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Sample records for burrowing rodents family

  1. Daily and seasonal temperatures in the burrows of African rodent ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1987-03-02

    Mar 2, 1987 ... burrow system of most rodent moles is essentially a sealed system. Consequently, most aspects of the microenviron- ment within the burrow can be expected to deviate greatly from conditions above ground. Although the physiology of subterranean rodents, in relation to thermoregulation and metabolism, ...

  2. Landform and surface attributes for prediction of rodent burrows in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Landform and surface attributes for prediction of rodent burrows in the Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. ... Tanzania Journal of Health Research ... Therefore, this study was conducted in plague endemic area of the Western Usambara Mountains in northern, Tanzania, to explore the relationship between rodent ...

  3. Ventilation of multi-entranced rodent burrows by boundary layer eddies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brickner-Braun, Inbal; Zucker-Milwerger, Daniel; Braun, Avi; Turner, J Scott; Pinshow, Berry; Berliner, Pedro

    2014-12-01

    Rodent burrows are often assumed to be environments wherein the air has a high concentration of CO₂. Although high burrow [CO₂] has been recorded, many studies report burrow [CO₂] that differs only slightly from atmospheric concentrations. Here, we advocate that one of the reasons for these differences is the penetration into burrows of air gusts (eddies), which originate in the turbulent boundary layer and prevent build-up of CO₂. We have characterized the means by which burrows of Sundevall's jird, which are representative of the burrows of many rodent species with more than one entrance, are ventilated. Our results demonstrate that, even at low wind speeds, the random penetration of eddies into a burrow through its openings is sufficient to keep the burrow [CO₂] low enough to be physiologically inconsequential, even in its deep and remote parts. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Rodent burrows in late Pleistocene paleosols at Korean Palaeolithic sites and their implications for paleoclimate changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, H.; Park, S.; Lee, J.; Lee, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Rodent burrows are commonly found at many Paleolithic archaeological sites in Korea. They are nearly straight in horizontal view and gently inclined in lateral view. Burrow diameters are mostly 7 - 10cm, and burrow length may reach a few meters. Vertical penetration depths are generally about 1 m from the surface, and the thickness of the burrow-bearing layer is about 1-2 m. Although no remains (bones, teeth, claws, and coprolites) were found within burrows, they are interpreted to have been produced by rodent-like mammals (probably ground squirrels) based on the size and architecture. According to the previous study, the age of these burrows was constrained to be between ca. 40,000 and 25,000 yr BP by tephrochronology, radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating results (Lim et al., 2007). However, little is known about the reason why these burrows have disappeared after late Pleistocene time. For this question, two explanations can be considered: extinction or migration. Since same kinds of burrows are still found in the high-latitude regions, such as Mongolia and North America, the possibility of extinction can be ruled out. Therefore, migration seems to be the most likely explanation. Our results show that the destruction of habitat caused by climate change during this period is the main reason for the northward migration of burrowing animals. This study suggests that rodent burrows found in the late Pleistocene paleosols can provide useful information on paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental changes.

  5. Burrow architecture, family composition and habitat characteristics of the largest social African mole-rat: the giant mole-rat constructs really giant burrow systems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šumbera, R.; Mazoch, V.; Patzenhauerová, Hana; Lövy, M.; Šklíba, J.; Bryja, Josef; Burda, H.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 57, č. 2 (2012), s. 121-130 ISSN 0001-7051 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA601410802 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Fukomys mechowii * subterranean rodent * burrow system * kin structure * Bathyergidae Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.949, year: 2012

  6. Spatial Association of Shrubs and Their Interrelation to Burrowing Site Preference of Subterranean Rodents on Dune Slope in the Otindag Sandy Land, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lina Jiang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Rangelands worldwide have more shrubs now, and subterranean rangeland rodents show close interaction to shrubs when choosing a burrowing site. The study was conducted in Otindag Sandy Land in Inner Mongolia, China with the objective of determining the effects of slope position on spatial pattern and interaction of shrubs; how rodents choose their habitat in different slope; and shrubs and rodents influence each other. To accomplish the objective set, we used three physiographic units: Plot 1 (upper slope, Plot 2 (middle slope, and Plot 3 (lower slope, and all individual woody plants and rodent holes in the three plots were mapped. The result of the study showed that: (1 two shrub species show a random distribution trend in all three plots except an aggregated trend only at the smaller scale on the upper slope; (2 the majority of subterranean rodents preferred to select their burrowing sites under the shrub crown, and these selected shrub individuals had generally larger crown length than those unselected individuals. At the same time, the majority of these burrowing sites were located on the lower right direction. (3 The distribution of rodents holes differ across the slopes in the study area. In the three samples, the relative locations of burrowing sites to shrubs are mostly distributed down slope of shrubs. From upper slope to lower slope, this trend gradually enhanced. Our conclusion is that the increase in shrubs represents a pioneer phase in the rehabilitation of degraded sandy land ecosystems, and colonization of subterranean rangeland rodents near the shrubs is a clear indicator of stabilization of sand dunes.

  7. Observations on the use of tarantula burrows by the anurans Leptodactylus bufonius (Leptodactylidae and Rhinella major (Bufonidae in the Dry Chaco ecoregion of Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher M. Schalk

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Some species of anurans have been observed utilizing burrows of other animals, such as rodents and tarantulas. Here we report the observations of two anuran species, Leptodactylus bufonius and Rhinella major, utilizing the burrows of tarantulas (Acanthoscurria sp.; Family Theraphosidae in the dry Chaco ecoregion of Bolivia. Both species of anurans never co-occurred with tarantulas in the burrows and used burrows that were wider in diameter and closer to breeding ponds as compared to the total available tarantula burrows in the area. These burrows may serve as refuges from predators, especially for conspicuous, calling males.

  8. Burrowing Owls, Pulex irritans, and Plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belthoff, James R; Bernhardt, Scott A; Ball, Christopher L; Gregg, Michael; Johnson, David H; Ketterling, Rachel; Price, Emily; Tinker, Juliette K

    2015-09-01

    Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) are small, ground-dwelling owls of western North America that frequent prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) towns and other grasslands. Because they rely on rodent prey and occupy burrows once or concurrently inhabited by fossorial mammals, the owls often harbor fleas. We examined the potential role of fleas found on burrowing owls in plague dynamics by evaluating prevalence of Yersinia pestis in fleas collected from burrowing owls and in owl blood. During 2012-2013, fleas and blood were collected from burrowing owls in portions of five states with endemic plague-Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and South Dakota. Fleas were enumerated, taxonomically identified, pooled by nest, and assayed for Y. pestis using culturing and molecular (PCR) approaches. Owl blood underwent serological analysis for plague antibodies and nested PCR for detection of Y. pestis. Of more than 4750 fleas collected from owls, Pulex irritans, a known plague vector in portions of its range, comprised more than 99.4%. However, diagnostic tests for Y. pestis of flea pools (culturing and PCR) and owl blood (PCR and serology) were negative. Thus, even though fleas were prevalent on burrowing owls and the potential for a relationship with burrowing owls as a phoretic host of infected fleas exists, we found no evidence of Y. pestis in sampled fleas or in owls that harbored them. We suggest that studies similar to those reported here during plague epizootics will be especially useful for confirming these results.

  9. All Rodents Are Not the Same: A Modern Synthesis of Cortical Organization

    OpenAIRE

    Krubitzer, Leah; Campi, Katharine L.; Cooke, Dylan F.

    2011-01-01

    Rodents are a major order of mammals that is highly diverse in distribution and lifestyle. Five suborders, 34 families, and 2,277 species within this order occupy a number of different niches and vary along several lifestyle dimensions such as diel pattern (diurnal vs. nocturnal), terrain niche, and diet. For example, the terrain niche of rodents includes arboreal, aerial, terrestrial, semi-aquatic, burrowing, and rock dwelling. Not surprisingly, the behaviors associated with particular lifes...

  10. An example of burrow system architecture of dispersing Damaraland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Damaraland mole-rat (Fukomys damarensis) is a social, subterranean rodent that occurs in the red Kalahari sands. This species exhibits extreme reproductive skew with a single breeding female whereas reproduction in subordinate group members is completely blocked. Rainfall, as it greatly facilitates burrowing, ...

  11. Evaluate Burrowing Crayfish Monitoring Methods

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This interim report provides preliminary information about four at-risk species (angular dwarf crayfish, burrowing bog crayfish, speckled burrowing crayfish,...

  12. The Plasmodium PHIST and RESA-Like Protein Families of Human and Rodent Malaria Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina K Moreira

    Full Text Available The phist gene family has members identified across the Plasmodium genus, defined by the presence of a domain of roughly 150 amino acids having conserved aromatic residues and an all alpha-helical structure. The family is highly amplified in P. falciparum, with 65 predicted genes in the genome of the 3D7 isolate. In contrast, in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei 3 genes are identified, one of which is an apparent pseudogene. Transcripts of the P. berghei phist genes are predominant in schizonts, whereas in P. falciparum transcript profiles span different asexual blood stages and gametocytes. We pursued targeted disruption of P. berghei phist genes in order to characterize a simplistic model for the expanded phist gene repertoire in P. falciparum. Unsuccessful attempts to disrupt P. berghei PBANKA_114540 suggest that this phist gene is essential, while knockout of phist PBANKA_122900 shows an apparent normal progression and non-essential function throughout the life cycle. Epitope-tagging of P. falciparum and P. berghei phist genes confirmed protein export to the erythrocyte cytoplasm and localization with a punctate pattern. Three P. berghei PEXEL/HT-positive exported proteins exhibit at least partial co-localization, in support of a common vesicular compartment in the cytoplasm of erythrocytes infected with rodent malaria parasites.

  13. Discussion to several tapeworm species from the families Hymenolepididae, Anoplocephalidae and Davaineidae parasitizing rodents and man

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    František Tenora

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available With the more recent knowledge, the hypothesis by Joyeux and Baer (1929 is consulted: “... most of rarer species of tapeworms occurring in man are probably parasites of other mammals, specially of Rodentia .....“. In connection with that, the host specificity in several species from the families Hymenolepididae, Anoplocephalidae and Davaineidae is discussed. So far parasites of rodents are concerned, they are the species Rodentolepis straminea, R. fraterna, Hymenolepis diminuta, H. pseudodiminuta, H. hibernia and Inermicapsifer arvicanthidis. So far parasites of man are concerned, they are the species Rodentolepis nana, Hymenolepis flavopunctata and Inermicapsifer madagascariensis. Attention is drawn also to discrepancies in the opinions published on the views of hosts’ specificity or of zoogeographical distribution of several species from the family Davaineidae.

  14. Variations in the Foraging Behaviour and Burrow Structures of the Damara Molerat Cryptomys damarensis in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.G. Lovegrove

    1987-10-01

    Full Text Available Aspects of two habitat-specific foraging behaviours of the social subterranean rodent Cryptomys damarensis, are discussed in terms of burrow structure, resource dispersion patterns, sand moisture content, burrow temperature regimes, and predatory pressures, in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, South Africa.

  15. Depth of artificial Burrowing Owl burrows affects thermal suitability and occupancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadeau, Christopher P.; Conway, Courtney J.; Rathbun, Nathan

    2015-01-01

    Many organizations have installed artificial burrows to help bolster local Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) populations. However, occupancy probability and reproductive success in artificial burrows varies within and among burrow installations. We evaluated the possibility that depth below ground might explain differences in occupancy probability and reproductive success by affecting the temperature of artificial burrows. We measured burrow temperatures from March to July 2010 in 27 artificial burrows in southern California that were buried 15–76 cm below the surface (measured between the surface and the top of the burrow chamber). Burrow depth was one of several characteristics that affected burrow temperature. Burrow temperature decreased by 0.03°C per cm of soil on top of the burrow. The percentage of time that artificial burrows provided a thermal refuge from above-ground temperature decreased with burrow depth and ranged between 50% and 58% among burrows. The percentage of time that burrow temperature was optimal for incubating females also decreased with burrow depth and ranged between 27% and 100% among burrows. However, the percentage of time that burrow temperature was optimal for unattended eggs increased with burrow depth and ranged between 11% and 95% among burrows. We found no effect of burrow depth on reproductive success across 21 nesting attempts. However, occupancy probability had a non-linear relationship with burrow depth. The shallowest burrows (15 cm) had a moderate probability of being occupied (0.46), burrows between 28 and 40 cm had the highest probability of being occupied (>0.80), and burrows >53 cm had the lowest probability of being occupied (artificial burrows for Burrowing Owls. However, additional study is needed to determine the possible effects of burrow depth on reproductive success and on possible tradeoffs between the effects of burrow depth on optimal temperature and other factors, such as minimizing the risk of nest

  16. Conservation of pregnancy-specific glycoprotein (PSG N domains following independent expansions of the gene families in rodents and primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zimmermann Wolfgang

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Rodent and primate pregnancy-specific glycoprotein (PSG gene families have expanded independently from a common ancestor and are expressed virtually exclusively in placental trophoblasts. However, within each species, it is unknown whether multiple paralogs have been selected for diversification of function, or for increased dosage of monofunctional PSG. We analysed the evolution of the mouse PSG sequences, and compared them to rat, human and baboon PSGs to attempt to understand the evolution of this complex gene family. Results Phylogenetic tree analyses indicate that the primate N domains and the rodent N1 domains exhibit a higher degree of conservation than that observed in a comparison of the mouse N1 and N2 domains, or mouse N1 and N3 domains. Compared to human and baboon PSG N domain exons, mouse and rat PSG N domain exons have undergone less sequence homogenisation. The high non-synonymous substitution rates observed in the CFG face of the mouse N1 domain, within a context of overall conservation, suggests divergence of function of mouse PSGs. The rat PSG family appears to have undergone less expansion than the mouse, exhibits lower divergence rates and increased sequence homogenisation in the CFG face of the N1 domain. In contrast to most primate PSG N domains, rodent PSG N1 domains do not contain an RGD tri-peptide motif, but do contain RGD-like sequences, which are not conserved in rodent N2 and N3 domains. Conclusion Relative conservation of primate N domains and rodent N1 domains suggests that, despite independent gene family expansions and structural diversification, mouse and human PSGs retain conserved functions. Human PSG gene family expansion and homogenisation suggests that evolution occurred in a concerted manner that maintains similar functions of PSGs, whilst increasing gene dosage of the family as a whole. In the mouse, gene family expansion, coupled with local diversification of the CFG face, suggests

  17. RNase 1 genes from the family Sciuridae define a novel rodent ribonuclease cluster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, Steven J; Percopo, Caroline M; Dyer, Kimberly D; Zhao, Wei; Roth, V Louise; Mercer, John M; Rosenberg, Helene F

    2009-01-01

    The RNase A ribonucleases are a complex group of functionally diverse secretory proteins with conserved enzymatic activity. We have identified novel RNase 1 genes from four species of squirrel (order Rodentia, family Sciuridae). Squirrel RNase 1 genes encode typical RNase A ribonucleases, each with eight cysteines, a conserved CKXXNTF signature motif, and a canonical His(12)-Lys(41)-His(119) catalytic triad. Two alleles encode Callosciurus prevostii RNase 1, which include a Ser(18)Pro, analogous to the sequence polymorphisms found among the RNase 1 duplications in the genome of Rattus exulans. Interestingly, although the squirrel RNase 1 genes are closely related to one another (77-95% amino acid sequence identity), the cluster as a whole is distinct and divergent from the clusters including RNase 1 genes from other rodent species. We examined the specific sites at which Sciuridae RNase 1s diverge from Muridae/Cricetidae RNase 1s and determined that the divergent sites are located on the external surface, with complete sparing of the catalytic crevice. The full significance of these findings awaits a more complete understanding of biological role of mammalian RNase 1s.

  18. Differential expression of members of the E2F family of transcription factors in rodent testes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toppari Jorma

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The E2F family of transcription factors is required for the activation or repression of differentially expressed gene programs during the cell cycle in normal and abnormal development of tissues. We previously determined that members of the retinoblastoma protein family that interacts with the E2F family are differentially expressed and localized in almost all the different cell types and tissues of the testis and in response to known endocrine disruptors. In this study, the cell-specific and stage-specific expression of members of the E2F proteins has been elucidated. Methods We used immunohistochemical (IHC analysis of tissue sections and Western blot analysis of proteins, from whole testis and microdissected stages of seminiferous tubules to study the differential expression of the E2F proteins. Results For most of the five E2F family members studied, the localizations appear conserved in the two most commonly studied rodent models, mice and rats, with some notable differences. Comparisons between wild type and E2F-1 knockout mice revealed that the level of E2F-1 protein is stage-specific and most abundant in leptotene to early pachytene spermatocytes of stages IX to XI of mouse while strong staining of E2F-1 in some cells close to the basal lamina of rat tubules suggest that it may also be expressed in undifferentiated spermatogonia. The age-dependent development of a Sertoli-cell-only phenotype in seminiferous tubules of E2F-1 knockout males corroborates this, and indicates that E2F-1 is required for spermatogonial stem cell renewal. Interestingly, E2F-3 appears in both terminally differentiated Sertoli cells, as well as spermatogonial cells in the differentiative pathway, while the remaining member of the activating E2Fs, E2F-2 is most concentrated in spermatocytes of mid to late prophase of meiosis. Comparisons between wildtype and E2F-4 knockout mice demonstrated that the level of E2F-4 protein displays a distinct

  19. Burrowing owl survey : 1994 report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Report of burrowing owl nesting activity in the Central Region of Colorado in 1994, produced by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. There is little long term data on...

  20. Burrowing owl nesting productivity: A comparison between artificial and natural burrows on and off golf courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M.D.; Conway, C.J.; Ellis, L.A.

    2005-01-01

    Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations are declining in many portions of their range, and lack of suitable nesting burrows is thought to be one reason for observed declines. Burrowing owls are attracted to golf courses because the birds generally nest and forage in short-grass, open areas, yet golf courses seldom have suitable nesting burrows. We examined the efficacy of installing artificial nesting burrows on golf courses as a way to help restore local burrowing owl populations. From 2001-2004 we monitored over 175 natural burrows off golf courses, 14 natural burrows on golf courses, 86 artificial burrows off golf courses, and 130 artificial burrows on golf courses. Owls located and used 8 of the 130 artificial burrows installed on golf courses (4 were used as nests). Owls selected burrows that were closer to existing natural burrows, farther from maintained areas (areas receiving turf maintenance by golf course staff), and farther from sprinkler heads. All 4 of the artificial burrows used as nests successfully fledged young, and annual site fidelity for owls nesting on golf courses was higher than for owls nesting off golf courses. However, annual fecundity of owls nesting on golf courses was lower than that of owls nesting off golf courses. If golf courses have sufficiently large nonmaintained areas and there are nesting owls nearby, course managers potentially can help in restoring local burrowing owl populations by installing artificial nesting burrows on the periphery of the course. However, the low fecundity on golf courses reported here should be more thoroughly examined before artificial burrows are used to attract owls to golf courses.

  1. Fine pathogen discrimination within the APL1 gene family protects Anopheles gambiae against human and rodent malaria species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Mitri

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Genetically controlled resistance of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes to Plasmodium falciparum is a common trait in the natural population, and a cluster of natural resistance loci were mapped to the Plasmodium-Resistance Island (PRI of the A. gambiae genome. The APL1 family of leucine-rich repeat (LRR proteins was highlighted by candidate gene studies in the PRI, and is comprised of paralogs APL1A, APL1B and APL1C that share > or =50% amino acid identity. Here, we present a functional analysis of the joint response of APL1 family members during mosquito infection with human and rodent Plasmodium species. Only paralog APL1A protected A. gambiae against infection with the human malaria parasite P. falciparum from both the field population and in vitro culture. In contrast, only paralog APL1C protected against the rodent malaria parasites P. berghei and P. yoelii. We show that anti-P. falciparum protection is mediated by the Imd/Rel2 pathway, while protection against P. berghei infection was shown to require Toll/Rel1 signaling. Further, only the short Rel2-S isoform and not the long Rel2-F isoform of Rel2 confers protection against P. falciparum. Protection correlates with the transcriptional regulation of APL1A by Rel2-S but not Rel2-F, suggesting that the Rel2-S anti-parasite phenotype results at least in part from its transcriptional control over APL1A. These results indicate that distinct members of the APL1 gene family display a mutually exclusive protective effect against different classes of Plasmodium parasites. It appears that a gene-for-pathogen-class system orients the appropriate host defenses against distinct categories of similar pathogens. It is known that insect innate immune pathways can distinguish between grossly different microbes such as Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, or fungi, but the function of the APL1 paralogs reveals that mosquito innate immunity possesses a more fine-grained capacity to distinguish between

  2. All Rodents Are Not the Same: A Modern Synthesis of Cortical Organization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krubitzer, Leah; Campi, Katharine L.; Cooke, Dylan F.

    2011-01-01

    Rodents are a major order of mammals that is highly diverse in distribution and lifestyle. Five suborders, 34 families, and 2,277 species within this order occupy a number of different niches and vary along several lifestyle dimensions such as diel pattern (diurnal vs. nocturnal), terrain niche, and diet. For example, the terrain niche of rodents includes arboreal, aerial, terrestrial, semi-aquatic, burrowing, and rock dwelling. Not surprisingly, the behaviors associated with particular lifestyles are also highly variable and thus the neocortex, which generates these behaviors, has undergone corresponding alterations across species. Studies of cortical organization in species that vary along several dimensions such as terrain niche, diel pattern, and rearing conditions demonstrate that the size and number of cortical fields can be highly variable within this order. The internal organization of a cortical field also reflects lifestyle differences between species and exaggerates behaviorally relevant effectors such as vibrissae, teeth, or lips. Finally, at a cellular level, neuronal number and density varies for the same cortical field in different species and is even different for the same species reared in different conditions (laboratory vs. wild-caught). These very large differences across and within rodent species indicate that there is no generic rodent model. Rather, there are rodent models suited for specific questions regarding the development, function, and evolution of the neocortex. PMID:21701141

  3. Similar burrow architecture of three arid-zone scorpion species implies similar ecological function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Amanda M.; Marais, Eugene; Turner, J. Scott; Prendini, Lorenzo; Pinshow, Berry

    2016-08-01

    Many animals reside in burrows that may serve as refuges from predators and adverse environmental conditions. Burrow design varies widely among and within taxa, and these structures are adaptive, fulfilling physiological (and other) functions. We examined the burrow architecture of three scorpion species of the family Scorpionidae: Scorpio palmatus from the Negev desert, Israel; Opistophthalmus setifrons, from the Central Highlands, Namibia; and Opistophthalmus wahlbergii from the Kalahari desert, Namibia. We hypothesized that burrow structure maintains temperature and soil moisture conditions optimal for the behavior and physiology of the scorpion. Casts of burrows, poured in situ with molten aluminum, were scanned in 3D to quantify burrow structure. Three architectural features were common to the burrows of all species: (1) a horizontal platform near the ground surface, long enough to accommodate the scorpion, located just below the entrance, 2-5 cm under the surface, which may provide a safe place where the scorpion can monitor the presence of potential prey, predators, and mates and where the scorpion warms up before foraging; (2) at least two bends that might deter incursion by predators and may reduce convective ventilation, thereby maintaining relatively high humidity and low temperature; and (3) an enlarged terminal chamber to a depth at which temperatures are almost constant (±2-4 °C). These common features among the burrows of three different species suggest that they are important for regulating the physical environment of their inhabitants and that burrows are part of scorpions' "extended physiology" ( sensu Turner, Physiol Biochem Zool 74:798-822, 2000).

  4. Detecting plague-host abundance from space: Using a spectral vegetation index to identify occupancy of great gerbil burrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilschut, Liesbeth I.; Heesterbeek, Johan A. P.; Begon, Mike; de Jong, Steven M.; Ageyev, Vladimir; Laudisoit, Anne; Addink, Elisabeth A.

    2018-02-01

    In Kazakhstan, plague outbreaks occur when its main host, the great gerbil, exceeds an abundance threshold. These live in family groups in burrows, which can be mapped using remote sensing. Occupancy (percentage of burrows occupied) is a good proxy for abundance and hence the possibility of an outbreak. Here we use time series of satellite images to estimate occupancy remotely. In April and September 2013, 872 burrows were identified in the field as either occupied or empty. For satellite images acquired between April and August, 'burrow objects' were identified and matched to the field burrows. The burrow objects were represented by 25 different polygon types, then classified (using a majority vote from 10 Random Forests) as occupied or empty, using Normalized Difference Vegetation Indices (NDVI) calculated for all images. Throughout the season NDVI values were higher for empty than for occupied burrows. Occupancy status of individual burrows that were continuously occupied or empty, was classified with producer's and user's accuracy values of 63 and 64% for the optimum polygon. Occupancy level was predicted very well and differed 2% from the observed occupancy. This establishes firmly the principle that occupancy can be estimated using satellite images with the potential to predict plague outbreaks over extensive areas with much greater ease and accuracy than previously.

  5. Burrowing Owl - Palo Verde Valley [ds197

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — These burrowing owl observations were collected during the spring and early summer of 1976 in the Palo Verde Valley, eastern Riverside County, California. This is an...

  6. Activity Patterns in a Subterranean Social Rodent, Spalacopus cyanus (Octodontidae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Begall, Sabine; Daan, S.; Burda, H.; Overkamp, G.J.F.; Tomasi, Thomas E.

    Daily patterns of activity were studied under laboratory conditions in 12 coruros, Spalacopus cyanus, subterranean social rodents originally from Chile. When able to burrow, coruros spent 90% of the total time underground, and surface activity occurred during the 1st hours of darkness. When

  7. Peromyscus burrowing: A model system for behavioral evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Caroline K; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2017-01-01

    A major challenge to understanding the genetic basis of complex behavioral evolution is the quantification of complex behaviors themselves. Deer mice of the genus Peromyscus vary in their burrowing behavior, which leaves behind a physical trace that is easily preserved and measured. Moreover, natural burrowing behaviors are recapitulated in the lab, and there is a strong heritable component. Here we discuss potential mechanisms driving variation in burrows with an emphasis on two sister species: P. maniculatus, which digs a simple, short burrow, and P. polionotus, which digs a long burrow with a complex architecture. A forward-genetic cross between these two species identified several genomic regions associated with burrow traits, suggesting this complex behavior has evolved in a modular fashion. Because burrow differences are most likely due to differences in behavioral circuits, Peromyscus burrowing offers an exciting opportunity to link genetic variation between natural populations to evolutionary changes in neural circuits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Seasonal effects on digging activity and burrow architecture in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Seasonal effects on digging activity and burrow architecture in the Cape dune mole-rat, Bathyergus suillus (Rodentia: Bathyergidae) ... not affect the geometry of the burrow system or tunnel dimensions in a climatically buffered environment. Key words: burrow structure, seasonality, sexual selection, mate choice, energetics.

  9. The largest fossil rodent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderknecht, Andrés; Blanco, R. Ernesto

    2008-01-01

    The discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved skull permits the description of the new South American fossil species of the rodent, Josephoartigasia monesi sp. nov. (family: Dinomyidae; Rodentia: Hystricognathi: Caviomorpha). This species with estimated body mass of nearly 1000 kg is the largest yet recorded. The skull sheds new light on the anatomy of the extinct giant rodents of the Dinomyidae, which are known mostly from isolated teeth and incomplete mandible remains. The fossil derives from San José Formation, Uruguay, usually assigned to the Pliocene–Pleistocene (4–2 Myr ago), and the proposed palaeoenvironment where this rodent lived was characterized as an estuarine or deltaic system with forest communities. PMID:18198140

  10. Regional and Seasonal Diet of the Western Burrowing Owl in South-Central Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Derek B. Hall, Paul D. Greger, Jeffrey R. Rosier

    2009-04-01

    We examined diets of Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) based on contents of pellets and large prey remains collected year-round at burrows in each of the 3 regions in south central Nevada (Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, and Transition region). The most common prey items, based on percent frequency of occurrence, were crickets and grasshoppers, beetles, rodents, sun spiders, and scorpions. The most common vertebrate prey was kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.). True bugs (Hemiptera), scorpions, and western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys megalotis) occurred most frequently in pellets from the Great Basin Desert region. Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spp.) and pocket mice (Perognathinae) were the most important vertebrate prey items in the Transition and Mojave Desert regions, respectively. Frequency of occurrence of any invertebrate prey was high (>80%) in samples year-round but dropped in winter samples, with scorpions and sun spiders exhibiting the steepest declines. Frequency of occurrence of any vertebrate prey peaked in spring samples, was intermediate for winter and summer samples, and was lowest in fall samples. With the possible exception of selecting for western harvest mice in the Great Basin Desert region, Western Burrowing Owls in our study appeared to be opportunistic foragers with a generalist feeding strategy.

  11. Rodents of the Caribbean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Mouatt, Julia Thidamarth Vilstrup; Raghavan, Maanasa

    2014-01-01

    The Capromyidae (hutias) are endemic rodents of the Caribbean and represent a model of dispersal for non-flying mammals in the Greater Antilles. This family has experienced severe extinctions during the Holocene and its phylogenetic affinities with respect to other caviomorph relatives are still ...... (Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica) hutias. Recent divergences among these western hutias suggest Plio-Pleistocene dispersal waves associated with glacial cycles....

  12. Evolution and Genetics of Precocious Burrowing Behavior in Peromyscus Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metz, Hillery C; Bedford, Nicole L; Pan, Yangshu Linda; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2017-12-18

    A central challenge in biology is to understand how innate behaviors evolve between closely related species. One way to elucidate how differences arise is to compare the development of behavior in species with distinct adult traits [1]. Here, we report that Peromyscus polionotus is strikingly precocious with regard to burrowing behavior, but not other behaviors, compared to its sister species P. maniculatus. In P. polionotus, burrows were excavated as early as 17 days of age, whereas P. maniculatus did not build burrows until 10 days later. Moreover, the well-known differences in burrow architecture between adults of these species-P. polionotus adults excavate long burrows with an escape tunnel, whereas P. maniculatus dig short, single-tunnel burrows [2-4]-were intact in juvenile burrowers. To test whether this juvenile behavior is influenced by early-life environment, we reciprocally cross-fostered pups of both species. Fostering did not alter the characteristic burrowing behavior of either species, suggesting that these differences are genetic. In backcross hybrids, we show that precocious burrowing and adult tunnel length are genetically correlated and that a P. polionotus allele linked to tunnel length variation in adults is also associated with precocious onset of burrowing in juveniles, suggesting that the same genetic region-either a single gene with pleiotropic effects or linked genes-influences distinct aspects of the same behavior at these two life stages. These results raise the possibility that genetic variants affect behavioral drive (i.e., motivation) to burrow and thereby affect both the developmental timing and adult expression of burrowing behavior. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Burrowing Owl Monitoring Report for Calendar Year 2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilde, Justin W.; Lindsey, Cole T.; Nugent, John J.

    2013-03-14

    The monitoring during 2012 focused on documenting the status of known burrows. Newly identified burrows were documented while examining historical locations, during ecological resource reviews, or discovered during other monitoring efforts. The timing of the monitoring effort allowed staff to perform the surveys without disrupting any breeding or hatching, while also allowing for easy discernment of adults from juveniles, which helped in determining burrow-use type.

