, mate attraction, and both species and individual recognition. According to the Acoustic Adaptation Hypothesis (AAH), habitat structure may exercise a selective force on vocal evolution such that song evolves to minimise the degradation and attenuation of acoustic signals in the particular ...

  13. The cutaneous lipid composition of bat wing and tail membranes: a case of convergent evolution with birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Hamo, Miriam; Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Larrain, Paloma; Pinshow, Berry; Korine, Carmi; Williams, Joseph B

    2016-06-29

    The water vapour permeability barrier of mammals and birds resides in the stratum corneum (SC), the outermost layer of the epidermis. The molar ratio and molecular arrangement of lipid classes in the SC determine the integrity of this barrier. Increased chain length and polarity of ceramides, the most abundant lipid class in mammalian SC, contribute to tighter packing and thus to reduced cutaneous evaporative water loss (CEWL). However, tighter lipid packing also causes low SC hydration, making it brittle, whereas high hydration softens the skin at the cost of increasing CEWL. Cerebrosides are not present in the mammalian SC; their pathological accumulation occurs in Gaucher's disease, which leads to a dramatic increase in CEWL. However, cerebrosides occur normally in the SC of birds. We tested the hypothesis that cerebrosides are also present in the SC of bats, because they are probably necessary to confer pliability to the skin, a quality needed for flight. We examined the SC lipid composition of four sympatric bat species and found that, as in birds, their SC has substantial cerebroside contents, not associated with a pathological state, indicating convergent evolution between bats and birds. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Linking the evolution of body shape and locomotor biomechanics in bird-line archosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Vivian; Bates, Karl T; Li, Zhiheng; Hutchinson, John R

    2013-05-02

    Locomotion in living birds (Neornithes) has two remarkable features: feather-assisted flight, and the use of unusually crouched hindlimbs for bipedal support and movement. When and how these defining functional traits evolved remains controversial. However, the advent of computer modelling approaches and the discoveries of exceptionally preserved key specimens now make it possible to use quantitative data on whole-body morphology to address the biomechanics underlying this issue. Here we use digital body reconstructions to quantify evolutionary trends in locomotor biomechanics (whole-body proportions and centre-of-mass position) across the clade Archosauria. We use three-dimensional digital reconstruction to estimate body shape from skeletal dimensions for 17 archosaurs along the ancestral bird line, including the exceptionally preserved, feathered taxa Microraptor, Archaeopteryx, Pengornis and Yixianornis, which represent key stages in the evolution of the avian body plan. Rather than a discrete transition from more-upright postures in the basal-most birds (Avialae) and their immediate outgroup deinonychosauria, our results support hypotheses of a gradual, stepwise acquisition of more-crouched limb postures across much of theropod evolution, although we find evidence of an accelerated change within the clade Maniraptora (birds and their closest relatives, such as deinonychosaurs). In addition, whereas reduction of the tail is widely accepted to be the primary morphological factor correlated with centre-of-mass position and, hence, evolution of hindlimb posture, we instead find that enlargement of the pectoral limb and several associated trends have a much stronger influence. Intriguingly, our support for the onset of accelerated morpho-functional trends within Maniraptora is closely correlated with the evolution of flight. Because we find that the evolution of enlarged forelimbs is strongly linked, via whole-body centre of mass, to hindlimb function during

  15. A phenology of the evolution of endothermy in birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovegrove, Barry G

    2017-05-01

    Recent palaeontological data and novel physiological hypotheses now allow a timescaled reconstruction of the evolution of endothermy in birds and mammals. A three-phase iterative model describing how endothermy evolved from Permian ectothermic ancestors is presented. In Phase One I propose that the elevation of endothermy - increased metabolism and body temperature (T b ) - complemented large-body-size homeothermy during the Permian and Triassic in response to the fitness benefits of enhanced embryo development (parental care) and the activity demands of conquering dry land. I propose that Phase Two commenced in the Late Triassic and Jurassic and was marked by extreme body-size miniaturization, the evolution of enhanced body insulation (fur and feathers), increased brain size, thermoregulatory control, and increased ecomorphological diversity. I suggest that Phase Three occurred during the Cretaceous and Cenozoic and involved endothermic pulses associated with the evolution of muscle-powered flapping flight in birds, terrestrial cursoriality in mammals, and climate adaptation in response to Late Cenozoic cooling in both birds and mammals. Although the triphasic model argues for an iterative evolution of endothermy in pulses throughout the Mesozoic and Cenozoic, it is also argued that endothermy was potentially abandoned at any time that a bird or mammal did not rely upon its thermal benefits for parental care or breeding success. The abandonment would have taken the form of either hibernation or daily torpor as observed in extant endotherms. Thus torpor and hibernation are argued to be as ancient as the origins of endothermy itself, a plesiomorphic characteristic observed today in many small birds and mammals. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  16. A Passerine Bird's evolution corroborates the geologic history of the island of New Guinea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristy Deiner

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available New Guinea is a biologically diverse island, with a unique geologic history and topography that has likely played a role in the evolution of species. Few island-wide studies, however, have examined the phylogeographic history of lowland species. The objective of this study was to examine patterns of phylogeographic variation of a common and widespread New Guinean bird species (Colluricincla megarhyncha. Specifically, we test the mechanisms hypothesized to cause geographic and genetic variation (e.g., vicariance, isolation by distance and founder-effect with dispersal. To accomplish this, we surveyed three regions of the mitochondrial genome and a nuclear intron and assessed differences among 23 of the 30 described subspecies from throughout their range. We found support for eight highly divergent lineages within C. megarhyncha. Genetic lineages were found within continuous lowland habitat or on smaller islands, but all individuals within clades were not necessarily structured by predicted biogeographic barriers. There was some evidence of isolation by distance and potential founder-effects. Mitochondrial DNA sequence divergence among lineages was at a level often observed among different species or even genera of birds (5-11%, suggesting lineages within regions have been isolated for long periods of time. When topographical barriers were associated with divergence patterns, the estimated divergence date for the clade coincided with the estimated time of barrier formation. We also found that dispersal distance and range size are positively correlated across lineages. Evidence from this research suggests that different phylogeographic mechanisms concurrently structure lineages of C. megarhyncha and are not mutually exclusive. These lineages are a result of evolutionary forces acting at different temporal and spatial scales concordant with New Guinea's geological history.

  17. A robust tool highlights the influence of bird migration on influenza A virus evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugan, Vivien G

    2012-12-01

    One of the fundamental unknowns in the field of influenza biology is a panoramic understanding of the role wild birds play in the global maintenance and spread of influenza A viruses. Wild aquatic birds are considered a reservoir host for all lowly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses (AIV) and thus serve as a potential source of zoonotic AIV, such as Australasian-origin H5N1 responsible for morbidity and mortality in both poultry and humans, as well as genes that may contribute to the emergence of pandemic viruses. Years of broad, in-depth wild bird AIV surveillance have helped to decipher key observations and ideas regarding AIV evolution and viral ecology including the trending of viral lineages, patterns of gene flow within and between migratory flyways and the role of geographic boundaries in shaping viral evolution (Bahl et al. 2009; Lam et al. 2012). While these generally 'virus-centric' studies have ultimately advanced our broader understanding of AIV dynamics, recent studies have been more host-focused, directed at determining the potential impact of host behaviour on AIV, specifically, the influence of bird migration upon AIV maintenance and transmission. A large number of surveillance studies have taken place in Alaska, United States-a region where several global flyways overlap-with the aim of detecting the introduction of novel, Australasian-origin highly pathogenic H5N1 AIV into North America. By targeting bird species with known migration habits, long-distance migrators were determined to be involved in the intercontinental movement of individual AIV gene segments, but not entire viruses, between the Australasian and North American flyways (Koehler et al. 2008; Pearce et al. 2010). Yet, bird movement is not solely limited to long-distance migration, and the relationship of resident or nonmigratory and intermediate-distance migrant populations with AIV ecology has only recently been explored by Hill et al. (2012) in this issue of Molecular Ecology

  18. Deadly hairs, lethal feathers--convergent evolution of poisonous integument in mammals and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plikus, Maksim V; Astrowski, Aliaksandr A

    2014-07-01

    Hairs and feathers are textbook examples of the convergent evolution of the follicular appendage structure between mammals and birds. While broadly recognized for their convergent thermoregulatory, camouflage and sexual display functions, hairs and feathers are rarely thought of as deadly defence tools. Several recent studies, however, show that in some species of mammals and birds, the integument can, in fact, be a de facto lethal weapon. One mammalian example is provided by African crested rats, which seek for and chew on the bark of plants containing the highly potent toxin, ouabain. These rats then coat their fur with ouabain-containing saliva. For efficient toxin retention, the rodents have evolved highly specialized fenestrated and mostly hollow hair shafts that soak up liquids, which essentially function as wicks. On the avian side of the vertebrate integumental variety spectrum, several species of birds of New Guinea have evolved resistance to highly potent batrachotoxins, which they acquire from their insect diet. While the mechanism of bird toxicity remains obscure, in a recently published issue of the journal, Dumbacher and Menon explore the intriguing idea that to achieve efficient storage of batrachotoxins in their skin, some birds exploit the basic permeability barrier function of their epidermis. Batrachotoxins become preferentially sequestered in their epidermis and are then transferred to feathers, likely through the exploitation of specialized avian lipid-storing multigranular body organelles. Here, we discuss wider implications of this intriguing concept. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. Gene loss, adaptive evolution and the co-evolution of plumage coloration genes with opsins in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Rui; Khan, Imran; Johnson, Warren E; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Zhang, Guojie; Jarvis, Erich D; O'Brien, Stephen J; Antunes, Agostinho

    2015-10-06

    The wide range of complex photic systems observed in birds exemplifies one of their key evolutionary adaptions, a well-developed visual system. However, genomic approaches have yet to be used to disentangle the evolutionary mechanisms that govern evolution of avian visual systems. We performed comparative genomic analyses across 48 avian genomes that span extant bird phylogenetic diversity to assess evolutionary changes in the 17 representatives of the opsin gene family and five plumage coloration genes. Our analyses suggest modern birds have maintained a repertoire of up to 15 opsins. Synteny analyses indicate that PARA and PARIE pineal opsins were lost, probably in conjunction with the degeneration of the parietal organ. Eleven of the 15 avian opsins evolved in a non-neutral pattern, confirming the adaptive importance of vision in birds. Visual conopsins sw1, sw2 and lw evolved under negative selection, while the dim-light RH1 photopigment diversified. The evolutionary patterns of sw1 and of violet/ultraviolet sensitivity in birds suggest that avian ancestors had violet-sensitive vision. Additionally, we demonstrate an adaptive association between the RH2 opsin and the MC1R plumage color gene, suggesting that plumage coloration has been photic mediated. At the intra-avian level we observed some unique adaptive patterns. For example, barn owl showed early signs of pseudogenization in RH2, perhaps in response to nocturnal behavior, and penguins had amino acid deletions in RH2 sites responsible for the red shift and retinal binding. These patterns in the barn owl and penguins were convergent with adaptive strategies in nocturnal and aquatic mammals, respectively. We conclude that birds have evolved diverse opsin adaptations through gene loss, adaptive selection and coevolution with plumage coloration, and that differentiated selective patterns at the species level suggest novel photic pressures to influence evolutionary patterns of more-recent lineages.

  20. Light enough to travel or wise enough to stay? Brain size evolution and migratory behavior in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincze, Orsolya

    2016-09-01

    Brain size relative to body size is smaller in migratory than in nonmigratory birds. Two mutually nonexclusive hypotheses had been proposed to explain this association. On the one hand, the "energetic trade-off hypothesis" claims that migratory species were selected to have smaller brains because of the interplay between neural tissue volume and migratory flight. On the other hand, the "behavioral flexibility hypothesis" argues that resident species are selected to have higher cognitive capacities, and therefore larger brains, to enable survival in harsh winters, or to deal with environmental seasonality. Here, I test the validity and setting of these two hypotheses using 1466 globally distributed bird species. First, I show that the negative association between migration distance and relative brain size is very robust across species and phylogeny. Second, I provide strong support for the energetic trade-off hypothesis, by showing the validity of the trade-off among long-distance migratory species alone. Third, using resident and short-distance migratory species, I demonstrate that environmental harshness is associated with enlarged relative brain size, therefore arguably better cognition. My study provides the strongest comparative support to date for both the energetic trade-off and the behavioral flexibility hypotheses, and highlights that both mechanisms contribute to brain size evolution, but on different ends of the migratory spectrum. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  1. Evolution of iris colour in relation to cavity nesting and parental care in passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Gabrielle L; Thornton, Alex; Clayton, Nicola S

    2017-01-01

    Strong selection pressures are known to act on animal coloration. Although many animals vary in eye colour, virtually no research has investigated the functional significance of these colour traits. Passeriformes have a range of iris colours, making them an ideal system to investigate how and why iris colour has evolved. Using phylogenetic comparative methods, we tested the hypothesis that conspicuous iris colour in passerine birds evolved in response to (a) coordination of offspring care and (b) cavity nesting, two traits thought to be involved in intra-specific gaze sensitivity. We found that iris colour and cooperative offspring care by two or more individuals evolved independently, suggesting that bright eyes are not important for coordinating parental care through eye gaze. Furthermore, we found that evolution between iris colour and nesting behaviour did occur in a dependent manner, but contrary to predictions, transitions to coloured eyes were not more frequent in cavity nesters than non-cavity nesters. Instead, our results indicate that selection away from having bright eyes was much stronger in non-cavity nesters than cavity nesters, perhaps because conspicuous eye coloration in species not concealed within a cavity would be more visible to predators. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. 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

  3. Assessing Arboreal Adaptations of Bird Antecedents: Testing the Ecological Setting of the Origin of the Avian Flight Stroke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dececchi, T. Alexander; Larsson, Hans C. E.

    2011-01-01

    The origin of avian flight is a classic macroevolutionary transition with research spanning over a century. Two competing models explaining this locomotory transition have been discussed for decades: ground up versus trees down. Although it is impossible to directly test either of these theories, it is possible to test one of the requirements for the trees-down model, that of an arboreal paravian. We test for arboreality in non-avian theropods and early birds with comparisons to extant avian, mammalian, and reptilian scansors and climbers using a comprehensive set of morphological characters. Non-avian theropods, including the small, feathered deinonychosaurs, and Archaeopteryx, consistently and significantly cluster with fully terrestrial extant mammals and ground-based birds, such as ratites. Basal birds, more advanced than Archaeopteryx, cluster with extant perching ground-foraging birds. Evolutionary trends immediately prior to the origin of birds indicate skeletal adaptations opposite that expected for arboreal climbers. Results reject an arboreal capacity for the avian stem lineage, thus lending no support for the trees-down model. Support for a fully terrestrial ecology and origin of the avian flight stroke has broad implications for the origin of powered flight for this clade. A terrestrial origin for the avian flight stroke challenges the need for an intermediate gliding phase, presents the best resolved series of the evolution of vertebrate powered flight, and may differ fundamentally from the origin of bat and pterosaur flight, whose antecedents have been postulated to have been arboreal and gliding. PMID:21857918

  4. Assessing arboreal adaptations of bird antecedents: testing the ecological setting of the origin of the avian flight stroke.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T Alexander Dececchi

    Full Text Available The origin of avian flight is a classic macroevolutionary transition with research spanning over a century. Two competing models explaining this locomotory transition have been discussed for decades: ground up versus trees down. Although it is impossible to directly test either of these theories, it is possible to test one of the requirements for the trees-down model, that of an arboreal paravian. We test for arboreality in non-avian theropods and early birds with comparisons to extant avian, mammalian, and reptilian scansors and climbers using a comprehensive set of morphological characters. Non-avian theropods, including the small, feathered deinonychosaurs, and Archaeopteryx, consistently and significantly cluster with fully terrestrial extant mammals and ground-based birds, such as ratites. Basal birds, more advanced than Archaeopteryx, cluster with extant perching ground-foraging birds. Evolutionary trends immediately prior to the origin of birds indicate skeletal adaptations opposite that expected for arboreal climbers. Results reject an arboreal capacity for the avian stem lineage, thus lending no support for the trees-down model. Support for a fully terrestrial ecology and origin of the avian flight stroke has broad implications for the origin of powered flight for this clade. A terrestrial origin for the avian flight stroke challenges the need for an intermediate gliding phase, presents the best resolved series of the evolution of vertebrate powered flight, and may differ fundamentally from the origin of bat and pterosaur flight, whose antecedents have been postulated to have been arboreal and gliding.

  5. Aerodynamic modelling of a Cretaceous bird reveals thermal soaring capabilities during early avian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, Francisco José; Chiappe, Luis María

    2017-07-01

    Several flight modes are thought to have evolved during the early evolution of birds. Here, we use a combination of computational modelling and morphofunctional analyses to infer the flight properties of the raven-sized, Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis chaoyangensis -a likely candidate to have evolved soaring capabilities. Specifically, drawing information from (i) mechanical inferences of the deltopectoral crest of the humerus, (ii) wing shape (i.e. aspect ratio), (iii) estimations of power margin (i.e. difference between power required for flight and available power from muscles), (iv) gliding behaviour (i.e. forward speed and sinking speed), and (v) palaeobiological evidence, we conclude that S. chaoyangensis was a thermal soarer with an ecology similar to that of living South American screamers. Our results indicate that as early as 125 Ma, some birds evolved the morphological and aerodynamic requirements for soaring on continental thermals, a conclusion that highlights the degree of ecological, functional and behavioural diversity that resulted from the first major evolutionary radiation of birds. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Molecular development of fibular reduction in birds and its evolution from dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botelho, João Francisco; Smith-Paredes, Daniel; Soto-Acuña, Sergio; O'Connor, Jingmai; Palma, Verónica; Vargas, Alexander O

    2016-03-01

    Birds have a distally reduced, splinter-like fibula that is shorter than the tibia. In embryonic development, both skeletal elements start out with similar lengths. We examined molecular markers of cartilage differentiation in chicken embryos. We found that the distal end of the fibula expresses Indian hedgehog (IHH), undergoing terminal cartilage differentiation, and almost no Parathyroid-related protein (PTHrP), which is required to develop a proliferative growth plate (epiphysis). Reduction of the distal fibula may be influenced earlier by its close contact with the nearby fibulare, which strongly expresses PTHrP. The epiphysis-like fibulare however then separates from the fibula, which fails to maintain a distal growth plate, and fibular reduction ensues. Experimental downregulation of IHH signaling at a postmorphogenetic stage led to a tibia and fibula of equal length: The fibula is longer than in controls and fused to the fibulare, whereas the tibia is shorter and bent. We propose that the presence of a distal fibular epiphysis may constrain greater growth in the tibia. Accordingly, many Mesozoic birds show a fibula that has lost its distal epiphysis, but remains almost as long as the tibia, suggesting that loss of the fibulare preceded and allowed subsequent evolution of great fibulo-tibial disparity. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. The evolution of morphological diversity in continental assemblages of passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jønsson, Knud Andreas; Lessard, Jean-Philippe; Ricklefs, Robert E

    2015-04-01

    Understanding geographic variation in the species richness and lineage composition of regional biotas is a long-standing goal in ecology. Why do some evolutionary lineages proliferate while others do not, and how do new colonists fit into an established fauna? Here, we analyze the morphological structure of assemblages of passerine birds in four biogeographic regions to examine the relative influence of colonization history and niche-based processes on continental communities of passerine birds. Using morphological traits related to habitat choice, foraging technique, and movement, we quantify the morphological spaces occupied by different groups of passerine birds. We further quantify morphological overlap between groups by multivariate discriminant analysis and null model analyses of trait dispersion. Finally, we use subclade disparity through time to assess the temporal component of morphological evolution. We find mixed support for the prediction, based on priority, that first colonizers constrain subsequent colonizers. Indeed, our results show that the assembly of continental communities is idiosyncratic with regards to the diversification of new clades and the filling of morphospace. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. De-novo emergence of SINE retroposons during the early evolution of passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, Alexander; Bachg, Sandra; Donnellan, Stephen; Joseph, Leo; Brosius, Jürgen; Kriegs, Jan Ole; Schmitz, Jürgen

    2017-01-01

    Passeriformes ("perching birds" or passerines) make up more than half of all extant bird species. The genome of the zebra finch, a passerine model organism for vocal learning, was noted previously to contain thousands of short interspersed elements (SINEs), a group of retroposons that is abundant in mammalian genomes but considered largely inactive in avian genomes. Here we resolve the deep phylogenetic relationships of passerines using presence/absence patterns of SINEs. The resultant retroposon-based phylogeny provides a powerful and independent corroboration of previous sequence-based analyses. Notably, SINE activity began in the common ancestor of Eupasseres (passerines excluding the New Zealand wrens Acanthisittidae) and ceased before the rapid diversification of oscine passerines (suborder Passeri - songbirds). Furthermore, we find evidence for very recent SINE activity within suboscine passerines (suborder Tyranni), following the emergence of a SINE via acquisition of a different tRNA head as we suggest through template switching. We propose that the early evolution of passerines was unusual among birds in that it was accompanied by de-novo emergence and activity of SINEs. Their genomic and transcriptomic impact warrants further study in the light of the massive diversification of passerines.

  9. Standard Test Method for Bird Impact Testing of Aerospace Transparent Enclosures

    CERN Document Server

    American Society for Testing and Materials. Philadelphia

    2010-01-01

    1.1 This test method covers conducting bird impact tests under a standard set of conditions by firing a packaged bird at a stationary transparency mounted in a support structure. 1.2 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard. 1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific hazard statements, see Section 8.

  10. Rethinking our assumptions about the evolution of bird song and other sexually dimorphic signals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Jordan Price

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Bird song is often cited as a classic example of a sexually-selected ornament, in part because historically it has been considered a primarily male trait. Recent evidence that females also sing in many songbird species and that sexual dimorphism in song is often the result of losses in females rather than gains in males therefore appears to challenge our understanding of the evolution of bird song through sexual selection. Here I propose that these new findings do not necessarily contradict previous research, but rather they disagree with some of our assumptions about the evolution of sexual dimorphisms in general and female song in particular. These include misconceptions that current patterns of elaboration and diversity in each sex reflect past rates of change and that levels of sexual dimorphism necessarily reflect levels of sexual selection. Using New World blackbirds (Icteridae as an example, I critically evaluate these past assumptions in light of new phylogenetic evidence. Understanding the mechanisms underlying such sexually dimorphic traits requires a clear understanding of their evolutionary histories. Only then can we begin to ask the right questions.

  11. Characterization, polymorphism, and evolution of MHC class II B genes in birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaide, Miguel; Edwards, Scott V; Negro, Juan J

    2007-11-01

    During the last decade, the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has received much attention in the fields of evolutionary and conservation biology because of its potential implications in many biological processes. New insights into the gene structure and evolution of MHC genes can be gained through study of additional lineages of birds not yet investigated at the genomic level. In this study, we characterized MHC class II B genes in five families of birds of prey (Accipitridae, Pandionidae, Strigidae, Tytonidae, and Falconidae). Using PCR approaches, we isolated genomic MHC sequences up to 1300 bp spanning exons 1 to 3 in 26 representatives of each raptor lineage, finding no stop codons or frameshift mutations in any coding region. A survey of diversity across the entirety of exon 2 in the lesser kestrel Falco naumanni reported 26 alleles in 21 individuals. Bayesian analysis revealed 21 positively selected amino acid sites, which suggests that the MHC genes described here are functional and probably expressed. Finally, through interlocus comparisons and phylogenetic analysis, we also discuss genetic evidence for concerted and transspecies evolution in the raptor MHC.

  12. Evolution of solid rocket booster component testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessey, Joseph A.

    1989-01-01

    The evolution of one of the new generation of test sets developed for the Solid Rocket Booster of the U.S. Space Transportation System. Requirements leading to factory checkout of the test set are explained, including the evolution from manual to semiautomated toward fully automated status. Individual improvements in the built-in test equipment, self-calibration, and software flexibility are addressed, and the insertion of fault detection to improve reliability is discussed.

  13. Testing bird response to roads on a rural environment: A case study from Central Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morelli, Federico; Jerzak, Leszek; Pruscini, Fabio; Santolini, Riccardo; Benedetti, Yanina; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2015-11-01

    The construction of roads is currently well spread in many parts of our world and impacts strongly on wildlife distribution. Some bird species avoid, while other prefer to be in the vicinity of these human structures. However, studies on roads effects on birds, in terms of strength or direction of these effects, are scarce. Therefore, in a study carried out in Central Italy we tested the responses of different bird species to roads at a local spatial scale, using generalized linear models (GLM). Analysis were conducted on a large dataset (more than 1400 sampled sites, mainly on rural environments). Both positive and negative effects of roads on birds were found for bird species of close or semi-close environments, while the negative effects of roads were negligible for bird species of open and semi-open environments. This fact suggest that roads can be a source of "functional heterogeneity" on semi-open environments, providing marginal habitats, hedgerows and residual vegetation typical of roadsides, offering breeding and feeding habitat for some bird species. The proposed methodology provide a useful explorative tool, in order to develop conservation policies to preserve the biodiversity, mainly in rural landscapes. The outputs of GLM can be used as inputs in ecological planning: direction and strength of the effects of roads on bird species are adequate to estimate the response of bird community, up front to the presence of new structures, or identifying which of them should be mitigated to reduce negative effects on the biodiversity.

  14. PREVALENCE OF BIRD LOUSE, MENACANTHUS CORNUTUS ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADMIN

    2014-06-01

    Jun 1, 2014 ... Keywords: Bird Louse, Kano Sub-urb areas, Menacanthus cornutus, Poultry, Prevalence ... including retarded growth, low egg production and ..... Bush, S. E. and Clayton, D. H.. (2005). Correlated evolution of host and parasite body size: Tests of Harrison's rule using birds and lice. Evolution, 59: 1744-.

  15. Maternal effects and the evolution of brain size in birds: overlooked developmental constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garamszegi, L Z; Biard, C; Eens, M; Møller, A P; Saino, N; Surai, P

    2007-01-01

    A central dogma for the evolution of brain size posits that the maintenance of large brains incurs developmental costs, because they need prolonged periods to grow during the early ontogeny. Such constraints are supported by the interspecific relationship between ontological differences and relative brain size in birds and mammals. Given that mothers can strongly influence the development of the offspring via maternal effects that potentially involve substances essential for growing brains, we argue that such effects may represent an important but overlooked component of developmental constraints on brain size. To demonstrate the importance of maternal effect on the evolution of brains, we investigated the interspecific relationship between relative brain size and maternal effects, as reflected by yolk testosterone, carotenoids, and vitamins A and E in a phylogenetic study of birds. Females of species with relatively large brains invested more in eggs in terms of testosterone and vitamin E than females of species with small brains. The effects of carotenoid and vitamin A levels on the evolution of relative brain size were weaker and non-significant. The association between relative brain size and yolk testosterone was curvilinear, suggesting that very high testosterone levels can be suppressive. However, at least in moderate physiological ranges, the positive relationship between components of maternal effects and relative brain size may imply one aspect of developmental costs of large brains. The relationship between vitamin E and relative brain size was weakened when we controlled for developmental mode, and thus the effect of this antioxidant may be indirect. Testosterone-enhanced neurogenesis and vitamin E-mediated defence against oxidative stress may have key functions when the brain of the embryo develops, with evolutionary consequences for relative brain size.

  16. Bees, birds and yellow flowers: pollinator-dependent convergent evolution of UV patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papiorek, S; Junker, R R; Alves-Dos-Santos, I; Melo, G A R; Amaral-Neto, L P; Sazima, M; Wolowski, M; Freitas, L; Lunau, K

    2016-01-01

    Colour is one of the most obvious advertisements of flowers, and occurs in a huge diversity among the angiosperms. Flower colour is responsible for attraction from a distance, whereas contrasting colour patterns within flowers aid orientation of flower visitors after approaching the flowers. Due to the striking differences in colour vision systems and neural processing across animal taxa, flower colours evoke specific behavioural responses by different flower visitors. We tested whether and how yellow flowers differ in their spectral reflectance depending on the main pollinator. We focused on bees and birds and examined whether the presence or absence of the widespread UV reflectance pattern of yellow flowers predicts the main pollinator. Most bee-pollinated flowers displayed a pattern with UV-absorbing centres and UV-reflecting peripheries, whereas the majority of bird-pollinated flowers are entirely UV- absorbing. In choice experiments we found that bees did not show consistent preferences for any colour or pattern types. However, all tested bee species made their first antennal contact preferably at the UV-absorbing area of the artificial flower, irrespective of its spatial position within the flower. The appearance of UV patterns within flowers is the main difference in spectral reflectance between yellow bee- and bird-pollinated flowers, and affects the foraging behaviour of flower visitors. The results support the hypothesis that flower colours and the visual capabilities of their efficient pollinators are adapted to each other. © 2015 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  17. The effect of mammalian herbivory on inflorescence architecture in ornithophilous Babiana (Iridaceae): implications for the evolution of a bird perch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Waal, Caroli; Barrett, Spencer C H; Anderson, Bruce

    2012-06-01

    The showiness of floral displays is usually explained as an adaptation to attract pollinators. However, selection for less attractive displays imposed by non-pollinating agents, particularly herbivores, may balance pollinator-driven selection for highly visible inflorescences. We investigated whether inflorescence architecture, particularly the unusual ground-level flowering associated with a specialized bird perch in Babiana ringens may have originated, in part, as an adaptive response to mammalian herbivory. We measured levels of herbivory by antelope in populations of B. hirsuta, the putative sister species of B. ringens, which possesses the likely ancestral form of inflorescence architecture. To test for position-dependent effects of herbivory on flowers, we compared the herbivory rates and seed production of manipulated inflorescences in a field experiment. We predicted that flowers at the base of inflorescences would suffer less herbivory than those in apical positions. We found herbivore damage to flowers in 50% of naturally occurring B. hirsuta plants. Manipulated inflorescences with only basal flowers, and consequently similar inflorescence architecture to B. ringens, experienced significantly lower herbivory and higher seed set than inflorescences manipulated to have only apical flowers. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that position-dependent herbivory on inflorescences could have played a role in the evolution of inflorescence design. More specifically, position-dependent herbivory may have selected for the loss of apical flowers. Position-dependent herbivory may have contributed toward the evolution of a naked inflorescence axis, a structure that characterizes B. ringens and functions as a bird perch facilitating cross-pollination by sunbirds.

  18. Mating systems, sperm competition, and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, P O; Whittingham, L A; Pitcher, T E

    2001-01-01

    Comparative analyses suggest that a variety of factors influence the evolution of sexual dimorphism in birds. We analyzed the relative importance of social mating system and sperm competition to sexual differences in plumage and body size (mass and tail and wing length) of more than 1,000 species of birds from throughout the world. In these analyses we controlled for phylogeny and a variety of ecological and life-history variables. We used testis size (corrected for total body mass) as an index of sperm competition in each species, because testis size is correlated with levels of extrapair paternity and is available for a large number of species. In contrast to recent studies, we found strong and consistent effects of social mating system on most forms of dimorphism. Social mating system strongly influenced dimorphism in plumage, body mass, and wing length and had some effect on dimorphism in tail length. Sexual dimorphism was relatively greater in species with polygynous or lekking than monogamous mating systems. This was true when we used both species and phylogenetically independent contrasts for analysis. Relative testis size was also related positively to dimorphism in tail and wing length, but in most analyses it was a poorer predictor of plumage dimorphism than social mating system. There was no association between relative testis size and mass dimorphism. Geographic region and life history were also associated with the four types of dimorphism, although their influence varied between the different types of dimorphism. Although there is much interest in the effects of sperm competition on sexual dimorphism, we suggest that traditional explanations based on social mating systems are better predictors of dimorphism in birds.

  19. The evolution of giant flightless birds and novel phylogenetic relationships for extinct fowl (Aves, Galloanseres)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worthy, Trevor H.; Degrange, Federico J.; Handley, Warren D.; Lee, Michael S. Y.

    2017-10-01

    The extinct dromornithids, gastornithids and phorusrhacids are among the most spectacular birds to have ever lived, with some giants exceeding 500 kg. The affinities and evolution of these and other related extinct birds remain contentious, with previous phylogenetic analyses being affected by widespread convergence and limited taxon sampling. We address these problems using both parsimony and tip-dated Bayesian approaches on an expansive taxon set that includes all key extinct flightless and flighted (e.g. Vegavis and lithornithids) forms, an extensive array of extant fowl (Galloanseres), representative Neoaves and palaeognaths. The Paleogene volant Lithornithidae are recovered as stem palaeognaths in the Bayesian analyses. The Galloanseres comprise four clades inferred to have diverged in the Late Cretaceous on Gondwana. In addition to Anseriformes and Galliformes, we recognize a robust new clade (Gastornithiformes) for the giant flightless Dromornithidae (Australia) and Gastornithidae (Eurasia, North America). This clade exhibits parallels to ratite palaeognaths in that flight presumably was lost and giant size attained multiple times. A fourth clade is represented by the Cretaceous Vegavis (Antarctica), which was strongly excluded from Anseriformes; thus, a crucial molecular calibration point needs to be reconsidered. The presbyornithids Wilaru (Australia) and Presbyornis (Northern Hemisphere) are robustly found to be the sister group to Anatoidea (Anseranatidae + Anatidae), a relatively more basal position than hitherto recognized. South America's largest bird, Brontornis, is not a galloansere, but a member of Neoaves related to Cariamiformes; therefore, giant Galloanseres remain unknown from this continent. Trait analyses showed that while gigantism and flightlessness evolved repeatedly in groups, diet is constrained by phylogeny: all giant Galloanseres and palaeognaths are herbivores or mainly herbivorous, and giant neoavians are zoophagous or omnivorous.

  20. Carotenoid-dependent signals and the evolution of plasma carotenoid levels in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Mirre J P; Maia, Rafael; Leenknegt, Bas; Verhulst, Simon

    2014-12-01

    Sexual selection has resulted in a wide array of ornaments used in mate choice, and such indicator traits signal quality honestly when they bear costs, precluding cheating. Carotenoid-dependent coloration has attracted considerable attention in this context, because investing carotenoids in coloration has to be traded off against its physiological functions; carotenoids are antioxidants and increase immunocompetence. This trade-off is hypothesized to underlie the honesty of carotenoid-dependent coloration, signaling the "handicap" of allocating carotenoids away from somatic maintenance toward sexual display. Utilizing recent advances in modeling adaptive evolution, we used a comparative approach to investigate the evolution of plasma carotenoid levels using a species-level phylogeny of 178 bird species. We find that the evolutionary optimum for carotenoid levels is higher in lineages that evolved carotenoid-dependent coloration, with strong attraction toward this optimum. Hence, carotenoids do not appear to be limiting, given that higher carotenoid levels readily evolve in response to the evolution of carotenoid-dependent coloration. These findings challenge the assumption that carotenoids are a scarce resource and thus also challenge the hypothesis that physiological resource value of carotenoids underlies honesty of carotenoid-dependent traits. Therefore, the comparative evidence suggests that other factors, such as the acquisition and incorporation of carotenoids, are involved in maintaining signal honesty.

  1. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F.

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity’. PMID:27994122

  2. Cranial shape evolution in adaptive radiations of birds: comparative morphometrics of Darwin's finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokita, Masayoshi; Yano, Wataru; James, Helen F; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2017-02-05

    Adaptive radiation is the rapid evolution of morphologically and ecologically diverse species from a single ancestor. The two classic examples of adaptive radiation are Darwin's finches and the Hawaiian honeycreepers, which evolved remarkable levels of adaptive cranial morphological variation. To gain new insights into the nature of their diversification, we performed comparative three-dimensional geometric morphometric analyses based on X-ray microcomputed tomography (µCT) scanning of dried cranial skeletons. We show that cranial shapes in both Hawaiian honeycreepers and Coerebinae (Darwin's finches and their close relatives) are much more diverse than in their respective outgroups, but Hawaiian honeycreepers as a group display the highest diversity and disparity of all other bird groups studied. We also report a significant contribution of allometry to skull shape variation, and distinct patterns of evolutionary change in skull morphology in the two lineages of songbirds that underwent adaptive radiation on oceanic islands. These findings help to better understand the nature of adaptive radiations in general and provide a foundation for future investigations on the developmental and molecular mechanisms underlying diversification of these morphologically distinguished groups of birds.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological diversity'. © 2016 The Authors.

  3. Unique caudal plumage of Jeholornis and complex tail evolution in early birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Jingmai; Wang, Xiaoli; Sullivan, Corwin; Zheng, Xiaoting; Tubaro, Pablo; Zhang, Xiaomei; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2013-10-22

    The Early Cretaceous bird Jeholornis was previously only known to have a distally restricted ornamental frond of tail feathers. We describe a previously unrecognized fan-shaped tract of feathers situated dorsal to the proximal caudal vertebrae. The position and morphology of these feathers is reminiscent of the specialized upper tail coverts observed in males of some sexually dimorphic neornithines. As in the neornithine tail, the unique "two-tail" plumage in Jeholornis probably evolved as the result of complex interactions between natural and sexual selective pressures and served both aerodynamic and ornamental functions. We suggest that the proximal fan would have helped to streamline the body and reduce drag whereas the distal frond was primarily ornamental. Jeholornis reveals that tail evolution was complex and not a simple progression from frond to fan.

  4. Aeroelastic flutter of feathers, flight and the evolution of non-vocal communication in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher J; Prum, Richard O

    2015-11-01

    Tonal, non-vocal sounds are widespread in both ordinary bird flight and communication displays. We hypothesized these sounds are attributable to an aerodynamic mechanism intrinsic to flight feathers: aeroelastic flutter. Individual wing and tail feathers from 35 taxa (from 13 families) that produce tonal flight sounds were tested in a wind tunnel. In the wind tunnel, all of these feathers could flutter and generate tonal sound, suggesting that the capacity to flutter is intrinsic to flight feathers. This result implies that the aerodynamic mechanism of aeroelastic flutter is potentially widespread in flight of birds. However, the sounds these feathers produced in the wind tunnel replicated the actual flight sounds of only 15 of the 35 taxa. Of the 20 negative results, we hypothesize that 10 are false negatives, as the acoustic form of the flight sound suggests flutter is a likely acoustic mechanism. For the 10 other taxa, we propose our negative wind tunnel results are correct, and these species do not make sounds via flutter. These sounds appear to constitute one or more mechanism(s) we call 'wing whirring', the physical acoustics of which remain unknown. Our results document that the production of non-vocal communication sounds by aeroelastic flutter of flight feathers is widespread in birds. Across all birds, most evolutionary origins of wing- and tail-generated communication sounds are attributable to three mechanisms: flutter, percussion and wing whirring. Other mechanisms of sound production, such as turbulence-induced whooshes, have evolved into communication sounds only rarely, despite their intrinsic ubiquity in ordinary flight. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  5. Birds and hard ticks (Acari: Ixodidae, with discussions about hypotheses on tick evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GUGLIELMONE AA

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between birds (Aves and hard ticks (Ixodidae was analyzed for the 386 of 725 tick extant species whose larva, nymph and adults are known as well as their natural hosts. A total of 136 (54 Prostriata= Ixodes, 82 Metastriata= all other genera are frequently found on Aves, but only 32 species (1 associated with Palaeognathae, 31 with Neognathae have all parasitic stages feeding on birds: 25 Ixodes (19% of the species analyzed for this genus, 6 Haemaphysalis (7% and 1 species of Amblyomma (2%. The species of Amblyomma feeds on marine birds (MB, the six Haemaphysalis are parasites of non-marine birds (NMB, and 14 of the 25 Ixodes feed on NMB, one feeds on NMB and MB, and ten on MB. The Australasian Ixodes + I. uriae clade probably originated at an uncertain time from the late Triassic to the early Cretaceous. It is speculated that Prostriata first hosts were Gondwanan theropod dinosaurs in an undetermined place before Pangaea break up; alternatively, if ancestral monotromes were involved in its evolution an Australasian origin of Prostriata seems plausible. As for Prostriata the Motherland of Ixodida is probably Gondwana. RESUMEN. Aves y garrapatas duras (Ixodidae, con discusión sobre hipótesis sobre evolución de las garrapatas. En esta revisión se analizó la relación entre aves y garrapatas duras (Ixodidae para las 386 de 725 especies de garrapatas que utilizan aves como hospedadores para larvas, ninfas y adultos. Un total de 136 especies (54 Prostriata= Ixodes, 82 Metastriata= restantes géneros son frecuentemente encontradas sobre aves, pero solo 32 especies (1 asociada con Palaeognathae, 31 con Neognathae tienen ciclos donde todos los estadios se alimentan sobre aves: 25 Ixodes (19% de las especies analizadas para este género, 6 Haemaphysalis (7% del total y 1 especie de Amblyomma (2% del total. Las especies de Amblyomma se alimentan sobre aves marinas (MB, las seis de Haemaphysalis son parásitas de aves no-marinas (NMB

  6. Does bird species diversity vary among forest types? A local-scale test in Southern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontúrbel, Francisco E.; Jiménez, Jaime E.

    2014-10-01

    Birds are the most diverse vertebrate group in Chile, characterized by low species turnover at the country-size scale (high alpha but low beta diversities), resembling an island biota. We tested whether this low differentiation is valid at a local scale, among six forest habitat types. We detected 25 bird species; avifauna composition was significantly different among habitat types, with five species accounting for 60 % of the dissimilarity. We found a higher level of bird assemblage differentiation across habitats at the local scale than has been found at the country-size scale. Such differentiation might be attributed to structural differences among habitats.

  7. Niche evolution and diversification in a Neotropical radiation of birds (Aves: Furnariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seeholzer, Glenn F; Claramunt, Santiago; Brumfield, Robb T

    2017-03-01

    Rapid diversification may be caused by ecological adaptive radiation via niche divergence. In this model, speciation is coupled with niche divergence and lineage diversification is predicted to be correlated with rates of niche evolution. Studies of the role of niche evolution in diversification have generally focused on ecomorphological diversification but climatic-niche evolution may also be important. We tested these alternatives using a phylogeny of 298 species of ovenbirds (Aves: Furnariidae). We found that within Furnariidae, variation in species richness and diversification rates of subclades were best predicted by rate of climatic-niche evolution than ecomorphological evolution. Although both are clearly important, univariate regression and multivariate model averaging more consistently supported the climatic-niche as the best predictor of lineage diversification. Our study adds to the growing body of evidence, suggesting that climatic-niche divergence may be an important driver of rapid diversification in addition to ecomorphological evolution. However, this pattern may depend on the phylogenetic scale at which rate heterogeneity is examined. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. Genetic characterization of low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses isolated on the Izumi plain in Japan: possible association of dynamic movements of wild birds with AIV evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, Hiroko; Okuya, Kosuke; Kawabata, Toshiko; Matsuu, Aya; Takase, Kozo; Kuwahara, Masakazu; Toda, Shigehisa; Ozawa, Makoto

    2018-04-01

    The Izumi plain in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, is an overwintering site of endangered cranes (hooded cranes and white-naped cranes) and of many other migratory birds (including wild ducks) that are considered carriers of avian influenza viruses (AIVs). To assess the risks of a highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in the crane populations, we tested various environmental samples for AIVs in this area. In the 2014-2015 winter season, we isolated one AIV of the H6N2 subtype from the cranes' roost water and two AIVs of the H11N9 subtype from a crane fecal sample and a cloacal swab of a dead spot-billed duck. Genetic analysis of these AIV isolates indicated that our H6N2 isolate is genetically close to AIVs isolated from wild birds in Southeast Asian countries, except that the PB1 and NS genes belong to the North American virus lineage. All genes of the two H11N9 isolates are related to AIVs belonging to the Eurasian virus lineage. Notably, in our phylogenetic trees, H11 HA and N9 NA genes showing high sequence similarity to the corresponding genes of isolates from wild birds in South Africa and Spain, respectively, did not cluster in the major groups with recent wild-bird isolates from East Asia. These results suggest that AIVs with viral gene segments derived from various locations and bird species have been brought to the Izumi plain. These findings imply a possible association of dynamic movements of wild birds with AIV evolution.

  9. Rapid evolution of Beta-keratin genes contribute to phenotypic differences that distinguish turtles and birds from other reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yang I; Kong, Lesheng; Ponting, Chris P; Haerty, Wilfried

    2013-01-01

    Sequencing of vertebrate genomes permits changes in distinct protein families, including gene gains and losses, to be ascribed to lineage-specific phenotypes. A prominent example of this is the large-scale duplication of beta-keratin genes in the ancestors of birds, which was crucial to the subsequent evolution of their beaks, claws, and feathers. Evidence suggests that the shell of Pseudomys nelsoni contains at least 16 beta-keratins proteins, but it is unknown whether this is a complete set and whether their corresponding genes are orthologous to avian beak, claw, or feather beta-keratin genes. To address these issues and to better understand the evolution of the turtle shell at a molecular level, we surveyed the diversity of beta-keratin genes from the genome assemblies of three turtles, Chrysemys picta, Pelodiscus sinensis, and Chelonia mydas, which together represent over 160 Myr of chelonian evolution. For these three turtles, we found 200 beta-keratins, which indicate that, as for birds, a large expansion of beta-keratin genes in turtles occurred concomitantly with the evolution of a unique phenotype, namely, their plastron and carapace. Phylogenetic reconstruction of beta-keratin gene evolution suggests that separate waves of gene duplication within a single genomic location gave rise to scales, claws, and feathers in birds, and independently the scutes of the shell in turtles.

  10. Independent Evolution of Transcriptional Inactivation on Sex Chromosomes in Birds and Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livernois, Alexandra M.; Waters, Shafagh A.; Deakin, Janine E.; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A.; Waters, Paul D.

    2013-01-01

    X chromosome inactivation in eutherian mammals has been thought to be tightly controlled, as expected from a mechanism that compensates for the different dosage of X-borne genes in XX females and XY males. However, many X genes escape inactivation in humans, inactivation of the X in marsupials is partial, and the unrelated sex chromosomes of monotreme mammals have incomplete and gene-specific inactivation of X-linked genes. The bird ZW sex chromosome system represents a third independently evolved amniote sex chromosome system with dosage compensation, albeit partial and gene-specific, via an unknown mechanism (i.e. upregulation of the single Z in females, down regulation of one or both Zs in males, or a combination). We used RNA-fluorescent in situ hybridization (RNA-FISH) to demonstrate, on individual fibroblast cells, inactivation of 11 genes on the chicken Z and 28 genes on the X chromosomes of platypus. Each gene displayed a reproducible frequency of 1Z/1X-active and 2Z/2X-active cells in the homogametic sex. Our results indicate that the probability of inactivation is controlled on a gene-by-gene basis (or small domains) on the chicken Z and platypus X chromosomes. This regulatory mechanism must have been exapted independently to the non-homologous sex chromosomes in birds and mammals in response to an over-expressed Z or X in the homogametic sex, highlighting the universal importance that (at least partial) silencing plays in the evolution on amniote dosage compensation and, therefore, the differentiation of sex chromosomes. PMID:23874231

  11. Independent evolution of transcriptional inactivation on sex chromosomes in birds and mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra M Livernois

    Full Text Available X chromosome inactivation in eutherian mammals has been thought to be tightly controlled, as expected from a mechanism that compensates for the different dosage of X-borne genes in XX females and XY males. However, many X genes escape inactivation in humans, inactivation of the X in marsupials is partial, and the unrelated sex chromosomes of monotreme mammals have incomplete and gene-specific inactivation of X-linked genes. The bird ZW sex chromosome system represents a third independently evolved amniote sex chromosome system with dosage compensation, albeit partial and gene-specific, via an unknown mechanism (i.e. upregulation of the single Z in females, down regulation of one or both Zs in males, or a combination. We used RNA-fluorescent in situ hybridization (RNA-FISH to demonstrate, on individual fibroblast cells, inactivation of 11 genes on the chicken Z and 28 genes on the X chromosomes of platypus. Each gene displayed a reproducible frequency of 1Z/1X-active and 2Z/2X-active cells in the homogametic sex. Our results indicate that the probability of inactivation is controlled on a gene-by-gene basis (or small domains on the chicken Z and platypus X chromosomes. This regulatory mechanism must have been exapted independently to the non-homologous sex chromosomes in birds and mammals in response to an over-expressed Z or X in the homogametic sex, highlighting the universal importance that (at least partial silencing plays in the evolution on amniote dosage compensation and, therefore, the differentiation of sex chromosomes.

  12. Evaluation of Nucleic Acid Preservation Cards for West Nile Virus Testing in Dead Birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie Foss

    Full Text Available The California West Nile virus (WNV Dead Bird Surveillance Program (DBSP is an important component of WNV surveillance in the state. We evaluated FTA™ and RNASound™ cards as an alternative method for sampling dead birds for WNV molecular testing as these cards allow for more cost effective, rapid, and safer diagnostic sampling than the shipment of bird carcasses. To evaluate accuracy of results among avian sampling regimes, Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR results from FTA™ and RNASound™ cards were compared with results from kidney tissue, brain tissue, or oral swabs in lysis buffer in 2012-2013. In addition, RT-PCR results were compared with results from oral swabs tested by rapid antigen tests (RAMP™ and VecTOR™. While test results from the cards were not as sensitive as kidney tissue testing, they were more likely to provide accurate results than rapid antigen tests, and detected WNV in corvids as well as in other passerines, raptors, and waterfowl. Overall, WNV RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct scores from the cards were higher than those from tissue testing, but both card products displayed high sensitivity and specificity. American Crow samples provided the highest sensitivity. The cards also proved to be easier and more convenient vehicles for collecting and shipping samples, and in 2014 our program launched use of RNASound™ cards in the DBSP. Both FTA™ and RNASound™ products displayed 96% agreement with tissue results and are an adequate alternative sampling method for WNV dead bird testing.

  13. Obligate brood parasites as selective agents for evolution of egg appearance in passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokke, Bard G; Moksnes, Arne; Røskaft, Eivin

    2002-01-01

    Many passerine host species have counteracted the parasite egg mimicry in their coevolutionary arms race with the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) by evolving increased interclutch and reduced intraclutch variation in egg appearance. Such variations make it easier for hosts to recognize a foreign egg, reduce the possibility of making recognition errors, and reduce the ability of the cuckoo to mimic the eggs of a particular host. Here, we investigate if such clutch characteristics have evolved among North American passerines. We predict that due to the absence of brood parasites with egg mimicry on this continent, these passerines should (1) not show any relationship between rejection rates and intra- or interclutch variation, and (2) intraclutch variation should be lower and interclutch variation higher in European hosts exposed to cuckoo parasitism as compared to North American hosts parasitized by cowbirds. Here we present data that show support for most of these and other predictions, as well as when controlling statistically for effects of common descent. However, the effect of continent on intraclutch variation was less than predicted and we discuss a possible reason for this. All things considered, the results demonstrate that parasitism by a specialist brood parasite with egg mimicry is a powerful selective force regarding the evolution of egg characteristics in passerine birds.

  14. Megafans and Trumpeter Bird Biodiversity-Psophia Phylogeography and Landscape Evolution in Amazonia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Justin

    2014-01-01

    Based on geomorphic character and mapped geology, geologists have interpreted the landscape surrounding the Andes Mountains as becoming progressively younger to the East. These sedimentary materials filled the late Miocene swampland that formerly occupied central and western Amazonia. Apart from the ancient landscapes of the Guiana Highlands (top right, figure 1a), Zone Ac is the oldest, followed by Zone Aw, within which megafan Jw is older than megafan Je (figure 1a). DNA-based paleogeography of the trumpeters shows that younger clades diverge from parent lineages with increasing distance from the Andes chain. Thus, Psophia napensis diverges from the P. crepitans parent, and P. ochroptera diverges from P. napensis. The P. ochroptera population is confined solely to the Je megafan (figure 1a). The same trend is seen on the south side of the Amazon depression. Since the timing of the events seems to be of exactly the same order [post-Miocene for the land surfaces and trumpeter divergence within the last 3 million years (figure 1d)], it seems reasonable to think that the megafans provided the substrate on which new bird lineages could speciate. Such physical controls of evolution are becoming more important in the understanding of biodiversity.

  15. EVOLUTION OF CONCEPTION OF INTEGRAL BIRDS AREAL: ANALYSIS OF MIGRATORY FLYWAYS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shepelova I. A.

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Data on distribution and abundance of Ukraine migratory birds have nonsystematic character. Up to now there is no integrated evaluation of migratory bird populations’ status. The available information is of regional importance or it covers limited time period. Therefore, it is obvious to unite all the relevant information in order to establish monitoring program and work out the methodic on migratory birds abundance estimation concerning the Black-Mediterranean Sea Flyway.

  16. A 'Turing' Test for Landscape Evolution Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, A. J.; Wise, S. M.; Wainwright, J.; Swift, D. A.

    2008-12-01

    Resolving the interactions among tectonics, climate and surface processes at long timescales has benefited from the development of computer models of landscape evolution. However, testing these Landscape Evolution Models (LEMs) has been piecemeal and partial. We argue that a more systematic approach is required. What is needed is a test that will establish how 'realistic' an LEM is and thus the extent to which its predictions may be trusted. We propose a test based upon the Turing Test of artificial intelligence as a way forward. In 1950 Alan Turing posed the question of whether a machine could think. Rather than attempt to address the question directly he proposed a test in which an interrogator asked questions of a person and a machine, with no means of telling which was which. If the machine's answer could not be distinguished from those of the human, the machine could be said to demonstrate artificial intelligence. By analogy, if an LEM cannot be distinguished from a real landscape it can be deemed to be realistic. The Turing test of intelligence is a test of the way in which a computer behaves. The analogy in the case of an LEM is that it should show realistic behaviour in terms of form and process, both at a given moment in time (punctual) and in the way both form and process evolve over time (dynamic). For some of these behaviours, tests already exist. For example there are numerous morphometric tests of punctual form and measurements of punctual process. The test discussed in this paper provides new ways of assessing dynamic behaviour of an LEM over realistically long timescales. However challenges remain in developing an appropriate suite of challenging tests, in applying these tests to current LEMs and in developing LEMs that pass them.

  17. The evolution of high summit metabolism and cold tolerance in birds and its impact on present-day distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, David L; Garland, Theodore

    2009-01-01

    Summit metabolic rate (M(sum), maximum cold-induced metabolic rate) is positively correlated with cold tolerance in birds, suggesting that high M(sum) is important for residency in cold climates. However, the phylogenetic distribution of high M(sum) among birds and the impact of its evolution on current distributions are not well understood. Two potential adaptive hypotheses might explain the phylogenetic distribution of high M(sum) among birds. The cold adaptation hypothesis contends that species wintering in cold climates should have higher M(sum) than species wintering in warmer climates. The flight adaptation hypothesis suggests that volant birds might be capable of generating high M(sum) as a byproduct of their muscular capacity for flight; thus, variation in M(sum) should be associated with capacity for sustained flight, one indicator of which is migration. We collected M(sum) data from the literature for 44 bird species and conducted both conventional and phylogenetically informed statistical analyses to examine the predictors of M(sum) variation. Significant phylogenetic signal was present for log body mass, log mass-adjusted M(sum), and average temperature in the winter range. In multiple regression models, log body mass, winter temperature, and clade were significant predictors of log M(sum). These results are consistent with a role for climate in determining M(sum) in birds, but also indicate that phylogenetic signal remains even after accounting for associations indicative of adaptation to winter temperature. Migratory strategy was never a significant predictor of log M(sum) in multiple regressions, a result that is not consistent with the flight adaptation hypothesis.

  18. Baseline investigations of bats and birds at Wind Turbine Test Centre Østerild

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    The Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University was commissioned by the Danish Nature Agency to undertake a bat and bird monitoring programme prior to the construction of a national test centre for wind turbines near Østerild in Thy, Denmark. The occurrence and activity level of bats in Østerild...... Plantation and the vicinity were monitored in summer and autumn 2011. Bats were recorded on 57-100% of surveyed nights at individual wind turbine sites, ponds and lakes. A total of seven species were recorded. Pond bats were recorded at all sites and throughout the survey period in the plantation. Whooper......, the potential impacts of the combined structures on the bird species occurring in the study area were considered unlikely to be significant. However, given the uncertainties in the preliminary assessment, the post-construction programme will further investigate potential impacts on bats and birds....

  19. Macroevolutionary speciation rates are decoupled from the evolution of intrinsic reproductive isolation in Drosophila and birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabosky, Daniel L; Matute, Daniel R

    2013-09-17

    The rate at which speciation occurs varies greatly among different kinds of organisms and is frequently assumed to result from species- or clade-specific factors that influence the rate at which populations acquire reproductive isolation. This premise leads to a fundamental prediction that has never been tested: Organisms that quickly evolve prezygotic or postzygotic reproductive isolation should have faster rates of speciation than organisms that slowly acquire reproductive isolation. We combined phylogenetic estimates of speciation rates from Drosophila and birds with a method for analyzing interspecific hybridization data to test whether the rate at which individual lineages evolve reproductive isolation predicts their macroevolutionary rate of species formation. We find that some lineages evolve reproductive isolation much more quickly than others, but this variation is decoupled from rates of speciation as measured on phylogenetic trees. For the clades examined here, reproductive isolation--especially intrinsic, postzygotic isolation--does not seem to be the rate-limiting control on macroevolutionary diversification dynamics. These results suggest that factors associated with intrinsic reproductive isolation may have less to do with the tremendous variation in species diversity across the evolutionary tree of life than is generally assumed.

  20. Evolution of embryonic developmental period in the marine bird families Alcidae and Spheniscidae: roles for nutrition and predation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hipfner, J Mark; Gorman, Kristen B; Vos, Rutger A; Joy, Jeffrey B

    2010-06-14

    Nutrition and predation have been considered two primary agents of selection important in the evolution of avian life history traits. The relative importance of these natural selective forces in the evolution of avian embryonic developmental period (EDP) remain poorly resolved, perhaps in part because research has tended to focus on a single, high taxonomic-level group of birds: Order Passeriformes. The marine bird families Alcidae (auks) and Spheniscidae (penguins) exhibit marked variation in EDP, as well as behavioural and ecological traits ultimately linked to EDP. Therefore, auks and penguins provide a unique opportunity to assess the natural selective basis of variation in a key life-history trait at a low taxonomic-level. We used phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate the relative importance of behavioural and ecological factors related to nutrition and predation in the evolution of avian EDP. Three behavioural and ecological variables related to nutrition and predation risk (i.e., clutch size, activity pattern, and nesting habits) were significant predictors of residual variation in auk and penguin EDP based on models predicting EDP from egg mass. Species with larger clutch sizes, diurnal activity patterns, and open nests had significantly shorter EDPs. Further, EDP was found to be longer among birds which forage in distant offshore waters, relative to those that foraged in near shore waters, in line with our predictions, but not significantly so. Current debate has emphasized predation as the primary agent of selection driving avian life history diversification. Our results suggest that both nutrition and predation have been important selective forces in the evolution of auk and penguin EDP, and highlight the importance of considering these questions at lower taxonomic scales. We suggest that further comparative studies on lower taxonomic-level groups will continue to constructively inform the debate on evolutionary determinants of avian EDP, as

  1. Evolution of embryonic developmental period in the marine bird families Alcidae and Spheniscidae: roles for nutrition and predation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vos Rutger A

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nutrition and predation have been considered two primary agents of selection important in the evolution of avian life history traits. The relative importance of these natural selective forces in the evolution of avian embryonic developmental period (EDP remain poorly resolved, perhaps in part because research has tended to focus on a single, high taxonomic-level group of birds: Order Passeriformes. The marine bird families Alcidae (auks and Spheniscidae (penguins exhibit marked variation in EDP, as well as behavioural and ecological traits ultimately linked to EDP. Therefore, auks and penguins provide a unique opportunity to assess the natural selective basis of variation in a key life-history trait at a low taxonomic-level. We used phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate the relative importance of behavioural and ecological factors related to nutrition and predation in the evolution of avian EDP. Results Three behavioural and ecological variables related to nutrition and predation risk (i.e., clutch size, activity pattern, and nesting habits were significant predictors of residual variation in auk and penguin EDP based on models predicting EDP from egg mass. Species with larger clutch sizes, diurnal activity patterns, and open nests had significantly shorter EDPs. Further, EDP was found to be longer among birds which forage in distant offshore waters, relative to those that foraged in near shore waters, in line with our predictions, but not significantly so. Conclusion Current debate has emphasized predation as the primary agent of selection driving avian life history diversification. Our results suggest that both nutrition and predation have been important selective forces in the evolution of auk and penguin EDP, and highlight the importance of considering these questions at lower taxonomic scales. We suggest that further comparative studies on lower taxonomic-level groups will continue to constructively inform the

  2. Evolution of parental incubation behaviour in dinosaurs cannot be inferred from clutch mass in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birchard, Geoffrey F; Ruta, Marcello; Deeming, D Charles

    2013-08-23

    A recent study proposed that incubation behaviour (i.e. type of parental care) in theropod dinosaurs can be inferred from an allometric analysis of clutch volume in extant birds. However, the study in question failed to account for factors known to affect egg and clutch size in living bird species. A new scaling analysis of avian clutch mass demonstrates that type of parental care cannot be distinguished by conventional allometry because of the confounding effects of phylogeny and hatchling maturity. Precociality of young but not paternal care in the theropod ancestors of birds is consistent with the available data.

  3. Sperm competition selects beyond relative testes size in birds

    OpenAIRE

    Lüpold S; Linz GM; Rivers JW; Westneat DF; Birkhead TR

    2009-01-01

    Sperm morphology varies considerably across taxa and postcopulatory sexual selection is thought to be one of the main forces responsible for this diversity. Several studies have investigated the effects of the variation in sperm design on sperm function but the consequences of variation in sperm design on testis morphology have been overlooked. Testes size or architecture may determine the size of the sperm they produce and selection for longer sperm may require concomitant adaptations in the...

  4. Using landscape ecology to test hypotheses about large-scale abundance patterns in migratory birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flather, C.H.; Sauer, J.R.

    1996-01-01

    The hypothesis that Neotropical migrant birds may be undergoing widespread declines due to land use activities on the breeding grounds has been examined primarily by synthesizing results from local studies. Growing concern for the cumulative influence of land use activities on ecological systems has heightened the need for large-scale studies to complement what has been observed at local scales. We investigated possible landscape effects on Neotropical migrant bird populations for the eastern United States by linking two large-scale inventories designed to monitor breeding-bird abundances and land use patterns. The null hypothesis of no relation between landscape structure and Neotropical migrant abundance was tested by correlating measures of landscape structure with bird abundance, while controlling for the geographic distance among samples. Neotropical migrants as a group were more 'sensitive' to landscape structure than either temperate migrants or permanent residents. Neotropical migrants tended to be more abundant in landscapes with a greater proportion of forest and wetland habitats, fewer edge habitats, large forest patches, and with forest habitats well dispersed throughout the scene. Permanent residents showed few correlations with landscape structure and temperate migrants were associated with habitat diversity and edge attributes rather than with the amount, size, and dispersion of forest habitats. The association between Neotropical migrant abundance and forest fragmentation differed among physiographic strata, suggesting that land-scape context affects observed relations between bird abundance and landscape structure. Finally, associations between landscape structure and temporal trends in Neotropical migrant abundance were negatively correlated with forest habitats. These results suggest that extrapolation of patterns observed in some landscapes is not likely to hold regionally, and that conservation policies must consider the variation in landscape

  5. New developmental evidence clarifies the evolution of wrist bones in the dinosaur-bird transition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botelho, João Francisco; Ossa-Fuentes, Luis; Soto-Acuña, Sergio; Smith-Paredes, Daniel; Nuñez-León, Daniel; Salinas-Saavedra, Miguel; Ruiz-Flores, Macarena; Vargas, Alexander O

    2014-09-01

    From early dinosaurs with as many as nine wrist bones, modern birds evolved to develop only four ossifications. Their identity is uncertain, with different labels used in palaeontology and developmental biology. We examined embryos of several species and studied chicken embryos in detail through a new technique allowing whole-mount immunofluorescence of the embryonic cartilaginous skeleton. Beyond previous controversy, we establish that the proximal-anterior ossification develops from a composite radiale+intermedium cartilage, consistent with fusion of radiale and intermedium observed in some theropod dinosaurs. Despite previous claims that the development of the distal-anterior ossification does not support the dinosaur-bird link, we found its embryonic precursor shows two distinct regions of both collagen type II and collagen type IX expression, resembling the composite semilunate bone of bird-like dinosaurs (distal carpal 1+distal carpal 2). The distal-posterior ossification develops from a cartilage referred to as "element x," but its position corresponds to distal carpal 3. The proximal-posterior ossification is perhaps most controversial: It is labelled as the ulnare in palaeontology, but we confirm the embryonic ulnare is lost during development. Re-examination of the fossil evidence reveals the ulnare was actually absent in bird-like dinosaurs. We confirm the proximal-posterior bone is a pisiform in terms of embryonic position and its development as a sesamoid associated to a tendon. However, the pisiform is absent in bird-like dinosaurs, which are known from several articulated specimens. The combined data provide compelling evidence of a remarkable evolutionary reversal: A large, ossified pisiform re-evolved in the lineage leading to birds, after a period in which it was either absent, nonossified, or very small, consistently escaping fossil preservation. The bird wrist provides a modern example of how developmental and paleontological data illuminate

  6. New Developmental Evidence Clarifies the Evolution of Wrist Bones in the Dinosaur–Bird Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botelho, João Francisco; Ossa-Fuentes, Luis; Soto-Acuña, Sergio; Smith-Paredes, Daniel; Nuñez-León, Daniel; Salinas-Saavedra, Miguel; Ruiz-Flores, Macarena; Vargas, Alexander O.

    2014-01-01

    From early dinosaurs with as many as nine wrist bones, modern birds evolved to develop only four ossifications. Their identity is uncertain, with different labels used in palaeontology and developmental biology. We examined embryos of several species and studied chicken embryos in detail through a new technique allowing whole-mount immunofluorescence of the embryonic cartilaginous skeleton. Beyond previous controversy, we establish that the proximal–anterior ossification develops from a composite radiale+intermedium cartilage, consistent with fusion of radiale and intermedium observed in some theropod dinosaurs. Despite previous claims that the development of the distal–anterior ossification does not support the dinosaur–bird link, we found its embryonic precursor shows two distinct regions of both collagen type II and collagen type IX expression, resembling the composite semilunate bone of bird-like dinosaurs (distal carpal 1+distal carpal 2). The distal–posterior ossification develops from a cartilage referred to as “element x,” but its position corresponds to distal carpal 3. The proximal–posterior ossification is perhaps most controversial: It is labelled as the ulnare in palaeontology, but we confirm the embryonic ulnare is lost during development. Re-examination of the fossil evidence reveals the ulnare was actually absent in bird-like dinosaurs. We confirm the proximal–posterior bone is a pisiform in terms of embryonic position and its development as a sesamoid associated to a tendon. However, the pisiform is absent in bird-like dinosaurs, which are known from several articulated specimens. The combined data provide compelling evidence of a remarkable evolutionary reversal: A large, ossified pisiform re-evolved in the lineage leading to birds, after a period in which it was either absent, nonossified, or very small, consistently escaping fossil preservation. The bird wrist provides a modern example of how developmental and paleontological

  7. Evolution of parental incubation behaviour in dinosaurs cannot be inferred from clutch mass in birds

    OpenAIRE

    Birchard, Geoffrey F.; Ruta, Marcello; Deeming, D. Charles

    2013-01-01

    A recent study proposed that incubation behaviour (i.e. type of parental care) in theropod dinosaurs can be inferred from an allometric analysis of clutch volume in extant birds. However, the study in question failed to account for factors known to affect egg and clutch size in living bird species. A new scaling analysis of avian clutch mass demonstrates that type of parental care cannot be distinguished by conventional allometry because of the confounding effects of phylogeny and hatchling m...

  8. New developmental evidence clarifies the evolution of wrist bones in the dinosaur-bird transition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Francisco Botelho

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available From early dinosaurs with as many as nine wrist bones, modern birds evolved to develop only four ossifications. Their identity is uncertain, with different labels used in palaeontology and developmental biology. We examined embryos of several species and studied chicken embryos in detail through a new technique allowing whole-mount immunofluorescence of the embryonic cartilaginous skeleton. Beyond previous controversy, we establish that the proximal-anterior ossification develops from a composite radiale+intermedium cartilage, consistent with fusion of radiale and intermedium observed in some theropod dinosaurs. Despite previous claims that the development of the distal-anterior ossification does not support the dinosaur-bird link, we found its embryonic precursor shows two distinct regions of both collagen type II and collagen type IX expression, resembling the composite semilunate bone of bird-like dinosaurs (distal carpal 1+distal carpal 2. The distal-posterior ossification develops from a cartilage referred to as "element x," but its position corresponds to distal carpal 3. The proximal-posterior ossification is perhaps most controversial: It is labelled as the ulnare in palaeontology, but we confirm the embryonic ulnare is lost during development. Re-examination of the fossil evidence reveals the ulnare was actually absent in bird-like dinosaurs. We confirm the proximal-posterior bone is a pisiform in terms of embryonic position and its development as a sesamoid associated to a tendon. However, the pisiform is absent in bird-like dinosaurs, which are known from several articulated specimens. The combined data provide compelling evidence of a remarkable evolutionary reversal: A large, ossified pisiform re-evolved in the lineage leading to birds, after a period in which it was either absent, nonossified, or very small, consistently escaping fossil preservation. The bird wrist provides a modern example of how developmental and paleontological

  9. Rethinking developmental toxicity testing: Evolution or revolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scialli, Anthony R; Daston, George; Chen, Connie; Coder, Prägati S; Euling, Susan Y; Foreman, Jennifer; Hoberman, Alan M; Hui, Julia; Knudsen, Thomas; Makris, Susan L; Morford, LaRonda; Piersma, Aldert H; Stanislaus, Dinesh; Thompson, Kary E

    2018-02-12

    Current developmental toxicity testing adheres largely to protocols suggested in 1966 involving the administration of test compound to pregnant laboratory animals. After more than 50 years of embryo-fetal development testing, are we ready to consider a different approach to human developmental toxicity testing? A workshop was held under the auspices of the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology Technical Committee of the ILSI Health and Environmental Sciences Institute to consider how we might design developmental toxicity testing if we started over with 21st century knowledge and techniques (revolution). We first consider what changes to the current protocols might be recommended to make them more predictive for human risk (evolution). The evolutionary approach includes modifications of existing protocols and can include humanized models, disease models, more accurate assessment and testing of metabolites, and informed approaches to dose selection. The revolution could start with hypothesis-driven testing where we take what we know about a compound or close analog and answer specific questions using targeted experimental techniques rather than a one-protocol-fits-all approach. Central to the idea of hypothesis-driven testing is the concept that testing can be done at the level of mode of action. It might be feasible to identify a small number of key events at a molecular or cellular level that predict an adverse outcome and for which testing could be performed in vitro or in silico or, rarely, using limited in vivo models. Techniques for evaluating these key events exist today or are in development. Opportunities exist for refining and then replacing current developmental toxicity testing protocols using techniques that have already been developed or are within reach. © 2018 The Authors. Birth Defects Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Discovery of the elusive leptin in birds: identification of several 'missing links' in the evolution of leptin and its receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Dynamic evolution of the alpha (α) and beta (β) keratins has accompanied integument diversification and the adaptation of birds into novel lifestyles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greenwold, Matthew J.; Bao, Weier; Jarvis, Erich D.

    2014-01-01

    of keratinocyte β-keratin genes. Additionally, birds of prey have a larger proportion of claw β-keratins. Analysis of α- and β-keratin expression during development of chicken scales and feathers demonstrates that while α-keratins are expressed in these tissues, the number and magnitude of expressed β......BACKGROUND: Vertebrate skin appendages are constructed of keratins produced by multigene families. Alpha (α) keratins are found in all vertebrates, while beta (β) keratins are found exclusively in reptiles and birds. We have studied the molecular evolution of these gene families in the genomes...... of 48 phylogenetically diverse birds and their expression in the scales and feathers of the chicken. RESULTS: We found that the total number of α-keratins is lower in birds than mammals and non-avian reptiles, yet two α-keratin genes (KRT42 and KRT75) have expanded in birds. The β-keratins, however...

  12. Evolutionary dynamics of Rh2 opsins in birds demonstrate an episode of accelerated evolution in the New World warblers (Setophaga).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    Low rates of sequence evolution associated with purifying selection can be interrupted by episodic changes in selective regimes. Visual pigments are a unique system in which we can investigate the functional consequences of genetic changes, therefore connecting genotype to phenotype in the context of natural and sexual selection pressures. We study the RH2 and RH1 visual pigments (opsins) across 22 bird species belonging to two ecologically convergent clades, the New World warblers (Parulidae) and Old World warblers (Phylloscopidae) and evaluate rates of evolution in these clades along with data from 21 additional species. We demonstrate generally slow evolution of these opsins: both Rh1 and Rh2 are highly conserved across Old World and New World warblers. However, Rh2 underwent a burst of evolution within the New World genus Setophaga, where it accumulated substitutions at 6 amino acid sites across the species we studied. Evolutionary analyses revealed a significant increase in dN /dS in Setophaga, implying relatively strong selective pressures to overcome long-standing purifying selection. We studied the effects of each substitution on spectral tuning and found they do not cause large spectral shifts. Thus, substitutions may reflect other aspects of opsin function, such as those affecting photosensitivity and/or dark-light adaptation. Although it is unclear what these alterations mean for colour perception, we suggest that rapid evolution is linked to sexual selection, given the exceptional plumage colour diversification in Setophaga. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Apes, Wolves, Birds, and Humans: Toward a Comparative Foundation for a Functional Theory of Language Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Jane H.

    1977-01-01

    This article reviews the possibilities that a comparative, functionally oriented view of communication evolution offers to a linguist interested in the evolution of human languages and suggests a wide variety of areas which might be further investigated with profit. (CFM)

  14. Evolution and functional significance of derived sternal ossification patterns in ornithothoracine birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’connor, J. K.; Zheng, X.-T.; Sullivan, C.; Chuong, C.-M.; Wang, X.-L.; Li, A.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, X.-M.; Zhou, Z.-H.

    2017-01-01

    The midline pattern of sternal ossification characteristic of the Cretaceous enantiornithine birds is unique among the Ornithodira, the group containing birds, nonavian dinosaurs and pterosaurs. This has been suggested to indicate that Enantiornithes is not the sister group of Ornithuromorpha, the clade that includes living birds and their close relatives, which would imply rampant convergence in many nonsternal features between enantiornithines and ornithuromorphs. However, detailed comparisons reveal greater similarity between neornithine (i.e. crown group bird) and enantiornithine modes of sternal ossification than previously recognized. Furthermore, a new subadult enantiornithine specimen demonstrates that sternal ossification followed a more typically ornithodiran pattern in basal members of the clade. This new specimen, referable to the Pengornithidae, indicates that the unique ossification pattern observed in other juvenile enantiornithines is derived within Enantiornithes. A similar but clearly distinct pattern appears to have evolved in parallel in the ornithuromorph lineage. The atypical mode of sternal ossification in some derived enantiornithines should be regarded as an autapomorphic condition rather than an indication that enantiornithines are not close relatives of ornithuromorphs. Based on what is known about molecular mechanisms for morphogenesis and the possible selective advantages, the parallel shifts to midline ossification that took place in derived enantiornithines and living neognathous birds appear to have been related to the development of a large ventral keel, which is only present in ornithuromorphs and enantiornithines. Midline ossification can serve to medially reinforce the sternum at a relatively early ontogenetic stage, which would have been especially beneficial during the protracted development of the superprecocial Cretaceous enantiornithines. PMID:26079847

  15. Evolution and functional significance of derived sternal ossification patterns in ornithothoracine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, J K; Zheng, X-T; Sullivan, C; Chuong, C-M; Wang, X-L; Li, A; Wang, Y; Zhang, X-M; Zhou, Z-H

    2015-08-01

    The midline pattern of sternal ossification characteristic of the Cretaceous enantiornithine birds is unique among the Ornithodira, the group containing birds, nonavian dinosaurs and pterosaurs. This has been suggested to indicate that Enantiornithes is not the sister group of Ornithuromorpha, the clade that includes living birds and their close relatives, which would imply rampant convergence in many nonsternal features between enantiornithines and ornithuromorphs. However, detailed comparisons reveal greater similarity between neornithine (i.e. crown group bird) and enantiornithine modes of sternal ossification than previously recognized. Furthermore, a new subadult enantiornithine specimen demonstrates that sternal ossification followed a more typically ornithodiran pattern in basal members of the clade. This new specimen, referable to the Pengornithidae, indicates that the unique ossification pattern observed in other juvenile enantiornithines is derived within Enantiornithes. A similar but clearly distinct pattern appears to have evolved in parallel in the ornithuromorph lineage. The atypical mode of sternal ossification in some derived enantiornithines should be regarded as an autapomorphic condition rather than an indication that enantiornithines are not close relatives of ornithuromorphs. Based on what is known about molecular mechanisms for morphogenesis and the possible selective advantages, the parallel shifts to midline ossification that took place in derived enantiornithines and living neognathous birds appear to have been related to the development of a large ventral keel, which is only present in ornithuromorphs and enantiornithines. Midline ossification can serve to medially reinforce the sternum at a relatively early ontogenetic stage, which would have been especially beneficial during the protracted development of the superprecocial Cretaceous enantiornithines. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology

  16. Evolution and plasticity: Divergence of song discrimination is faster in birds with innate song than in song learners in Neotropical passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Benjamin G; Montgomery, Graham A; Schluter, Dolph

    2017-09-01

    Plasticity is often thought to accelerate trait evolution and speciation. For example, plasticity in birdsong may partially explain why clades of song learners are more diverse than related clades with innate song. This "song learning" hypothesis predicts that (1) differences in song traits evolve faster in song learners, and (2) behavioral discrimination against allopatric song (a proxy for premating reproductive isolation) evolves faster in song learners. We tested these predictions by analyzing acoustic traits and conducting playback experiments in allopatric Central American sister pairs of song learning oscines (N = 42) and nonlearning suboscines (N = 27). We found that nonlearners evolved mean acoustic differences slightly faster than did leaners, and that the mean evolutionary rate of song discrimination was 4.3 times faster in nonlearners than in learners. These unexpected results may be a consequence of significantly greater variability in song traits in song learners (by 54-79%) that requires song-learning oscines to evolve greater absolute differences in song before achieving the same level of behavioral song discrimination as nonlearning suboscines. This points to "a downside of learning" for the evolution of species discrimination, and represents an important example of plasticity reducing the rate of evolution and diversification by increasing variability. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. Two tests of a stochastic dynamic programming model of daily singing routines in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas

    1999-02-01

    Many hypotheses have been put forward to account for the dawn chorus in birds. Few of these, however, are able to account for variation in song output over the whole day, or for differences in daily singing routines between species, individuals, seasons and environmental conditions. One hypothesis that does offer a more general explanation is based on a stochastic dynamic programming (SDP) model of daily singing routines. This model relates the relative costs and benefits of feeding and singing at different times of day to the size of a bird's fat reserves and calculates the optimal daily routines of singing and foraging that will maximize the amount that the bird can sing while avoiding starvation. The use of SDP models in behavioural ecology has become well established, but they remain largely untested empirically. I tested two predictions of the SDP model of daily routines of singing, using free-living European robins Erithacus rubecula. The results supported both predictions: (1) food supplementation causing unpredictable short-term increases in foraging success increased subsequent song output; and (2) changes in ambient temperature were positively associated with changes in subsequent song output. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  18. Unique caudal plumage of Jeholornis and complex tail evolution in early birds

    OpenAIRE

    O’Connor, Jingmai; Wang, Xiaoli; Sullivan, Corwin; Zheng, Xiaoting; Tubaro, Pablo; Zhang, Xiaomei; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2013-01-01

    The Early Cretaceous bird Jeholornis was previously only known to have a distally restricted ornamental frond of tail feathers. We describe a previously unrecognized fan-shaped tract of feathers situated dorsal to the proximal caudal vertebrae. The position and morphology of these feathers is reminiscent of the specialized upper tail coverts observed in males of some sexually dimorphic neornithines. As in the neornithine tail, the unique “two-tail” plumage in Jeholornis probably evolved as th...

  19. Evolution of clutch size in cavity-excavating birds: the nest site limitation hypothesis revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiebe, Karen L; Koenig, Walter D; Martin, Kathy

    2006-03-01

    There are two major competing hypotheses for variation in clutch size among cavity-nesting species. The nest site limitation hypothesis postulates that nesting opportunities are more limited for weak excavators, which consequently invest more in each breeding attempt by laying larger clutches. Alternatively, clutch size may be determined by diet; the clutch sizes of strong excavators may be smaller because they are able to specialize on a more seasonally stable prey. We built a conceptual model that integrated hypotheses for interspecific variation in clutch size and tested it with comparative data on life-history traits of woodpeckers (Picidae) and nuthatches (Sittidae). In most analyses, diet explained more variation in clutch size among species than did propensity to excavate. Migratory status was positively associated with clutch size but was difficult to distinguish from diet since resident species consumed more bark beetles (a prey available in winter) and had smaller clutches than migratory species. The literature suggests that cavities are not limited in natural, old-growth forests. Although our data do not rule out nest site limitation, we conclude that annual stability of food resources has a larger impact on the evolution of clutch sizes in excavators than does limitation of nest sites.

  20. Performance of Encounternet Tags: Field Tests of Miniaturized Proximity Loggers for Use on Small Birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris I Levin

    Full Text Available Proximity logging is a new tool for understanding social behavior as it allows for accurate quantification of social networks. We report results from field calibration and deployment tests of miniaturized proximity tags (Encounternet, digital transceivers that log encounters between tagged individuals. We examined radio signal behavior in relation to tag attachment (tag, tag on bird, tag on saline-filled balloon to understand how radio signal strength is affected by the tag mounting technique used for calibration tests. We investigated inter-tag and inter-receiver station variability, and in each calibration test we accounted for the effects of antennae orientation. Additionally, we used data from a live deployment on breeding barn swallows (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster to analyze the quality of the logs, including reciprocal agreement in dyadic logs. We evaluated the impact (in terms of mass changes of tag attachment on the birds. We were able to statistically distinguish between RSSI values associated with different close-proximity (<5 m tag-tag distances regardless of antennae orientation. Inter-tag variability was low, but we did find significant inter-receiver station variability. Reciprocal agreement of dyadic logs was high and social networks were constructed from proximity tag logs based on two different RSSI thresholds. There was no evidence of significant mass loss in the time birds were wearing tags. We conclude that proximity loggers are accurate and effective for quantifying social behavior. However, because RSSI and distance cannot be perfectly resolved, data from proximity loggers are most appropriate for comparing networks based on specific RSSI thresholds. The Encounternet system is flexible and customizable, and tags are now light enough for use on small animals (<50 g.

  1. The Completeness of the Fossil Record of Mesozoic Birds: Implications for Early Avian Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocklehurst, Neil; Upchurch, Paul; Mannion, Philip D.; O'Connor, Jingmai

    2012-01-01

    Many palaeobiological analyses have concluded that modern birds (Neornithes) radiated no earlier than the Maastrichtian, whereas molecular clock studies have argued for a much earlier origination. Here, we assess the quality of the fossil record of Mesozoic avian species, using a recently proposed character completeness metric which calculates the percentage of phylogenetic characters that can be scored for each taxon. Estimates of fossil record quality are plotted against geological time and compared to estimates of species level diversity, sea level, and depositional environment. Geographical controls on the avian fossil record are investigated by comparing the completeness scores of species in different continental regions and latitudinal bins. Avian fossil record quality varies greatly with peaks during the Tithonian-early Berriasian, Aptian, and Coniacian–Santonian, and troughs during the Albian-Turonian and the Maastrichtian. The completeness metric correlates more strongly with a ‘sampling corrected’ residual diversity curve of avian species than with the raw taxic diversity curve, suggesting that the abundance and diversity of birds might influence the probability of high quality specimens being preserved. There is no correlation between avian completeness and sea level, the number of fluviolacustrine localities or a recently constructed character completeness metric of sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Comparisons between the completeness of Mesozoic birds and sauropodomorphs suggest that small delicate vertebrate skeletons are more easily destroyed by taphonomic processes, but more easily preserved whole. Lagerstätten deposits might therefore have a stronger impact on reconstructions of diversity of smaller organisms relative to more robust forms. The relatively poor quality of the avian fossil record in the Late Cretaceous combined with very patchy regional sampling means that it is possible neornithine lineages were present throughout this interval but

  2. The completeness of the fossil record of mesozoic birds: implications for early avian evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Brocklehurst

    Full Text Available Many palaeobiological analyses have concluded that modern birds (Neornithes radiated no earlier than the Maastrichtian, whereas molecular clock studies have argued for a much earlier origination. Here, we assess the quality of the fossil record of Mesozoic avian species, using a recently proposed character completeness metric which calculates the percentage of phylogenetic characters that can be scored for each taxon. Estimates of fossil record quality are plotted against geological time and compared to estimates of species level diversity, sea level, and depositional environment. Geographical controls on the avian fossil record are investigated by comparing the completeness scores of species in different continental regions and latitudinal bins. Avian fossil record quality varies greatly with peaks during the Tithonian-early Berriasian, Aptian, and Coniacian-Santonian, and troughs during the Albian-Turonian and the Maastrichtian. The completeness metric correlates more strongly with a 'sampling corrected' residual diversity curve of avian species than with the raw taxic diversity curve, suggesting that the abundance and diversity of birds might influence the probability of high quality specimens being preserved. There is no correlation between avian completeness and sea level, the number of fluviolacustrine localities or a recently constructed character completeness metric of sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Comparisons between the completeness of Mesozoic birds and sauropodomorphs suggest that small delicate vertebrate skeletons are more easily destroyed by taphonomic processes, but more easily preserved whole. Lagerstätten deposits might therefore have a stronger impact on reconstructions of diversity of smaller organisms relative to more robust forms. The relatively poor quality of the avian fossil record in the Late Cretaceous combined with very patchy regional sampling means that it is possible neornithine lineages were present throughout this

  3. The completeness of the fossil record of mesozoic birds: implications for early avian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocklehurst, Neil; Upchurch, Paul; Mannion, Philip D; O'Connor, Jingmai

    2012-01-01

    Many palaeobiological analyses have concluded that modern birds (Neornithes) radiated no earlier than the Maastrichtian, whereas molecular clock studies have argued for a much earlier origination. Here, we assess the quality of the fossil record of Mesozoic avian species, using a recently proposed character completeness metric which calculates the percentage of phylogenetic characters that can be scored for each taxon. Estimates of fossil record quality are plotted against geological time and compared to estimates of species level diversity, sea level, and depositional environment. Geographical controls on the avian fossil record are investigated by comparing the completeness scores of species in different continental regions and latitudinal bins. Avian fossil record quality varies greatly with peaks during the Tithonian-early Berriasian, Aptian, and Coniacian-Santonian, and troughs during the Albian-Turonian and the Maastrichtian. The completeness metric correlates more strongly with a 'sampling corrected' residual diversity curve of avian species than with the raw taxic diversity curve, suggesting that the abundance and diversity of birds might influence the probability of high quality specimens being preserved. There is no correlation between avian completeness and sea level, the number of fluviolacustrine localities or a recently constructed character completeness metric of sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Comparisons between the completeness of Mesozoic birds and sauropodomorphs suggest that small delicate vertebrate skeletons are more easily destroyed by taphonomic processes, but more easily preserved whole. Lagerstätten deposits might therefore have a stronger impact on reconstructions of diversity of smaller organisms relative to more robust forms. The relatively poor quality of the avian fossil record in the Late Cretaceous combined with very patchy regional sampling means that it is possible neornithine lineages were present throughout this interval but have

  4. Dynamic evolution of the alpha (α) and beta (β) keratins has accompanied integument diversification and the adaptation of birds into novel lifestyles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwold, Matthew J; Bao, Weier; Jarvis, Erich D; Hu, Haofu; Li, Cai; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Zhang, Guojie; Sawyer, Roger H

    2014-12-12

    Vertebrate skin appendages are constructed of keratins produced by multigene families. Alpha (α) keratins are found in all vertebrates, while beta (β) keratins are found exclusively in reptiles and birds. We have studied the molecular evolution of these gene families in the genomes of 48 phylogenetically diverse birds and their expression in the scales and feathers of the chicken. We found that the total number of α-keratins is lower in birds than mammals and non-avian reptiles, yet two α-keratin genes (KRT42 and KRT75) have expanded in birds. The β-keratins, however, demonstrate a dynamic evolution associated with avian lifestyle. The avian specific feather β-keratins comprise a large majority of the total number of β-keratins, but independently derived lineages of aquatic and predatory birds have smaller proportions of feather β-keratin genes and larger proportions of keratinocyte β-keratin genes. Additionally, birds of prey have a larger proportion of claw β-keratins. Analysis of α- and β-keratin expression during development of chicken scales and feathers demonstrates that while α-keratins are expressed in these tissues, the number and magnitude of expressed β-keratin genes far exceeds that of α-keratins. These results support the view that the number of α- and β-keratin genes expressed, the proportion of the β-keratin subfamily genes expressed and the diversification of the β-keratin genes have been important for the evolution of the feather and the adaptation of birds into multiple ecological niches.

  5. The Impact of Rise of the Andes and Amazon Landscape Evolution on Diversification of Lowland terra-firme Forest Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleixo, Alexandre; Wilkinson, M. Justin

    2011-01-01

    Since the 19th Century, the unmatched biological diversity of Amazonia has stimulated a diverse set of hypotheses accounting for patterns of species diversity and distribution in mega-diverse tropical environments. Unfortunately, the evidence supporting particular hypotheses to date is at best described as ambiguous, and no generalizations have emerged yet, mostly due to the lack of comprehensive comparative phylogeographic studies with thorough trans-Amazonian sampling of lineages. Here we report on spatial and temporal patterns of diversification estimated from mitochondrial gene trees for 31 lineages of birds associated with upland terra-firme forest, the dominant habitat in modern lowland Amazonia. The results confirm the pervasive role of Amazonian rivers as primary barriers separating sister lineages of birds, and a protracted spatio-temporal pattern of diversification, with a gradual reduction of earlier (1st and 2nd) and older (> 2 mya) splits associated with each lineage in an eastward direction. (The easternmost tributaries of the Amazon, the Xingu and Tocantins Rivers, are not associated with any splits older than > 2 mya). For the suboscine passerines, maximum-likelihood estimates of rates of diversification point to an overall constant rate over the past 5 my (up to a significant downturn at 300,000 y ago). This "younging-eastward" pattern may have an abiotic explanation related to landscape evolution. Triggered by a new pulse of Andean uplift, it has been proposed that modern Amazon basin landscapes may have evolved successively eastward, away from the mountain chain, starting approximately 10 mya. This process was likely based on the deposition of vast fluvial sediment masses, known as megafans, that may have extended progressively and in series eastward from Andean sources. This process plausibly explains the progressive extinction of original Pebas wetland of western-central Amazonia by the present fluvial landsurfaces of a more terra-firme type

  6. Linkages between the life-history evolution of tropical and temperate birds and the resistance of cultured skin fibroblasts to oxidative and non-oxidative chemical injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, Ana Gabriela; Harper, James M; Queenborough, Simon A; Williams, Joseph B

    2013-04-15

    A fundamental challenge facing physiological ecologists is to understand how variation in life history at the whole-organism level might be linked to cellular function. Thus, because tropical birds have higher annual survival and lower rates of metabolism, we hypothesized that cells from tropical species would have greater cellular resistance to chemical injury than cells from temperate species. We cultured dermal fibroblasts from 26 tropical and 26 temperate species of birds and examined cellular resistance to cadmium, H(2)O(2), paraquat, thapsigargin, tunicamycium, methane methylsulfonate (MMS) and UV light. Using ANCOVA, we found that the values for the dose that killed 50% of cells (LD(50)) from tropical birds were significantly higher for H(2)O(2) and MMS. When we tested for significance using a generalized least squares approach accounting for phylogenetic relationships among species to model LD(50), we found that cells from tropical birds had greater tolerance for Cd, H(2)O(2), paraquat, tunicamycin and MMS than cells from temperate birds. In contrast, tropical birds showed either lower or no difference in tolerance to thapsigargin and UV light in comparison with temperate birds. These findings are consistent with the idea that natural selection has uniquely fashioned cells of long-lived tropical bird species to be more resistant to forms of oxidative and non-oxidative stress than cells from shorter-lived temperate species.

  7. Unpredictable environments lead to the evolution of parental neglect in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caro, Shana M; Griffin, Ashleigh S; Hinde, Camilla A; West, Stuart A

    2016-03-29

    A nest of begging chicks invites an intuitive explanation: needy chicks want to be fed and parents want to feed them. Surprisingly, however, in a quarter of species studied, parents ignore begging chicks. Furthermore, parents in some species even neglect smaller chicks that beg more, and preferentially feed the biggest chicks that beg less. This extreme variation across species, which contradicts predictions from theory, represents a major outstanding problem for the study of animal signalling. We analyse parent-offspring communication across 143 bird species, and show that this variation correlates with ecological differences. In predictable and good environments, chicks in worse condition beg more, and parents preferentially feed those chicks. In unpredictable and poor environments, parents pay less attention to begging, and instead rely on size cues or structural signals of quality. Overall, these results show how ecological variation can lead to different signalling systems being evolutionarily stable in different species.

  8. RadWorks Project. ISS REM - to - BIRD - to - HERA: The Evolution of a Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, Catherine D.

    2015-01-01

    The advancement of particle detectors based on technologies developed for use in high-energy physics applications has enabled the development of a completely new generation of compact low-power active dosimeters and area monitors for use in space radiation environments. One such device, the TimePix, is being developed at CERN, and is providing the technology basis for the most recent line of radiation detection devices being developed by the NASA AES RadWorks project. The most fundamental of these devices, an ISS-Radiation Environment Monitor (REM), is installed as a USB device on ISS where it is monitoring the radiation environment on a perpetual basis. The second generation of this TimePix technology, the BIRD (Battery-operated Independent Radiation Detector), was flown on the NASA EFT-1 flight in December 2014. Data collected by BIRD was the first data made available from the Trapped Belt region of the Earth's atmosphere in over 40 years. The 3rdgeneration of this technology, the HERA (Hybrid Electronic Radiation Assessor), is planned to be integrated into the Orion EM-1, and EM-2 vehicles where it will monitor the radiation environment. For the EM-2 flight, HERA will provide Caution and Warning notification for SPEs as well as real time dose measurements for crew members. The development of this line of radiation detectors provide much greater information and characterization of charged particles in the space radiation environment than has been collected in the past, and in the process provide greater information to inform crew members of radiation related risks, while being very power and mass efficient.

  9. The Pennsylvanian-early permian bird spring carbonate shelf, Southeastern California: Fusulinid biostratigraphy, paleogeographic evolution, and tectonic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, C.H.; Stone, P.

    2007-01-01

    The Bird Spring Shelf in southeastern California, along with coeval turbidite basins to the west, records a complex history of late Paleozoic sedimentation, sea-level changes, and deformation along the western North American continental margin. We herein establish detailed correlations between deposits of the shelf and the flanking basins, which we then use to reconstruct the depositional history, paleogeography, and deformational history, including Early Permian emplacement of the regionally significant Last Chance allochthon. These correlations are based on fusulinid faunas, which are numerous both on the shelf and in the adjoining basins. Study of 69 fusulinid species representing all major fusulinid-bearing Pennsylvanian and Lower Permian limestone outcrops of the Bird Spring Shelf in southeastern California, including ten new species of the genera Triticites, Leptotriticites, Stewartina, Pseudochusenella, and Cuniculinella, forms the basis for our correlations. We group these species into six fusulinid zones that we correlate with fusulinid-bearing strata in east-central and southern Nevada, Kansas, and West Texas, and we propose some regional correlations not previously suggested. In addition, we utilize recent conodont data from these areas to correlate our Early Permian fusulinid zones with the standard Global Permian Stages, strengthening their chronostratigraphic value. Our detailed correlations between the fusulinid-bearing rocks of the Bird Spring Shelf and deep-water deposits to the northwest reveal relationships between the history of shelf sedimentation and evolution of basins closer to the continental margin. In Virgilian to early Asselian (early Wolfcampian) time (Fusulinid Zones 1 and 2), the Bird Spring Shelf was flanked on the west by the deep-water Keeler Basin in which calcareous turbidites derived from the shelf were deposited. In early Sakmarian (early middle Wolfcampian) time (Fusulinid Zone 3), the Keeler Basin deposits were uplifted and

  10. The Question of Evolution in the Buddhist Ecology of Thalia Field’s Bird Lovers, Backyard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillian Parrish

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Thalia Field’s work, which she has described as an “ecology of questions,” inhabitsthe edges of genres, where she grows her verbal environments of researched materialanimated by her asking. Her most recent book, Bird Lovers, Backyard (New Directions,2010, spins itself from the twigs and strands and of terminologies ranging fromarchitecture to zoology as she tracks questions of language, behavior, and relationshipsbetween species. “Whose Umwelt is it anyway?” she asks in this extended study ofhuman behavior and the uses of language in how we interpret and shape the world forourselves and other life forms.Through this exploration of human contradictions and miscommunicationbetween species, Field makes a nest for an egg that is a question of possibilities—forBird Lovers, Backyard is also a kind of future studies for human potential, operating byway of past example, telling tales of what might amount to a “series of mistakes.”Kicking off this inquiry into what we might be, the book opens with an epigraph fromher young son that slyly functions as a kind of crossroads: “What if everyone in theworld wasn’t nice?” asks the child—a question that may serve as a hardnosed premisefor going forth into the world or as a challenge, a call to grow up.And here, for a reader looking, Field’s submerged Buddhist outlook catches thelight. For in her allegiance to an agile balance of “nichelessness,” Field keepsBuddhism—fitting its central idea of interdependent origination—as but one strand inthe weave of her influences. In the book’s third poem-essay “This Crime Has a Name,”which this paper will focus on, Tibetan Buddhist figures and ideas form a part of anecosystem that encompasses industrial design, biosemiotics, and Chinese logicianswherein she thinks through the displacement of sparrow by spaceman, asking whatextinction looks like and what our species might mean.

  11. Molecular evolution of the toll-like receptor multigene family in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaide, Miguel; Edwards, Scott V

    2011-05-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLR) are membrane-bound sensors of the innate immune system that recognize invariant and distinctive molecular features of invading microbes and are also essential for initiating adaptive immunity in vertebrates. The genetic variation at TLR genes has been directly related to differential pathogen outcomes in humans and livestock. Nonetheless, new insights about the impact of TLRs polymorphism on the evolutionary ecology of infectious diseases can be gained through the investigation of additional vertebrate groups not yet investigated in detail. In this study, we have conducted the first characterization of the entire TLR multigene family (N = 10 genes) in non-model avian species. Using primers targeting conserved coding regions, we aimed at amplifying large segments of the extracellular domains (275-435 aa) involved in pathogen recognition across seven phylogenetically diverse bird species. Our analyses suggest avian TLRs are dominated by stabilizing selection, suggesting that slow rates of nonsynonymous substitution help preserve biological function. Overall, mean values of ω (= d(n)/d(s)) at each TLR locus ranged from 0.196 to 0.517. However, we also found patterns of positive selection acting on specific amino acid sites that could be linked to species-specific differences in pathogen-associated molecular pattern recognition. Only 39 of 2,875 (∼1.35%) of the codons analyzed exhibited significant patterns of positive selection. At least one half of these positively selected codons can be mapped to putative ligand-binding regions, as suggested by crystallographic structures of TLRs and their ligands and mutagenic analyses. We also surveyed TLR polymorphism in wild populations of two bird species, the Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni and the House Finch Carpodacus mexicanus. In general, avian TLRs displayed low to moderate single nucleotide polymorphism levels and an excess of silent nucleotide substitutions, but also conspicuous instances of

  12. Intraspecific correlations of basal and maximal metabolic rates in birds and the aerobic capacity model for the evolution of endothermy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swanson, David L; Thomas, Nathan E; Liknes, Eric T; Cooper, Sheldon J

    2012-01-01

    The underlying assumption of the aerobic capacity model for the evolution of endothermy is that basal (BMR) and maximal aerobic metabolic rates are phenotypically linked. However, because BMR is largely a function of central organs whereas maximal metabolic output is largely a function of skeletal muscles, the mechanistic underpinnings for their linkage are not obvious. Interspecific studies in birds generally support a phenotypic correlation between BMR and maximal metabolic output. If the aerobic capacity model is valid, these phenotypic correlations should also extend to intraspecific comparisons. We measured BMR, M(sum) (maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate) and MMR (maximum exercise metabolic rate in a hop-flutter chamber) in winter for dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis; M(sum) and MMR only), and black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus; BMR and M(sum) only) and examined correlations among these variables. We also measured BMR and M(sum) in individual house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in both summer, winter and spring. For both raw metabolic rates and residuals from allometric regressions, BMR was not significantly correlated with either M(sum) or MMR in juncos. Moreover, no significant correlation between M(sum) and MMR or their mass-independent residuals occurred for juncos or goldfinches. Raw BMR and M(sum) were significantly positively correlated for black-capped chickadees and house sparrows, but mass-independent residuals of BMR and M(sum) were not. These data suggest that central organ and exercise organ metabolic levels are not inextricably linked and that muscular capacities for exercise and shivering do not necessarily vary in tandem in individual birds. Why intraspecific and interspecific avian studies show differing results and the significance of these differences to the aerobic capacity model are unknown, and resolution of these questions will require additional studies of potential mechanistic

  13. Intraspecific correlations of basal and maximal metabolic rates in birds and the aerobic capacity model for the evolution of endothermy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David L Swanson

    Full Text Available The underlying assumption of the aerobic capacity model for the evolution of endothermy is that basal (BMR and maximal aerobic metabolic rates are phenotypically linked. However, because BMR is largely a function of central organs whereas maximal metabolic output is largely a function of skeletal muscles, the mechanistic underpinnings for their linkage are not obvious. Interspecific studies in birds generally support a phenotypic correlation between BMR and maximal metabolic output. If the aerobic capacity model is valid, these phenotypic correlations should also extend to intraspecific comparisons. We measured BMR, M(sum (maximum thermoregulatory metabolic rate and MMR (maximum exercise metabolic rate in a hop-flutter chamber in winter for dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis, American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis; M(sum and MMR only, and black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus; BMR and M(sum only and examined correlations among these variables. We also measured BMR and M(sum in individual house sparrows (Passer domesticus in both summer, winter and spring. For both raw metabolic rates and residuals from allometric regressions, BMR was not significantly correlated with either M(sum or MMR in juncos. Moreover, no significant correlation between M(sum and MMR or their mass-independent residuals occurred for juncos or goldfinches. Raw BMR and M(sum were significantly positively correlated for black-capped chickadees and house sparrows, but mass-independent residuals of BMR and M(sum were not. These data suggest that central organ and exercise organ metabolic levels are not inextricably linked and that muscular capacities for exercise and shivering do not necessarily vary in tandem in individual birds. Why intraspecific and interspecific avian studies show differing results and the significance of these differences to the aerobic capacity model are unknown, and resolution of these questions will require additional studies of potential

  14. Sixteen kiwi (Apteryx spp) transcriptomes provide a wealth of genetic markers and insight into sex chromosome evolution in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramstad, Kristina M; Miller, Hilary C; Kolle, Gabriel

    2016-05-26

    Kiwi represent the most basal extant avian lineage (paleognaths) and exhibit biological attributes that are unusual or extreme among living birds, such as large egg size, strong olfaction, nocturnality, flightlessness and long lifespan. Despite intense interest in their evolution and their threatened status, genomic resources for kiwi were virtually non-existent until the recent publication of a single genome. Here we present the most comprehensive kiwi transcriptomes to date, obtained via Illumina sequencing of whole blood and de novo assembly of mRNA sequences of eight individuals from each of the two rarest kiwi species, little spotted kiwi (LSK; Apteryx owenii) and rowi (A. rowi). Sequences obtained were orthologous with a wide diversity of functional genes despite the sequencing of a single tissue type. Individual and composite assemblies contain more than 7900 unique protein coding transcripts in each of LSK and rowi that show strong homology with chicken (Gallus gallus), including those associated with growth, development, disease resistance, reproduction and behavior. The assemblies also contain 66,909 SNPs that distinguish between LSK and rowi, 12,384 SNPs among LSK (associated with 3088 genes), and 29,313 SNPs among rowi (associated with 4953 genes). We found 3084 transcripts differentially expressed between LSK and rowi and 150 transcripts differentially expressed between the sexes. Of the latter, 83 could be mapped to chicken chromosomes with 95% syntenic with chromosome Z. Our study has simultaneously sequenced multiple species, sexes, and individual kiwi at thousands of genes, and thus represents a significant leap forward in genomic resources available for kiwi. The expression pattern we observed among chromosome Z related genes in kiwi is similar to that observed in ostriches and emu, suggesting a common and ancestral pattern of sex chromosome homomorphy, recombination, and gene dosage among living paleognaths. The transcriptome assemblies described

  15. Platypus globin genes and flanking loci suggest a new insertional model for beta-globin evolution in birds and mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warren Wesley C

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Vertebrate alpha (α- and beta (β-globin gene families exemplify the way in which genomes evolve to produce functional complexity. From tandem duplication of a single globin locus, the α- and β-globin clusters expanded, and then were separated onto different chromosomes. The previous finding of a fossil β-globin gene (ω in the marsupial α-cluster, however, suggested that duplication of the α-β cluster onto two chromosomes, followed by lineage-specific gene loss and duplication, produced paralogous α- and β-globin clusters in birds and mammals. Here we analyse genomic data from an egg-laying monotreme mammal, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus, to explore haemoglobin evolution at the stem of the mammalian radiation. Results The platypus α-globin cluster (chromosome 21 contains embryonic and adult α- globin genes, a β-like ω-globin gene, and the GBY globin gene with homology to cytoglobin, arranged as 5'-ζ-ζ'-αD-α3-α2-α1-ω-GBY-3'. The platypus β-globin cluster (chromosome 2 contains single embryonic and adult globin genes arranged as 5'-ε-β-3'. Surprisingly, all of these globin genes were expressed in some adult tissues. Comparison of flanking sequences revealed that all jawed vertebrate α-globin clusters are flanked by MPG-C16orf35 and LUC7L, whereas all bird and mammal β-globin clusters are embedded in olfactory genes. Thus, the mammalian α- and β-globin clusters are orthologous to the bird α- and β-globin clusters respectively. Conclusion We propose that α- and β-globin clusters evolved from an ancient MPG-C16orf35-α-β-GBY-LUC7L arrangement 410 million years ago. A copy of the original β (represented by ω in marsupials and monotremes was inserted into an array of olfactory genes before the amniote radiation (>315 million years ago, then duplicated and diverged to form orthologous clusters of β-globin genes with different expression profiles in different lineages.