  14. Importance of rodents for hydrology: lessons learnt from various field experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schaik, Loes; Zangerlé, Anne; Schneider, Anne-Kathrin; Schröder, Boris; Eccard, Jana

    2017-04-01

    organisms are known to create soil macropores of different sizes and with varying extent and orientation: most commonly earthworms, rodents, moles and roots. Preferential flow through macropore networks is dynamic and typically occurs when short individual macropores become connected at the hillslope scale as the nodes between the macropores become wet. Large lateral macropores may contribute to rapid subsurface stormflow of water and solutes at hillslope scale and supply a significant part of the catchment scale discharge during high intensity rainfall events even under relatively dry catchment state. Outflow from soil pipes, especially in the valley bottom or along the banking near to streams, is frequently observed, however, it remains a challenge to measure the spatial distribution, extent and connectivity of macropores at hill slope scales. We hypothesize that local information on organism abundances may be used as an indicator for spatial variability in infiltration, water storage and fluxes at the small scale and that knowledge on the landscape scale spatial distribution of organisms can provide information on connectivity of macropores at hillslope scale. Here we summarize the lessons learnt during three years of measurements aimed at determining the influence of rodent burrows on soil hydrology in a meso-scale catchment. Within the Attert Catchment (297 km2) in Luxembourg we performed sprinkling experiments with a brilliant blue tracer on twelve plots, of which six directly above rodent burrow openings and six on a surface without a rodent burrow opening, in order to examine the influence of the burrow openings on the infiltration pattern. Then we tested the extent of flow through mice burrows in different forest types, with varying geology and slope, by supplying 5 Liters of water with brilliant blue tracer directly to 24 burrow openings at soil surface. We excavated the burrows to measure how far the water was transported laterally in the burrow. Though

  15. Comparison of burrowing and stimuli-evoked pain behaviors as end-points in rat models of inflammatory pain and peripheral neuropathic pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjun eMuralidharan

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Establishment and validation of ethologically-relevant, non-evoked behavioral end-points as surrogate measures of spontaneous pain in rodent pain models has been proposed as a means to improve preclinical to clinical research translation in the pain field. Here, we compared the utility of burrowing behavior with hypersensitivity to applied mechanical stimuli for pain assessment in rat models of chronic inflammatory and peripheral neuropathic pain. Briefly, groups of male Sprague-Dawley rats were habituated to the burrowing environment and trained over a 5-day period. Rats that burrowed ≤450g of gravel on any two days of the individual training phase were excluded from the study. The remaining rats received either a unilateral intraplantar injection of Freund’s complete adjuvant (FCA or saline, or underwent unilateral chronic constriction injury (CCI of the sciatic nerve- or sham-surgery. Baseline burrowing behavior and evoked pain behaviors were assessed prior to model induction, and twice-weekly until study completion on day 14. For FCA- and CCI-rats, but not the corresponding groups of sham-rats, evoked mechanical hypersensitivity developed in a temporal manner in the ipsilateral hindpaws. Although burrowing behavior also decreased in a temporal manner for both FCA- and CCI-rats, there was considerable inter-animal variability. By contrast, mechanical hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in the ipsilateral hindpaws of FCA- and CCI-rats respectively, exhibited minimal inter-animal variability. Our data collectively show that burrowing behavior is altered in rodent models of chronic inflammatory pain and peripheral neuropathic pain. However, large group sizes are needed to ensure studies are adequately powered due to considerable inter-animal variability.

  16. Burrowing shrimps and seagrass dynamics in shallow-water meadows off Bolinao (Nw Philippines)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nacorda, H.M.

    2008-01-01

    Keywords: sediment gaps, Alpheus macellarius, Thalassinidea, burrows, seagrass canopies, sediment characteristics, Philippines Small-scale disturbance of seagrass meadows by burrowing shrimps was assessed by mapping and quantifying apparent disturbance marks (burrow openings, sand patches, sand

  17. Burrow architecture of the Damaraland mole-rat ( Fukomys ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The burrow architecture (length, internal dimensions, fractal dimension of tunnel systems, number of nesting chambers and surface mounds) was investigated in the Damaraland mole-rat (Fukomys damarensis). A total of 31 animals were caught from five different colonies and their burrow systems were excavated in their ...

  18. Habitat fragmentation and the Burrowing Owls (Speotyto cunicularia) in Saskatchewan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert G. Warnock; Paul C. James

    1997-01-01

    The relationship between landscape (125,664 ha circular plots) fragmentation patterns and the spatial distribution of Burrowing Owls (Speotyto cunicularia) was investigated in the heavily fragmented grasslands of Saskatchewan. Data were collected from 152 Burrowing Owl sites and 250 random sites located on 1990 LANDSAT-TM satellite images and 1:250,...

  19. Ghost crab burrow density at Watamu Marine National Park: An ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ghost crab (Ocypode species) burrow densities have previously been used as an indicator of anthropogenic impact. This study aimed to assess the burrow density of Ocypode species (O. ryderi and O. cordimanus) at four sites across Watamu Marine National Park, Kenya. Two sites were in front of hotel complexes ...

  20. Amyloid β Enhances Typical Rodent Behavior While It Impairs Contextual Memory Consolidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karla Salgado-Puga

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is associated with an early hippocampal dysfunction, which is likely induced by an increase in soluble amyloid beta peptide (Aβ. This hippocampal failure contributes to the initial memory deficits observed both in patients and in AD animal models and possibly to the deterioration in activities of daily living (ADL. One typical rodent behavior that has been proposed as a hippocampus-dependent assessment model of ADL in mice and rats is burrowing. Despite the fact that AD transgenic mice show some evidence of reduced burrowing, it has not been yet determined whether or not Aβ can affect this typical rodent behavior and whether this alteration correlates with the well-known Aβ-induced memory impairment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to test whether or not Aβ affects burrowing while inducing hippocampus-dependent memory impairment. Surprisingly, our results show that intrahippocampal application of Aβ increases burrowing while inducing memory impairment. We consider that this Aβ-induced increase in burrowing might be associated with a mild anxiety state, which was revealed by increased freezing behavior in the open field, and conclude that Aβ-induced hippocampal dysfunction is reflected in the impairment of ADL and memory, through mechanisms yet to be determined.

  1. The rhinoceros among Serpents: Comparative anatomy and experimental biophysics of Calabar burrowing python (Calabaria reinhardtii) skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dawei; Young, Bruce A

    2018-01-01

    The Calabar burrowing python (Calabaria reinhardtii) has a unique combination of marked thickness of the integumentary layers, a highly organized lamellate arrangement of the dermal collagen bundles, and a reduction in the size of the interscale hinge region of the integument. Biomechanical testing demonstrates that the skin of C. reinhardtii is more resistant to penetration than the skin of other snakes. The laminar arrangement of the collagen bundles provides for penetrative resistance, even while maintaining the flexibility characteristic of snake skin. Considering the life history of this species, it is hypothesized that the specialized integument of C. reinhardtii is a passive defensive mechanism against penetrative bites from maternal rodents and predators. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. The roles of gene duplication, gene conversion and positive selection in rodent Esp and Mup pheromone gene families with comparison to the Abp family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karn, Robert C; Laukaitis, Christina M

    2012-01-01

    Three proteinaceous pheromone families, the androgen-binding proteins (ABPs), the exocrine-gland secreting peptides (ESPs) and the major urinary proteins (MUPs) are encoded by large gene families in the genomes of Mus musculus and Rattus norvegicus. We studied the evolutionary histories of the Mup and Esp genes and compared them with what is known about the Abp genes. Apparently gene conversion has played little if any role in the expansion of the mouse Class A and Class B Mup genes and pseudogenes, and the rat Mups. By contrast, we found evidence of extensive gene conversion in many Esp genes although not in all of them. Our studies of selection identified at least two amino acid sites in β-sheets as having evolved under positive selection in the mouse Class A and Class B MUPs and in rat MUPs. We show that selection may have acted on the ESPs by determining K(a)/K(s) for Exon 3 sequences with and without the converted sequence segment. While it appears that purifying selection acted on the ESP signal peptides, the secreted portions of the ESPs probably have undergone much more rapid evolution. When the inner gene converted fragment sequences were removed, eleven Esp paralogs were present in two or more pairs with K(a)/K(s) >1.0 and thus we propose that positive selection is detectable by this means in at least some mouse Esp paralogs. We compare and contrast the evolutionary histories of all three mouse pheromone gene families in light of their proposed functions in mouse communication.

  3. Burrowing behaviour of robotic bivalves with synthetic morphologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Germann, D P; Carbajal, J P

    2013-12-01

    Several bivalve species burrow into sandy sediments to reach their living position. There are many hypotheses concerning the functional morphology of the bivalve shell for burrowing. Observational studies are limited and often qualitative and should be complemented by a synthetic approach mimicking the burrowing process using a robotic emulation. In this paper we present a simple mechatronic set-up to mimic the burrowing behaviour of bivalves. As environment we used water and quartz sand contained in a glass tank. Bivalve shells were mathematically modelled on the computer and then materialized using a 3D printer. The burrowing motion of the shells was induced by two external linear motors. Preliminary experiments did not expose any artefacts introduced to the burrowing process by the set-up. We tested effects of shell size, shape and surface sculpturing on the burrowing performance. Neither the typical bivalve shape nor surface sculpture did have a clear positive effect on burrowing depth in the performed experiments. We argue that the presented method is a valid and promising approach to investigate the functional morphology of bivalve shells and should be improved and extended in future studies. In contrast to the observation of living bivalves, our approach offers complete control over the parameters defining shell morphology and motion pattern. The technical set-up allows the systematic variation of all parameters to quantify their effects. The major drawback of the built set-up was that the reliability and significance of the results was limited by the lack of an optimal technique to standardize the sediment state before experiments.

  4. Convergent and Divergent Adaptations of Subterranean Rodents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fang, Xiaodong

    ) have evolved convergent and divergent traits in many of their morphological, physiological, and/or behavioral characteristics, which facilitate their adaptions to a similar underground burrowing life style. For example, all these three rodents show degenerate visual acuity and advanced sensory systems...... in the dark; they display remarkable tolerance to a living environment with an excess of carbon dioxide and ammonia, but lack of oxygen; they exhibit extraordinarily long lives, and keep a fantastic resistance to cancer and other aging-associated diseases. In this study, we reported the genomic......, coupled with the reported genetic information, will promote the utilization of subterranean animal models for biological and biomedical research in the fight against aging, cancer, stroke and other realted diseases....

  5. Recognition and management of rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks after heavy rainfall and flooding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, James H

    2014-01-01

    Climatic events, especially heavy rains and flooding following periods of relative drought, have precipitated both arthropod-borne and rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks. Heavy rainfall encourages excessive wild grass seed production that supports increased outdoor rodent populations, and flooding forces rodents from their burrows near water sources into the built environment and closer to humans. The objectives of this review are to alert clinicians to the climatic conditions common to hurricane-prone regions, such as Louisiana, that can precipitate outbreaks of the two rodent-borne diseases most often associated with periods of heavy rainfall and flooding, leptospirosis (LS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). It will also describe the epidemiology, presenting clinical manifestations and outcomes of these rodent-borne infectious diseases, and recommend both prophylactic therapies and effective control and prevention strategies for rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks. Healthcare providers should maintain high levels of suspicion for LS in patients developing febrile illnesses after contaminated freshwater exposures during flooding or recreational events, and for HPS in patients with febrile illnesses that progress rapidly to respiratory failure following rodent exposures in enclosed spaces. Public health educational strategies should encourage limiting human contact with all wild and peridomestic rats and mice, avoiding all contact with rodent excreta, safely disposing of all rodent excreta, and modifying the built environment to deter rodents from colonizing households and workplaces.

  6. Incorporation of microplastics from litter into burrows of Lumbricus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Gertsen, Hennie; Gooren, Harm; Peters, Piet; Salánki, Tamás; van der Ploeg, Martine; Besseling, Ellen; Koelmans, Albert A; Geissen, Violette

    2017-01-01

    Pollution caused by plastic debris is an urgent environmental problem. Here, we assessed the effects of microplastics in the soil surface litter on the formation and characterization of burrows built by the anecic earthworm Lumbricus terrestris in soil and quantified the amount of microplastics that was transported and deposited in L. terrestris burrows. Worms were exposed to soil surface litter treatments containing microplastics (Low Density Polyethylene) for 2 weeks at concentrations of 0%, 7%, 28%, 45% and 60%. The latter representing environmentally realistic concentrations found in hot spot soil locations. There were significantly more burrows found when soil was exposed to the surface treatment composed of 7% microplastics than in all other treatments. The highest amount of organic matter in the walls of the burrows was observed after using the treatments containing 28 and 45% microplastics. The highest microplastic bioturbation efficiency ratio (total microplastics (mg) in burrow walls/initial total surface litter microplastics (mg)) was found using the concentration of 7% microplastics, where L. terrestris introduced 73.5% of the surface microplastics into the burrow walls. The highest burrow wall microplastic content per unit weight of soil (11.8 ± 4.8 g kg- 1 ) was found using a concentration of 60% microplastics. L. terrestris was responsible for size-selective downward transport when exposed to concentrations of 7, 28 and 45% microplastics in the surface litter, as the fraction ≤50 μm microplastics in burrow walls increased by 65% compared to this fraction in the original surface litter plastic. We conclude that the high biogenic incorporation rate of the small-fraction microplastics from surface litter into burrow walls causes a risk of leaching through preferential flow into groundwater bodies. Furthermore, this leaching may have implications for the subsequent availability of microplastics to terrestrial organisms or for the transport

  7. Plant cover effect on Bolson tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus Legler 1959, Testudinidae burrow use

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra-López

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Bolson tortoise, Gopherus flavomarginatus, occurs within a restricted geographical area in the Mexican Chihuahuan Desert. We analyzed the variation in surface microhabitat with relation to the burrow occupancy for this tortoise at the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. In summer 2010, we monitored burrow activity (active, inactive, or abandoned and measured environmental factors that might influence the burrow’s occupancy by tortoises (air temperature, relative humidity and substrate temperature, both inside and outside the burrow, and the plant cover around it. Discriminant analysis was used to identify the importance of these variables influencing burrow occupancy. Correlation and linear regression analyses were performed to quantify the relation between environmental factors in the sampled burrows. Results. Sixty-one burrows were identified at the Tortugas locality. The first function’s auto-value analysis indicates that this function explains 97.9% of the variation in burrow activity status; high occupancy scores were associated with low substrate temperature inside the burrow. Plant cover was inversely proportional to substrate temperature inside the burrow. These results suggest the importance the density of plants surrounding the tortoise’s burrow as a key factor influencing the burrow microclimate and occupancy by the tortoises. Conclusions. Gopherus flavomarginatus inhabits burrows, in part, based on microhabitat structure, with plant cover being a main factor influencing burrow occupancy. Our findings indicate that human land use and vegetation management are important for conserving Bolson tortoises, and for understanding habitat conditions necessary for the successful establishment of populations elsewhere.

  8. The fecal viral flora of wild rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tung G Phan

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The frequent interactions of rodents with humans make them a common source of zoonotic infections. To obtain an initial unbiased measure of the viral diversity in the enteric tract of wild rodents we sequenced partially purified, randomly amplified viral RNA and DNA in the feces of 105 wild rodents (mouse, vole, and rat collected in California and Virginia. We identified in decreasing frequency sequences related to the mammalian viruses families Circoviridae, Picobirnaviridae, Picornaviridae, Astroviridae, Parvoviridae, Papillomaviridae, Adenoviridae, and Coronaviridae. Seventeen small circular DNA genomes containing one or two replicase genes distantly related to the Circoviridae representing several potentially new viral families were characterized. In the Picornaviridae family two new candidate genera as well as a close genetic relative of the human pathogen Aichi virus were characterized. Fragments of the first mouse sapelovirus and picobirnaviruses were identified and the first murine astrovirus genome was characterized. A mouse papillomavirus genome and fragments of a novel adenovirus and adenovirus-associated virus were also sequenced. The next largest fraction of the rodent fecal virome was related to insect viruses of the Densoviridae, Iridoviridae, Polydnaviridae, Dicistroviriade, Bromoviridae, and Virgaviridae families followed by plant virus-related sequences in the Nanoviridae, Geminiviridae, Phycodnaviridae, Secoviridae, Partitiviridae, Tymoviridae, Alphaflexiviridae, and Tombusviridae families reflecting the largely insect and plant rodent diet. Phylogenetic analyses of full and partial viral genomes therefore revealed many previously unreported viral species, genera, and families. The close genetic similarities noted between some rodent and human viruses might reflect past zoonoses. This study increases our understanding of the viral diversity in wild rodents and highlights the large number of still uncharacterized viruses in

  9. First record of Megacydnus secundus J. A. Lis, 2002, a representative of Afrotropical endemic burrower bug genus from Uganda, and an annotated checklist of Ugandan Cydnidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lis, Jerzy A; Lis, Barbara

    2014-05-14

    The Cydnidae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Pentatomoidea) is a true bug family with almost 700 species distributed worldwide (Lis 1996, 1999, 2006). These bugs usually dig in the ground (e.g., sand, soil, litter) and, therefore, are commonly known as the burrower bugs or burrowing bugs. Digging in the ground is possible because of several morphological adaptations, including well-developed tibial combs (Lis and Schaefer 2005), coxal combs (Lis 2010), and strong hair-like and peg-like setae on the head margins in larval and adult stages (Lis and Pluot-Sigwalt 2002) (see: Fig. 1A).

  10. Artificial and Modified Burrows Establishment for the Atlantic Puffin on Petit Manan Island, Maine

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — An attempt to establish a breeding population of Atlantic puffin colony using artificial and modified burrows on Petit Manan Island resulted in 3 of 17 burrows being...

  11. ENHANCED ORGANIC MATTER REMINERALIZATION AND NUTRIENT TURNOVER BY POPULATIONS OF BURROWING SHRIMP IN YAQUINA BAY, OR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrowing, or thalassinid, shrimp structure large areas of intertidal habitat of Pacific Northwest estuaries. This field study utilized a combination of anoxic incubations, porewater dialysis peepers, and benthic chambers to quantify the role of burrowing shrimp species on OM dec...

  12. Rodent Research-1 Validation of Rodent Hardware

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globus, Ruth; Beegle, Janet

    2013-01-01

    To achieve novel science objectives, validation of a rodent habitat on ISS will enable - In-flight analyses during long duration spaceflight- Use of genetically altered animals- Application of modern analytical techniques (e.g. genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics)

  13. Skeletal indicators of locomotor adaptations in living and extinct rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Joshua X; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    2008-11-01

    Living rodents show great diversity in their locomotor habits, including semiaquatic, arboreal, fossorial, ricochetal, and gliding species from multiple families. To assess the association between limb morphology and locomotor habits, the appendicular skeletons of 65 rodent genera from 16 families were measured. Ecomorphological analyses of various locomotor types revealed consistent differences in postcranial skeletal morphology that relate to functionally important traits. Behaviorally similar taxa showed convergent morphological characters, despite distinct evolutionary histories. Semiaquatic rodents displayed relatively robust bones, enlarged muscular attachments, short femora, and elongate hind feet. Arboreal rodents had relatively elongate humeri and digits, short olecranon processes of the ulnae, and equally proportioned fore and hind limbs. Fossorial rodents showed relatively robust bones, enlarged muscular attachments, short antebrachii and digits, elongate manual claws, and reduced hind limb elements. Ricochetal rodents displayed relatively proximal insertion of muscles, disproportionate limbs, elongate tibiae, and elongate hind feet. Gliding rodents had relatively elongate and gracile bones, short olecranon processes of the ulnae, and equally proportioned fore and hind limbs. The morphological differences observed here can readily be used to discriminate extant rodents with different locomotor strategies. This suggests that the method could be applied to extinct rodents, regardless of ancestry, to accurately infer their locomotor ecologies. When applied to an extinct group of rodents, we found two distinct ecomorphs represented in the beaver family (Castoridae), semiaquatic and semifossorial. There was also a progressive trend toward increased body size and increased aquatic specialization in the giant beaver lineage (Castoroidinae).

  14. Burrow architecture and turbative activity of the thalassinid shrimp Callianassa subterranea from the central North Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stamhuis, EJ; Schreurs, CE; Videler, JJ

    1997-01-01

    The architecture and development of the burrows of the endobenthic shrimp Callianassa subterranea from the central North Sea were studied in sediment-filled containers and thin cuvettes in the laboratory. Three-dimensional burrows of 81 shrimps were used to describe the 3-dimensional burrow

  15. The biology of the burrowing crab, Corystes cassivelaunus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartnoll, R.G.

    1972-01-01

    Corystes cassivelaunus (Brachyura, Corystidae), a crab which burrows in clean sublittoral sand, was investigated at several inshore locations around the Isle of Man. It usually buries itself so as to leave little or no external sign of its presence. Immature crabs remain buried by day throughout the

  16. Oxygen penetration around burrows and roots in aquatic sediments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meysman, Filip J.R.; Galaktionov, O.S.; Glud, Ronnie N.

    2010-01-01

    Diffusion is the dominant physical mechanism for the transfer of oxygen into fine-grained aquatic sediments. This diffusive uptake occurs at the sediment-water interface, but also at internal interfaces, such as along ventilated burrows or O2 releasing plant roots. Here, we present a systematic...

  17. Phanerozoic stromatolites: noncompetitive ecologic restriction by grazing and burrowing animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, P

    1970-07-10

    The abundance of stromatolites (algal laminated sedimentary structures) in the Precambrian followed by a decline in the Phanerozoic is explained by the evolution and diversification during the Phanerozoic of grazing animals which feed on surface algal mats and of burrowing animals which destroy sedimentary laminations.

  18. Protozoal hepatitis in a western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franson, J. Christian

    2017-01-01

    A western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) found dead in southern California had many light-colored lesions visible grossly on its liver, and histopathology revealed extensive necrosis throughout the hepatic parenchyma. Single-celled organisms were seen in clear spaces within the areas of necrosis. The owl was diagnosed with protozoal hepatitis.

  19. Incorporation of microplastics from litter into burrows of Lumbricus terrestris

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huerta Lwanga, Esperanza; Gertsen, H.F.; Gooren, H.; Peters, P.; Salanki, T.E.; Ploeg, van der M.; Besseling, E.; Koelmans, A.A.; Geissen, V.

    2017-01-01

    Pollution caused by plastic debris is an urgent environmental problem. Here, we assessed the effects of microplastics in the soil surface litter on the formation and characterization of burrows built by the anecic earthworm Lumbricus terrestris in soil and quantified the amount of microplastics that

  20. Modeling seasonal detection patterns for burrowing owl surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quresh S. Latif; Kathleen D. Fleming; Cameron Barrows; John T. Rotenberry

    2012-01-01

    To guide monitoring of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) in the Coachella Valley, California, USA, we analyzed survey-method-specific seasonal variation in detectability. Point-based call-broadcast surveys yielded high early season detectability that then declined through time, whereas detectability on driving surveys increased through the season. Point surveys...

  1. Surface destabilisation by the invasive burrowing engineer Mus musculus on a sub-Antarctic island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, Bert; Eldridge, David J.

    2014-10-01

    Invasive species are known to have substantial trophic effects on ecosystems and ecosystem processes. The invasion of the house mouse (Mus musculus) onto sub-Antarctic islands has had a devastating effect on plants, invertebrates, and birds with substantial changes in ecosystem functions. Less well understood, however, are the nontrophic, geomorphic effects of mice resulting from their burrowing activities. We examined the extent of burrow construction by M. musculus across an area of about 20 ha on Marion Island and the effects of burrows on water flow and sediment movement. We recorded a density of 0.59 ± 0.48 (mean ± SD) burrows m- 2, with more burrows at lower altitudes and shallower slopes, and twice the density in the solifluction risers (0.86 ± 0.54 m- 2) than the intervening terraces or treads (0.40 ± 0.51 m- 2). Most burrows were dug horizontally into the slope and tended to extend about 20 cm deep before turning. A very conservative estimate of sediment removed from burrows from this depth is 2.4 t ha- 1. However, taking into account more detailed data on burrow morphology based on excavations, actual amounts may be closer to 8.4 t ha- 1. Average soil displacement rate for a single burrow, measured over 5 days, was 0.18 kg burrow- 1 day- 1. Burrows acted as conduits for water and warmer air. Stones at burrow entrances were moved eight times farther by water (10.4 cm) than those not associated with burrows. Similarly, temperatures adjacent to burrow entrances were 4.1 °C higher than sites 10 cm away. Together our data indicate that mice are having substantial deleterious and geomorphic effects on sub-Antarctic ecosystems through their burrowing. With lower rates of mouse mortality resulting from warmer climates predicted under global climate models, we can expect an increase in damage resulting from mouse activity.

  2. Rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks after flooding disasters: Epidemiology, management, and prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, James H

    2015-01-01

    To alert clinicians to the climatic conditions that can precipitate outbreaks of the rodent-borne infectious diseases most often associated with flooding disasters, leptospirosis (LS), and the Hantavirus-caused diseases, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS); to describe the epidemiology and presenting clinical manifestations and outcomes of these rodent-borne infectious diseases; and to recommend both prophylactic therapies and effective control and prevention strategies for rodent-borne infectious diseases. Internet search engines, including Google®, Google Scholar®, Pub Med, Medline, and Ovid, were queried with the key words as search terms to examine the latest scientific articles on rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks in the United States and worldwide to describe the epidemiology and presenting clinical manifestations and outcomes of LS and Hantavirus outbreaks. Not applicable. Not applicable. Not applicable. Rodent-borne infectious disease outbreaks following heavy rainfall and flooding disasters. Heavy rainfall encourages excessive wild grass seed production that supports increased outdoor rodent population densities; and flooding forces rodents from their burrows near water sources into the built environment and closer to humans. Healthcare providers should maintain high levels of suspicion for LS in patients developing febrile illnesses after contaminated freshwater exposures following heavy rainfall, flooding, and even freshwater recreational events; and for Hantavirus-caused infectious diseases in patients with hemorrhagic fevers that progress rapidly to respiratory or renal failure following rodent exposures.

  3. Burrowing hard corals occurring on the sea floor since 80 million years ago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sentoku, Asuka; Tokuda, Yuki; Ezaki, Yoichi

    2016-04-14

    We describe a previously unknown niche for hard corals in the small, bowl-shaped, solitary scleractinian, Deltocyathoides orientalis (Family Turbinoliidae), on soft-bottom substrates. Observational experiments were used to clarify how the sea floor niche is exploited by turbinoliids. Deltocyathoides orientalis is adapted to an infaunal mode of life and exhibits behaviours associated with automobility that include burrowing into sediments, vertical movement through sediments to escape burial, and recovery of an upright position after being overturned. These behaviours were achieved through repeated expansion and contraction of their peripheral soft tissues, which constitute a unique muscle-membrane system. Histological analysis showed that these muscle arrangements were associated with deeply incised inter-costal spaces characteristic of turbinoliid corals. The oldest known turbinoliid, Bothrophoria ornata, which occurred in the Cretaceous (Campanian), also possessed a small, conical skeleton with highly developed costae. An infaunal mode of life became available to turbinoliids due to the acquisition of automobility through the muscle-membrane system at least 80 million years ago. The newly discovered active burrowing strategies described herein provide new insights into the use of an unattached mode of life by corals inhabiting soft-bottom substrates throughout the Phanerozoic.

  4. Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species

    OpenAIRE

    Samuel Ginot; Lionel Hautier; Laurent Marivaux; Monique Vianey-Liaud

    2016-01-01

    Studies linking postcranial morphology with locomotion in mammals are common. However, such studies are mostly restricted to caviomorphs in rodents. We present here data from various families, belonging to the three main groups of rodents (Sciuroidea, Myodonta, and Ctenohystrica). The aim of this study is to define morphological indicators for the astragalus and calcaneus, which allow for inferences to be made about the locomotor behaviours in rodents. Several specimens were dissected and des...

  5. A closer look at the subordinate population within the visible burrow system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melhorn, Susan J; Elfers, Clinton T; Scott, Karen A; Sakai, Randall R

    2017-09-01

    The visible burrow system (VBS) utilizes the natural social behavior of rodents to model chronic social stress. Classically, when male and female rats are housed together in the VBS a dominance hierarchy rapidly forms with one dominant (DOM) and three subordinate (SUB) males. SUB animals show signs of chronic social stress, including loss of body weight and elevated basal corticosterone. This study furthered examined differences among the SUB population. Quantitative observations across numerous VBS colonies within the Sakai Lab suggest that there is variability in the effects of stress on the SUB population, specifically that some animals may experience more severe effects of chronic social stress than others. To further examine this observation, SUB animals were classified as OMEGA if they received a disproportionate amount of their colonies' wounds. OMEGA animals received more wounds to their body compared to SUB (PVBS-housed animals (group×time interaction PVBS housing it was determined the OMGEA also lost lean body mass (PVBS colony and represents the variability of the effects of chronic social stress. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Intraspecific competition in Tridacna crocea, a burrowing bivalve.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamner, W M

    1978-01-01

    Intraspecific competition for space and light occurred when Tridacna crocea burrowed into coralline substratum of boulders on leeward coral reefs in the central Great Barrier Reef near Townsville, Australia. Intensity of competition was linearly related to clam density. Above about 200 clams/m 2 , all clams physically contacted one another and all shells sustained damage. Mortality in isolated populations due to intraspecific competition was estimated at 40%. Principles of intraspecific competition in plants were tested for applicability to T. crocea populations. Juvenile mortality due to competitive stress was density dependent. Aggregated distributions of one year old clams changed to random or regular distribution of adults. Normal size-frequency distribution for juveniles became skewed for older groups. A bimodal size-frequency distribution of the population was related to selective mortality in 1-3 year old clams. Adult mortality due to crowding was less severe but significant. Growth rates were inhibited by competition. Deformations in morphology resulted from crowding. Intraspecific competition for space and light by adults inhibited recruitment of young. Animal adaptations to reduce mortality under crowded conditions were also important. Larvae aggregated on settling and oriented with posterior ends pointed away from nearest neighbors. Positional alignment within the substratum was selectively advantageous. Burrowing posteriorly was preferential, but anterior and sideways burrowing as well as twisting within the burrow were also observed. Movement within substratum served to reduce local damage to the shell. Proteinaceous deposits secreted through perforations in the shell reduced subsequent damage. T. crocea populations exhibited many animal adaptations that reduced mortality during the first years of life, but as cohorts matured, plant-like patterns of competitive interaction became more significant.

  7. Artificially evolved functional shell morphology of burrowing bivalves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Germann, D. P.; Schatz, W.; Hotz, Peter Eggenberger

    2014-01-01

    , there are almost no studies experimentally testing their dynamic properties. To investigate the functional morphology of the bivalve shell, we employed a synthetic methodology and built an experimental setup to simulate the burrowing process. Using an evolutionary algorithm and a printer that prints three....... Nevertheless, it is demonstrated that systematic palaeontological research may substantially profit from synthetic methods. We suggest investigating functional morphologies not only by emulating the dynamical processes but also evolutionary pressure using evolutionary algorithms....

  8. Burrowing Time of the Three Indonesian Hippoid Crabs After Artificial Dislodgment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yusli Wardiatno

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Three species of hippoid crabs are the target species of intertidal fishery along coastal line in District Cilacap, south Java; namely Emerita emeritus, Hippa adactyla and Albunea symmista. In Adipala sandy beach, Cilacap  an experiment was conducted to reveal the burrowing time and velocity of the crabs. The experiment was performed by removing the crabs from their burrows, measuring their carapace length, and releasing them immediately on the substrate. Burrowing time was measured from the start of burrowing to the disappearance of the entire carapace under the sediment surface. Among the three species, E. emeritus had the fastest burrowing time. As a consequence in terms of velocity, the burrowing velocity of Albunea symmista was higher than that of Hippa adactyla and Emerita emeritus; meaning that with the same size A. symmista needs longer time to burrow. By evaluating with other previous studies, the burrowing time and burrowing velocity of the three sand crabs were comparable. The ability of fast burrowing in the three species seems likely to be the advantage for their survival in large wave disturbed coarse sandy habitat and for their ability to widely exist along the sandy coast of south Java. Keywords: behavior; Indian ocean; intertidal; sand crab; south Java; swash zone

  9. Artificial Crab Burrows Facilitate Desalting of Rooted Mangrove Sediment in a Microcosm Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathalie Pülmanns

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Water uptake by mangrove trees can result in salt accumulation in sediment around roots, negatively influencing growth. Tidal pumping facilitates salt release and can be enhanced by crab burrows. Similarly, flushing of burrows by incoming tidal water decreases sediment salinity. In contrast to burrows with multiple entrances, the role of burrows with one opening for salinity reduction is largely unknown. In a microcosm experiment we studied the effect of artificial, burrow-like macro-pores with one opening on the desalting of mangrove sediment and growth of Rhizophora mangle L. seedlings. Sediment salinity, seedling leaf area and seedling growth were monitored over six months. Artificial burrows facilitated salt release from the sediment after six weeks, but seedling growth was not influenced. To test whether crab burrows with one opening facilitate salt release in mangrove forests, sediment salinities were measured in areas with and without R. mangle stilt roots in North Brazil at the beginning and end of the wet season. In addition, burrows of Ucides cordatus were counted. High crab burrow densities and sediment salinities were associated with stilt root occurrence. Precipitation and salt accumulation by tree roots seem to have a larger effect on sediment salinity than desalting by U. cordatus burrows.

  10. Mammalian mesocarnivore visitation at tortoise burrows in a wind farm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Smith, Amanda L.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Delaney, David F.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Briggs, Jessica R.; Fleckenstein, Leo J.; Tennant, Laura A.; Puffer, Shellie R.; Walde, Andrew D.; Arundel, Terry; Price, Steven J.; Todd, Brian D.

    2017-01-01

    There is little information on predator–prey interactions in wind energy landscapes in North America, especially among terrestrial vertebrates. Here, we evaluated how proximity to roads and wind turbines affect mesocarnivore visitation with desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and their burrows in a wind energy landscape. In 2013, we placed motion-sensor cameras facing the entrances of 46 active desert tortoise burrows in a 5.2-km2 wind energy facility near Palm Springs, California, USA. Cameras recorded images of 35 species of reptiles, mammals, and birds. Counts for 4 species of mesocarnivores at desert tortoise burrows increased closer to dirt roads, and decreased closer to wind turbines. Our results suggest that anthropogenic infrastructure associated with wind energy facilities could influence the general behavior of mammalian predators and their prey. Further investigation of proximate mechanisms that underlie road and wind turbine effects (i.e., ground vibrations, sound emission, and traffic volume) and on wind energy facility spatial designs (i.e., road and wind turbine configuration) could prove useful for better understanding wildlife responses to wind energy development. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.

  11. Burrowing and foraging activity of marsh crabs under different ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    New England salt marshes are susceptible to degradation and habitat loss as a result of increased periods of inundation as sea levels rise. Increased inundation may exacerbate marsh degradation that can result from crab burrowing and foraging. Most studies to date have focused on how crab burrowing and foraging can impact the dominant low marsh plant species, Spartina alterniflora. Here we used a mesocosm experiment to examine the relationship of foraging and burrowing activity in two dominant New England crab species, Sesarma reticulatum and Uca pugilator, and the combined effect of inundation, on the dominant high marsh plant species Spartina patens using a 3 × 2 factorial design with three crab treatments (Sesarma, Uca, control) at two levels of inundation (low, high). Plants were labeled with a nitrogen (N) stable isotope tracer to estimate plant consumption by the two crab species. At both levels of inundation, we found that S. reticulatum had a significant negative impact on both above- and below-ground biomass by physically clipping and uprooting the plants, whereas U. pugilator had no significant impact. Low inundation treatments for both crab species had significantly greater aboveground biomass than high inundation. Stable N isotope tracer levels were roughly the same for both S. reticulatum and U. pugilator tissue, suggesting that the impact of S. reticulatum on S. patens was not through consumption of the plants. Overall, our results suggest the pot

  12. Genome Similarity Implies that Citrus-Parasitic Burrowing Nematodes do not Represent a Unique Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, D T; Opperman, C H

    1997-12-01

    Burrowing nematodes from Central America, Dominican Republic, Florida, Guadeloupe, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico were characterized for their ability to parasitize citrus, but citrus parasites were found only in Florida. Sequence tag sites originally amplified from a citrus-parasitic burrowing nematode were polymorphic among 37 burrowing nematode isolates and were not correlated with citrus parasitism, nematode isolate collection site, or amplification of a 2.4-kb sequence tag site (DK#1). Results of a RAPD analysis and characterization of the isozymes phosphoglucose isomerase, lactate dehydrogenase, and malate dehydrogenase indicated that the burrowing nematode isolates were highly similar. Citrus parasitism in Florida appears to be associated with limited changes in the burrowing nematode genome. Findings did not substantiate a previous report that R. citrophilus was present in Hawaii. Overall, these data do not support assignment of sibling species status to burrowing nematodes that differ with respect to citrus parasitism.

  13. Methods for monitoring tidal flushing in large animal burrows in tropical mangrove swamps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollins, Suzanne E.; Heron, Scott F.; Ridd, Peter V.

    2009-05-01

    The typically anaerobic nature of mangrove sediments provides significant challenges to the mangrove trees and biota inhabiting them. The burrowing activities and flow of water through the numerous and complex animal burrows perforating the sediments of mangroves have a major influence on the biogeochemistry of the sediments and are important to the enhancement of nutrient and oxygen exchange. Two new methods are presented for monitoring the tidal flushing of Sesarma messa and Alpheus cf macklay burrows in a Rhizophora stylosa mangrove forest - by measuring oxygen content of burrow water and by determining the change in fluorescence of a dye tracer through tidal inundation. A case study using the first of these showed oxygen consumption rates at the burrow wall deep within the burrow were found to be between 210 and 460 μmol O 2 m -2 h -1. The influx of oxygen during a flood tide was found to be significant and indicated that approximately 40% of the burrow water is flushed during a single tidal event. However, the high consumption rate of oxygen within the burrow resulted in the oxygen concentration remaining at or below one-third of the oxygen content of the flooding tidal water. A test application of the second method, using rhodamine dye as a tracer, indicated that the exchange of water between the burrow and the flooding tide was found to be in the order of 30% of the burrow volume. These new techniques provide a means to further study the nutrient exchange within these burrow systems and verify the initial findings that several tidal inundations are necessary to completely flush the burrows.

  14. Burrow ventilation and associated porewater irrigation by the polychaete Marenzelleria viridis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quintana, Cintia Organo; Hansen, Tanja; Delefosse, Matthieu

    2011-01-01

    presented muscular pumping in time averaged rates of 0.15 ml min−1. Oxygen needle electrodes positioned above the burrow openings revealed that muscular undulation of the worm body pumps anoxic water out of the burrow. On the other hand, microscope observations of the animal showed that ventilation...... and irrigation behavior of Marenzelleria viridis, an invasive polychaete species in Europe, was analyzed using different approaches. M. viridis showed to perform two types of ventilation: (1) muscular pumping of water out of the burrow and (2) cilia pumping of water into the burrow. Flowmeter measurements...

  15. Intraspecific variation in reproductive traits of burrowing owls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Meaghan; Nadeau, Christopher P.; Conway, Courtney J.

    2012-01-01

    Reviews of hatching asynchrony in birds recommended more studies on intraspecific variation in the extent of hatching asynchrony. We examined intraspecific variation in clutch size, laying chronology, onset of incubation, incubation period, and hatching asynchrony in burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) in the Imperial Valley of California. Mean clutch size was 7.4 eggs and owls averaged 0.5 eggs laid per day. Females varied considerably in laying interval and onset of incubation (range = 1st to 9th egg in the clutch). The mean incubation period was 21.9 days. Hatching interval also varied greatly among females (x = 0.8, range 0.1-2.0 days between successively hatched eggs). Past burrowing owl studies have largely overlooked the substantial intraspecific variation in these traits or have reported estimates that differ from ours. Future studies designed to identify the environmental factors that explain the large intraspecific variation in these traits will likely provide insights into the constraints on local abundance.

  16. Studies on soil and water characteristics of Burrow pits for possible ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies on soil and water characteristics of Burrow pits for possible conversion into fish ponds in Niger Delta, Nigeria. ... Soil and water parameters were investigated in 34 burrow pits in Egiland, Rivers State, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The pits surface areas and depths ranged from 30,000 to 40,000 m2 and 1.00 to ...

  17. ENHANCED ORGANIC MATTER REMINERALIZATION AND NUTRIENT TURNOVER BY BURROWING SHRIMP POPULATIONS IN YAQUINA BAY, OR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrowing thalassinid shrimp are major ecological components of Pacific Northwest (PNW) estuaries and where they structure large areas of intertidal and shallow subtidal habitat. These crustaceans occur in dense beds (>250 m-2) and dig extensive burrow systems (>1 m) controlling ...

  18. Water pumping and analysis of flow in burrowing zoobenthos - a short overview

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riisgård, H. U.; Larsen, Poul Scheel

    2002-01-01

    Measurement of water pumping rates of burrowing animals is of crucial importance for the study of many processes both within and above the sea floor. This short review deals with water pumping and analysis of flow, including available techniques and bio-fluid mechanical theory, in burrowing deposit...

  19. COMPARISON OF CARBON AND NITROGEN FLUXES IN TIDEFLAT FOOD WEBS DOMINATED BY BURROWING SHRIMP OR BY CULTURED OYSTERS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two species of indigenous, thalassinid burrowing shrimps are pests to the benthic culture of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) because deposition of sediment excavated by the shrimps buries or smothers the oysters. Carbaryl pesticide is used to reduce burrowing shrimp densitie...

  20. An analysis of the horizontal burrow morphology of the oriental mole cricket (Gryllotalpa orientalis) and the distribution pattern of surface vegetation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Endo, C

    2008-01-01

    .... The burrowing patterns of the oriental mole cricket (Gryllotalpa orientalis Brumeister, 1838) (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) were investigated based on analyses of the relation between burrow morphology and plant distribution...

  1. Uus Multiphonic Rodent

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2009-01-01

    Tartus tegutsenud eksperimentaal-rock-duo Opium Flirt Eestisse jäänud liige Erki Hõbe (paarimees Ervin Trofimov tegutseb Ungaris) annab välja oma teise sooloalbumi nime all Multiphonic Rodent, heliplaadi "Astral Dance" esitluskontsert toimub 5. veebruaril Tallinnas baaris Juuksur

  2. Priming effect in topsoil and subsoil induced by earthworm burrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thu, Duyen Hoang Thi

    2017-04-01

    Earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris L.) not only affect soil physics, but they also boost microbial activities and consequently important hotspots of microbial mediated carbon and C turnover through their burrowing activity. However, it is still unknown to which extend earthworms affect priming effect in top- and subsoil horizons. More labile C inputs in earthworm burrows were hypothesized to trigger higher priming of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition compared to rhizosphere and bulk soil. Moreover, this effect was expected to be more pronounced in subsoil due to its greater C and nutrient limitation. To test these hypotheses, biopores and bulk soil were sampled from topsoil (0-30 cm) and two subsoil depths (45-75 and 75-105 cm). Additionally, rhizosphere samples were taken from the topsoil. Total organic C (Corg), total N (TN), total P (TP) and enzyme activities involved in C-, N-, and P-cycling (cellobiohydrolase, β-glucosidase, xylanase, chitinase, leucine aminopeptidase and phosphatase) were measured. Priming effects were calculated as the difference in SOM-derived CO2 from soil with or without 14C-labelled glucose addition. Enzyme activities in biopores were positively correlated with Corg, TN and TP, but in bulk soil this correlation was negative. The more frequent fresh and labile C inputs to biopores caused 4 to 20 time higher absolute priming of SOM turnover due to enzyme activities that were one order of magnitude higher than in bulk soil. In subsoil biopores, reduced labile C inputs and lower N availability stimulated priming twofold greater than in topsoil. In contrast, a positive priming effect in bulk soil was only detected at 75-105 cm depth. We conclude that earthworm burrows provide not only the linkage between top- and subsoil for C and nutrients, but strongly increase microbial activities and accelerate SOM turnover in subsoil, contributing to nutrient mobilization for roots and CO2 emission increase as a greenhouse gas. Additionally, the

  3. Spilled oil and infaunal activity - Modification of burrowing behavior and redistribution of oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifton, H.E.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Rapp, J.B.

    1984-01-01

    A series of experiments in Willapa Bay, Washington, indicates the degree to which the presence of spilled oil modifies the burrowing behavior of infauna and the extent to which the animals redistribute oil into intertidal sediment. Small amounts of North Slope crude oil introduced at low tide directly into burrow openings (mostly made by the crustacean Callianassa) resulted in a limited and temporary reduction in the number of burrow openings. In contrast, a layer of oil-saturated sand 1 cm thick buried about 5 cm below the sediment surface sharply reduced the number of burrow openings. After a year, the few new burrows penetrated only the margins of the experimental plot, and bioturbation below the buried oil-saturated sand layer declined dramatically. The experiments suggest that small amounts of oil temporarily stranded by tides in themselves have no long-range effect on burrowing behavior. The fauna, however, are capable of introducing measurable amounts of oil into the subsurface, where it is retained long after the rest of the stranded oil had washed away. A buried layer of oil-saturated sand greatly reduces infaunal activity; the oil presents an effective barrier that can persist for years. The oil incorporated into the sediment from burrow openings showed evidence of degradation after 7 months. In contrast the layer of buried oil remained essentially undergraded after a period of two years, even though oil in lower concentrations above the layer was degraded after a period of one year. This variation in degree of degradation of the buried oil, as well as the heterogeneity of oil distribution wherever the oil has been incorporated from the surface, emphasises the importance of careful sampling in any attempt to locate or monitor the presence of spilled oil in the substrate.In a series of experiments in Willapa Bay, Washington, small amounts of North Slope crude oil introduced at low tide directly into burrow openings resulted in a limited and temporary

  4. Burgess shale-type biotas were not entirely burrowed away

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gaines, Robert R.; Droser, Mary L.; Orr, Patrick J.

    2012-01-01

    environments is that soft-bodied biotas were literally burrowed away from the fossil record by increasing infaunal activity in muddy substrate environments; this would have affected geochemical gradients and increased the efficiency of organic matter recycling in sediments. New and recently published data......Burgess Shale-type biotas occur globally in the Cambrian record and offer unparalleled insight into the Cambrian explosion, the initial Phanerozoic radiation of the Metazoa. Deposits bearing exceptionally preserved soft-bodied fossils are unusually common in Cambrian strata; more than 40 are now...... of the Burgess Shale (Canada). Therefore, increasing bioturbation cannot account for the apparent loss of this pathway from the fossil record, and requires that other circumstances, including, but not limited to, widespread benthic anoxia, facilitated widespread exceptional preservation in the Cambrian....

  5. Annotated catalogue of Iranian burrower bugs (Heteroptera, Pentatomoidea, Cydnidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Ghahari

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available A catalogue of burrower bugs (Heteroptera: Pentatomoidea: Cydnidae of Iran is provided. A total of 58 species from 5 subfamilies, 6 tribes and 22 genera is listed in this paper. Of these, 14 species are newly recorded from Iran: Byrsinus fossor (Mulsant & Rey, 1866, Byrsinus nigroscutellatus (Montandon, 1900, Byrsinus penicillatus Wagner, 1964, Canthophorus wagneri Asanova, 1964, Crocistethus waltlianus (Fieber, 1837, Geotomus antennatus Signoret, 1883, Sehirus cypriacus Dohrn, 1860, Sehirus dissimilis Horváth, 1919, Sehirus luctuosus Mulsant & Rey, 1866, Sehirus ovatus (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1840, Sehirus parens Mulsant & Rey, 1866, Sehirus planiceps Horváth, 1895, Stibaropus henkei (Jakovlev, 1874 and Tritomegas delagrangei (Puton, 1888. Additional Iranian records are provided for Byrsinus laeviceps (Kerzhner, 1972, Exosehirus marginatus (Signoret, 1881b, Fromundus pygmaeus (Dallas, 1851, Geotomus elongatus (Herrich-Schaeffer, 1840, Geotomus punctulatus (Costa, 1847, Ochetostethus sahlbergi Wagner, 1952 and Tritomegas bicolor (Linnaeus, 1758.

  6. Synchrotron Reveals Early Triassic Odd Couple: Injured Amphibian and Aestivating Therapsid Share Burrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Vincent; Abdala, Fernando; Carlson, Kristian J; Cook, Della Collins; Rubidge, Bruce S; Yates, Adam; Tafforeau, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Fossorialism is a beneficial adaptation for brooding, predator avoidance and protection from extreme climate. The abundance of fossilised burrow casts from the Early Triassic of southern Africa is viewed as a behavioural response by many tetrapods to the harsh conditions following the Permo-Triassic mass-extinction event. However, scarcity of vertebrate remains associated with these burrows leaves many ecological questions unanswered. Synchrotron scanning of a lithified burrow cast from the Early Triassic of the Karoo unveiled a unique mixed-species association: an injured temnospondyl amphibian (Broomistega) that sheltered in a burrow occupied by an aestivating therapsid (Thrinaxodon). The discovery of this rare rhinesuchid represents the first occurrence in the fossil record of a temnospondyl in a burrow. The amphibian skeleton shows signs of a crushing trauma with partially healed fractures on several consecutive ribs. The presence of a relatively large intruder in what is interpreted to be a Thrinaxodon burrow implies that the therapsid tolerated the amphibian's presence. Among possible explanations for such unlikely cohabitation, Thrinaxodon aestivation is most plausible, an interpretation supported by the numerous Thrinaxodon specimens fossilised in curled-up postures. Recent advances in synchrotron imaging have enabled visualization of the contents of burrow casts, thus providing a novel tool to elucidate not only anatomy but also ecology and biology of ancient tetrapods.

  7. Spatial and social organization in a burrow-dwelling lizard (Phrynocephalus vlangalii from China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yin Qi

    Full Text Available Shared ecological resources such as burrow complexes can set the stage for social groupings and the evolution of more complex social behavior such as parental care. Paternity testing is increasingly revealing cases of kin-based groupings, and lizards may be a good system to inform on the early evolution of sociality. We examined spatial and social organization in the lizard Phrynocephalus vlangalii from China and tested genetic relatedness (based on eight microsatellite DNA loci between offspring and parents that shared burrow complexes. Adult males and females had similar spatial patterns: they overlapped most with members of the opposite sex and least with their own sex. Males in better body condition overlapped with more females, and both sexes showed high site fidelity. Most lizards used a single burrow, but some individuals used two or three burrows. While high site fidelity is consistent with sociality in lizards, juveniles did not preferentially share burrows with parents, and we documented only a few cases of parent-offspring associations through burrow sharing. We suggest that P. vlangalii conforms to a classical polygynous mating system in which the burrow forms the core of the male's territory and may be offered as an important resource for females, but this remains to be determined.

  8. Large-diameter burrows of the Triassic Ischigualasto Basin, NW Argentina: paleoecological and paleoenvironmental implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombi, Carina E; Fernández, Eliana; Currie, Brian S; Alcober, Oscar A; Martínez, Ricardo; Correa, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    Large-diameter ichnofossils comprising three morphotypes have been identified in the Upper Triassic Ischigualasto and Los Colorados formations of northwestern Argentina. These burrows add to the global record of the early appearance of fossorial behavior during early Mesozoic time. Morphotypes 1 and 2 are characterized by a network of tunnels and shafts that can be assigned to tetrapod burrows given similarities with previously described forms. However, differences in diameter, overall morphology, and stratigraphic occurrence allow their independent classification. Morphotype 3 forms a complex network of straight branches that intersect at oblique angles. Their calcareous composition and surface morphology indicate these structures have a composite biogenic origin likely developed due to combined plant/animal interactions. The association of Morphotypes 1 and 2 with fluvial overbank lithologies deposited under an extremely seasonal arid climate confirms interpretations that the early appearance of burrowing behavior was employed by vertebrates in response to both temperature and moisture-stress associated with seasonally or perpetually dry Pangean paleoclimates. Comparisons of burrow morphology and biomechanical attributes of the abundant paleovertebrate fauna preserved in both formations permit interpretations regarding the possible burrow architects for Morphotypes 1 and 2. In the case of the Morphotype 1, the burrow constructor could be one of the small carnivorous cynodonts, Ecteninion or Probelesodon. Assigning an architect for Morphotype 2 is more problematic due to mismatches between the observed burrow morphology and the size of the known Los Colorados vertebrates.

  9. Large-diameter burrows of the Triassic Ischigualasto Basin, NW Argentina: paleoecological and paleoenvironmental implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina E Colombi

    Full Text Available Large-diameter ichnofossils comprising three morphotypes have been identified in the Upper Triassic Ischigualasto and Los Colorados formations of northwestern Argentina. These burrows add to the global record of the early appearance of fossorial behavior during early Mesozoic time. Morphotypes 1 and 2 are characterized by a network of tunnels and shafts that can be assigned to tetrapod burrows given similarities with previously described forms. However, differences in diameter, overall morphology, and stratigraphic occurrence allow their independent classification. Morphotype 3 forms a complex network of straight branches that intersect at oblique angles. Their calcareous composition and surface morphology indicate these structures have a composite biogenic origin likely developed due to combined plant/animal interactions. The association of Morphotypes 1 and 2 with fluvial overbank lithologies deposited under an extremely seasonal arid climate confirms interpretations that the early appearance of burrowing behavior was employed by vertebrates in response to both temperature and moisture-stress associated with seasonally or perpetually dry Pangean paleoclimates. Comparisons of burrow morphology and biomechanical attributes of the abundant paleovertebrate fauna preserved in both formations permit interpretations regarding the possible burrow architects for Morphotypes 1 and 2. In the case of the Morphotype 1, the burrow constructor could be one of the small carnivorous cynodonts, Ecteninion or Probelesodon. Assigning an architect for Morphotype 2 is more problematic due to mismatches between the observed burrow morphology and the size of the known Los Colorados vertebrates.

  10. Large-Diameter Burrows of the Triassic Ischigualasto Basin, NW Argentina: Paleoecological and Paleoenvironmental Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombi, Carina E.; Fernández, Eliana; Currie, Brian S.; Alcober, Oscar A.; Martínez, Ricardo; Correa, Gustavo

    2012-01-01

    Large-diameter ichnofossils comprising three morphotypes have been identified in the Upper Triassic Ischigualasto and Los Colorados formations of northwestern Argentina. These burrows add to the global record of the early appearance of fossorial behavior during early Mesozoic time. Morphotypes 1 and 2 are characterized by a network of tunnels and shafts that can be assigned to tetrapod burrows given similarities with previously described forms. However, differences in diameter, overall morphology, and stratigraphic occurrence allow their independent classification. Morphotype 3 forms a complex network of straight branches that intersect at oblique angles. Their calcareous composition and surface morphology indicate these structures have a composite biogenic origin likely developed due to combined plant/animal interactions. The association of Morphotypes 1 and 2 with fluvial overbank lithologies deposited under an extremely seasonal arid climate confirms interpretations that the early appearance of burrowing behavior was employed by vertebrates in response to both temperature and moisture-stress associated with seasonally or perpetually dry Pangean paleoclimates. Comparisons of burrow morphology and biomechanical attributes of the abundant paleovertebrate fauna preserved in both formations permit interpretations regarding the possible burrow architects for Morphotypes 1 and 2. In the case of the Morphotype 1, the burrow constructor could be one of the small carnivorous cynodonts, Ecteninion or Probelesodon. Assigning an architect for Morphotype 2 is more problematic due to mismatches between the observed burrow morphology and the size of the known Los Colorados vertebrates. PMID:23227195

  11. The influence of small mammal burrowing activity on water storage at the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Landeen, D.S.

    1994-09-01

    The amount and rate at which water may penetrate a protective barrier and come into contact with buried radioactive waste is a major concern. Because burrowing animals eventually will reside on the surface of any protective barrier, the effect these burrow systems may have on the loss or retention of water needs to be determined. The first section of this document summarizes the known literature relative to small mammals and the effects that burrowing activities have on water distribution, infiltration, and the overall impact of burrows on the ecosystem. Topics that are summarized include burrow air pressures, airflow, burrow humidity, microtopography, mounding, infiltration, climate, soil evaporation, and discussions of large pores relative to water distribution. The second section of this document provides the results of the study that was conducted at the Hanford Site to determine what effect small mammal burrows have on water storage. This Biointrusion task is identified in the Permanent Isolation Surface Barrier Development Plan in support of protective barriers. This particular animal intrusion task is one part of the overall animal intrusion task identified in Animal Intrusion Test Plan.

  12. Allergy to rodents: an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeal, H; Jones, M

    2010-11-01

    Allergy to rodents in the workplace is an important occupational health problem affecting research, pharmaceutical and toxicological sectors and can have a serious impact on employees working in this area. Despite measures to reduce aeroallergen exposures to rodents in the workplace, there are few signs that this occupational health problem is declining. Rodent allergens are well characterized and exposure-response relationships have been demonstrated to be complex. More recently, the importance of rodent allergens outside of the workplace has been demonstrated in several studies of individuals with asthma. This review focuses on rodent allergy both in the workplace and in the home and examines the complex exposure-response relationships between allergen exposure and sensitization and asthma. Risk factors for rodent allergy and mechanisms of tolerance to rodent allergens are discussed. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  13. River bank burrowing by invasive crayfish: Spatial distribution, biophysical controls and biogeomorphic significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faller, Matej; Harvey, Gemma L; Henshaw, Alexander J; Bertoldi, Walter; Bruno, Maria Cristina; England, Judy

    2016-11-01

    Invasive species generate significant global environmental and economic costs and represent a particularly potent threat to freshwater systems. The biogeomorphic impacts of invasive aquatic and riparian species on river processes and landforms remain largely unquantified, but have the potential to generate significant sediment management issues within invaded catchments. Several species of invasive (non-native) crayfish are known to burrow into river banks and visual evidence of river bank damage is generating public concern and media attention. Despite this, there is a paucity of understanding of burrow distribution, biophysical controls and the potential significance of this problem beyond a small number of local studies at heavily impacted sites. This paper presents the first multi-catchment analysis of this phenomenon, combining existing data on biophysical river properties and invasive crayfish observations with purpose-designed field surveys across 103 river reaches to derive key trends. Crayfish burrows were observed on the majority of reaches, but burrowing tended to be patchy in spatial distribution, concentrated in a small proportion (bank biophysical properties than by reach-scale properties, and burrowed banks were more likely to be characterised by cohesive bank material, steeper bank profiles with large areas of bare bank face, often on outer bend locations. Burrow excavation alone has delivered a considerable amount of sediment to invaded river systems in the surveyed sites (3tkm(-1) impacted bank) and this represents a minimum contribution and certainly an underestimate of the absolute yield (submerged burrows were not recorded). Furthermore, burrowing was associated with bank profiles that were either actively eroding or exposed to fluvial action and/or mass failure processes, providing the first quantitative evidence that invasive crayfish may cause or accelerate river bank instability and erosion in invaded catchments beyond the scale of

  14. Poor housing quality increases risk of rodent infestation and Lassa fever in refugee camps of Sierra Leone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonner, Phillip Cullison; Schmidt, Wolf-Peter; Belmain, Steven R; Oshin, Babafemi; Baglole, Debbie; Borchert, Matthias

    2007-07-01

    Lassa fever, a viral hemorrhagic fever endemic in parts of West Africa, is a severe febrile illness transmitted to humans by the rodent Mastomys natalensis. To determine risk of Lassa fever in households in Sierra Leonean refugee camps, we analyzed the spatial relationships between households with a Lassa case and focal locations of potential rodent habitats. Quality and hygiene factors of households were assessed to determine possible risk factors for household rodent infestation and occurrence of Lassa fever. The odds to have a rat burrow were higher in case houses than in control houses (OR 24, 95% CI 6.0-93). Case houses scored significantly worse in the quality of housing and external hygiene. These findings suggest that risk of Lassa fever in refugee camps depends on individual housing quality and the hygiene of the immediate surrounding environment.

  15. Behavioural adaptations to moisture as an environmental constraint in a nocturnal burrow-inhabiting Kalahari detritivore Parastizopus armaticeps Peringuey (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O.A.E. Rasa

    1994-09-01

    Full Text Available The nocturnal desert detritivore Parastiz.opus armaticeps shows differences in surface activity patterns and burrow fidelity depending on surface humidity. After rain approximately half of the beetle population, independent of sex, is highly vagile and disperses over long distances. During drought, beetles are more sedentary and show higher burrow fidelity. They also inhabit burrows that are longer and deeper than non-inhabited ones, such burrows being relatively scarce. Burrow fidelity and the adoption of a more sedentary habit during drought are considered strategies to avoid the risks of not locating a suitable burrow before sunrise and subsequent desiccation in shallow burrows.

  16. Causal evidence between monsoon and evolution of rhizomyine rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Antoñanzas, Raquel; Knoll, Fabien; Wan, Shiming; Flynn, Lawrence J

    2015-03-11

    The modern Asian monsoonal systems are currently believed to have originated around the end of the Oligocene following a crucial step of uplift of the Tibetan-Himalayan highlands. Although monsoon possibly drove the evolution of many mammal lineages during the Neogene, no evidence thereof has been provided so far. We examined the evolutionary history of a clade of rodents, the Rhizomyinae, in conjunction with our current knowledge of monsoon fluctuations over time. The macroevolutionary dynamics of rhizomyines were analyzed within a well-constrained phylogenetic framework coupled with biogeographic and evolutionary rate studies. The evolutionary novelties developed by these rodents were surveyed in parallel with the fluctuations of the Indian monsoon so as to evaluate synchroneity and postulate causal relationships. We showed the existence of three drops in biodiversity during the evolution of rhizomyines, all of which reflected elevated extinction rates. Our results demonstrated linkage of monsoon variations with the evolution and biogeography of rhizomyines. Paradoxically, the evolution of rhizomyines was accelerated during the phases of weakening of the monsoons, not of strengthening, most probably because at those intervals forest habitats declined, which triggered extinction and progressive specialization toward a burrowing existence.

  17. No sign of decreased burrowing behavior in the genetically depressive flinders rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baastrup, C. S.; Wegener, Gregers; Finnerup, N. B.

    2012-01-01

    . In order to have face-validity as an assay of 'rat quality of life' the method must also be sensitive in other types of disease models like anxiety and depression, where a decreased rQoL would also be expected. Aim of study: To investigate if decreased burrowing behavior is observed in the genetically...... of each drug. Results: The genetically depressive FSL rats did not burrow less than FRL control rats. Treatment with imipramin or citalopram-S did not change the burrowing behavior of the FSL rats. In contrast treatment with imipramin and citalopram-S unexpectedly decreased the burrowing behavior...... depressive flinders rats. Method: 10 flinders resistant (FRL) and 10 flinders sensitive (FSL) female rats were individually placed in a test cage with a hollow pipe (diameter: 10 cm, length: 25 cm) filled with approx. 2.5 kg of 4-7 mm grabble. The weight of displaced grabble in 1 hour served as primary...

  18. Documenting Western Burrowing Owl Reproduction and Activity Patterns Using Motion-Activated Cameras

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hall, Derek B. [NSTec; Greger, Paul D. [NSTec

    2014-08-01

    We used motion-activated cameras to monitor the reproduction and patterns of activity of the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) above ground at 45 burrows in south-central Nevada during the breeding seasons of 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2005. The 37 broods, encompassing 180 young, raised over the four years represented an average of 4.9 young per successful breeding pair. Young and adult owls were detected at the burrow entrance at all times of the day and night, but adults were detected more frequently during afternoon/early evening than were young. Motion-activated cameras require less effort to implement than other techniques. Limitations include photographing only a small percentage of owl activity at the burrow; not detecting the actual number of eggs, young, or number fledged; and not being able to track individual owls over time. Further work is also necessary to compare the accuracy of productivity estimates generated from motion-activated cameras with other techniques.

  19. Colorado Plateau Rapid Ecoregion Assessment Conservation Elements - Terrestrial Species: Burrowing Owl

    Data.gov (United States)

    Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior — This map shows the potential current distribution of burrowing owl, in the context of current and near-term terrestrial intactness and long-term potential for...

  20. Status assessment and conservation plan for the western burrowing owl in the United States

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) is a grassland specialist distributed throughout w. North America, primarily in open areas with short...

  1. Rodent models for studying empathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keum, Sehoon; Shin, Hee-Sup

    2016-11-01

    Empathy is the important capacity to recognize and share emotions with others. Recent evidence shows that rodents possess a remarkable affective sensitivity to the emotional state of others and that primitive forms of empathy exist in social lives of rodents. However, due to the ambiguous definitional boundaries between empathy, emotional contagion and other related terms, distinct components of empathic behaviors in rodents need to be clarified. Hence, we review recent experimental studies demonstrating that rodents are able to share emotions with others. Specifically, we highlight several behavioral models that examine different aspects of rodent empathic behaviors in response to the various distress of conspecifics. Experimental approaches using rodent behavioral models will help elucidate the neural circuitry of empathy and its neurochemical association. Integrating these findings with corresponding experiments in humans will ultimately provide novel insights into therapeutic interventions for mental disorders associated with empathy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Homeobox Genes in the Rodent Pineal Gland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rath, Martin Fredensborg; Rohde, Kristian; Klein, David C

    2013-01-01

    The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine gland responsible for nocturnal synthesis of melatonin. During early development of the rodent pineal gland from the roof of the diencephalon, homeobox genes of the orthodenticle homeobox (Otx)- and paired box (Pax)-families are expressed and are essential...... for normal pineal development consistent with the well-established role that homeobox genes play in developmental processes. However, the pineal gland appears to be unusual because strong homeobox gene expression persists in the pineal gland of the adult brain. Accordingly, in addition to developmental...... functions, homeobox genes appear to be key regulators in postnatal phenotype maintenance in this tissue. In this paper, we review ontogenetic and phylogenetic aspects of pineal development and recent progress in understanding the involvement of homebox genes in rodent pineal development and adult function...