  16. Platypus globin genes and flanking loci suggest a new insertional model for beta-globin evolution in birds and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Vidushi S; Cooper, Steven J B; Deakin, Janine E; Fulton, Bob; Graves, Tina; Warren, Wesley C; Wilson, Richard K; Graves, Jennifer A M

    2008-07-25

    Vertebrate alpha (alpha)- and beta (beta)-globin gene families exemplify the way in which genomes evolve to produce functional complexity. From tandem duplication of a single globin locus, the alpha- and beta-globin clusters expanded, and then were separated onto different chromosomes. The previous finding of a fossil beta-globin gene (omega) in the marsupial alpha-cluster, however, suggested that duplication of the alpha-beta cluster onto two chromosomes, followed by lineage-specific gene loss and duplication, produced paralogous alpha- and beta-globin clusters in birds and mammals. Here we analyse genomic data from an egg-laying monotreme mammal, the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), to explore haemoglobin evolution at the stem of the mammalian radiation. The platypus alpha-globin cluster (chromosome 21) contains embryonic and adult alpha- globin genes, a beta-like omega-globin gene, and the GBY globin gene with homology to cytoglobin, arranged as 5'-zeta-zeta'-alphaD-alpha3-alpha2-alpha1-omega-GBY-3'. The platypus beta-globin cluster (chromosome 2) contains single embryonic and adult globin genes arranged as 5'-epsilon-beta-3'. Surprisingly, all of these globin genes were expressed in some adult tissues. Comparison of flanking sequences revealed that all jawed vertebrate alpha-globin clusters are flanked by MPG-C16orf35 and LUC7L, whereas all bird and mammal beta-globin clusters are embedded in olfactory genes. Thus, the mammalian alpha- and beta-globin clusters are orthologous to the bird alpha- and beta-globin clusters respectively. We propose that alpha- and beta-globin clusters evolved from an ancient MPG-C16orf35-alpha-beta-GBY-LUC7L arrangement 410 million years ago. A copy of the original beta (represented by omega in marsupials and monotremes) was inserted into an array of olfactory genes before the amniote radiation (>315 million years ago), then duplicated and diverged to form orthologous clusters of beta-globin genes with different expression

  17. Rethinking developmental toxicity testing: Evolution or revolution?

    OpenAIRE

    Scialli, Anthony R; Daston, George; Chen, Connie; Coder, Prägati S; Euling, Susan Y; Foreman, Jennifer; Hoberman, Alan M; Hui, Julia; Knudsen, Thomas; Makris, Susan L; Morford, LaRonda; Piersma, Aldert H; Stanislaus, Dinesh; Thompson, Kary E

    2018-01-01

    Current developmental toxicity testing adheres largely to protocols suggested in 1966 involving the administration of test compound to pregnant laboratory animals. After more than 50 years of embryo-fetal development testing, are we ready to consider a different approach to human developmental toxicity testing?

  18. Rethinking developmental toxicity testing: Evolution or revolution?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scialli, Anthony R; Daston, George; Chen, Connie; Coder, Prägati S; Euling, Susan Y; Foreman, Jennifer; Hoberman, Alan M; Hui, Julia; Knudsen, Thomas; Makris, Susan L; Morford, LaRonda; Piersma, Aldert H; Stanislaus, Dinesh; Thompson, Kary E

    2018-01-01

    Current developmental toxicity testing adheres largely to protocols suggested in 1966 involving the administration of test compound to pregnant laboratory animals. After more than 50 years of embryo-fetal development testing, are we ready to consider a different approach to human developmental

  19. Comparative evidence for the evolution of sperm swimming speed by sperm competition and female sperm storage duration in passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleven, Oddmund; Fossøy, Frode; Laskemoen, Terje; Robertson, Raleigh J; Rudolfsen, Geir; Lifjeld, Jan T

    2009-09-01

    Sperm swimming speed is an important determinant of male fertility and sperm competitiveness. Despite its fundamental biological importance, the underlying evolutionary processes affecting this male reproductive trait are poorly understood. Using a comparative approach in a phylogenetic framework, we tested the predictions that sperm swim faster with (1) increased risk of sperm competition, (2) shorter duration of female sperm storage, and (3) increased sperm length. We recorded sperm swimming speed in 42 North American and European free-living passerine bird species, representing 35 genera and 16 families. We found that sperm swimming speed was positively related to the frequency of extrapair paternity (a proxy for the risk of sperm competition) and negatively associated with clutch size (a proxy for the duration of female sperm storage). Sperm swimming speed was unrelated to sperm length, although sperm length also increased with the frequency of extrapair paternity. These results suggest that sperm swimming speed and sperm length are not closely associated traits and evolve independently in response to sperm competition in passerine birds. Our findings emphasize the significance of both sperm competition and female sperm storage duration as evolutionary forces driving sperm swimming speed.

  20. Protein evolution of Toll-like receptors 4, 5 and 7 within Galloanserae birds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vinkler, M.; Bainová, H.; Bryja, Josef

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 46, č. 72 (2014), s. 72 ISSN 0999-193X R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/10/1871; GA MŠk EE2.3.20.0303 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : in-silico identification * ligand-binding domain * leucine-rich repeats * structural basis * positive selection * crystal-structure * messenger-RNA * functional characterization * molecular evolution * maximum-likelihood Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 3.821, year: 2014 http://www.gsejournal.org/content/46/1/72

  1. A Test of the California Wildlife-Habitat Relationship System for Breeding Birds in Valley-Foothill Riparian Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen A. Laymon

    1989-01-01

    The California Wildlife-Habitat Relationship (WHR) system was tested for birds breeding in the Valley-Foothill Riparian habitat along California's Sacramento and South Fork Kern rivers. The model performed poorly with 33 pct and 21 pct correct predictions respectively at the two locations. Changes to the model for 60 species on the Sacramento River and 66 species...

  2. The evolution of thyroid function tests

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Thyroid gland disturbances are the second most common endocrine disorder after diabetes mellitus. Given that approximately 200 million people in the world have some form of thyroid disease, it is no wonder that thyroid function tests,. i.e. thyrotropin and free thyroxine (T4), currently account for a significant portion of the ...

  3. The Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Jean

    2001-01-01

    Students use a dead bird to learn about bird life, anatomy, and death. Students examine a bird body and discuss what happened to the bird. Uses outdoor education as a resource for learning about animals. (SAH)

  4. Microstructure evolution of titanium after tensile test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wronski, S.; Wierzbanowski, K.; Jędrychowski, M.; Tarasiuk, J; Wronski, M.; Baczmanski, A.; Bacroix, B.

    2016-01-01

    The qualitative and quantitative behavior of titanium T40 during tensile loading with a special emphasis on the presence of deformation twins in the observed microstructures is described. The samples for tensile tests were cut out from the rolled titanium sheet along the rolling and transverse directions. Several microstructure maps were determined using Electron Backscatter Diffraction technique (EBSD). These data were used to obtain crystallographic textures, misorientation distributions, grain size, twin boundary length, grain orientation spread, low and high angle boundary fractions and Schmid and Taylor factors. The deformation mechanisms and microstructure characteristics are different in the samples stretched along rolling and transverse directions. A strong appearance of tensile twins was observed in the samples deformed along transverse direction. On the other hand, more frequent subgrain formation and higher orientation spread was observed in the sample deformed along rolling direction, which caused’‘orientation blurring’ leading to an increase of grain size with deformation, as determined from OIM analysis.

  5. An integrative approach to understanding bird origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xing; Zhou, Zhonghe; Dudley, Robert; Mackem, Susan; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Erickson, Gregory M; Varricchio, David J

    2014-12-12

    Recent discoveries of spectacular dinosaur fossils overwhelmingly support the hypothesis that birds are descended from maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs, and furthermore, demonstrate that distinctive bird characteristics such as feathers, flight, endothermic physiology, unique strategies for reproduction and growth, and a novel pulmonary system originated among Mesozoic terrestrial dinosaurs. The transition from ground-living to flight-capable theropod dinosaurs now probably represents one of the best-documented major evolutionary transitions in life history. Recent studies in developmental biology and other disciplines provide additional insights into how bird characteristics originated and evolved. The iconic features of extant birds for the most part evolved in a gradual and stepwise fashion throughout archosaur evolution. However, new data also highlight occasional bursts of morphological novelty at certain stages particularly close to the origin of birds and an unavoidable complex, mosaic evolutionary distribution of major bird characteristics on the theropod tree. Research into bird origins provides a premier example of how paleontological and neontological data can interact to reveal the complexity of major innovations, to answer key evolutionary questions, and to lead to new research directions. A better understanding of bird origins requires multifaceted and integrative approaches, yet fossils necessarily provide the final test of any evolutionary model. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  6. The early Eocene birds of the Messel fossil site: a 48 million-year-old bird community adds a temporal perspective to the evolution of tropical avifaunas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gerald

    2017-05-01

    Birds play an important role in studies addressing the diversity and species richness of tropical ecosystems, but because of the poor avian fossil record in all extant tropical regions, a temporal perspective is mainly provided by divergence dates derived from calibrated molecular analyses. Tropical ecosystems were, however, widespread in the Northern Hemisphere during the early Cenozoic, and the early Eocene German fossil site Messel in particular has yielded a rich avian fossil record. The Messel avifauna is characterized by a considerable number of flightless birds, as well as a high diversity of aerial insectivores and the absence of large arboreal birds. With about 70 currently known species in 42 named genus-level and at least 39 family-level taxa, it approaches extant tropical biotas in terms of species richness and taxonomic diversity. With regard to its taxonomic composition and presumed ecological characteristics, the Messel avifauna is more similar to the Neotropics, Madagascar, and New Guinea than to tropical forests in continental Africa and Asia. Because the former regions were geographically isolated during most of the Cenozoic, their characteristics may be due to the absence of biotic factors, especially those related to the diversification of placental mammals, which impacted tropical avifaunas in Africa and Asia. The crown groups of most avian taxa that already existed in early Eocene forests are species-poor. This does not support the hypothesis that the antiquity of tropical ecosystems is key to the diversity of tropical avifaunas, and suggests that high diversification rates may be of greater significance. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  7. Omnivory in birds is a macroevolutionary sink

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burin, G.; Kissling, W.D.; Guimarães, P.R.; Şekercioğlu, Ç.H.; Quental, T.B.

    2016-01-01

    Diet is commonly assumed to affect the evolution of species, but few studies have directly tested its effect at macroevolutionary scales. Here we use Bayesian models of trait-dependent diversification and a comprehensive dietary database of all birds worldwide to assess speciation and extinction

  8. Identifiability in N-mixture models: a large-scale screening test with bird data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kéry, Marc

    2018-02-01

    Binomial N-mixture models have proven very useful in ecology, conservation, and monitoring: they allow estimation and modeling of abundance separately from detection probability using simple counts. Recently, doubts about parameter identifiability have been voiced. I conducted a large-scale screening test with 137 bird data sets from 2,037 sites. I found virtually no identifiability problems for Poisson and zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) binomial N-mixture models, but negative-binomial (NB) models had problems in 25% of all data sets. The corresponding multinomial N-mixture models had no problems. Parameter estimates under Poisson and ZIP binomial and multinomial N-mixture models were extremely similar. Identifiability problems became a little more frequent with smaller sample sizes (267 and 50 sites), but were unaffected by whether the models did or did not include covariates. Hence, binomial N-mixture model parameters with Poisson and ZIP mixtures typically appeared identifiable. In contrast, NB mixtures were often unidentifiable, which is worrying since these were often selected by Akaike's information criterion. Identifiability of binomial N-mixture models should always be checked. If problems are found, simpler models, integrated models that combine different observation models or the use of external information via informative priors or penalized likelihoods, may help. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  9. HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF STANDARDIZED TESTING – A LITERATURE REVIEW

    OpenAIRE

    Dr. Syeda Rakhshanda Kaukab; Syeda Mehrunnisa

    2017-01-01

    This paper has been written with the intent of providing the history and evolution of the modern standardized testing while also highlighting the importance, pros and cons of standardized testing. In Pakistan, recently the higher education institution has established institute for development and implementation of standardized testing for admissions to the universities. It is for the first time that this is being introduced. Therefore, it appears in order that first the global development and...

  10. 14 CFR 33.76 - Bird ingestion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... single bird, the single largest medium bird which can enter the inlet, and the large flocking bird must...) (d) Large flocking bird. An engine test will be performed as follows: (1) Large flocking bird engine.... (4) Ingestion of a large flocking bird under the conditions prescribed in this paragraph must not...

  11. Evolution of a Computer-Based Testing Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskal, Patrick; Caldwell, Richard; Ellis, Taylor

    2009-01-01

    In 2003, faced with increasing growth in technology-based and large-enrollment courses, the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida opened a computer-based testing lab to facilitate administration of course examinations. Patrick Moskal, Richard Caldwell, and Taylor Ellis describe the development and evolution of the…

  12. First year post-construction monitoring of birds at Wind Turbine Test Centre Østerild

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Therkildsen, Ole Roland; Balsby, Thorsten Johannes Skovbjerg; Groom, Geoffrey Brian

    2015-01-01

    The Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University was commissioned by the DanishNature Agency to undertake a bird monitoring programme of a national testcentre for wind turbines near Østerild in Thy, Denmark. Here we present the results from the first year of the post-construction studies. Whooper ...

  13. Does day length affect winter bird distribution? Testing the role of an elusive variable.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrascal, Luis M; Santos, Tomás; Tellería, José L

    2012-01-01

    Differences in day length may act as a critical factor in bird biology by introducing time constraints in energy acquisition during winter. Thus, differences in day length might operate as a main determinant of bird abundance along latitudinal gradients. This work examines the influence of day length on the abundance of wintering crested tits (Lophophanes cristatus) in 26 localities of Spanish juniper (Juniperus thurifera) dwarf woodlands (average height of 5 m) located along a latitudinal gradient in the Spanish highlands, while controlling for the influence of food availability, minimum night temperature, habitat structure and landscape characteristics. Top regression models in the AIC framework explained 56% of variance in bird numbers. All models incorporated day length as the variable with the highest magnitude effect. Food availability also played an important role, although only the crop of ripe juniper fruits, but not arthropods, positively affected crested tit abundance. Differences in vegetation structure across localities had also a strong positive effect (average tree height and juniper tree density). Geographical variation in night temperature had no influence on crested tit distribution, despite the low winter temperatures reached in these dwarf forests. This paper demonstrates for the first time that winter bird abundance increases with day length after controlling for the effect of other environmental variables. Winter average difference in day length was only 10.5 minutes per day along the 1°47' latitudinal interval (190 km) included in this study. This amount of time, which reaches 13.5 h accumulated throughout the winter season, appears to be large enough to affect the long-term energy budget of small passerines during winter and to shape the distribution of winter bird abundance under restrictive environmental conditions.

  14. Does day length affect winter bird distribution? Testing the role of an elusive variable.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis M Carrascal

    Full Text Available Differences in day length may act as a critical factor in bird biology by introducing time constraints in energy acquisition during winter. Thus, differences in day length might operate as a main determinant of bird abundance along latitudinal gradients. This work examines the influence of day length on the abundance of wintering crested tits (Lophophanes cristatus in 26 localities of Spanish juniper (Juniperus thurifera dwarf woodlands (average height of 5 m located along a latitudinal gradient in the Spanish highlands, while controlling for the influence of food availability, minimum night temperature, habitat structure and landscape characteristics. Top regression models in the AIC framework explained 56% of variance in bird numbers. All models incorporated day length as the variable with the highest magnitude effect. Food availability also played an important role, although only the crop of ripe juniper fruits, but not arthropods, positively affected crested tit abundance. Differences in vegetation structure across localities had also a strong positive effect (average tree height and juniper tree density. Geographical variation in night temperature had no influence on crested tit distribution, despite the low winter temperatures reached in these dwarf forests. This paper demonstrates for the first time that winter bird abundance increases with day length after controlling for the effect of other environmental variables. Winter average difference in day length was only 10.5 minutes per day along the 1°47' latitudinal interval (190 km included in this study. This amount of time, which reaches 13.5 h accumulated throughout the winter season, appears to be large enough to affect the long-term energy budget of small passerines during winter and to shape the distribution of winter bird abundance under restrictive environmental conditions.

  15. Testing theory of binary evolution with interacting binary stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ergma, E.; Sarna, M. J.

    2002-01-01

    Of particular interest to us is the study of mass loss and its influence on the evolution of a binary systems. For this we use theoretical evolutionary models, which include: mass accretion, mass loss, novae explosion, super--efficient wind, and mixing processes. To test our theoretical prediction we proposed to determine the 12C / 13C ratio via measurements of the 12CO and 13CO bands around 2.3 micron. The available observations (Exter at al. 2001, in preparation) show good agreement with the theoretical predictions (Sarna 1992), for Algol-type binaries. Our preliminary estimates of the isotopic ratios for pre-CV's and CV's (Catalan et al. 2000, Dhillon et al. 2001) agree with the theoretical predictions from the common--envelope binary evolution models by Sarna et al. (1995). For the SXT we proposed (Ergma & Sarna 2001) similar observational test, which has not been done yet.

  16. Testing stellar evolution models with detached eclipsing binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higl, J.; Weiss, A.

    2017-12-01

    Stellar evolution codes, as all other numerical tools, need to be verified. One of the standard stellar objects that allow stringent tests of stellar evolution theory and models, are detached eclipsing binaries. We have used 19 such objects to test our stellar evolution code, in order to see whether standard methods and assumptions suffice to reproduce the observed global properties. In this paper we concentrate on three effects that contain a specific uncertainty: atomic diffusion as used for standard solar model calculations, overshooting from convective regions, and a simple model for the effect of stellar spots on stellar radius, which is one of the possible solutions for the radius problem of M dwarfs. We find that in general old systems need diffusion to allow for, or at least improve, an acceptable fit, and that systems with convective cores indeed need overshooting. Only one system (AI Phe) requires the absence of it for a successful fit. To match stellar radii for very low-mass stars, the spot model proved to be an effective approach, but depending on model details, requires a high percentage of the surface being covered by spots. We briefly discuss improvements needed to further reduce the freedom in modelling and to allow an even more restrictive test by using these objects.

  17. Maryland ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  18. Alabama ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns...

  19. Design of Test Wrapper Scan Chain Based on Differential Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aijun Zhu

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Integrated Circuit has entered the era of design of the IP-based SoC (System on Chip, which makes the IP core reuse become a key issue. SoC test wrapper design for scan chain is a NP Hard problem, we propose an algorithm based on Differential Evolution (DE to design wrapper scan chain. Through group’s mutation, crossover and selection operations, the design of test wrapper scan chain is achieved. Experimental verification is carried out according to the international standard benchmark ITC’02. The results show that the algorithm can obtain shorter longest wrapper scan chains, compared with other algorithms.

  20. Comparative Transcriptomics of Malaria Mosquito Testes: Function, Evolution, and Linkage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan J. Cassone

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Testes-biased genes evolve rapidly and are important in the establishment, solidification, and maintenance of reproductive isolation between incipient species. The Anopheles gambiae complex, a group of at least eight isomorphic mosquito species endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa, is an excellent system to explore the evolution of testes-biased genes. Within this group, the testes are an important tissue in the diversification process because hybridization between species results in sterile hybrid males, but fully fertile females. We conducted RNA sequencing of A. gambiae and A. merus carcass and testes to explore tissue- and species-specific patterns of gene expression. Our data provides support for transcriptional repression of X-linked genes in the male germline, which likely drives demasculinization of the X chromosome. Testes-biased genes predominately function in cellular differentiation and show a number of interesting patterns indicative of their rapid evolution, including elevated dN/dS values, low evolutionary conservation, poor annotation in existing reference genomes, and a high likelihood of differential expression between species.

  1. Comparing aerodynamic efficiency in birds and bats suggests better flight performance in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muijres, Florian T; Johansson, L Christoffer; Bowlin, Melissa S; Winter, York; Hedenström, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Flight is one of the energetically most costly activities in the animal kingdom, suggesting that natural selection should work to optimize flight performance. The similar size and flight speed of birds and bats may therefore suggest convergent aerodynamic performance; alternatively, flight performance could be restricted by phylogenetic constraints. We test which of these scenarios fit to two measures of aerodynamic flight efficiency in two passerine bird species and two New World leaf-nosed bat species. Using time-resolved particle image velocimetry measurements of the wake of the animals flying in a wind tunnel, we derived the span efficiency, a metric for the efficiency of generating lift, and the lift-to-drag ratio, a metric for mechanical energetic flight efficiency. We show that the birds significantly outperform the bats in both metrics, which we ascribe to variation in aerodynamic function of body and wing upstroke: Bird bodies generated relatively more lift than bat bodies, resulting in a more uniform spanwise lift distribution and higher span efficiency. A likely explanation would be that the bat ears and nose leaf, associated with echolocation, disturb the flow over the body. During the upstroke, the birds retract their wings to make them aerodynamically inactive, while the membranous bat wings generate thrust and negative lift. Despite the differences in performance, the wake morphology of both birds and bats resemble the optimal wake for their respective lift-to-drag ratio regimes. This suggests that evolution has optimized performance relative to the respective conditions of birds and bats, but that maximum performance is possibly limited by phylogenetic constraints. Although ecological differences between birds and bats are subjected to many conspiring variables, the different aerodynamic flight efficiency for the bird and bat species studied here may help explain why birds typically fly faster, migrate more frequently and migrate longer distances

  2. Comparing aerodynamic efficiency in birds and bats suggests better flight performance in birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian T Muijres

    Full Text Available Flight is one of the energetically most costly activities in the animal kingdom, suggesting that natural selection should work to optimize flight performance. The similar size and flight speed of birds and bats may therefore suggest convergent aerodynamic performance; alternatively, flight performance could be restricted by phylogenetic constraints. We test which of these scenarios fit to two measures of aerodynamic flight efficiency in two passerine bird species and two New World leaf-nosed bat species. Using time-resolved particle image velocimetry measurements of the wake of the animals flying in a wind tunnel, we derived the span efficiency, a metric for the efficiency of generating lift, and the lift-to-drag ratio, a metric for mechanical energetic flight efficiency. We show that the birds significantly outperform the bats in both metrics, which we ascribe to variation in aerodynamic function of body and wing upstroke: Bird bodies generated relatively more lift than bat bodies, resulting in a more uniform spanwise lift distribution and higher span efficiency. A likely explanation would be that the bat ears and nose leaf, associated with echolocation, disturb the flow over the body. During the upstroke, the birds retract their wings to make them aerodynamically inactive, while the membranous bat wings generate thrust and negative lift. Despite the differences in performance, the wake morphology of both birds and bats resemble the optimal wake for their respective lift-to-drag ratio regimes. This suggests that evolution has optimized performance relative to the respective conditions of birds and bats, but that maximum performance is possibly limited by phylogenetic constraints. Although ecological differences between birds and bats are subjected to many conspiring variables, the different aerodynamic flight efficiency for the bird and bat species studied here may help explain why birds typically fly faster, migrate more frequently and migrate

  3. Comparing Aerodynamic Efficiency in Birds and Bats Suggests Better Flight Performance in Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muijres, Florian T.; Johansson, L. Christoffer; Bowlin, Melissa S.; Winter, York; Hedenström, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Flight is one of the energetically most costly activities in the animal kingdom, suggesting that natural selection should work to optimize flight performance. The similar size and flight speed of birds and bats may therefore suggest convergent aerodynamic performance; alternatively, flight performance could be restricted by phylogenetic constraints. We test which of these scenarios fit to two measures of aerodynamic flight efficiency in two passerine bird species and two New World leaf-nosed bat species. Using time-resolved particle image velocimetry measurements of the wake of the animals flying in a wind tunnel, we derived the span efficiency, a metric for the efficiency of generating lift, and the lift-to-drag ratio, a metric for mechanical energetic flight efficiency. We show that the birds significantly outperform the bats in both metrics, which we ascribe to variation in aerodynamic function of body and wing upstroke: Bird bodies generated relatively more lift than bat bodies, resulting in a more uniform spanwise lift distribution and higher span efficiency. A likely explanation would be that the bat ears and nose leaf, associated with echolocation, disturb the flow over the body. During the upstroke, the birds retract their wings to make them aerodynamically inactive, while the membranous bat wings generate thrust and negative lift. Despite the differences in performance, the wake morphology of both birds and bats resemble the optimal wake for their respective lift-to-drag ratio regimes. This suggests that evolution has optimized performance relative to the respective conditions of birds and bats, but that maximum performance is possibly limited by phylogenetic constraints. Although ecological differences between birds and bats are subjected to many conspiring variables, the different aerodynamic flight efficiency for the bird and bat species studied here may help explain why birds typically fly faster, migrate more frequently and migrate longer distances

  4. An Enantiornithine with a Fan-Shaped Tail, and the Evolution of the Rectricial Complex in Early Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Jingmai K; Wang, Xiaoli; Zheng, Xiaoting; Hu, Han; Zhang, Xiaomei; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2016-01-11

    The most basal avians Archaeopteryx and Jeholornis have elongate reptilian tails. However, all other birds (Pygostylia) have an abbreviated tail that ends in a fused element called the pygostyle. In extant birds, this is typically associated with a fleshy structure called the rectricial bulb that secures the tail feathers (rectrices) [1]. The bulbi rectricium muscle controls the spread of the rectrices during flight. This ability to manipulate tail shape greatly increases flight function [2, 3]. The Jehol avifauna preserves the earliest known pygostylians and a diversity of rectrices. However, no fossil directly elucidates this important skeletal transition. Differences in plumage and pygostyle morphology between clades of Early Cretaceous birds led to the hypothesis that rectricial bulbs co-evolved with the plough-shaped pygostyle of the Ornithuromorpha [4]. A newly discovered pengornithid, Chiappeavis magnapremaxillo gen. et sp. nov., preserves strong evidence that enantiornithines possessed aerodynamic rectricial fans. The consistent co-occurrence of short pygostyle morphology with clear aerodynamic tail fans in the Ornithuromorpha, the Sapeornithiformes, and now the Pengornithidae strongly supports inferences that these features co-evolved with the rectricial bulbs as a "rectricial complex." Most parsimoniously, rectricial bulbs are plesiomorphic to Pygostylia and were lost in confuciusornithiforms and some enantiornithines, although morphological differences suggest three independent origins. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Birds--same thing, but different? Convergent evolution in the avian and mammalian auditory systems provides informative comparative models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köppl, Christine

    2011-03-01

    Birds have been and continue to be enlightening, comparative models in auditory research. This review highlights their particular appeal as a vertebrate group that evolved independently a similar division of labour to that seen in the mammalian cochlea, between classic sensory hair cells and hair cells specialising in amplification. Through studying both the similarities and differences between the avian and mammalian inner ear, profound insights into the principles of operation of such a divided system may be gained. For example, the prevailing model of the relationship between basilar-membrane displacement and afferent rate-level functions in mammals is reinforced by characteristic differences observed in birds, which correlate with known differences in basilar-papilla mechanics. Furthermore, birds arguably represent the most extreme case of hair cells using bundle motility for mechanical amplification at high frequencies, up to about 10 kHz. They should thus be informative for elucidating the operation and possibly the limitations of this ancestral amplifying mechanism at high frequencies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. The evolution of test size in the Planktic Foraminifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraass, A.; Huber, B. T.; Kelly, D. C.

    2017-12-01

    Planktic foraminifera are vital tools for understanding paleoceanography, paleoclimate, and evolution. A dataset of measurements from all planktic foraminiferal species is used here to investigate how their size changes through the late Jurassic to Recent. The mean test size of planktic foraminifera increases in the Cretaceous and the Cenozoic, with substantial drops at the Aptian/Albian boundary, in the Coniacian and Santonian, with the end-Cretaceous extinction, and across the Paleocene/Eocene boundary. The Oligocene contains only a small drop in mean size, which is surprising given the substantial extinction of planktic foraminifera at that boundary. There is a qualitative connection between mean and median size and paleoceanographic events, but several key issues remain before rigorous quantitative interrogation of the dataset can be undertaken. In general, species that originate early in a family's range are smaller than those evolving later, though this is a weak relationship. Individual families do not always conform to that finding, however, and have both increasing and decreasing family age-size relationships. The 'three faunas' concept for foraminiferal evolution fails with respect to mean and median size; each diversification has a unique rate of increase and character. Lastly, through comparison with the Schmidt et al. (2004) population-level test size dataset, the size response to climate in the low-latitudes is at the species-level. In the high-latitude regions, however, the response to climate is at the population level. Thus, methods for uncovering climate responses in planktic foraminifera must be specific to the region. Taxonomic or macroevolutionary responses dominate the tropics and global signals, while the polar regions appear to have a unique, and more microevolutionary response.Schmidt, D., Thierstein, H., Bollmann, J., & Schiebel, R. (2004). Abiotic Forcing of Plankton Evolution in the Cenozoic. Science, 303(5655), 207-210.

  8. Screamy Bird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tarby, Sara; Cermak, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016.......Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016....

  9. First year post-construction monitoring of bats and birds at Wind Turbine Test Centre Østerild

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    The Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University was commissioned by the Danish Nature Agency to undertake a bat and bird monitoring programme of a national test centre for wind turbines near Østerild in Thy, Denmark. Here we present the results from the first year of the post-construction studies....... Bats were recorded in August, September and October 2013. A total of nine species were recorded. Species composition and occurrence were comparable to the results during summer and autumn 2011. Bats were recorded on 67-85% of survey nights at turbine sites and on every survey night at all ponds...... and lakes. High activities were recorded throughout the monitoring period at ponds and lakes. Overall, the bat activity level was higher in 2013 than in 2011 at ponds and lakes. Bat activity was higher near the wind turbines than at nearby forest edges. These differences suggest that bats exploit the food...

  10. Whole genome identification, phylogeny and evolution of the cytochrome P450 family 2 (CYP2) sub-families in birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Almeida, Daniela; Maldonado, Emanuel; Khan, Imran

    2016-01-01

    The cytochrome P450 (CYP) superfamily defends organisms from endogenous and noxious environmental compounds, and thus is crucial for survival. However, beyond mammals the molecular evolution of CYP2 subfamilies is poorly understood. Here, we characterized the CYP2 family across 48 novel avian whole...

  11. Europe's last Mesozoic bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dyke, Gareth J.; Dortangs, Rudi W.; Jagt, John W.; Mulder, Eric W. A.; Schulp, Anne S.; Chiappe, Luis M.

    2002-01-01

    Birds known from more than isolated skeletal elements are rare in the fossil record, especially from the European Mesozoic. This paucity has hindered interpretations of avian evolution immediately prior to, and in the aftermath of, the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction event. We report on a

  12. A new ornithurine from the Early Cretaceous of China sheds light on the evolution of early ecological and cranial diversity in birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiandong Huang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite the increasing number of exceptional feathered fossils discovered in the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous of northeastern China, representatives of Ornithurae, a clade that includes comparatively-close relatives of crown clade Aves (extant birds and that clade, are still comparatively rare. Here, we report a new ornithurine species Changzuiornis ahgmi from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation. The new species shows an extremely elongate rostrum so far unknown in basal ornithurines and changes our understanding of the evolution of aspects of extant avian ecology and cranial evolution. Most of this elongate rostrum in Changzuiornis ahgmi is made up of maxilla, a characteristic not present in the avian crown clade in which most of the rostrum and nearly the entire facial margin is made up by premaxilla. The only other avialans known to exhibit an elongate rostrum with the facial margin comprised primarily of maxilla are derived ornithurines previously placed phylogenetically as among the closest outgroups to the avian crown clade as well as one derived enantiornithine clade. We find that, consistent with a proposed developmental shift in cranial ontogeny late in avialan evolution, this elongate rostrum is achieved through elongation of the maxilla while the premaxilla remains only a small part of rostral length. Thus, only in Late Cretaceous ornithurine taxa does the premaxilla begin to play a larger role. The rostral and postcranial proportions of Changzuiornis suggest an ecology not previously reported in Ornithurae; the only other species with an elongate rostrum are two marine Late Cretacous taxa interpreted as showing a derived picivorous diet.

  13. 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.

  14. Evolution of sexual dichromatism in relation to nesting habits in European passerines: a test of Wallace's hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, J J; Moreno, J

    2012-08-01

    Wallace proposed in 1868 that natural rather than sexual selection could explain the striking differences in avian plumage dichromatism. Thus, he predicted that nesting habits, through their association with nest predation, could drive changes in sexual dichromatism by enabling females in cavity nesters to become as conspicuous as males, whereas Darwin (1871, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, John Murray, London) argued that sexual selection was the sole explanation for dichromatism. Sexual dichromatism is currently used as indicating the strength of sexual selection, and therefore testing Wallace's claim with modern phylogentically controlled methodologies is of prime interest for comparing the roles of natural and sexual selection in affecting the evolution of avian coloration. Here, we have related information on nest attendance, sexual dichromatism and nesting habits (open and cavity nesting) to male and female plumage conspicuousness in European passerines. Nest incubation attendance does not explain male or female plumage conspicuousness but nest type does. Moreover, although females of monochromatic and cavity nesting species are more conspicuous than females of other species, males of monochromatic and open nesting species are those with more cryptic plumage. Finally, analyses of character evolution suggest that changes in nesting habits influence the probability of changes in both dichromatism and plumage conspicuousness of males but do not significantly affect those in females. These results strongly suggest a role of nesting habits in the evolution of plumage conspicuousness of males, and a role for sexual selection also in females, both factors affecting the evolution of sexual dichromatism. We discuss our findings in relation to the debate that Darwin and Wallace maintained more than one century ago on the importance of natural and sexual selection in driving the evolution of plumage conspicuousness and sexual dichromatism in birds

  15. Teaching and Learning Evolution: Testing the Principles of a Constructivist Approach through Action Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Mary

    2011-01-01

    A tenth grade class in an international school studied evolution for four weeks as part of the study of Biology. A diagnostic test was used to determine the main misconceptions students have as they come to the study of evolution. This was followed by a series of explorations of different conceptual models to account for evolution, structured…

  16. THE SHELF LIFE OF BIRD EGGS: TESTING EGG VIABILITY USING A TROPICAL CLIMATE GRADIENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    STEVEN R. BEISSINGER; MARK I. COOK; WAYNE J. ARENDT

    2005-01-01

    Avian parents influence the onset of development, hatching synchrony, and likelihood of brood reduction through the onset of incubation. Studies testing adaptive functions of brood reduction assume that eggs are protected by their shells and waiting for parents to initiate incubation in a manner that creates optimal hatching patterns, but the viability of early laid...

  17. Functional anatomy of a giant toothless mandible from a bird-like dinosaur: Gigantoraptor and the evolution of the oviraptorosaurian jaw.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Waisum; Wang, Junyou; Pittman, Michael; Tan, Qingwei; Tan, Lin; Guo, Bin; Xu, Xing

    2017-11-24

    The Oviraptorosauria are a group of theropod dinosaurs that diverged from the typical carnivorous theropod diet. It includes two main lineages - Caenagnathidae and Oviraptoridae - that display a number of differences in mandibular morphology, but little is known about their functional consequences, hampering our understanding of oviraptorosaurian dietary evolution. This study presents the first in-depth description of the giant toothless mandible of Gigantoraptor, the only well-preserved stemward caenagnathid mandible. This mandible shows the greatest relative beak depth among caenagnathids, which is an adaptation seen in some modern birds for processing harder seeds. The presence of a lingual triturating shelf in caenagnathids more crownward than Gigantoraptor suggests a possible increased specialization towards shearing along this lineage. Like other oviraptorosaurs, the possession of a dorsally convex articular glenoid in Gigantoraptor indicates that propalinal jaw movement was probably an important mechanism for food processing, as in Sphenodon and dicynodonts. Oviraptorid mandibles were more suited for producing powerful bites (e.g. crushing-related) compared to caenagnathids: oviraptorids generally possess a deeper, more downturned beak, a taller coronoid process prominence and a larger medial mandibular fossa. This disparity in caenagnathid and oviraptorid mandible morphology potentially suggests specialization towards two different feeding styles - shearing and crushing-related mechanisms respectively.

  18. Phylogeny and evolution of the European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis and its allies – a review of the “bird of the year”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagy Jenő

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available In 2017 the European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis was voted to be the “bird of the year” in Hungary. This is a partially migrant species; most of the European populations are resident, however, its breeding range extends to East from the Sweden-Poland-Moldova axis towards the Yenisei with some of the populations wintering in Kazakhstan and South of Turkey. The European Goldfinch is classified within the Carduelinae subfamily including approximately a hundred species. Several taxonomic changes were introduced in this group during the last fifteen years, however, we still do not understand much of their origin and evolutionary history. My aim in this paper is to collect existing knowledge on the phylogeny and evolution of the Carduelinae finches and their allies, with a particular focus on the European Goldfinch and its closest relatives. Furthermore, here I point out uncertainties in different phylogenetic sources of finches, which careful consideration can be useful in similar evolutionary studies. Finally, I summarise some vision for future research.

  19. Surface brightness parameters as tests of galactic evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tinsley, B.M.

    1976-01-01

    It is shown that surface brightness parameters defined in terms of an isophotal radius are insensitive to galactic evolution, because the effects of luminosity evolution on the flux and isophotal radius almost cancel each other. Surface brightness parameters defined in terms of a metric radius are able to give fairly direct information on evolution, but only if the metric scale of each galaxy in the sample is determined by photometry of the galaxy itself. If, instead, a metric radius is estimated by means of a fiducial value of q 0 , the brightness-redshift relation yields only a function of both evoluting and the unknown cosmological model, which is very similar to the function obtained from the Hubble diagram

  20. Bird guard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Dana M [Armour, SD

    2010-03-02

    The bird guard provides a device to protect electrical insulators comprising a central shaft; a clamp attached to an end of the shaft to secure the device to a transmission tower; a top and bottom cover to shield transmission tower insulators; and bearings to allow the guard to rotate in order to frighten birds away from the insulators.

  1. Testing the junk-food hypothesis on marine birds: Effects of prey type on growth and development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romano, Marc D.; Piatt, John F.; Roby, D.D.

    2006-01-01

    The junk-food hypothesis attributes declines in productivity of marine birds and mammals to changes in the species of prey they consume and corresponding differences in nutritional quality of those prey. To test this hypothesis nestling Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and Tufted Puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) were raised in captivity under controlled conditions to determine whether the type and quality of fish consumed by young seabirds constrains their growth and development. Some nestlings were fed rations of Capelin (Mallotus villosus), Herring (Clupea pallasi) or Sand Lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) and their growth was compared with nestlings raised on equal biomass rations of Walleye Pollock (Theragra chalcograma). Nestlings fed rations of herring, sand lance, or capelin experienced higher growth increments than nestlings fed pollock. The energy density of forage fish fed to nestlings had a marked effect on growth increments and could be expected to have an effect on pre- and post-fledging survival of nestlings in the wild. These results provide empirical support for the junk-food hypothesis.

  2. Spherical symmetry as a test case for unconstrained hyperboloidal evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vañó-Viñuales, Alex; Husa, Sascha; Hilditch, David

    2015-01-01

    We consider the hyperboloidal initial value problem for the Einstein equations in numerical relativity, motivated by the goal to evolve radiating compact objects such as black hole binaries with a numerical grid that includes null infinity. Unconstrained evolution schemes promise optimal efficiency, but are difficult to regularize at null infinity, where the compactified Einstein equations are formally singular. In this work we treat the spherically symmetric case, which already poses nontrivial problems and constitutes an important first step. We have carried out stable numerical evolutions with the generalized BSSN and Z4 equations coupled to a scalar field. The crucial ingredients have been to find an appropriate evolution equation for the lapse function and to adapt constraint damping terms to handle null infinity. (paper)

  3. Extant-only comparative methods fail to recover the disparity preserved in the bird fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Jonathan S

    2015-09-01

    Most extant species are in clades with poor fossil records, and recent studies of comparative methods show they have low power to infer even highly simplified models of trait evolution without fossil data. Birds are a well-studied radiation, yet their early evolutionary patterns are still contentious. The fossil record suggests that birds underwent a rapid ecological radiation after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, and several smaller, subsequent radiations. This hypothesized series of repeated radiations from fossil data is difficult to test using extant data alone. By uniting morphological and phylogenetic data on 604 extant genera of birds with morphological data on 58 species of extinct birds from 50 million years ago, the "halfway point" of avian evolution, I have been able to test how well extant-only methods predict the diversity of fossil forms. All extant-only methods underestimate the disparity, although the ratio of within- to between-clade disparity does suggest high early rates. The failure of standard models to predict high early disparity suggests that recent radiations are obscuring deep time patterns in the evolution of birds. Metrics from different models can be used in conjunction to provide more valuable insights than simply finding the model with the highest relative fit. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  4. ON THE TEST ABILITY OF THEORIES OF LANGUAGE EVOLUTION

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Theories of the evolution of human language express by their very nature claims of a historical sort: claims about why, when ... natural or man-made records of these evolutionary events etc. - is generally seen as .... determine which account within a set of alternative adaptive explanations is the correct one. Nonadaptationist ...

  5. Evolution in a test tube: the hatchet before the scalpel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rando, Oliver J

    2008-11-28

    Gene duplication provides an organism with a rich source of genetic material for tinkering by selection during evolution. In this issue, Rancati et al. (2008) report that extensive polyploidy and aneuploidy are the initial evolutionary changes in yeast selected in vitro to overcome defects resulting from the loss of a myosin II protein crucial for normal cytokinesis.

  6. Evolution in a Test Tube: Rise of the Wrinkly Spreaders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jennifer H.; Koza, Anna; Moshynets, Olena; Pajor, Radoslaw; Ritchie, Margaret R.; Spiers, Andrew J.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding evolutionary mechanisms is fundamental to a balanced biological education, yet practical demonstrations are rarely considered. In this paper we describe a bacterial liquid microcosm which can be used to demonstrate aspects of evolution, namely adaptive radiation, niche colonisation and competitive fitness. In microcosms inoculated…

  7. How displaced migratory birds could use volatile atmospheric compounds to find their migratory corridor? A test using a particle dispersion model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamran Safi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Olfaction represents an important sensory modality for navigation of both homing pigeons and wild birds. Experimental evidence in homing pigeons showed that airborne volatile compounds carried by the winds at the home area are learned in association with wind directions. When displaced, pigeons obtain information on the direction of their displacement using local odours at the release site. Recently, the role of olfactory cues in navigation has been reported also for wild birds during migration. However, the question whether wild birds develop an olfactory navigational map similar to that described in homing pigeons or, alternatively, exploit the distribution of volatile compounds in different manners for reaching the goal is still an open question. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we evaluate the possibilities of reconstructing spatio-temporally explicit aerosol dispersion at large spatial scales using the particle dispersion model FLEXPART. By combining atmospheric information with particle dispersion models, atmospheric scientists predict the dispersion of pollutants for example, after nuclear fallouts or volcanic eruptions or wildfires, or in retrospect reconstruct the origin of emissions such as aerosols. Using simple assumptions, we reconstructed the putative origin of aerosols traveling to the location of migrating birds. We use the model to test whether the putative odour plume could have originated from an important stopover site. If the migrating birds knew this site and the associated plume from previous journeys, the odour could contribut to the reorientation towards the migratory corridor, as suggested for the model scenario in displaced Lesser black-backed gulls migrating from Northern Europe into Africa.

  8. Hawaii ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for endangered waterbirds and passerine birds, migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, gulls and terns,...

  9. 14 CFR 35.36 - Bird impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Bird impact. 35.36 Section 35.36... STANDARDS: PROPELLERS Tests and Inspections § 35.36 Bird impact. The applicant must demonstrate, by tests or... 4-pound bird at the critical location(s) and critical flight condition(s) of a typical installation...

  10. Testing predator-driven evolution with Paleozoic crinoid arm regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumiller, Tomasz K; Gahn, Forest J

    2004-09-03

    Regenerating arms of crinoids represent direct evidence of nonlethal attacks by predators and provide an opportunity for exploring the importance of predation through geologic time. Analysis of 11 Paleozoic crinoid Lagerstätten revealed a significant increase in arm regeneration during the Siluro-Devonian. During this interval, referred to as the Middle Paleozoic Marine Revolution, the diversity of shell-crushing predators increased, and antipredatory morphologies among invertebrate prey, such as crinoids, became more common. Crinoid arm regeneration data suggest an increase in nonlethal attacks at this time and represent a causal link between those patterns, which implies an important role for predator-driven evolution.

  11. TESTING MODELS OF MAGNETIC FIELD EVOLUTION OF NEUTRON STARS WITH THE STATISTICAL PROPERTIES OF THEIR SPIN EVOLUTIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Shuangnan; Xie Yi

    2012-01-01

    We test models for the evolution of neutron star (NS) magnetic fields (B). Our model for the evolution of the NS spin is taken from an analysis of pulsar timing noise presented by Hobbs et al.. We first test the standard model of a pulsar's magnetosphere in which B does not change with time and magnetic dipole radiation is assumed to dominate the pulsar's spin-down. We find that this model fails to predict both the magnitudes and signs of the second derivatives of the spin frequencies (ν-double dot). We then construct a phenomenological model of the evolution of B, which contains a long-term decay (LTD) modulated by short-term oscillations; a pulsar's spin is thus modified by its B-evolution. We find that an exponential LTD is not favored by the observed statistical properties of ν-double dot for young pulsars and fails to explain the fact that ν-double dot is negative for roughly half of the old pulsars. A simple power-law LTD can explain all the observed statistical properties of ν-double dot. Finally, we discuss some physical implications of our results to models of the B-decay of NSs and suggest reliable determination of the true ages of many young NSs is needed, in order to constrain further the physical mechanisms of their B-decay. Our model can be further tested with the measured evolutions of ν-dot and ν-double dot for an individual pulsar; the decay index, oscillation amplitude, and period can also be determined this way for the pulsar.

  12. Study of the thickness evolution during SPT Testing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sánchez-Ávila

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The Small Punch Test (SPT is an increasingly expanding test used to obtain different mechanical data, such as strength, fracture, creep, etc…especially when there is little material available. However, the SPT test is more complicated than the uniaxial tensile test due to its non-linearity, which makes it difficult to relate the data obtained with the tensile tests. In fact, in the literature there is no clear model linking these tests and a different calibration should be used for each material. The complication of the SPT test is that the reduction of the sample thickness is not homogeneous in its gauge volume. In this work we proceeded to determine the variation of the SPT specimen thickness at several points, especially at the center and at the rupture zone, by means of the use of finite elements in COMSOL, taking a SLM AM (selective laser melting additive manufactured 316L stainless steel as the base material for modelling. For the appropriate modelling in COMSOL, the mechanical parameters of two 316L extreme thermomechanical treatments have been implemented, one annealed to a minimum hardness and another heavily work-hardened. The sample thickness variation results allow advancing in the theoretical modeling of the SPT behavior in order to obtain more accurate correlations with tensile tests data.

  13. Columbia River ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns in...

  14. Birds Kept as Pets

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... of pet birds. Because of the risk of avian influenza (bird flu), USDA restricts the importation of pet birds from ... or look dirty may be ill. Learn the signs of illness in a bird, which include appearing ...

  15. Evolution of the Medaka Extended One Generation Reproduction Test (MEOGRT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    In response to various legislative mandates, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) formed its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP), which in turn, implemented a tiered testing strategy to determine the potential of pesticides, commercial chemicals, and...

  16. Sex Reversal in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Major, Andrew T; Smith, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    Sexual differentiation in birds is controlled genetically as in mammals, although the sex chromosomes are different. Males have a ZZ sex chromosome constitution, while females are ZW. Gene(s) on the sex chromosomes must initiate gonadal sex differentiation during embryonic life, inducing paired testes in ZZ individuals and unilateral ovaries in ZW individuals. The traditional view of avian sexual differentiation aligns with that expounded for other vertebrates; upon sexual differentiation, the gonads secrete sex steroid hormones that masculinise or feminise the rest of the body. However, recent studies on naturally occurring or experimentally induced avian sex reversal suggest a significant role for direct genetic factors, in addition to sex hormones, in regulating sexual differentiation of the soma in birds. This review will provide an overview of sex determination in birds and both naturally and experimentally induced sex reversal, with emphasis on the key role of oestrogen. We then consider how recent studies on sex reversal and gynandromorphic birds (half male:half female) are shaping our understanding of sexual differentiation in avians and in vertebrates more broadly. Current evidence shows that sexual differentiation in birds is a mix of direct genetic and hormonal mechanisms. Perturbation of either of these components may lead to sex reversal. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. The evolution of perioperative transfusion testing and blood ordering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Marissa J; Hazard, Sprague W; Frank, Steven M; Boyd, Joan S; Wick, Elizabeth C; Ness, Paul M; Tobian, Aaron A R

    2015-06-01

    The evolution of modern anesthesia and surgical practices has been accompanied by enhanced supportive procedures in blood banking and transfusion medicine. There is increased focus on the preparation and the use of blood components including, but not limited to, preventing unnecessary type and screen/crossmatch orders, decreasing the time required to provide compatible red blood cells (RBCs), and reducing the waste of limited blood and personnel resources. The aim of this review is to help the anesthesiologist and surgical staff identify patients at highest risk for surgical bleeding. In addition, this review examines how anesthesia and transfusion medicine can efficiently and safely allocate blood components for surgical patients who require transfusions. The following databases were searched: PubMed, EMBASE, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Library from January 1970 through March 2014. Subsequent reference searches of retrieved articles were also assessed. Several innovations have drastically changed the procedures by which blood is ordered, inventoried, and the speed in which blood is delivered for patient care. Before entering an operating room, patient blood management provides guidance to clinicians about when and how to treat preoperative anemia and intra- and postoperative strategies to limit the patient's exposure to blood components. Timely updates of the recommendations for blood orders (maximum surgical blood ordering schedule) have enhanced preoperative decision making regarding the appropriateness of the type and screen versus the type and crossmatch order. The updated maximum surgical blood ordering schedule reflects modern practices, such as laparoscopy, improved surgical techniques, and use of hemostatic agents resulting in a more streamlined process for ordering and obtaining RBCs. The electronic (computer) crossmatch and electronic remote blood issue have also dramatically reduced the amount of time required to obtain crossmatch-compatible RBCs

  18. Biomechanics of bird flight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobalske, Bret W

    2007-09-01

    Power output is a unifying theme for bird flight and considerable progress has been accomplished recently in measuring muscular, metabolic and aerodynamic power in birds. The primary flight muscles of birds, the pectoralis and supracoracoideus, are designed for work and power output, with large stress (force per unit cross-sectional area) and strain (relative length change) per contraction. U-shaped curves describe how mechanical power output varies with flight speed, but the specific shapes and characteristic speeds of these curves differ according to morphology and flight style. New measures of induced, profile and parasite power should help to update existing mathematical models of flight. In turn, these improved models may serve to test behavioral and ecological processes. Unlike terrestrial locomotion that is generally characterized by discrete gaits, changes in wing kinematics and aerodynamics across flight speeds are gradual. Take-off flight performance scales with body size, but fully revealing the mechanisms responsible for this pattern awaits new study. Intermittent flight appears to reduce the power cost for flight, as some species flap-glide at slow speeds and flap-bound at fast speeds. It is vital to test the metabolic costs of intermittent flight to understand why some birds use intermittent bounds during slow flight. Maneuvering and stability are critical for flying birds, and design for maneuvering may impinge upon other aspects of flight performance. The tail contributes to lift and drag; it is also integral to maneuvering and stability. Recent studies have revealed that maneuvers are typically initiated during downstroke and involve bilateral asymmetry of force production in the pectoralis. Future study of maneuvering and stability should measure inertial and aerodynamic forces. It is critical for continued progress into the biomechanics of bird flight that experimental designs are developed in an ecological and evolutionary context.

  19. The evolution of genomic imprinting: theories, predictions and empirical tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, M M; Ross, L; Curley, J P; Queller, D C; Bonduriansky, R; Wolf, J B

    2014-08-01

    The epigenetic phenomenon of genomic imprinting has motivated the development of numerous theories for its evolutionary origins and genomic distribution. In this review, we examine the three theories that have best withstood theoretical and empirical scrutiny. These are: Haig and colleagues' kinship theory; Day and Bonduriansky's sexual antagonism theory; and Wolf and Hager's maternal-offspring coadaptation theory. These theories have fundamentally different perspectives on the adaptive significance of imprinting. The kinship theory views imprinting as a mechanism to change gene dosage, with imprinting evolving because of the differential effect that gene dosage has on the fitness of matrilineal and patrilineal relatives. The sexual antagonism and maternal-offspring coadaptation theories view genomic imprinting as a mechanism to modify the resemblance of an individual to its two parents, with imprinting evolving to increase the probability of expressing the fitter of the two alleles at a locus. In an effort to stimulate further empirical work on the topic, we carefully detail the logic and assumptions of all three theories, clarify the specific predictions of each and suggest tests to discriminate between these alternative theories for why particular genes are imprinted.

  20. The evolution of genomic imprinting: theories, predictions and empirical tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patten, M M; Ross, L; Curley, J P; Queller, D C; Bonduriansky, R; Wolf, J B

    2014-01-01

    The epigenetic phenomenon of genomic imprinting has motivated the development of numerous theories for its evolutionary origins and genomic distribution. In this review, we examine the three theories that have best withstood theoretical and empirical scrutiny. These are: Haig and colleagues' kinship theory; Day and Bonduriansky's sexual antagonism theory; and Wolf and Hager's maternal–offspring coadaptation theory. These theories have fundamentally different perspectives on the adaptive significance of imprinting. The kinship theory views imprinting as a mechanism to change gene dosage, with imprinting evolving because of the differential effect that gene dosage has on the fitness of matrilineal and patrilineal relatives. The sexual antagonism and maternal–offspring coadaptation theories view genomic imprinting as a mechanism to modify the resemblance of an individual to its two parents, with imprinting evolving to increase the probability of expressing the fitter of the two alleles at a locus. In an effort to stimulate further empirical work on the topic, we carefully detail the logic and assumptions of all three theories, clarify the specific predictions of each and suggest tests to discriminate between these alternative theories for why particular genes are imprinted. PMID:24755983

  1. Birds Generally Carry a Small Repertoire of Bitter Taste Receptor Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Kai; Zhao, Huabin

    2015-09-04

    As they belong to the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates, birds have long been believed to possess an inferior taste system. However, the bitter taste is fundamental in birds to recognize dietary toxins (which are typically bitter) in potential food sources. To characterize the evolution of avian bitter taste receptor genes (Tas2rs) and to test whether dietary toxins have shaped the repertoire size of avian Tas2rs, we examined 48 genomes representing all but 3 avian orders. The total number of Tas2r genes was found to range from 1 in the domestic pigeon to 12 in the bar-tailed trogon, with an average of 4, which suggested that a much smaller Tas2r gene repertoire exists in birds than in other vertebrates. Furthermore, we uncovered a positive correlation between the number of putatively functional Tas2rs and the abundance of potential toxins in avian diets. Because plant products contain more toxins than animal tissues and insects release poisonous defensive secretions, we hypothesized that herbivorous and insectivorous birds may demand more functional Tas2rs than carnivorous birds feeding on noninsect animals. Our analyses appear to support this hypothesis and highlight the critical role of taste perception in birds. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. Phylogeny and evolution of the European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) and its allies – a review of the “bird of the year”

    OpenAIRE

    Nagy Jenő

    2017-01-01

    In 2017 the European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) was voted to be the “bird of the year” in Hungary. This is a partially migrant species; most of the European populations are resident, however, its breeding range extends to East from the Sweden-Poland-Moldova axis towards the Yenisei with some of the populations wintering in Kazakhstan and South of Turkey. The European Goldfinch is classified within the Carduelinae subfamily including approximately a hundred species. Several taxonomic chan...