  3. Geomagnetic field detection in rodents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olcese, J.; Reuss, S.; Semm, P.

    1988-01-01

    In addition to behavioral evidence for the detection of earth-strength magnetic fields (MF) by rodents, recent investigations have revealed that electrophysiological and biochemical responses to MF occur in the pineal organ and retina of rodents. In addition, ferrimagnetic deposits have been identified in the ethmoidal regions of the rodent skull. These findings point to a new sensory phenomenon, which interfaces with many fields of biology, including neuroscience, psychophysics, behavioral ecology, chronobiology and sensory physiology.

  4. Comparing food limitation among three stages of nesting: supplementation experiments with the burrowing owl

    OpenAIRE

    Wellicome, Troy I; L. Danielle. Todd; Poulin, Ray G; Holroyd, Geoffrey L; Ryan J. Fisher

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Food availability is an important limiting factor for avian reproduction. In altricial birds, food limitation is assumed to be more severe during the nestling stage than during laying or incubation, but this has yet to be adequately tested. Using food-supplementation experiments over a 5-year period, we determined the degree and timing of food limitation for burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) breeding in Canada. Burrowing owls are an endangered species and food limitation during the...

  5. Burrowing activity in channel levees: impact of the invasive red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solari, L.; Bendoni, M.; Consumi, L.; Haubrock, P.; Inghilesi, A.; Mazza, G.; Torrini, M.; Tricarico, E.

    2016-12-01

    The effect of animal burrowing, as an example of bioturbation on the stability of river levees has been recently raised to the scientific community as a consequence of the levee collapses of Secchia and Foenna rivers in Italy (Camici et al., 2010, 2014; Orlandini et al., 2015). Indeed, these authors showed that the presence of animal burrows is crucial in promoting the collapse of the bank. The American red swamp Crayfish Procambarus clarkii is an invasive species in Europe, mostly introduced for commercial purposes related to livestock. It is rapidly spreading throughout the Italian peninsula due to its plasticity, dispersal capability and high reproduction rate (Souty-Grosset et al., 2016). As well as the negative effects on local biodiversity, it damages the levees of the irrigation channel leading to disastrous collapses, relevant repairing and maintenance costs. In this work, we present an experimental activity where specimens of P. clarkii were monitored while burrowing into a small-scale physical model of an earthen levee, coupled with the mathematical modelling of the variations induced by the burrows on the seepage flow patterns through the levee.Preliminary results show the burrowing structure was quite irregular. Generally, crayfish start burrowing under the water level, developing tunnels (diameter ranging 4-7cm) both horizontally and heading upward, also above the water level. Some tunnels showed one or more circular chambers. The highest burrowing activity was observed during the experiments carried out in summer, when the species has a peak of maximum activity due to the higher temperature. Mathematical modelling shows that, for given boundary conditions and experimental duration, the presence of burrows in the levee raises the phreatic line. Critical conditions for levee integrity may be associated either to the internal erosion and stability of the system of tunnels and to the emergence of the phreatic line of the landside of the levee slope. These

  6. Ecological properties of earthworm burrows in an organically managed grass-clover system

    OpenAIRE

    Krogh, Paul Henning; Lamandé, Mathieu; Eriksen, Jørgen; Holmstrup, Martin

    2001-01-01

    Earthworms have long been recognized for their soil engineering capacities. Since the creation of the ecosystem service concept the utilitarian perception of nature has gained a lot of attention and funding for research. Hence, we selected earthworms and their burrowing activities to enable an assessment of their influence on water movement and nutrient release. The study went on in autumn where earthworm population densities and their burrowing activities were quantified in plots of third ye...

  7. Burrow characteristics and habitat associations of armadillos in Brazil and the United States of America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colleen M. McDonough

    2000-03-01

    Full Text Available We censused and measured armadillo burrows in ten 10 m x 40 m plots in each of four habitat types at a study site in northern Florida and one in the Atlantic coastal rainforest of Brazil. The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus was the only species of armadillo found in Florida, but several additional species were present in Brazil. Burrows were more numerous but smaller in Brazil than in the U. S., probably due to the inclusion of burrows dug by the smaller congener D. septemcinctus. In Brazil, burrows were larger and more numerous in swamp and forest habitats than in grassland or disturbed areas, suggesting that D. novemcinctus is found primarily in forests and swamps while D. septemcinctus is located in the other areas. This was supported by data from sightings of live animals. In Florida, burrows were more numerous in hardwood hammocks than in wetlands, fields or upland pine areas, but burrow dimensions did not vary across habitat types. In Florida, armadillos were seen more frequently than expected in hammocks and wetlands and less frequently than expected in fields and upland pine areas. There were also age (juvenile versus adult, sex, and yearly differences in habitat use in Florida. Biomass, abundance, and species diversity of terrestrial invertebrates did not vary significantly between habitat types in Florida, suggesting that habitat associations of armadillos were not influenced by prey availability.

  8. Functional response of staging semipalmated sandpipers feeding on burrowing amphipods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2009-09-01

    Despite its fundamental relevance to many ecological processes in predator-prey relationships, the functional response, which relates predator intake rate to prey density, remains difficult to document in the field. Here, I document the functional response of semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) foraging on a burrowing amphipod Corophium volutator during three field seasons at the peak of fall migration in the upper Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick, Canada). I gathered data during the ebbing tide when all sandpipers are highly motivated to feed after a lengthy hide-tide fast. As birds follow the receding tideline, foragers encounter prey at different densities and do not aggregate in the richest food patches. Results show that intake rate increased at a decreasing rate with Corophium density, yielding a type II functional response typical of many shorebird species. Intake rate decreased in the later stages of migration stopover at a time where preferred prey items have been shown to occur at lower densities due to prior depletion. At this period of lower prey availability, intake rate also decreased with sandpiper density providing evidence for interference at low prey density. The results illustrate the fact that the functional response may not be unique but instead vary as a function of the type of competitive relationship among foragers.

  9. Burrowing mayfly populations in Chequamegon Bay, Wisconsin: 2002 and 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunk, Kristin M.; Vinson, Mark R.; Ogle, Derek H.; Evrard, Lori M.

    2014-01-01

    Burrowing mayflies (Ephemeroptera: Ephemeridae) are sensitive to pollution and have been used as environmental indicators in the Great Lakes. Hexagenia limbata and Ephemera simulans population abundance and biomass estimates from Chequamegon Bay, Lake Superior, were compared between the years 2002 and 2012 as well as inside and outside the Northern States Power Lakefront Superfund site. Mean abundance was similar and mean biomass of Ephemeridae was slightly less in 2012 than in 2002, most likely due to the occurrence of E. simulans in 2012, a smaller species not collected in 2002. In 2012, mean ephemerid abundance and biomass outside the Superfund site was significantly higher than inside the Superfund site. Biomass was higher in clay, clay with sand, and sand with clay substrates than in fine sand, coarse sand, or wood debris substrates. Substrate in the Superfund site was predominantly wood debris. Future monitoring of ephemerid populations in Chequamegon Bay, and particularly in the Superfund site as clean up begins, would be valuable to establish long-term population trends for these two species and potentially shed light on the habitat requirements of E. simulans, an understudied species in the Great Lakes.

  10. [Taxonomic status of the Chim virus (CHIMV) (Bunyaviridae, Nairovirus, Qalyub group) isolated from the Ixodidae and Argasidae ticks collected in the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus Lichtenstein, 1823) (Muridae, Gerbillinae) burrows in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'vov, D K; Al'khovskiĭ, S V; Shchelkanov, M Iu; Shchetinin, A M; Aristova, V A; Morozova, T N; Gitel'man, A K; Deriabin, P G; Botikov, A G

    2014-01-01

    Full-length genome of the Chim virus (CHIMV) (strain LEIV-858Uz) was sequenced using the next-generation sequencing approach (ID GenBank: KF801656). The CHIMV/LEIV-858Uz was isolated from the Ornithodoros tartakovskyi Olenev, 1931 ticks collected in the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus Lichtenstein, 1823) burrow in Uzbekistan near Chim town (Kashkadarinsky region) in July of 1971. Later, four more CHIMV strains were isolated from the O. tartakovskyi, O. papillipes Birula, 1895, Rhipicephalus turanicus Pomerantsev, 1936 collected in the great gerbil burrows in Kashkadarinsky, Bukhara, and Syrdarya regions of Uzbekistan, and three strains--from the Hyalomma asiaticum Schulze et Schlottke, 1930 from the great gerbil burrows in Dzheskazgan region of Kazakhstan. The virus is a potential pathogen of humans and camels. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that the CHIMV is a novel member of the Nairovirus genus (Bunyaviridae) and closely related to the Qalyub virus (QYBV), which is prototype for the group of the same name. The amino acid homology between the CHIMV and QYBV is 87% for the RdRp catalytic center (L-segment) that is coincident with both QYBV and CHIMV associated with the Ornithodoros ticks and burrow of rodents as well. The CHIMV homologies with other nairoviruses are 30-40% for the amino acid sequences of precursor polyprotein GnGc (M-segment), whereas 50%--for the nucleocapsid N (S-segment). The data obtained permit to classify the CHIMV as a member of the QYBV group in the genus of Nairovirus (Bunyaviridae).

  11. Paleobotanical analysis of materials from fossil gopher burrows and upper pleistocene host deposits, the Kolyma River lower reaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopatina, D. A.; Zanina, O. G.

    2006-10-01

    The comparative analysis of palynomorphs and plant megafossils (fruits, seeds, twigs, leaves) in the Upper Pleistocene host sediments and materials filling in fossil burrows of gophers, their coprolites included, at the Duvannyi Yar, Stanchikovskii Yar and Zelenyi Mys sites of the Kolyma Lowland is carried out. Genera Salix, Lychnis, Silene, Draba, Potentilla, Larix, and families Poaceae, Polygonaceae, Cyperaceae, Compositae, and Leguminosae are determined among palynological remains and megafossils. Factors responsible for qualitative and quantitative differences in taxonomic compositions of palynological and megafossil assemblages are biological peculiarities of plants, different character of fossilization of palynomorphs and large plant remains, geographic conditions, different genesis of assemblages (allochthonous for microfossils and autochthonous for megafossils), and inadequately known morphology of certain spore and pollen taxa. The comprehensive paleobotanical analysis leads to the conclusion that the study region was occupied in the Late Pleistocene by plant communities of humid to somewhat dryer tundra with separate areas of pioneering and steppe vegetation.

  12. Aquaporins in desert rodent physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannabecker, Thomas L

    2015-08-01

    Desert rodents face a sizeable challenge in maintaining salt and water homeostasis due to their life in an arid environment. A number of their organ systems exhibit functional characteristics that limit water loss above that which occurs in non-desert species under similar conditions. These systems include renal, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, nasal, and skin epithelia. The desert rodent kidney preserves body water by producing a highly concentrated urine that reaches a maximum osmolality nearly three times that of the common laboratory rat. The precise mechanism by which urine is concentrated in any mammal is unknown. Insights into the process may be more apparent in species that produce highly concentrated urine. Aquaporin water channels play a fundamental role in water transport in several desert rodent organ systems. The role of aquaporins in facilitating highly effective water preservation in desert rodents is only beginning to be explored. The organ systems of desert rodents and their associated AQPs are described. © 2015 Marine Biological Laboratory.

  13. Mechanical properties of sediment determine burrowing success and influence distribution of two lugworm species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crane, R L; Merz, R A

    2017-09-15

    We apply new perspectives on how organisms burrow by examining the association of in situ variation in sediment mechanical properties with burrowing ability and species distribution of two sympatric lugworms, Abarenicola pacifica and Abarenicola claparedi We quantified the sediment's resistance to penetration and its grain size distribution at sites inhabited by each species. Abarenicola pacifica individuals were found in significantly harder to penetrate, more heterogeneous sediments. We compared worm burrowing ability using reciprocal transplant experiments. Worms from firmer sediments, A. pacifica, were able to make successful steep burrows in sediments characteristic of either species. In contrast, A. claparedi individuals often failed to complete successful burrows in the firmer A. pacifica sediment. To examine how morphological differences could explain these patterns, we compared body wall musculature and measured how well individuals support their own bodies when draped over a cantilever. Lugworms from the firmer sediment had thicker body wall musculature and held their bodies more rigidly than did worms from softer sediments. Additionally, we observed subtle differences in the papillae on the proboscises' surfaces, which could affect worm-sediment interactions, but we found no differences in the chaetae of the two species. Abarenicola claparedi produced more mucus, which could be important in shoring up burrow walls in their shifting, sandy habitat. This study presents the first example of using field-based experiments to determine how sediment mechanical properties and worm burrowing ability could act to determine organismal distribution. Our findings have broader ecological implications because of the role of lugworms as ecosystem engineers. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  14. The visible burrow system: A view from across the hall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, James P; Tamashiro, Kellie L

    2017-09-01

    The visible burrow system (VBS) is an ethologically relevant social stress model that creates a distinct dominance hierarchy in rats. Randall Sakai's laboratory performed an impressive series of studies documenting the very different impact of VBS exposure on the brain and behavior of dominants (DOM) and subordinates (SUBs). Hierarchy formation causes pronounced changes in metabolism in SUBs relative to both DOMs and unstressed controls, resulting in marked weight loss and metabolic imbalance. Stress testing revealed multiple phenotypes in the VBS, including DOMs, stress-responsive SUBs and stress-non-responsive SUBs. Stress-responsive SUBs have adrenal hypertrophy and elevated baseline corticosterone, consistent with prolonged HPA axis activation; however, peak acute stress responses are not sensitized. In contrast, stress non-responsive individuals do not mount a response to an acute stress, suggesting HPA axis hypofunction. In brain, SUBs exhibit a pattern of gene regulation consistent with impaired stress inhibition (e.g., hippocampal adrenocorticosteroid receptor down-regulation and dendritic retraction) and drive of stress pathways (e.g., increased locus coeruleus tyrosine hydroxylase expression). The non-responsive phenotype is distinguished by down-regulation of paraventricular nucleus corticotropin releasing hormone expression and enhanced neuropeptide Y expression in amygdala. The brain 'signature' created by VBS hierarchy formation differed substantially from that of another well-studied chronic stress model (chronic variable stress). Thus, the impact of VBS is mediated by neurocircuit mechanisms at least in part distinct that of other chronic stress modalities, and suggests that the nature of the stressor may be an essential consideration in development of treatment strategies for stress-related diseases. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  15. [Helminth fauna in small rodents (Mammalia: Rodentia) of canal banks in meliorated territories].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimalov, V V

    2002-01-01

    A helminth fauna of small rodents inhabiting channel banks have been investigated in soil improvement territories (Belorussian Polesie) in the period 1996-1999. 41 helminth species have been found in animals. Generally, there are specific helminths of rodents of the Cricetidae and Muridae families. These animals also participate in life cycles of bird's and carnivore's helminths.

  16. Scorpion speciation in the Holy Land: Multilocus phylogeography corroborates diagnostic differences in morphology and burrowing behavior among Scorpio subspecies and justifies recognition as phylogenetic, ecological and biological species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talal, Stav; Tesler, Itay; Sivan, Jaim; Ben-Shlomo, Rachel; Muhammad Tahir, H; Prendini, Lorenzo; Snir, Sagi; Gefen, Eran

    2015-10-01

    Scorpio Linnaeus, 1758 (family Scorpionidae Latreille, 1802) was considered monotypic for over a century, and comprised a single species, Scorpio maurus Linnaeus, 1758, with 19 subspecies, distributed from West Africa, throughout the Maghreb and the Middle East, to Iran. Two parapatric subspecies, Scorpio maurus fuscus (Ehrenberg, 1829) and Scorpio maurus palmatus (Ehrenberg, 1828), have long been recognized in the eastern Mediterranean region. We examined morphological variation, burrow architecture and genetic divergence among 39 populations across the distribution of the two subspecies to assess whether they are conspecific and, if not, how many species might be involved. Cuticle coloration, pedipalp chela digital carina condition, and selected measurements were recorded. Sixty burrows were excavated and examined for burrow structure and depth. A multilocus dataset comprising concatenated fragments of one nuclear (28S rDNA) and three mitochondrial (12S rDNA, 16S rDNA, Cytochrome c Oxidase Subunit I) loci, totaling ca. 2400 base-pairs, was produced for 41 individuals, and a single-locus dataset comprising 658 base-pairs of the COI locus for 156 individuals. Despite overlapping ranges in morphometric characters of pedipalp chela shape, the putative subspecies were easily distinguished by cuticle coloration and condition of the pedipalp chela digital carina, and were also found to differ significantly in burrow architecture and depth. Phylogeographical analyses of the COI and multilocus datasets recovered seven distinct clades. Separate analyses of mitochondrial sequences, and combined analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear sequences support most clades. The two major clades corresponded with the geographical distributions of S. m. fuscus and S. m. palmatus in the region. Specimens from these clades were genetically distinct, and exhibited different burrow structure in geographically-proximate localities, suggesting reproductive isolation. The palmatus clade

  17. Map-Based Repowering and Reorganization of a Wind Resource Area to Minimize Burrowing Owl and Other Bird Fatalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Neher

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Wind turbines in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (Alameda/Contra Costa Counties, California, USA generate about 730 GWh of electricity annually, but have been killing thousands of birds each year, including >2,000 raptors and hundreds of burrowing owls. We have developed collision hazard maps and hazard ratings of wind turbines to guide relocation of existing wind turbines and careful repowering to modern turbines to reduce burrowing owl fatalities principally, and other birds secondarily. Burrowing owls selected burrow sites lower on slopes and on smaller, shallower slopes than represented by the average 10 × 10 m2 grid cell among 187,908 grid cells sampled from 2,281,169 grid cells comprising a digital elevation model (DEM of the study area. Fuzzy logic and discriminant function analysis produced likelihood surfaces encompassing most burrowing owl burrows within a fraction of the study area, and the former corresponded with burrowing owl fatalities and the latter with other raptor fatalities. Our ratings of wind turbine hazard were more predictive of burrowing owl fatalities, but would be more difficult to implement. Careful repowering to modern wind turbines would most reduce fatalities of burrowing owls and other birds while adding about 1,000 GWh annually toward California’s 33% Renewable Portfolio Standard.

  18. Burrowing inhibition by fine textured beach fill: Implications for recovery of beach ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viola, Sloane M.; Hubbard, David M.; Dugan, Jenifer E.; Schooler, Nicholas K.

    2014-10-01

    Beach nourishment is often considered the most environmentally sound method of maintaining eroding shorelines. However, the ecological consequences are poorly understood. Fill activities cause intense disturbance and high mortality and have the potential to alter the diversity, abundance, and distribution of intertidal macroinvertebrates for months to years. Ecological recovery following fill activities depends on successful recolonization and recruitment of the entire sandy intertidal community. The use of incompatible sediments as fill material can strongly affect ecosystem recovery. We hypothesized that burrowing inhibition of intertidal animals by incompatible fine fill sediments contributes to ecological impacts and limits recovery in beach ecosystems. We experimentally investigated the influence of intertidal zone and burrowing mode on responses of beach invertebrates to altered sediment texture (28-38% fines), and ultimately the potential for colonization and recovery of beaches disturbed by beach filling. Using experimental trials in fill material and natural beach sand, we found that the mismatched fine fill sediments significantly inhibited burrowing of characteristic species from all intertidal zones, including sand crabs, clams, polychaetes, isopods, and talitrid amphipods. Burrowing performance of all five species we tested was consistently reduced in the fill material and burrowing was completely inhibited for several species. The threshold for burrowing inhibition by fine sediment content in middle and lower beach macroinvertebrates varied by species, with highest sensitivity for the polychaete (4% fines, below the USA regulatory limit of 10% fines), followed by sand crabs and clams (20% fines). These results suggest broader investigation of thresholds for burrowing inhibition in fine fill material is needed for beach animals. Burrowing inhibition caused by mismatched fill sediments exposes beach macroinvertebrates to stresses, which could depress

  19. Population traits of the burrowing toad Rhinella fernandezae (Gallardo, 1957) (Anura, Bufonidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, L C; Busch, M

    2008-02-01

    Size distribution, sex ratio and use of burrows of the burrowing toad Rhinella fernandezae were studied in Buenos Aires province, Argentina. Two sites separated by approximately 300 m were studied: one was a road next to a swamp, and the other a garden of a country house located further from the swamp. We identified toad burrows, and individuals were sexed, measured and given an individual mark. Burrows were examined in subsequent months after the first sampling to assess the presence of toads. We found significant differences in the size distribution between areas, being the proportion of juveniles greater at the site next to the swamp where the reproduction of the species was observed. This result may suggest that the site located near to the swamp functions as a source habitat of individuals that migrate to the other site, where recruitment would be very scarce. Sex proportion of adults did not differ from 1:1 in neither the total population nor in each site, suggesting that there was not differential mortality by sex. Some toads changed burrows throughout the study period, but there were not differences in the frequency of change between adults and juveniles.

  20. Oculoscopy in Rabbits and Rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jekl, Vladimir; Hauptman, Karel; Knotek, Zdenek

    2015-09-01

    Ophthalmic diseases are common in rabbits and rodents. Fast and definitive diagnosis is imperative for successful treatment of ocular diseases. Ophthalmic examination in rabbits and rodents can be challenging. Oculoscopy offers great magnification for the examination of the ocular structures in such animals, including the evaluation of cornea, anterior eye chamber, limbus, iris, lens, and retina. To date, oculoscopy has been described only sporadically and/or under experimental conditions. This article describes the oculoscopy technique, normal and abnormal ocular findings, and the most common eye disorders diagnosed with the aid of endoscopy in rabbits and rodents. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Influence of vegetation on the nocturnal foraging behaviors and vertebrate prey capture by endangered Burrowing Owls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan Marsh

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Restrictions in technology have limited past habitat selection studies for many species to the home-range level, as a finer-scale understanding was often not possible. Consequently, these studies may not identify the true mechanism driving habitat selection patterns, which may influence how such results are applied in conservation. We used GPS dataloggers with digital video recorders to identify foraging modes and locations in which endangered Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia captured prey. We measured the coarse and fine-scale characteristics of vegetation at locations in which owls searched for, versus where they caught, vertebrate prey. Most prey items were caught using hover-hunting. Burrowing Owls searched for, and caught, vertebrate prey in all cover types, but were more likely to kill prey in areas with sparse and less dense vegetative cover. Management strategies designed to increase Burrowing Owl foraging success in the Canadian prairies should try to ensure a mosaic of vegetation heights across cover types.

  2. Linking microbial enzymatic activities and functional diversity of soil around earthworm burrows and casts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerzy Lipiec

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of earthworms (Lumbricidae on the enzymatic activity and microbial functional diversity in the burrow system (burrow wall 0–3 mm, transitional zone 3–7 mm, bulk soil >20 mm from the burrow wall and cast aggregates of a loess soil under a pear orchard. The dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, protease, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and acid phosphomonoesterase enzymes were assessed using standard methods. The functional diversity (catabolic potential was assessed using the Average Well Color Development and Richness Index following the community level physiological profiling from Biolog Eco Plates. All measurements were done using soil from each compartment immediately after in situ sampling in spring. The enzymatic activites including dehydrogenase, protease, β-glucosidase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase were appreciably greater in the burrow wall or casts than in bulk soil and transitional zone. Conversely, acid phosphomonoesterase had the largest value in the bulk soil. Average Well Color Development in both the transitional zone and the bulk soil (0.98-0.94 A590nm were more than eight times higher than in the burrow walls and casts. The lowest richness index in the bulk soil (15 utilized substrates increased by 86-113% in all the other compartments. The PC1 in principal component analysis (PCA mainly differentiated the burrow walls and the transitional zone. Utilization of all substrate categories was the lowest in the bulk soil. The PC2 differentiated the casts from the other compartments. The enhanced activity of a majority of the enzymes and increased microbial functional diversity in most earthworm-influenced compartments make the soils less vulnerable to degradation and thus increases the stability of ecologically relevant processes in the orchard ecosystem.

  3. Of mice and women: rodent models of placental malaria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hviid, Lars; Marinho, Claudio R F; Staalsoe, Trine

    2010-01-01

    expressed in placental malaria (PM) and specific for chondroitin sulfate A (CSA). In Plasmodium falciparum, these VSA(PM) appear largely synonymous with the P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) family variant VAR2CSA. As rodent malaria parasites do not possess PfEMP1 homologs......, the usefulness of experimental mouse PM models remains controversial. However, many features of murine and human PM are similar, including involvement of VSAs analogous to PfEMP1. It thus appears that rodent model studies can further the understanding of VSA-dependent malaria pathogenesis and immunity....

  4. Seagrass as the main food source of Neaxius acanthus (Thalassinidea: Strahlaxiidae), its burrow associates, and of Corallianassa coutierei (Thalassinidea: Callianassidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneer, Dominik; Asmus, Harald; Vonk, Jan Arie

    2008-09-01

    Burrows of the thalassinidean shrimps Neaxius acanthus and Corallianassa coutierei are striking aspects in tropical seagrass beds of the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia. Burrow construction, behaviour, burrow type and associated commensal community were investigated to clarify the ecological role and food requirements of these shrimps and their commensals. Gut content analysis and stable-isotope data were used to unravel the food sources and the trophic interactions among the commensal community. Individuals of Neaxius acanthus were caught on Bone Batang Island. In narrow aquaria filled with sediment they constructed burrows resembling those found in the field. During burrow construction and maintenance only little sediment was brought to the surface, most was sorted and compacted to create a distinct lining. Maintenance work by single shrimps typically took about 5 min, after which the shrimp walked up to the entrance and rested for a similar period of time. There were no differences in behaviour between day and night. Intrasexual encounters inside the burrow were characterised by a high level of aggression and all resulted in one participant being driven out of the burrow. Intersexual encounters led to coexistence with both animals taking turns in burrow maintenance and guarding the entrance. Offered seagrass leaves were pulled underground, cut into pieces and eventually integrated into the lining. Burrows of Corallianassa coutierei resembled a deep U-shape. Chambers branching off halfway down and at the deepest point contained seagrass fragments. All steep parts of the burrow were lined similar to burrows of N. acanthus. No commensals were found associated with Corallianassa coutierei. However, burrows of Neaxius acanthus in the field typically contained a pair of shrimps, up to 8 individuals of the commensal bivalve Barrimysia cumingii and large numbers of gammarid amphipods. Other animals found associated with the burrow were the goby Austrolethops wardi, a

  5. Burrows of the semi-terrestrial crab Ucides cordatus enhance CO2 release in a North Brazilian mangrove forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathalie Pülmanns

    Full Text Available Ucides cordatus is an abundant mangrove crab in Brazil constructing burrows of up to 2 m depth. Sediment around burrows may oxidize during low tides. This increase in sediment-air contact area may enhance carbon degradation processes. We hypothesized that 1 the sediment CO2 efflux rate is greater with burrows than without and 2 the reduction potential in radial profiles in the sediment surrounding the burrows decreases gradually, until approximating non-bioturbated conditions. Sampling was conducted during the North Brazilian wet season at neap tides. CO2 efflux rates of inhabited burrows and plain sediment were measured with a CO2/H2O gas analyzer connected to a respiration chamber. Sediment redox potential, pH and temperature were measured in the sediment surrounding the burrows at horizontal distances of 2, 5, 8 and 15 cm at four sediment depths (1, 10, 30 and 50 cm and rH values were calculated. Sediment cores (50 cm length were taken to measure the same parameters for plain sediment. CO2 efflux rates of plain sediment and individual crab burrows with entrance diameters of 7 cm were 0.7-1.3 µmol m(-2 s(-1 and 0.2-0.4 µmol burrows(-1 s(-1, respectively. CO2 released from a Rhizophora mangle dominated forest with an average of 1.7 U. cordatus burrows(-1 m(-2 yielded 1.0-1.7 µmol m(-2 s(-1, depending on the month and burrow entrance diameter. Laboratory experiments revealed that 20-60% of the CO2 released by burrows originated from crab respiration. Temporal changes in the reduction potential in the sediment surrounding the burrows did not influence the CO2 release from burrows. More oxidized conditions of plain sediment over time may explain the increase in CO2 release until the end of the wet season. CO2 released by U. cordatus and their burrows may be a significant pathway of CO2 export from mangrove sediments and should be considered in mangrove carbon budget estimates.

  6. First description of Skolithos burrows from the Cambrian–Ordovician boundary interval of the Central Anti-Atlas, Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdelfattah Azizi

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Skolithos burrows indicate high-energy nearshore environment. In this paper, abundant Scolithos burrows from two particular levels of the Cambrian–Ordovician boundary interval of the Central Anti-Atlas, Morocco, are described for the first time. The first level occurs at the boundary between the Azlag Formation and Jbel Lmgaysmat Formation (Furongian, where the burrows are 5–80 cm long and 3–7 mm wide, straight to slightly curved, with mostly circular, but sometimes also oval apertures. The second level occurs within the unconformity underlining the Tremadocian cycle (Fezouata Shale. The burrows of Skolithos linearis associated with that level are straight to slightly curved, 2–15 cm long and 2–4 mm wide. The absence of encrustation above the burrowed beds indicates that these traces were made in a soft sediment.

  7. Nelson's big horn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) trample Agassiz's desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) burrow at a California wind energy facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agha, Mickey; Delaney, David F.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Briggs, Jessica; Austin, Meaghan; Price, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Research on interactions between Agassiz's desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) and ungulates has focused exclusively on the effects of livestock grazing on tortoises and their habitat (Oldemeyer, 1994). For example, during a 1980 study in San Bernardino County, California, 164 desert tortoise burrows were assessed for vulnerability to trampling by domestic sheep (Ovis aries). Herds of grazing sheep damaged 10% and destroyed 4% of the burrows (Nicholson and Humphreys 1981). In addition, a juvenile desert tortoise was trapped and an adult male was blocked from entering a burrow due to trampling by domestic sheep. Another study found that domestic cattle (Bos taurus) trampled active desert tortoise burrows and vegetation surrounding burrows (Avery and Neibergs 1997). Trampling also has negative impacts on diversity of vegetation and intershrub soil crusts in the desert southwest (Webb and Stielstra 1979). Trampling of important food plants and overgrazing has the potential to create competition between desert tortoises and domestic livestock (Berry 1978; Coombs 1979; Webb and Stielstra 1979).

  8. Light perception in two strictly subterranean rodents: life in the dark or blue?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ondrej Kott

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The African mole-rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia are strictly subterranean, congenitally microphthalmic rodents that are hardly ever exposed to environmental light. Because of the lack of an overt behavioural reaction to light, they have long been considered to be blind. However, recent anatomical studies have suggested retention of basic visual capabilities. In this study, we employed behavioural tests to find out if two mole-rat species are able to discriminate between light and dark, if they are able to discriminate colours and, finally, if the presence of light in burrows provokes plugging behaviour, which is assumed to have a primarily anti-predatory function. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: We used a binary choice test to show that the silvery mole-rat Heliophobius argenteocinereus and the giant mole-rat Fukomys mechowii exhibit a clear photoavoidance response to full-spectrum ("white", blue and green-yellow light, but no significant reaction to ultraviolet or red light during nest building. The mole-rats thus retain dark/light discrimination capabilities and a capacity to perceive short to medium-wavelength light in the photopic range of intensities. These findings further suggest that the mole-rat S opsin has its absorption maximum in the violet/blue part of the spectrum. The assay did not yield conclusive evidence regarding colour discrimination. To test the putative role of vision in bathyergid anti-predatory behaviour, we examined the reaction of mole-rats to the incidence of light in an artificial burrow system. The presence of light in the burrow effectively induced plugging of the illuminated tunnel. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings suggest that the photopic vision is conserved and that low acuity residual vision plays an important role in predator avoidance and tunnel maintenance in the African mole-rats.