  3. 9 CFR 93.104 - Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds. 93.104 Section 93.104 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL... (INCLUDING POULTRY) AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, AND CERTAIN...

  4. The wings before the bird: an evaluation of flapping-based locomotory hypotheses in bird antecedents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Alexander Dececchi

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Powered flight is implicated as a major driver for the success of birds. Here we examine the effectiveness of three hypothesized pathways for the evolution of the flight stroke, the forelimb motion that powers aerial locomotion, in a terrestrial setting across a range of stem and basal avians: flap running, Wing Assisted Incline Running (WAIR, and wing-assisted leaping. Methods: Using biomechanical mathematical models based on known aerodynamic principals and in vivo experiments and ground truthed using extant avians we seek to test if an incipient flight stroke may have contributed sufficient force to permit flap running, WAIR, or leaping takeoff along the phylogenetic lineage from Coelurosauria to birds. Results: None of these behaviours were found to meet the biomechanical threshold requirements before Paraves. Neither was there a continuous trend of refinement for any of these biomechanical performances across phylogeny nor a signal of universal applicability near the origin of birds. None of these flap-based locomotory models appear to have been a major influence on pre-flight character acquisition such as pennaceous feathers, suggesting non-locomotory behaviours, and less stringent locomotory behaviours such as balancing and braking, played a role in the evolution of the maniraptoran wing and nascent flight stroke. We find no support for widespread prevalence of WAIR in non-avian theropods, but can’t reject its presence in large winged, small-bodied taxa like Microraptor and Archaeopteryx. Discussion: Using our first principles approach we find that “near flight” locomotor behaviors are most sensitive to wing area, and that non-locomotory related selection regimes likely expanded wing area well before WAIR and other such behaviors were possible in derived avians. These results suggest that investigations of the drivers for wing expansion and feather elongation in theropods need not be intrinsically linked to locomotory

  5. Testing the well-posedness of characteristic evolution of scalar waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babiuc, M. C.; Kreiss, H.-O.; Winicour, J.

    2014-01-01

    Recent results have revealed a critical way in which lower order terms affect the well-posedness of the characteristic initial value problem for the scalar wave equation. The proper choice of such terms can make the Cauchy problem for scalar waves well posed even on a background spacetime with closed lightlike curves. These results provide new guidance for developing stable characteristic evolution algorithms. In this regard, we present here the finite difference version of these recent results and implement them in a stable evolution code. We describe test results which validate the code and exhibit some of the interesting features due to the lower order terms.

  6. Internal quality evolution of a large test system – an industrial study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kovács Attila

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents our empirical observations related to the evolution of a large automated test system. The system observed is used in the industry as a test tool for complex telecommunication systems, itself consisting of more than one million lines of source code. This study evaluates how different changes during the development have changed the number of observed Code Smells in the test system. We have monitored the development of the test scripts and measured the code quality characteristics over a five years period.

  7. Testing the role of genetic background in parallel evolution using the comparative experimental evolution of antibiotic resistance

    OpenAIRE

    Vogwill, T.; Kojadinovic, M.; Furio, V.; MacLean, R. C.

    2014-01-01

    Parallel evolution is the independent evolution of the same phenotype or genotype in response to the same selection pressure. There are examples of parallel molecular evolution across divergent genetic backgrounds, suggesting that genetic background may not play an important role in determining the outcome of adaptation. Here, we measure the influence of genetic background on phenotypic and molecular adaptation by combining experimental evolution with comparative analysis. We selected for res...

  8. The evolution of size of the uropygial gland: mutualistic feather mites and uropygial secretion reduce bacterial loads of eggshells and hatching failures of European birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, J J; Peralta-Sánchez, J M; Martín-Platero, A M; Martín-Vivaldi, M; Martínez-Bueno, M; Møller, A P

    2012-09-01

    Potentially, pathogenic bacteria are one of the main infective agents against which a battery of chemical and physical barriers has evolved in animals. Among these are the secretions by the exocrine uropygial gland in birds. The antimicrobial properties of uropygial secretions may prevent colonization and growth of microorganisms on feathers, skin and eggshells. However, uropygial gland secretions also favour the proliferation of feather mites that feed on secretions and microorganisms living on feathers that would otherwise reach eggshells during incubation if not consumed by feather mites. Therefore, at the interspecific level, uropygial gland size (as an index of volume of uropygial secretion) should be positively related to eggshell bacterial load (i.e. the risk of egg infection), whereas eggshell bacterial loads may be negatively related to abundance of feather mites eating bacteria. Here, we explore these previously untested predictions in a comparative framework using information on eggshell bacterial loads, uropygial gland size, diversity and abundance of feather mites and hatching success of 22 species of birds. The size of the uropygial gland was positively related to eggshell bacterial loads (mesophilic bacteria and Enterobacteriaceae), and bird species with higher diversity and abundance of feather mites harboured lower bacterial density on their eggshells (Enterococcus and Staphylococcus), in accordance with the hypothesis. Importantly, eggshell bacterial loads of mesophilic bacteria, Enterococcus and Enterobacteriaceae were negatively associated with hatching success, allowing us to interpret these interspecific relationships in a functional scenario, where both uropygial glands and mutualistic feather mites independently reduce the negative effects of pathogenic bacteria on avian fitness. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. Experimental evolution of an RNA virus in wild birds: evidence for host-dependent impacts on population structure and competitive fitness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grubaugh, Nathan D; Smith, Darci R; Brackney, Doug E; Bosco-Lauth, Angela M; Fauver, Joseph R; Campbell, Corey L; Felix, Todd A; Romo, Hannah; Duggal, Nisha K; Dietrich, Elizabeth A; Eike, Tyler; Beane, Jennifer E; Bowen, Richard A; Black, William C; Brault, Aaron C; Ebel, Gregory D

    2015-05-01

    Within hosts, RNA viruses form populations that are genetically and phenotypically complex. Heterogeneity in RNA virus genomes arises due to error-prone replication and is reduced by stochastic and selective mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Defining how natural selection shapes RNA virus populations is critical because it can inform treatment paradigms and enhance control efforts. We allowed West Nile virus (WNV) to replicate in wild-caught American crows, house sparrows and American robins to assess how natural selection shapes RNA virus populations in ecologically relevant hosts that differ in susceptibility to virus-induced mortality. After five sequential passages in each bird species, we examined the phenotype and population diversity of WNV through fitness competition assays and next generation sequencing. We demonstrate that fitness gains occur in a species-specific manner, with the greatest replicative fitness gains in robin-passaged WNV and the least in WNV passaged in crows. Sequencing data revealed that intrahost WNV populations were strongly influenced by purifying selection and the overall complexity of the viral populations was similar among passaged hosts. However, the selective pressures that control WNV populations seem to be bird species-dependent. Specifically, crow-passaged WNV populations contained the most unique mutations (~1.7× more than sparrows, ~3.4× more than robins) and defective genomes (~1.4× greater than sparrows, ~2.7× greater than robins), but the lowest average mutation frequency (about equal to sparrows, ~2.6× lower than robins). Therefore, our data suggest that WNV replication in the most disease-susceptible bird species is positively associated with virus mutational tolerance, likely via complementation, and negatively associated with the strength of selection. These differences in genetic composition most likely have distinct phenotypic consequences for the virus populations. Taken together, these results

  10. Experimental evolution of an RNA virus in wild birds: evidence for host-dependent impacts on population structure and competitive fitness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan D Grubaugh

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Within hosts, RNA viruses form populations that are genetically and phenotypically complex. Heterogeneity in RNA virus genomes arises due to error-prone replication and is reduced by stochastic and selective mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Defining how natural selection shapes RNA virus populations is critical because it can inform treatment paradigms and enhance control efforts. We allowed West Nile virus (WNV to replicate in wild-caught American crows, house sparrows and American robins to assess how natural selection shapes RNA virus populations in ecologically relevant hosts that differ in susceptibility to virus-induced mortality. After five sequential passages in each bird species, we examined the phenotype and population diversity of WNV through fitness competition assays and next generation sequencing. We demonstrate that fitness gains occur in a species-specific manner, with the greatest replicative fitness gains in robin-passaged WNV and the least in WNV passaged in crows. Sequencing data revealed that intrahost WNV populations were strongly influenced by purifying selection and the overall complexity of the viral populations was similar among passaged hosts. However, the selective pressures that control WNV populations seem to be bird species-dependent. Specifically, crow-passaged WNV populations contained the most unique mutations (~1.7× more than sparrows, ~3.4× more than robins and defective genomes (~1.4× greater than sparrows, ~2.7× greater than robins, but the lowest average mutation frequency (about equal to sparrows, ~2.6× lower than robins. Therefore, our data suggest that WNV replication in the most disease-susceptible bird species is positively associated with virus mutational tolerance, likely via complementation, and negatively associated with the strength of selection. These differences in genetic composition most likely have distinct phenotypic consequences for the virus populations. Taken together

  11. Green Light for Nocturnally Migrating Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanneke Poot

    2008-12-01

    Laboratory experiments have shown the magnetic compass to be wavelength dependent: migratory birds require light from the blue-green part of the spectrum for magnetic compass orientation, whereas red light (visible long-wavelength disrupts magnetic orientation. We designed a field study to test if and how changing light color influenced migrating birds under field conditions. We found that nocturnally migrating birds were disoriented and attracted by red and white light (containing visible long-wavelength radiation, whereas they were clearly less disoriented by blue and green light (containing less or no visible long-wavelength radiation. This was especially the case on overcast nights. Our results clearly open perspective for the development of bird-friendly artificial lighting by manipulating wavelength characteristics. Preliminary results with an experimentally developed bird-friendly light source on an offshore platform are promising. What needs to be investigated is the impact of bird-friendly light on other organisms than birds.

  12. Evolution of Akaganeite in Rust Layers Formed on Steel Submitted to Wet/Dry Cyclic Tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haigang Xiao

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of akaganeite in rust layers strongly impacts the atmospheric corrosion behavior of steel during long-term exposure; however, the factors affecting the evolution of akaganeite and its mechanism of formation are vague. In this work, wet-dry cyclic corrosion tests were conducted to simulate long-term exposure. Quantitative X-ray diffraction analysis was employed to analyze variations in the relative amounts of akaganeite; scanning electron microscopy and electron probe microanalysis were used to study the migration of relevant elements in the rust layer, which could help elucidate the mechanism of akaganeite evolution. The results indicate that the fraction of akaganeite tends to decrease as the corrosion process proceeded, which is a result of the decrease in the amount of soluble chloride available and the ability of the thick rust layer to block the migration of relevant ions. This work also explores the location of akaganeite formation within the rust layer.

  13. Diversity and evolution of avian influenza viruses in live poultry markets, free-range poultry and wild wetland birds in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liang-Jun; Lin, Xian-Dan; Guo, Wen-Ping; Tian, Jun-Hua; Wang, Wen; Ying, Xu-Hua; Wang, Miao-Ruo; Yu, Bin; Yang, Zhan-Qiu; Shi, Mang; Holmes, Edward C; Zhang, Yong-Zhen

    2016-04-01

    The wide circulation of novel avian influenza viruses (AIVs) highlights the risk of pandemic influenza emergence in China. To investigate the prevalence and genetic diversity of AIVs in different ecological contexts, we surveyed AIVs in live poultry markets (LPMs), free-range poultry and the wetland habitats of wild birds in Zhejiang and Hubei provinces. Notably, LPMs contained the highest frequency of AIV infection, and the greatest number of subtypes (n = 9) and subtype co-infections (n = 14), as well as frequent reassortment, suggesting that they play an active role in fuelling AIV transmission. AIV-positive samples were also identified in wild birds in both provinces and free-range poultry in one sampling site close to a wetland region in Hubei. H9N2, H7N9 and H5N1 were the most commonly sampled subtypes in the LPMs from Zhejiang, whilst H5N6 and H9N2 were the dominant subtypes in the LPMs from Hubei. Phylogenetic analyses of the whole-genome sequences of 43 AIVs revealed that three reassortant H5 subtypes were circulating in LMPs in both geographical regions. Notably, the viruses sampled from the wetland regions and free-range poultry contained complex reassortants, for which the origins of some segments were unclear. Overall, our study highlights the extent of AIV genetic diversity in two highly populated parts of central and south-eastern China, particularly in LPMs, and emphasizes the need for continual surveillance.

  14. Evolution of a test article handling system for the SP-100 ground engineering system test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shen, E.J.; Schweiger, L.J.; Miller, W.C.; Gluck, R.; Devies, S.M.

    1987-04-01

    A simulated space environment test of a flight prototypic SP-100 reactor, control system, and flight shield will be conducted at the Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory (HEDL). The flight prototypic components and the supporting primary heat removal system are collectively known as the Nuclear Assembly Test Article (TA). The unique configuration and materials of fabrication for the Test Article require a specialized handling facility to support installation, maintenance, and final disposal operations. Westinghouse Hanford Company, the Test Site Operator, working in conjunction with General Electric Company, the Test Article supplier, developed and evaluated several handling concepts resulting in the selection of a reference Test Article Handling System. The development of the reference concept for the handling system is presented

  15. The evolution of parental care in insects: A test of current hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilbert, James D J; Manica, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Which sex should care for offspring is a fundamental question in evolution. Invertebrates, and insects in particular, show some of the most diverse kinds of parental care of all animals, but to date there has been no broad comparative study of the evolution of parental care in this group. Here, we test existing hypotheses of insect parental care evolution using a literature-compiled phylogeny of over 2000 species. To address substantial uncertainty in the insect phylogeny, we use a brute force approach based on multiple random resolutions of uncertain nodes. The main transitions were between no care (the probable ancestral state) and female care. Male care evolved exclusively from no care, supporting models where mating opportunity costs for caring males are reduced—for example, by caring for multiple broods—but rejecting the “enhanced fecundity” hypothesis that male care is favored because it allows females to avoid care costs. Biparental care largely arose by males joining caring females, and was more labile in Holometabola than in Hemimetabola. Insect care evolution most closely resembled amphibian care in general trajectory. Integrating these findings with the wealth of life history and ecological data in insects will allow testing of a rich vein of existing hypotheses. PMID:25825047

  16. Testing Convergence Versus History: Convergence Dominates Phenotypic Evolution for over 150 Million Years in Frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel S; Morlon, Hélène; Wiens, John J

    2016-01-01

    Striking evolutionary convergence can lead to similar sets of species in different locations, such as in cichlid fishes and Anolis lizards, and suggests that evolution can be repeatable and predictable across clades. Yet, most examples of convergence involve relatively small temporal and/or spatial scales. Some authors have speculated that at larger scales (e.g., across continents), differing evolutionary histories will prevent convergence. However, few studies have compared the contrasting roles of convergence and history, and none have done so at large scales. Here we develop a two-part approach to test the scale over which convergence can occur, comparing the relative importance of convergence and history in macroevolution using phylogenetic models of adaptive evolution. We apply this approach to data from morphology, ecology, and phylogeny from 167 species of anuran amphibians (frogs) from 10 local sites across the world, spanning ~160 myr of evolution. Mapping ecology on the phylogeny revealed that similar microhabitat specialists (e.g., aquatic, arboreal) have evolved repeatedly across clades and regions, producing many evolutionary replicates for testing for morphological convergence. By comparing morphological optima for clades and microhabitat types (our first test), we find that convergence associated with microhabitat use dominates frog morphological evolution, producing recurrent ecomorphs that together encompass all sampled species in each community in each region. However, our second test, which examines whether and how much species differ from their inferred optima, shows that convergence is incomplete: that is, phenotypes of most species are still somewhat distant from the estimated optimum for each microhabitat, seemingly because of insufficient time for more complete adaptation (an effect of history). Yet, these effects of history are related to past ecologies, and not clade membership. Overall, our study elucidates the dominant drivers of

  17. The Origin and Diversification of Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusatte, Stephen L; O'Connor, Jingmai K; Jarvis, Erich D

    2015-10-05

    Birds are one of the most recognizable and diverse groups of modern vertebrates. Over the past two decades, a wealth of new fossil discoveries and phylogenetic and macroevolutionary studies has transformed our understanding of how birds originated and became so successful. Birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic (around 165-150 million years ago) and their classic small, lightweight, feathered, and winged body plan was pieced together gradually over tens of millions of years of evolution rather than in one burst of innovation. Early birds diversified throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous, becoming capable fliers with supercharged growth rates, but were decimated at the end-Cretaceous extinction alongside their close dinosaurian relatives. After the mass extinction, modern birds (members of the avian crown group) explosively diversified, culminating in more than 10,000 species distributed worldwide today. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Torn Paper Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Carolyn Lang

    1998-01-01

    Describes a lesson for third-grade students that begins with an examination of bird prints done by John James Audubon and moves into the students creating their own torn paper birds. Introduces the students to the beauty of birds and focuses on the environmental issues that face birds and their habitats. (CMK)

  19. Testing the Role of Genetic Background in Parallel Evolution Using the Comparative Experimental Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogwill, Tom; Kojadinovic, Mila; Furió, Victoria; MacLean, R. Craig

    2014-01-01

    Parallel evolution is the independent evolution of the same phenotype or genotype in response to the same selection pressure. There are examples of parallel molecular evolution across divergent genetic backgrounds, suggesting that genetic background may not play an important role in determining the outcome of adaptation. Here, we measure the influence of genetic background on phenotypic and molecular adaptation by combining experimental evolution with comparative analysis. We selected for resistance to the antibiotic rifampicin in eight strains of bacteria from the genus Pseudomonas using a short term selection experiment. Adaptation occurred by 47 mutations at conserved sites in rpoB, the target of rifampicin, and due to the high diversity of possible mutations the probability of within-strain parallel evolution was low. The probability of between-strain parallel evolution was only marginally lower, because different strains substituted similar rpoB mutations. In contrast, we found that more than 30% of the phenotypic variation in the growth rate of evolved clones was attributable to among-strain differences. Parallel molecular evolution across strains resulted in divergent phenotypic evolution because rpoB mutations had different effects on growth rate in different strains. This study shows that genetic divergence between strains constrains parallel phenotypic evolution, but had little detectable impact on the molecular basis of adaptation in this system. PMID:25228081

  20. Niche evolution and adaptive radiation: Testing the order of trait divergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerly, D.D.; Schwilk, D.W.; Webb, C.O.

    2006-01-01

    In the course of an adaptive radiation, the evolution of niche parameters is of particular interest for understanding modes of speciation and the consequences for coexistence of related species within communities. We pose a general question: In the course of an evolutionary radiation, do traits related to within-community niche differences (?? niche) evolve before or after differentiation of macrohabitat affinity or climatic tolerances (?? niche)? Here we introduce a new test to address this question, based on a modification of the method of independent contrasts. The divergence order test (DOT) is based on the average age of the nodes on a tree, weighted by the absolute magnitude of the contrast at each node for a particular trait. The comparison of these weighted averages reveals whether large divergences for one trait have occurred earlier or later in the course of diversification, relative to a second trait; significance is determined by bootstrapping from maximum-likelihood ancestral state reconstructions. The method is applied to the evolution of Ceanothus, a woody plant group in California, in which co-occurring species exhibit significant differences in a key leaf trait (specific leaf area) associated with contrasting physiological and life history strategies. Co-occurring species differ more for this trait than expected under a null model of community assembly. This ?? niche difference evolved early in the divergence of two major subclades within Ceanothus, whereas climatic distributions (?? niche traits) diversified later within each of the subclades. However, rapid evolution of climate parameters makes inferences of early divergence events highly uncertain, and differentiation of the ?? niche might have taken place throughout the evolution of the group, without leaving a clear phylogenetic signal. Similar patterns observed in several plant and animal groups suggest that early divergence of ?? niche traits might be a common feature of niche evolution in

  1. Experimental Validation of the Dynamic Inertia Measurement Method to Find the Mass Properties of an Iron Bird Test Article

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Alexander; Herrera, Claudia; Spivey, Natalie; Fladung, William; Cloutier, David

    2015-01-01

    This presentation describes the DIM method and how it measures the inertia properties of an object by analyzing the frequency response functions measured during a ground vibration test (GVT). The DIM method has been in development at the University of Cincinnati and has shown success on a variety of small scale test articles. The NASA AFRC version was modified for larger applications.

  2. Arboreallty and morphological evolution in ground beetles (Carabidae: Harpalinae): testing the taxon pulse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ober, Karen A

    2003-06-01

    One-third to two-thirds of all tropical carabids, or ground beetles, are arboreal, and evolution of arboreality has been proposed to be a dead end in this group. Many arboreal carabids have unusual morphological features that have been proposed to be adaptations for life on vegetation, including large, hemispheric eyes; an elongated prothorax; long elytra; long legs; bilobed fourth tarsomeres; adhesive setae on tarsi; and pectinate claws. However, correlations between these features and arboreality have not been rigorously tested previously. I examined the evolution of arboreality and morphological features often associated with this habitat in a phylogenetic context. The number and rates of origins and losses of arboreality in carabids in the subfamily Harpalinae were inferred with parsimony and maximum-likelihood on a variety of phylogenetic hypotheses. Correlated evolution in arboreality and morphological characters was tested with concentrated changes tests, maximum-likelihood, and independent contrasts on optimal phylogenies. There is strong evidence that both arboreality and the morphological features examined originated multiple times and can be reversed, and in no case could the hypothesis of equal rates of gains and losses be rejected. Several features are associated with arboreality: adhesive setae on the tarsi, bilobed tarsomeres, and possibly pectinate claws and an elongated prothorax. Bulgy eyes, long legs, and long elytra were not correlated with arboreality and are probably not arboreal adaptations. The evolution of arboreal carabids has not been unidirectional. These beetles have experienced multiple gains and losses of arboreality and the morphological characters commonly associated with the arboreal habitat. The evolutionary process of unidirectional character change may not be as widespread as previously thought and reversal from specialized lifestyles or habitats may be common.

  3. Breeding Ecology of Birds -22 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    nesting in colonies.· Some field tests of the model are discussed in Box 2. Some interesting ideas have been advanced by ecologists to explore the advantages which birds could derive from nesting in colonies and the most persuasive of these is the geometric model. Box 2. Field Tests of the Economic Defendability Model.

  4. Deformation of SS 304 LN during Scratch Test and Influence on Evolution of Coefficient of Friction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satender Kataria

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available An AISI 304 LN nuclear grade forged, metallographically polished specimen was subjected to progressive load scratch tests using a spheroconical indenter at three different scratch speeds 1, 3, and 27 mm/min. The present study attempts to address the evolution of coefficient of friction with scratch speed invoking its correlation with scratch induced deformation in the specimen. At higher scratch speeds, plastic deformation rates were higher which caused friction coefficient to be of higher magnitude. This was correlated with dynamically obtained high resolution optical images that revealed deformation driven microstructural alterations. These alterations significantly influenced the evolution of friction coefficient which was intimately related to plasticity of the surface.

  5. Darwin's concepts in a test tube: parallels between organismal and in vitro evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz Arenas, Carolina; Lehman, Niles

    2009-02-01

    The evolutionary process as imagined by Darwin 150 years ago is evident not only in nature but also in the manner in which naked nucleic acids and proteins experience the "survival of the fittest" in the test tube during in vitro evolution. This review highlights some of the most apparent evolutionary patterns, such as directional selection, purifying selection, disruptive selection, and iterative evolution (recurrence), and draws parallels between what happens in the wild with whole organisms and what happens in the lab with molecules. Advances in molecular selection techniques, particularly with catalytic RNAs and DNAs, have accelerated in the last 20 years to the point where soon any sort of complex differential hereditary event that one can ascribe to natural populations will be observable in molecular populations, and exploitation of these events can even lead to practical applications in some cases.

  6. From dinosaurs to modern bird diversity: extending the time scale of adaptive radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel; Morlon, Hélène

    2014-05-01

    What explains why some groups of organisms, like birds, are so species rich? And what explains their extraordinary ecological diversity, ranging from large, flightless birds to small migratory species that fly thousand of kilometers every year? These and similar questions have spurred great interest in adaptive radiation, the diversification of ecological traits in a rapidly speciating group of organisms. Although the initial formulation of modern concepts of adaptive radiation arose from consideration of the fossil record, rigorous attempts to identify adaptive radiation in the fossil record are still uncommon. Moreover, most studies of adaptive radiation concern groups that are less than 50 million years old. Thus, it is unclear how important adaptive radiation is over temporal scales that span much larger portions of the history of life. In this issue, Benson et al. test the idea of a "deep-time" adaptive radiation in dinosaurs, compiling and using one of the most comprehensive phylogenetic and body-size datasets for fossils. Using recent phylogenetic statistical methods, they find that in most clades of dinosaurs there is a strong signal of an "early burst" in body-size evolution, a predicted pattern of adaptive radiation in which rapid trait evolution happens early in a group's history and then slows down. They also find that body-size evolution did not slow down in the lineage leading to birds, hinting at why birds survived to the present day and diversified. This paper represents one of the most convincing attempts at understanding deep-time adaptive radiations.

  7. Functional anatomy of a giant toothless mandible from a bird-like dinosaur: Gigantoraptor and the evolution of the oviraptorosaurian jaw

    OpenAIRE

    Ma, Waisum; Wang, Junyou; Pittman, Michael; Tan, Qingwei; Tan, Lin; Guo, Bin; Xu, Xing

    2017-01-01

    The Oviraptorosauria are a group of theropod dinosaurs that diverged from the typical carnivorous theropod diet. It includes two main lineages – Caenagnathidae and Oviraptoridae – that display a number of differences in mandibular morphology, but little is known about their functional consequences, hampering our understanding of oviraptorosaurian dietary evolution. This study presents the first in-depth description of the giant toothless mandible of Gigantoraptor, the only well-preserved stem...

  8. Life history, immunity, Peto's paradox and tumours in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, A P; Erritzøe, J; Soler, J J

    2017-05-01

    Cancer and tumours may evolve in response to life-history trade-offs between growth and duration of development on one hand, and between growth and maintenance of immune function on the other. Here, we tested whether (i) bird species with slow developmental rates for their body size experience low incidence of tumours because slow development allows for detection of rapid proliferation of cell lineages. We also test whether (ii) species with stronger immune response during development are more efficient at detecting tumour cells and hence suffer lower incidence of tumours. Finally, we tested Peto's paradox, that there is a positive relationship between tumour incidence and body mass. We used information on developmental rates and body mass from the literature and of tumour incidence (8468 birds) and size of the bursa of Fabricius for 7659 birds brought to a taxidermist in Denmark. We found evidence of the expected negative relationship between incidence of tumours and developmental rates and immunity after controlling for the positive association between tumour incidence and body size. These results suggest that evolution has modified the incidence of tumours in response to life history and that Peto's paradox may be explained by covariation between body mass, developmental rates and immunity. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  9. Insects as test systems for assessing the potential role of microgravity in biological development and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernós, I.; Carratalá, M.; González-Jurado, J.; Valverde, J. R.; Calleja, M.; Domingo, A.; Vinós, J.; Cervera, M.; Marco, R.

    Gravity and radiation are undoubtedly the two major environmental factors altered in space. Gravity is a weak force, which creates a permanent potential field acting on the mass of biological systems and their cellular components, strongly reduced in space flights. Developmental systems, particularly at very early stages, provide the larger cellular compartments known, where the effects of alterations in the size of the gravity vector on living organisms can be more effectively tested. The insects, one of the more highly evolved classes of animals in which early development occurs in a syncytial embryo, are systems particularly well suited to test these effects and the specific developmental mechanisms affected. Furthermore, they share some basic features such as small size, short life cycles, relatively high radio-resistance, etc. and show a diversity of developmental strategies and tempos advantageous in experiments of this type in space. Drosophila melanogaster, the current biological paradigm to study development, with so much genetic and evolutionary background available, is clearly the reference organism for these studies. The current evidence on the effects of the physical parameters altered in space flights on insect development indicate a surprising correlation between effects seen on the fast developing and relatively small Drosophila embryo and the more slowly developing and large Carausius morosus system. In relation to the issue of the importance of developmental and environmental constraints in biological evolution, still the missing link in current evolutionary thinking, insects and space facilities for long-term experiments could provide useful experimental settings where to critically assess how development and evolution may be interconnected. Finally, it has to be pointed out that since there are experimental data indicating a possible synergism between microgravity and space radiation, possible effects of space radiation should be taken into

  10. Microstructure evolution during cyclic tests on EUROFER 97 at room temperature. TEM observation and modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giordana, M.F., E-mail: giordana@ifir-conicet.gov.ar [Instituto de Fisica Rosario, CONICET-UNR, Bv. 27 de Febrero 210 Bis, 2000 Rosario (Argentina); Giroux, P.-F. [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, DEN/DANS/DMN/SRMA, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Alvarez-Armas, I. [Instituto de Fisica Rosario, CONICET-UNR, Bv. 27 de Febrero 210 Bis, 2000 Rosario (Argentina); Sauzay, M. [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique, DEN/DANS/DMN/SRMA, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Armas, A. [Instituto de Fisica Rosario, CONICET-UNR, Bv. 27 de Febrero 210 Bis, 2000 Rosario (Argentina); Kruml, T. [CEITEC IPM, Institute of Physics of Materials, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Zizkova 22, Brno, 616 62 (Czech Republic)

    2012-07-30

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Low cycle fatigue test are carried out on EUROFER 97 at room temperature. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer EUROFER 97 shows a pronounced cyclic softening accompanied by microstructural changes. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cycling induces a decrement in dislocation density and subgrain growth. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A simple mean-field model based on crystalline plasticity is proposed. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The mean subgrain size evolution is predicted by modelling. - Abstract: The 9% Cr quenched and tempered reduced-activation ferritic/martensitic steel EUROFER 97 is one of the candidates for structural components of fusion reactors. Isothermal, plastic strain-controlled, low-cycle fatigue tests are performed. Tested at room temperature, this steel suffers a cyclic softening effect linked to microstructural changes observed by transmission electron microscopy, such as the decrease of dislocation density inside subgrains or the growth of subgrain size. From the assumed mechanisms of softening a simple mean-field model based on crystalline plasticity is proposed to predict these microstructure evolutions during cycling and monotonic deformation.

  11. On the use of 12CO/13CO as a test of common-envelope evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhillon, V. S.; Littlefair, S. P.; Marsh, T. R.; Sarna, M. J.; Boakes, E. H.

    2002-10-01

    We present K-band echelle spectra of the cataclysmic variable SS Cyg and the pre-cataclysmic variable V471 Tau in order to measure the strengths of the 12CO and 13CO bands at 2.3525 and 2.3448 mu m, respectively, and so perform the observational test of the common-envelope model of close binary star evolution proposed by Sarna et al. (\\cite{sarna95}). Although we find evidence of an absorption feature coincident with the expected wavelength of 13CO in both objects, we attribute it instead to a cluster of neutral atomic absorption features (primarily due to Ti I) possibly arising from star-spots on the surfaces of the rapidly rotating secondary stars in these systems, thereby rendering the test inconclusive. We present a modified observational test of common-envelope evolution, based on the observation of the 13CO bands at 2.3739 and 2.4037 mu m, which is insensitive to spectral contamination by star-spots.

  12. Of babies and birds: complex tool behaviours are not sufficient for the evolution of the ability to create a novel causal intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Alex H; Cheke, Lucy G; Waismeyer, Anna; Meltzoff, Andrew N; Miller, Rachael; Gopnik, Alison; Clayton, Nicola S; Gray, Russell D

    2014-07-22

    Humans are capable of simply observing a correlation between cause and effect, and then producing a novel behavioural pattern in order to recreate the same outcome. However, it is unclear how the ability to create such causal interventions evolved. Here, we show that while 24-month-old children can produce an effective, novel action after observing a correlation, tool-making New Caledonian crows cannot. These results suggest that complex tool behaviours are not sufficient for the evolution of this ability, and that causal interventions can be cognitively and evolutionarily disassociated from other types of causal understanding. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  13. A polar system of intercontinental bird migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alerstam, Thomas; Bäckman, Johan; Gudmundsson, Gudmundur A; Hedenström, Anders; Henningsson, Sara S; Karlsson, Håkan; Rosén, Mikael; Strandberg, Roine

    2007-10-22

    Studies of bird migration in the Beringia region of Alaska and eastern Siberia are of special interest for revealing the importance of bird migration between Eurasia and North America, for evaluating orientation principles used by the birds at polar latitudes and for understanding the evolutionary implications of intercontinental migratory connectivity among birds as well as their parasites. We used tracking radar placed onboard the ice-breaker Oden to register bird migratory flights from 30 July to 19 August 2005 and we encountered extensive bird migration in the whole Beringia range from latitude 64 degrees N in Bering Strait up to latitude 75 degrees N far north of Wrangel Island, with eastward flights making up 79% of all track directions. The results from Beringia were used in combination with radar studies from the Arctic Ocean north of Siberia and in the Beaufort Sea to make a reconstruction of a major Siberian-American bird migration system in a wide Arctic sector between longitudes 110 degrees E and 130 degrees W, spanning one-third of the entire circumpolar circle. This system was estimated to involve more than 2 million birds, mainly shorebirds, terns and skuas, flying across the Arctic Ocean at mean altitudes exceeding 1 km (maximum altitudes 3-5 km). Great circle orientation provided a significantly better fit with observed flight directions at 20 different sites and areas than constant geographical compass orientation. The long flights over the sea spanned 40-80 degrees of longitude, corresponding to distances and durations of 1400-2600 km and 26-48 hours, respectively. The birds continued from this eastward migration system over the Arctic Ocean into several different flyway systems at the American continents and the Pacific Ocean. Minimization of distances between tundra breeding sectors and northerly stopover sites, in combination with the Beringia glacial refugium and colonization history, seemed to be important for the evolution of this major

  14. Overview and evolution of the LeRC PMAD DC test bed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeder, James F.; Frye, Robert J.

    1992-01-01

    Since the beginning of the Space Station Freedom Program (SSFP), the Lewis Research Center (LeRC) has been developed electrical power system test beds to support the overall design effort. Through this time, the SSFP has changed the design baseline numerous times, however, the test bed effort has endeavored to track these changes. Beginning in August 1989 with the baseline and an all DC system, a test bed was developed to support the design baseline. The LeRC power measurement and distribution (PMAD) DC test bed and the changes in the restructure are described. The changes included the size reduction of primary power channel and various power processing elements. A substantial reduction was also made in the amount of flight software with the subsequent migration of these functions to ground control centers. The impact of these changes on the design of the power hardware, the controller algorithms, the control software, and a description of their current status is presented. An overview of the testing using the test bed is described, which includes investigation of stability and source impedance, primary and secondary fault protection, and performance of a rotary utility transfer device. Finally, information is presented on the evolution of the test bed to support the verification and operational phases of the SSFP in light of these restructure scrubs.

  15. A test for community saturation along the Himalayan bird diversity gradient, based on within-species geographical variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh-Harihar, Mousumi; Price, Trevor D

    2014-05-01

    The idea that ecological communities are unsaturated is central to many explanations for regional gradients in species diversity. We describe a test for differing degrees of saturation across a regional diversity gradient, based on within-species geographical variation in ecological attributes. If communities in species-poor regions are less saturated than communities in species-rich regions, species that straddle both regions should have broader niches in species-poor regions, exploiting resources that are consumed by other species in species-rich regions. We studied 10 species of Old World leaf warblers that range across the Himalayas. Elevational range and feeding method showed niche contractions in the species-poor north-west Himalayas with respect to the species-rich south-east Himalayas, whereas prey size did not vary geographically. Niche contractions are contrary to the expectation of character release in depauperate environments, as has been shown, for example in mainland-island comparisons. We show that arthropod abundances are likely a limiting resource, and that niche contractions are consistent with measurements of a narrowing of resource availability. Results suggest that north-western warbler communities are at least as saturated as the south-east and that lower resource diversity drives reduced species numbers. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2013 British Ecological Society.

  16. Predictors of floater status in a long-lived bird: a cross-sectional and longitudinal test of hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergio, Fabrizio; Blas, Julio; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2009-01-01

    1. Few studies have been capable of monitoring the nonterritorial sector of a population because of the typically secretive behaviour of floating individuals, despite the existing consensus over the demographic importance of floating. Furthermore, there is almost no information on floating behaviour for migratory species. 2. The factors that determine whether an individual will be a floater or a territory owner have been framed into five, non-mutually exclusive hypotheses: (i) territory holders are morphologically superior to floaters (resource-holding potential hypothesis); (ii) age confers skills and fighting motivation which lead to social dominance and territory ownership (age hypothesis); (iii) occupancy time of a site determines asymmetries in its knowledge, familiarity and value for potential contenders (site-dominance hypothesis); (iv) contenders use an arbitrary rule to settle contests leading to pre-defined cut-off points for a biologically meaningful trait (e.g. age, body size) separating floaters from territory holders (arbitrary convention hypothesis); and (v) floaters set up a 'war of attrition' at arbitrarily chosen territories (arbitrary attrition hypothesis). 3. We tested these hypotheses using long-term data on a long-lived, migratory raptor, the black kite Milvus migrans Boddaert. 4. Floating status was best explained by the concerted action of mechanisms consistent with the age and site-dominance hypotheses. 5. In both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, acquisition of a territory was determined by a complex interaction between age and early arrival from migration, suggesting: (i) a progressive incorporation of early arriving individuals in the territorial contingent of the population, and (ii) the existence of an alternative restraint strategy of delayed territoriality mediated by long-term acquisition of social dominance. 6. Such results suggested that territory acquisition was mediated by the establishment of site dominance through pre

  17. Are morphometrics sufficient for estimating age of pre-fledging birds in the field? A test using common terns (Sterna hirundo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christy N Wails

    Full Text Available Age is a key component of fitness, affecting survival and reproductive capacities. Where it is not possible to study known individuals from birth, morphometrics (predominantly patterns of plumage development for birds are most often used to estimate age. Although criteria for age estimations exist for many species, the degree to which these criteria improve the precision of estimates remains to be tested, restricting their widespread acceptance. We develop a photographic tool for estimating ages of Common Tern (Sterna hirundo chicks and test it using 100 human observers of varying prior experience across four breeding colonies (three North American sites and one European site and under controlled laboratory conditions. We followed the design approach of other morphometric tools, expanding it to create a user-friendly guide (divided into six age groupings. The majority (86% of observers improved in chick-aging accuracy when using the tool by an average of 20.1% (±1.4 SE and correctly estimated 60.3% (±1.4 of chick ages. This was similar to the intrinsic aging ability of our best field observer (63.3%. Observers with limited experience showed the greatest increases in chick-aging accuracy over experienced observers who likely had established a method for estimating chick ages prior to using the tool. Even the best observers only correctly estimated ages of chicks 62.9% (±2.8 of the time in the field and 84.0% (±2.9 of the time in the lab when using the tool and typically underestimated ages. This indicates that developmental variation between individual chicks can prevent completely reliable age estimates and corroborates the few existing data that suggest that morphometric criteria fail to achieve robust levels of accuracy and may introduce error into studies that rely on them. We conclude that novel approaches for estimating age, not only morphometric criteria, must be pursued.

  18. Implementation of Evolution Strategies (ES Algorithm to Optimization Lovebird Feed Composition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agung Mustika Rizki

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Lovebird current society, especially popular among bird lovers. Some people began to try to develop the cultivation of these birds. In the cultivation process to consider the composition of feed to produce a quality bird. Determining the feed is not easy because it must consider the cost and need for vitamin Lovebird. This problem can be solved by the algorithm Evolution Strategies (ES. Based on test results obtained optimal fitness value of 0.3125 using a population size of 100 and optimal fitness value of 0.3267 in the generation of 1400. 

  19. Book review - The saga of birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Łucja Fostowicz-Frelik

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Sankar Chatterjee 2015. The Rise of Birds. 225 Million Years of Evolution. Second Edition. 370 pp. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-1-4214-1590-1 (hardcover. Price $59.95; e-book $59.95.

  20. Analytic treatment of leading-order parton evolution equations: Theory and tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Block, Martin M.; Durand, Loyal; McKay, Douglas W.

    2009-01-01

    We recently derived an explicit expression for the gluon distribution function G(x,Q 2 )=xg(x,Q 2 ) in terms of the proton structure function F 2 γp (x,Q 2 ) in leading-order (LO) QCD by solving the LO Dokshitzer-Gribov-Lipatov-Altarelli-Parisi equation for the Q 2 evolution of F 2 γp (x,Q 2 ) analytically, using a differential-equation method. We showed that accurate experimental knowledge of F 2 γp (x,Q 2 ) in a region of Bjorken x and virtuality Q 2 is all that is needed to determine the gluon distribution in that region. We rederive and extend the results here using a Laplace-transform technique, and show that the singlet quark structure function F S (x,Q 2 ) can be determined directly in terms of G from the Dokshitzer-Gribov-Lipatov-Altarelli-Parisi gluon evolution equation. To illustrate the method and check the consistency of existing LO quark and gluon distributions, we used the published values of the LO quark distributions from the CTEQ5L and MRST2001 LO analyses to form F 2 γp (x,Q 2 ), and then solved analytically for G(x,Q 2 ). We find that the analytic and fitted gluon distributions from MRST2001LO agree well with each other for all x and Q 2 , while those from CTEQ5L differ significantly from each other for large x values, x > or approx. 0.03-0.05, at all Q 2 . We conclude that the published CTEQ5L distributions are incompatible in this region. Using a nonsinglet evolution equation, we obtain a sensitive test of quark distributions which holds in both LO and next-to-leading order perturbative QCD. We find in either case that the CTEQ5 quark distributions satisfy the tests numerically for small x, but fail the tests for x > or approx. 0.03-0.05--their use could potentially lead to significant shifts in predictions of quantities sensitive to large x. We encountered no problems with the MRST2001LO distributions or later CTEQ distributions. We suggest caution in the use of the CTEQ5 distributions.

  1. The evolution of hyperboloidal data with the dual foliation formalism: mathematical analysis and wave equation tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilditch, David; Harms, Enno; Bugner, Marcus; Rüter, Hannes; Brügmann, Bernd

    2018-03-01

    A long-standing problem in numerical relativity is the satisfactory treatment of future null-infinity. We propose an approach for the evolution of hyperboloidal initial data in which the outer boundary of the computational domain is placed at infinity. The main idea is to apply the ‘dual foliation’ formalism in combination with hyperboloidal coordinates and the generalized harmonic gauge formulation. The strength of the present approach is that, following the ideas of Zenginoğlu, a hyperboloidal layer can be naturally attached to a central region using standard coordinates of numerical relativity applications. Employing a generalization of the standard hyperboloidal slices, developed by Calabrese et al, we find that all formally singular terms take a trivial limit as we head to null-infinity. A byproduct is a numerical approach for hyperboloidal evolution of nonlinear wave equations violating the null-condition. The height-function method, used often for fixed background spacetimes, is generalized in such a way that the slices can be dynamically ‘waggled’ to maintain the desired outgoing coordinate lightspeed precisely. This is achieved by dynamically solving the eikonal equation. As a first numerical test of the new approach we solve the 3D flat space scalar wave equation. The simulations, performed with the pseudospectral bamps code, show that outgoing waves are cleanly absorbed at null-infinity and that errors converge away rapidly as resolution is increased.

  2. Teste do efeito de borda na predação de ninhos naturais e artificiais no Cerrado A test of the edge effect on predation of natural and artificial bird nests in the Cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Letice C. França

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The Cerrado is still one of the most important ecosystems in Brazil, even though more than 50% of its area has been altered or converted to pastureland and plantations. Despite its intense degradation, few ecological processes that might affect its biodiversity have been evaluated. The goal of this study was to test the edge effect on the predation rates at natural and artificial nests, at the Ecological Station of Águas Emendadas, Federal District, Brazil. Natural nests were found and monitored every three to four days from September to December of 2004 in the interior and at the edge of the reserve. Artificial nests were placed at four distances from the edge (0, 500, 1000 and 2000 m in three spatial replicates in September and again in December of 2004. Each nest received one Japanese Quail and one plasticine egg and was monitored every five days, for 15 days. There was no difference between the rates of predation either in the natural nests or in the artificial nests between treatments. For one bird species, Elaenia chiriquensis (Lawrence, 1865, Tyrannidae, daily survival rates in the incubation and in the hatchling period had opposite values between the edge and the interior. Marks on plasticine eggs suggest that birds are the main predators. Estimates of the abundance of two potential nest predators, Cyanocorax cristatellus (Temminck, 1823, Corvidae and Canis familiaris (Linnaeus, 1758, Canidae, revealed no relationship with distance to the edge, nor with predation rates. Brood parasitism of natural nests was similar between the interior (0% and the edge (3.8% of the nests. The results described here do not support the edge effect hypothesis for nest predation rates on either natural or artificial nests, nor for brood parasitism rates.

  3. Insights into the evolution of mammalian telomerase: Platypus TERT shares similarities with genes of birds and other reptiles and localizes on sex chromosomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hrdličková Radmila

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The TERT gene encodes the catalytic subunit of the telomerase complex and is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Vertebrate telomerase has been studied in eutherian mammals, fish, and the chicken, but less attention has been paid to other vertebrates. The platypus occupies an important evolutionary position, providing unique insight into the evolution of mammalian genes. We report the cloning of a platypus TERT (OanTERT ortholog, and provide a comparison with genes of other vertebrates. Results The OanTERT encodes a protein with a high sequence similarity to marsupial TERT and avian TERT. Like the TERT of sauropsids and marsupials, as well as that of sharks and echinoderms, OanTERT contains extended variable linkers in the N-terminal region suggesting that they were present already in basal vertebrates and lost independently in ray-finned fish and eutherian mammals. Several alternatively spliced OanTERT variants structurally similar to avian TERT variants were identified. Telomerase activity is expressed in all platypus tissues like that of cold-blooded animals and murine rodents. OanTERT was localized on pseudoautosomal regions of sex chromosomes X3/Y2, expanding the homology between human chromosome 5 and platypus sex chromosomes. Synteny analysis suggests that TERT co-localized with sex-linked genes in the last common mammalian ancestor. Interestingly, female platypuses express higher levels of telomerase in heart and liver tissues than do males. Conclusions OanTERT shares many features with TERT of the reptilian outgroup, suggesting that OanTERT represents the ancestral mammalian TERT. Features specific to TERT of eutherian mammals have, therefore, evolved more recently after the divergence of monotremes.

  4. Insights into the evolution of mammalian telomerase: platypus TERT shares similarities with genes of birds and other reptiles and localizes on sex chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hrdličková, Radmila; Nehyba, Jiří; Lim, Shu Ly; Grützner, Frank; Bose, Henry R

    2012-06-01

    The TERT gene encodes the catalytic subunit of the telomerase complex and is responsible for maintaining telomere length. Vertebrate telomerase has been studied in eutherian mammals, fish, and the chicken, but less attention has been paid to other vertebrates. The platypus occupies an important evolutionary position, providing unique insight into the evolution of mammalian genes. We report the cloning of a platypus TERT (OanTERT) ortholog, and provide a comparison with genes of other vertebrates. The OanTERT encodes a protein with a high sequence similarity to marsupial TERT and avian TERT. Like the TERT of sauropsids and marsupials, as well as that of sharks and echinoderms, OanTERT contains extended variable linkers in the N-terminal region suggesting that they were present already in basal vertebrates and lost independently in ray-finned fish and eutherian mammals. Several alternatively spliced OanTERT variants structurally similar to avian TERT variants were identified. Telomerase activity is expressed in all platypus tissues like that of cold-blooded animals and murine rodents. OanTERT was localized on pseudoautosomal regions of sex chromosomes X3/Y2, expanding the homology between human chromosome 5 and platypus sex chromosomes. Synteny analysis suggests that TERT co-localized with sex-linked genes in the last common mammalian ancestor. Interestingly, female platypuses express higher levels of telomerase in heart and liver tissues than do males. OanTERT shares many features with TERT of the reptilian outgroup, suggesting that OanTERT represents the ancestral mammalian TERT. Features specific to TERT of eutherian mammals have, therefore, evolved more recently after the divergence of monotremes.

  5. Studying the co-evolution of production and test code in open source and industrial developer test processes through repository mining

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zaidman, A.; Van Rompaey, B.; Van Deursen, A.; Demeyer, S.

    2010-01-01

    Many software production processes advocate rigorous development testing alongside functional code writing, which implies that both test code and production code should co-evolve. To gain insight in the nature of this co-evolution, this paper proposes three views (realized by a tool called TeMo)

  6. North Slope, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls and terns, seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl for the North Slope of Alaska....

  7. Birds of Sabaki Birds of Sabaki

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    CJ

    2005-02-25

    Feb 25, 2005 ... covers approximately 250ha.The area encompassed by this study extends from Mambrui to the north, the sea to the east, the opposite bank of the estuary to the south and the Sabaki bridge and Malindi-Garsen road to the west. The area is defined as an Important Bird Area(IBA) by BirdLife International in ...

  8. Shift from bird to butterfly pollination in Clivia (Amaryllidaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiepiel, Ian; Johnson, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    Pollinator shifts have been implicated as a driver of divergence in angiosperms. We tested the hypothesis that there was a transition from bird- to butterfly pollination in the African genus Clivia (Amaryllidaceae) and investigated how floral traits may have been either modified or retained during this transition. We identified pollinators using field observations, correlations between lepidopteran wing scales and pollen on stigmas, and single-visit and selective exclusion experiments. We also quantified floral rewards and advertising traits. The upright trumpet-shaped flowers of C. miniata were found to be pollinated effectively by swallowtail butterflies during both nectar-feeding and brush visits. These butterflies transfer pollen on their wings, as evidenced by positive correlations between wing scales and pollen loads on stigmas. All other Clivia species have narrow pendulous flowers that are visited by sunbirds. Selective exclusion of birds and large butterflies from flowers of two Clivia species resulted in a significant decline in seed production. From the distribution of pollination systems on available phylogenies, it is apparent that a shift took place from bird- to butterfly pollination in Clivia. This shift was accompanied by the evolution of trumpet-shaped flowers, smaller nectar volume, and emission of scent, while flower color and nectar chemistry do not appear to have been substantially modified. These results are consistent with the idea that pollinator shifts can explain major floral modifications during plant diversification.

  9. An Experimental Evolution Test of the Relationship between Melanism and Desiccation Survival in Insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subhash Rajpurohit

    Full Text Available We used experimental evolution to test the 'melanism-desiccation' hypothesis, which proposes that dark cuticle in several Drosophila species is an adaptation for increased desiccation tolerance. We selected for dark and light body pigmentation in replicated populations of D. melanogaster and assayed several traits related to water balance. We also scored pigmentation and desiccation tolerance in populations selected for desiccation survival. Populations in both selection regimes showed large differences in the traits directly under selection. However, after over 40 generations of pigmentation selection, dark-selected populations were not more desiccation-tolerant than light-selected and control populations, nor did we find significant changes in mass or carbohydrate amounts that could affect desiccation resistance. Body pigmentation of desiccation-selected populations did not differ from control populations after over 140 generations of selection, although selected populations lost water less rapidly. Our results do not support an important role for melanization in Drosophila water balance.

  10. Microstructural Evolution in Chroming Coatings Friction Pairs under Dry Sliding Test Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The microstructures of subsurface layers of 20CrMnTi steel pins against chroming and nonchroming T10 under dry sliding tests were studied by means of OM (optical microscopy, XRD (X-ray diffraction, and SEM (scanning electron microscopy. Results showed that the chroming coating strengthened the disc surface and significantly affected microstructural evolution. Three layers—the matrix, deformation layer (DL, and surface layer (SL—formed in 20CrMnTi for the chroming T10. The matrix and deformation layer (DL formed in 20CrMnTi for the nonchroming T10. The formation of the microstructure was considered as a result of the shear deformation.

  11. Microstructural evolution of cemented paste backfill: Mercury intrusion porosimetry test results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serge Ouellet; Bruno Bussiere; Michel Aubertin; Mostafa Benzaazoua [Universite du Quebec en Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, PQ (Canada)

    2007-12-15

    The microstructural evolution of different cemented paste backfill (CPB) samples made with ground silica was evaluated using mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP). The influence of three binders (OPC, OPC with fly ash, and OPC with blast furnace slag) and of three types of water (one deionised and two sulphated) on the microstructure was studied over the curing time. Uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) tests were also performed to relate MIP results to the backfill mechanical strength. Among other findings, the MIP analyses indicate that the slag based binder combined with a mixing water having a high sulphate content (of 7549 ppm) showed the highest percentage of fine pores and the highest strength. This behaviour is related to the potential precipitation of sulphate phases in pores, which may contribute to strength enhancement. Based on MIP pore size distributions and UCS results, the authors propose a general relationship applicable for CPB.

  12. Exotic birds increase generalization and compensate for native bird decline in plant-frugivore assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Daniel; Martínez, Daniel; Stouffer, Daniel B; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2014-11-01

    Exotic species are thought to alter the structure of natural communities and disrupt ecosystem functioning through invasion. Nevertheless, exotic species may also provide ecological insurance when they contribute to maintain ecosystem functions after the decline of native species following anthropogenic disturbance. Here, this hypothesis is tested with the assemblage of frugivorous birds and fleshy-fruited plants of New Zealand, which has suffered strong historical declines in native birds while simultaneously gaining new frugivores introduced by European settlers. We studied the plant-frugivore assemblage from measures of fruit and bird abundances and fruit consumption in nine forest patches, and tested how this changed across a gradient of relative abundance of exotic birds. We then examined how each bird species' role in the assemblage (the proportion of fruits and the number of plant species consumed) varied with their relative abundance, body size and native/exotic status. The more abundant and, to a lesser extent, larger birds species consumed a higher proportion of fruits from more plant species. Exotic birds consumed fruits less selectively and more proportionate to the local availability than did native species. Interaction networks in which exotic birds had a stronger role as frugivores had higher generalization, higher nestedness and higher redundancy of plants. Exotic birds maintained frugivory when native birds became rarer, and diversified the local spectrum of frugivores for co-occurring native plants. These effects seemed related to the fact that species abundances, rather than trait-matching constraints, ultimately determined the patterns of interactions between birds and plants. By altering the structure of plant-frugivore assemblages, exotic birds likely enhance the stability of the community-wide seed dispersal in the face of continued anthropogenic impact. © 2014 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2014 British Ecological Society.

  13. Angry Birds in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halford, A. J.

    2017-12-01

    When space computers first started listening into space radio, they noticed that there were radio noises that happened on the morning side of the Earth. Because these waves sounded like noises birds make in the morning, we named these waves after them. These bird sounding waves can move around the Earth, flying up and down, and sometimes move into an area where there is more stuff. This area is also much colder than where these bird noises are first made. When the waves move into this cold area where there is more stuff, they start to sound like angry birds instead of happy birds. Both of these waves, the happy and angry bird sounding waves, are very important to our understanding of how the tiny things in space move and change. Sometimes the waves which sound like birds can push these tiniest of things into the sky. The happy bird sounding waves can push the tiniest things quickly while the angry bird sounding waves push the tinest of things more slowly. When the tiny things fall into the sky, they create beautiful space lights and light that burns which can hurt people in up goers and not so up goers as well as our things like phones, and space computers. We study these waves that sound like birds to better understand when and where the tiny things will fall. That way we can be prepared and enjoy watching the pretty space lights at night with no worries.

  14. Schirmer tear test type I readings and intraocular pressure values assessed by applanation tonometry (Tonopen® XL) in normal eyes of four European species of birds of prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barsotti, Giovanni; Briganti, Angela; Spratte, Johanna R; Ceccherelli, Renato; Breghi, Gloria

    2013-09-01

    To determine normal values for Schirmer tear test I and intraocular pressure in four European species of birds of prey. Twenty birds from each of the following species: Eurasian Tawny owl (Strix aluco), Little owl (Athene noctua), Common buzzard (Buteo buteo), and European kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). Both eyes of all birds (80 eyes) underwent a complete ophthalmic examination, which included a Schirmer tear test type I (STT-I) performed with commercially available strips and the assessment of the intraocular pressure (IOP) by applanation tonometry, employing the Tonopen-XL(®) device. The animals, which had been taken to a rescue center, were examined for ocular lesions prior to their eventual release into the wild. STT-I readings and IOP values were expressed as means ± standard deviation. Schirmer tear test type I readings were as follows: Eurasian Tawny owls: 3.12 ± 1.92 mm/min; Little owls: 3.5 ± 1.96 mm/min; Common buzzards: 12.47 ± 2.66 mm/min; European kestrels: 6.20 ± 3.67 mm/min. IOP values were as follows: Eurasian Tawny owls: 11.21 ± 3.12 mmHg; Little owls: 9.83 ± 3.41 mmHg; Common buzzards: 17.2 ± 3.53 mmHg; European kestrels: 8.53 ± 1.59 mmHg. The results of this study give representative values for STT-I and IOP in four of the most common species of birds of prey in Europe. © 2012 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  15. Microstructural evolution of uranium dioxide following compression creep tests: An EBSD and image analysis study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iltis, X., E-mail: xaviere.iltis@cea.fr [CEA, DEN, DEC, Cadarache, 13108 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance (France); Gey, N. [Laboratoire d’Etude des Microstructures et de Mécanique des Matériaux (LEM3), CNRS UMR 7239, Université de Lorraine, Ile du Saulcy, 57045 Metz Cedex 1 (France); Cagna, C. [CEA, DEN, DEC, Cadarache, 13108 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance (France); Hazotte, A. [Laboratoire d’Etude des Microstructures et de Mécanique des Matériaux (LEM3), CNRS UMR 7239, Université de Lorraine, Ile du Saulcy, 57045 Metz Cedex 1 (France); Sornay, Ph. [CEA, DEN, DEC, Cadarache, 13108 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance (France)

    2015-01-15

    Highlights: • Image analysis and EBSD are performed on creep tested UO{sub 2} pellets. • Development of intergranular voids, with increasing strain, is quantified. • EBSD evidences a sub-structuration process within the grains and quantifies it. • Creep mechanisms are discussed on the basis of these results. - Abstract: Sintered UO{sub 2} pellets with relatively large grains (∼25 μm) are tested at 1500 °C under a compressive stress of 50 MPa, at different deformation levels up to 12%. Electron Back Scattered Diffraction (EBSD) is used to follow the evolution, with deformation, of grains (size, shape, orientation) and sub-grains. Image analyses of SEM images are performed to characterize emergence of a population of micron size voids. For the considered microstructure and test conditions, the results show that the deformation process of UO{sub 2} globally corresponds to grain boundary sliding, partly accommodated by a dislocational creep within the grains, leading to a highly sub-structured state.

  16. A Classroom Exercise for Testing Urban Myth: Does Wedding Rice Cause Birds to Explode or Were Ann Landers, Martha Stewart & Bart Simpson Wrong?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krupa, James J.

    2005-01-01

    In this article, the author first provides the history of the wedding rice myth. He then details an interactive class activity that involved students in his large, non-majors biology classes. These students developed a series of experiments that scientifically determined if rice could be harmful to birds. Finally, he provides suggestions on how…

  17. Insight into the growth pattern and bone fusion of basal birds from an Early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Li, Zhiheng; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2017-10-24

    Bird skeletons exhibit remarkable modifications that allow for flight. The most distinguishable features are the fusion of the bones in the hand, feet, and pelvis into composite rigid and bony structures. However, the historical origins of these avian bone fusions remain elusive because of the rarity of transitional fossils and developmental studies on modern birds. Here, we describe an Early Cretaceous bird (120 Mya) that has fully fused alular-major metacarpals and pelvis. We discuss the manus and pelvis fusions across Paravian phylogeny and demonstrate that these features evolved independently across nonavian theropods, Enantiornithes, and Ornithuromorpha. The fusions of these bones are rare in known nonavian theropods and Early Cretaceous birds but are well established among Late Cretaceous and modern birds, revealing a complicated evolution pattern unrecognized previously. We posit that the developments of bone fusion were polymorphic close to the origin of birds, resulting in the varying degrees of fusion in Paraves. However, that development polymorphism appears to be fundamentally restricted along the line to modern birds by the Late Cretaceous, where all birds have a completely fused manus and pelvis. Such changes likely correspond to a refinement of flight capability. Alternatively, the degree of bone fusion in this primitive bird may have been related to modifications in genes or developmental paths. Future studies and fossil discoveries are required to clarify these hypotheses and pinpoint the developmental pathways involving the bone fusions in early avian evolution through to their modern pattern.

  18. Diseases Transmitted by Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levison, Matthew E

    2015-08-01

    Although many people these days actually work very hard at leisure time activities, diseases are most commonly acquired from birds during the course of work in the usual sense of the term, not leisure. However, travel for pleasure to areas where the diseases are highly endemic puts people at risk of acquiring some of these bird-related diseases (for example, histoplasmosis and arbovirus infections), as does ownership of birds as pets (psittacosis).

  19. Evolutionary consequences of shifts to bird-pollination in the Australian pea-flowered legumes (Mirbelieae and Bossiaeeae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, Alicia; Cook, Lyn G; Crisp, Michael D

    2014-03-07

    Interactions with pollinators are proposed to be one of the major drivers of diversity in angiosperms. Specialised interactions with pollinators can lead to specialised floral traits, which collectively are known as a pollination syndrome. While it is thought that specialisation to a pollinator can lead to either an increase in diversity or in some cases a dead end, it is not well understood how transitions among specialised pollinators contribute to changes in diversity. Here, we use evolutionary trait reconstruction of bee-pollination and bird-pollination syndromes in Australian egg-and-bacon peas (Mirbelieae and Bossiaeeae) to test whether transitions between pollination syndromes is correlated with changes in species diversity. We also test for directionality in transitions that might be caused by selection by pollinators or by an evolutionary ratchet in which reversals to the original pollination syndrome are not possible. Trait reconstructions of Australian egg-and-bacon peas suggest that bee-pollination syndrome is the ancestral form and that there has been replicated evolution of bird-pollination syndromes. Reconstructions indicate potential reversals from bird- to bee-pollination syndromes but this is not consistent with morphology. Species diversity of bird-pollination syndrome clades is lower than that of their bee-pollination syndrome sisters.We estimated the earliest transitions from bee- to bird-pollination syndrome occurred between 30.8 Ma and 10.4 Ma. Geographical structuring of pollination syndromes was found; there were fewer bird-pollination species in the Australian southeast temperate region compared to other regions of Australia. A consistent decrease in diversification rate coincident with switches to bird pollination might be explained if greater dispersal by bird pollinators results in higher levels of connectivity among populations and reduced chances of allopatric speciation.The earliest transitions overlap with the early diversification

  20. Cyclic Fiber Push-In Test Monitors Evolution of Interfacial Behavior in Ceramic Matrix Composites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldridge, Jeffrey I.

    1998-01-01

    SiC fiber-reinforced ceramic matrix composites are being developed for high-temperature advanced jet engine applications. Obtaining a strong, tough composite material depends critically on optimizing the mechanical coupling between the reinforcing fibers and the surrounding matrix material. This has usually been accomplished by applying a thin C or BN coating onto the surface of the reinforcing fibers. The performance of these fiber coatings, however, may degrade under cyclic loading conditions or exposure to different environments. Degradation of the coating-controlled interfacial behavior will strongly affect the useful service lifetime of the composite material. Cyclic fiber push-in testing was applied to monitor the evolution of fiber sliding behavior in both C- and BN-coated small-diameter (15-mm) SiC-fiber-reinforced ceramic matrix composites. The cyclic fiber push-in tests were performed using a desktop fiber push-out apparatus. At the beginning of each test, the fiber to be tested was aligned underneath a 10- mm-diameter diamond punch; then, the applied load was cycled between selected maximum and minimum loads. From the measured response, the fiber sliding distance and frictional sliding stresses were determined for each cycle. Tests were performed in both room air and nitrogen. Cyclic fiber push-in tests of C-coated, SiC-fiber-reinforced SiC showed progressive increases in fiber sliding distances along with decreases in frictional sliding stresses for continued cycling in room air. This rapid degradation in interfacial response was not observed for cycling in nitrogen, indicating that moisture exposure had a large effect in immediately lowering the frictional sliding stresses of C-coated fibers. These results indicate that matrix cracks bridged by C-coated fibers will not be stable, but will rapidly grow in moisture-containing environments. In contrast, cyclic fiber push-in tests of both BN-coated, SiC-fiber-reinforced SiC and BNcoated, Si

  1. Cross-species transmission and emergence of novel viruses from birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Jasper Fuk-Woo; To, Kelvin Kai-Wang; Chen, Honglin; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2015-02-01

    Birds, the only living member of the Dinosauria clade, are flying warm-blooded vertebrates displaying high species biodiversity, roosting and migratory behavior, and a unique adaptive immune system. Birds provide the natural reservoir for numerous viral species and therefore gene source for evolution, emergence and dissemination of novel viruses. The intrusions of human into natural habitats of wild birds, the domestication of wild birds as pets or racing birds, and the increasing poultry consumption by human have facilitated avian viruses to cross species barriers to cause zoonosis. Recently, a novel adenovirus was exclusively found in birds causing an outbreak of Chlamydophila psittaci infection among birds and humans. Instead of being the primary cause of an outbreak by jumping directly from bird to human, a novel avian virus can be an augmenter of another zoonotic agent causing the outbreak. A comprehensive avian virome will improve our understanding of birds' evolutionary dynamics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Inferring epidemiologic dynamics from viral evolution: 2014–2015 Eurasian/North American highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses exceed transmission threshold, R0 = 1, in wild birds and poultry in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grear, Daniel R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Dusek, Robert; Ip, Hon S.

    2018-01-01

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) is a multihost pathogen with lineages that pose health risks for domestic birds, wild birds, and humans. One mechanism of intercontinental HPAIV spread is through wild bird reservoirs, and wild birds were the likely sources of a Eurasian (EA) lineage HPAIV into North America in 2014. The introduction resulted in several reassortment events with North American (NA) lineage low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses and the reassortant EA/NA H5N2 went on to cause one of the largest HPAIV poultry outbreaks in North America. We evaluated three hypotheses about novel HPAIV introduced into wild and domestic bird hosts: (i) transmission of novel HPAIVs in wild birds was restricted by mechanisms associated with highly pathogenic phenotypes; (ii) the HPAIV poultry outbreak was not self-sustaining and required viral input from wild birds; and (iii) reassortment of the EA H5N8 generated reassortant EA/NA AIVs with a fitness advantage over fully Eurasian lineages in North American wild birds. We used a time-rooted phylodynamic model that explicitly incorporated viral population dynamics with evolutionary dynamics to estimate the basic reproductive number (R0) and viral migration among host types in domestic and wild birds, as well as between the EA H5N8 and EA/NA H5N2 in wild birds. We did not find evidence to support hypothesis (i) or (ii) as our estimates of the transmission parameters suggested that the HPAIV outbreak met or exceeded the threshold for persistence in wild birds (R0 > 1) and poultry (R0 ≈ 1) with minimal estimated transmission among host types. There was also no evidence to support hypothesis (iii) because R0 values were similar among EA H5N8 and EA/NA H5N2 in wild birds. Our results suggest that this novel HPAIV and reassortments did not encounter any transmission barriers sufficient to prevent persistence when introduced to wild or domestic birds.

  3. Status of geochemical modeling of groundwater evolution at the Tono in-situ tests site, Japan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sasamoto, Hiroshi; Yui, Mikazu [Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Inst., Tokai Works, Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan); Arthur, R.C. [Monitor Scientific, L.L.C., Denver, Colorado (United States)

    1999-12-01

    Hydrochemical investigation of Tertiary sedimentary rocks at JNC's Tono in-situ tests site indicate the groundwaters are: meteoric in origin, chemically reducing at depths greater than a few tens of meters in the sedimentary rock, relatively old [carbon-14 ages of groundwaters collected from the lower part of the sedimentary sequence range from 13,000 to 15,000 years BP (before present)]. Ca-Na-HCO{sub 3} type solutions near the surface, changing to Na-HCO{sub 3} type groundwaters with increasing depth. The chemical evolution of the groundwaters is modeled assuming local equilibrium for selected mineral-fluid reactions, taking into account the rainwater origin of these solutions. Results suggest it is possible to interpret approximately the 'real' groundwater chemistry (i.e., pH, Eh, total dissolved concentrations of Si, Na, Ca, K, Al, carbonate and sulfate) if the following assumptions are adopted: CO{sub 2} concentration in the gas phase contacting pore solutions in the overlying soil zone=10{sup -1} bar, minerals in the rock zone that control the solubility of respective elements in the groundwater include; chalcedony (Si), albite (Na), kaolinite (Al), calcite (Ca and carbonate), muscovite (K) and pyrite (Eh and sulfate). It is noted, however, that the available field data may not be sufficient to adequately constrain parameters in the groundwater evolution model. In particular, more detailed information characterizing certain site properties (e.g., the actual mineralogy of 'plagioclase', 'clay' and 'zeolite') are needed to improve the model. Alternative conceptual models of key reactions may also be necessary. For this reason, a model that accounts for ion-exchange reactions among clay minerals, and which is based on the results of laboratory experiments, has also been evaluated in the present study. Further improvements of model considering ion-exchange reactions are needed in future, however. (author)

  4. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for pelagic birds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gulls, terns, and passerine birds in Guam and the...

  5. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  6. Understanding how birds navigate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Schulten, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye.......A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye....

  7. Nanoscale magnetoreceptors in birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Greiner, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Earth's magnetic field provides an important source of directional information for many living organisms, especially birds, but the sensory receptor responsible for magnetic field detection still has to be identified. Recently, magnetic iron oxide particles were detected in dendritic endings...... field, by a bird....

  8. Avian Influenza in Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... However, some ducks can be infected without any signs of illness. Top of Page Avian Influenza in Wild Birds Avian influenza A viruses have ... hours. Some ducks can be infected without any signs of illness. Avian influenza outbreaks are of concern in domesticated birds for ...

  9. Urban bird conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snep, Robbert P.H.; Kooijmans, Jip Louwe; Kwak, Robert G.M.; Foppen, Ruud P.B.; Parsons, Holly; Awasthy, Monica; Sierdsema, Henk L.K.; Marzluff, John M.; Fernandez-Juricic, Esteban; Laet, de Jenny

    2016-01-01

    Following the call from the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity “Cities & Biodiversity Outlook” project to better preserve urban biodiversity, this paper presents stakeholder-specific statements for bird conservation in city environments. Based upon the current urban bird

  10. Migratory Birds. Issue Pac.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish and Wildlife Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    The materials in this educational packet are designed for use with students in grades 4 through 7. They consist of an overview, teaching guides and student data sheets for three activities, and a poster. The overview discusses why, how, where, and when birds migrate as well as problems birds encounter while migrating; the importance of research…

  11. The healing bird

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Greek mythology it was a nondescript bird but in the medieval bestiaries it became pure white. The caladrius is used in the coats of arms of the South African Medical and Dental Council and also the Medical University of Soufhern Africa. These appear to be the first use of this medically significant bird in modern heraldry.

  12. EMPIRICAL WEIGHTED MODELLING ON INTER-COUNTY INEQUALITIES EVOLUTION AND TO TEST ECONOMICAL CONVERGENCE IN ROMANIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia\tMOROIANU‐DUMITRESCU

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available During the last decades, the regional convergence process in Europe has attracted a considerable interest as a highly significant issue, especially after EU enlargement with the New Member States from Central and Eastern Europe. The most usual empirical approaches are using the β- and σ-convergence, originally developed by a series of neo-classical models. Up-to-date, the EU integration process was proven to be accompanied by an increase of the regional inequalities. In order to determine the existence of a similar increase of the inequalities between the administrative counties (NUTS3 included in the NUTS2 and NUTS1 regions of Romania, this paper provides an empirical modelling of economic convergence allowing to evaluate the level and evolution of the inter-regional inequalities over more than a decade period lasting from 1995 up to 2011. The paper presents the results of a large cross-sectional study of σ-convergence and weighted coefficient of variation, using GDP and population data obtained from the National Institute of Statistics of Romania. Both graphical representation including non-linear regression and the associated tables summarizing numerical values of the main statistical tests are demonstrating the impact of pre- accession policy on the economic development of all Romanian NUTS types. The clearly emphasised convergence in the middle time subinterval can be correlated with the pre-accession drastic changes on economic, political and social level, and with the opening of the Schengen borders for Romanian labor force in 2002.

  13. A global analysis of bird plumage patterns reveals no association between habitat and camouflage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Somveille

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Evidence suggests that animal patterns (motifs function in camouflage. Irregular mottled patterns can facilitate concealment when stationary in cluttered habitats, whereas regular patterns typically prevent capture during movement in open habitats. Bird plumage patterns have predominantly converged on just four types—mottled (irregular, scales, bars and spots (regular—and habitat could be driving convergent evolution in avian patterning. Based on sensory ecology, we therefore predict that irregular patterns would be associated with visually noisy closed habitats and that regular patterns would be associated with open habitats. Regular patterns have also been shown to function in communication for sexually competing males to stand-out and attract females, so we predict that male breeding plumage patterns evolved in both open and closed habitats. Here, taking phylogenetic relatedness into account, we investigate ecological selection for bird plumage patterns across the class Aves. We surveyed plumage patterns in 80% of all avian species worldwide. Of these, 2,756 bird species have regular and irregular plumage patterns as well as habitat information. In this subset, we tested whether adult breeding/non-breeding plumages in each sex, and juvenile plumages, were associated with the habitat types found within the species’ geographical distributions. We found no evidence for an association between habitat and plumage patterns across the world’s birds and little phylogenetic signal. We also found that species with regular and irregular plumage patterns were distributed randomly across the world’s eco-regions without being affected by habitat type. These results indicate that at the global spatial and taxonomic scale, habitat does not predict convergent evolution in bird plumage patterns, contrary to the camouflage hypothesis.

  14. On the Quasistatic Limit of Dynamic Evolutions for a Peeling Test in Dimension One

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazzaroni, Giuliano; Nardini, Lorenzo

    2018-02-01

    The aim of this paper is to study the quasistatic limit of a one-dimensional model of dynamic debonding. We start from a dynamic problem that strongly couples the wave equation in a time-dependent domain with Griffith's criterion for the evolution of the domain. Passing to the limit as inertia tends to zero, we find that the limit evolution satisfies a stability condition; however, the activation rule in Griffith's (quasistatic) criterion does not hold in general, thus the limit evolution is not rate-independent.

  15. Immunogenic proteins specific to different bird species in bird fancier's lung.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouzet, Adeline; Reboux, Gabriel; Rognon, Bénédicte; Barrera, Coralie; De Vuyst, Paul; Dalphin, Jean-Charles; Millon, Laurence; Roussel, Sandrine

    2014-01-01

    Bird fancier's lung (BFL) is a disease produced by exposure to avian proteins present in droppings, blooms, and serum of a variety of birds. Although serological test results are currently used to confirm clinical diagnosis of the disease, bird species specificity is poorly understood. This study aimed to contribute to a better understanding of the specificity of immunogenic proteins revealed from the droppings of three bird species. Sera from four patients with BFL and two controls without exposure were analyzed by Western blotting with antigens from droppings of two pigeon and budgerigar strains and two hen species. When the antigens from the droppings of the three bird species were compared, the profile of immunogenic proteins was different and there were similarities between strains of the same species. Only one 68-kD protein was common to pigeon and budgerigar droppings, while proteins of 200, 175, 140, 100, and 35 kD were detected as specific in one bird species. These results provide insight to further characterize these proteins, and to design new serological tests specific to different bird species. These tests may help to refine strategies of antigenic exclusion and also to allow a patient compensation in case of BFL of occupational origin.

  16. A new basal bird from China with implications for morphological diversity in early birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Wang, Xiaoli; Wang, Yan; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2016-01-25

    The Chinese Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group is the second oldest fossil bird-bearing deposit, only surpassed by Archaeopteryx from the German Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Limestones. Here we report a new bird, Chongmingia zhengi gen. et sp. nov., from the Jehol Biota. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that Chongmingia zhengi is basal to the dominant Mesozoic avian clades Enantiornithes and Ornithuromorpha, and represents a new basal avialan lineage. This new discovery adds to our knowledge regarding the phylogenetic differentiation and morphological diversity in early avian evolution. The furcula of Chongmingia is rigid (reducing its efficiency), consequently requiring more power for flight. However, the elongated forelimb and the large deltopectoral crest on the humerus might indicate that the power was available. The unique combination of features present in this species demonstrates that numerous evolutionary experimentations took place in the early evolution of powered flight. The occurrence of gastroliths further confirms that herbivory was common among basal birds. The Jehol birds faced competition with pterosaurs, and occupied sympatric habitats with non-avian theropods, some of which consumed birds. Thus, avialan herbivory may have reduced ecological competition from carnivorous close relatives and other volant vertebrates early in their evolutionary history.

  17. A new basal bird from China with implications for morphological diversity in early birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Min; Wang, Xiaoli; Wang, Yan; Zhou, Zhonghe

    2016-01-01

    The Chinese Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group is the second oldest fossil bird-bearing deposit, only surpassed by Archaeopteryx from the German Upper Jurassic Solnhofen Limestones. Here we report a new bird, Chongmingia zhengi gen. et sp. nov., from the Jehol Biota. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that Chongmingia zhengi is basal to the dominant Mesozoic avian clades Enantiornithes and Ornithuromorpha, and represents a new basal avialan lineage. This new discovery adds to our knowledge regarding the phylogenetic differentiation and morphological diversity in early avian evolution. The furcula of Chongmingia is rigid (reducing its efficiency), consequently requiring more power for flight. However, the elongated forelimb and the large deltopectoral crest on the humerus might indicate that the power was available. The unique combination of features present in this species demonstrates that numerous evolutionary experimentations took place in the early evolution of powered flight. The occurrence of gastroliths further confirms that herbivory was common among basal birds. The Jehol birds faced competition with pterosaurs, and occupied sympatric habitats with non-avian theropods, some of which consumed birds. Thus, avialan herbivory may have reduced ecological competition from carnivorous close relatives and other volant vertebrates early in their evolutionary history. PMID:26806355

  18. Mathematical model for bird flu disease transmission with no bird ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this paper a mathematical model for the transmission dynamics of bird flu among birds and humans is presented. The model assumes that there is no migration of birds in the susceptible bird population immediately the disease starts. The model formulated is analyzed using dynamical systems theory . The analysis of the ...

  19. mathematical model for bird flu disease transmission with no bird ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    In this paper a mathematical model for the transmission dynamics of bird flu among birds and humans is presented. The model assumes that there is no migration of birds in the susceptible bird population immediately the disease starts. The model formulated is analyzed using dynamical systems theory. The analysis of the ...

  20. Bird brood parasitism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Martin

    2013-10-21

    For many animals, the effort to rear their young is considerable. In birds, this often includes building nests, incubating eggs, feeding the chicks, and protecting them from predators. Perhaps for this reason, about 1% of birds (around 100 species) save themselves the effort and cheat instead. They are obligate brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other species and leaving the hosts or foster parents to rear the foreign chicks for them. Some birds also cheat on individuals of the same species (intraspecific brood parasitism). Intraspecific brood parasitism has been reported in around 200 species, but is likely to be higher, as it can often only be detected by genetic analyses.

  1. Hatching synchrony in birds

    OpenAIRE

    Tippeltová, Zuzana

    2011-01-01

    This bachelor thesis is about hatching synchrony in birds. Generally, among birds there are two types of hatching - asynchronous and synchronous- and the type of hatching is primarily determined by the time of the onset of incubation. In many bird species, including most precocial ones, incubation does not begin until the last egg has been laid, which results in hatching of all the eggs within a few hours. In synchronously-hatched broods, all the chicks are about the same age. Thus no single ...

  2. Microstructure evolution during cyclic tests on EUROFER 97 at room temperature. TEM observation and modelling

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Giordana, M. F.; Giroux, P. F.; Alvarez; Armas, I.; Sauzay, M.; Armas, A.; Kruml, Tomáš

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 550, JUL (2012), s. 103-111 ISSN 0921-5093 Institutional support: RVO:68081723 Keywords : martensitic steels * softening behaviour * microstructural evolution * modelling Subject RIV: JL - Materials Fatigue, Friction Mechanics Impact factor: 2.108, year: 2012

  3. Replaying Evolution to Test the Cause of Extinction of One Ecotype in an Experimentally Evolved Population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline B Turner

    Full Text Available In a long-term evolution experiment with Escherichia coli, bacteria in one of twelve populations evolved the ability to consume citrate, a previously unexploited resource in a glucose-limited medium. This innovation led to the frequency-dependent coexistence of citrate-consuming (Cit+ and non-consuming (Cit- ecotypes, with Cit-bacteria persisting on the exogenously supplied glucose as well as other carbon molecules released by the Cit+ bacteria. After more than 10,000 generations of coexistence, however, the Cit-lineage went extinct; cells with the Cit-phenotype dropped to levels below detection, and the Cit-clade could not be detected by molecular assays based on its unique genotype. We hypothesized that this extinction was a deterministic outcome of evolutionary change within the population, specifically the appearance of a more-fit Cit+ ecotype that competitively excluded the Cit-ecotype. We tested this hypothesis by re-evolving the population from a frozen population sample taken within 500 generations of the extinction and from another sample taken several thousand generations earlier, in each case for 500 generations and with 20-fold replication. To our surprise, the Cit-type did not go extinct in any of these replays, and Cit-cells also persisted in a single replicate that was propagated for 2,500 generations. Even more unexpectedly, we showed that the Cit-ecotype could reinvade the Cit+ population after its extinction. Taken together, these results indicate that the extinction of the Cit-ecotype was not a deterministic outcome driven by competitive exclusion by the Cit+ ecotype. The extinction also cannot be explained by demographic stochasticity alone, as the population size of the Cit-ecotype should have been many thousands of cells even during the daily transfer events. Instead, we infer that the extinction must have been caused by a rare chance event in which some aspect of the experimental conditions was inadvertently perturbed.

  4. From dinosaurs to modern bird diversity: extending the time scale of adaptive radiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Moen

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available What explains why some groups of organisms, like birds, are so species rich? And what explains their extraordinary ecological diversity, ranging from large, flightless birds to small migratory species that fly thousand of kilometers every year? These and similar questions have spurred great interest in adaptive radiation, the diversification of ecological traits in a rapidly speciating group of organisms. Although the initial formulation of modern concepts of adaptive radiation arose from consideration of the fossil record, rigorous attempts to identify adaptive radiation in the fossil record are still uncommon. Moreover, most studies of adaptive radiation concern groups that are less than 50 million years old. Thus, it is unclear how important adaptive radiation is over temporal scales that span much larger portions of the history of life. In this issue, Benson et al. test the idea of a "deep-time" adaptive radiation in dinosaurs, compiling and using one of the most comprehensive phylogenetic and body-size datasets for fossils. Using recent phylogenetic statistical methods, they find that in most clades of dinosaurs there is a strong signal of an "early burst" in body-size evolution, a predicted pattern of adaptive radiation in which rapid trait evolution happens early in a group's history and then slows down. They also find that body-size evolution did not slow down in the lineage leading to birds, hinting at why birds survived to the present day and diversified. This paper represents one of the most convincing attempts at understanding deep-time adaptive radiations.

  5. Behavior and spatial learning in radial mazes in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pleskacheva, M G

    2009-10-01

    This review addresses studies of spatial memory and learning in birds performed using the radial maze method. Descriptions of different versions of this test (standard and "giant" tunnel-type mazes, as well as unstructured "analogs") are described and the methodological problems of testing birds are discussed. Behavioral measures from birds and laboratory rats, as the "standard" system for radial maze studies, are compared. The characteristics of spatial learning in birds of different systematic groups (pigeons, tits, corvids, chickens, etc.) are compared. Particular attention is paid to studies addressing spatial memory in closely related bird species with different ecological features, in terms of the ability to hoard food and finding their hoards after prolonged time periods, as well as to the few reports of results from experiments with migrant birds and homing pigeons.

  6. Nuisance Birds Webinar Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    All over the nation, birds of all shapes and sizes attempt to make schools a their favorite hangout. Their arrival can lead to sanitation issues, added facility degradation, distracted students and health problems.

  7. Birds - Breeding [ds60

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This data set provides access to information gathered on annual breeding bird surveys in California using a map layer developed by the Department. This data layer...

  8. Barrier Infrared Detector (BIRD)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A recent breakthrough in MWIR detector design, has resulted in a high operating temperature (HOT) barrier infrared detector (BIRD) that is capable of spectral...

  9. Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in People Spread of Bird Flu Viruses Between Animals and People Examples of Human Infections with Avian Influenza A ... Subtypes Transmission of Avian Influenza A Viruses Between Animals and People Related Links Research Glossary of Influenza (Flu) Terms ...

  10. Breeding bird survey data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The data are maintained by the USGS (https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/RawData/) and provides information on the trends and status of North American bird populations...

  11. Awesome Audubon Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahler, Laura

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a watercolor art lesson on Audubon birds. She also discusses how science, technology, writing skills, and the elements and principles of art can be incorporated into the lesson.

  12. Phylogeny mandalas of birds using the lithographs of John Gould's folio bird books.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasegawa, Masami; Kuroda, Sayako

    2017-12-01

    The phylogeny mandala, which is a circular phylogeny with photos or drawings of species, is a suitable way to show visually how the biodiversity has developed in the course of evolution as clarified by the molecular phylogenetics. In this article, in order to demonstrate the recent progress of avian molecular phylogenetics, six phylogeny mandalas of various taxonomic groups of birds are presented with the lithographs of John Gould's folio bird books; i.e., (1) whole Aves, (2) Passeriformes, (3) Paradisaeidae in Corvoidea (Passeriformes), (4) Meliphagoidea (Passeriformes), (5) Trochili in Apodiformes, and (6) Galliformes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Birds in portuguese literature

    OpenAIRE

    Queiroz, Ana Isabel; Soares, Filipa

    2016-01-01

    UID/ELT/00657/2013 WOS:000374914600004 IF/00222/2013 Birds are emblematic natural elements of landscapes. Readily noticeable and appreciated due to their songs and flight, they have been thoroughly used as components of literary scenarios. This paper analyses their representations in a broad corpus (144 writings by 67 writers) since the nineteenth century, divided in three time-periods. It aims to understand which wild birds are represented in Portuguese literature, how those represe...

  14. Historical Evolution of NASA Standard Materials Testing with Hypergolic Propellants and Ammonia (NASA Standard 6001 Test 15)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greene, Benjamin; McClure, Mark B.

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) has performed testing of hazardous and reactive aerospace fluids, including hypergolic propellants, with materials since the 1960s with the Apollo program. Amongst other test activities, Test 15 is a NASA standard test for evaluating the reactivity of materials with selected aerospace fluids, in particular hydrazine, monomethylhydrazine, uns-dimethylhydrazine, Aerozine 50, dinitrogen tetroxide oxidizers, and ammonia. This manuscript provides an overview of the history of Test 15 over a timeline ranging from prior to its development and first implementation as a NASA standard test in 1974 to its current refinement. Precursor documents to NASA standard tests, as they are currently known, are reviewed. A related supplementary test, international standardization, and enhancements to Test 15 are also discussed. Because WSTF was instrumental in the development and implementation of Test 15, WSTF experience and practices are referred to in this manuscript.

  15. Rapid sympatry explains greater color pattern divergence in high latitude birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Paul R; Montgomerie, Robert; Lougheed, Stephen C

    2010-02-01

    Latitudinal variation in patterns of evolution has fascinated biologists for over a century, but our understanding of latitudinal differences in evolutionary processes-such as selection and drift-remains limited. Here, we test for, and find, accelerated evolution of color patterns in bird taxa that breed at higher latitudes compared with those breeding in the tropics, analyzing data from seven diverse avian families. Most important, we show that the extent of overlap of species' breeding ranges (degree of sympatry) explains the elevated rate of color pattern evolution at higher latitudes. We suggest that the dynamic shifts in breeding ranges that accompanied climatic changes during the last 3 million years (Milankovitch Oscillations) resulted in more rapid and more frequent secondary contact at high latitudes. We argue that sympatry among diverging clades causes greater divergence of color traits in birds at higher latitudes through sexual, social, or ecological character displacement that accelerate rates of evolution, and through the selective elimination of weakly differentiated lineages that hybridize and fuse in sympatry (differential fusion).

  16. Modeling birds on wires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydoğdu, A; Frasca, P; D'Apice, C; Manzo, R; Thornton, J M; Gachomo, B; Wilson, T; Cheung, B; Tariq, U; Saidel, W; Piccoli, B

    2017-02-21

    In this paper we introduce a mathematical model to study the group dynamics of birds resting on wires. The model is agent-based and postulates attraction-repulsion forces between the interacting birds: the interactions are "topological", in the sense that they involve a given number of neighbors irrespective of their distance. The model is first mathematically analyzed and then simulated to study its main properties: we observe that the model predicts birds to be more widely spaced near the borders of each group. We compare the results from the model with experimental data, derived from the analysis of pictures of pigeons and starlings taken in New Jersey: two different image elaboration protocols allow us to establish a good agreement with the model and to quantify its main parameters. We also discuss the potential handedness of the birds, by analyzing the group organization features and the group dynamics at the arrival of new birds. Finally, we propose a more refined mathematical model that describes landing and departing birds by suitable stochastic processes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Malarial parasites decrease reproductive success: an experimental study in a passerine bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzal, Alfonso; de Lope, Florentino; Navarro, Carlos; Møller, Anders Pape

    2005-02-01

    Malarial parasites are supposed to have strong negative fitness consequences for their hosts, but relatively little evidence supports this claim due to the difficulty of experimentally testing this. We experimentally reduced levels of infection with the blood parasite Haemoproteus prognei in its host the house martin Delichon urbica, by randomly treating adults with primaquine or a control treatment. Treated birds had significantly fewer parasites than controls. The primaquine treatment increased clutch size by 18%; hatching was 39% higher and fledging 42% higher. There were no effects of treatment on quality of offspring, measured in terms of tarsus length, body mass, haematocrit or T-cell-mediated immune response. These findings demonstrate that malarial parasites can have dramatic effects on clutch size and other demographic variables, potentially influencing the evolution of clutch size, but also the population dynamics of heavily infected populations of birds.

  18. Female promiscuity is positively associated with neutral and selected genetic diversity in passerine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohli, Jostein; Anmarkrud, Jarl A; Johnsen, Arild; Kleven, Oddmund; Borge, Thomas; Lifjeld, Jan T

    2013-05-01

    Passerine birds show large interspecific variation in extrapair paternity rates. There is accumulating evidence that such promiscuous behavior is driven by indirect, genetic benefits to females. Sexual selection theory distinguishes between two types of genetic benefits, additive and nonadditive effects, mediated by preferences for good and compatible genes, respectively. Good genes preferences should imply directional selection and mating skew among males, and thus reduced genetic diversity in the population. In contrast, compatible genes preferences should give balancing selection that retains genetic diversity. Here, we test how well these predictions fit with patterns of variation in genetic diversity and promiscuity levels among passerine birds. We found that more promiscuous species had higher nucleotide diversity at autosomal introns, but not at Z-chromosome introns. We also found that major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IIB alleles had higher sequence diversity, and therefore should recognize a broader spectrum of pathogens, in more promiscuous species. Our results suggest that female promiscuity targets a multitude of autosomal genes for their nonadditive, compatibility benefits. Also, as immunity genes seem to be of particular importance, we hypothesize that interspecific variation in female promiscuity among passerine birds has arisen in response to the strength of pathogen-mediated selection. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  19. Evolution of the mechanical state in a material during a slow tensile test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bouzina, A.

    1995-01-01

    The mechanical state is defined by the residual stresses and the cold-work. The stress corrosion cracking behaviour can be influenced by this mechanical state. In this study, we show the important evolution of mechanical state with tensile loading. This evolution depends on the material behaviour and surface preparation method. Residual stress and cold-work are determined, after the tensile loading, by X-ray diffraction method. A numerical simulation is developed to predict the final state of stress and plastic deformation fields. (author). 4 refs., 4 figs

  20. MOXD2, a Gene Possibly Associated with Olfaction, Is Frequently Inactivated in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goh, Chul Jun; Choi, Dongjin; Park, Dong-Bin; Kim, Hyein; Hahn, Yoonsoo

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate MOXD2 encodes a monooxygenase DBH-like 2 protein that could be involved in neurotransmitter metabolism, potentially during olfactory transduction. Loss of MOXD2 in apes and whales has been proposed to be associated with evolution of olfaction in these clades. We analyzed 57 bird genomes to identify MOXD2 sequences and found frequent loss of MOXD2 in 38 birds. Among the 57 birds, 19 species appeared to have an intact MOXD2 that encoded a full-length protein; 32 birds had a gene with open reading frame-disrupting point mutations and/or exon deletions; and the remaining 6 species did not show any MOXD2 sequence, suggesting a whole-gene deletion. Notably, among 10 passerine birds examined, 9 species shared a common genomic deletion that spanned several exons, implying the gene loss occurred in a common ancestor of these birds. However, 2 closely related penguin species, each of which had an inactive MOXD2, did not share any mutation, suggesting an independent loss after their divergence. Distribution of the 38 birds without an intact MOXD2 in the bird phylogenetic tree clearly indicates that MOXD2 loss is widespread and independent in bird lineages. We propose that widespread MOXD2 loss in some bird lineages may be implicated in the evolution of olfactory perception in these birds.

  1. Between a Pod and a Hard Test: The Deep Evolution of Amoebae

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kang, S.; Tice, A. K.; Spiegel, F. W.; Silberman, J. D.; Pánek, T.; Čepička, I.; Kostka, Martin; Kosakyan, A.; Alcantara, D. M. C.; Roger, A. J.; Shadwick, L.; Smirnov, A.; Kudryavtsev, A.; Lahr, D. J. G.; Brown, M. W.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 34, č. 9 (2017), s. 2258-2270 ISSN 0737-4038 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : phylogenomics * transcriptomes * Amoebozoa * reductive evolution * phylotranscriptomics Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Biology (theoretical, mathematical, thermal, cryobiology, biological rhythm), Evolutionary biology Impact factor: 6.202, year: 2016

  2. Evolution of blind beetles in isolated aquifers: a test of alternative modes of speciation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leys, R.; Nes, van E.H.; Watts, C.H.; Cooper, S.J.B.; Humphreys, W.F.; Hogendoorn, K.

    2012-01-01

    Evidence is growing that not only allopatric but also sympatric speciation can be important in the evolution of species. Sympatric speciation has most convincingly been demonstrated in laboratory experiments with bacteria, but field-based evidence is limited to a few cases. The recently discovered

  3. Testing gradual and speciational models of evolution in extant taxa: the example of ratites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laurin, M.; Gussekloo, S.W.S.; Marjanovic, D.; Legendre, L.; Cubo, J.

    2012-01-01

    Ever since Eldredge and Gould proposed their model of punctuated equilibria, evolutionary biologists have debated how often this model is the best description of nature and how important it is compared to the more gradual models of evolution expected from natural selection and the neo-Darwinian

  4. Comparative analysis of vestibular ecomorphology in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Starmer-Jones, Ethan; Close, Roger A; Walsh, Stig A

    2017-12-01

    The bony labyrinth of vertebrates houses the semicircular canals. These sense rotational accelerations of the head and play an essential role in gaze stabilisation during locomotion. The sizes and shapes of the semicircular canals have hypothesised relationships to agility and locomotory modes in many groups, including birds, and a burgeoning palaeontological literature seeks to make ecological interpretations from the morphology of the labyrinth in extinct species. Rigorous tests of form-function relationships for the vestibular system are required to support these interpretations. We test the hypothesis that the lengths, streamlines and angles between the semicircular canals are related to body size, wing kinematics and flying style in birds. To do this, we applied geometric morphometrics and multivariate phylogenetic comparative methods to a dataset of 64 three-dimensional reconstructions of the endosseous labyrinth obtained using micro-computed tomography scanning of bird crania. A strong relationship between centroid size of the semicircular canals and body size indicates that larger birds have longer semicircular canals compared with their evolutionary relatives. Wing kinematics related to manoeuvrability (and quantified using the brachial index) explain a small additional portion of the variance in labyrinth size. We also find strong evidence for allometric shape change in the semicircular canals of birds, indicating that major aspects of the shape of the avian labyrinth are determined by spatial constraints. The avian braincase accommodates a large brain, a large eye and large semicircular canals compared with other tetrapods. Negative allometry of these structures means that the restriction of space within the braincase is intense in small birds. This may explain our observation that the angles between planes of the semicircular canals of birds deviate more strongly from orthogonality than those of mammals, and especially from agile, gliding and flying

  5. Aerodynamics of bird flight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dvořák Rudolf

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike airplanes birds must have either flapping or oscillating wings (the hummingbird. Only such wings can produce both lift and thrust – two sine qua non attributes of flying.The bird wings have several possibilities how to obtain the same functions as airplane wings. All are realized by the system of flight feathers. Birds have also the capabilities of adjusting the shape of the wing according to what the immediate flight situation demands, as well as of responding almost immediately to conditions the flow environment dictates, such as wind gusts, object avoidance, target tracking, etc. In bird aerodynamics also the tail plays an important role. To fly, wings impart downward momentum to the surrounding air and obtain lift by reaction. How this is achieved under various flight situations (cruise flight, hovering, landing, etc., and what the role is of the wing-generated vortices in producing lift and thrust is discussed.The issue of studying bird flight experimentally from in vivo or in vitro experiments is also briefly discussed.

  6. Simulated birdwatchers' playback affects the behavior of two tropical birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Berton C Harris

    Full Text Available Although recreational birdwatchers may benefit conservation by generating interest in birds, they may also have negative effects. One such potentially negative impact is the widespread use of recorded vocalizations, or "playback," to attract birds of interest, including range-restricted and threatened species. Although playback has been widely used to test hypotheses about the evolution of behavior, no peer-reviewed study has examined the impacts of playback in a birdwatching context on avian behavior. We studied the effects of simulated birdwatchers' playback on the vocal behavior of Plain-tailed Wrens Thryothorus euophrys and Rufous Antpittas Grallaria rufula in Ecuador. Study species' vocal behavior was monitored for an hour after playing either a single bout of five minutes of song or a control treatment of background noise. We also studied the effects of daily five minute playback on five groups of wrens over 20 days. In single bout experiments, antpittas made more vocalizations of all types, except for trills, after playback compared to controls. Wrens sang more duets after playback, but did not produce more contact calls. In repeated playback experiments, wren responses were strong at first, but hardly detectable by day 12. During the study, one study group built a nest, apparently unperturbed, near a playback site. The playback-induced habituation and changes in vocal behavior we observed suggest that scientists should consider birdwatching activity when selecting research sites so that results are not biased by birdwatchers' playback. Increased vocalizations after playback could be interpreted as a negative effect of playback if birds expend energy, become stressed, or divert time from other activities. In contrast, the habituation we documented suggests that frequent, regular birdwatchers' playback may have minor effects on wren behavior.

  7. Simulated birdwatchers' playback affects the behavior of two tropical birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J Berton C; Haskell, David G

    2013-01-01

    Although recreational birdwatchers may benefit conservation by generating interest in birds, they may also have negative effects. One such potentially negative impact is the widespread use of recorded vocalizations, or "playback," to attract birds of interest, including range-restricted and threatened species. Although playback has been widely used to test hypotheses about the evolution of behavior, no peer-reviewed study has examined the impacts of playback in a birdwatching context on avian behavior. We studied the effects of simulated birdwatchers' playback on the vocal behavior of Plain-tailed Wrens Thryothorus euophrys and Rufous Antpittas Grallaria rufula in Ecuador. Study species' vocal behavior was monitored for an hour after playing either a single bout of five minutes of song or a control treatment of background noise. We also studied the effects of daily five minute playback on five groups of wrens over 20 days. In single bout experiments, antpittas made more vocalizations of all types, except for trills, after playback compared to controls. Wrens sang more duets after playback, but did not produce more contact calls. In repeated playback experiments, wren responses were strong at first, but hardly detectable by day 12. During the study, one study group built a nest, apparently unperturbed, near a playback site. The playback-induced habituation and changes in vocal behavior we observed suggest that scientists should consider birdwatching activity when selecting research sites so that results are not biased by birdwatchers' playback. Increased vocalizations after playback could be interpreted as a negative effect of playback if birds expend energy, become stressed, or divert time from other activities. In contrast, the habituation we documented suggests that frequent, regular birdwatchers' playback may have minor effects on wren behavior.

  8. Simulated Birdwatchers’ Playback Affects the Behavior of Two Tropical Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, J. Berton C.; Haskell, David G.

    2013-01-01

    Although recreational birdwatchers may benefit conservation by generating interest in birds, they may also have negative effects. One such potentially negative impact is the widespread use of recorded vocalizations, or “playback,” to attract birds of interest, including range-restricted and threatened species. Although playback has been widely used to test hypotheses about the evolution of behavior, no peer-reviewed study has examined the impacts of playback in a birdwatching context on avian behavior. We studied the effects of simulated birdwatchers’ playback on the vocal behavior of Plain-tailed Wrens Thryothorus euophrys and Rufous Antpittas Grallaria rufula in Ecuador. Study species’ vocal behavior was monitored for an hour after playing either a single bout of five minutes of song or a control treatment of background noise. We also studied the effects of daily five minute playback on five groups of wrens over 20 days. In single bout experiments, antpittas made more vocalizations of all types, except for trills, after playback compared to controls. Wrens sang more duets after playback, but did not produce more contact calls. In repeated playback experiments, wren responses were strong at first, but hardly detectable by day 12. During the study, one study group built a nest, apparently unperturbed, near a playback site. The playback-induced habituation and changes in vocal behavior we observed suggest that scientists should consider birdwatching activity when selecting research sites so that results are not biased by birdwatchers’ playback. Increased vocalizations after playback could be interpreted as a negative effect of playback if birds expend energy, become stressed, or divert time from other activities. In contrast, the habituation we documented suggests that frequent, regular birdwatchers’ playback may have minor effects on wren behavior. PMID:24147094

  9. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... appeal. However, some studies have found birds to perform relatively poorly as indicators. We therefore ask how the effectiveness of this approach can be improved by supplementing data on birds with information on other taxa. 2. Here, we explore two strategies using (i) species data for other taxa...... and (ii) genus- and family-level data for invertebrates (when available). We used three distinct species data sets for sub-Saharan Africa, Denmark and Uganda, which cover different spatial scales, biogeographic regions and taxa (vertebrates, invertebrates and plants). 3. We found that networks of priority...

  10. Quantitative Test of the Evolution of Geant4 Electron Backscattering Simulation

    CERN Document Server

    Basaglia, Tullio; Hoff, Gabriela; Kim, Chan Hyeong; Kim, Sung Hun; Pia, Maria Grazia; Saracco, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    Evolutions of Geant4 code have affected the simulation of electron backscattering with respect to previously published results. Their effects are quantified by analyzing the compatibility of the simulated electron backscattering fraction with a large collection of experimental data for a wide set of physics configuration options available in Geant4. Special emphasis is placed on two electron scattering implementations first released in Geant4 version 10.2: the Goudsmit-Saunderson multiple scattering model and a single Coulomb scattering model based on Mott cross section calculation. The new Goudsmit-Saunderson multiple scattering model appears to perform equally or less accurately than the model implemented in previous Geant4 versions, depending on the electron energy. The new Coulomb scattering model was flawed from a physics point of view, but computationally fast in Geant4 version 10.2; the physics correction released in Geant4 version 10.2p01 severely degrades its computational performance. Evolutions in ...

  11. Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains biological resource data for alcids, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, pelagic birds, gulls and terns in Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula,...

  12. Limitations and mechanisms influencing the migratory performance of soaring birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tricia A. Miller; Brooks Robert P.; Michael J. Lanzone; David Brandes; Jeff Cooper; Junior A. Tremblay; Jay Wilhelm; Adam Duerr; Todd E. Katzner

    2016-01-01

    Migration is costly in terms of time, energy and safety. Optimal migration theory suggests that individual migratory birds will choose between these three costs depending on their motivation and available resources. To test hypotheses about use of migratory strategies by large soaring birds, we used GPS telemetry to track 18 adult, 13 sub-adult and 15 juvenile Golden...

  13. Artificial wetlands to augment use by estuarine birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zedler, Joy B.; Kus, Barbara E.

    1996-01-01

    The value of natural wetlands to bird populations is well-recognized, and declines in waterfowl numbers are often attributed to losses in wetland area. if the destruction of wetland reduces bird populations, then adding wetland habitats might improve the situation. This idea was tested in Tijuana Estuary in the late 1980s.

  14. Abundance of birds in six selected habitats | Ogunsusi | Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Study conducted in the forested bitumen belt of Ode-Irele, Ondo state, Nigeria evaluated habitat use by birds using 20- minutes birds point count to a radius of 30 meters, carried out in six selected habitats. The vegetation cover was sampled using 5x5-meters and 1m2quadrants. Data collected were subjected to t-test of ...

  15. BIRD ATTACK OCULAR INJURIES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabatabaei, Seyed Ali; Soleimani, Mohammad; Behrouz, Mahmoud Jabbarvand

    2017-03-29

    To report 30 patients with bird attack-related eye injuries. This study was performed among patients coming to Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran, Iran, from 2010 to 2015 with a history of bird attack causing eye injury. The inclusion criteria were a history of bird attack by pecking causing eye injury and having treatment and follow-up record for at least 6 months after treatment. The primary eye examinations included a full ophthalmic examination including evaluation of uncorrected visual acuity and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), anterior segment slit lamp biomicroscopy, and photography. For all patients with penetrating injury, primary repair was undertaken. Thirty patients (10 females and 20 males) with a mean age of 23.3 ± 18.5 years entered the study. The most common zone of injury was zone 1 (P < 0.001), and lensectomy was not needed in majority of patients (P < 0.001). The most common bird causing the injury was mynah (P < 0.001). Those patients with baseline BCVA of less than 20/200 or those with endophthalmitis had statistically worse final BCVA after treatment. Patients attacked by mynah bird had significantly better pretreatment uncorrected visual acuity and BCVA. The most common bird causing the eye injury among the sample of patients from Iran was mynah, which differs with previous studies indicating the rooster attack as the most common cause of eye injury. The authors also found that the most common zone of injury was zone 1, and the presence of endophthalmitis and lower baseline BCVA were significant risk factors for worse visual outcomes.

  16. The evolution of sexes: A specific test of the disruptive selection theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Jack

    2018-01-01

    The disruptive selection theory of the evolution of anisogamy posits that the evolution of a larger body or greater organismal complexity selects for a larger zygote, which in turn selects for larger gametes. This may provide the opportunity for one mating type to produce more numerous, small gametes, forcing the other mating type to produce fewer, large gametes. Predictions common to this and related theories have been partially upheld. Here, a prediction specific to the disruptive selection theory is derived from a previously published game-theoretic model that represents the most complete description of the theory. The prediction, that the ratio of macrogamete to microgamete size should be above three for anisogamous species, is supported for the volvocine algae. A fully population genetic implementation of the model, involving mutation, genetic drift, and selection, is used to verify the game-theoretic approach and accurately simulates the evolution of gamete sizes in anisogamous species. This model was extended to include a locus for gamete motility and shows that oogamy should evolve whenever there is costly motility. The classic twofold cost of sex may be derived from the fitness functions of these models, showing that this cost is ultimately due to genetic conflict.

  17. Phylogeny and species traits predict bird detectability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solymos, Peter; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Stralberg, Diana; Barker, Nicole K. S.; Bayne, Erin M.

    2018-01-01

    Avian acoustic communication has resulted from evolutionary pressures and ecological constraints. We therefore expect that auditory detectability in birds might be predictable by species traits and phylogenetic relatedness. We evaluated the relationship between phylogeny, species traits, and field‐based estimates of the two processes that determine species detectability (singing rate and detection distance) for 141 bird species breeding in boreal North America. We used phylogenetic mixed models and cross‐validation to compare the relative merits of using trait data only, phylogeny only, or the combination of both to predict detectability. We found a strong phylogenetic signal in both singing rates and detection distances; however the strength of phylogenetic effects was less than expected under Brownian motion evolution. The evolution of behavioural traits that determine singing rates was found to be more labile, leaving more room for species to evolve independently, whereas detection distance was mostly determined by anatomy (i.e. body size) and thus the laws of physics. Our findings can help in disentangling how complex ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have shaped different aspects of detectability in boreal birds. Such information can greatly inform single‐ and multi‐species models but more work is required to better understand how to best correct possible biases in phylogenetic diversity and other community metrics.