  9. Rabbits, refuges and resources : how foraging of herbivores is affected by living in burrows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekker, J.J.A.

    2007-01-01

    Small herbivores such as rabbits, pika and marmots create spatial patterns in vegetation around their burrows by grazing. This PhD thesis focuses on these refuge-living herbivores.By performing experiments with rabbits, he showed that looking for predators causes the spatial

  10. Lizard burrows provide thermal refugia for larks in the Arabian desert

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, JB; Tieleman, BI; Shobrak, M

    A common perception is that desert birds experience greater extremes of heat and aridity than their mammalian counterparts, in part, because birds do not use burrows as a refuge from the desert environment. We report observations of Dunn's Larks (Eremalauda dunni), Bar-tailed Desert Larks (Ammomanes

  11. Gopherus agassizii (desert tortoise) and Crotalus ruber (red diamond rattlesnake). Burrow co-occupancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovich, Jeffrey E.

    2011-01-01

    I observed an adult Desert Tortoise and an adult Red Diamond Rattlesnake (sexes unknown) in a shallow tortoise burrow on 6 January 1997 at a wind energy generation facility near Palm Springs, Riverside Co., California, USA (33.9599°N, 116.6613°W).

  12. Burrowing and foraging activity of marsh crabs under different inundation regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    New England salt marshes are susceptible to degradation and habitat loss as a result of increased periods of inundation as sea levels rise. Increased inundation may exacerbate marsh degradation that can result from crab burrowing and foraging. Most studies to date have focused on...

  13. Burrowing behavior of a deposit feeding bivalve predicts change in intertidal ecosystem state

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Compton, Tanya J.; Bodnar, Wanda; Koolhaas, Anita; Dekinga, Anne; Holthuijsen, Sander; ten Horn, Job; McSweeney, Niamh; van Gils, Jan; Piersma, Theunis

    2016-01-01

    Behavior has a predictive power that is often underutilized as a tool for signaling ecological change. The burrowing behavior of the deposit feeding bivalve Macoma balthica reflects a typical food-safety trade-off. The choice to live close to the sediment surface comes at a risk of predation and is

  14. Burrowing Behavior of a Deposit Feeding Bivalve Predicts Change in Intertidal Ecosystem State

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Compton, T.J.; Bodnar, W.; Koolhaas, A.; Dekinga, A.; Holthuijsen, S.; Ten Horn, J.; McSweeney, N.; van Gils, J.A.; Piersma, T.

    2016-01-01

    Behavior has a predictive power that is often underutilized as a tool for signaling ecological change. The burrowing behavior of the deposit feeding bivalve Macoma balthica reflects a typical food-safety trade-off. The choice to live close to the sediment surface comes at a risk of predation and is

  15. Aardvark burrows: a potential resource for animals in arid and semi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Arid and semi-arid environments are characterized by extreme fluctuations in temperature and low rainfall, which present significant challenges to the animals inhabiting these areas. However, the presence of burrows may allow animals to avoid climatic extremes and predators and may act as valuable foraging sites.

  16. Strong population genetic structure and larval dispersal capability of the burrowing ghost shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The burrowing ghost shrimp, Neotrypaea californiensis, is a vital member of the estuarine benthic community. Dense populations of shrimp are found in the major estuaries of Washington and Oregon. Our study determines the genetic structure of shrimp populations in order to gain ...

  17. Burrowing herbivores alter soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in a semi-arid ecosystem, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenneth L. Clark; Lyn C. Branch; Jose L. Hierro; Diego. Villarreal

    2016-01-01

    Activities of burrowing herbivores, including movement of soil and litter and deposition of waste material, can alter the distribution of labile carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in soil, affecting spatial patterning of nutrient dynamics in ecosystems where they are abundant. Their role in ecosystem processes in surface soil has been studied extensively, but effects of...

  18. Simultaneous collection of body temperature and activity data in burrowing mammals : a new technique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Long, Ryan A.; Hut, Roelof A.; Barnes, Brian M.

    Integrating physiological and behavioral observations into ecological field studies of animals can provide novel insights into relationships among animal behavior, physiology, and ecology. We describe and evaluate a new technique for simultaneously collecting body temperature (T-b) and burrow use

  19. Burrow dusting or oral vaccination prevents plague-associated prairie dog colony collapse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Daniel W.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Runge, Jonathan P.; Abbott, Rachel C.; Miller, Michael W.

    2017-01-01

    Plague impacts prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) and other sensitive wildlife species. We compared efficacy of prophylactic treatments (burrow dusting with deltamethrin or oral vaccination with recombinant “sylvatic plague vaccine” [RCN-F1/V307]) to placebo treatment in black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) colonies. Between 2013 and 2015, we measured prairie dog apparent survival, burrow activity and flea abundance on triplicate plots (“blocks”) receiving dust, vaccine or placebo treatment. Epizootic plague affected all three blocks but emerged asynchronously. Dust plots had fewer fleas per burrow (P dogs captured on dust plots had fewer fleas (P dog density declined sharply in placebo plots when epizootic plague emerged. Patterns in corresponding dust and vaccine plots were less consistent and appeared strongly influenced by timing of treatment applications relative to plague emergence. Deltamethrin or oral vaccination enhanced apparent survival within two blocks. Applying insecticide or vaccine prior to epizootic emergence blunted effects of plague on prairie dog survival and abundance, thereby preventing colony collapse. Successful plague mitigation will likely entail strategic combined uses of burrow dusting and oral vaccination within large colonies or colony complexes.

  20. Characterization of a New Burrowing Nematode Population, Radopholus citrophilus, from Hawaii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huettel, R N; Kaplan, D T; Dickson, D W

    1986-01-01

    Karyotype, host preference, isozyzme patterns, morphometrics, and mating behavior of two burrowing nematode populations from Hawaii, one infecting Anthurium sp. and the second infecting Musa sp., were compared with Radopholus similis and R. citrophilus populations from Florida. The population from Anthurium sp. had five chromosomes (n = 5), and that from Musa sp. had four (n = 4). Neither of the Hawaiian nematode populations persisted in roots of Citrus limon or C. aurantium. Anthurium clarinerivum and A. hookeri were hosts of the burrowing nematode population from anthurium in Hawaii and of R. citrophilus from Florida, whereas the two anthurium species were poor hosts of the population from Musa sp. in Hawaii and R. similis from Florida. The isozyme pattern of the population isolated from anthurium was identical to that of R. citrophigus, whereas the pattern of the population from banana in Hawaii was identical to that of R. similis. Mating behavior between the burrowing nematode population isolated from Anthurium sp. and a Florida population of R. citrophilus supports their close taxonomic relationship. Mating was observed between the population from Anthurium sp. and the Florida population of R. citrophilus but not between the Hawaiian burrowing nematode population isolated from Musa sp. and a Florida population of R. citrophilus. These findings indicate that a previously unidentified population of R. citrophilus which does not parasitize citrus occurs in Hawaii.

  1. The Potential Use of Electricity to Control Burrowing Shrimp in Oyster Aquaculture Beds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thalassinid shrimp cause significant problems for oyster aquaculture in the Pacific Northwest (USA) where oysters succumb to the physical disruption of the sediment by the burrowing activity of these animals. While electrofishing is a commonly used technique to capture fish and some invertebrates i...

  2. Burrowing and avoidance behaviour in marine organisms exposed to pesticide-contaminated sediment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møhlenberg, Flemming; Kiørboe, Thomas

    1983-01-01

    Behavioural effects of marine sediment contaminated with pesticides (6000 ppm parathion, 200 ppm methyl parathion, 200 ppm malathion) were studied in a number of marine organisms in laboratory tests and in situ. The burrowing behaviour in Macoma baltica, Cerastoderma edule, Abra alba, Nereis...

  3. Burrow Dusting or Oral Vaccination Prevents Plague-Associated Prairie Dog Colony Collapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Daniel W; Rocke, Tonie E; Runge, Jonathan P; Abbott, Rachel C; Miller, Michael W

    2017-09-01

    Plague impacts prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) and other sensitive wildlife species. We compared efficacy of prophylactic treatments (burrow dusting with deltamethrin or oral vaccination with recombinant "sylvatic plague vaccine" [RCN-F1/V307]) to placebo treatment in black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) colonies. Between 2013 and 2015, we measured prairie dog apparent survival, burrow activity and flea abundance on triplicate plots ("blocks") receiving dust, vaccine or placebo treatment. Epizootic plague affected all three blocks but emerged asynchronously. Dust plots had fewer fleas per burrow (P plague emerged. Patterns in corresponding dust and vaccine plots were less consistent and appeared strongly influenced by timing of treatment applications relative to plague emergence. Deltamethrin or oral vaccination enhanced apparent survival within two blocks. Applying insecticide or vaccine prior to epizootic emergence blunted effects of plague on prairie dog survival and abundance, thereby preventing colony collapse. Successful plague mitigation will likely entail strategic combined uses of burrow dusting and oral vaccination within large colonies or colony complexes.

  4. Evolution of earthworm burrow systems after inoculation of lumbricid earthworms in a pasture in the Netherlands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligthart, T.N.; Peek, G.J.C.W.

    1997-01-01

    In 1983, an earthworm-free pasture was inoculated with four earthworm species. The earthworms dispersed with an average velocity of 6.3 my-1. In 1991, four burrow systems, ranging in age from 0.6 to 7.3 y, were mapped three-dimensionally to establish the development of these systems. Aporrectodea

  5. Standardized Monitoring Strategies for Burrowing Owls on DoD Installations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-12-01

    Collect 2-4 whole fresh pellets each time you approach a nest burrow. Pellets disintegrate at different rates dependent upon composition ...whitewash and pellets elsewhere). The presence of juvenile prints indicates when the juveniles begin emerging. Record whether any eggshell

  6. Estimating the effect of burrowing shrimp on deep-sea sediment community oxygen consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Leduc

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC is a proxy for organic matter processing and thus provides a useful proxy of benthic ecosystem function. Oxygen uptake in deep-sea sediments is mainly driven by bacteria, and the direct contribution of benthic macro- and mega-infauna respiration is thought to be relatively modest. However, the main contribution of infaunal organisms to benthic respiration, particularly large burrowing organisms, is likely to be indirect and mainly driven by processes such as feeding and bioturbation that stimulate bacterial metabolism and promote the chemical oxidation of reduced solutes. Here, we estimate the direct and indirect contributions of burrowing shrimp (Eucalastacus cf. torbeni to sediment community oxygen consumption based on incubations of sediment cores from 490 m depth on the continental slope of New Zealand. Results indicate that the presence of one shrimp in the sediment is responsible for an oxygen uptake rate of about 40 µmol d−1, only 1% of which is estimated to be due to shrimp respiration. We estimate that the presence of ten burrowing shrimp m−2 of seabed would lead to an oxygen uptake comparable to current estimates of macro-infaunal community respiration on Chatham Rise based on allometric equations, and would increase total sediment community oxygen uptake by 14% compared to sediment without shrimp. Our findings suggest that oxygen consumption mediated by burrowing shrimp may be substantial in continental slope ecosystems.

  7. Water pumping and analysis of flow in burrowing zoobenthos - a short overview

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Riisgård, Hans Ulrik; Larsen, Poul Scheel

    2005-01-01

    of water layers at the sea bed with the layers above where food particle concentrations are relatively higher. Following a brief summary of types of burrowing benthic animals, common methods for measuring pumping rates are described along with examples. For estimating the required pump pressure, biofluid...

  8. Host relation, size and reproduction in the burrowing barnacle Trypetesa lampas (Hancock) (Crustacea Cirripedia Acrothoracica)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Sofie Katrine Dam; Høeg, Jens Thorvald; Yusa, Yoichi

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the population biology of the burrowing barnacle Trypetesa lampas, a symbiont of hermit crabs and representing the little known cirripede group Acrothoracica. We put special emphasis on the hostbarnacle relation and reproduction. A total of 341 hermit crabs...

  9. Development of earthworm burrow systems and the influence of earthworms on soil hydrology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ligthart, T.N.

    1996-01-01


    Inoculation of earthworms can help to restore or ameliorate land qualities. Earthworms create burrows and alter the structure of the soil matrix, which influence the water infiltration, drainage, water retention and the aeration of the soil. The way and rate of the development of

  10. Organic matter composition and the protist and nematode communities around anecic earthworm burrows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andriuzzi, Walter S.; Ngo, Phuong-Thi; Geisen, Stefan; Keith, Aidan M.; Dumack, Kenneth; Bolger, Thomas; Bonkowski, Michael; Brussaard, Lijbert; Faber, Jack H.; Chabbi, Abad; Rumpel, Cornelia; Schmidt, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    By living in permanent burrows and incorporating organic detritus from the soil surface, anecic earthworms contribute to soil heterogeneity, but their impact is still under-studied in natural field conditions. We investigated the effects of the anecic earthworm Lumbricus centralis on fresh carbon

  11. Air breathing of aquatic burrow-dwelling eel goby, Odontamblyopus lacepedii (Gobiidae: Amblyopinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzales, Tomas T; Katoh, Masaya; Ishimatsu, Atsushi

    2006-03-01

    Odontamblyopus lacepedii is an eel goby that inhabits both coastal waters and intertidal zones in East Asia, including Japan. The fish excavates burrows in mudflats but, unlike the sympatric amphibious mudskippers, it does not emerge but stays in the burrows filled with hypoxic water during low tide. Endoscopic observations of the field burrows demonstrated that the fish breathed air in the burrow opening; air breathing commenced 1.3 h following burrow emersion, when water P(O2) was approximately 2.8 kPa, with an air-breathing frequency (f(AB)) of 7.3+/-2.9 breaths h(-1) (mean +/- s.d., N=5). Laboratory experiments revealed that the fish is a facultative air breather. It never breathed air in normoxic water (P(O2)=20.7 kPa) but started bimodal respiration when water P(O2) was reduced to 1.0-3.1 kPa. The fish held air inside the mouth and probably used the gills as gas-exchange surfaces since no rich vascularization occurred in the mouth linings. As is known for other air-breathing fishes, f(AB) increased with decreasing water P(O2). Both buccal gas volume (V(B)) and inspired volume (V(I)) were significantly correlated with body mass (M(b)). At a given M(b), V(I) was nearly always equal to V(B), implying almost complete buccal gas renewal in every breathing cycle. A temporal reduction in expired volume (V(E)) was probably due to a low aerial gas exchange ratio (CO2) elimination/O2 uptake). Air breathing appears to have evolved in O. lacepedii as an adaptation to aquatic hypoxia in the burrows. The acquisition of the novel respiratory capacity enables this species to stay in the burrows during low tide and extends the resident time in the mudflat, thereby increasing its chances of tapping the rich resources of the area.

  12. Effect of mangrove restoration on crab burrow density in Luoyangjiang Estuary, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Li

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Background Mangrove restoration seeks to restore or rebuild degraded mangrove systems. The methods of mangrove restoration include ecological projects and restoration-oriented technologies, the latter of which are designed to restore the structure, processes as well as related physical, chemical and biological characteristics of wetlands and to ensure the provision of ecosystem services. As important components of mangrove ecosystem, benthic organisms and crabs play a key role in nutrient cycling. In addition, mangrove restoration, such as vegetation restoration measures, can lead to changes in the benthic faunal communities. This study investigates whether the presence of different mangrove species, age and canopy cover of mangrove communities affect the density of crab burrows. Methods The Luoyangjiang Estuary, in the southeast of Fujian Province, was selected as our research area. A survey, covering 14 sites, was conducted to investigate the impacts of mangrove restoration on the density of crab burrows in four rehabilitated forests with different stand ages and canopy. Results It was found that differences in vegetation types had a large impact on crab density and that the density of crab burrows was lower on exposed beaches (non-mangrove than under mature Kandelia candel, Aegiceras corniculatum and Avicennia marina communities. In general, the amount of leaf litter and debris on mangrove mudflats was greater than on the beaches as food sources for crabs. Two-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA shows that changes in mangrove species and age since restoration had different effects on crab burrow density. The effect of canopy cover was highly significant on crab burrow density. Conclusions The results suggest that in the process of mangrove restoration the combined effects of mangrove stand age, canopy cover and other factors should be taken into account. This study further supports the findings of the future scientific research and practice on

  13. BURROW ARCHITECTURE OF RED GHOST CRAB OCYPODE MACROCERA (H. MILNE-EDWARDS, 1852 : A CASE STUDY IN INDIAN SUNDARBANS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sourabh Kumar Dubey

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A study on burrow architecture and burrow morphology of the red ghost crab (Ocypode macrocera was carried out at the southern proximity of the Sagar island (21°37.973' N, to E 88° 04.195', western sector of Indian Sundarbans that faces the regular tidal influences of Bay of Bengal. Ocypode macrocera constructs burrows that are highly species specific and used by single individual. Four types of burrow patterns were observed like ‘I’, ‘J’ ‘U’ and ‘semi-U’ type with different sizes as revealed by POP casting. Important physic-chemical parameters like air temperature, temperature and salinity of the water were significantly varied (P < 0.05 throughout seasons in the Ocypode zone. Burrow sand column temperature were also significantly varied from ambient air temperature thus exhibiting preference for cooler subterranean residential compartment. The digging behaviour of Ocypodes enhances oxygenation in the ground soil and facilitates decomposition of organic materials, nutrient recycling, entrapping the sediments and mangrove seedlings and helps the process of bioturbation. As per the preliminary observations it was suggested that burrow shape is directly related to tidal action and metabolic activities of the crab are strongly correlated with burrow microenvironment. They are adapted to the different sediment conditions, tidal fluctuations, varying salinity gradients, air and water temperatures and other environmental fluctuations.

  14. Treatment of black-tailed prairie dog burrows with deltamethrin to control fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) and plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seery, David B; Biggins, Dean E; Montenieri, John A; Enscore, Russell E; Tanda, Dale T; Gage, Kenneth L

    2003-09-01

    Burrows within black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, were dusted with deltamethrin insecticide to reduce flea (Insecta: Siphonaptera) abundance. Flea populations were monitored pre- and posttreatment by combing prairie dogs and collecting fleas from burrows. A single application of deltamethrin significantly reduced populations of the plague vector Oropsylla hirsuta, and other flea species on prairie dogs and in prairie dog burrows for at least 84 d. A plague epizootic on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge caused high mortality of prairie dogs on some untreated colonies, but did not appear to affect nearby colonies dusted with deltamethrin.

  15. Burrows of the Semi-Terrestrial Crab Ucides cordatus Enhance CO2 Release in a North Brazilian Mangrove Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pülmanns, Nathalie; Diele, Karen; Mehlig, Ulf; Nordhaus, Inga

    2014-01-01

    Ucides cordatus is an abundant mangrove crab in Brazil constructing burrows of up to 2 m depth. Sediment around burrows may oxidize during low tides. This increase in sediment-air contact area may enhance carbon degradation processes. We hypothesized that 1) the sediment CO2 efflux rate is greater with burrows than without and 2) the reduction potential in radial profiles in the sediment surrounding the burrows decreases gradually, until approximating non-bioturbated conditions. Sampling was conducted during the North Brazilian wet season at neap tides. CO2 efflux rates of inhabited burrows and plain sediment were measured with a CO2/H2O gas analyzer connected to a respiration chamber. Sediment redox potential, pH and temperature were measured in the sediment surrounding the burrows at horizontal distances of 2, 5, 8 and 15 cm at four sediment depths (1, 10, 30 and 50 cm) and rH values were calculated. Sediment cores (50 cm length) were taken to measure the same parameters for plain sediment. CO2 efflux rates of plain sediment and individual crab burrows with entrance diameters of 7 cm were 0.7–1.3 µmol m−2 s−1 and 0.2–0.4 µmol burrows−1 s−1, respectively. CO2 released from a Rhizophora mangle dominated forest with an average of 1.7 U. cordatus burrows−1 m−2 yielded 1.0–1.7 µmol m−2 s−1, depending on the month and burrow entrance diameter. Laboratory experiments revealed that 20–60% of the CO2 released by burrows originated from crab respiration. Temporal changes in the reduction potential in the sediment surrounding the burrows did not influence the CO2 release from burrows. More oxidized conditions of plain sediment over time may explain the increase in CO2 release until the end of the wet season. CO2 released by U. cordatus and their burrows may be a significant pathway of CO2 export from mangrove sediments and should be considered in mangrove carbon budget estimates. PMID:25313661

  16. Forecasting rodent outbreaks in Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leirs, Herwig; Verhagen, Ron; Verheyen, Walter

    1996-01-01

    1. Rainfall data were collated for years preceding historical outbreaks of Mastomys rats in East Africa in order to test the hypothesis that such outbreaks occur after long dry periods. 2. Rodent outbreaks were generally not preceded by long dry periods. 3. Population dynamics of Mastomys natalen...

  17. The Ethics of Rodent Control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Brom, F.W.A.; Kijlstra, A.

    2008-01-01

    Because western societies generally see animals as objects of moral concern, demands have been made on the way they are treated, e.g. during animal experimentation. In the case of rodent pests, however, inhumane control methods are often applied. This inconsistency in the human-animal relationship

  18. 21 CFR 1250.96 - Rodent control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Rodent control. 1250.96 Section 1250.96 Food and... SANITATION Sanitation Facilities and Conditions on Vessels § 1250.96 Rodent control. Vessels shall be... of rodent control. ...

  19. Plague cycles in two rodent species from China: Dry years might provide context for epizootics in wet years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Xu, Lei; Liu, Qiyong

    2016-01-01

    Plague, a rodent-associated, flea-borne zoonosis, is one of the most notorious diseases in history. Rates of plague transmission can increase when fleas are abundant. Fleas commonly desiccate and die when reared under dry conditions in laboratories, suggesting fleas will be suppressed during droughts in the wild, thus reducing the rate at which plague spreads among hosts. In contrast, fleas might increase in abundance when precipitation is plentiful, producing epizootic outbreaks during wet years. We tested these hypotheses using a 27-yr data set from two rodents in Inner Mongolia, China: Mongolian gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) and Daurian ground squirrels (Spermophilus dauricus). For both species of rodents, fleas were most abundant during years preceded by dry growing seasons. For gerbils, the prevalence of plague increased during wet years preceded by dry growing seasons. If precipitation is scarce during the primary growing season, succulent plants decline in abundance and, consequently, herbivorous rodents can suffer declines in body condition. Fleas produce more offspring and better survive when parasitizing food-limited hosts, because starving animals tend to exhibit inefficient behavioral and immunological defenses against fleas. Further, rodent burrows might buffer fleas from xeric conditions aboveground during dry years. After a dry year, fleas might be abundant due to the preceding drought, and if precipitation and succulent plants become more plentiful, rodents could increase in density, thereby creating connectivity that facilitates the spread of plague. Moreover, in wet years, mild temperatures might increase the efficiency at which fleas transmit the plague bacterium, while also helping fleas to survive as they quest among hosts. In this way, dry years could provide context for epizootics of plague in wet years.

  20. 1994 prairie dog burrow mapping with Global Positioning Systems, UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge, Phillips County, Montana

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Holes in the ground are a very important feature of black-footed ferret habitat. The number, distribution, and activity level of prairie dog burrows is related to...

  1. Burrowing and avoidance behaviour in marine organisms exposed to pesticide-contaminated sediment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohlenberg, F.; Kiorboe, T.

    1983-02-01

    Behavioural effects of marine sediment contaminated with pesticides (6000 ppm parathion, 200 ppm methyl parathion, 200 ppm malathion) were studied in a number of marine organisms in laboratory tests and in situ. The burrowing behaviour in Macoma baltica, Cerastoderma edule, Abra alba, Nereis diversicolor and Scoloplos armiger was impaired in the contaminated sediment compared to control. The impairment was most pronounced in the laboratory tests, where almost no burrowing occured. In a very simple laboratory set-up, highly significant avoidance of the contaminated sediment was demonstrated for Crangon crangon and Solea solea, but not for Carcinus maenas and Pomatoschistus minutus. The validity of both behavioural tests was supported by in situ observations and investigations on the distribution of the species. It is concluded that both tests are useful tools in the assessment of the impact of contaminated sediments.

  2. Complex burrows of the mud shrimp Callianassa truncata and their geochemical impact in the sea bed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ziebis, W.; Forster, S.; Huettel, M.

    1996-01-01

    the overlying water and rapid consumption within the sea bed, Macrofauna organisms living within the sea bed affect the physical structure of the sea floor, its chemical zonations and the exchange processes across the sediment-water interface(3,4). Thalassinidean mud-shrimps are often abundant in tropical...... and temperate coastal regions(5-7) and build burrows with a species-specific architecture, The deepest reported burrows reach down to 2.5 m sediment depth(8). It is difficult to study the activities of these secretive animals and their effect on sediment biogeochemistry without disturbing the sediment system(9......). Here we report the use of a diver observatory within the seabed, along with in situ measurements, to assess the geochemical impact of the mud-shrimp Callianassa truncata Giard and Bonnier (Decapoda, Thalassinidea), a species that commonly inhabits sandy sediments in the Mediterranean sea....

  3. Black-footed ferrets and recreational shooting influence the attributes of black-tailed prairie dog burrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggins, Dean E.; Ramakrishnan, Shantini; Goldberg, Amanda R.; Eads, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) plug burrows occupied by black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), and they also plug burrows to entomb dead prairie dogs. We further evaluated these phenomena by sampling connectivity and plugging of burrow openings on prairie dog colonies occupied by ferrets, colonies where recreational shooting was allowed, and colonies with neither shooting nor ferrets. We counted burrow openings on line surveys and within plots, classified surface plugging, and used an air blower to examine subsurface connectivity. Colonies with ferrets had lower densities of openings, fewer connected openings (suggesting increased subsurface plugging), and more surface plugs compared to colonies with no known ferrets. Colonies with recreational shooting had the lowest densities of burrow openings, and line-survey data suggested colonies with shooting had intermediate rates of surface plugging. The extent of surface and subsurface plugging could have consequences for the prairie dog community by changing air circulation and escape routes of burrow systems and by altering energetic relationships. Burrow plugging might reduce prairie dogs' risk of predation by ferrets while increasing risk of predation by American badgers (Taxidea taxus); however, the complexity of the trade-off is increased if plugging increases the risk of predation on ferrets by badgers. Prairie dogs expend more energy plugging and digging when ferrets or shooting are present, and ferrets increase their energy expenditures when they dig to remove those plugs. Microclimatic differences in plugged burrow systems may play a role in flea ecology and persistence of the flea-borne bacterium that causes plague (Yersinia pestis).

  4. DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF RODENTS IN FARMLANDS ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADMIN

    piles, near burrows, under eucalyptus trees, in the store and around classrooms) in the compound. This was carried out from March to April (sessions. 12–14). There were 675 trap-nights outside farmlands. Traps were kept covered with hay and weeds mainly to avoid excess heat during the day and cold during nights.

  5. Impaired burrowing is the most prominent behavioral deficit of aging htau mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geiszler, Philippine Camilla; Barron, Matthew Richard; Pardon, Marie-Christine

    2016-08-04

    htau mice are deficient of murine tau but express all six human tau isoforms, leading to gradual tau misprocessing and aggregation in brain areas relevant to Alzheimer's disease. While histopathological changes in htau mice have been researched in the past, we focused here on functional consequences of human tau accumulation. htau mice and their background controls - murine tau knock-out (mtau(-/-)) and C57Bl/6J mice - underwent a comprehensive trial battery to investigate species-specific behavior, locomotor activity, emotional responses, exploratory traits, spatial and recognition memory as well as acquisition, retention and extinction of contextual fear at two, four, six, nine and twelve months of age. In htau mice, tau pathology was already present at two months of age, whereas deficits in food burrowing and spatial working memory were first noted at four months of age. At later stages the presence of human tau on a mtau(-/-) background appeared to guard cognitive performance; as mtau(-/-) but not htau mice differed from C57Bl/6J mice in the food burrowing, spontaneous alternation and object discrimination tasks. Aging mtau(-/-) mice also exhibited increased body mass and locomotor activity. These data highlight that reduced food-burrowing performance was the most robust aspect of the htau phenotype with aging. htau and mtau(-/-) deficits in food burrowing pointed at the necessity of intact tau systems for daily life activities. While some htau and mtau(-/-) deficits overlap, age differences between the two genotypes may reflect distinct functional effects and compared to C57Bl/6J mice, the htau phenotype appeared stronger than the mtau(-/-) phenotype at young ages but milder with aging. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Bioturbation in Supratidal Carbonates: Georadar Characterization of the Patterns and Structure of Decapod Burrows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kopcznski, Karen

    Bioturbation in supratidal carbonate substrates has only recently received attention from ichnologists, relying primarily on traditional ground-based techniques. This study is the first high-resolution geophysical investigation of three decapod species inhabiting adjacent coastal biotopes on San Salvador Island. Extensive (>2 km) 800 MHz georadar surveys captured a diverse suite of >120 burrows of ghost (Ocypode quadrata), blackback ( Gecarcinus lateralis) and blue (Cardisoma guanhumi) land crabs. Site-specific post-processing protocols were used to establish characteristic attributes that distinguish unfilled burrows from other discordant anomalies based on signal polarity structure. Variably oriented 2D and quasi-3D ( 0.75-1.25 wavelength line separation) images allow the diagnostic signature of G. lateralis burrows to be distinguished from those of O. quadrata based on: 1) higher density of point-source diffractions (0.9-1.9/m vs. 0.01-0.06/m) and 2) shallower inclination angle (21-46° vs. >60°). C. guanhumi burrows are differentiated by: 1) larger diameter; 2) presence of an end chamber (where the radar signal is not attenuated by saline groundwater); 3) low electromagnetic signal velocity ( 9 cm/ns vs. 11 cm/ns) in organic-rich muddy substrate and 4) rapid signal decay. The migrated inclination angle (alpha) and the effective range (t0; time window of strongest reflectors) offer the best combination that differentiates between the three end-member structures and matrix properties. This study establishes GPR as a viable non-invasive subsurface imaging technique, with potential implications for: 1) identification of shifting ichnocoenoses, as exemplified by intense hurricane impacts (2015/2016); 2) recognition and mapping of similar biogenic structures in buried or lithified carbonates and, 3) quantification of a near-surface ichnofabric index and the dual porosity/permeability structure of prospective hydrocarbon reservoirs. Furthermore, the basic attributes

  7. Animal behaviour: use of dung as a tool by burrowing owls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levey, Douglas J; Duncan, R Scot; Levins, Carrie F

    2004-09-02

    Reports of tool usage by birds tend to be anecdotal as only a few individuals may be involved and the behaviour observed can often be interpreted in other ways. Here we describe the widespread collection of mammalian dung by burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) and show that they use this dung as a bait to attract dung beetles, a major item of prey. Our controlled investigation provides an unambiguous estimate of the importance of tool use in a wild animal.

  8. Long-term population dynamics of a managed burrowing owl colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barclay, John H.; Korfanta, Nicole M.; Kauffman, Matthew J.

    2011-01-01

    We analyzed the population dynamics of a burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) colony at Mineta San Jose International Airport in San Jose, California, USA from 1990-2007. This colony was managed by using artificial burrows to reduce the occurrence of nesting owls along runways and within major airport improvement projects during the study period. We estimated annual reproduction in natural and artificial burrows and age-specific survival rates with mark-recapture techniques, and we estimated the relative contribution of these vital rates to population dynamics using a life table response experiment. The breeding colony showed 2 distinct periods of change: high population growth from 7 nesting pairs in 1991 to 40 pairs in 2002 and population decline to 17 pairs in 2007. Reproduction was highly variable: annual nesting success (pairs that raised =1 young) averaged 79% and ranged from 36% to 100%, whereas fecundity averaged 3.36 juveniles/pair and ranged from 1.43 juveniles/pair to 4.54 juveniles/pair. We estimated annual adult survival at 0.710 during the period of colony increase from 1996 to 2001 and 0.465 during decline from 2002 to 2007, but there was no change in annual survival of juveniles between the 2 time periods. Long-term population growth rate (lambda) estimated from average vital rates was lambdaa=1.072 with lambdai=1.288 during colony increase and lambdad=0.921 (DELTA lambda=0.368) during decline. A life table response experiment showed that change in adult survival rate during increasing and declining phases explained more than twice the variation in growth rate than other vital rates. Our findings suggest that management and conservation of declining burrowing owl populations should address factors that influence adult survival.