  18. Wind power and bird kills

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raynolds, M.

    1998-01-01

    The accidental killing of birds by wind generators, and design improvements in the towers that support the turbines that might cut down on the bird killings were discussed. The first problem for the industry began in the late 1980s when the California Energy Commission reported as many as 160 birds (the majority being raptors, including the protected golden eagle) killed in one year in the vicinity of wind power plants. The key factor identified was the design of the towers as birds of prey are attracted to lattice towers as a place to hunt from. Tubular towers do not provide a place for the birds to perch, therefore they reduce the potential for bird strikes. Bird strikes also have been reported in Spain and the siting of the towers have been considered as the principal cause of the bird strikes. In view of these incidents, the wind power industry is developing standards for studying the potential of bird strikes and is continuing to study bird behaviour leading to collisions, the impact of topography, cumulative impacts and new techniques to reduce bird strikes. Despite the reported incidents, the risk of bird strikes by wind turbines, compared to other threats to birds such as pollution, oil spills, and other threats from fossil and nuclear fuels, is considered to be negligible. With continuing efforts to minimize incidents by proper design and siting, wind power can continue to grow as an environmentally sound and efficient source of energy

  19. The Electrical Resistivity and Acoustic Emission Response Law and Damage Evolution of Limestone in Brazilian Split Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinji Xu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The Brazilian split test was performed on two groups of limestone samples with loading directions vertical and parallel to the bedding plane, and the response laws of the electrical resistivity and acoustic emission (AE in the two loading modes were obtained. The test results showed that the Brazilian split test with loading directions vertical and parallel to the bedding showed obviously different results and anisotropic characteristics. On the basis of the response laws of the electrical resistivity and AE, the damage variables based on the electrical resistivity and AE properties were modified, and the evolution laws of the damage variables in the Brazilian split test with different loading directions were obtained. It was found that the damage evolution laws varied with the loading direction. Specifically, in the time-varying curve of the damage variable with the loading direction vertical to the bedding, the damage variable based on electrical resistivity properties showed an obvious damage weakening stage while that based on AE properties showed an abrupt increase under low load.

  20. Local predation pressure predicts the strength of mobbing responses in tropical birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis SANDOVAL, David R. WILSON

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Many birds join cooperative mobbing aggregations and collectively harass predators. Individuals participating in these ephemeral associations benefit by deterring the predator, but also incur energetic costs and increased risk of predation. Explaining the evolution of mobbing is challenging because individuals could prevail by selfishly seeking safety while allowing others to mob. An important step in understanding the evolution of mobbing is to identify factors affecting its expression. The ecological constraints model suggests that animals are more likely to cooperate under adverse environmental conditions, such as when local predation pressure is high. We tested this prediction by comparing the mobbing responses of several species of birds to the local abundance of their primary predator, the ferruginous pygmy-owl Glaucidium brasilianum. We used acoustic playback to elicit mobbing responses in environments where owls were common, uncommon, or rare. Stimuli were either the song of a ferruginous pygmy-owl or the mobbing calls of three of the owl’s common prey species. During each playback, we characterized mobbing responses by noting the number of species and individuals that approached the loudspeaker, as well as the closest approach by any bird. Mobbing responses to both stimuli were strong in locations where Ferruginous Pygmy-owls were common, intermediate where owls were uncommon, and weak where they were rare. This pattern persisted even after controlling for differences in species richness and composition among the three environments. Results support the ecological constraints model and provide strong evidence that intense predation pressure increases the expression of cooperative mobbing in tropical birds [Current Zoology 58 (5: 781-790, 2012].

  1. Chewing lice (Phthiraptera) from wild birds in southern Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomás, André; Palma, Ricardo L; Rebelo, Maria Teresa; da Fonseca, Isabel Pereira

    2016-06-01

    This study was carried out to determine chewing louse species of wild birds in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, located in southern Portugal. In addition, the hypothesis that bird age, avian migration and social behaviour have an impact on the louse prevalence was tested. Between September and December of 2013, 122 birds (belonging to 10 orders, 19 families, 31 genera and 35 species) captured in scientific ringing sessions and admitted to the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Investigation Centre of Ria Formosa were examined for lice. Twenty-six (21.3%) birds were found to be infested with at least one chewing louse species. The chewing lice identified include 18 species. Colonial birds (34.9%) and migratory birds (29.5%) had statistically significant higher prevalence than territorial birds (6.8%) and resident birds (13.1%), respectively. This paper records 17 louse species for the first time in southern Portugal: Laemobothrion maximum, Laemobothrion vulturis, Actornithophilus piceus lari, Actornithophilus umbrinus, Austromenopon lutescens, Colpocephalum heterosoma, Colpocephalum turbinatum, Eidmanniella pustulosa, Nosopon casteli, Pectinopygus bassani, Pseudomenopon pilosum, Trinoton femoratum, Trinoton querquedulae, Craspedorrhynchus platystomus, Degeeriella fulva, Falcolipeurus quadripustulatus, Lunaceps schismatus. Also a nymph of the genus Strigiphilus was collected from a Eurasian eagle-owl. These findings contribute to the knowledge of avian chewing lice from important birds areas in Portugal. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Evolution of resistance and tolerance to herbivores: testing the trade-off hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kariñho-Betancourt, Eunice

    2015-01-01

    Background. To cope with their natural enemies, plants rely on resistance and tolerance as defensive strategies. Evolution of these strategies among natural population can be constrained by the absence of genetic variation or because of the antagonistic genetic correlation (trade-off) between them. Also, since plant defenses are integrated by several traits, it has been suggested that trade-offs might occur between specific defense traits. Methodology/Principal Findings. We experimentally assessed (1) the presence of genetic variance in tolerance, total resistance, and leaf trichome density as specific defense trait, (2) the extent of natural selection acting on plant defenses, and (3) the relationship between total resistance and leaf trichome density with tolerance to herbivory in the annual herb Datura stramonium. Full-sib families of D. stramonium were either exposed to natural herbivores (control) or protected from them by a systemic insecticide. We detected genetic variance for leaf trichome density, and directional selection acting on this character. However, we did not detect a negative significant correlation between tolerance and total resistance, or between tolerance and leaf trichome density. We argue that low levels of leaf damage by herbivores precluded the detection of a negative genetic correlation between plant defense strategies. Conclusions/Significance. This study provides empirical evidence of the independent evolution of plant defense strategies, and a defensive role of leaf trichomes. The pattern of selection should favor individuals with high trichomes density. Also, because leaf trichome density reduces damage by herbivores and possess genetic variance in the studied population, its evolution is not constrained. PMID:25780756

  3. Evolution of resistance and tolerance to herbivores: testing the trade-off hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunice Kariñho-Betancourt

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background. To cope with their natural enemies, plants rely on resistance and tolerance as defensive strategies. Evolution of these strategies among natural population can be constrained by the absence of genetic variation or because of the antagonistic genetic correlation (trade-off between them. Also, since plant defenses are integrated by several traits, it has been suggested that trade-offs might occur between specific defense traits.Methodology/Principal Findings. We experimentally assessed (1 the presence of genetic variance in tolerance, total resistance, and leaf trichome density as specific defense trait, (2 the extent of natural selection acting on plant defenses, and (3 the relationship between total resistance and leaf trichome density with tolerance to herbivory in the annual herb Datura stramonium. Full-sib families of D. stramonium were either exposed to natural herbivores (control or protected from them by a systemic insecticide. We detected genetic variance for leaf trichome density, and directional selection acting on this character. However, we did not detect a negative significant correlation between tolerance and total resistance, or between tolerance and leaf trichome density. We argue that low levels of leaf damage by herbivores precluded the detection of a negative genetic correlation between plant defense strategies.Conclusions/Significance. This study provides empirical evidence of the independent evolution of plant defense strategies, and a defensive role of leaf trichomes. The pattern of selection should favor individuals with high trichomes density. Also, because leaf trichome density reduces damage by herbivores and possess genetic variance in the studied population, its evolution is not constrained.

  4. Orbital evolution of a test particle around a black hole: Higher-order corrections

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burko, Lior M.

    2003-01-01

    We study under certain assumptions the orbital evolution of a radiation-damped binary in the extreme mass ratio limit, and the resulting waveforms, to one order beyond what can be obtained using the conservation laws approach. The equations of motion are solved perturbatively in the mass ratio (or the corresponding parameter in the scalar field toy model), using the self-force, for quasicircular orbits around a Schwarzschild black hole. This approach is applied for the scalar model. Higher-order corrections yield a phase shift which, if included, may make gravitational-wave astronomy potentially highly accurate

  5. Climate change impacts: birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tomotani, B.M.; Ramakers, J.J.C.; Gienapp, P.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change can affect populations and species in various ways. Rising temperatures can shift geographical distributions and lead to (phenotypic or genetic) changes in traits, mostly phenology, which may affect demography. Most of these effects are well documented in birds. For example, the

  6. Timber and forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Roy Lockhart

    2009-01-01

    Many years ago, I had an epiphany that I would like to share. Several students and I were installing research plots in the forests on Pittman Island, Issaquena County, Mississippi, an island adjacent to the Mississippi River, near the borders of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. While eating lunch, we watched a bird, more specifically a prothonotary warbler (

  7. Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... domesticated birds. If possible, avoid rural areas, small farms and open-air markets. Wash your hands. This is one of the simplest and best ways to prevent infections of all kinds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol ...

  8. Breeding Ecology of Birds

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/008/07/0022-0032. Keywords. Birds. nesting. territory; coloniality; heronries. ecology; nesting strategies. Author Affiliations. Abdul Jamil Urfi1. Department of Environmental Biology, School of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007. Resonance – Journal of Science ...

  9. The Umbrella Bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crandall, Lee S.

    1949-01-01

    When CHARLES CORDIER arrived from Costa Rica on October 9, 1942, bringing with him, among other great rarities, three Bare-necked Umbrella Birds (Cephalopterus ornatus glabricollis), it seemed to us that the mere possession of such fabulous creatures was satisfaction enough. True, they were not

  10. Birds of Prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irwin, Harriet

    Introducing students to different hawks and owls found in Wisconsin and building a basis for appreciation of these birds in their own environment is the purpose of this teacher's guide. Primarily geared for upper elementary and junior high grades, the concepts presented could be used in conjunction with the study of ecology. A filmstrip is…

  11. Atmospheric conditions create freeways, detours and tailbacks for migrating birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamoun-Baranes, Judy; Liechti, Felix; Vansteelant, Wouter M G

    2017-07-01

    The extraordinary adaptations of birds to contend with atmospheric conditions during their migratory flights have captivated ecologists for decades. During the 21st century technological advances have sparked a revival of research into the influence of weather on migrating birds. Using biologging technology, flight behaviour is measured across entire flyways, weather radar networks quantify large-scale migratory fluxes, citizen scientists gather observations of migrant birds and mechanistic models are used to simulate migration in dynamic aerial environments. In this review, we first introduce the most relevant microscale, mesoscale and synoptic scale atmospheric phenomena from the point of view of a migrating bird. We then provide an overview of the individual responses of migrant birds (when, where and how to fly) in relation to these phenomena. We explore the cumulative impact of individual responses to weather during migration, and the consequences thereof for populations and migratory systems. In general, individual birds seem to have a much more flexible response to weather than previously thought, but we also note similarities in migratory behaviour across taxa. We propose various avenues for future research through which we expect to derive more fundamental insights into the influence of weather on the evolution of migratory behaviour and the life-history, population dynamics and species distributions of migrant birds.

  12. Are Birds a Manace to Outdoor Monuments?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrian Vasiliu

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Preliminary results of laboratory tests on real samples have shown that the uric acid which is found in bird droppings has a negative influence on metals. Results of experiments have confirmed that the damage is significant when considering the cultural heritage, statues or monuments.

  13. Flightlessness affects cranial morphology in birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gussekloo, S.W.S.; Cubo, J.

    2013-01-01

    Flightless birds belonging to phylogenetically distant clades share several morphological features in the pectoral and pelvic apparatus. There are indications that skull morphology is also influenced by flightlessness. In this study we used a large number of flightless species to test whether

  14. Long migration flights of birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denny, Mark

    2014-01-01

    The extremely long migration flights of some birds are carried out in one hop, necessitating a substantial prior build-up of fat fuel. We summarize the basic elements of bird flight physics with a simple model, and show how the fat reserves influence flight distance, flight speed and the power expended by the bird during flight. (paper)

  15. Birding--Fun and Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIntosh, Phyllis

    2014-01-01

    This feature article presents the basics of birding, or bird watching, and discusses its appeal, especially to serious birders. A section on "citizen scientists" explains organizations that collect data on birds and describes projects they organize. Other sections discuss the legacy of John James Audubon and the bald eagle.

  16. Birds of Prey of Wisconsin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamerstrom, Frances

    This copiously illustrated document is designed to be a field quide to birds of prey that are common to Wisconsin, as well as to some that enter the state occasionally. An introduction discusses birds of prey with regard to migration patterns, the relationship between common names and the attitudes of people toward certain birds, and natural signs…

  17. Long migration flights of birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denny, Mark

    2014-05-01

    The extremely long migration flights of some birds are carried out in one hop, necessitating a substantial prior build-up of fat fuel. We summarize the basic elements of bird flight physics with a simple model, and show how the fat reserves influence flight distance, flight speed and the power expended by the bird during flight.

  18. Quaternary evolution of the Marrakech High Atlas and morphotectonic evidence of activity along the Tizi N'Test Fault, Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delcaillau, Bernard; Laville, Edgard; Amhrar, Mostafa; Namous, Mustapha; Dugué, Olivier; Pedoja, Kevin

    2010-06-01

    Here, we consider the Ourika and Rheraia drainage basins on the Tizi N'Test Fault zone in the mountains of the Marrakech High Atlas (western Morocco) with regard to Late Pleistocene tectonic activity. New insights into geomorphological changes in drainage patterns and related landforms are based on geological fieldwork in conjunction with DEM analysis. Lithological and structural data combined with certain geomorphometric indices provide clues to the ongoing uplift of Quarternary surfaces in this region. Five geomorphological indices are utilized: 1) drainage network, 2) shape of stream long profiles, 3) hypsometric integral and curves, 4) valley-floor width valley-height ratio (Vf index), and 5) stream gradient index (SL index). We also considered the temporal evolution of alluvial-deposit complexes with diverse lithofacies, such as debris flows, channel gravels, rockslide-debris avalanche, stratified slope deposits, terrace gravels, and fan deposits in the Ourika and Rheraia valleys. Pleistocene talus deposits and fluvial sediments are offset by the Tizi N'Test Fault in the Upper Ourika and Upper Rheraia valleys. Such deformation of thick, continental deposits strongly points to thrust reactivation along the Tizi N'Test Fault. We define the chronology and overall aggradation phases, or lateral incision phases, showing how they are the consequences of variations in tectonic uplift and climate. As a result, we are better able to access recent morphotectonic evolution in part of the Marrakech High Atlas.

  19. Bird and chiroptera inventories in Quebec : efficiency of a tried and tested method; Les inventaires d'oiseaux et de chiropteres au Quebec : l'efficacite d'une methode eprouvee

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castonguay, M. [Pesca Environnement, Maria, PQ (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    Environmental monitoring at wind turbine arrays is needed before, during and after project development. Pesca Environmental evaluates the impact of proposed wind turbine arrays on birds and chiroptera by examining their migration patterns through visual and auditory observations during the springtime reproductive and nesting season as well as in the autumn. In order to complete a feasibility study, spring migration patterns of birds and chiroptera must be documented and characterized. In addition to building an inventory of birds and chiroptera, Pesca examines bird behaviour and flight patterns and nesting locations. figs.

  20. Secondarily flightless birds or Cretaceous non-avian theropods?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanau, J Lee

    2010-02-01

    Recent studies by Varricchio et al. reveal that males cared for the eggs of troodontids and oviraptorids, so-called "non-avian theropods" of the Cretaceous, just as do those of most Paleognathic birds (ratites and tinamous) today. Further, the clutches of both groups have large relative volumes, and consist of many eggs of relatively large size. By comparison, clutch care by most extant birds is biparental and the clutches are of small relative volume, and consist of but few small eggs. Varricchio et al. propose that troodontids and oviraptorids were pre-avian and that paternal egg care preceded the origin of birds. On the contrary, unmentioned by them is that abundant paleontological evidence has led several workers to conclude that troodontids and oviraptorids were secondary flightless birds. This evidence ranges from bird-like bodies and bone designs, adapted for climbing, perching, gliding, and ultimately flight, to relatively large, highly developed brains, poor sense of smell, and their feeding habits. Because ratites also are secondarily flightless and tinamous are reluctant, clumsy fliers, the new evidence strengthens the view that troodontids and oviraptorids were secondarily flightless. Although secondary flightlessness apparently favors paternal care of clutches of large, abundant eggs, such care is not likely to have been primitive. There are a suite of previously unknown independent findings that point to the evolution of, first, maternal, followed by biparental egg care in earliest ancestors of birds. This follows from the discovery of remarkable relict avian reproductive behaviors preserved by virtue of the highly conservative nature of vertebrate brain evolution. These behaviors can be elicited readily by exposing breeding birds to appropriate conditions, both environmental and with respect to their eggs and chicks. They give significant new clues for a coherent theory of avian origin and early evolution.

  1. The erratic mitochondrial clock: variations of mutation rate, not population size, affect mtDNA diversity across birds and mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galtier Nicolas

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background During the last ten years, major advances have been made in characterizing and understanding the evolution of mitochondrial DNA, the most popular marker of molecular biodiversity. Several important results were recently reported using mammals as model organisms, including (i the absence of relationship between mitochondrial DNA diversity and life-history or ecological variables, (ii the absence of prominent adaptive selection, contrary to what was found in invertebrates, and (iii the unexpectedly large variation in neutral substitution rate among lineages, revealing a possible link with species maximal longevity. We propose to challenge these results thanks to the bird/mammal comparison. Direct estimates of population size are available in birds, and this group presents striking life-history trait differences with mammals (higher mass-specific metabolic rate and longevity. These properties make birds the ideal model to directly test for population size effects, and to discriminate between competing hypotheses about the causes of substitution rate variation. Results A phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b third-codon position confirms that the mitochondrial DNA mutation rate is quite variable in birds, passerines being the fastest evolving order. On average, mitochondrial DNA evolves slower in birds than in mammals of similar body size. This result is in agreement with the longevity hypothesis, and contradicts the hypothesis of a metabolic rate-dependent mutation rate. Birds show no footprint of adaptive selection on cytochrome b evolutionary patterns, but no link between direct estimates of population size and cytochrome b diversity. The mutation rate is the best predictor we have of within-species mitochondrial diversity in birds. It partly explains the differences in mitochondrial DNA diversity patterns observed between mammals and birds, previously interpreted as reflecting Hill-Robertson interferences with the W

  2. Opportunistic nectar-feeding birds are effective pollinators of bird-flowers from Canary Islands: experimental evidence from Isoplexis canariensis (Scrophulariaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Rodríguez, María C; Valido, Alfredo

    2008-11-01

    Insular floras, characterized by simple pollination networks, sometimes include novel mutualistic agents such as nonspecialist nectarivores. In this study we confirmed the effective pollination of Isoplexis canariensis by opportunistic nectar-feeding birds in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. This plant is among the ornithophilous species of the Canarian flora that lack past and present specialist nectarivorous birds. Experimental hand pollinations revealed self-compatibility, but cross-pollinated flowers produced a greater percentage of viable seeds than self-pollinated ones. Flowers were visited by five species of birds (Phylloscopus canariensis, Parus caeruleus, Sylvia melanocephala, Serinus canarius, and Fringilla coelebs) and by the endemic lizard (Gallotia galloti, Lacertidae). Insect pollination was absent, and the few insect visitors acted as nectar thieves or secondary nectar robbers. Birds represented 93.1% of total visits, with the Canarian Chiffchaff, Ph. canariensis, being the most frequent visitor. Flowers visited by birds set more, larger, and heavier fruit than flowers from which birds were excluded. Bird visitation also enhanced seed viability. These results demonstrate the active role of these opportunistic birds as effective pollinators of this Canarian bird-flower species. Further, the results reveal the need to consider the effect of these birds on the evolution of ornithophilous floral traits in absence of specialist nectarivores.

  3. A numerical model for bird strike on sidewall structure of an aircraft nose

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Jun; Li, Yulong; Gao, Xiaosheng; Yu, Xiancheng

    2014-01-01

    In order to examine the potential of using the coupled smooth particles hydrodynamic (SPH) and finite element (FE) method to predict the dynamic responses of aircraft structures in bird strike events, bird-strike tests on the sidewall structure of an aircraft nose are carried out and numerically simulated. The bird is modeled with SPH and described by the Murnaghan equation of state, while the structure is modeled with finite elements. A coupled SPH–FE method is developed to simulate the bird...

  4. The Role of Genetic Drift in Shaping Modern Human Cranial Evolution: A Test Using Microevolutionary Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather F. Smith

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The means by which various microevolutionary processes have acted in the past to produce patterns of cranial variation that characterize modern humans is not thoroughly understood. Applying a microevolutionary framework, within- and among-population variance/covariance (V/CV structure was compared for several functional and developmental modules of the skull across a worldwide sample of modern humans. V/CV patterns in the basicranium, temporal bone, and face are proportional within and among groups, which is consistent with a hypothesis of neutral evolution; however, mandibular morphology deviated from this pattern. Degree of intergroup similarity in facial, temporal bone, and mandibular morphology is significantly correlated with geographic distance; however, much of the variance remains unexplained. These findings provide insight into the evolutionary history of modern human cranial variation by identifying signatures of genetic drift, gene flow, and migration and set the stage for inferences regarding selective pressures that early humans encountered since their initial migrations around the world.

  5. REDSHIFT EVOLUTION IN BLACK HOLE-BULGE RELATIONS: TESTING C IV-BASED BLACK HOLE MASSES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greene, Jenny E.; Peng, Chien Y.; Ludwig, Randi R.

    2010-01-01

    We re-examine claims for redshift evolution in black hole-bulge scaling relations based on lensed quasars. In particular, we refine the black hole (BH) mass estimates using measurements of Balmer lines from near-infrared spectroscopy obtained with Triplespec at Apache Point Observatory. In support of previous work, we find a large scatter between Balmer and UV line widths, both Mg IIλλ2796, 2803 and C IVλλ1548, 1550. There is tentative evidence that C III]λ1909, despite being a blend of multiple transitions, may correlate well with Mg II, although a larger sample is needed for a real calibration. Most importantly, we find no systematic changes in the estimated BH masses for the lensed sample based on Balmer lines, providing additional support to the interpretation that black holes were overly massive compared to their host galaxies at high redshift.

  6. Testing the Accuracy of Data-driven MHD Simulations of Active Region Evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leake, James E.; Linton, Mark G. [U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20375 (United States); Schuck, Peter W., E-mail: james.e.leake@nasa.gov [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)

    2017-04-01

    Models for the evolution of the solar coronal magnetic field are vital for understanding solar activity, yet the best measurements of the magnetic field lie at the photosphere, necessitating the development of coronal models which are “data-driven” at the photosphere. We present an investigation to determine the feasibility and accuracy of such methods. Our validation framework uses a simulation of active region (AR) formation, modeling the emergence of magnetic flux from the convection zone to the corona, as a ground-truth data set, to supply both the photospheric information and to perform the validation of the data-driven method. We focus our investigation on how the accuracy of the data-driven model depends on the temporal frequency of the driving data. The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory produces full-disk vector magnetic field measurements at a 12-minute cadence. Using our framework we show that ARs that emerge over 25 hr can be modeled by the data-driving method with only ∼1% error in the free magnetic energy, assuming the photospheric information is specified every 12 minutes. However, for rapidly evolving features, under-sampling of the dynamics at this cadence leads to a strobe effect, generating large electric currents and incorrect coronal morphology and energies. We derive a sampling condition for the driving cadence based on the evolution of these small-scale features, and show that higher-cadence driving can lead to acceptable errors. Future work will investigate the source of errors associated with deriving plasma variables from the photospheric magnetograms as well as other sources of errors, such as reduced resolution, instrument bias, and noise.

  7. The evolution of gene expression levels in mammalian organs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brawand, David; Soumillon, Magali; Necsulea, Anamaria

    2011-01-01

    Changes in gene expression are thought to underlie many of the phenotypic differences between species. However, large-scale analyses of gene expression evolution were until recently prevented by technological limitations. Here we report the sequencing of polyadenylated RNA from six organs across...... ten species that represent all major mammalian lineages (placentals, marsupials and monotremes) and birds (the evolutionary outgroup), with the goal of understanding the dynamics of mammalian transcriptome evolution. We show that the rate of gene expression evolution varies among organs, lineages...... and chromosomes, owing to differences in selective pressures: transcriptome change was slow in nervous tissues and rapid in testes, slower in rodents than in apes and monotremes, and rapid for the X chromosome right after its formation. Although gene expression evolution in mammals was strongly shaped...

  8. Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryner, Jeanna

    2005-01-01

    Eighty years after the famous 1925 Scopes "monkey trial," which tested a teacher's right to discuss the theory of evolution in the classroom, evolution--and its most recent counterview, called "intelligent design"--are in the headlines again, and just about everyone seems to have an opinion. This past July, President Bush weighed in, telling…

  9. Evolution of Ada technology in the flight dynamics area: Implementation/testing phase analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quimby, Kelvin L.; Esker, Linda; Miller, John; Smith, Laurie; Stark, Mike; Mcgarry, Frank

    1989-01-01

    An analysis is presented of the software engineering issues related to the use of Ada for the implementation and system testing phases of four Ada projects developed in the flight dynamics area. These projects reflect an evolving understanding of more effective use of Ada features. In addition, the testing methodology used on these projects has changed substantially from that used on previous FORTRAN projects.

  10. Phylemon 2.0: a suite of web-tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Rubén; Serra, François; Tárraga, Joaquín; Medina, Ignacio; Carbonell, José; Pulido, Luis; de María, Alejandro; Capella-Gutíerrez, Salvador; Huerta-Cepas, Jaime; Gabaldón, Toni; Dopazo, Joaquín; Dopazo, Hernán

    2011-07-01

    Phylemon 2.0 is a new release of the suite of web tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing. It has been designed as a response to the increasing demand of molecular sequence analyses for experts and non-expert users. Phylemon 2.0 has several unique features that differentiates it from other similar web resources: (i) it offers an integrated environment that enables evolutionary analyses, format conversion, file storage and edition of results; (ii) it suggests further analyses, thereby guiding the users through the web server; and (iii) it allows users to design and save phylogenetic pipelines to be used over multiple genes (phylogenomics). Altogether, Phylemon 2.0 integrates a suite of 30 tools covering sequence alignment reconstruction and trimming; tree reconstruction, visualization and manipulation; and evolutionary hypotheses testing.

  11. Phylemon 2.0: a suite of web-tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, Rubén; Serra, François; Tárraga, Joaquín; Medina, Ignacio; Carbonell, José; Pulido, Luis; de María, Alejandro; Capella-Gutíerrez, Salvador; Huerta-Cepas, Jaime; Gabaldón, Toni; Dopazo, Joaquín; Dopazo, Hernán

    2011-01-01

    Phylemon 2.0 is a new release of the suite of web tools for molecular evolution, phylogenetics, phylogenomics and hypotheses testing. It has been designed as a response to the increasing demand of molecular sequence analyses for experts and non-expert users. Phylemon 2.0 has several unique features that differentiates it from other similar web resources: (i) it offers an integrated environment that enables evolutionary analyses, format conversion, file storage and edition of results; (ii) it suggests further analyses, thereby guiding the users through the web server; and (iii) it allows users to design and save phylogenetic pipelines to be used over multiple genes (phylogenomics). Altogether, Phylemon 2.0 integrates a suite of 30 tools covering sequence alignment reconstruction and trimming; tree reconstruction, visualization and manipulation; and evolutionary hypotheses testing. PMID:21646336

  12. The future (r)evolution of preimplantation genetic diagnosis/human leukocyte antigen testing: ethical reflections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Wert, Guido; Liebaers, Inge; Van de Velde, Hilde

    2007-09-01

    There has been increasing support for combining preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for specific diseases with a test for human leukocyte antigens (HLA) because the generation of HLA-matched umbilical cord blood cells may save the life of a diseased sibling. To date, this procedure has taken place in the context of conceiving another child--PGD/HLA testing type 1. However, it may well become possible to perform PGD/HLA testing outside this context, that is, to select matched embryos from which embryonic stem cells could be derived and used in cell therapy--PGD/HLA testing type 2. A proactive ethical analysis is needed and is presented in this article. Although PGD/HLA testing type 1 can be morally justified, the risks, pitfalls, and practical limitations of this procedure make it necessary to develop alternative strategies. PGD/HLA testing type 2 may provide an alternative strategy. From an ethical point of view, the controversial issue is that this procedure creates embryos purely for instrumental use. However, given the dominant view that the preimplantation embryo has only limited moral value, this alternative may be as morally justified as PGD/HLA testing type 1.

  13. Tracking migrating birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willemoes, Mikkel

    Migratory movements of birds has always fascinated man and led to many questions concerning the ecological drivers behind, the necessary adaptations and the navigational abilities required. However, especially for the long-distance migrants, basic descriptions of their movements are still lacking...... and a forest reserve. In the degraded habitat all species used more space, although the consequence on bird density is less clear. Two manuscripts relate the migratory movements of a long-distance migrant with models of navigation. One compares model predictions obtained by simulation with actual movements......, and conclude that the currently believed theoretical framework is insufficient to explain the observed performance. The other study investigates the ability of a displaced experienced migrant to navigate back to the normal migration route. It documents the capability, but also finds interesting patterns...

  14. Exploring bird aerodynamics using radio-controlled models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoey, Robert G, E-mail: bobh@antelecom.ne [Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, CA (United States)

    2010-12-15

    A series of radio-controlled glider models was constructed by duplicating the aerodynamic shape of soaring birds (raven, turkey vulture, seagull and pelican). Controlled tests were conducted to determine the level of longitudinal and lateral-directional static stability, and to identify the characteristics that allowed flight without a vertical tail. The use of tail-tilt for controlling small bank-angle changes, as observed in soaring birds, was verified. Subsequent tests, using wing-tip ailerons, inferred that birds use a three-dimensional flow pattern around the wing tip (wing tip vortices) to control adverse yaw and to create a small amount of forward thrust in gliding flight.

  15. Exploring bird aerodynamics using radio-controlled models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoey, Robert G

    2010-12-01

    A series of radio-controlled glider models was constructed by duplicating the aerodynamic shape of soaring birds (raven, turkey vulture, seagull and pelican). Controlled tests were conducted to determine the level of longitudinal and lateral-directional static stability, and to identify the characteristics that allowed flight without a vertical tail. The use of tail-tilt for controlling small bank-angle changes, as observed in soaring birds, was verified. Subsequent tests, using wing-tip ailerons, inferred that birds use a three-dimensional flow pattern around the wing tip (wing tip vortices) to control adverse yaw and to create a small amount of forward thrust in gliding flight.

  16. Microstructure evolution in a 2618 aluminium alloy during creep-fatigue tests

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novy, Frantisek; Hadzima, Branislav [Zilina Univ. (Slovakia). Dept. of Materials Engineering; Janecek, Milos; Kral, Robert [Charles Univ., Prague (Czech Republic). Dept. of Physics of Materials

    2012-06-15

    Microstructure changes in the 2 618 aluminium alloy during creep-fatigue tests were studied. These tests simulate the conditions of the application of this alloy in devices for the exhaustion of hot gasses generated during fire in closed or difficultly accessible areas. Creep-fatigue tests result in high dislocation density in subgrains and narrow subgrain boundaries, in contrast to creep tests reported in our previous work where large subgrains were observed with relatively wide subgrain boundaries and relatively low dislocation density in grains. Extensive precipitation occurred with denuded (precipitate-free) zones along grain boundaries. The coherent S-phase (Al{sub 2}CuMg) transformed into partially coherent needle-shaped S' precipitates. Superior stress amplitude caused reduced lifetime and wider denuded zones. A model of the formation of denuded zones along (sub)-grain boundaries was proposed. (orig.)

  17. The evolution of juvenile animal testing for small and large molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldrick, Paul

    2013-11-01

    Recent formalised regulatory requirements for ensuring safe use of new drugs in children has increased the requirement, when considered relevant, to perform juvenile animal testing before commencing paediatric clinical trials. A key goal of this work is to identify or examine for a developmental or toxicity finding not seen in other toxicology testing. With our current knowledge, this paper examines what types of testing are occurring, what novel findings are being seen and their relevance in the safety evaluation process. Furthermore, trends for now and the future in the type of juvenile animal testing will be described including a need for more focused study designs and more published data on modern cross-species postnatal development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Evolution of Testing Algorithms at a Tertiary Care Hospital for the Detection of Clostridium difficile Infections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qutub, Mohammed; Govindan, Parasanth; Vattappillil, Anupama

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Background Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is the commonest cause of nosocomial diarrhea. Methods for C.difficle detection include toxins or enzyme detection by immunoassays, cytotoxicity neutralization assay (CCNA) or FDA approved PCR. Due to the tedious and time consuming nature of the CCNA and the suboptimal specificity and sensitivity of EIAs, these assays cannot be used as stand-alone tests. One approach of combining these assays, is by two-step algorithm, where Ag-EIAs is used as screening test and confirmation of positives either by a toxin detection enzyme immunoassays or by CCNA. Another approach is a three-step algorithm, where Ag-EIAs is used as screening test, and all positives are tested by a toxin detection EIA and if toxin detection negative, further tested either by PCR or by CCNA. Therefore we aimed to evaluate a new two-step algorithm for the detection of toxigenic CD and its role in improvement of turn-around-time. Methods A total of 3518 nonformed stool specimens from suspected cases of CDAD were collected. Specimens were tested either by GDH-toxin A/B ICA; or by GeneXpert C. diificile PCR as per the algorithm (Figure 1). Results Of 3518 stool specimens tested; 130 (3.70%) were positive and 2989 (84.96%) were negative by GDH-toxin A/B ICA while 399 (11.34%) required PCR. None of the negative GDH and positive toxin A/B samples tested positive by PCR. Also, none of the negative GDH and negative toxin A/B samples tested positive by PCR (Figure 2). Conclusion Study indicates that when the GDH-toxin A/B ICA is used, almost 89 % of the results could be reported within 30 minutes; about 3.7 % of them being positive results and 84.96 % being negative. Confirmation of the discrepant GDH and Toxin A/B results was by PCR. The new algorithm offered rapid detection of C.difficile by ICA, judicious use of PCR and effectively reduced turnaround time. Figure-1: Two-step algorithm for C difficile testing. Figure-2: Results of two

  19. Evolution of A Distributed Live, Virtual, Constructive Environment for Human in the Loop Unmanned Aircraft Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, James R.; Otto, Neil M.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System Project is conducting human in the loop simulations and flight testing intended to reduce barriers associated with enabling routine airspace access for unmanned aircraft. The primary focus of these tests is interaction of the unmanned aircraft pilot with the display of detect and avoid alerting and guidance information. The project's integrated test and evaluation team was charged with developing the test infrastructure. As with any development effort, compromises in the underlying system architecture and design were made to allow for the rapid prototyping and open-ended nature of the research. In order to accommodate these design choices, a distributed test environment was developed incorporating Live, Virtual, Constructive, (LVC) concepts. The LVC components form the core infrastructure support simulation of UAS operations by integrating live and virtual aircraft in a realistic air traffic environment. This LVC infrastructure enables efficient testing by leveraging the use of existing assets distributed across multiple NASA Centers. Using standard LVC concepts enable future integration with existing simulation infrastructure.

  20. Between a Pod and a Hard Test: The Deep Evolution of Amoebae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Seungho; Tice, Alexander K; Spiegel, Frederick W; Silberman, Jeffrey D; Pánek, Tomáš; Cepicka, Ivan; Kostka, Martin; Kosakyan, Anush; Alcântara, Daniel M C; Roger, Andrew J; Shadwick, Lora L; Smirnov, Alexey; Kudryavtsev, Alexander; Lahr, Daniel J G; Brown, Matthew W

    2017-09-01

    Amoebozoa is the eukaryotic supergroup sister to Obazoa, the lineage that contains the animals and Fungi, as well as their protistan relatives, and the breviate and apusomonad flagellates. Amoebozoa is extraordinarily diverse, encompassing important model organisms and significant pathogens. Although amoebozoans are integral to global nutrient cycles and present in nearly all environments, they remain vastly understudied. We present a robust phylogeny of Amoebozoa based on broad representative set of taxa in a phylogenomic framework (325 genes). By sampling 61 taxa using culture-based and single-cell transcriptomics, our analyses show two major clades of Amoebozoa, Discosea, and Tevosa. This phylogeny refutes previous studies in major respects. Our results support the hypothesis that the last common ancestor of Amoebozoa was sexual and flagellated, it also may have had the ability to disperse propagules from a sporocarp-type fruiting body. Overall, the main macroevolutionary patterns in Amoebozoa appear to result from the parallel losses of homologous characters of a multiphase life cycle that included flagella, sex, and sporocarps rather than independent acquisition of convergent features. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  1. Testing the molecular clock using mechanistic models of fossil preservation and molecular evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnock, Rachel C M; Yang, Ziheng; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2017-06-28

    Molecular sequence data provide information about relative times only, and fossil-based age constraints are the ultimate source of information about absolute times in molecular clock dating analyses. Thus, fossil calibrations are critical to molecular clock dating, but competing methods are difficult to evaluate empirically because the true evolutionary time scale is never known. Here, we combine mechanistic models of fossil preservation and sequence evolution in simulations to evaluate different approaches to constructing fossil calibrations and their impact on Bayesian molecular clock dating, and the relative impact of fossil versus molecular sampling. We show that divergence time estimation is impacted by the model of fossil preservation, sampling intensity and tree shape. The addition of sequence data may improve molecular clock estimates, but accuracy and precision is dominated by the quality of the fossil calibrations. Posterior means and medians are poor representatives of true divergence times; posterior intervals provide a much more accurate estimate of divergence times, though they may be wide and often do not have high coverage probability. Our results highlight the importance of increased fossil sampling and improved statistical approaches to generating calibrations, which should incorporate the non-uniform nature of ecological and temporal fossil species distributions. © 2017 The Authors.

  2. The recognition signal hypothesis for the adaptive evolution of religion : a phylogenetic test with Christian denominations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Luke J

    2012-06-01

    Recent research on the evolution of religion has focused on whether religion is an unselected by-product of evolutionary processes or if it is instead an adaptation by natural selection. Adaptive hypotheses for religion include direct fitness benefits from improved health and indirect fitness benefits mediated by costly signals and/or cultural group selection. Herein, I propose that religious denominations achieve indirect fitness gains for members through the use of ecologically arbitrary beliefs, rituals, and moral rules that function as recognition markers of cultural inheritance analogous to kin and species recognition of genetic inheritance in biology. This recognition signal hypotheses could act in concert with either costly signaling or cultural group selection to produce evolutionarily altruistic behaviors within denominations. Using a cultural phylogenetic analysis, I show that a large set of religious behaviors among extant Christian denominations supports the prediction of the recognition signal hypothesis that characters change more frequently near historical schisms. By incorporating demographic data into the model, I show that more-distinctive denominations, as measured through dissimilar characteristics, appear to be protected from intrusion by nonmembers in mixed-denomination households, and that they may be experiencing greater biological growth of their populations even in the present day.

  3. Ploidy evolution in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a test of the nutrient limitation hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mable, B K

    2001-01-08

    The nutrient limitation hypothesis provides a nongenetic explanation for the evolution of life cycles that retain both haploid and diploid phases: differences in nutrient requirements and uptake allow haploids to override the potential genetic advantages provided by diploidy under certain nutrient limiting conditions. The relative fitness of an isogenic series of haploid, diploid and tetraploid yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), which were also equivalent at the mating type locus, was measured. Fitness was measured both by growth rate against a common competitor and by intrinsic growth rate in isolated cultures, under four environmental conditions: (1) rich medium (YPD) at the preferred growth temperature (30 °C); (2) nutrient poor medium (MM) at 30 °C; (3) YPD at a nonpreferred temperature (37 °C); and (4) MM at 37 °C. In contrast to the predictions of the nutrient limitation hypothesis, haploids grew significantly faster than diploids under nutrient rich conditions, but there were no apparent differences between them when fitness was determined by relative competitive ability. In addition, temperature affected the relative growth of haploids and diploids, with haploids growing proportionately faster at higher temperatures. Tetraploids performed very poorly under all conditions compared. Cell geometric parameters were not consistent predictors of fitness under the conditions measured.

  4. HIV-1 tropism testing in subjects achieving undetectable HIV-1 RNA: diagnostic accuracy, viral evolution and compartmentalization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Pou

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Technically, HIV-1 tropism can be evaluated in plasma or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs. However, only tropism testing of plasma HIV-1 has been validated as a tool to predict virological response to CCR5 antagonists in clinical trials. The preferable tropism testing strategy in subjects with undetectable HIV-1 viremia, in whom plasma tropism testing is not feasible, remains uncertain. METHODS & RESULTS: We designed a proof-of-concept study including 30 chronically HIV-1-infected individuals who achieved HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL during at least 2 years after first-line ART initiation. First, we determined the diagnostic accuracy of 454 and population sequencing of gp120 V3-loops in plasma and PBMCs, as well as of MT-2 assays before ART initiation. The Enhanced Sensitivity Trofile Assay (ESTA was used as the technical reference standard. 454 sequencing of plasma viruses provided the highest agreement with ESTA. The accuracy of 454 sequencing decreased in PBMCs due to reduced specificity. Population sequencing in plasma and PBMCs was slightly less accurate than plasma 454 sequencing, being less sensitive but more specific. MT-2 assays had low sensitivity but 100% specificity. Then, we used optimized 454 sequence data to investigate viral evolution in PBMCs during viremia suppression and only found evolution of R5 viruses in one subject. No de novo CXCR4-using HIV-1 production was observed over time. Finally, Slatkin-Maddison tests suggested that plasma and cell-associated V3 forms were sometimes compartmentalized. CONCLUSIONS: The absence of tropism shifts during viremia suppression suggests that, when available, testing of stored plasma samples is generally safe and informative, provided that HIV-1 suppression is maintained. Tropism testing in PBMCs may not necessarily produce equivalent biological results to plasma, because the structure of viral populations and the diagnostic performance of tropism assays may sometimes vary

  5. Evolution to permanent or transient conditions in children with positive neonatal TSH screening tests in Sergipe, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matos, Diana M; Ramalho, Roberto J R; Carvalho, Bruno M; Almeida, Maria Augusta C T; Passos, Luciana F D; Vasconcelos, Talmay T S; Melo, Enaldo V; Oliveira, Carla R P; Santos, Elenilde G; Resende, Karla F; Aguiar-Oliveira, Manuel H

    2016-10-01

    To assess the evolution to permanent or transient conditions in children with positive neonatal TSH tests in Sergipe, Brazil, from 2004 to 2010. Out of 193,794 screened newborns, 713 presented a neonatal TSH level higher than the local cutoff (5.2 µU/mL). From the confirmatory serum TSH values, the children were diagnosed with initial congenital hypothyroidism (CH) or suspect CH. From the evolution, they were classified as permanent CH, hyperthyrotropinemia, or transient TSH elevation. The mean incidence of each final condition was calculated for the total period of time. The initial diagnosis included 37 CH (18.1%) and 167 suspect CH (81.9%) cases. The final diagnosis included 46 cases of permanent CH (22.5%), 56 of hyperthyrotropinemia (27.5%), and 102 of transient TSH elevation (50.0%). Out of the 37 cases of initial CH, 23 (62.2%) had permanent CH, nine (24.3%) had hyperthyrotropinemia, and five (13.5%) had transient TSH elevation. Out of the 167 suspect CH cases, 23 (13.8%) had permanent CH, 47 (28.1%) had hyperthyrotropinemia and 97 (58.1%) had transient TSH elevation. The mean incidence after the follow up was 1:4,166 for permanent CH, 1:3,448 for hyperthyrotropinemia, and 1:1,887 for transient TSH elevation. Eighty-six percent of the children with an initial diagnosis of CH and 41.9% with suspect CH had a permanent condition (CH or hyperthyrotropinemia). The follow-up of children with an initial diagnosis of CH or suspect CH is necessary to determine whether the disorder is permanent because predicting the evolution of the condition is difficult.

  6. Testing cost-benefit models of parental care evolution using lizard populations differing in the expression of maternal care.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-San Huang

    Full Text Available Parents are expected to evolve tactics to care for eggs or offspring when providing such care increases fitness above the costs incurred by this behavior. Costs to the parent include the energetic demands of protecting offspring, delaying future fecundity, and increased risk of predation. We used cost-benefit models to test the ecological conditions favoring the evolution of parental care, using lizard populations that differ in whether or not they express maternal care. We found that predators play an important role in the evolution of maternal care because: (1 evolving maternal care is unlikely when care increases predation pressure on the parents; (2 maternal care cannot evolve under low levels of predation pressure on both parents and offspring; and (3 maternal care evolves only when parents are able to successfully defend offspring from predators without increasing predation risk to themselves. Our studies of one of the only known vertebrate species to exhibit interpopulation differences in the expression of maternal care provide clear support for some of the hypothesized circumstances under which maternal care should evolve (e.g., when nests are in exposed locations, parents are able to defend the eggs from predators, and egg incubation periods are brief, but do not support others (e.g., when nest-sites are scarce, life history strategies are "risky", reproductive frequency is low, and environmental conditions are harsh. We conclude that multiple pathways can lead to the evolution of parental care from a non-caring state, even in a single population of a widespread species.

  7. Testing the hypothesis on cognitive evolution of modern humans' learning ability: current status of past-climatic approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneda, Minoru; Abe-Ouchi, Ayako; Kawahata, Hodaka; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Oguchi, Takashi

    2014-05-01

    The impact of climate change on human evolution is important and debating topic for many years. Since 2010, we have involved in a general joint project entitled "Replacement of Neanderthal by Modern Humans: Testing Evolutional Models of Learning", which based on a theoretical prediction that the cognitive ability related to individual and social learning divide fates of ancient humans in very unstable Late Pleistocene climate. This model predicts that the human populations which experienced a series of environmental changes would have higher rate of individual learners, while detailed reconstructions of global climate change have reported fluent and drastic change based on ice cores and stalagmites. However, we want to understand the difference between anatomically modern human which survived and the other archaic extinct humans including European Neanderthals and Asian Denisovans. For this purpose the global synchronized change is not useful for understanding but the regional difference in the amplitude and impact of climate change is the information required. Hence, we invited a geophysicist busing Global Circulation Model to reconstruct the climatic distribution and temporal change in a continental scale. At the same time, some geochemists and geographers construct a database of local climate changes recorded in different proxies. At last, archaeologists and anthropologists tried to interpret the emergence and disappearance of human species in Europe and Asia on the reconstructed past climate maps using some tools, such as Eco-cultural niche model. Our project will show the regional difference in climate change and related archaeological events and its impact on the evolution of learning ability of modern humans.

  8. Threatened bird valuation in Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerstin K Zander

    Full Text Available Threatened species programs need a social license to justify public funding. A contingent valuation survey of a broadly representative sample of the Australian public found that almost two thirds (63% supported funding of threatened bird conservation. These included 45% of a sample of 645 respondents willing to pay into a fund for threatened bird conservation, 3% who already supported bird conservation in another form, and 15% who could not afford to pay into a conservation fund but who nevertheless thought that humans have a moral obligation to protect threatened birds. Only 6% explicitly opposed such payments. Respondents were willing to pay about AUD 11 annually into a conservation fund (median value, including those who would pay nothing. Highest values were offered by young or middle aged men, and those with knowledge of birds and those with an emotional response to encountering an endangered bird. However, the prospect of a bird going extinct alarmed almost everybody, even most of those inclined to put the interests of people ahead of birds and those who resent the way threatened species sometimes hold up development. The results suggest that funding for threatened birds has widespread popular support among the Australian population. Conservatively they would be willing to pay about AUD 14 million per year, and realistically about AUD 70 million, which is substantially more than the AUD 10 million currently thought to be required to prevent Australian bird extinctions.

  9. Damage evolution in different types of concrete by means of splitting tests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vervuurt, A.; Van Mier, J.G.M.; Chiaia, B.

    1995-01-01

    A new splitting test has been used for evaluating damage in different types of concrete. The set up was developed at the Stevin Laboratory of Delft University of Technology and comprises a completely new loading device in which a perfectly horizontal splitting load can be applied to concrete

  10. Using Association Rules to Study the Co-evolution of Production & Test Code

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lubsen, Z.; Zaidman, A.; Pinzger, M.

    2009-01-01

    Paper accepted for publication in the proceedings of the 6th International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR 2009). Unit tests are generally acknowledged as an important aid to produce high quality code, as they provide quick feedback to developers on the correctness of their

  11. Studying Co-evolution of Production and Test Code Using Association Rule Mining

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lubsen, Z.; Zaidman, A.; Pinzger, M.

    2009-01-01

    Long version of the short paper accepted for publication in the proceedings of the 6th International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR 2009). Unit tests are generally acknowledged as an important aid to produce high quality code, as they provide quick feedback to developers on

  12. Evolution of couples' voluntary counseling and testing for HIV in Lusaka, Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chomba, Elwyn; Allen, Susan; Kanweka, William; Tichacek, Amanda; Cox, Garrett; Shutes, Erin; Zulu, Isaac; Kancheya, Nzali; Sinkala, Moses; Stephenson, Rob; Haworth, Alan

    2008-01-01

    : We describe promotional strategies for couples' voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT) and demographic risk factors for couples in Lusaka, Zambia, where an estimated two thirds of new infections occur in cohabiting couples. : CVCT attendance as a function of promotional strategies is described over a 6-year period. Cross-sectional analyses of risk factors associated with HIV in men, women, and couples are presented. Community workers (CWs) recruited from couples seeking CVCT promoted testing in their communities. Attendance dropped when CW outreach ended, despite continued mass media advertisements. In Lusaka, 51% of 8500 cohabiting couples who sought HIV testing were concordant negative for HIV (MF) and 26% concordant positive (MF); 23% had 1 HIV-positive partner and one HIV-negative partner, with 11% HIV-positive man/HIV-negative woman (MF) and 12% HIV-negative man/HIV-positive woman (FM). HIV infection was associated with men's age 30 to 39, women's age 25 to 34, duration of union <3 years, and number of children <2. Even among couples with either 1 or 2 or no risk factors, HIV prevalence was 45% and 29%, respectively. : Many married African adults do not have high-risk profiles, nor realize that only 1 may be HIV positive. Active and sustained promotion is needed to encourage all couples to be jointly tested and counseled.

  13. Mining Software Repositories to Study Co-Evolution of Production & Test Code

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zaidman, A.E.; Van Rompaey, B.; Demeyer, S.; Van Deursen, A.

    2008-01-01

    Preprint of paper published in: ICST 2008 - Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Testing, Verification, and Validation, 2008; doi:10.1109/ICST.2008.47 Engineering software systems is a multidisciplinary activity, whereby a number of artifacts must be created — and maintained —

  14. Early Evolution of the Toxicity Identification Evaluation Process: Contributions from the USEPA Effluent Testing Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    As part of its whole effluent testing program, the USEPA developed an effects-directed analysis (EDA) approach to identifying the cause of toxicity in toxic effluents or ambient waters, an EDA process termed a “Toxicity Identification Evaluation” (TIE), which is the focus of this...

  15. Neuropeptide Control of Feeding Behavior in Birds and Its Difference with Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachibana, Tetsuya; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Feeding is an essential behavior for animals to sustain their lives. Over the past several decades, many neuropeptides that regulate feeding behavior have been identified in vertebrates. These neuropeptides are called "feeding regulatory neuropeptides." There have been numerous studies on the role of feeding regulatory neuropeptides in vertebrates including birds. Some feeding regulatory neuropeptides show different effects on feeding behavior between birds and other vertebrates, particularly mammals. The difference is marked with orexigenic neuropeptides. For example, melanin-concentrating hormone, orexin, and motilin, which are regarded as orexigenic neuropeptides in mammals, have no effect on feeding behavior in birds. Furthermore, ghrelin and growth hormone-releasing hormone, which are also known as orexigenic neuropeptides in mammals, suppress feeding behavior in birds. Thus, it is likely that the feeding regulatory mechanism has changed during the evolution of vertebrates. This review summarizes the recent knowledge of peptidergic feeding regulatory factors in birds and discusses the difference in their action between birds and other vertebrates.

  16. Human Preferences for Colorful Birds: Vivid Colors or Pattern?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvie Lišková

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In a previous study, we found that the shape of a bird, rather than its color, plays a major role in the determination of human preferences. Thus, in the present study, we asked whether the preferences of human respondents towards uniformly shaped, colorful birds are determined by pattern rather than color. The experimental stimuli were pictures of small passerine birds of the family Pittidae possessing uniform shape but vivid coloration. We asked 200 participants to rank 43 colored and 43 identical, but grayscaled, pictures of birds. To find the traits determining human preferences, we performed GLM analysis in which we tried to explain the mean preference ranks and PC axes by the following explanatory variables: the overall lightness and saturation, edges (pattern, and the portion of each of the basic color hues. The results showed that the mean preference ranks of the grayscale set is explained mostly by the birds' pattern, whereas the colored set ranking is mostly determined by the overall lightness. The effect of colors was weaker, but still significant, and revealed that people liked blue and green birds. We found no significant role of the color red, the perception of which was acquired relatively recently in evolution.

  17. Global associations between birds and vane-dwelling feather mites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doña, Jorge; Proctor, Heather; Mironov, Sergey; Serrano, David; Jovani, Roger

    2016-11-01

    Understanding host-symbiont networks is a major question in evolutionary ecology. Birds host a great diversity of endo- and ectosymbiotic organisms, with feather mites (Arachnida: Acariformes: Analgoidea, Pterolichoidea) being among the most diverse of avian symbionts. A global approach to the ecology and evolution of bird-feather-mite associations has been hampered because of the absence of a centralized data repository. Here we present the most extensive data set of associations between feather mites and birds. Data include 12 036 records of 1887 feather mite species located on the flight feathers of 2234 bird species from 147 countries. Feather mites typically located inside quills, on the skin, or on downy body feathers are not included. Data were extracted from 493 published sources dating from 1882 to 2015. Data exploration shows that although most continents and bird families are represented, most bird species remain unexplored for feather mites. Nevertheless, this is the most comprehensive data set available for enabling global macroecological analyses of feather mites and their hosts, such as ecological network analyses. This metadata file outlines the structure of these data and provides primary references for all records used. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. Human preferences for colorful birds: Vivid colors or pattern?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lišková, Silvie; Landová, Eva; Frynta, Daniel

    2015-04-29

    In a previous study, we found that the shape of a bird, rather than its color, plays a major role in the determination of human preferences. Thus, in the present study, we asked whether the preferences of human respondents towards uniformly shaped, colorful birds are determined by pattern rather than color. The experimental stimuli were pictures of small passerine birds of the family Pittidae possessing uniform shape but vivid coloration. We asked 200 participants to rank 43 colored and 43 identical, but grayscaled, pictures of birds. To find the traits determining human preferences, we performed GLM analysis in which we tried to explain the mean preference ranks and PC axes by the following explanatory variables: the overall lightness and saturation, edges (pattern), and the portion of each of the basic color hues. The results showed that the mean preference ranks of the grayscale set is explained mostly by the birds' pattern, whereas the colored set ranking is mostly determined by the overall lightness. The effect of colors was weaker, but still significant, and revealed that people liked blue and green birds. We found no significant role of the color red, the perception of which was acquired relatively recently in evolution.

  19. Empirical tests of pre-main-sequence stellar evolution models with eclipsing binaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stassun, Keivan G.; Feiden, Gregory A.; Torres, Guillermo

    2014-06-01

    We examine the performance of standard pre-main-sequence (PMS) stellar evolution models against the accurately measured properties of a benchmark sample of 26 PMS stars in 13 eclipsing binary (EB) systems having masses 0.04-4.0 M⊙ and nominal ages ≈1-20 Myr. We provide a definitive compilation of all fundamental properties for the EBs, with a careful and consistent reassessment of observational uncertainties. We also provide a definitive compilation of the various PMS model sets, including physical ingredients and limits of applicability. No set of model isochrones is able to successfully reproduce all of the measured properties of all of the EBs. In the H-R diagram, the masses inferred for the individual stars by the models are accurate to better than 10% at ≳1 M⊙, but below 1 M⊙ they are discrepant by 50-100%. Adjusting the observed radii and temperatures using empirical relations for the effects of magnetic activity helps to resolve the discrepancies in a few cases, but fails as a general solution. We find evidence that the failure of the models to match the data is linked to the triples in the EB sample; at least half of the EBs possess tertiary companions. Excluding the triples, the models reproduce the stellar masses to better than ∼10% in the H-R diagram, down to 0.5 M⊙, below which the current sample is fully contaminated by tertiaries. We consider several mechanisms by which a tertiary might cause changes in the EB properties and thus corrupt the agreement with stellar model predictions. We show that the energies of the tertiary orbits are comparable to that needed to potentially explain the scatter in the EB properties through injection of heat, perhaps involving tidal interaction. It seems from the evidence at hand that this mechanism, however it operates in detail, has more influence on the surface properties of the stars than on their internal structure, as the lithium abundances are broadly in good agreement with model predictions. The

  20. Synthetic H-R diagrams as an observational test of stellar evolution theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathews, G.J.; Becker, S.A.; Brunish, W.M.

    1983-07-01

    Synthetic H-R diagrams are constructed from a grid of stellar models. These are compared directly with observations of young clusters in the LMC and SMC as a test of the models and as a means to determine the age, age dispersion, and composition of the clusters. Significant discrepancies between the observed and model H-R diagrams indicate the possible influences of convective overshoot, large AGB mass-loss rates, and the best value for the mixing length parameter

  1. Temporal evolution of the sensitivity determined during the extrinsic uniformity test on two gamma cameras

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vazquez Vazquez, R.; Sanchez Garcia, M.; Santamarina Vazquez, F.; Sorro Bua, M.; Luna Vega, V.; Mosquera Sueiro, J.; Otero Martinez, C.; Lobato Busto, R.; Pombar Camean, M.

    2011-01-01

    One of the suggestions in the new Protocol (February 2010) of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine R outine quality control recommendations for nuclear medicine instrumentation is to record the value cps / MBq obtained in carrying out this test to track sensitivity thus obtained. Ideally, this sensitivity should remain constant over time. At our institution this parameter has been registered since February 2009. In this paper we analyze data collected through December 2010 (23 months), relating the apparent loss of sensitivity downtime losses.

  2. Radar studies of bird migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, T. C.; Williams, J. M.

    1974-01-01

    Observations of bird migration with NASA radars were made at Wallops Island, Va. Simultaneous observations were made at a number of radar sites in the North Atlantic Ocean in an effort to discover what happened to those birds that were observed leaving the coast of North America headed toward Bermuda, the Caribbean and South America. Transatlantic migration, utilizing observations from a large number of radars is discussed. Detailed studies of bird movements at Wallops Island are presented.

  3. The North Sea Bird Club

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doyle, P.A.T.; Gorman, M.L.; Patterson, I.J.; Howe, S.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reports that the creation of a club for the purpose of encouraging oil and gas workers to watch birds may not at first seem a viable proposition. To the layperson, birds offshore conjures up an image of hundreds of seagulls following fishing boats, and very little else. Also, the act of birdwatching is not seen as a typical offshore worker's activity. Anyone who has worked on an installation offshore and who has any interest in wildlife will be aware of the occasional presence of land-birds. Two decades ago, prompted by some keen offshore workers, a single oil company set up a monitoring program, which quickly became popular with a number of its employees. Birds seem offshore were recorded on data forms and collected together. At this stage the club was purely another recreation facility; however, when the data were collated it was soon realized that installations offshore were being used as staging posts by birds on migration, and that the information being collected would be of great interest in the study of bird movements. All over Britain, at strategic points on the coastline, there are bird observatories which record the arrival and departure of migrating birds. The presence of several hundred solid structures up and down the North Sea, which are used by birds en route, represents a huge, unique bird observatory, capable of uncovering facts about bird migration which have long eluded land-based scientists. Eleven years ago, the North Sea Bird Club began, composed of eight member companies, a recorder from Aberdeen University and a representative from the Nature Conservancy Council. The club received data from 41 installations, and the recorder collated these on Aberdeen University's computer and produced an annual report of sightings

  4. Tropical birds take small risks

    OpenAIRE

    Anders Pape Møller; Wei Liang

    2013-01-01

    The life history of tropical birds differs from that of their temperate counterparts by late start of reproduction, small clutch sizes, and high rates of adult survival. Thus, tropical species should have greater residual reproductive value than temperate species. Therefore, tropical birds can be predicted to take smaller risks than closely related temperate birds in order not to jeopardize their prospects of survival, which is the single most important component of fitness, and which is grea...

  5. Ten-year chemical evolution of leachate and municipal solid waste incineration bottom ash used in a test road site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dabo, David; Badreddine, Rabia; De Windt, Laurent; Drouadaine, Ivan

    2009-12-30

    The use of municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) bottom ash for road and car-park construction is an appropriate solution to reduce their disposal and the consumption of natural materials. In addition to leaching tests, the environmental impact assessment of such a waste recycling scenario critically needs for reliable long-term field data. This paper addresses a 10-year pilot site where MSWI bottom ashes have been used as road aggregates in Northern France (oceanic temperate climate). The paper focuses on the long-term evolution of leachate chemistry and the mineralogical transformations of MSWI bottom ash over 10 years. Data interpretation is supported by geochemical modeling in terms of main pH-buffering processes. The leachate pH and concentrations in major elements (Ca, Na and Cl) as well as in Al and heavy metals (Cu, Pb and Zn) quickly drop during the first 2 years to asymptotically reach a set of minimum values over 10 years; similar to those of a reference road built with natural calcareous aggregates. SO(4) release makes exception with a slightly increasing trend over time. Carbonation induced by CO(2) inputs, which leads to the successive dissolution of portlandite, CSH and ettringite, is one of the main phenomenon responsible for the geochemical evolution of leachate. On the other hand, mineralogical observations and batch tests demonstrate a relative stability of the MSWI bottom ash inside the subbase layer. In particular, carbonation may be far to be completed and still in progress after 10 years. This is consistent with preferential rainwater flow and dilution at the road edges combined to diffusion inside the subbase layer.

  6. Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, gulls and...

  7. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Central California: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for alcids, diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds,...

  8. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Upper Coast of Texas: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds,...

  9. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: South Florida: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls, terns, passerine birds, pelagic birds, raptors, shorebirds, wading birds, and...

  10. The function of migratory bird calls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reichl, Thomas; Andersen, Bent Bach; Larsen, Ole Næsbye

    migration and to stimulate migratory restlessness in conspecifics. We wished to test if conspecific flight calls influence the flight direction of a nocturnal migrant, the European Robin (Erithacus rubecula), i.e. if flight calls help migrants keeping course. Wild caught birds showing migratory restlessness...... the experimental bird could be activated successively to simulate a migrating Robin cruising E-W, W-E, S-N or N-S at a chosen height (mostly about 40 m), at 10 m/s and emitting Robin flight calls of 80 dB(A) at 1 m. The simulated flight of a "ding" sound served as a control. During an experiment the bird was first...... allowed to settle and express migratory restlessness for at least 30 minutes. Secondly, the flight simulation axis (e.g. E-W or N-S) with the largest angle relative to the bird's migration course was chosen and "flights" of simulated calling conspecifics or the "ding" sound along this axis continued...

  11. Cognitive skills and bacterial load: comparative evidence of costs of cognitive proficiency in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler, Juan José; Peralta-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Martín-Platero, Antonio Manuel; Flensted-Jensen, Einar; Møller, Anders Pape

    2012-02-01

    Parasite-mediated selection may affect the evolution of cognitive abilities because parasites may influence development of the brain, but also learning capacity. Here, we tested some predictions of this hypothesis by analyzing the relationship between complex behaviours (feeding innovations (as a measure of behavioural flexibility) and ability to detect foreign eggs in their nests (i.e. a measure of discriminatory ability)) and abundance of microorganisms in different species of birds. A positive relationship would be predicted if these cognitive abilities implied a larger number of visited environments, while if these skills favoured detection and avoidance of risky environments, a negative relationship would be the prediction. Bacterial loads of eggshells, estimated for mesophilic and potentially pathogenic bacteria (i.e. Enterococcus, Staphylococcus and Enterobacteriaceae), were used as a surrogate of probability of contact with pathogenic bacteria. We found that bird species with higher feeding innovation rates and rejection rates of experimental brood parasitic eggs had higher density of bacteria on their eggshells than the average species. Since the analysed groups of microorganisms include pathogenic bacteria, these results suggest that both feeding innovation and ability to recognize foreign eggs are costly and highlight the importance of parasite-mediated selection in explaining the evolution of cognitive abilities in animals.

  12. East Africa's diminishing bird habitats and bird species

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... resultant intensive agricultural projects that follow. Such impacts have resulted in a decline in both bird habitats and biodiversity. Of particular concern are the areas important to all our endemic bird species, and already we are witnessing a series of very worrying developments. Taking each. Scopus 32: 27–34, June 2013 ...

  13. The core mass-radius relation for giants - A new test of stellar evolution theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joss, P. C.; Rappaport, S.; Lewis, W.

    1987-01-01

    It is demonstrated here that the measurable properties of systems containing degenerate dwarfs can be used as a direct test of the core mass-radius relation for moderate-mass giants if the final stages of the loss of the envelope of the progenitor giant occurred via stable critical lobe overflow. This relation directly probes the internal structure of stars at a relatively advanced evolutionary state and is only modestly influenced by adjustable parameters. The measured properties of six binary systems, including such diverse systems as Sirius and Procyon and two millisecond pulsars, are utilized to derive constraints on the empirical core mass-radius relation, and the constraints are compared to the theoretical relation. The possibility that the final stages of envelope ejection of the giant progenitor of Sirius B occurred via critical lobe overflow in historical times is considered.

  14. Landscape patterns as habitat predictors: Building and testing models for cavity-nesting birds in the Uinta Mountains of Utah, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawler, J.J.; Edwards, T.C.

    2002-01-01

    The ability to predict species occurrences quickly is often crucial for managers and conservation biologists with limited time and funds. We used measured associations with landscape patterns to build accurate predictive habitat models that were quickly and easily applied (i.e., required no additional data collection in the field to make predictions). We used classification trees (a nonparametric alternative to discriminant function analysis, logistic regression, and other generalized linear models) to model nesting habitat of red-naped sapsuckers (Sphyrapicus nuchalis), northern flickers (Colaptes auratus), tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), and mountain chickadees (Parus gambeli) in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah, USA. We then tested the predictive capability of the models with independent data collected in the field the following year. The models built for the northern flicker, red-naped sapsucker, and tree swallow were relatively accurate (84%, 80%, and 75% nests correctly classified, respectively) compared to the models for the mountain chickadee (50% nests correctly classified). All four models were more selective than a null model that predicted habitat based solely on a gross association with aspen forests. We conclude that associations with landscape patterns can be used to build relatively accurate, easy to use, predictive models for some species. Our results stress, however, that both selecting the proper scale at which to assess landscape associations and empirically testing the models derived from those associations are crucial for building useful predictive models.

  15. The BIRD payload platform

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Ingo; Briess, Klaus; Baerwald, Wolfgang; Skrbek, Wolfgang; Schrandt, Fredrich

    2003-04-01

    For hot spot events as forest fires, volcanic activity or burning oil spills and coal seams a dedicate dspace instrumentation does not exist. With its successful launch end of October 2001 with the Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle the German Aerospace Center starts closing this gap with the micro-satellite mission BIRD. As space segment serves a three-axis stabilized satellite of 92 kg including a contingent of over 30% for the scientific instruments. The main payload of the BIRD micro-satellite is the newly developed Hot Spot Recognition System. It's a dual-channel instrument for middle and thermal IR imagery based on cooled MCT line detectors. The miniaturization by integrated detector/cooler assemblies provides a highly efficient design. A complement for the hot spot detection is the wide-angle stereo-scanner WAOSS-B. It is a hardware re-use dedicated to vegetation and cloud assessment in the visible spectral range. Besides the main objective of hot spot detection the mission has to answer several technological questions of the operation of cooled detectors in space, special aspects of their adaptation to the satellite platform as well as their calibration.

  16. Does morphological convergence imply functional similarity? A test using the evolution of quadrupedalism in ornithischian dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maidment, Susannah C R; Barrett, Paul M

    2012-09-22

    Convergent morphologies are thought to indicate functional similarity, arising because of a limited number of evolutionary or developmental pathways. Extant taxa displaying convergent morphologies are used as analogues to assess function in extinct taxa with similar characteristics. However, functional studies of extant taxa have shown that functional similarity can arise from differing morphologies, calling into question the paradigm that form and function are closely related. We test the hypothesis that convergent skeletal morphology indicates functional similarity in the fossil record using ornithischian dinosaurs. The rare transition from bipedality to quadrupedality occurred at least three times independently in this clade, resulting in a suite of convergent osteological characteristics. We use homology rather than analogy to provide an independent line of evidence about function, reconstructing soft tissues using the extant phylogenetic bracket and applying biomechanical concepts to produce qualitative assessments of muscle leverage. We also optimize character changes to investigate the sequence of character acquisition. Different lineages of quadrupedal ornithischian dinosaur stood and walked differently from each other, falsifying the hypothesis that osteological convergence indicates functional similarity. The acquisition of features correlated with quadrupedalism generally occurs in the same order in each clade, suggesting underlying developmental mechanisms that act as evolutionary constraints.

  17. The evolution of whole field optical diagnostics for external transonic testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fry, K. A.; Bryanston-Cross, P.

    1992-09-01

    The diagnostic use of quantitative laser flow visualization techniques has increased rapidly over recent years. The limitations imposed by conventional single point techniques such as laser Doppler anemometry are addressed and how they have been overcome by the development of a new family of whole field measurement techniques is demonstrated. In particular near instantaneous whole field velocity data was obtained in a relatively hostile, industrial 2.74 m x 2.44 m transonic wind tunnel (TWT) at the Aircraft Research Association (ARA). The techniques were evaluated for their suitability for making quantitative measurements in the wing/pylon region of a model wing and engine combination. Three optical diagnostic techniques were successfully developed within the context of the ARA facility. The first technique, laser light sheet (LLS), combines the operation of a pulse laser and video capture system to provide a 'real time' visualization of the flow, whereas a second pulse laser technique, Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) can be used to make specific quantitative whole field instantaneous velocity measurements. The third method, holography, was used to produce a stored three dimensional visualization of the unsteady and shock wave features of the transonic flow in the gully region. A description is made of their installation and operation, and examples are presented of current test results.

  18. West Nile Virus and Usutu Virus Monitoring of Wild Birds in Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friederike Michel

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available By systematically setting up a unique nation-wide wild bird surveillance network, we monitored migratory and resident birds for zoonotic arthropod-borne virus infections, such as the flaviviruses West Nile virus (WNV and Usutu virus (USUV. More than 1900 wild bird blood samples, from 20 orders and 136 different bird species, were collected between 2014 and 2016. Samples were investigated by WNV and USUV-specific real-time polymerase chain reactions as well as by differentiating virus neutralization tests. Dead bird surveillance data, obtained from organ investigations in 2016, were also included. WNV-specific RNA was not detected, whereas four wild bird blood samples tested positive for USUV-specific RNA. Additionally, 73 USUV-positive birds were detected in the 2016 dead bird surveillance. WNV neutralizing antibodies were predominantly found in long-distance, partial and short-distance migrants, while USUV neutralizing antibodies were mainly detected in resident wild bird species, preferentially with low seroprevalences. To date, WNV-specific RNA has neither been detected in wild birds, nor in mosquitoes, thus, we conclude that WNV is not yet present in Germany. Continued wild bird and mosquito monitoring studies are essential to detect the incursion of zoonotic viruses and to allow risk assessments for zoonotic pathogens.

  19. West Nile Virus and Usutu Virus Monitoring of Wild Birds in Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Friederike; Fast, Christine; Reuschel, Maximilian; Müller, Kerstin; Urbaniak, Sylvia; Brandes, Florian; Schwehn, Rebekka; Groschup, Martin H.; Ziegler, Ute

    2018-01-01

    By systematically setting up a unique nation-wide wild bird surveillance network, we monitored migratory and resident birds for zoonotic arthropod-borne virus infections, such as the flaviviruses West Nile virus (WNV) and Usutu virus (USUV). More than 1900 wild bird blood samples, from 20 orders and 136 different bird species, were collected between 2014 and 2016. Samples were investigated by WNV and USUV-specific real-time polymerase chain reactions as well as by differentiating virus neutralization tests. Dead bird surveillance data, obtained from organ investigations in 2016, were also included. WNV-specific RNA was not detected, whereas four wild bird blood samples tested positive for USUV-specific RNA. Additionally, 73 USUV-positive birds were detected in the 2016 dead bird surveillance. WNV neutralizing antibodies were predominantly found in long-distance, partial and short-distance migrants, while USUV neutralizing antibodies were mainly detected in resident wild bird species, preferentially with low seroprevalences. To date, WNV-specific RNA has neither been detected in wild birds, nor in mosquitoes, thus, we conclude that WNV is not yet present in Germany. Continued wild bird and mosquito monitoring studies are essential to detect the incursion of zoonotic viruses and to allow risk assessments for zoonotic pathogens. PMID:29361762

  20. Bird Migration Echoes Observed by Polarimetric Radar

    OpenAIRE

    MINDA, Haruya; FURUZAWA, Fumie A.; SATOH, Shinsuke; NAKAMURA, Kenji

    2008-01-01

    A C-band polarimetric radar on Okinawa Island successfully observed large-scale bird migrations over the western Pacific Ocean. The birds generated interesting polarimetric signatures. This paper describes the signatures and speculates bird behavior.

  1. Modeling the isotopic evolution of snowpack and snowmelt: Testing a spatially distributed parsimonious approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ala-Aho, Pertti; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; McNamara, James P; Laudon, Hjalmar; Kormos, Patrick; Soulsby, Chris

    2017-07-01

    Use of stable water isotopes has become increasingly popular in quantifying water flow paths and travel times in hydrological systems using tracer-aided modeling. In snow-influenced catchments, snowmelt produces a traceable isotopic signal, which differs from original snowfall isotopic composition because of isotopic fractionation in the snowpack. These fractionation processes in snow are relatively well understood, but representing their spatiotemporal variability in tracer-aided studies remains a challenge. We present a novel, parsimonious modeling method to account for the snowpack isotope fractionation and estimate isotope ratios in snowmelt water in a fully spatially distributed manner. Our model introduces two calibration parameters that alone account for the isotopic fractionation caused by sublimation from interception and ground snow storage, and snowmelt fractionation progressively enriching the snowmelt runoff. The isotope routines are linked to a generic process-based snow interception-accumulation-melt model facilitating simulation of spatially distributed snowmelt runoff. We use a synthetic modeling experiment to demonstrate the functionality of the model algorithms in different landscape locations and under different canopy characteristics. We also provide a proof-of-concept model test and successfully reproduce isotopic ratios in snowmelt runoff sampled with snowmelt lysimeters in two long-term experimental catchment with contrasting winter conditions. To our knowledge, the method is the first such tool to allow estimation of the spatially distributed nature of isotopic fractionation in snowpacks and the resulting isotope ratios in snowmelt runoff. The method can thus provide a useful tool for tracer-aided modeling to better understand the integrated nature of flow, mixing, and transport processes in snow-influenced catchments.

  2. Pediatric Exposure to Drugs of Abuse by Hair Testing: Monitoring 15 Years of Evolution in Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Pichini

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Hair testing is a useful tool to investigate the prevalence of unsuspected chronic exposure to drugs of abuse in pediatric populations and it has been applied to three different cohorts of children from Barcelona, Spain along fifteen years to evaluate eventual changes in this exposure. Children were recruited from three independent studies performed at Hospital del Mar (Barcelona, Spain and approved by the local Ethics Committee. Hair samples were collected from the first 187 children cohort (around 4 years of age in 1998, from the second 90 children cohort (1.5–5 years of age in 2008 and from the third 114 children cohort (5–14 years of age in 2013. Hair samples were analysed for the presence of opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, and cannabis by validated methodologies using gas or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Familiar sociodemographics and eventual consumption of drugs of abuse by parents, and caregivers were recorded. Hair samples from 24.6% children in 1998 were positive for any drug of abuse (23.0% cocaine, 25.5% in 2008 (23.3% cocaine, and 28.1% in 2013 (20.1% cocaine and 11.4% cannabis. In none of the cohorts, parental sociodemographics were associated with children exposure to drugs of abuse. The results of the three study cohorts demonstrated a significant prevalence of unsuspected pediatric exposure to drugs of abuse which mainly involved cocaine maintained along fifteen years in Barcelona, Spain. We recommend to be aware about unsuspected passive exposure to drugs of abuse in general population and to use general or selected hair screening to disclose exposure to drugs of abuse in children from risky environments to provide the basis for specific social and health interventions.

  3. The application of cryogenics to high Reynolds number testing in wind tunnels. I - Evolution, theory, and advantages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgore, R. A.; Dress, D. A.

    1984-01-01

    During the time which has passed since the construction of the first wind tunnel in 1870, wind tunnels have been developed to a high degree of sophistication. However, their development has consistently failed to keep pace with the demands placed on them. One of the more serious problems to be found with existing transonic wind tunnels is their inability to test subscale aircraft models at Reynolds numbers sufficiently near full-scale values to ensure the validity of using the wind tunnel data to predict flight characteristics. The Reynolds number capability of a wind tunnel may be increased by a number of different approaches. However, the best solution in terms of model, balance, and model support loads, as well as in terms of capital and operating cost appears to be related to the reduction of the temperature of the test gas to cryogenic temperatures. The present paper has the objective to review the evolution of the cryogenic wind tunnel concept and to describe its more important advantages.

  4. Migration in birds and fishes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwey, J.

    1949-01-01

    Our knowledge concerning the periodical movements in animals called migrations is chiefly based on observations on birds. By and by, however, a number of facts concerning migration in other animal groups have been assembled and it seems worth while to compare them with those known for birds. There

  5. On the origin of brood parasitism in altricial birds

    OpenAIRE

    Yoram Yom-Tov; Eli Geffen

    2006-01-01

    The probability that obligate interspecific brood parasitism (OP), among altricial birds evolved directly from the normal breeding (no parasitism, NP) mode or indirectly through intraspecific nest parasitism (INP) was examined by using maximum-likelihood and parsimony approaches. We examined the probability of ancestral states at 24 key nodes in order to test our hypotheses. The state of the most basal node in a tree of 565 genera of altricial birds is equivocal; however, the state probabilit...

  6. Avian binocular vision: It's not just about what birds can see, it's also about what they can't.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luke P Tyrrell

    Full Text Available With the exception of primates, most vertebrates have laterally placed eyes. Binocular vision in vertebrates has been implicated in several functions, including depth perception, contrast discrimination, etc. However, the blind area in front of the head that is proximal to the binocular visual field is often neglected. This anterior blind area is important when discussing the evolution of binocular vision because its relative length is inversely correlated with the width of the binocular field. Therefore, species with wider binocular fields also have shorter anterior blind areas and objects along the mid-sagittal plane can be imaged at closer distances. Additionally, the anterior blind area is of functional significance for birds because the beak falls within this blind area. We tested for the first time some specific predictions about the functional role of the anterior blind area in birds controlling for phylogenetic effects. We used published data on visual field configuration in 40 species of birds and measured beak and skull parameters from museum specimens. We found that birds with proportionally longer beaks have longer anterior blind areas and thus narrower binocular fields. This result suggests that the anterior blind area and beak visibility do play a role in shaping binocular fields, and that binocular field width is not solely determined by the need for stereoscopic vision. In visually guided foragers, the ability to see the beak-and how much of the beak can be seen-varies predictably with foraging habits. For example, fish- and insect-eating specialists can see more of their own beak than birds eating immobile food can. But in non-visually guided foragers, there is no consistent relationship between the beak and anterior blind area. We discuss different strategies-wide binocular fields, large eye movements, and long beaks-that minimize the potential negative effects of the anterior blind area. Overall, we argue that there is more to

  7. Water bird fauna in the Carpathian Basin from the beginnings through historical times

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kessler Jenő (Eugen

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to summarize the knowledge about the evolution and fossil remains of avian fauna near waterbodies, since ornithologists, who rarely come across or research the paleontology of birds, do not possess significantly detailed knowledge about the evolution and evidence of the current avian fauna.

  8. Water bird fauna in the Carpathian Basin from the beginnings through historical times

    OpenAIRE

    Kessler Jenő (Eugen)

    2017-01-01

    This study aims to summarize the knowledge about the evolution and fossil remains of avian fauna near waterbodies, since ornithologists, who rarely come across or research the paleontology of birds, do not possess significantly detailed knowledge about the evolution and evidence of the current avian fauna.

  9. Sparkling feather reflections of a bird-of-paradise explained by finite-difference time-domain modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wilts, Bodo D; Michielsen, Kristel; De Raedt, Hans; Stavenga, Doekele G

    2014-01-01

    Birds-of-paradise are nature's prime examples of the evolution of color by sexual selection. Their brilliant, structurally colored feathers play a principal role in mating displays. The structural coloration of both the occipital and breast feathers of the bird-of-paradise Lawes' parotia is produced

  10. Understanding the migratory orientation program of birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thorup, Kasper; Holland, Richard A.; Tøttrup, Anders P.

    2010-01-01

    orient during migration. Despite the difficulties associated with following free-flying birds over long distances, a number of possibilities currently exist for tracking the long distance, sometimes even globe-spanning, journeys undertaken by migrating birds. Birds fitted with radio transmitters can......For many years, orientation in migratory birds has primarily been studied in the laboratory. Although a laboratory-based setting enables greater control over environmental cues, the laboratory-based findings must be confirmed in the wild in free-flying birds to be able to fully understand how birds...... system that enables experienced birds to navigate and guide inexperienced, young birds to their species-specific winter grounds...

  11. Unzipping bird feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalev, Alexander; Filippov, Alexander E; Gorb, Stanislav N

    2014-03-06

    The bird feather vane can be separated into two parts by pulling the barbs apart. The original state can be re-established easily by lightly stroking through the feather. Hooklets responsible for holding vane barbs together are not damaged by multiple zipping and unzipping cycles. Because numerous microhooks keep the integrity of the feather, their properties are of great interest for understanding mechanics of the entire feather structure. This study was undertaken to estimate the separation force of single hooklets and their arrays using force measurement of an unzipping feather vane. The hooklets usually separate in some number synchronously (20 on average) with the highest observed separation force of 1.74 mN (average force 0.27 mN), whereas the single hooklet separation force was 14 μN. A simple numerical model was suggested for a better understanding of zipping and unzipping behaviour in feathers. The model demonstrates features similar to those observed in experiments.

  12. Conservation of wading birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushlan, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    The conservation and management of wading birds has received considerable attention over the past twenty years, through research, population monitoring, habitat protection, and through activities of specialist groups devoted to all three groups, the herons, ibises and allies, and flamingos. While populations are best known in North America, greatest advances in knowledge may have come in Australasia. The status of most species and many populations is now sufficiently known to allow assessment of risk. Conservation and management techniques allow creation of global and regional action plans for conservation of many species. Global action plans are being developed, but few regional plans have been undertaken. Management of nesting sites is now particularly well appreciated. Although known in broad stroke, much remains to be learned about managing feeding habitat. Problems related to disturbance, conflict with humans, habitat loss, contaminants and other environmental stresses remain for some species and many populations. New challenges lie in creating conservation action that account for genetic stocks.

  13. Mass extinction of birds at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longrich, Nicholas R; Tokaryk, Tim; Field, Daniel J

    2011-09-13

    The effect of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) (formerly Cretaceous-Tertiary, K-T) mass extinction on avian evolution is debated, primarily because of the poor fossil record of Late Cretaceous birds. In particular, it remains unclear whether archaic birds became extinct gradually over the course of the Cretaceous or whether they remained diverse up to the end of the Cretaceous and perished in the K-Pg mass extinction. Here, we describe a diverse avifauna from the latest Maastrichtian of western North America, which provides definitive evidence for the persistence of a range of archaic birds to within 300,000 y of the K-Pg boundary. A total of 17 species are identified, including 7 species of archaic bird, representing Enantiornithes, Ichthyornithes, Hesperornithes, and an Apsaravis-like bird. None of these groups are known to survive into the Paleogene, and their persistence into the latest Maastrichtian therefore provides strong evidence for a mass extinction of archaic birds coinciding with the Chicxulub asteroid impact. Most of the birds described here represent advanced ornithurines, showing that a major radiation of Ornithurae preceded the end of the Cretaceous, but none can be definitively referred to the Neornithes. This avifauna is the most diverse known from the Late Cretaceous, and although size disparity is lower than in modern birds, the assemblage includes both smaller forms and some of the largest volant birds known from the Mesozoic, emphasizing the degree to which avian diversification had proceeded by the end of the age of dinosaurs.

  14. Was Dinosaurian Physiology Inherited by Birds? Reconciling Slow Growth in Archaeopteryx

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Gregory M.; Rauhut, Oliver W. M.; Zhou, Zhonghe; Turner, Alan H.; Inouye, Brian D.; Hu, Dongyu; Norell, Mark A.

    2009-01-01

    Background Archaeopteryx is the oldest and most primitive known bird (Avialae). It is believed that the growth and energetic physiology of basalmost birds such as Archaeopteryx were inherited in their entirety from non-avialan dinosaurs. This hypothesis predicts that the long bones in these birds formed using rapidly growing, well-vascularized woven tissue typical of non-avialan dinosaurs. Methodology/Principal Findings We report that Archaeopteryx long bones are composed of nearly avascular parallel-fibered bone. This is among the slowest growing osseous tissues and is common in ectothermic reptiles. These findings dispute the hypothesis that non-avialan dinosaur growth and physiology were inherited in totality by the first birds. Examining these findings in a phylogenetic context required intensive sampling of outgroup dinosaurs and basalmost birds. Our results demonstrate the presence of a scale-dependent maniraptoran histological continuum that Archaeopteryx and other basalmost birds follow. Growth analysis for Archaeopteryx suggests that these animals showed exponential growth rates like non-avialan dinosaurs, three times slower than living precocial birds, but still within the lowermost range for all endothermic vertebrates. Conclusions/Significance The unexpected histology of Archaeopteryx and other basalmost birds is actually consistent with retention of the phylogenetically earlier paravian dinosaur condition when size is considered. The first birds were simply feathered dinosaurs with respect to growth and energetic physiology. The evolution of the novel pattern in modern forms occurred later in the group's history. PMID:19816582

  15. Pelvis morphology suggests that early Mesozoic birds were too heavy to contact incubate their eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles Deeming, D; Mayr, Gerald

    2018-02-27

    Numerous new fossils have driven an interest in reproduction of early birds, but direct evidence remains elusive. No Mesozoic avian eggs can be unambiguously assigned to a species, which hampers our understanding of the evolution of contact incubation, which is a defining feature of extant birds. Compared to living species, eggs of Mesozoic birds are relatively small, but whether the eggs of Mesozoic birds could actually have borne the weight of a breeding adult has not yet been investigated. We estimated maximal egg breadth for a range of Mesozoic avian taxa from the width of the pelvic canal defined by the pubic symphysis. Known elongation ratios of Mesozoic bird eggs allowed us to predict egg mass and hence the load mass an egg could endure before cracking. These values were compared to the predicted body masses of the adult birds based on skeletal remains. Based on 21 fossil species, we show that for nonornithothoracine birds body mass was 187% of the load mass of the eggs. For Enantiornithes, body mass was 127% greater than the egg load mass, but some early Cretaceous ornithuromorphs were 179% heavier than their eggs could support. Our indirect approach provides the best evidence yet that early birds could not have sat on their eggs without running the risk of causing damage. We suggest that contact incubation evolved comparatively late in birds. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  16. Was dinosaurian physiology inherited by birds? Reconciling slow growth in archaeopteryx.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory M Erickson

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Archaeopteryx is the oldest and most primitive known bird (Avialae. It is believed that the growth and energetic physiology of basalmost birds such as Archaeopteryx were inherited in their entirety from non-avialan dinosaurs. This hypothesis predicts that the long bones in these birds formed using rapidly growing, well-vascularized woven tissue typical of non-avialan dinosaurs.We report that Archaeopteryx long bones are composed of nearly avascular parallel-fibered bone. This is among the slowest growing osseous tissues and is common in ectothermic reptiles. These findings dispute the hypothesis that non-avialan dinosaur growth and physiology were inherited in totality by the first birds. Examining these findings in a phylogenetic context required intensive sampling of outgroup dinosaurs and basalmost birds. Our results demonstrate the presence of a scale-dependent maniraptoran histological continuum that Archaeopteryx and other basalmost birds follow. Growth analysis for Archaeopteryx suggests that these animals showed exponential growth rates like non-avialan dinosaurs, three times slower than living precocial birds, but still within the lowermost range for all endothermic vertebrates.The unexpected histology of Archaeopteryx and other basalmost birds is actually consistent with retention of the phylogenetically earlier paravian dinosaur condition when size is considered. The first birds were simply feathered dinosaurs with respect to growth and energetic physiology. The evolution of the novel pattern in modern forms occurred later in the group's history.

  17. Bristol Bay, Alaska Subarea ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, and seabirds in the Bristol Bay Subarea. The Subarea...

  18. Testing biological hypotheses with embodied robots: adaptations, accidents, and by-products in the evolution of vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia F Roberts

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary robotics allows biologists to test hypotheses about extinct animals. We modeled some of the first vertebrates, jawless fishes, in order to study the evolution of the trait after which vertebrates are named: vertebrae. We tested the hypothesis that vertebrae are an adaptation for enhanced feeding and fleeing performance. We created a population of autonomous embodied robots, Preyro, in which the number of vertebrae, N, were free to evolve. In addition, two other traits, the span of the caudal fin, b, and the predator detection threshold, ζ, a proxy for the lateral line sensory system, were also allowed to evolve. These three traits were chosen because they evolved early in vertebrates, are all potentially important in feeding and fleeing, and vary in form among species. Preyro took on individual identities in a given generation as defined by the population’s six diploid genotypes, Gi. Each Gi was a 3-tuple, with each element an integer specifying N, b, and, ζ. The small size of the population allowed for genetic drift to operate in concert with random mutation and mating; the presence of these mechanisms of chance provided an opportunity for N to evolve by accident. The presence of three evolvable traits provided an opportunity for direct selection on b and/or ζ to evolve N as a by-product linked trait correlation. In selection trials, different Gi embodied in Preyro attempted to feed at a light source and then flee to avoid a predator robot in pursuit. The fitness of each Gi was calculated from five different types of performance: speed, acceleration, distance to the light, distance to the predator, and the number of predator escapes initiated. In each generation, we measured the selection differential, the selection gradient, the strength of chance, and the indirect correlation selection gradient. These metrics allowed us to understand the relative contributions of the three mechanisms: direct selection, chance, and indirect

  19. Birds of the Mongol Empire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene N. Anderson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The Mongol Empire, the largest contiguous empire the world has ever known, had, among other things, a goodly number of falconers, poultry raisers, birdcatchers, cooks, and other experts on various aspects of birding. We have records of this, largely in the Yinshan Zhengyao, the court nutrition manual of the Mongol empire in China (the Yuan Dynasty. It discusses in some detail 22 bird taxa, from swans to chickens. The Huihui Yaofang, a medical encyclopedia, lists ten taxa used medicinally. Marco Polo also made notes on Mongol bird use. There are a few other records. This allows us to draw conclusions about Mongol ornithology, which apparently was sophisticated and detailed.

  20. Risk of Agricultural Practices and Habitat Change to Farmland Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Anthony. Kirk

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Many common bird species have declined as a result of agricultural intensification and this could be mitigated by organic farming. We paired sites for habitat and geographical location on organic and nonorganic farms in Ontario, Canada to test a priori predictions of effects on birds overall, 9 guilds and 22 species in relation to candidate models for farming practices (13 variables, local habitat features (12 variables, or habitat features that influence susceptibility to predation. We found that: (1 Overall bird abundance, but not richness, was significantly (p < 0.05 higher on organic sites (mean 43.1 individuals per site than nonorganic sites (35.8 individuals per site. Significantly more species of birds were observed for five guilds, including primary grassland birds, on organic vs. nonorganic sites. No guild had higher richness or abundance on nonorganic farms; (2 Farming practice models were the best (Î"AIC < 4 for abundance of birds overall, primary grassland bird richness, sallier aerial insectivore richness and abundance, and abundance of ground nesters; (3 Habitat models were the best for overall richness, Neotropical migrant abundance, richness and abundance of Ontario-USA-Mexico (short-distance migrants and resident richness; (4 Predation models were the best for richness of secondary grassland birds and ground feeders; (5 A combination of variables from the model types were best for richness or abundance overall, 13 of 18 guilds (richness and abundance and 16 of 22 species analyzed. Five of 10 farming practice variables (including herbicide use, organic farm type and 9 of 13 habitat variables (including hedgerow length, proportion of hay were significant in best models. Risk modeling indicated that herbicide use could decrease primary grassland birds by one species (35% decline from 3.4 to 2.3 species per site. Organic farming could benefit species of conservation concern by 49% (an increase from 7.6 to 11.4 grassland birds. An

  1. Lagrangian velocities evolution in steady Darcian flow, the impact on solute dispersion and an application to the MADE tracer test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hakoun, Vivien; Comolli, Alessandro; Dentz, Marco

    2017-04-01

    parameterized in terms of the Eulerian velocity statistics and the conductivity distribution. The CTRW approach is then used for the intepretation of dispersion data of the MADE tracer test, based on a geostatistical characterization of the medium. Reference: Dentz, M., Kang, P. K., Comolli, A., Le Borgne, T., & Lester, D. R. (2016). Continuous time random walks for the evolution of Lagrangian velocities. Physical Review Fluids, 1(7), 074004.

  2. Introduction to Avian Medicine: Companion Birds and Wild Birds ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Introduction to Avian Medicine: Companion Birds and Wild Birds. T W deMaar. Abstract. No abstract. The Kenya Veterinarian Vol. 21 2001: pp. 20-22. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/kenvet.v21i1.39504 · AJOL African Journals ...

  3. A diminutive perinate European Enantiornithes reveals an asynchronous ossification pattern in early birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, Fabien; Chiappe, Luis M; Sanchez, Sophie; Garwood, Russell J; Edwards, Nicholas P; Wogelius, Roy A; Sellers, William I; Manning, Phillip L; Ortega, Francisco; Serrano, Francisco J; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Cuesta, Elena; Escaso, Fernando; Sanz, Jose Luis

    2018-03-05

    Fossils of juvenile Mesozoic birds provide insight into the early evolution of avian development, however such fossils are rare. The analysis of the ossification sequence in these early-branching birds has the potential to address important questions about their comparative developmental biology and to help understand their morphological evolution and ecological differentiation. Here we report on an early juvenile enantiornithine specimen from the Early Cretaceous of Europe, which sheds new light on the osteogenesis in this most species-rich clade of Mesozoic birds. Consisting of a nearly complete skeleton, it is amongst the smallest known Mesozoic avian fossils representing post-hatching stages of development. Comparisons between this new specimen and other known early juvenile enantiornithines support a clade-wide asynchronous pattern of osteogenesis in the sternum and the vertebral column, and strongly indicate that the hatchlings of these phylogenetically basal birds varied greatly in size and tempo of skeletal maturation.

  4. Characterization of low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds in Mongolia 2005 through 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    During 2005, 2006 and 2007 2,139 specimens representing 4,077 individual birds of 45 species were tested for avian influenza virus (AIV) as part of a wild bird AIV monitoring program conducted in Mongolia. Samples collected in 2005 were tested by virus isolation directly, samples from 2006 and 2007...

  5. Species diversity and richness of wild birds in Dagona-Waterfowl ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The data were tested with the Kolmogorov- Smirnov method o determine distribution level and birds' diversity was assessed using Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index, while parametric tests were applied for all data. The results showed that bird species diversity was normally distributed in all the sites, site 2 had the highest ...

  6. Sexy birds are superior at solving a foraging problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateos-Gonzalez, Fernando; Quesada, Javier; Senar, Juan Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Yellow, red or orange carotenoid-based colorations in male birds are often a signal to prospecting females about body condition, health status and ability to find food. However, this general ‘ability to find food’ has never been defined. Here we show that more brightly ornamented individuals may also be more efficient when foraging in novel situations. The results highlight the fact that evolution may have provided females tools to evaluate cognitive abilities of the males. PMID:21450725

  7. Why Flightless Birds are 'Condemned' to Lay Eggs

    OpenAIRE

    Barreiros, João P.

    2017-01-01

    Letter To Editor Birds evolved very fast and are the only vertebrate group that never turned to ovoviviparity. While this is explainable as an evolutionary pressure for feathered flight and reduced size, their fast evolution apparently caused the disappearance of a significant proportion of genes. However posterior evolutionary trends of Aves to become flightless and with increased body sizes were not accompanied by an ‘expected’ turn to ovoviviparity, something known for a number of repti...

  8. 21 CFR 1240.65 - Psittacine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Psittacine birds. 1240.65 Section 1240.65 Food and... DISEASES Specific Administrative Decisions Regarding Interstate Shipments § 1240.65 Psittacine birds. (a) The term psittacine birds shall include all birds commonly known as parrots, Amazons, Mexican double...

  9. Qualitative skeletal correlates of wing shape in extant birds (Aves: Neoaves)

    OpenAIRE

    Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2015-01-01

    Background Among living fliers (birds, bats, and insects), birds display relatively high aspect ratios, a dimensionless shape variable that distinguishes long and narrow vs. short and broad wings. Increasing aspect ratio results in a functional tradeoff between low induced drag (efficient cruise) and increased wing inertia (difficult takeoff). Given the wide scope of its functional effects, the pattern of aspect ratio evolution is an important factor that contributes to the substantial ecolog...

  10. Can sexual selection drive female life histories? A comparative study on Galliform birds

    OpenAIRE

    Kolm, N.; Stein, R. W.; Mooers, A. O.; Verspoor, J. J.; Cunningham, E. J. A.

    2007-01-01

    Sexual selection has been identified as a major evolutionary force shaping male life history traits but its impact on female life history evolution is less clear. Here we examine the impact of sexual selection on three key female traits (body size, egg size and clutch size) in Galliform birds. Using comparative independent contrast analyses and directional DISCRETE analyses, based on published data and a new genera-level supertree phylogeny of Galliform birds, we investigated how sexual selec...

  11. Millipedes (Diplopoda) in birds' nests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tajovský, Karel; Mock, A.; Krumpál, M.

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 37, - (2001), s. 321-323 ISSN 1164-5563 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6066911 Keywords : birds nests * microsites * millipedes Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.317, year: 2001

  12. Poisonous birds: A timely review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ligabue-Braun, Rodrigo; Carlini, Célia Regina

    2015-06-01

    Until very recently, toxicity was not considered a trait observed in birds, but works published in the last two decades started to shed light on this subject. Poisonous birds are rare (or little studied), and comprise Pitohui and Ifrita birds from Papua New Guinea, the European quail, the Spoor-winged goose, the Hoopees, the North American Ruffed grouse, the Bronzewings, and the Red warbler. A hundred more species are considered unpalatable or malodorous to humans and other animals. The present review intends to present the current understanding of bird toxicity, possibly pointing to an ignored research field. Whenever possible, biochemical characteristics of these poisons and their effects on humans and other animals are discussed, along with historical aspects of poison discovery and evolutionary hypothesis regarding their function. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. [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).

  14. 75 FR 52873 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Final Frameworks for Early-Season Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-30

    ... resources including migratory birds and their habitats. Large-scale efforts to influence bird migration and... timing and speed of bird migrations. It is possible that re-distribution of birds at smaller scales could...-0040; 91200-1231-9BPP-L2] RIN 1018-AX06 Migratory Bird Hunting; Final Frameworks for Early-Season...

  15. 76 FR 54675 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian Reservations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-01

    ... Service 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal...-L2] RIN 1018-AX34 Migratory Bird Hunting; Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal..., Interior. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: This rule prescribes special early-season migratory bird hunting...

  16. 77 FR 49679 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-08-16

    ... Service 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain...-FXMB1231099BPP0L2] RIN 1018-AX97 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain...) proposes special migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off...

  17. 77 FR 29515 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-17

    ... Service 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting...] RIN 1018-AX97 Migratory Bird Hunting; Supplemental Proposals for Migratory Game Bird Hunting... in an earlier document to establish annual hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds for...

  18. 78 FR 47135 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain Federal Indian...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-02

    ... Service 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain...-FXMB1231099BPP0] RIN 1018-AY87 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations on Certain...) proposes special migratory bird hunting regulations for certain Tribes on Federal Indian reservations, off...

  19. Chernobyl birds have smaller brains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anders Pape Møller

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Animals living in areas contaminated by radioactive material from Chernobyl suffer from increased oxidative stress and low levels of antioxidants. Therefore, normal development of the nervous system is jeopardized as reflected by high frequencies of developmental errors, reduced brain size and impaired cognitive abilities in humans. Alternatively, associations between psychological effects and radiation have been attributed to post-traumatic stress in humans.Here we used an extensive sample of 550 birds belonging to 48 species to test the prediction that even in the absence of post-traumatic stress, there is a negative association between relative brain size and level of background radiation. We found a negative association between brain size as reflected by external head volume and level of background radiation, independent of structural body size and body mass. The observed reduction in brain size in relation to background radiation amounted to 5% across the range of almost a factor 5,000 in radiation level. Species differed significantly in reduction in brain size with increasing background radiation, and brain size was the only morphological character that showed a negative relationship with radiation. Brain size was significantly smaller in yearlings than in older individuals.Low dose radiation can have significant effects on normal brain development as reflected by brain size and therefore potentially cognitive ability. The fact that brain size was smaller in yearlings than in older individuals implies that there was significant directional selection on brain size with individuals with larger brains experiencing a viability advantage.

  20. Trypanosomes of some Fennoscandian birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon F. Bennett

    1994-12-01

    Full Text Available Linear measurements and derived indices of trypanosomes from species of Fennoscandian birds were compared to those reported form Trypanosoma avium, T. everetti, T. ontarioensis and T. paddae. The trypanosomes encountered in the Fennoscandian birds were identified as T. avium from Tengmalm's owl Aegolius funereus and the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca, T. everetti from the great tit Parus major and collared flycatcher F. albicollis and T. ontarioensis from the collared flycatcher; T. paddae was not seen.

  1. Prevalence and diversity of Lyme borreliosis bacteria in marine birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duneau, David; Boulinier, Thierry; Gómez-Díaz, Elena; Petersen, Aevar; Tveraa, Torkild; Barrett, Robert T; McCoy, Karen D

    2008-05-01

    A potential role of seabirds in spreading Lyme disease (LB) spirochetes over large spatial scales was suggested more than 10 years ago when Borrelia garinii was observed in marine birds of both hemispheres. Since then, there have been few studies examining the diversity of Borrelia spp. circulating in seabirds, or the potential interaction between terrestrial and marine disease cycles. To explore these aspects, we tested 402 Ixodes uriae ticks collected from five colonial seabird species by amplification of the flaB gene. Both the average prevalence (26.0%+/-3.9) and diversity of LB spirochetes was high. Phylogenetic analyses grouped marine isolates in two main clades: one associated with B. garinii and another with B. lusitaniae, a genospecies typically associated with lizards. One sequence also clustered most closely with B. burgdorferi sensu stricto. Prevalence in ticks varied both among seabird species within colonies and among colonies. However, there was no clear association between different Borrelia isolates and a given seabird host species. Our findings indicate that LB spirochetes circulating in the marine system are more diverse than previously described and support the hypothesis that seabirds may be an important component in the global epidemiology and evolution of Lyme disease. Future work should help determine the extent to which isolates are shared between marine and terrestrial systems.

  2. The role of wing kinematics of freely flying birds downstream the wake of flapping wings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Krishnamoorthy; Gurka, Roi

    2016-11-01

    Avian aerodynamics has been a topic of research for centuries. Avian flight features such as flapping, morphing and maneuvering make bird aerodynamics a complex system to study, analyze and understand. Aerodynamic performance of the flapping wings can be quantified by measuring the vortex structures present in the downstream wake. Still, the direct correlation between the flapping wing kinematics and the evolution of wake features need to be established. In this present study, near wake of three bird species (western sandpiper, European starling and American robin) have been measured experimentally. Long duration, time-resolved, particle image velocimetry technique has been used to capture the wake properties. Simultaneously, the bird kinematics have been captured using high speed camera. Wake structures are reconstructed from the collected PIV images for long chord distances downstream. Wake vorticities and circulation are expressed in the wake composites. Comparison of the wake features of the three birds shows similarities and some key differences are also found. Wing tip motions of the birds are extracted for four continuous wing beat cycle to analyze the wing kinematics. Kinematic parameters of all the three birds are compared to each other and similar trends exhibited by all the birds have been observed. A correlation between the wake evolutions with the wing motion is presented. It was found that the wings' motion generates unique flow patterns at the near wake, especially at the transition phases. At these locations, a drastic change in the circulation was observed.

  3. On the maintenance of bird song dialects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planqué, Robert; Britton, Nicholas F; Slabbekoorn, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Many bird species, especially song birds but also for instance some hummingbirds and parrots, have noted dialects. By this we mean that locally a particular song is sung by the majority of the birds, but that neighbouring patches may feature different song types. Behavioural ecologists have been interested in how such dialects come about and how they are maintained for over 45 years. As a result, a great deal is known about different mechanisms at play, such as dispersal, assortative mating and learning of songs, and there are several competing hypotheses to explain the dialect patterns known in nature. There is, however, surprisingly little theoretical work testing these different hypotheses at present. We analyse the simplest kind of model that takes into account the most important biological mechanisms, and in which one may speak of dialects: a model in which there are but two patches, and two song types. It teaches us that a combination of little dispersal and strong assortative mating ensures dialects are maintained. Assuming a simple, linear frequency-dependent learning rule has little effect on the maintenance of dialects. A nonlinear learning rule, however, has dramatic consequences and greatly facilitates dialect maintenance. Adding fitness benefits for singing particular songs in a given patch also has a great impact. Now rare song types may invade and remain in the population.

  4. Avian malaria and bird humoral immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delhaye, Jessica; Jenkins, Tania; Glaizot, Olivier; Christe, Philippe

    2018-02-09

    Plasmodium parasites are known to impose fitness costs on their vertebrate hosts. Some of these costs are due to the activation of the immune response, which may divert resources away from self-maintenance. Plasmodium parasites may also immuno-deplete their hosts. Thus, infected individuals may be less able to mount an immune response to a new pathogen than uninfected ones. However, this has been poorly investigated. The effect of Plasmodium infection on bird humoral immune response when encountering a novel antigen was tested. A laboratory experiment was conducted on canaries (Serinus canaria) experimentally infected with Plasmodium relictum (lineage SGS1) under controlled conditions. Birds were immune challenged with an intra-pectoral injection of a novel non-pathogenic antigen (keyhole limpet haemocyanin, KLH). One week later they were challenged again. The immune responses to the primary and to the secondary contacts were quantified as anti-KLH antibody production via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). There was no significant difference in antibody production between uninfected and Plasmodium infected birds at both primary and secondary contact. However, Plasmodium parasite intensity in the blood increased after the primary contact with the antigen. There was no effect of Plasmodium infection on the magnitude of the humoral immune response. However, there was a cost of mounting an immune response in infected individuals as parasitaemia increased after the immune challenge, suggesting a trade-off between current control of chronic Plasmodium infection and investment against a new immune challenge.