  9. Distribution of the Chuckwalla, Western Burrowing Owl, and Six Bat Species on the Nevada Test Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cathy A. Willis

    1997-05-01

    Field Surveys were conducted in 1996 to determine the current distribution of several animal species of concern on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). They included the chuckwall (Sauromalus obesus), western burrowing owl (Speotyto cunicularia), and six species of bats. Nineteen chuckwallas and 118 scat locations were found during the chuckwalla field study. Eighteen western burrowing owls were found at 12 sighting locations during the 1996 field study. Of the eleven bat species of concern which might occur on the NTS, five, and possibly six, were captured during this survey. The U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, takes certain management actions to protect and conserve the chuckwalla, western burrowing owl, and bats on the NTS. These actions are described and include: (1) conducting surveys at sites of proposed land-disturbing activities (2) altering projects whenever possible to avoid or minimize impacts to these species (3) maintaining a geospatial database of known habitat for species of concern (4) sharing sighting and trap location data gathered on the NTS with other local land and resource managers, and (5) conducting periodic field surveys to monitor these species distribution and relative abundance on the NTS.

  10. Rodent Models of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philips, Thomas; Rothstein, Jeffrey D

    2015-06-01

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease affecting upper and lower motor neurons in the central nervous system. Patients with ALS develop extensive muscle wasting and atrophy leading to paralysis and death 3 to 5 years after disease onset. The condition may be familial (fALS 10%) or sporadic ALS (sALS, 90%). The large majority of fALS cases are due to genetic mutations in the Superoxide dismutase 1 gene (SOD1, 15% of fALS) and repeat nucleotide expansions in the gene encoding C9ORF72 (∼ 40% to 50% of fALS and ∼ 10% of sALS). Studies suggest that ALS is mediated through aberrant protein homeostasis (i.e., ER stress and autophagy) and/or changes in RNA processing (as in all non-SOD1-mediated ALS). In all of these cases, animal models suggest that the disorder is mediated non-cell autonomously, i.e., not only motor neurons are involved, but glial cells including microglia, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes, and other neuronal subpopulations are also implicated in the pathogenesis. Provided in this unit is a review of ALS rodent models, including discussion of their relative advantages and disadvantages. Emphasis is placed on correlating the model phenotype with the human condition and the utility of the model for defining the disease process. Information is also presented on RNA processing studies in ALS research, with particular emphasis on the newest ALS rodent models. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Reproductive Disorders in Pet Rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martorell, Jaume

    2017-05-01

    Reproduction diseases are common presentations in small rodents. Some can be presented to the clinician as an emergency where a fast and effective treatment is required. This article presents an overview of reproductive disorders in these species. Diseases affecting the ovary, uterus, testicles, and mammary gland are developed in rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils: inflammatory, infectious, and neoplasia. Clinical signs, diagnosis, and treatment information are included. Some specific indications about the surgical reproduction procedures are described. Literature regarding reproductive disorders exists for squirrels and prairie dogs. Brief information about the normal anatomy of the reproductive system is given. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Evidence-Based Advances in Rodent Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jekl, Vladimir; Hauptman, Karel; Knotek, Zdenek

    2017-09-01

    The number of exotic companion pet rodents seen in veterinary practices is growing very rapidly. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association's surveys, more than 2,093,000 pet rodents were kept in US households in 2007 and in 2012 it was more than 2,349,000 animals. This article summarizes the most important evidence-based knowledge in exotic pet rodents (diagnostics of the hyperadrenocorticism in guinea pigs, pituitary tumors in rats, urolithiasis in guinea pigs, use of itopride as prokinetics, use of deslorelin acetate in rodents, cause of dental disease, and prevention of mammary gland tumors in rats). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Epidemiological distribution of rodents as potent reservoirs for infectious diseases in the provinces of Mazandaran, Gilan and Golestan, northern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Behzad Esfandiari

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Rodents are mammals that comprise more than 2000 species and approximately 30 families. There are many morphological and ecological differences among them as variations in their shape, size, weight and habitat. In addition to significant economic losses, rodents have a major role in the dissemination of infectious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites or other micro-organisms. Rodents are important reservoirs of diseases which have been observed in many cities of Iran provinces especially along Caspian Sea border to Alborz Mountain. The aim of this study is to assess the geographical distribution of rodents in three provinces of northern part of Iran as reservoir of potential endemic infectious diseases. Rodents in 10 major parts of each of the three provinces of Mazandaran, Gilan and Golestan, northern Iran were collected and a total of 404 rodents were trapped alive. They were determined by the key characteristics such as gender, genus, species, different locations and topological situation. Statistical analysis was performed to characterize the study sample and to correlate all variables and parameters. The distribution frequencies of three, five and six genera of rodents were identified in Mazandaran, Gilan and Golestan provinces respectively. The overall distribution frequency of eight genera of rodents in the three provinces were identified as Rattus (R. norvegicus (67.3%, R. rattus (13.6%, Apodemus sylvaticus (13.9%, Arvicola (1%, Mus musculus (0.3%, Nesokia indica (2.5%, Cricetulus migrates (0.7% and Rhombomys opimus (0.7%. The results of this study determined the geographic distribution of the rodents in the three northern provinces of Iran. It is indicated the association of various distribution and diversity of rodents with provincial location. The overall distribution frequency of eight genera of rodents was recognized in the above three provinces geographical locations. This study confirms epidemiological distribution of

  14. Importance of agricultural landscapes to nesting burrowing owls in the Northern Great Plains, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restani, M.; Davies, J.M.; Newton, W.E.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation are the principle factors causing declines of grassland birds. Declines in burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations have been extensive and have been linked to habitat loss, primarily the decline of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. Development of habitat use models is a research priority and will aid conservation of owls inhabiting human-altered landscapes. From 2001 to 2004 we located 160 burrowing owl nests on prairie dog colonies on the Little Missouri National Grassland in North Dakota. We used multiple linear regression and Akaike's Information Criterion to estimate the relationship between cover type characteristics surrounding prairie dog colonies and (1) number of owl pairs per colony and (2) reproductive success. Models were developed for two spatial scales, within 600 m and 2,000 m radii of nests for cropland, crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), grassland, and prairie dog colonies. We also included number of patches as a metric of landscape fragmentation. Annually, fewer than 30% of prairie dog colonies were occupied by owls. None of the models at the 600 m scale explained variation in number of owl pairs or reproductive success. However, models at the 2,000 m scale did explain number of owl pairs and reproductive success. Models included cropland, crested wheatgrass, and prairie dog colonies. Grasslands were not included in any of the models and had low importance values, although percentage grassland surrounding colonies was high. Management that protects prairie dog colonies bordering cropland and crested wheatgrass should be implemented to maintain nesting habitat of burrowing owls. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  15. Rodent models for human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandamme, Thierry F

    2015-07-15

    One of the factors limiting the translation of knowledge from preclinical studies to the clinic has been the limitations of in vivo diseases models. Except in the case of highly controlled and regulated clinical trials, geneticists and scientists do not use humans for their experimental investigations because of the obvious risk to life. Instead, they use various animal, fungal, bacterial, and plant species as model organisms for their studies. Amongst these model organisms, rodent models are the most used due to the easiness for the experiments and the possibility to modify genetically these model animals. Nevertheless, due to the fact that animal models typically do not contract the same genetic diseases as people, so scientists must alter their genomes to induce human disease states and to know what kind of mutation causes the disease. In this brief review, we will discuss the interests of rodent models that have been developed to simulate human pathologies, focusing in models that employ xenografts and genetic modification. Within the framework of genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models, we will review some of the current genetic strategies for modeling diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Comparing food limitation among three stages of nesting: supplementation experiments with the burrowing owl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellicome, Troy I; Danielle Todd, L; Poulin, Ray G; Holroyd, Geoffrey L; Fisher, Ryan J

    2013-08-01

    Food availability is an important limiting factor for avian reproduction. In altricial birds, food limitation is assumed to be more severe during the nestling stage than during laying or incubation, but this has yet to be adequately tested. Using food-supplementation experiments over a 5-year period, we determined the degree and timing of food limitation for burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) breeding in Canada. Burrowing owls are an endangered species and food limitation during the nestling stage could influence reproductive performance of this species at the northern extent of their range. Supplemented pairs fledged on average 47% more owlets than unfed pairs, except during a year when natural food was not limiting (i.e., a prey irruption year). The difference in fledgling production resulted from high nestling mortality in unfed broods, with 96% of all nestling deaths being attributed to food shortage. Supplemental feeding during the nestling period also increased fledgling structural size. Pairs fed from the start of laying produced the same number of hatchlings as pairs that received no supplemental food before hatch. Furthermore, pairs supplemented from egg laying to fledging and pairs supplemented during the nestling period alone had the same patterns of nestling survival, equal numbers of fledglings, and similar fledgling mass and structural size. Our results provide empirical support for the hypothesis that the nestling period is the most food-limited phase of the breeding cycle. The experimental design we introduce here could be used with other altricial species to examine how the timing of food limitation differs among birds with a variety of life-history strategies. For burrowing owls, and other species with similar life histories, long-term, large-scale, and appropriately timed habitat management increasing prey abundance or availability is critical for conservation. Our results provide empirical support for the hypothesis that the nestling period is

  17. The partitioning of food resources between two rodents in the subtropical region of southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FÁBIO P. ESPINELLI

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and nutria (Myocastor coypus are herbivorous semi-aquatic rodents. Although these rodents occur in sympatry in southern South America, little is known about how the two species interact in relationship to food resources. In this context, the aim of this study was to analyze the food resource overlap, the feeding strategy and the diversity of the diet of capybaras and nutria. A micro-histological analysis of feces was used to study the diets. A total of 48 plant species belonging to 10 families were identified in the diet of H. hydrochaeris, and a total of 49 species belonging to 14 families were identified in the diet of M. coypus. According to the Amundsen graphical method, both rodents adopted a specialized strategy for feeding on Poaceae and a generalized strategy for other families. The results of a multivariate analysis of the dietary data showed significant differences between the two rodent species and among the seasons. These differences between diets may be related to the different proportions of each food item eaten. However, the dietary overlap between the two rodents in the Taim wetland was high, suggesting that partitioning of other resources ensured the coexistence of the species.

  18. Besnoitiosis in rodents from Colorado. [Parasitic infestations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dagle, G E; Winsor, T F; Adee, R R

    1976-01-01

    Parasitic cysts of Besnoitia jellisoni (coccidia) were found in rodents (Peromyscus maniculatus and Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) trapped in Eastern Colorado. The parasite was associated with a granulomatous inflammatory reaction in the lungs of each rodent and was disseminated in several organs from one Peromyscus. The ultrastructural appearance of the merozoites and the cyst wall formed by the host cell were studied.

  19. Thermoregulation of the subterranean rodent genus Bathyergus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The thermoregulation of the largest subterranean rodent, genus Bathyergus, comprising two species, B. suillus and B. janetta,occurring in mesic and semiarid habitats respectively, was investigated and compared with that of other subterranean rodents. Both species display low resting metabolic rates and low body ...

  20. Rodent Control: Seal Up! Trap Up! Clean Up!

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... successfully trapping rodents in and around the home. Seal Up! Seal up holes inside and outside the home to ... infested areas. Before cleaning, trap the rodents and seal up any entryways to ensure that no rodents ...

  1. Relative importance of burrow sediment and porewater to the accumulation of trace metals in the clam Amiantis umbonella.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarique, Qaiser; Burger, Joanna; Reinfelder, John R

    2013-07-01

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate the infaunal, facultative deposit-feeding clam Amiantis umbonella as a bioindicator of trace-metal contamination and the relative importance of clam burrow sediment and porewater to total accumulation in an urban/industrial coastal environment. Concentrations of eight trace metals (cadmium [Cd], chromium, copper, mercury [Hg], nickel, lead [Pb], vanadium, and zinc) were measured in the soft tissues of clams and in sediment and porewater from clam burrows along a 5-km transect from desalination/power plant discharges in inner Kuwait Bay. All metals had significantly greater concentrations in clams collected near the desalination/power plant discharges than from the reference site and exhibited decreasing trends with distance from the point source in clam soft tissues and burrow sediment and porewater. Concentrations of Hg (1-9 ppm [dry weight]) and the highest concentrations of Pb (3 ppm) and Cd (7 ppm) in clams from contaminated sites in Kuwait Bay were greater than human consumption limits. Metal concentrations in clams were correlated with those in burrow sediment and porewater across all sites and at sites closest to the point source but not within the reference site. The concentrations of all metals, except Pb, in clams from the contaminated sites were more highly correlated with those in clam burrow sediment than porewater. Concentrations of Pb in clam soft tissues were more strongly correlated with those in burrow porewater than sediment. These results indicate that A. umbonella is an excellent bioindicator of trace metal contamination and that sediment is an important source of contaminant metals to this infaunal clam; however, the source of each metal must be evaluated separately.

  2. Escape Burrowing of Modern Freshwater Bivalves as a Paradigm for Escape Behavior in the Devonian Bivalve Archanodon catskillensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Knoll

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Many freshwater bivalves restore themselves to the sediment water interface after burial by upward escape burrowing. We studied the escape burrowing capacity of two modern unionoids, Elliptio complanata and Pyganodon cataracta and the invasive freshwater venerid Corbicula fluminea, in a controlled laboratory setting varying sediment grain size and burial depth. We found that the relatively streamlined E. complanata is a better escape burrower than the more obese P. cataracta. E. complanata is more likely to escape burial in both fine and coarse sand, and at faster rates than P. cataracta. However, successful escape from 10 cm burial, especially in fine sand, is unlikely for both unionoids. The comparatively small and obese C. fluminea outperforms both unionoids in terms of escape probability and escape time, especially when body size is taken into consideration. C. fluminea can escape burial depths many times its own size, while the two unionoids rarely escape from burial equivalent to the length of their shells. E. complanata, and particularly P. cataracta, are morphological paradigms for the extinct Devonian unionoid bivalve Archanodon catskillensis, common in riverine facies of the Devonian Catskill Delta Complex of the eastern United States. Our observations suggest that the escape burrowing capability of A. catskillensis was no better than that of P. cataracta. Archanodon catskillensis was likely unable to escape burial of more than a few centimeters of anastrophically deposited sediment. The long (up to 1 meter, vertical burrows that are associated with A. catskillensis, and interpreted to be its escape burrows, represent a response to episodic, small-scale sedimentation events due to patterns of repetitive hydrologic or weather-related phenomena. They are not a response to a single anastrophic event involving the influx of massive volumes of sediment.

  3. Traces and burrowing behaviors of the Cicada nymph Cicadetta calliope: Neoichnology and paleoecological significance of extant soil-dwelling insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J.J.; Hasiotis, S.T.

    2008-01-01

    This study documents the traces and burrowing behaviors of nymphs of the prairie cicada Cicadetta calliope (Hemiptera: Cicadidae), as observed in neoichnological experiments. Cicada nymphs were collected from the C horizons of sandy Fluvents along the Kansas River east of Lawrence, Kansas. The nymphs appeared to be fifth instars, 13-17 mm long and 6-7 mm wide. Nymphs were placed in plastic enclosures containing layers of colored, moist, very fine-grained sand. They burrowed immediately, excavating air-filled, sediment-enclosed cells between 20 mm and 40 mm long and averaging 9 mm wide. Burrowing was completed in three stages: (1) sediment in the forward portion of the cell was excavated and rolled into a ball with the forelimbs; (2) the nymph turned 180?? using a forward roll, and moved to the back of the cell; and (3) the sediment ball was pushed up against the back wall of the cell and kneaded with the forelimbs into a thin layer. Resulting burrow traces are sinuous and distinctly meniscate and demonstrate that insect larvae construct meniscate, backfilled burrows in well-drained terrestrial settings. Cicadetta calliope nymphs and their traces are excellent analogs for meniscate trace fossils commonly found in late Paleozoic-Cenozoic alluvial deposits and paleosols. Such meniscate trace fossils are useful for interpreting the paleoenvironment and paleohydrogeology of the units in which they are found. In addition, such backfilled burrows can be used to supplement the fossil record of cicada-like hemipterans, currently known only from the latest Permian to the Early Triassic. Copyright ?? 2008, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

  4. Rodent Models for Metabolic Syndrome Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil K. Panchal

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Rodents are widely used to mimic human diseases to improve understanding of the causes and progression of disease symptoms and to test potential therapeutic interventions. Chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension, together known as the metabolic syndrome, are causing increasing morbidity and mortality. To control these diseases, research in rodent models that closely mimic the changes in humans is essential. This review will examine the adequacy of the many rodent models of metabolic syndrome to mimic the causes and progression of the disease in humans. The primary criterion will be whether a rodent model initiates all of the signs, especially obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dysfunction of the heart, blood vessels, liver and kidney, primarily by diet since these are the diet-induced signs in humans with metabolic syndrome. We conclude that the model that comes closest to fulfilling this criterion is the high carbohydrate, high fat-fed male rodent.

  5. Do leucocytes reflect condition in nestling burrowing parrots Cyanoliseus patagonus in the wild?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masello, Juan F; Choconi, R Gustavo; Helmer, Matthias; Kremberg, Thomas; Lubjuhn, Thomas; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2009-02-01

    The different leucocyte types are an important part of the immune system. Thus, they have been used in ecological studies to assess immune function and physiological stress in wild birds. It is generally assumed that increased stress and decreased condition are associated with an increase in the ratio of heterophils to lymphocytes, the H/L ratio. We studied leucocyte profiles in relation to body condition in nestling Burrowing Parrots (Cyanoliseus patagonus) in North-eastern Patagonia, Argentina. As in other wild parrots, heterophils were the most numerous leucocyte type, suggesting strong investment into innate immunity. Leucocyte profiles did not change with the age, while nestlings in better body condition increased the number of heterophils. Because the number of lymphocytes was independent of body condition, as a result we observed a positive correlation between body condition and the H/L ratio. The total number of leucocytes relative to erythrocytes increased in nestlings in better body condition, indicating a larger overall investment into immune function in well-nourished nestlings. The observed heterophilic profiles of nestling Burrowing Parrots together with the positive relationship between H/L ratio and body condition may indicate a favoured investment in a robust innate immunity that reduces the risk of infection taking hold in these long-lived birds.

  6. Real estate ads in Emei music frog vocalizations: female preference for calls emanating from burrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jianguo; Tang, Yezhong; Narins, Peter M

    2012-06-23

    During female mate choice, both the male's phenotype and resources (e.g. his nest) contribute to the chooser's fitness. Animals other than humans are not known to advertise resource characteristics to potential mates through vocal communication; although in some species of anurans and birds, females do evaluate male qualities through vocal communication. Here, we demonstrate that calls of the male Emei music frog (Babina dauchina), vocalizing from male-built nests, reflect nest structure information that can be recognized by females. Inside-nest calls consisted of notes with energy concentrated at lower frequency ranges and longer note durations when compared with outside-nest calls. Centre frequencies and note durations of the inside calls positively correlate with the area of the burrow entrance and the depth of the burrow, respectively. When given a choice between outside and inside calls played back alternately, more than 70 per cent of the females (33/47) chose inside calls. These results demonstrate that males of this species faithfully advertise whether or not they possess a nest to potential mates by vocal communication, which probably facilitates optimal mate selection by females. These results revealed a novel function of advertisement calls, which is consistent with the wide variation in both call complexity and social behaviour within amphibians.

  7. The antenna of a burrowing dragonfly larva, Onychogomphus forcipatus (Anisoptera, Gomphidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebora, Manuela; Piersanti, Silvana; Salerno, Gianandrea; Gorb, Stanislav

    2015-11-01

    The larva of the dragonfly Onychogomphus forcipatus (Anisoptera, Gomphidae) has a burrowing lifestyle and antennae composed of four short and broad segments (scape, pedicel and a two-segmented flagellum). The present ultrastructural investigation revealed that different sensilla and one gland are located on the antenna. There is a great diversity of mechanoreceptors of different kinds. In particular club-shaped sensilla, sensilla chaetica, and tree-like sensilla show the typical structure of bristles, the most common type of mechanoreceptors, usually responding to direct touch, while numerous long thin thorny trichoid sensilla show a morphology recalling the structure of filiform hair mechanoreceptors. The latter ones are presumably important in larval Odonata for current detection and rheotactic orientation, especially in a burrowing species. On the smooth apical cuticle of the second flagellar segment, three structures are visible: (1) a small ellipsoidal pit hosting a convoluted peg, the morphology of which resembles that of a typical chemoreceptor (even if pores are lacking), (2) a couple of small pits (not investigated under TEM), and (3) one wide depression with spherical structures, the internal morphology of which lets us assume that it is a gland with unknown function. This is the first report of an antennal gland in palaeopteran insects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Sexual selection halts the relaxation of protamine 2 among rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lena Lüke

    Full Text Available Sexual selection has been proposed as the driving force promoting the rapid evolutionary changes observed in some reproductive genes including protamines. We test this hypothesis in a group of rodents which show marked differences in the intensity of sexual selection. Levels of sperm competition were not associated with the evolutionary rates of protamine 1 but, contrary to expectations, were negatively related to the evolutionary rate of cleaved- and mature-protamine 2. Since both domains were found to be under relaxation, our findings reveal an unforeseen role of sexual selection: to halt the degree of degeneration that proteins within families may experience due to functional redundancy. The degree of relaxation of protamine 2 in this group of rodents is such that in some species it has become dysfunctional and it is not expressed in mature spermatozoa. In contrast, protamine 1 is functionally conserved but shows directed positive selection on specific sites which are functionally relevant such as DNA-anchoring domains and phosphorylation sites. We conclude that in rodents protamine 2 is under relaxation and that sexual selection removes deleterious mutations among species with high levels of sperm competition to maintain the protein functional and the spermatozoa competitive.

  9. Effect of environmental conditions on variation in the sediment-water interface created by complex macrofaunal burrows on a tidal flat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koo, Bon Joo; Kwon, Kae Kyoung; Hyun, Jung-Ho

    2007-11-01

    We quantified the increase in the sediment-water interface created by the burrowing activities of the resident macrofaunal community and its variation with respect to the physical conditions of the habitat on a tidal fat. We investigated environmental factors and dimensions of macrofaunal burrows with respect to tidal height and vegetation during spring and summer at three sites. A resin-casting method was used to quantify the dimensions of all burrows at each site. The dimensions of macrofaunal burrows varied both temporally and spatially and the increase in the sediment-water interface reached a maximum of 311%, ranging from 20 to 255% under different habitat conditions. The sediment-water interface depended on the duration of exposure resulting from tidal height, increased temperatures resulting from seasonality, and marsh plant density. Burrows were deeper and more expansive at both higher tidal levels and higher temperatures in summer. Burrow dimensions were sharply reduced with the disappearance of adult macrofauna in areas where the roots of the marsh plant Suaeda japonica were dense. The significance of this study lies in quantifying the burrow dimensions of the entire macrofaunal community, rather than just a single population, and confirming their spatial and temporal variation with respect to physical conditions of the habitat. Environmental factors responsible for variation in burrow dimensions are discussed.

  10. Modelling effects of chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes: The western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) as a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelman, Catherine A.; Grant, William E.; Mora, Miguel A.; Woodin, Marc

    2012-01-01

    We describe an ecotoxicological model that simulates the sublethal and lethal effects of chronic, low-level, chemical exposure on birds wintering in agricultural landscapes. Previous models estimating the impact on wildlife of chemicals used in agro-ecosystems typically have not included the variety of pathways, including both dermal and oral, by which individuals are exposed. The present model contains four submodels simulating (1) foraging behavior of individual birds, (2) chemical applications to crops, (3) transfers of chemicals among soil, insects, and small mammals, and (4) transfers of chemicals to birds via ingestion and dermal exposure. We demonstrate use of the model by simulating the impacts of a variety of commonly used herbicides, insecticides, growth regulators, and defoliants on western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) that winter in agricultural landscapes in southern Texas, United States. The model generated reasonable movement patterns for each chemical through soil, water, insects, and rodents, as well as into the owl via consumption and dermal absorption. Sensitivity analysis suggested model predictions were sensitive to uncertainty associated with estimates of chemical half-lives in birds, soil, and prey, sensitive to parameters associated with estimating dermal exposure, and relatively insensitive to uncertainty associated with details of chemical application procedures (timing of application, amount of drift). Nonetheless, the general trends in chemical accumulations and the relative impacts of the various chemicals were robust to these parameter changes. Simulation results suggested that insecticides posed a greater potential risk to owls of both sublethal and lethal effects than do herbicides, defoliants, and growth regulators under crop scenarios typical of southern Texas, and that use of multiple indicators, or endpoints provided a more accurate assessment of risk due to agricultural chemical exposure. The model should prove

  11. Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hautier, Lionel; Marivaux, Laurent; Vianey-Liaud, Monique

    2016-01-01

    Studies linking postcranial morphology with locomotion in mammals are common. However, such studies are mostly restricted to caviomorphs in rodents. We present here data from various families, belonging to the three main groups of rodents (Sciuroidea, Myodonta, and Ctenohystrica). The aim of this study is to define morphological indicators for the astragalus and calcaneus, which allow for inferences to be made about the locomotor behaviours in rodents. Several specimens were dissected and described to bridge the myology of the leg with the morphology of the bones of interest. Osteological characters were described, compared, mechanically interpreted, and correlated with a “functional sequence” comprising six categories linked to the lifestyle and locomotion (jumping, cursorial, generalist, fossorial, climber and semi-aquatic). Some character states are typical of some of these categories, especially arboreal climbers, fossorial and “cursorial-jumping” taxa. Such reliable characters might be used to infer locomotor behaviours in extinct species. Linear discriminant analyses (LDAs) were used on a wider sample of species and show that astragalar and calcaneal characters can be used to discriminate the categories among extant species whereas a posteriori inferences on extinct species should be examined with caution. PMID:27761303

  12. Ecomorphological analysis of the astragalo-calcaneal complex in rodents and inferences of locomotor behaviours in extinct rodent species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Ginot

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Studies linking postcranial morphology with locomotion in mammals are common. However, such studies are mostly restricted to caviomorphs in rodents. We present here data from various families, belonging to the three main groups of rodents (Sciuroidea, Myodonta, and Ctenohystrica. The aim of this study is to define morphological indicators for the astragalus and calcaneus, which allow for inferences to be made about the locomotor behaviours in rodents. Several specimens were dissected and described to bridge the myology of the leg with the morphology of the bones of interest. Osteological characters were described, compared, mechanically interpreted, and correlated with a “functional sequence” comprising six categories linked to the lifestyle and locomotion (jumping, cursorial, generalist, fossorial, climber and semi-aquatic. Some character states are typical of some of these categories, especially arboreal climbers, fossorial and “cursorial-jumping” taxa. Such reliable characters might be used to infer locomotor behaviours in extinct species. Linear discriminant analyses (LDAs were used on a wider sample of species and show that astragalar and calcaneal characters can be used to discriminate the categories among extant species whereas a posteriori inferences on extinct species should be examined with caution.

  13. A higher-taxon approach to rodent conservation priorities for the 21st century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amori, G.

    2003-12-01

    Full Text Available Although rodents are not considered among the most threatened mammals, there is ample historical evidence concerning the vulnerability to extinction of several rodent phylogenetic lineages. Owing to the high number of species, poor taxonomy and the lack of detailed information on population status, the assessment of threat status according to IUCN criteria has still to be considered arbitrary in some cases. Public appreciation is scarce and tends to overlook the ecological role and conservation problems of an order representing about 41 percent of mammalian species. We provide an overview of the most relevant information concerning the conservation status of rodents at the genus, subfamily, and family level. For species¿poor taxa, the importance of distinct populations is highlighted and a splitter approach in taxonomy is adopted. Considering present constraints, strategies for the conservation of rodent diversity must rely mainly on higher taxon and hot-spot approaches. A clear understanding of phyletic relationships among difficult groups -such as Rattus, for instance- is an urgent goal. Even if rodent taxonomy is still unstable, high taxon approach is amply justified from a conservation standpoint as it offers a more subtle overview of the world terrestrial biodiversity than that offered by large mammals. Of the circa 451 living rodent genera, 126 (27,9 %, representing 168 living species, deserve conservation attention according to the present study. About 76 % of genera at risk are monotypic, confirming the danger of losing a considerable amount of phylogenetic distinctiveness.

  14. Wild Rodent Ectoparasites Collected from Northwestern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zabihollah Zarei

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Rodents play an important role as reservoir of some pathogens, and the host of some ectoparasites as well. These ectoparasites can transmit rodents’ pathogens to human or animals. The aim of this study was to assess the distribution and infestation load of ectoparasites on rodents in Meshkin-Shahr District, northwestern Iran.Method: Rodents were captured using baited live traps in spring 2014 from Meshkin-Shahr District and were trans­ferred to the laboratory for identification to the species level. Their ectoparasites were collected, mounted and identi­fied.Results: Three rodent species including Meriones persicus (74%, Mus musculus (16.9% and Cricetulus migrato­rius (9% were identified. Among all rodents, 185 specimens (90.69% were infested with a total of 521 ectopara­sites. Overall, 10 arthropods species were collected, including fleas (97.6%, one mite (1.6% and one louse species (0.6% as follows: Xenopsylla nubica, X. astia, X. buxtoni, X. cheopis, Nosopsyllus fasciatus, N. iranus, Cten­ocephalides felis, Ctenophthalmus rettigismiti, Ornithonyssus sp and one species of genus Polyplax. The most prev­alent ectoparasites species was X. nubica (89%.Conclusion: Nearly all rodent species were infested with Xenopsylla species. Monitoring of ectoparasites on infested rodents is very important for awareness and early warning towards control of arthropod-borne diseases.

  15. A documentation on burrows in hard substrates of ferromanganese crusts and associated soft sediments from the Central Indian Ocean

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Banerjee, R.

    sediments on the sea floor also show numerous records of recent bioturbation activity. Thus presence of the ancient and modern burrows from tha same locality on the ocean floor indicates a prolonged bioturbation activity in this part of the CIB and this may...

  16. Identification of burrowing shrimp food sources along an estuarine gradient using fatty acid analysis and stable isotope ratios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two species of burrowing shrimps occur in high densities in U.S. West Coast estuaries, the ghost shrimp (Neotrypaea californiensis) and the blue mud shrimp (Upogebia pugettensis). Both species of shrimp are considered ecosystem engineers as they bioturbate and irrigate extensive galleries in the sed...

  17. Burrow distribution of three sandeel species relates to beam trawl fishing, sediment composition and water velocity, in Dutch coastal waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tien, N.S.H.; Craeymeersch, J.; Damme, van C.; Couperus, A.S.; Adema, J.; Tulp, I.

    2017-01-01

    Sandeel partly spend their life buried in the sediment, without a permanent burrow opening or an inhalant opening in the sediment. We linked the presence of three sandeel species (Ammodytes tobianus, A. marinus and Hyperoplus lanceolatus) off the southern Dutch coast of the North Sea to sediment

  18. PARTICLE REMOVAL RATES BY THE MUD SHRIMP UPOGEBIA PUGETTENSIS, ITS BURROW, AND A COMMENSAL CLAM: EFFECTS ON ESTUARINE PHYTOPLANKTON ABUNDANCE

    Science.gov (United States)

    The burrowing shrimp Upogebia pugettensis is an abundant intertidal inhabitant of Pacific Northwest bays and estuaries where it lives commensally with the bivalve Cryptomya californica. Suspension-feeding activities by the shrimp and by its commensal clam, as well as particle se...