  5. An Autonomous System for Experimental Evolution of Microbial Cultures: Test Results Using Ultraviolet-C Radiation and Escherichia Coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouandji, Cynthia; Wang, Jonathan; Arismendi, Dillon; Lee, Alonzo; Blaich, Justin; Gentry, Diana

    2017-01-01

    At its core, the field of microbial experimental evolution seeks to elucidate the natural laws governing the history of microbial life by understanding its underlying driving mechanisms. However, observing evolution in nature is complex, as environmental conditions are difficult to control. Laboratory-based experiments for observing population evolution provide more control, but manually culturing and studying multiple generations of microorganisms can be time consuming, labor intensive, and prone to inconsistency. We have constructed a prototype, closed system device that automates the process of directed evolution experiments in microorganisms. It is compatible with any liquid microbial culture, including polycultures and field samples, provides flow control and adjustable agitation, continuously monitors optical density (OD), and can dynamically control environmental pressures such as ultraviolet-C (UV-C) radiation and temperature. Here, the results of the prototype are compared to iterative exposure and survival assays conducted using a traditional hood, UV-C lamp, and shutter system.

  6. A polar system of intercontinental bird migration

    OpenAIRE

    Alerstam, Thomas; Bäckman, Johan; Gudmundsson, Gudmundur A; Hedenström, Anders; Henningsson, Sara S; Karlsson, Håkan; Rosén, Mikael; Strandberg, Roine

    2007-01-01

    Studies of bird migration in the Beringia region of Alaska and eastern Siberia are of special interest for revealing the importance of bird migration between Eurasia and North America, for evaluating orientation principles used by the birds at polar latitudes and for understanding the evolutionary implications of intercontinental migratory connectivity among birds as well as their parasites. We used tracking radar placed onboard the ice-breaker Oden to register bird migratory flights from 30 ...

  7. A molecular mechanism for the origin of a key evolutionary innovation, the bird beak and palate, revealed by an integrative approach to major transitions in vertebrate history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S; Morris, Zachary S; Sefton, Elizabeth M; Tok, Atalay; Tokita, Masayoshi; Namkoong, Bumjin; Camacho, Jasmin; Burnham, David A; Abzhanov, Arhat

    2015-07-01

    The avian beak is a key evolutionary innovation whose flexibility has permitted birds to diversify into a range of disparate ecological niches. We approached the problem of the mechanism behind this innovation using an approach bridging paleontology, comparative anatomy, and experimental developmental biology. First, we used fossil and extant data to show the beak is distinctive in consisting of fused premaxillae that are geometrically distinct from those of ancestral archosaurs. To elucidate underlying developmental mechanisms, we examined candidate gene expression domains in the embryonic face: the earlier frontonasal ectodermal zone (FEZ) and the later midfacial WNT-responsive region, in birds and several reptiles. This permitted the identification of an autapomorphic median gene expression region in Aves. To test the mechanism, we used inhibitors of both pathways to replicate in chicken the ancestral amniote expression. Altering the FEZ altered later WNT responsiveness to the ancestral pattern. Skeletal phenotypes from both types of experiments had premaxillae that clustered geometrically with ancestral fossil forms instead of beaked birds. The palatal region was also altered to a more ancestral phenotype. This is consistent with the fossil record and with the tight functional association of avian premaxillae and palate in forming a kinetic beak. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  8. Effects of food supplementation on a tropical bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Class, Alexandra M; Moore, Ignacio T

    2013-10-01

    Tropical birds typically exhibit a 'slow pace of life' relative to higher latitude species. This is often manifested as slow development, low fecundity, and high survival. Following from this, it is predicted that tropical birds may be more likely to trade current reproductive effort to favor self-maintenance, thus supporting survival and future reproduction. To test this idea, we conducted two food supplementation experiments on tropical rufous-collared sparrows (Zonotrichia capensis) in the eastern Andes of Ecuador. In the first experiment, we food-supplemented pairs during the non-breeding life-history stage, and in the second experiment, we food-supplemented pairs that were provisioning fledglings. In both experiments, a larger proportion of food-supplemented birds exhibited pre-basic molt (replacement of feathers) than in a control group. To our knowledge, this is the first study to experimentally demonstrate that a food-supplemented bird invests extra resources into molt, a form of self-maintenance, and contrasts with the majority of food supplementation studies in high latitude birds that show they typically advance the initiation of, or extend the period of, reproduction. Our results are consistent with the syndrome of the slow pace of life in the tropics and support the concept of fundamental differences between temperate-zone and tropical birds.

  9. Noise pollution filters bird communities based on vocal frequency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clinton D Francis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Human-generated noise pollution now permeates natural habitats worldwide, presenting evolutionarily novel acoustic conditions unprecedented to most landscapes. These acoustics not only harm humans, but threaten wildlife, and especially birds, via changes to species densities, foraging behavior, reproductive success, and predator-prey interactions. Explanations for negative effects of noise on birds include disruption of acoustic communication through energetic masking, potentially forcing species that rely upon acoustic communication to abandon otherwise suitable areas. However, this hypothesis has not been adequately tested because confounding stimuli often co-vary with noise and are difficult to separate from noise exposure. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a natural experiment that controls for confounding stimuli, we evaluate whether species vocal features or urban-tolerance classifications explain their responses to noise measured through habitat use. Two data sets representing nesting and abundance responses reveal that noise filters bird communities nonrandomly. Signal duration and urban tolerance failed to explain species-specific responses, but birds with low-frequency signals that are more susceptible to masking from noise avoided noisy areas and birds with higher frequency vocalizations remained. Signal frequency was also negatively correlated with body mass, suggesting that larger birds may be more sensitive to noise due to the link between body size and vocal frequency. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that acoustic masking by noise may be a strong selective force shaping the ecology of birds worldwide. Larger birds with lower frequency signals may be excluded from noisy areas, whereas smaller species persist via transmission of higher frequency signals. We discuss our findings as they relate to interspecific relationships among body size, vocal amplitude and frequency and suggest that they are

  10. Noise pollution filters bird communities based on vocal frequency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Clinton D; Ortega, Catherine P; Cruz, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    Human-generated noise pollution now permeates natural habitats worldwide, presenting evolutionarily novel acoustic conditions unprecedented to most landscapes. These acoustics not only harm humans, but threaten wildlife, and especially birds, via changes to species densities, foraging behavior, reproductive success, and predator-prey interactions. Explanations for negative effects of noise on birds include disruption of acoustic communication through energetic masking, potentially forcing species that rely upon acoustic communication to abandon otherwise suitable areas. However, this hypothesis has not been adequately tested because confounding stimuli often co-vary with noise and are difficult to separate from noise exposure. Using a natural experiment that controls for confounding stimuli, we evaluate whether species vocal features or urban-tolerance classifications explain their responses to noise measured through habitat use. Two data sets representing nesting and abundance responses reveal that noise filters bird communities nonrandomly. Signal duration and urban tolerance failed to explain species-specific responses, but birds with low-frequency signals that are more susceptible to masking from noise avoided noisy areas and birds with higher frequency vocalizations remained. Signal frequency was also negatively correlated with body mass, suggesting that larger birds may be more sensitive to noise due to the link between body size and vocal frequency. Our findings suggest that acoustic masking by noise may be a strong selective force shaping the ecology of birds worldwide. Larger birds with lower frequency signals may be excluded from noisy areas, whereas smaller species persist via transmission of higher frequency signals. We discuss our findings as they relate to interspecific relationships among body size, vocal amplitude and frequency and suggest that they are immediately relevant to the global problem of increases in noise by providing critical insight as

  11. Linking foraging decisions to residential yard bird composition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susannah B Lerman

    Full Text Available Urban bird communities have higher densities but lower diversity compared with wildlands. However, recent studies show that residential urban yards with native plantings have higher native bird diversity compared with yards with exotic vegetation. Here we tested whether landscape designs also affect bird foraging behavior. We estimated foraging decisions by measuring the giving-up densities (GUD; amount of food resources remaining when the final forager quits foraging on an artificial food patch, i.e seed trays in residential yards in Phoenix, AZ, USA. We assessed how two yard designs (mesic: lush, exotic vegetation; xeric: drought-tolerant and native vegetation differed in foraging costs. Further, we developed a statistical model to calculate GUDs for every species visiting the seed tray. Birds foraging in mesic yards depleted seed trays to a lower level (i.e. had lower GUDs compared to birds foraging in xeric yards. After accounting for bird densities, the lower GUDs in mesic yards appeared largely driven by invasive and synanthropic species. Furthermore, behavioral responses of individual species were affected by yard design. Species visiting trays in both yard designs had lower GUDs in mesic yards. Differences in resource abundance (i.e., alternative resources more abundant and of higher quality in xeric yards contributed to our results, while predation costs associated with foraging did not. By enhancing the GUD, a common method for assessing the costs associated with foraging, our statistical model provided insights into how individual species and bird densities influenced the GUD. These differences we found in foraging behavior were indicative of differences in habitat quality, and thus our study lends additional support for native landscapes to help reverse the loss of urban bird diversity.

  12. [Stable morphologies and mosaicism in the macroevolution of birds (Neornithes)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenkov, N V

    2015-01-01

    Modern orders of Neornithine birds are separated by distinct morphological gaps, hampering the development of particular models. of macroevolutionary transformations. However, recent decades have witnessed the discovery and extensive study of many fossil groups of birds, which shed light on the origin of modern higher taxa. These fossils further allow analyzing the whole process of the macroevolutionary change in this group of vertebrates during the Cenozoic. Here, a brief review is presented of the "transitional" taxa with special attention to representative of the clade Galloanseres. Almost all transitional groups of fossil birds do display mosaic morphology. It is noted that many stable morphologies (characters and character complexes) persist in different groups, occurring either as primitive states, or as advanced ones. The stable recurrence of these characters is caused by the persistence of stable ontogenetic pathways. On the other hand, independent evolution of various morphologies can be explained by the modular organization of the development. The modularity in the structure of the foot is used here as an example to show a possible way of the origin of the foot in extant perching birds (Passeriformes). The mosaic morphology of the transitional taxa is seen as the only possible way to overcome the evolutionary constraint of the parallel optimization of numerous organismal systems. It is noted that in course of macroevolutionary change, no complete filling of morphological gaps occur. Transitional forms are separated by additional gaps from their ancestors and descendants. Hence, stem groups are seen as the most probable ancestors of crown taxa. It is further noted that the evolutionary formation of some higher taxa of the living birds was initiated by the evolution of advanced morphology of the feeding apparatus and skull, while change in their. postcranial morphology was delayed.

  13. Bird fruit preferences match the frequency of fruit colours in tropical Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Qiong; Goodale, Eben; Quan, Rui-chang

    2014-01-01

    While many factors explain the colour of fleshy fruits, it is thought that black and red fruits are common in part because frugivorous birds prefer these colours. We examined this still controversial hypothesis at a tropical Asian field site, using artificial fruits, fresh fruits, four wild-caught resident frugivorous bird species, and hand-raised naïve birds from three of the same species. We demonstrate that all birds favored red artificial fruits more than yellow, blue, black and green, although the artificial black colour was found subsequently to be similar to the artificial blue colour in its spectral reflectance. Wild-caught birds preferred both black and red fleshy natural fruits, whereas hand-raised naïve birds preferred black to red natural fleshy fruits and to those of other colours. All birds avoided artificial and naturally ripe green fruits. The inter-individual variation in colour choice was low and the preferences were constant over time, supporting the hypothesis that bird colour preferences are a contributing factor driving fruit colour evolution in tropical Asia. PMID:25033283

  14. The ornithologist Alfred Russel Wallace and the controversy surrounding the dinosaurian origin of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Nizar; Kutschera, Ulrich

    2013-12-01

    Over many years of his life, the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) explored the tropical forests of Malaysia, collecting numerous specimens, including hundreds of birds, many of them new to science. Subsequently, Wallace published a series of papers on systematic ornithology, and discovered a new species on top of a volcano on Ternate, where he wrote, in 1858, his famous essay on natural selection. Based on this hands-on experience, and an analysis of an Archaeopteryx fossil, Wallace suggested that birds may have descended from dinosaurian ancestors. Here, we describe the "dinosaur-bird hypothesis" that originated with the work of Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895). We present the strong evidence linking theropod dinosaurs to birds, and briefly outline the long and ongoing controversy around this concept. Dinosaurs preserving plumage, nesting sites and trace fossils provide overwhelming evidence for the dinosaurian origin of birds. Based on these recent findings of paleontological research, we conclude that extant birds indeed descended, with some modifications, from small, Mesozoic theropod dinosaurs. In the light of Wallace's view of bird origins, we critically evaluate recent opposing views to this idea, including Ernst Mayr's (1904-2005) arguments against the "dinosaur-bird hypothesis", and document that this famous ornithologist was not correct in his assessment of this important aspect of vertebrate evolution.

  15. Bird fruit preferences match the frequency of fruit colours in tropical Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Qiong; Goodale, Eben; Quan, Rui-chang

    2014-07-17

    While many factors explain the colour of fleshy fruits, it is thought that black and red fruits are common in part because frugivorous birds prefer these colours. We examined this still controversial hypothesis at a tropical Asian field site, using artificial fruits, fresh fruits, four wild-caught resident frugivorous bird species, and hand-raised naïve birds from three of the same species. We demonstrate that all birds favored red artificial fruits more than yellow, blue, black and green, although the artificial black colour was found subsequently to be similar to the artificial blue colour in its spectral reflectance. Wild-caught birds preferred both black and red fleshy natural fruits, whereas hand-raised naïve birds preferred black to red natural fleshy fruits and to those of other colours. All birds avoided artificial and naturally ripe green fruits. The inter-individual variation in colour choice was low and the preferences were constant over time, supporting the hypothesis that bird colour preferences are a contributing factor driving fruit colour evolution in tropical Asia.

  16. Composition and structure of bird communities in vegetational gradients of Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Franco L; Laps, Rudi R; Ribeiro, Danilo B

    2016-03-01

    The informations of bird species distribution in different habitats and the structure of their communities are crucial for bird conservation. We tested the differences in composition, richness and abundance of birds in different phytophysiognomies at Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil, and we demonstrated the variations in richness and abundance of birds between different trophic groups. Sampling was conducted between July 2011 and June 2012 in 200 point counts arranged in the study area. A total of 3350 contacts were obtained belonging to 156 bird species. Woodland savannas, seasonal forests and arboreal savannas had higher bird abundance and richness, while riparian forests, clean pastures and dirty pastures had smaller values of these parameters. The bird community was organized according to local vegetational gradient, with communities of forests, open areas and savannas, although many species occurred in more than one vegetation type. The insectivorous, omnivorous, frugivorous and gramnivorous birds composed most of the community. These data showed how important environmental heterogeneity is to bird communities. Furthermore, the presence of extensive patches of natural habitats, the small distance between these patches and the permeability of pastures, with high arboreal and shrubby cover, are indicated as important factors to maintain the bird diversity.

  17. Composition and structure of bird communities in vegetational gradients of Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAURICIO N. GODOI

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The informations of bird species distribution in different habitats and the structure of their communities are crucial for bird conservation. We tested the differences in composition, richness and abundance of birds in different phytophysiognomies at Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil, and we demonstrated the variations in richness and abundance of birds between different trophic groups. Sampling was conducted between July 2011 and June 2012 in 200 point counts arranged in the study area. A total of 3350 contacts were obtained belonging to 156 bird species. Woodland savannas, seasonal forests and arboreal savannas had higher bird abundance and richness, while riparian forests, clean pastures and dirty pastures had smaller values of these parameters. The bird community was organized according to local vegetational gradient, with communities of forests, open areas and savannas, although many species occurred in more than one vegetation type. The insectivorous, omnivorous, frugivorous and gramnivorous birds composed most of the community. These data showed how important environmental heterogeneity is to bird communities. Furthermore, the presence of extensive patches of natural habitats, the small distance between these patches and the permeability of pastures, with high arboreal and shrubby cover, are indicated as important factors to maintain the bird diversity.

  18. Lab-on-a-bird: biophysical monitoring of flying birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gumus, Abdurrahman; Lee, Seoho; Ahsan, Syed S; Karlsson, Kolbeinn; Gabrielson, Richard; Guglielmo, Christopher G; Winkler, David W; Erickson, David

    2015-01-01

    The metabolism of birds is finely tuned to their activities and environments, and thus research on avian systems can play an important role in understanding organismal responses to environmental changes. At present, however, the physiological monitoring of bird metabolism is limited by the inability to take real-time measurements of key metabolites during flight. In this study, we present an implantable biosensor system that can be used for continuous monitoring of uric acid levels of birds during various activities including flight. The system consists of a needle-type enzymatic biosensor for the amperometric detection of uric acid in interstitial fluids. A lightweight two-electrode potentiostat system drives the biosensor, reads the corresponding output current and wirelessly transfers the data or records to flash memory. We show how the device can be used to monitor, in real time, the effects of short-term flight and rest cycles on the uric acid levels of pigeons. In addition, we demonstrate that our device has the ability to measure uric acid level increase in homing pigeons while they fly freely. Successful application of the sensor in migratory birds could open up a new way of studying birds in flight which would lead to a better understanding of the ecology and biology of avian movements.

  19. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Florida Panhandle: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  20. Sensitivity of Coastal Environments and Wildlife to Spilled Oil: Mississippi: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  1. Annotated Bibliography of Bird Hazards to Aircraft: Bird Strike Committee Citations 1967-1997

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Short, Jeffrey

    1998-01-01

    .... This annotated bibliography of bird hazards to aircraft, termed ABBHA, is a compilation of citations with abstracts on a wide range of related topics such as bird strike tolerance engineering, bird...

  2. Evolving nonapeptide mechanisms of gregariousness and social diversity in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodson, James L; Kelly, Aubrey M; Kingsbury, Marcy A

    2012-03-01

    Of the major vertebrate taxa, Class Aves is the most extensively studied in relation to the evolution of social systems and behavior, largely because birds exhibit an incomparable balance of tractability, diversity, and cognitive complexity. In addition, like humans, most bird species are socially monogamous, exhibit biparental care, and conduct most of their social interactions through auditory and visual modalities. These qualities make birds attractive as research subjects, and also make them valuable for comparative studies of neuroendocrine mechanisms. This value has become increasingly apparent as more and more evidence shows that social behavior circuits of the basal forebrain and midbrain are deeply conserved (from an evolutionary perspective), and particularly similar in birds and mammals. Among the strongest similarities are the basic structures and functions of avian and mammalian nonapeptide systems, which include mesotocin (MT) and arginine vasotocin (VT) systems in birds, and the homologous oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (VP) systems, respectively, in mammals. We here summarize these basic properties, and then describe a research program that has leveraged the social diversity of estrildid finches to gain insights into the nonapeptide mechanisms of grouping, a behavioral dimension that is not experimentally tractable in most other taxa. These studies have used five monogamous, biparental finch species that exhibit group sizes ranging from territorial male-female pairs to large flocks containing hundreds or thousands of birds. The results provide novel insights into the history of nonapeptide functions in amniote vertebrates, and yield remarkable clarity on the nonapeptide biology of dinosaurs and ancient mammals. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Social Behavior. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Deconvoluting lung evolution: from phenotypes to gene regulatory networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torday, J.S.; Rehan, V.K.; Hicks, J.W.

    2007-01-01

    other. Pathways of lung evolution are similar between crocodiles and birds but a low compliance of mammalian lung may have driven the development of the diaphragm to permit lung inflation during inspiration. To meet the high oxygen demands of flight, bird lungs have evolved separate gas exchange...

  4. Adaptive processes drive ecomorphological convergent evolution in antwrens (Thamnophilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, Gustavo A; Remsen, J V; Brumfield, Robb T

    2014-10-01

    Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) and convergence are contrasting evolutionary patterns that describe phenotypic similarity across independent lineages. Assessing whether and how adaptive processes give origin to these patterns represent a fundamental step toward understanding phenotypic evolution. Phylogenetic model-based approaches offer the opportunity not only to distinguish between PNC and convergence, but also to determine the extent that adaptive processes explain phenotypic similarity. The Myrmotherula complex in the Neotropical family Thamnophilidae is a polyphyletic group of sexually dimorphic small insectivorous forest birds that are relatively homogeneous in size and shape. Here, we integrate a comprehensive species-level molecular phylogeny of the Myrmotherula complex with morphometric and ecological data within a comparative framework to test whether phenotypic similarity is described by a pattern of PNC or convergence, and to identify evolutionary mechanisms underlying body size and shape evolution. We show that antwrens in the Myrmotherula complex represent distantly related clades that exhibit adaptive convergent evolution in body size and divergent evolution in body shape. Phenotypic similarity in the group is primarily driven by their tendency to converge toward smaller body sizes. Differences in body size and shape across lineages are associated to ecological and behavioral factors. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Sex, long life and the evolutionary transition to cooperative breeding in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downing, Philip A; Cornwallis, Charlie K; Griffin, Ashleigh S

    2015-10-07

    Long life is a typical feature of individuals living in cooperative societies. One explanation is that group living lowers mortality, which selects for longer life. Alternatively, long life may make the evolution of cooperation more likely by ensuring a long breeding tenure, making helping behaviour and queuing for breeding positions worthwhile. The benefit of queuing will, however, depend on whether individuals gain indirect fitness benefits while helping, which is determined by female promiscuity. Where promiscuity is high and therefore the indirect fitness benefits of helping are low, cooperation can still be favoured by an even longer life span. We present the results of comparative analyses designed to test the likelihood of a causal relationship between longevity and cooperative breeding by reconstructing ancestral states of cooperative breeding across birds, and by examining the effect of female promiscuity on the relationship between these two traits. We found that long life makes the evolution of cooperation more likely and that promiscuous cooperative species are exceptionally long lived. These results make sense of promiscuity in cooperative breeders and clarify the importance of life-history traits in the evolution of cooperative breeding, illustrating that cooperation can evolve via the combination of indirect and direct fitness benefits. © 2015 The Author(s).

  6. From plants to birds: higher avian predation rates in trees responding to insect herbivory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elina Mäntylä

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: An understanding of the evolution of potential signals from plants to the predators of their herbivores may provide exciting examples of co-evolution among multiple trophic levels. Understanding the mechanism behind the attraction of predators to plants is crucial to conclusions about co-evolution. For example, insectivorous birds are attracted to herbivore-damaged trees without seeing the herbivores or the defoliated parts, but it is not known whether birds use cues from herbivore-damaged plants with a specific adaptation of plants for this purpose. METHODOLOGY: We examined whether signals from damaged trees attract avian predators in the wild and whether birds could use volatile organic compound (VOC emissions or net photosynthesis of leaves as cues to detect herbivore-rich trees. We conducted a field experiment with mountain birches (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii, their main herbivore (Epirrita autumnata and insectivorous birds. Half of the trees had herbivore larvae defoliating trees hidden inside branch bags and half had empty bags as controls. We measured predation rate of birds towards artificial larvae on tree branches, and VOC emissions and net photosynthesis of leaves. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS AND SIGNIFICANCE: The predation rate was higher in the herbivore trees than in the control trees. This confirms that birds use cues from trees to locate insect-rich trees in the wild. The herbivore trees had decreased photosynthesis and elevated emissions of many VOCs, which suggests that birds could use either one, or both, as cues. There was, however, large variation in how the VOC emission correlated with predation rate. Emissions of (E-DMNT [(E-4,8-dimethyl-1,3,7-nonatriene], beta-ocimene and linalool were positively correlated with predation rate, while those of highly inducible green leaf volatiles were not. These three VOCs are also involved in the attraction of insect parasitoids and predatory mites to herbivore-damaged plants

  7. Anticipatory Manoeuvres in Bird Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vo, Hong D.; Schiffner, Ingo; Srinivasan, Mandyam V.

    2016-01-01

    It is essential for birds to be agile and aware of their immediate environment, especially when flying through dense foliage. To investigate the type of visual signals and strategies used by birds while negotiating cluttered environments, we presented budgerigars with vertically oriented apertures of different widths. We find that, when flying through narrow apertures, birds execute their maneuvers in an anticipatory fashion, with wing closures, if necessary, occurring well in advance of the aperture. When passing through an aperture that is narrower than the wingspan, the birds close their wings at a specific, constant distance before the aperture, which is independent of aperture width. In these cases, the birds also fly significantly higher, possibly pre-compensating for the drop in altitude. The speed of approach is largely constant, and independent of the width of the aperture. The constancy of the approach speed suggests a simple means by which optic flow can be used to gauge the distance and width of the aperture, and guide wing closure. PMID:27270506

  8. Book review: Birds of Delaware

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterjohn, Bruce G.

    2001-01-01

    Located along Delaware Bay and the Atlantic coast, the state of Delaware’s significance for bird conservation has been well established for decades. The extensive tidal habitats and marshes bordering Delaware Bay host shorebird and waterbird populations of hemispheric importance, and protecting these populations has become an urgent conservation priority in recent years. Other habitats found in the state vary from barrier beaches to dry coniferous woods on the coastal plain and mesophytic communities along the Piedmont in the north, allowing a diverse avifauna to prosper within a small geographic area. Ornithologists and birders have actively studied birds within the state for more than a century, but surprisingly, no single reference has provided a complete summary of the status and distribution of the state’s birds until publication of the Birds of Delaware.Review info: Birds of Delaware. By Gene K. Hess, Richard L. West, Maurice V. Barnhill III, and Lorraine M. Fleming, 2000. ISBN: 0-8229-4069-8, 635 pp.

  9. Birds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, P.H.

    2006-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are present throughout the global environment and are produced naturally and by activities of humans. Effects of PAH on birds have been determined by studies employing egg injection, egg immersion, egg shell application, single and multiple oral doses, subcutaneous injection, and chemical analysis of field-collected eggs and tissue. The four-to six-ring aromatic compounds are the most toxic to embryos, young birds, and adult birds. For embryos, effects include death, developmental abnormalities, and a variety of cellular and biochemical responses. For adult and young birds, effects include reduced egg production and hatching, increased clutch or brood abandonment, reduced growth, increased organweights, and a variety of biochemical responses. Trophic level accumulation is unlikely. Environmental exposure to PAH in areas of high human population or habitats affected by recent petroleum spills might be sufficient to adversely affect reproduction. Evidence of long-term effects of elevated concentrations of environmental PAH on bird populations is very limited and the mechanisms of effect are unclear.

  10. Parthenogenesis in birds: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandran, Reshma; McDaniel, Cd

    2018-03-20

    Parthenogenesis or "virgin birth" is embryonic development in unfertilized eggs. It is a routine means of reproduction in many invertebrates. However even though parthenogenesis occurs naturally in even more advanced vertebrates, like birds, it is mostly abortive in nature. In fact, multiple limiting factors, such as delayed and unorganized development as well as unfavorable conditions developing within the unfertilized egg upon incubation, are associated with termination of progressive development of parthenogenetic embryos. In birds, diploid parthenogenesis is automictic and facultative producing only males. However, the mechanisms controlling parthenogenesis in birds are not clearly elucidated. Additionally, it appears from even very recent research that these mechanisms may hinder the normal fertilization process and subsequent embryonic development. For instance, virgin quail and turkey hens exhibiting parthenogenesis have reduced reproductive performance following mating. Also, genetic selection and environmental factors, such as live virus vaccinations, are known to trigger the process of parthenogenesis in birds. Therefore, parthenogenesis has a plausible negative impact on the poultry industry. Hence, a better understanding of parthenogenesis and the mechanisms that control it could benefit commercial poultry production. In this context, the aim of this review is to provide a complete overview of the process of parthenogenesis in birds.

  11. Anticipatory Manoeuvres in Bird Flight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vo, Hong D; Schiffner, Ingo; Srinivasan, Mandyam V

    2016-06-08

    It is essential for birds to be agile and aware of their immediate environment, especially when flying through dense foliage. To investigate the type of visual signals and strategies used by birds while negotiating cluttered environments, we presented budgerigars with vertically oriented apertures of different widths. We find that, when flying through narrow apertures, birds execute their maneuvers in an anticipatory fashion, with wing closures, if necessary, occurring well in advance of the aperture. When passing through an aperture that is narrower than the wingspan, the birds close their wings at a specific, constant distance before the aperture, which is independent of aperture width. In these cases, the birds also fly significantly higher, possibly pre-compensating for the drop in altitude. The speed of approach is largely constant, and independent of the width of the aperture. The constancy of the approach speed suggests a simple means by which optic flow can be used to gauge the distance and width of the aperture, and guide wing closure.

  12. The Aerodynamics of Bird Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spedding, Geoffrey

    2002-11-01

    The manifest success of birds in flight over small and large distances, in confined quarters and also in gusty conditions has inspired admiration, investigation and sometimes imitation from the earthbound human. Birds occupy a range of scales (2 g - 12 kg in mass, and 0.05 - 3 m in wingspan) that overlaps certain micro air vehicle (MAV) designs and there is interest in whether some bird-like properties (flapping wings, deformable feathers, movable tails) might be useful or even necessary for successful MAVs. A bird with 5 cm mean chord flying at 8 m/s has a nominal Reynolds number of 2 - 3 x 10^4. This is an extremely inconvenient range for design, operation and analysis of lifting surfaces, even in steady motion, because their properties are very sensitive to boundary layer separation. The moderate- to high-amplitude flapping motions, together with the complex surface geometry and mechanical properties of the wings themselves lead to yet further challenges. This talk will review some of the theoretical and practical approaches towards understanding and analyzing the aerodynamics of various types of bird flight, including some recent research results that suggest that this effort is far from complete.

  13. Ecological Causes and Consequences of Intratropical Migration in Temperate-Breeding Migratory Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stutchbury, Bridget J M; Siddiqui, Raafia; Applegate, Kelly; Hvenegaard, Glen T; Mammenga, Paul; Mickle, Nanette; Pearman, Myrna; Ray, James D; Savage, Anne; Shaheen, Tim; Fraser, Kevin C

    2016-09-01

    New discoveries from direct tracking of temperate-breeding passerines show that intratropical migration (ITM) occurs in a growing number of species, which has important implications for understanding their evolution of migration, population dynamics, and conservation needs. Our large sample size ([Formula: see text]) for purple martins (Progne subis subis) tracked with geolocators to winter sites in Brazil, combined with geolocator deployments at breeding colonies across North America, allowed us to test hypotheses for ITM, something which has not yet been possible to do for other species. ITM in purple martins was not obligate; only 44% of individuals exhibited ITM, and movements were not coordinated in time or space. We found no evidence to support the resource hypothesis; rainfall and temperature experienced by individual birds during their last 2 weeks at their first roost site were similar to conditions at their second roost site after ITM. Birds generally migrated away from the heavily forested northwestern Amazon to less forested regions to the south and east. ITM in this aerial insectivore appears to support the competition-avoidance hypothesis and may be triggered by increasing local density in the core wintering region. Full life cycle models and migratory networks will need to incorporate ITM to properly address seasonal carryover effects and identify which wintering regions are most important for conservation.

  14. The shapes of bird beaks are highly controlled by nondietary factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bright, Jen A.; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Cobb, Samuel N.

    2016-01-01

    Bird beaks are textbook examples of ecological adaptation to diet, but their shapes are also controlled by genetic and developmental histories. To test the effects of these factors on the avian craniofacial skeleton, we conducted morphometric analyses on raptors, a polyphyletic group at the base of the landbird radiation. Despite common perception, we find that the beak is not an independently targeted module for selection. Instead, the beak and skull are highly integrated structures strongly regulated by size, with axes of shape change linked to the actions of recently identified regulatory genes. Together, size and integration account for almost 80% of the shape variation seen between different species to the exclusion of morphological dietary adaptation. Instead, birds of prey use size as a mechanism to modify their feeding ecology. The extent to which shape variation is confined to a few major axes may provide an advantage in that it facilitates rapid morphological evolution via changes in body size, but may also make raptors especially vulnerable when selection pressures act against these axes. The phylogenetic position of raptors suggests that this constraint is prevalent in all landbirds and that breaking the developmental correspondence between beak and braincase may be the key novelty in classic passerine adaptive radiations. PMID:27125856

  15. Reservoir competence of native North American birds for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsberg, Howard S.; Buckley, P.A.; Balmforth, Maxon G.; Zhioua, Elyes; Mitra, Shaibal; Buckley, Francine G.

    2005-01-01

    Reservoir competence for the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, was tested for six species of native North American birds: American robin, gray catbird, brown thrasher, eastern towhee, song sparrow, and northern cardinal. Wild birds collected by mist netting on Fire Island, NY, were held in a field laboratory in cages over water and locally collected larval ticks were placed on the birds, harvested from the water after engorgement, and tested for infection by direct fluorescent-antibody staining after molting to the nymphal stage. American robins were competent reservoirs, infecting 16.1% of larvae applied to wild-caught birds, compared with 0% of control ticks placed on uninfected laboratory mice. Robins that were previously infected in the laboratory by nymphal feeding infected 81.8% of applied larvae. Wild-caught song sparrows infected 4.8% of applied larvae and 21.1% when infected by nymphal feeding. Results suggest moderate levels of reservoir competence for northern cardinals, lower levels for gray catbirds, and little evidence of reservoir competence for eastern towhees or brown thrashers. Lower infection rates in larvae applied to wild-caught birds compared with birds infected in the laboratory suggest that infected birds display temporal variability in infectiousness to larval ticks. Engorged larvae drop from birds abundantly during daylight, so the abundance of these bird species in the peridomestic environment suggests that they might contribute infected ticks to lawns and gardens.

  16. Evolutionary rates of mitochondrial genomes correspond to diversification rates and to contemporary species richness in birds and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eo, Soo Hyung; DeWoody, J. Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Rates of biological diversification should ultimately correspond to rates of genome evolution. Recent studies have compared diversification rates with phylogenetic branch lengths, but incomplete phylogenies hamper such analyses for many taxa. Herein, we use pairwise comparisons of confamilial sauropsid (bird and reptile) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome sequences to estimate substitution rates. These molecular evolutionary rates are considered in light of the age and species richness of each taxonomic family, using a random-walk speciation–extinction process to estimate rates of diversification. We find the molecular clock ticks at disparate rates in different families and at different genes. For example, evolutionary rates are relatively fast in snakes and lizards, intermediate in crocodilians and slow in turtles and birds. There was also rate variation across genes, where non-synonymous substitution rates were fastest at ATP8 and slowest at CO3. Family-by-gene interactions were significant, indicating that local clocks vary substantially among sauropsids. Most importantly, we find evidence that mitochondrial genome evolutionary rates are positively correlated with speciation rates and with contemporary species richness. Nuclear sequences are poorly represented among reptiles, but the correlation between rates of molecular evolution and species diversification also extends to 18 avian nuclear genes we tested. Thus, the nuclear data buttress our mtDNA findings. PMID:20610427

  17. Seroepizootiology of selected infectious disease agents in free-living birds of prey in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schettler, E; Langgemach, T; Sömmer, P; Streich, J; Frölich, K

    2001-01-01

    Four hundred forty-eight blood plasma samples from free-living birds of prey from Berlin and the Brandenburg area in eastern Germany were tested for antibodies against Newcastle disease virus (NDV), falcon herpesvirus (FHV), owl herpesvirus (OHV), and Chlamydia psittaci. Antibodies to NDV were detected in 6 (2%) of 346 tested diurnal birds of prey, whereas none of the owls (n = 55) was positive. The positive samples originated from two common buzzards (Buteo buteo), three ospreys (Pandion haliactus) and one marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus). Titers varied between 1:8 and 1:32. Of 253 birds of prey one osprey (birds of prey 267 (63%) tested positive for antibodies to Chlamydia psittaci with titers varying between 1:5 and 1:256 which reflects the ubiquitous occurrence of Chlamydia psittaci in these birds of prey.

  18. Invasive alien birds in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fox, Anthony David; Heldbjerg, Henning; Nyegaard, Timme

    2015-01-01

    Avian Introduced Alien Species (IAS) constitute a threat to the integrity of native biodiversity, the economy and human health, so here we briefly review some of the problems posed by such species around the world in relation to such bird species in Denmark. A new European Union Regulation...... on Invasive Alien Species implemented in January 2015 establishes a framework for actions to combat alien species, which requires Member States to prevent the spread of alien species, provide early warning and rapid responses to their presence and management of established alien species where they occur. We...... show the importance of mechanisms such as DOF’s (Dansk Ornitologisk Forening, BirdLife Denmark) Atlas project, Common Bird Census (breeding and wintering species) and DOFbasen to contribute data on the current geographical and numerical distribution of the few serious alien avian species already...

  19. Invasive alien birds in Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyegaard, Timme; Heldbjerg, Henning; Fox, Anthony David

    Avian Introduced Alien Species (IAS) constitute a threat to the integrity of native biodiversity, the economy and human health, so here we briefly review some of the problems posed by such species around the world in relation to bird species in Denmark. A new European Union Regulation on Invasive...... Alien Species implemented in January 2015 requires a framework for actions to combat alien species, which requires Member States to prevent the spread of alien species, provide early warning and rapid responses to their presence and management of established alien species where they occur. We show...... the importance of mechanisms such as DOFs (Danish Ornithological Society, BirdLife Denmark) Atlas project, Common Bird Monitoring (breeding and wintering species) and DOFbasen to contribute data on the current geographical and numerical distribution of the few serious alien avian species already present...

  20. Testing the Effect of Internal Genes Derived from a Wild-Bird-Origin H9N2 Influenza A Virus on the Pathogenicity of an A/H7N9 Virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen Su

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Since 2013, avian influenza A(H7N9 viruses have diversified into multiple lineages by dynamically reassorting with other viruses, especially H9N2, in Chinese poultry. Despite concerns about the pandemic threat posed by H7N9 viruses, little is known about the biological properties of H7N9 viruses that may recruit internal genes from genetically distinct H9N2 viruses circulating among wild birds. Here, we generated 63 H7N9 reassortants derived from an avian H7N9 and a wild-bird-origin H9N2 virus. Compared with the wild-type parent, 25/63 reassortants had increased pathogenicity in mice. A reassortant containing PB1 of the H9N2 virus was highly lethal to mice and chickens but was not transmissible to guinea pigs by airborne routes; however, three substitutions associated with adaptation to mammals conferred airborne transmission to the virus. The emergence of the H7N9-pandemic reassortant virus highlights that continuous monitoring of H7N9 viruses is needed, especially at the domestic poultry/wild bird interface.

  1. Can uncertain landscape evolution models discriminate between landscape responses to stable and changing future climate? A millennial-scale test

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temme, A.J.A.M.; Baartman, J.E.M.; Schoorl, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    In the light of increasing societal interest in the effects of climate change, geomorphologists face the task of discriminating between natural landscape changes and landscape changes that result from human-induced climate change. Landscape Evolution Models (LEMs) are available for this purpose, but

  2. Aerodynamics of wing-assisted incline running in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobalske, Bret W; Dial, Kenneth P

    2007-05-01

    Wing-assisted incline running (WAIR) is a form of locomotion in which a bird flaps its wings to aid its hindlimbs in climbing a slope. WAIR is used for escape in ground birds, and the ontogeny of this behavior in precocial birds has been suggested to represent a model analogous to transitional adaptive states during the evolution of powered avian flight. To begin to reveal the aerodynamics of flap-running, we used digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) and measured air velocity, vorticity, circulation and added mass in the wake of chukar partridge Alectoris chukar as they engaged in WAIR (incline 65-85 degrees; N=7 birds) and ascending flight (85 degrees, N=2). To estimate lift and impulse, we coupled our DPIV data with three-dimensional wing kinematics from a companion study. The ontogeny of lift production was evaluated using three age classes: baby birds incapable of flight [6-8 days post hatching (d.p.h.)] and volant juveniles (25-28 days) and adults (45+ days). All three age classes of birds, including baby birds with partially emerged, symmetrical wing feathers, generated circulation with their wings and exhibited a wake structure that consisted of discrete vortex rings shed once per downstroke. Impulse of the vortex rings during WAIR was directed 45+/-5 degrees relative to horizontal and 21+/-4 degrees relative to the substrate. Absolute values of circulation in vortex cores and induced velocity increased with increasing age. Normalized circulation was similar among all ages in WAIR but 67% greater in adults during flight compared with flap-running. Estimated lift during WAIR was 6.6% of body weight in babies and between 63 and 86% of body weight in juveniles and adults. During flight, average lift was 110% of body weight. Our results reveal for the first time that lift from the wings, rather than wing inertia or profile drag, is primarily responsible for accelerating the body toward the substrate during WAIR, and that partially developed wings, not yet

  3. Is sociality required for the evolution of communicative complexity? Evidence weighed against alternative hypotheses in diverse taxonomic groups.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ord, Terry J; Garcia-Porta, Joan

    2012-07-05

    Complex social communication is expected to evolve whenever animals engage in many and varied social interactions; that is, sociality should promote communicative complexity. Yet, informal comparisons among phylogenetically independent taxonomic groups seem to cast doubt on the putative role of social factors in the evolution of complex communication. Here, we provide a formal test of the sociality hypothesis alongside alternative explanations for the evolution of communicative complexity. We compiled data documenting variations in signal complexity among closely related species for several case study groups--ants, frogs, lizards and birds--and used new phylogenetic methods to investigate the factors underlying communication evolution. Social factors were only implicated in the evolution of complex visual signals in lizards. Ecology, and to some degree allometry, were most likely explanations for complexity in the vocal signals of frogs (ecology) and birds (ecology and allometry). There was some evidence for adaptive evolution in the pheromone complexity of ants, although no compelling selection pressure was identified. For most taxa, phylogenetic null models were consistently ranked above adaptive models and, for some taxa, signal complexity seems to have accumulated in species via incremental or random changes over long periods of evolutionary time. Becoming social presumably leads to the origin of social communication in animals, but its subsequent influence on the trajectory of signal evolution has been neither clear-cut nor general among taxonomic groups.

  4. Bird watching and estimation of bird diversity – not always ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Some occurrences of rare or unusual bird species reported by us in a previous paper (Ostrich 86(3): 267–276, 2015) are considered to be doubtful by Hogg and Vande weghe (Ostrich 88(1): 83–88, 2017). We believe that some of the problems raised are taxonomic. The main objective of our study was to obtain reliable ...

  5. Do Major Roads Reduce Gene Flow in Urban Bird Populations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuping; Suo, Mingli; Liu, Shenglin; Liang, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Background Although the negative effects of roads on the genetics of animal populations have been extensively reported, the question of whether roads reduce gene flow in volant, urban bird populations has so far not been addressed. In this study, we assess whether highways decreased gene flow and genetic variation in a small passerine bird, the tree sparrow (Passer montanus). Methodology We assessed genetic differences among tree sparrows (Passer montanus) sampled at 19 sites within Beijing Municipality, China, using 7 DNA microsatellites as genetic markers. Results AMOVA showed that genetic variation between sites, between urban and rural populations, and between opposite sides of the same highway, were very weak. Mantel tests on all samples, and on urban samples only, indicated that the age and number of highways, and the number of ordinary roads, were uncorrelated with genetic differences (FST) among tree sparrows from different urban sites. Birds sampled at urban sites had similar levels of genetic diversity to those at rural sites. There was, however, evidence of some weak genetic structure between urban sites. Firstly, there were significant genetic differences (FST) between birds from opposite sides of the same highway, but no significant FST values between those from sites that were not separated by highways. Secondly, birds from eleven urban sites had loci that significantly deviated from the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium but no such deviation was found in birds from rural sites. Conclusion We cannot, therefore, conclusively reject the hypothesis that highways have no effect on the gene flow of tree sparrow populations. Furthermore, since the significance of these results may increase with time, we suggested that research on the influence of highways on gene flow in urban bird populations needs to be conducted over several decades. PMID:24204724

  6. Important Bird Areas California Audubon [ds485

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — The objective of this project was to digitally map the boundaries of Audubon California's Important Bird Areas (IBA). Existing Important Bird Areas identify critical...

  7. Rates of dinosaur body mass evolution indicate 170 million years of sustained ecological innovation on the avian stem lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B J; Campione, Nicolás E; Carrano, Matthew T; Mannion, Philip D; Sullivan, Corwin; Upchurch, Paul; Evans, David C

    2014-05-01

    Large-scale adaptive radiations might explain the runaway success of a minority of extant vertebrate clades. This hypothesis predicts, among other things, rapid rates of morphological evolution during the early history of major groups, as lineages invade disparate ecological niches. However, few studies of adaptive radiation have included deep time data, so the links between extant diversity and major extinct radiations are unclear. The intensively studied Mesozoic dinosaur record provides a model system for such investigation, representing an ecologically diverse group that dominated terrestrial ecosystems for 170 million years. Furthermore, with 10,000 species, extant dinosaurs (birds) are the most speciose living tetrapod clade. We assembled composite trees of 614-622 Mesozoic dinosaurs/birds, and a comprehensive body mass dataset using the scaling relationship of limb bone robustness. Maximum-likelihood modelling and the node height test reveal rapid evolutionary rates and a predominance of rapid shifts among size classes in early (Triassic) dinosaurs. This indicates an early burst niche-filling pattern and contrasts with previous studies that favoured gradualistic rates. Subsequently, rates declined in most lineages, which rarely exploited new ecological niches. However, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including Mesozoic birds) sustained rapid evolution from at least the Middle Jurassic, suggesting that these taxa evaded the effects of niche saturation. This indicates that a long evolutionary history of continuing ecological innovation paved the way for a second great radiation of dinosaurs, in birds. We therefore demonstrate links between the predominantly extinct deep time adaptive radiation of non-avian dinosaurs and the phenomenal diversification of birds, via continuing rapid rates of evolution along the phylogenetic stem lineage. This raises the possibility that the uneven distribution of biodiversity results not just from large-scale extrapolation of

  8. Rates of Dinosaur Body Mass Evolution Indicate 170 Million Years of Sustained Ecological Innovation on the Avian Stem Lineage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Roger B. J.; Campione, Nicolás E.; Carrano, Matthew T.; Mannion, Philip D.; Sullivan, Corwin; Upchurch, Paul; Evans, David C.

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale adaptive radiations might explain the runaway success of a minority of extant vertebrate clades. This hypothesis predicts, among other things, rapid rates of morphological evolution during the early history of major groups, as lineages invade disparate ecological niches. However, few studies of adaptive radiation have included deep time data, so the links between extant diversity and major extinct radiations are unclear. The intensively studied Mesozoic dinosaur record provides a model system for such investigation, representing an ecologically diverse group that dominated terrestrial ecosystems for 170 million years. Furthermore, with 10,000 species, extant dinosaurs (birds) are the most speciose living tetrapod clade. We assembled composite trees of 614–622 Mesozoic dinosaurs/birds, and a comprehensive body mass dataset using the scaling relationship of limb bone robustness. Maximum-likelihood modelling and the node height test reveal rapid evolutionary rates and a predominance of rapid shifts among size classes in early (Triassic) dinosaurs. This indicates an early burst niche-filling pattern and contrasts with previous studies that favoured gradualistic rates. Subsequently, rates declined in most lineages, which rarely exploited new ecological niches. However, feathered maniraptoran dinosaurs (including Mesozoic birds) sustained rapid evolution from at least the Middle Jurassic, suggesting that these taxa evaded the effects of niche saturation. This indicates that a long evolutionary history of continuing ecological innovation paved the way for a second great radiation of dinosaurs, in birds. We therefore demonstrate links between the predominantly extinct deep time adaptive radiation of non-avian dinosaurs and the phenomenal diversification of birds, via continuing rapid rates of evolution along the phylogenetic stem lineage. This raises the possibility that the uneven distribution of biodiversity results not just from large-scale extrapolation

  9. How safe is the use of chlorpyrifos: Revelations through its effect on layer birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. P. Singh

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The present study was aimed to investigate the immunological competence of chlorpyrifos (CPF insecticide after oral administration in layer chickens. Materials and Methods: A total of 20 White Leghorn birds were given CPF in drinking water at 0.3 ppm/bird/day (no observable effect level dose for a period of 3-month. Immune competence status of layer birds and chicks hatched from CPF-treated birds were estimated at 15 days interval in layer birds and monthly interval in chicks using immunological and biochemical parameters. Results: There was a significant decrease in values of total leukocytes count, absolute lymphocyte count, absolute heterophil count, total serum protein, serum albumin, serum globulin, and serum gamma globulin in the birds treated with CPF as compared to control. Similarly, immune competence tests such as lymphocyte stimulation test, oxidative burst assay, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests indicated lower immunity in birds treated with CPF as compared to control. Subsequently, chicks produced from CPF-treated birds were also examined for immune competence, but no significant difference was observed between chicks of both the groups. Conclusion: The exposure to CPF produced hemo-biochemical and other changes that could be correlated with changes in the immunological profile of layer chickens suggesting total stoppage of using CPF in poultry sheds.

  10. Evolution of oxidation in soybean oil and its biodiesel under the conditions of the oxidation stability test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pereira, G. G.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to know the evolution of the oxidation of soybean oil and biodiesel under the conditions of the oxidation stability test (110 °C using the Rancimat apparatus. Samples were analyzed at different periods of time until the end of the induction period. The analytical determinations related to the changes in oxidation include peroxide value, anisidine value, natural tocopherols and polar compounds. Acid value, kinematic viscosity, polymers and ester content were also analyzed because of their relevance in the evaluation of biodiesel quality. Results showed that only peroxide value and the group of polar compounds including hydroperoxides, i.e. oxidized monomeric TAG in the oil and oxidized monomeric FAME in the biodiesel increased significantly during the early oxidation stage. The end of the induction period was marked by a rapid increase in polymerization compounds and the exhaustion of tocopherols. Significant changes in acid value, viscosity and ester content were only observed after the end of the induction period.El objetivo de este estudio fue conocer la evolución de la oxidación del aceite de soja y de su biodiesel a 110 °C en las condiciones del método estándar para la determinación de la estabilidad oxidativa, usando el aparato Rancimat. Las muestras se analizaron en diferentes períodos de tiempo hasta que el período de inducción fue sobrepasado. Se determinaron los índices de peróxidos y anisidina, los tocoferoles y los compuestos polares cuyos cambios están relacionados con el desarrollo de la alteración oxidativa. Además, fueron determinados el índice de acidez, la viscosidad y el contenido en ésteres, de interés en el análisis de la calidad del biodiesel. Los resultados indicaron que sólo el índice de peróxidos y el grupo de compuestos polares que incluye los hidroperóxidos (triglicéridos oxidados monómeros en el aceite y ésteres metílicos oxidados monómeros en el biodiesel

  11. Wavelets in Recognition of Bird Sounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juha T. Tanttu

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a novel method to recognize inharmonic and transient bird sounds efficiently. The recognition algorithm consists of feature extraction using wavelet decomposition and recognition using either supervised or unsupervised classifier. The proposed method was tested on sounds of eight bird species of which five species have inharmonic sounds and three reference species have harmonic sounds. Inharmonic sounds are not well matched to the conventional spectral analysis methods, because the spectral domain does not include any visible trajectories that computer can track and identify. Thus, the wavelet analysis was selected due to its ability to preserve both frequency and temporal information, and its ability to analyze signals which contain discontinuities and sharp spikes. The shift invariant feature vectors calculated from the wavelet coefficients were used as inputs of two neural networks: the unsupervised self-organizing map (SOM and the supervised multilayer perceptron (MLP. The results were encouraging: the SOM network recognized 78% and the MLP network 96% of the test sounds correctly.

  12. Managing mainland salt marshes for breeding birds

    OpenAIRE

    Maier, Martin

    2014-01-01

    The Wadden Sea region is one of the most important breeding areas in Western Europe for coastal breeding bird species. It is expected that management of salt marshes is important for successful conservation of breeding bird populations but the impact of management on the habitat quality for breeding birds is still not fully understood. In this study the effects of management on the three crucial habitat characteristics for breeding birds were studied on mainland salt marshes: effects of manag...

  13. Birds and Bird Habitat: What Are the Risks from Industrial Wind Turbine Exposure?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprague, Terry; Harrington, M. Elizabeth; Krogh, Carmen M. E.

    2011-01-01

    Bird kill rate and disruption of habitat has been reported when industrial wind turbines are introduced into migratory bird paths or other environments. While the literature could be more complete regarding the documentation of negative effects on birds and bird habitats during the planning, construction, and operation of wind power projects,…

  14. 75 FR 29917 - Migratory Bird Permits; Changes in the Regulations Governing Migratory Bird Rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-28

    ...-1231-9BPP] RIN 1018-AX09 Migratory Bird Permits; Changes in the Regulations Governing Migratory Bird... governing migratory bird rehabilitation in the United States. Before creation of those regulations.... FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. George T. Allen, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish...

  15. 76 FR 19875 - Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2011-12 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (Preliminary...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-08

    ... 50 CFR Part 20 Migratory Bird Hunting; Proposed 2011-12 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations (Preliminary) With Requests for Indian Tribal Proposals and Requests for 2013 Spring and Summer Migratory Bird... 50 CFR Part 20 [Docket No. FWS-R9-MB-2011-0014; 91200-1231-9BPP-L2] RIN 1018-AX34 Migratory Bird...

  16. 76 FR 32224 - Migratory Birds; Take of Migratory Birds by the Armed Forces

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-03

    ... DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Birds; Take of Migratory Birds by... Forces to incidentally take migratory birds during approved military readiness activities without violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The Authorization Act provided this interim authority to...

  17. Microbiology as if Bird Watching

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 1; Issue 10. Microbiology as if Bird Watching. Milind G Watve. Classroom Volume 1 Issue 10 October 1996 pp 78-81. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/001/10/0078-0081. Author Affiliations.

  18. The Bird Box Survey Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    When high school students are asked what's the best part of science class, many will say it's the field trips. Students enjoy engaging in authentic, community-based science outside the classroom. To capitalize on this, Patrick Willis created the Bird Box Survey Project for his introductory field biology class. The project takes students…

  19. Notes on some Sumatran birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Junge, G.C.A.

    1948-01-01

    During the war I was able to identify some collections of birds from Sumatra, present in the Leiden Museum. These collections were brought together by E. Jacobson and W. C. van Heurn in the Padang Highlands in 1013; by W. Groeneveldt in the same area in 1914 and 1915; bij L. P. Cosquino de Bussy and

  20. Bird Flight and Satish Dhawan

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    One day out of the great wilderness of the water there came an albatross. Circling the ship on .... and mathematicians. Conventional aerodynamic ... suspended in air has inspired over a dozen aerodynamic models. GENERAL I ARTICLE scaling concepts fail to explain subtle features of bird flight, as debated by over fifty ...