  19. Non-Native Suckermouth Armored Catfishes in Florida: Description of Nest Borrows and Burrow Colonies with Assessment of Shoreline Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    covered by large bony plates , a unique pair of max- illary barbels, and a ventral suctorial mouth (Covain and Fisch-Muller 2007). The sucker mouth of...various other fishes, a diverse array of aquatic and many terres - trial animals commonly excavate burrows. Negative effects associ- ated with the

  20. The effects of predator exclusion and food supplementation on Burrowing Owl (Speotyto cunicularia) population change in Saskatchewan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troy I. Wellicome; Geoffrey L. Holroyd; Karyn Scalise; Earl R. Wiltse

    1997-01-01

    If low reproductive output plays an important role in the population decline of the Burrowing Owl (Speotyto cunicularia,) in Canada, we predicted the decline would slow or stop in our study population after consecutive years of productivity enhancement via food supplementation and predator exclusion. In the portion of our study site for which...

  1. Distributional changes in the western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) in North America from 1967 to 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias-Duarte, Alberto; Conway, Courtney J.

    2015-01-01

    The quantification of shifts in bird distributions in response to climate change provides an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the processes that influence species persistence. We used data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) to document changes in the distributional limits of the western Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) from 1967 to 2008. We used logistic regression to model presence probability (p) as a function of longitude, latitude, and year. We modeled a linear trend in logit(p) through time with slope and intercept modeled as a double Fourier series of longitude and latitude. We found that the western Burrowing Owl has experienced an intriguing southward shift in the northern half of its breeding range, contrary to what is predicted by most species niche models and what has been observed for many other species in North America. The breeding range of the Burrowing Owl has been shrinking near its northern, western, and eastern edges. Our model detected the population declines that were observed in California and eastern Washington, in locations where maps based on route-specific estimating equations had predicted significant population increases. We suggest that the northern boundary of the breeding distribution of the western Burrowing Owl has contracted southward and the southern boundary of the species' breeding distribution has expanded southward into areas of northern Mexico that were formerly used only by wintering migrants.

  2. Burrow characteristics of the co-existing sibling species Mus booduga and Mus terricolor and the genetic basis of adaptation to hypoxic/hypercapnic stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narayan Gopeshwar

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The co-existing, sibling species Mus booduga and Mus terricolor show a difference in site-preference for burrows. The former build them in flat portion of the fields while the latter make burrows in earthen mounds raised for holding water in cultivated fields. In northern India which experiences great variation in climatic condition between summer and winter, M. booduga burrows have an average depth of 41 cm, as against 30 cm in southern India with less climatic fluctuation. M. terricolor burrows are about 20 cm deep everywhere. The three chromosomal species M. terricolor I, II and III have identical burrows, including location of the nest which is situated at the highest position. In contrast, in M. booduga burrows, the nest is at the lowest position. Results The nest chamber of M. booduga is located at greater depth than the nest chamber of M. terricolor. Also, in the burrows of M. booduga the exchange of air takes place only from one side (top surface in contrast to the burrows of M. terricolor where air exchange is through three sides. Hence, M. booduga lives in relatively more hypoxic and hypercapnic conditions than M. terricolor. We observed the fixation of alternative alleles in M. booduga and M. terricolor at Superoxide dismutase-1 (Sod-1, Transferrin (Trf and Hemoglobin beta chain (Hbb loci. All the three are directly or indirectly dependent on oxygen concentration for function. In addition to these, there are differences in burrow patterns and site-preference for burrows suggesting difference in probable adaptive strategy in these co-existing sibling species. Conclusion The burrow structure and depth of nest of the chromosomal species M. terricolor I, II and III are same everywhere probably due to the recency of their evolutionary divergence. Moreover, there is lack of competition for the well-adapted 'microhabitats' since they are non-overlapping in distribution. However, the co-existing sibling species M. booduga

  3. Can rodents conceive hyperbolic spaces?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urdapilleta, Eugenio; Troiani, Francesca; Stella, Federico; Treves, Alessandro

    2015-06-06

    The grid cells discovered in the rodent medial entorhinal cortex have been proposed to provide a metric for Euclidean space, possibly even hardwired in the embryo. Yet, one class of models describing the formation of grid unit selectivity is entirely based on developmental self-organization, and as such it predicts that the metric it expresses should reflect the environment to which the animal has adapted. We show that, according to self-organizing models, if raised in a non-Euclidean hyperbolic cage rats should be able to form hyperbolic grids. For a given range of grid spacing relative to the radius of negative curvature of the hyperbolic surface, such grids are predicted to appear as multi-peaked firing maps, in which each peak has seven neighbours instead of the Euclidean six, a prediction that can be tested in experiments. We thus demonstrate that a useful universal neuronal metric, in the sense of a multi-scale ruler and compass that remain unaltered when changing environments, can be extended to other than the standard Euclidean plane. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Sporothrix schenckii sensu stricto isolated from soil in an armadillo's burrow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Anderson Messias; Bagagli, Eduardo; de Camargo, Zoilo Pires; Bosco, Sandra de Moraes Gimenes

    2014-04-01

    Sporotrichosis is a polymorphic disease of man and animals caused by traumatic implantation of propagules into the skin and subcutaneous tissue. Pathogenic species includes S. brasiliensis, S. schenckii, S. globosa and S. luriei. The disease is remarkable for its occurrence as sapronoses and/or zoonosis outbreaks in tropical and subtropical areas; although, the ecology of the clinical clade is still puzzling. Here, we describe an anamorphic Sporothrix strain isolated from soil in an armadillo's burrow, which was located in a hyper endemic area of Paracoccidioidomycosis in Brazil. This isolate was identified as S. schenckii sensu stricto (Clade IIa) based on morphological and physiological characteristics and phylogenetic analyses of calmodulin sequences. We then discuss the role of the nine-banded armadillo Dasypus novemcinctus as a natural carrier of Sporothrix propagules to better understand Sporothrix sources in nature and reveal essential aspects about the pathogen's eco-epidemiology.

  5. Scent gland constituents of the Middle American burrowing python, Loxocemus bicolor (Serpentes: Loxocemidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Thies; Weldon, Paul J; Schulz, Stefan

    2017-07-14

    Analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of the scent gland secretions of male and female Middle American burrowing pythons (Loxocemus bicolor) revealed the presence of over 300 components including cholesterol, fatty acids, glyceryl monoalkyl ethers, and alcohols. The fatty acids, over 100 of which were identified, constitute most of the compounds in the secretions and show the greatest structural diversity. They include saturated and unsaturated, unbranched and mono-, di-, and trimethyl-branched compounds ranging in carbon-chain length from 13 to 24. The glyceryl monoethers possess saturated or unsaturated, straight or methyl-branched alkyl chains ranging in carbon-chain length from 13 to 24. Alcohols, which have not previously been reported from the scent glands, possess straight, chiefly saturated carbon chains ranging in length from 13 to 24. Sex or individual differences in secretion composition were not observed. Compounds in the scent gland secretions of L. bicolor may deter offending arthropods, such as ants.

  6. Patterns of surface burrow plugging in a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs occupied by black-footed ferrets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David E.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2012-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) can surface-plug openings to a burrow occupied by a black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). At a coarse scale, surface plugs are more common in colonies of prairie dogs occupied by ferrets than in colonies without ferrets. However, little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of surface plugging in a colony occupied by ferrets. In a 452-ha colony of black-tailed prairie dogs in South Dakota, we sampled burrow openings for surface plugs and related those data to locations of ferrets observed during spotlight surveys. Of 67,574 burrow openings in the colony between June and September 2007, 3.7% were plugged. In a colony-wide grid of 80 m × 80 m cells, the occurrence of surface plugging (≥1 opening plugged) was greater in cells used by ferrets (93.3% of cells) than in cells not observably used by ferrets (70.6%). Rates of surface plugging (percentages of openings plugged) were significantly higher in cells used by ferrets (median = 3.7%) than in cells without known ferret use (median = 3.2%). Also, numbers of ferret locations in cells correlated positively with numbers of mapped surface plugs in the cells. To investigate surface plugging at finer temporal and spatial scales, we compared rates of surface plugging in 20-m-radius circle-plots centered on ferret locations and in random plots 1–4 days after observing a ferret (Jun–Oct 2007 and 2008). Rates of surface plugging were greater in ferret-plots (median = 12.0%) than in random plots (median = 0%). For prairie dogs and their associates, the implications of surface plugging could be numerous. For instance, ferrets must dig to exit or enter plugged burrows (suggesting energetic costs), and surface plugs might influence microclimates in burrows and consequently influence species that cannot excavate soil (e.g., fleas that transmit the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis).

  7. Linking Microbial Enzymatic Activities and Functional Diversity of Soil around Earthworm Burrows and Casts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipiec, Jerzy; Frąc, Magdalena; Brzezińska, Małgorzata; Turski, Marcin; Oszust, Karolina

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of earthworms (Lumbricidae) on the enzymatic activity and microbial functional diversity in the burrow system [burrow wall (BW) 0-3 mm, transitional zone (TZ) 3-7 mm, bulk soil (BS) > 20 mm from the BW] and cast aggregates of a loess soil under a pear orchard. The dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase, protease, alkaline phosphomonoesterase, and acid phosphomonoesterase enzymes were assessed using standard methods. The functional diversity (catabolic potential) was assessed using the Average Well Color Development and Richness Index following the community level physiological profiling from Biolog Eco Plates. All measurements were done using soil from each compartment immediately after in situ sampling in spring. The enzymatic activites including dehydrogenase, protease, β-glucosidase and alkaline phosphomonoesterase were appreciably greater in the BW or casts than in BS and TZ. Conversely, acid phosphomonoesterase had the largest value in the BS. Average Well Color Development in both the TZ and the BS (0.98-0.94 A590 nm) were more than eight times higher than in the BWs and casts. The lowest richness index in the BS (15 utilized substrates) increased by 86-113% in all the other compartments. The PC1 in principal component analysis mainly differentiated the BWs and the TZ. Utilization of all substrate categories was the lowest in the BS. The PC2 differentiated the casts from the other compartments. The enhanced activity of a majority of the enzymes and increased microbial functional diversity in most earthworm-influenced compartments make the soils less vulnerable to degradation and thus increases the stability of ecologically relevant processes in the orchard ecosystem.

  8. Estimating population size of a nocturnal burrow-nesting seabird using acoustic monitoring and habitat mapping

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    Steffen Oppel

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Population size assessments for nocturnal burrow-nesting seabirds are logistically challenging because these species are active in colonies only during darkness and often nest on remote islands where manual inspections of breeding burrows are not feasible. Many seabird species are highly vocal, and recent technological innovations now make it possible to record and quantify vocal activity in seabird colonies. Here we test the hypothesis that remotely recorded vocal activity in Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris borealis breeding colonies in the North Atlantic increases with nest density, and combined this relationship with cliff habitat mapping to estimate the population size of Cory’s shearwaters on the island of Corvo (Azores. We deployed acoustic recording devices in 9 Cory’s shearwater colonies of known size to establish a relationship between vocal activity and local nest density (slope = 1.07, R2 = 0.86, p < 0.001. We used this relationship to predict the nest density in various cliff habitat types and produced a habitat map of breeding cliffs to extrapolate nest density around the island of Corvo. The mean predicted nest density on Corvo ranged from 6.6 (2.1–16.2 to 27.8 (19.5–36.4 nests/ha. Extrapolation of habitat-specific nest densities across the cliff area of Corvo resulted in an estimate of 6326 Cory’s shearwater nests (95% confidence interval: 3735–10,524. This population size estimate is similar to previous assessments, but is too imprecise to detect moderate changes in population size over time. While estimating absolute population size from acoustic recordings may not be sufficiently precise, the strong positive relationship that we found between local nest density and recorded calling rate indicates that passive acoustic monitoring may be useful to document relative changes in seabird populations over time.

  9. Occurrence of ectoparasitic arthropods (Siphonaptera, Acarina, and Anoplura on rodents of Khorasan Razavi Province, northeast of Iran

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    Gholamhossein Moravvej

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To determine distribution of rodents’ arthropods and estimate infestation parameters of fleas, mites, ticks, and lice associated with wild rodents in Mashhad and its vicinity, Iran. Methods: The rodents were captured using live trap from April 2013 to December 2014 in Mashhad and vicinity, Khorasan Razavi, Iran. The ectoparasites were collected from body surface of rodents using brushing, combing or forceps and preserved in 70% ethanol. The samples were examined by stereomicroscope and classified into four groups including fleas, mites, ticks, and lice. Dark specimens were made more transparent by soaking in potassium hydroxide or Nesbitt’s fluid (where appropriate. The specimens were mounted on glass slides using Hoyer’s medium. Ectoparasitic identification was done based on the available keys and confirmed by qualified taxonomists. Results: A total of 197 rodents were trapped representing 11 species which belong to the family Muridae (7 species, Cricetidae (3 species and Sciuridae (1 species. The most common captured rodent species was Mus musculus (13.19% and the least was Apodemus witherbeyi (6.59%. In total 783 ectoparasites related to 3 orders, 8 families, 10 genera and 15 species were collected. The infestation rates by fleas, mites, ticks, and lice on the rodents were 18.78%, 22.84%, 18.78% and 10.15 %, respectively. Conclusions: Overall infestation rate was 42.13 % (83 out of 197 rodents. The most and least frequency of ectoparasites belonged to mites (50.44% and lice (14.04%, respectively. The results suggested that the prevalence of ectoparasites could be influenced by rodent host species. Monitoring the rodent population and their ectoparasites is recommended to facilitate arthropod-borne disease control programs.

  10. Late Pleistocene echimyid rodents (Rodentia, Hystricognathi from northern Brazil

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    THAIS M.F. FERREIRA

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Echimyidae (spiny rats, tree rats and the coypu is the most diverse family of extant South American hystricognath rodents (caviomorphs. Today, they live in tropical forests (Amazonian, coastal and Andean forests, occasionally in more open xeric habitats in the Cerrado and Caatinga of northern South America, and open areas across the southern portion of the continent (Myocastor. The Quaternary fossil record of this family remains poorly studied. Here, we describe the fossil echimyids found in karst deposits from southern Tocantins, northern Brazil. The analyzed specimens are assigned to Thrichomys sp., Makalata cf. didelphoides and Proechimys sp. This is the first time that a fossil of Makalata is reported. The Pleistocene record of echimyids from this area is represented by fragmentary remains, which hinders their determination at specific levels. The data reported here contributes to the understanding of the ancient diversity of rodents of this region, evidenced until now in other groups, such as the artiodactyls, cingulates, carnivores, marsupials, and squamate reptiles.

  11. Infusion of low dose glyceryl trinitrate has no consistent effect on burrowing behavior, running wheel activity and light sensitivity in female rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Sarah Louise T; Petersen, Steffen; Sørensen, Dorte Bratbo

    2016-01-01

    . In the current paper we have studied the effect of glyceryl trinitrate infusion on three different rat behaviors. Methods: The stability of burrowing behavior, running wheel activity and light sensitivity towards repeated testing was evaluated also with respect to estrous cycle. Finally, the effect of glyceryl...... trinitrate on these behaviors in female rats was observed. Results: Burrowing behavior and running wheel activity were stable in the individual rat between experiments. The burrowing behavior was significantly affected by the stage of estrous cycle. The other assays were stable throughout the cycle. None...

  12. MONITORING POSITIVITY FOR Schistosoma mansoni IN RODENTS Holochilus sp. NATURALLY INFECTED

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    Guilherme Silva Miranda

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence of non-human mammals such as schistosomiasis reservoir has always been an aggravating factor to be studied. Family cricetidae rodents like Nectomys sp, seem to have an important role in the potentiation of the spread of it. However, for Holochilus sp. (Rodentia: Cricetidae, found in Maranhão, studies with this function seem scarce. Thereby, we aimmed to analyze the infection rate of these animals for S. mansoni in São Bento – MA, endemic area for the parasite. These rodents were monitored during 12 months, by the Tomahawk traps for caught and triplicates of stool tests blades, made by Kato–Katz kit, for parasitogical exam. A total of 101 rodents were captured, of which 28.7% were naturally infected by S. mansoni (17.3% females and 82.7% males. This analysis showed that an average of 2.4 rodents was infected for one year, being possible to find positive animals in almost all the collects. Therefore, the rodent Holochilus sp. is a potential candidate in ensuring the maintenance of the schistosomiasis cycle in the region under study.

  13. Rodent-specific alternative exons are more frequent in rapidly evolving genes and in paralogs

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    Mironov Andrey A

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative splicing is an important mechanism for generating functional and evolutionary diversity of proteins in eukaryotes. Here, we studied the frequency and functionality of recently gained, rodent-specific alternative exons. Results We projected the data about alternative splicing of mouse genes to the rat, human, and dog genomes, and identified exons conserved in the rat genome, but missing in more distant genomes. We estimated the frequency of rodent-specific exons while controlling for possible residual conservation of spurious exons. The frequency of rodent-specific exons is higher among predominantly skipped exons and exons disrupting the reading frame. Separation of all genes by the rate of sequence evolution and by gene families has demonstrated that rodent-specific cassette exons are more frequent in rapidly evolving genes and in rodent-specific paralogs. Conclusion Thus we demonstrated that recently gained exons tend to occur in fast-evolving genes, and their inclusion rate tends to be lower than that of older exons. This agrees with the theory that gain of alternative exons is one of the major mechanisms of gene evolution.

  14. Early Pliocene anuran fossils from Kanapoi, Kenya, and the first fossil record for the African burrowing frog Hemisus (Neobatrachia: Hemisotidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delfino, Massimo

    2017-07-13

    Isolated amphibian bones from the early Pliocene of Kanapoi (West Turkana, Kenya) help to improve the scarce fossil record of the late Neogene and Quaternary amphibians from East Africa. All currently available 579 bones are referable exclusively to the Anura (frogs and toads). More than half of the remains (366) are identified as Hemisus cf. Hemisus marmoratus, an extant species that still inhabits Kenya, but apparently not the northwest of the country and the Turkana area in particular. The rest of the remains are identified simply as Anura indet. because of poor preservation or non congruence with the relatively few African extant taxa whose osteology is known in detail. The Hemisus material represents the first fossil record for Hemisotidae, an endemic African family of peculiar, head-first burrowing frogs, whose sister taxon relationships indicate a divergence from brevicipitids in the Late Cretaceous or early Paleocene. The ecological requirements of extant H. marmoratus suggest that the Kanapoi area surrounding the fluvial and deltaic settings, from where the fossil remains of vertebrates were buried, was likely a grassland or relatively dry, open low tree-shrub savanna. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Prevalence and abundance of fleas in black-tailed prairie dog burrows: implications for the transmission of plague (Yersinia pestis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salkeld, Dan J; Stapp, Paul

    2008-06-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, can have devastating impacts on North American wildlife. Epizootics, or die-offs, in prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) occur sporadically and fleas (Siphonaptera) are probably important in the disease's transmission and possibly as maintenance hosts of Y. pestis between epizootics. We monitored changes in flea abundance in prairie dog burrows in response to precipitation, temperature, and plague activity in shortgrass steppe in northern Colorado. Oropsylla hirsuta was the most commonly found flea, and it increased in abundance with temperature. In contrast, Oropsylla tuberculata cynomuris declined with rising temperature. During plague epizootics, flea abundance in burrows increased and then subsequently declined after the extirpation of their prairie dog hosts.

  16. The Perfect Burrow, but for What? Identifying Local Habitat Conditions Promoting the Presence of the Host and Vector Species in the Kazakh Plague System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilschut, Liesbeth; Addink, Elisabeth; Ageyev, Vladimir; Yeszhanov, Aidyn; Sapozhnikov, Valerij; Belayev, Alexander; Davydova, Tania; Eagle, Sally; Begon, Mike

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The wildlife plague system in the Pre-Balkhash desert of Kazakhstan has been a subject of study for many years. Much progress has been made in generating a method of predicting outbreaks of the disease (infection by the gram negative bacterium Yersinia pestis) but existing methods are not yet accurate enough to inform public health planning. The present study aimed to identify characteristics of individual mammalian host (Rhombomys opimus) burrows related to and potentially predictive of the presence of R.opimus and the dominant flea vectors (Xenopsylla spp.). Methods Over four seasons, burrow characteristics, their current occupancy status, and flea and tick burden of the occupants were recorded in the field. A second data set was generated of long term occupancy trends by recording the occupancy status of specific burrows over multiple occasions. Generalised linear mixed models were constructed to identify potential burrow properties predictive of either occupancy or flea burden. Results At the burrow level, it was identified that a burrow being occupied by Rhombomys, and remaining occupied, were both related to the characteristics of the sediment in which the burrow was constructed. The flea burden of Rhombomys in a burrow was found to be related to the tick burden. Further larger scale properties were also identified as being related to both Rhombomys and flea presence, including latitudinal position and the season. Conclusions Therefore, in advancing our current predictions of plague in Kazakhstan, we must consider the landscape at this local level to increase our accuracy in predicting the dynamics of gerbil and flea populations. Furthermore this demonstrates that in other zoonotic systems, it may be useful to consider the distribution and location of suitable habitat for both host and vector species at this fine scale to accurately predict future epizootics. PMID:26325073

  17. The Genetic Basis of Behavior: Burrow Construction in Deer Mice (Genus Peromyscus)

    OpenAIRE

    Metz, Hillery

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how complex, adaptive behavior evolves is a major goal of biological research. Phenotypic differences between closely-related species often arise due to evolution by natural selection and can be a powerful resource for understanding biological diversity and its mechanistic underpinnings. In this dissertation, I capitalize on striking behavioral differences between two interfertile sister species of Peromyscus rodents. I pursue the proximate mechanisms underlying this behavioral ...

  18. Rapid seawater circulation through animal burrows in mangrove forests - A significant source of saline groundwater to the tropical coastal ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, J. F.; Stieglitz, T. C.; Hancock, G. J.

    2010-12-01

    A common approach for quantifying rates of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) to the coastal ocean is to use geochemical tracers that are part of the U- and Th-decay chains such as Rn-222 and short lived radium isotopes. These radionuclides are naturally enriched in groundwater relative to seawater and have well understood chemistries within the marine environment. They occur in both fresh (continental) and saline (marine) groundwaters and thus the water source is often ambiguous. Stieglitz (2005, Marine Pollution Bulletin 51, 51-59) has shown that some coastal areas within the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon (Australia) are enriched in the SGD tracer, Rn-222; he attributed this to four possible processes including the tidal flushing of mangrove forest floors. Here, we present a detailed investigation into the tidal circulation of seawater through animal burrows using Rn-222 and isotopes of radium in the Coral Creek mangrove forest, Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia. The study was conducted at the end of the dry season in a creek with no freshwater inputs. Significant export of radionuclides and salt from the forest into the creek indicates continuous tidally driven circulation through the burrows. Results demonstrate that the forest sediment is efficiently flushed, with a water flux of about 30 L/m2/ day of forest floor, which is equivalent to flushing about 10% of the total burrow volume per tidal cycle. Annual average circulation flux through mangrove forest floors are of the same order as annual river discharge in the central GBR. However, unlike the river discharge, the tidal circulation should be relatively stable throughout the year. This work documents the importance of animal burrows in maintaining productive sediments in these systems, and illustrates the physical process that supports large exports of organic and inorganic matter from mangrove forests to the coastal zone. It also illustrates the importance of considering saline groundwater

  19. Fossil worm burrows reveal very early terrestrial animal activity and shed light on trophic resources after the end-cretaceous mass extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, Karen; Pearson, Dean; Ekdale, A A

    2013-01-01

    The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving populations of earthworms.

  20. Fossil worm burrows reveal very early terrestrial animal activity and shed light on trophic resources after the end-cretaceous mass extinction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Chin

    Full Text Available The widespread mass extinctions at the end of the Cretaceous caused world-wide disruption of ecosystems, and faunal responses to the one-two punch of severe environmental perturbation and ecosystem collapse are still unclear. Here we report the discovery of in situ terrestrial fossil burrows from just above the impact-defined Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg boundary in southwestern North Dakota. The crisscrossing networks of horizontal burrows occur at the interface of a lignitic coal and silty sandstone, and reveal intense faunal activity within centimeters of the boundary clay. Estimated rates of sedimentation and coal formation suggest that the burrows were made less than ten thousand years after the end-Cretaceous impact. The burrow characteristics are most consistent with burrows of extant earthworms. Moreover, the burrowing and detritivorous habits of these annelids fit models that predict the trophic and sheltering lifestyles of terrestrial animals that survived the K/Pg extinction event. In turn, such detritus-eaters would have played a critical role in supporting secondary consumers. Thus, some of the carnivorous vertebrates that radiated after the K/Pg extinction may owe their evolutionary success to thriving populations of earthworms.

  1. Synthesis of Pt nanoparticles and their burrowing into Si due to synergistic effects of ion beam energy losses

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    Pravin Kumar

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available We report the synthesis of Pt nanoparticles and their burrowing into silicon upon irradiation of a Pt–Si thin film with medium-energy neon ions at constant fluence (1.0 × 1017 ions/cm2. Several values of medium-energy neon ions were chosen in order to vary the ratio of the electronic energy loss to the nuclear energy loss (Se/Sn from 1 to 10. The irradiated films were characterized using Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS, atomic force microscopy (AFM, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM. A TEM image of a cross section of the film irradiated with Se/Sn = 1 shows ≈5 nm Pt NPs were buried up to ≈240 nm into the silicon. No silicide phase was detected in the XRD pattern of the film irradiated at the highest value of Se/Sn. The synergistic effect of the energy losses of the ion beam (molten zones are produced by Se, and sputtering and local defects are produced by Sn leading to the synthesis and burrowing of Pt NPs is evidenced. The Pt NP synthesis mechanism and their burrowing into the silicon is discussed in detail.

  2. ECOBIOLOGICAL STUDY ON BURROWING MUD LOBSTER THALASSINA ANOMALA (HERBST, 1804 (DECAPODA : THALASSINIDEA IN THE INTERTIDAL MANGROVE MUDFLAT OF DELTAIC SUNDARBANS

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    S. K. Dubey

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Populations of mud lobster Thalassina anomala were studied on tidal flats in the Sagar island of Indian Sundarbans. Ecologically they are recognized as the 'friends of mangrove' and a 'Biological Marvel' of the system. They turn up the deep soil to the surface by regular night shift burrowing exercise and help to import aerated tidal water in the burrows 2 to 2.5 meter deep. They have extra ordinary morphological adaptation and structural changes and completely resort to detritivore diet. Being thigmotactic it seldom exposes to atmospheric oxygen and forms its palace underground with a central chamber having 5 to 6 radiated tunnels opening to the surface covered with earth mounds. It displays its engineering skill of bioturbation in tunneling. During tunneling the shrimp feeds on the mud packed with detritus and derived its required micronutrients. Being mud dwelling and mud eating habits, it's respiratory and food manipulating apparatus underwent transformations which demands intensive investigation. Thalassinid burrow associates comprising mieo and microorganisms also provide good subject of study of species specific interaction, exchanging of materials between associate partners.

  3. Growth of the dune wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia ssp. maritima) at Braunton Burrows in relation to weather factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hunt, R.; Hope-Simpson, J.F.; Snape, J.B.

    1985-01-01

    This study primarily concerns the relation between: (i) the growth of one particular invasive colony of dune wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia ssp. maritima) on Braunton Burrows, as shown by the numbers of living rosettes counted at midsummer from 1964-74 inclusive; and (ii) concurrent meteorological records made nearby. After de-trending the Pyrola data statististically, correlations were sought between the growth in numbers achieved in each year and the local air temperature (three bases), rainfall and duration of bright sunshine. While the annual increase in net numbers appears to have been unaffected by sunshine hours, this increase does seem to have been much diminished by cold nights, particularly in early spring and, though less strongly so, by low rainfall in the latter part of the preceding summer. Taking account of the performance of Pyrola in other habitats on the Burrows, it is suggested that the rainfall correlation may reflect the influence of atmospheric humidity rather than water supply to the roots. Local meteorological records over a 51-year period show combined temperature and rainfall conditions consistently favorable to Pyrola growth throughout a 5-year run to a degree which might be expected to occur in only three such runs out of every hundred. The favorable period (1957-61) occurred between the inferred first occurrence of Pyrola on the Burrows and its observed rapid spread. 13 references, 5 figures, 3 tables.

  4. Incidence of plastic fragments among burrow-nesting seabird colonies on offshore islands in northern New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxton, Rachel T; Currey, Caitlin A; Lyver, Philip O'B; Jones, Christopher J

    2013-09-15

    Marine plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the world's oceans, and has been found in high concentrations in oceanic gyres of both the northern and southern hemispheres. The number of studies demonstrating plastic debris at seabird colonies and plastic ingestion by adult seabirds has increased over the past few decades. Despite the recent discovery of a large aggregation of plastic debris in the South Pacific subtropical gyre, the incidence of plastics at seabird colonies in New Zealand is unknown. Between 2011 and 2012 we surveyed six offshore islands on the northeast coast of New Zealand's North Island for burrow-nesting seabird colonies and the presence of plastic fragments. We found non-research related plastic fragments (0.031 pieces/m(2)) on one island only, Ohinau, within dense flesh-footed shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) colonies. On Ohinau, we found a linear relationship between burrow density and plastic density, with 3.5 times more breeding burrows in areas with plastic fragments found. From these data we conclude that plastic ingestion is a potentially a serious issue for flesh-footed shearwaters in New Zealand. Although these results do not rule out plastic ingestion by other species, they suggest the need for further research on the relationship between New Zealand's pelagic seabirds and marine plastic pollution. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Differential risk perception of rural and urban Burrowing Owls exposed to humans and dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavalli, Matilde; Baladrón, Alejandro V; Isacch, Juan Pablo; Biondi, Laura M; Bó, María Susana

    2016-03-01

    Urban areas expose wildlife to an array of novel predators, amongst which, humans and dogs are highly frequent. Thus, wild animals living in urban areas are forced to invest more time and energy in defence behaviours, which depend on how the risk is perceived and assessed. We experimentally tested whether Burrowing owls coming from rural and urban habitats showed differences in behavioural responses when facing humans and domestic dogs. We measured flight initiation distances (FIDs), nest returning, and aggressiveness level when owls faced a human and a human with a dog walking towards them. Our results showed that urban owls recognise a human with a dog as a greater threat than a human alone, thus indicating that fear of domestic animals should be considered as affecting owls' settlement in cities and towns. On the other hand, rural owls perceived human and dogs as similar threats, but showed higher FIDs, less aggressiveness, and lower tendency to return to the nest than urban owls in both treatments. These findings emphasize the importance of modified habitats in modelling the response of urban and rural owls to predators and represent another step in the explanation of how wild animals assess and respond to threats associated with living in urbanized environments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Visible burrow system as a model of chronic social stress: behavioral and neuroendocrine correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, D C; Spencer, R L; Weiss, S M; Blanchard, R J; McEwen, B; Sakai, R R

    1995-01-01

    In mixed-sex rat groups maintained in visible burrow systems (VBS), consistent asymmetries in offensive and defensive behaviors of male dyads are associated with the development of dominance hierarchies. Subordinate males are characterized by particular wound patterns, severe weight loss, and a variety of behavioral changes, many of them isomorphic to target symptoms of clinical depression. In two VBS studies, subordinate males showed increased basal levels of plasma corticosterone (CORT), and increased adjusted adrenal and spleen weights compared to controls, and often, to dominants as well. Thymus weights and testosterone levels of subordinates were not reliably different in one study using highly aggressive males, but were reduced, along with testes weights, in a second study using unselected males. Glucocorticoid receptor binding levels in hippocampus, hypothalamus, and pituitary were not different, nor were aldosterone levels. When tested in a restraint stress procedure, subordinates had higher basal CORT levels, but about 40% of these animals showed a reduced, or absent, CORT response to restraint. These findings indicate that subordination may be reflected in high magnitude changes consistent with physiological indices of prolonged stress. Dominant rats of such groups may also show physiological changes suggesting stress, particularly when the groups are comprised of highly aggressive males only. The VBS colony model thus appears to enable rat groups to produce natural, stress-engendering, social interactions that constitute a particularly relevant model for investigating the behavioral, neural, and endocrine correlates of chronic stress.

  7. Population structure of the burrowing crab Neohelice granulata (Brachyura, Varunidae in a southwestern Atlantic salt marsh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabrina Angeletti

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neohelice granulata inhabits estuarine and protected coastal areas in temperate regions and is the most dominant decapod crustacean in the Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentina. The population structure was studied during a year in a SW Atlantic salt marsh located in the Bahía Blanca Estuary. Crabs were sampled monthly from August 2010 to July 2011. The maximum observed density was 30 crabs m-2 in February and 70 burrows m-2 in May. The maximum carapace width (CW was 32 and 27.5 mm in males and females respectively. Medium size crabs were between 16 and 20 mm CW. Significantly smaller sized crabs were observed at the lower intertidal regions (P < 0.05. The sex ratio was favorable for males and was significantly different from the expected 1:1 (P < 0.05. The recruitment of unsexed juveniles crabs (CW <6.5 mm was observed throughout the year and the presence of ovigerous females from October to February indicated seasonal reproduction. The average size of ovigerous females was CW = 20.8 mm and the smallest ovigerous female measured was 16 mm CW. For the first time, the population structure of the most important macro-invertebrate is analyzed in the Bahía Blanca Estuary. This study may help to make decisions in the area, where anthropic action is progressing day by day.

  8. Local climate aridity influences the distribution of thelastomatoid nematodes of the Australian giant burrowing cockroach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jex, A R; Schneider, M A; Rose, H A; Cribb, T H

    2007-09-01

    In this study, we examined the effects of local climate aridity on the richness and composition of the thelastomatoid (Nematoda: Oxyurida) guild parasitizing the Australian giant burrowing cockroach, Macropanesthia rhinoceros (Blattodea: Geoscapheinae). In total, 9 thelastomatoid species parasitized this cockroach in north-eastern Australia (Queensland). Local observed richness ranged from 3 species (in Cooktown, Magnetic Island, Maiden Springs and Whitsunday Island) to 7 species (in Rochford Scrub). The lowest richness occurred in both relatively wet and dry climates, and the highest richness was in moderate climates. Three species, Cordonicola gibsoni, Leidynemella fusiformis and Travassosinema jaidenae, were found at all 13 collection sites. One species, Geoscaphenema megaovum, was found exclusively in dry to moderate climates. The remaining species, Blattophila sphaerolaima, Coronostoma australiae, Desmicola ornata, Hammerschmidtiella hochi and Jaidenema rhinoceratum, were found in moderate climates only. We hypothesize that the egg is the stage in the thelastomatoid life-cycle most vulnerable to the effects of adverse climate and that the geographical distribution for each species is, in part, bound by environments that are too dry, resulting in egg desiccation, and by environments that are too wet, resulting in decreased oxygen uptake across the egg-shell and in osmotic lysing.

  9. Pre-Migratory Movements by Juvenile Burrowing Owls in a Patchy Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Danielle. Todd

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Dispersal is a fundamental aspect of population dynamics, and can have direct implications on processes such as the colonization of habitat patches. Pre-migratory movements, landscape fragmentation, and body condition have all been hypothesized as key factors influencing dispersal in birds, but little direct evidence exists to support these ideas. We used radio-telemetry and supplementary feeding to test if body condition or landscape pattern influenced pre-migratory movements of juvenile Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia in a fragmented landscape. We categorized grassland patches as either large (≥95 ha or small and isolated (≤58 ha and ≥1.5 km to next nearest grassland patch, and young owls were either provided supplemental food as nestlings or not. Owlets receiving supplemental food and residing in large grassland patches moved a greater maximum distance from their nest than similarly fed owlets residing in small patches (large = 1605 ± 443 m; small = 373 ± 148 m. In contrast, non-supplemented owlets from large and small patches did not differ in their maximum distance moved from the nest (large = 745 ± 307 m; small 555 ± 286 m. Only two of 32 individuals from small patches moved >800 m, whereas ten of 23 owlets from large patches moved >800 m. In addition, owlets from large patches continued to move farther and farther from their nest before migration, whereas owlets in small, isolated patches ultimately moved

  10. A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification: a phylogenetic approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabre Pierre-Henri

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Development of phylogenetic methods that do not rely on fossils for the study of evolutionary processes through time have revolutionized the field of evolutionary biology and resulted in an unprecedented expansion of our knowledge about the tree of life. These methods have helped to shed light on the macroevolution of many taxonomic groups such as the placentals (Mammalia. However, despite the increase of studies addressing the diversification patterns of organisms, no synthesis has addressed the case of the most diversified mammalian clade: the Rodentia. Results Here we present a rodent maximum likelihood phylogeny inferred from a molecular supermatrix. It is based on 11 mitochondrial and nuclear genes that covers 1,265 species, i.e., respectively 56% and 81% of the known specific and generic rodent diversity. The inferred topology recovered all Rodentia clades proposed by recent molecular works. A relaxed molecular clock dating approach provided a time framework for speciation events. We found that the Myomorpha clade shows a greater degree of variation in diversification rates than Sciuroidea, Caviomorpha, Castorimorpha and Anomaluromorpha. We identified a number of shifts in diversification rates within the major clades: two in Castorimorpha, three in Ctenohystrica, 6 within the squirrel-related clade and 24 in the Myomorpha clade. The majority of these shifts occurred within the most recent familial rodent radiations: the Cricetidae and Muridae clades. Using the topological imbalances and the time line we discuss the potential role of different diversification factors that might have shaped the rodents radiation. Conclusions The present glimpse on the diversification pattern of rodents can be used for further comparative meta-analyses. Muroid lineages have a greater degree of variation in their diversification rates than any other rodent group. Different topological signatures suggest distinct diversification processes

  11. Object Recognition Memory and the Rodent Hippocampus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broadbent, Nicola J.; Gaskin, Stephane; Squire, Larry R.; Clark, Robert E.

    2010-01-01

    In rodents, the novel object recognition task (NOR) has become a benchmark task for assessing recognition memory. Yet, despite its widespread use, a consensus has not developed about which brain structures are important for task performance. We assessed both the anterograde and retrograde effects of hippocampal lesions on performance in the NOR…

  12. BEHAVIOURAL STUDIES ON SOME RHODESIAN RODENTS

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Field studies (Lake Kariba shoreline and Salisbury) and experiments with a captive colony of 12 species of Rhodesian rodents were undertaken for a period of three years. ComparatiYll behavioural data are presented here with special reference to den and nest behaviour, group and territorial behaviour, reproductive and ...

  13. Rodent malaria parasites : genome organization & comparative genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the studies described in this thesis was to investigate the genome organization of rodent malaria parasites (RMPs) and compare the organization and gene content of the genomes of RMPs and the human malaria parasite P. falciparum. The release of the complete genome sequence of P.

  14. Neurogenic inflammation in human and rodent skin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmelz, M; Petersen, Lars Jelstrup

    2001-01-01

    The combination of vasodilation and protein extravasation following activation of nociceptors has been termed "neurogenic inflammation." In contrast to rodents, no neurogenic protein extravasation can be elicited in healthy human skin. Dermal microdialysis has considerably increased our knowledge...... about neurogenic inflammation in human skin, including the involvement of mast cells....

  15. Anaplasma phagocytophilum in livestock and small rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, Lin; Cao, Wu-Chun; Jiang, Jia-Fu; Zhang, Xiao-Ai; Wu, Xiao-Ming; Zhang, Wen-Yi; Liu, Wei; Zuo, Shu-Qing; Cao, Zhi-Wei; Yang, Hong; Richardus, Jan H; Habbema, J Dikf

    2010-08-26

    To identify the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in both wild rodents and domestic animals and to make clear the genetic characteristics of the agents from different animals in China, a total of 105 livestock and 159 small rodents were analyzed by real-time-PCR and sequence analysis. The prevalence rate was 6.7% (7/105) and 14.5% (23/159), respectively. The nucleotide sequences of 16S rRNA (rrs) from the positive livestock and rodents were identical to each other. The phylogenetic analysis based on partial A. phagocytophilum p44ESup1 gene revealed that A. phagocytophilum identified in this study was placed on a separate clade distinct from those in other continents. These findings indicated A. phagocytophilum in rodents might be able to infect livestock and intensified the threats of anaplasmosis to livestock in the area. Further studies on public health significance of the agent are worth investigation in future. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Reclassification of 30 Pasteurellaceae strains isolated from rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boot, R; Bisgaard, M

    1995-07-01

    Thirty Pasteurellaceae strains isolated from gerbil, guineapig, hamster, mouse, muskrat and rat were reinvestigated and reclassified after comparison with reference strains. Strains originally described as Pasteurella pneumotropica were reclassified as [Pasteurella] pneumotropica Heyl biotype (7), [P.] pneumotropica Jawetz biotype (1), Pasteurella dagmatis (1) or Taxon 22 (2). Strains previously reported as Actinobacillus sp. were reclassified as [P.] pneumotropica biotype Jawetz (3), P. dagmatis (3) or Taxon 6 (7). Strains earlier described as Pasteurella gallinarum were renamed as SP group pasteurella (4) or Taxon 25 (2). Some of these reclassified Pasteurellaceae have not been reported previously in rodents. The present findings underline the importance of extended characterization of isolates and comparison with references strains to avoid misclassification within the family Pasteurellaceae Pohl 1981.

  17. 20 CFR 654.415 - Insect and rodent control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 3 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Insect and rodent control. 654.415 Section 654.415 Employees' Benefits EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SPECIAL... Insect and rodent control. Housing and facilities shall be free of insects, rodents, and other vermin. ...

  18. Prevalence of leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis: A study of rodents ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    are rodents and cats, respectively. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of. Leptospira and Toxoplasma infections in rodents and shrews in Mikese area of Morogoro Rural District in eastern Tanzania. A total of 89 rodents and one shrew from cultivated and fallow land were tested for leptospirosis using ...

  19. The effects of megafaunal burrows on radiotracer profiles and organic composition in deep-sea sediments: preliminary results from two sites in the bathyal north-east Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, D. J.; Brown, L.; Cook, G. T.; Cowie, G.; Gage, J. D.; Good, E.; Kennedy, H.; MacKenzie, A. B.; Papadimitriou, S.; Shimmield, G. B.; Thomson, J.; Williams, M.

    2005-01-01

    Megafaunal burrows were detected in boxcores from two sites in the bathyal north-east Atlantic. Burrow contents were analysed to assess their significance to sediment radiotracer profiles and organic composition. At 1100 m depth, burrow openings up to 3 cm diameter occurred at a density of approximately 5 m -2. Burrows at 12-18 cm sediment depth extending horizontally for up to 35 cm and linked to the surface by vertical shafts were provisionally attributed to echiuran worms, although no occupants were found in situ. In one example the horizontal burrow section was filled with green slurry, for which scanning electron microscopy, 210Pb excess and organic content all indicated a phytodetrital origin. At 1920 m depth no large burrow openings were found in five boxcores examined, but large subsurface biogenic structures were present. Galleries at 15-26 cm depth were traced horizontally for up to 30 cm, but contained no occupants or filling. Extended linear bands of faecal pellets were found in three boxcores at 13-17 cm depth. Excess 210Pb content indicated that most of these structures resulted from surface deposit feeding. Faecal pellet bands may partially explain the occurrence of subsurface peaks detected in profiles of 210Pb excess at this site. Results suggest that 'caching' of phytodetritus and subsurface deposition of faeces are two mechanisms for the rapid, deep burial of relatively fresh organic matter, but the significance of these processes to sediment geochemistry cannot be quantified without much information on the distribution, identity and abundance of burrowing megafauna in the deep sea.

  20. Homeobox genes in the rodent pineal gland: roles in development and phenotype maintenance

    OpenAIRE

    Rath, Martin F.; Rohde, Kristian; Klein, David C.; Møller, Morten

    2012-01-01

    The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine gland responsible for nocturnal synthesis of melatonin. During early development of the rodent pineal gland from the roof of the diencephalon, homeobox genes of the orthodenticle homeobox (Otx)- and paired box (Pax)-families are expressed and are essential for normal pineal development consistent with the well-established role that homeobox genes play in developmental processes. However, the pineal gland appears to be unusual because strong homeobox gene e...

  1. Late Pliocene rodents from the Irrawaddy sediments of central Myanmar and their palaeogeographical significance

    OpenAIRE

    Nishioka, Yuichiro; Takai, Masanaru; Nishimura, Takeshi; Htike, Thaung; Maung-Thein, Zin-Maung; Egi, Naoko; Tsubamoto, Takehisa; Maung, Maung

    2014-01-01

    The Upper Pliocene Irrawaddy sediments in the Gwebin area of central Myanmar recently yielded a rodent assemblage that contains nine species belonging to four families: four species of Muridae, three of Hystricidae, one of Spalacidae, and one of Sciuridae. The murids consist of Hapalomys cf. longicaudatus, Maxomys pliosurifer sp. nov., Rattus jaegeri and cf. Rattus sp. indet., which include both extinct and extant forms. Maxomys pliosurifer is relatively similar to Maxomys surifer that lives ...

  2. Diversity trends in Neogene European ungulates and rodents: large-scale comparisons and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maridet, Olivier; Costeur, Loïc

    2010-02-01

    The ungulate and rodent fossil records are often used independently to understand mammalian evolutionary history. Few studies have directly compared both records over long time periods and large geographic areas. Here, we compiled two datasets of European fossil localities containing rodents and/or ungulates over 20 My (Early Miocene-Early Pliocene) and processed the data with the same methodology. We counted the raw diversity and calculated a measure of evenness (Pielou’s index). After controlling for potential biases on diversity estimators, we identify the evenness index as a more reliable estimator bringing interesting insights into the way both mammal groups are structured by biotic or abiotic factors. In this study, we consider that an uneven distribution of the species richness among families, when only some families successfully diversify within the “continental-scale community”, represents a lower adaptability of this community to the environmental context. Pielou’s index is used to estimate this adaptability through time. The responses of ungulates and rodents to environmental changes are very divergent, especially facing the climatic changes known since the Middle Miocene. The general patterns suggest that rodent broad-scale assemblages are affected by all kinds of perturbations, even short biotic and abiotic events, but show a better adaptability when facing long-term abiotic changes. Unlike rodents, the ungulate assemblages show more stability in periods of relative environmental stability but show less adaptability to long-term climatic changes. Life-history traits of mammals can help explain patterns of diversity and biogeography at different spatial scales and may probably partly explain the opposite patterns evidenced here.

  3. Rhythmic 24 h variation of core body temperature and locomotor activity in a subterranean rodent (Ctenomys aff. knighti, the tuco-tuco.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Tachinardi

    Full Text Available The tuco-tuco Ctenomys aff. knighti is a subterranean rodent which inhabits a semi-arid area in Northwestern Argentina. Although they live in underground burrows where environmental cycles are attenuated, they display robust, 24 h locomotor activity rhythms that are synchronized by light/dark cycles, both in laboratory and field conditions. The underground environment also poses energetic challenges (e.g. high-energy demands of digging, hypoxia, high humidity, low food availability that have motivated thermoregulation studies in several subterranean rodent species. By using chronobiological protocols, the present work aims to contribute towards these studies by exploring day-night variations of thermoregulatory functions in tuco-tucos, starting with body temperature and its temporal relationship to locomotor activity. Animals showed daily, 24 h body temperature rhythms that persisted even in constant darkness and temperature, synchronizing to a daily light/dark cycle, with highest values occurring during darkness hours. The range of oscillation of body temperature was slightly lower than those reported for similar-sized and dark-active rodents. Most rhythmic parameters, such as period and phase, did not change upon removal of the running wheel. Body temperature and locomotor activity rhythms were robustly associated in time. The former persisted even after removal of the acute effects of intense activity on body temperature by a statistical method. Finally, regression gradients between body temperature and activity were higher in the beginning of the night, suggesting day-night variation in thermal conductance and heat production. Consideration of these day-night variations in thermoregulatory processes is beneficial for further studies on thermoregulation and energetics of subterranean rodents.

  4. Rhythmic 24 h Variation of Core Body Temperature and Locomotor Activity in a Subterranean Rodent (Ctenomys aff. knighti), the Tuco-Tuco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachinardi, Patricia; Bicudo, José Eduardo Wilken; Oda, Gisele Akemi; Valentinuzzi, Verónica Sandra

    2014-01-01

    The tuco-tuco Ctenomys aff. knighti is a subterranean rodent which inhabits a semi-arid area in Northwestern Argentina. Although they live in underground burrows where environmental cycles are attenuated, they display robust, 24 h locomotor activity rhythms that are synchronized by light/dark cycles, both in laboratory and field conditions. The underground environment also poses energetic challenges (e.g. high-energy demands of digging, hypoxia, high humidity, low food availability) that have motivated thermoregulation studies in several subterranean rodent species. By using chronobiological protocols, the present work aims to contribute towards these studies by exploring day-night variations of thermoregulatory functions in tuco-tucos, starting with body temperature and its temporal relationship to locomotor activity. Animals showed daily, 24 h body temperature rhythms that persisted even in constant darkness and temperature, synchronizing to a daily light/dark cycle, with highest values occurring during darkness hours. The range of oscillation of body temperature was slightly lower than those reported for similar-sized and dark-active rodents. Most rhythmic parameters, such as period and phase, did not change upon removal of the running wheel. Body temperature and locomotor activity rhythms were robustly associated in time. The former persisted even after removal of the acute effects of intense activity on body temperature by a statistical method. Finally, regression gradients between body temperature and activity were higher in the beginning of the night, suggesting day-night variation in thermal conductance and heat production. Consideration of these day-night variations in thermoregulatory processes is beneficial for further studies on thermoregulation and energetics of subterranean rodents. PMID:24454916

  5. Pollination and breeding system of the enigmatic South African parasitic plant Mystropetalon thomii (Mystropetalaceae): rodents welcome, but not needed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbhahn, N; Steenhuisen, S-L; Olsen, T; Midgley, J J; Johnson, S D

    2017-09-01

    Unrelated plants adapted to particular pollinator types tend to exhibit convergent evolution in floral traits. However, inferences about likely pollinators from 'pollination syndromes' can be problematic due to trait overlap among some syndromes and unusual floral architecture in some lineages. An example is the rare South African parasitic plant Mystropetalon thomii (Mystropetalaceae), which has highly unusual brush-like inflorescences that exhibit features of both bird and rodent pollination syndromes. We used camera traps to record flower visitors, quantified floral spectral reflectance and nectar and scent production, experimentally determined self-compatibility and breeding system, and studied pollen dispersal using fluorescent dyes. The dark-red inflorescences are usually monoecious, with female flowers maturing before male flowers, but some inflorescences are purely female (gynoecious). Inflorescences were visited intensively by several rodent species that carried large pollen loads, while visits by birds were extremely rare. Rodents prefer male- over female-phase inflorescences, likely because of the male flowers' higher nectar and scent production. The floral scent contains several compounds known to attract rodents. Despite the obvious pollen transfer by rodents, we found that flowers on both monoecious and gynoecious inflorescences readily set seed in the absence of rodents and even when all flower visitors are excluded. Our findings suggest that seed production occurs at least partially through apomixis and that M. thomii is not ecologically dependent on its rodent pollinators. Our study adds another species and family to the growing list of rodent-pollinated plants, thus contributing to our understanding of the floral traits associated with pollination by non-flying mammals. © 2017 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  6. Investigation of plutonium concentration and distribution in burrowing crayfish from the White Oak Creek floodplain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delaney, M.S.; Dahlman, R.C.; Craig, R.B.

    1979-01-01

    The White Oak floodplain was contaminated with several radionuclides, including /sup 239/Pu, during the Manhattan Project in 1944. Plutonium distribution in the soil is nonhomogeneous. An investigation was conducted to deterine Pu accumulation in a resident animal population. Crayfish were chosen because they complete their life-cycle within the contaminated environment, they directly contact contaminated muds, and they function in a food chain of significance to man. Two major conclusions of the research were that Pu concentrations in contaminated crayfish typically exceed those of control crayfish by two orders of magnitude and that if an incident were to occur in which a standard man ingested the soft tissues of ten crayfish from the floodplain, an insignificant whole body dose would accrue over the subsequent 50 years of life. The digestive tract of contaminated crayfish contained 21 to 33% of the Pu body burden, soft tissues contained 11 to 31% of the Pu body burden, and 48 to 62% of the Pu body burden of contaminated crayfish was associated with the carapace. Therefore, at a molt a large proportion of its accumulated Pu is deposited in the environment. A supplementary laboratory investigation using /sup 237/Pu included a chronic Pu uptake study by uncontaminated crayfish. In these crayfish, from 64 to 82% of the /sup 237/Pu was associated with the body tissues. Complementary data for /sup 237/Pu associated with the carapace ranged from 18 to 37% of the distribution. An inventory of /sup 239/Pu in crayfish at two sites on the floodplain was calculated by multiplying the estimated biomass of the crayfish by their average /sup 239/Pu concentration. This evaluation of Pu associated with the crayfish population was compared to an inventory of /sup 239/Pu in the soil in which they burrow and was found to be eight orders of magnitude less.

  7. Behavioral Correlations Associated with Fear of Humans Differ between Rural and Urban Burrowing Owls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Carrete

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral studies are fundamental to understanding how animal populations face global change. Although much research has centered upon the idea that individuals can adaptively modify their behaviors to cope with environmental changes, recent evidence supports the existence of individual differences in suites of correlated behaviors. However, little is known about how selection can change these behavioral structures in populations subject to different environmental constraints. The colonization of urban environments by birds has been related to their inter-individual variability in their fear of humans, measured as their flight initiation distance to an approaching human, such that urban life would select for fearless individuals. This behavior has been demonstrated to be heritable and highly consistent throughout the adult lifespan of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia. Here, we experimentally assessed, in field conditions, whether urban life involves changes in other behaviors such as exploration and antipredatory response through their correlation with fear of humans. Breeding urban birds were more fearless toward humans and were quicker to explore a new food resource and defend their nests from predators than their rural counterparts. However, while fear of humans positively correlated with exploration and antipredatory response in the rural population, it only correlated with exploration in the urban one. Predator release in urban environments could relax—and even counterselect—antipredator behaviors, thus dismantling the behavioral correlation existent in natural populations. Altogether, our results suggest that rural and urban animals may differ in some behavioral aspects, may be as a consequence of the selection processes acting during the colonization of urban areas as well as the different ecological environments encountered by individuals.

  8. Gait Analysis Methods for Rodent Models of Osteoarthritis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Brittany Y.; Kloefkorn, Heidi E.; Allen, Kyle D.

    2014-01-01

    Patients with osteoarthritis (OA) primarily seek treatment due to pain and disability, yet the primary endpoints for rodent OA models tend to be histological measures of joint destruction. The discrepancy between clinical and preclinical evaluations is problematic, given that radiographic evidence of OA in humans does not always correlate to the severity of patient-reported symptoms. Recent advances in behavioral analyses have provided new methods to evaluate disease sequelae in rodents. Of particular relevance to rodent OA models are methods to assess rodent gait. While obvious differences exist between quadrupedal and bipedal gait sequences, the gait abnormalities seen in humans and in rodent OA models reflect similar compensatory behaviors that protect an injured limb from loading. The purpose of this review is to describe these compensations and current methods used to assess rodent gait characteristics, while detailing important considerations for the selection of gait analysis methods in rodent OA models. PMID:25160712

  9. Unpredictability of escape trajectory explains predator evasion ability and microhabitat preference of desert rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Talia Y; Cooper, Kimberly L; Biewener, Andrew A; Vasudevan, Ramanarayan

    2017-09-05

    Mechanistically linking movement behaviors and ecology is key to understanding the adaptive evolution of locomotion. Predator evasion, a behavior that enhances fitness, may depend upon short bursts or complex patterns of locomotion. However, such movements are poorly characterized by existing biomechanical metrics. We present methods based on the entropy measure of randomness from Information Theory to quantitatively characterize the unpredictability of non-steady-state locomotion. We then apply the method by examining sympatric rodent species whose escape trajectories differ in dimensionality. Unlike the speed-regulated gait use of cursorial animals to enhance locomotor economy, bipedal jerboa (family Dipodidae) gait transitions likely enhance maneuverability. In field-based observations, jerboa trajectories are significantly less predictable than those of quadrupedal rodents, likely increasing predator evasion ability. Consistent with this hypothesis, jerboas exhibit lower anxiety in open fields than quadrupedal rodents, a behavior that varies inversely with predator evasion ability. Our unpredictability metric expands the scope of quantitative biomechanical studies to include non-steady-state locomotion in a variety of evolutionary and ecologically significant contexts.Biomechanical understanding of animal gait and maneuverability has primarily been limited to species with more predictable, steady-state movement patterns. Here, the authors develop a method to quantify movement predictability, and apply the method to study escape-related movement in several species of desert rodents.

  10. Ventilatory and metabolic responses of burrowing owls, Athene cunicularia, to moderate and extreme hypoxia: analysis of the hypoxic ventilatory threshold vs. hemoglobin oxygen affinity relationship in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgore, Delbert L; Boggs, Dona F; Kilgore, Trevor J; Colby, Conrad; Williams, Burl R; Bavis, Ryan W

    2008-06-01

    We measured ventilation, oxygen consumption and blood gases in burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) breathing moderate and extreme hypoxic gas mixtures to determine their hypoxic ventilatory threshold (HVT) and to assess if they, like other birds and mammals, exhibit a relationship between HVT and hemoglobin O2 affinity (P(50)) of their blood. An earlier report of an attenuated ventilatory responsiveness of this species to hypoxia was enigmatic given the low O2 affinity (high P(50)) of burrowing owl hemoglobin. In the current study, burrowing owls breathing 11% and 9% O2 showed a significantly elevated total ventilation. The arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) at which ventilation is elevated above normoxic values in burrowing owls was 58 mm Hg. This threshold value conforms well to expectations based on the high P(50) of their hemoglobin and the HVT vs. P(50) relationship for birds developed in this study. Correcting for phylogenetic relatedness in the multi-species analysis had no effect on the HVT vs. P(50) relationship. Also, because burrowing owls in this study did not show a hypometabolic response at any level of hypoxia (even at 9% O2); HVT described in terms of percent change in oxygen convection requirement is identical to that based on ventilation alone.

  11. Genetic detection of hantaviruses in rodents, Albania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papa, Anna; Rogozi, Elton; Velo, Enkelejda; Papadimitriou, Evangelia; Bino, Silvia

    2016-08-01

    In order to have a first insight into the epidemiology of hantaviruses in Albania, 263 small mammals (248 rodents, 15 insectivores) were captured in 352 locations in 29 districts and tested for hantavirus infection. Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) was detected in 10 of 148 (6.7%) Apodemus flavicollis rodents. DOBV-positive A. flavicollis were detected in six districts (Diber, Korce, Kolonje, Librazhd, Pogradec, and Vlore). The obtained nucleotide sequences were highly similar to each other and to DOBV sequences from northwestern Greece. Understanding the epidemiology of hantaviruses and identifying the endemic foci enables the public health strategies to minimize the risk of human infection. J. Med. Virol. 88:1309-1313, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Bats and Rodents Shape Mammalian Retroviral Phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jie; Tachedjian, Gilda; Wang, Lin-Fa

    2015-11-09

    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent past retroviral infections and accordingly can provide an ideal framework to infer virus-host interaction over their evolutionary history. In this study, we target high quality Pol sequences from 7,994 Class I and 8,119 Class II ERVs from 69 mammalian genomes and surprisingly find that retroviruses harbored by bats and rodents combined occupy the major phylogenetic diversity of both classes. By analyzing transmission patterns of 30 well-defined ERV clades, we corroborate the previously published observation that rodents are more competent as originators of mammalian retroviruses and reveal that bats are more capable of receiving retroviruses from non-bat mammalian origins. The powerful retroviral hosting ability of bats is further supported by a detailed analysis revealing that the novel bat gammaretrovirus, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum retrovirus, likely originated from tree shrews. Taken together, this study advances our understanding of host-shaped mammalian retroviral evolution in general.

  13. Learning in the Rodent Motor Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Andrew J; Liu, Haixin; Komiyama, Takaki

    2017-07-25

    The motor cortex is far from a stable conduit for motor commands and instead undergoes significant changes during learning. An understanding of motor cortex plasticity has been advanced greatly using rodents as experimental animals. Two major focuses of this research have been on the connectivity and activity of the motor cortex. The motor cortex exhibits structural changes in response to learning, and substantial evidence has implicated the local formation and maintenance of new synapses as crucial substrates of motor learning. This synaptic reorganization translates into changes in spiking activity, which appear to result in a modification and refinement of the relationship between motor cortical activity and movement. This review presents the progress that has been made using rodents to establish the motor cortex as an adaptive structure that supports motor learning.

  14. Comparison of hydraulics and particle removal efficiencies in a mixed cell raceway and Burrows pond rearing system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffitt, Christine M.

    2016-01-01

    We compared the hydrodynamics of replicate experimental mixed cell and replicate standard Burrows pond rearing systems at the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, ID, in an effort to identify methods for improved solids removal. We measured and compared the hydraulic residence time, particle removal efficiency, and measures of velocity using several tools. Computational fluid dynamics was used first to characterize hydraulics in the proposed retrofit that included removal of the traditional Burrows pond dividing wall and establishment of four counter rotating cells with appropriate drains and inlet water jets. Hydraulic residence time was subsequently established in the four full scale test tanks using measures of conductivity of a salt tracer introduced into the systems both with and without fish present. Vertical and horizontal velocities were also measured with acoustic Doppler velocimetry in transects across each of the rearing systems. Finally, we introduced ABS sinking beads that simulated fish solids then followed the kinetics of their removal via the drains to establish relative purge rates. The mixed cell raceway provided higher mean velocities and a more uniform velocity distribution than did the Burrows pond. Vectors revealed well-defined, counter-rotating cells in the mixed cell raceway, and were likely contributing factors in achieving a relatively high particle removal efficiency-88.6% versus 8.0% during the test period. We speculate retrofits of rearing ponds to mixed cell systems will improve both the rearing environments for the fish and solids removal, improving the efficiency and bio-security of fish culture. We recommend further testing in hatchery production trials to evaluate fish physiology and growth.

  15. Body and skull morphometric variations between two shovel-headed species of Amphisbaenia (Reptilia: Squamata with morphofunctional inferences on burrowing

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    Leandro dos Santos Lima Hohl

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Background Morphological descriptions comparing Leposternon microcephalum and L. scutigerum have been made previously. However, these taxa lack a formal quantitative morphological characterization, and comparative studies suggest that morphology and burrowing performance are be related. The excavatory movements of L. microcephalum have been described in detail. However, there is a lack of studies comparing locomotor patterns and/or performance among different amphisbaenids sharing the same skull shape. This paper presents the first study of comparative morphometric variations between two closely related amphisbaenid species, L. microcephalum and L. scutigerum, with functional inferences on fossorial locomotion efficiency. Methods Inter-specific morphometric variations were verified through statistical analyses of body and cranial measures of L. microcephalum and L. scutigerum specimens. Their burrowing activity was assessed through X-ray videofluoroscopy and then compared. The influence of morphological variation on the speed of digging was tested among Leposternon individuals. Results Leposternon microcephalum and L. scutigerum are morphometrically distinct species. The first is shorter and robust with a wider head while the other is more elongated and slim with a narrower head. They share the same excavatory movements. The animals analyzed reached relatively high speeds, but individuals with narrower skulls dug faster. A negative correlation between the speed and the width of skull was determined, but not with total length or diameter of the body. Discussion The morphometric differences between L. microcephalum and L. scutigerum are in accord with morphological variations previously described. Since these species performed the same excavation pattern, we may infer that closely related amphisbaenids with the same skull type would exhibit the same excavatory pattern. The negative correlation between head width and excavation speed is also

  16. Ontogenetic allometry constrains cranial shape of the head-first burrowing worm lizard Cynisca leucura (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae).

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    Hipsley, Christy A; Rentinck, Marc-Nicolas; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Müller, Johannes

    2016-09-01

    Amphisbaenians are fossorial, predominantly limbless squamate reptiles with distinct cranial shapes corresponding to specific burrowing behaviors. Due to their cryptic lifestyles and the scarcity of museum specimens, little is known of their intraspecific variation, particularly regarding cranial osteology. This represents a critical lack of information, because the majority of morphological investigations of squamate relationships are based on cranial characters. We investigated cranial variation in the West African Coast Worm Lizard Cynisca leucura, a round-headed member of the Amphisbaenidae. Using geometric morphometric analyses of three-dimensional computed tomographic scans, we found that cranial osteology of C. leucura is highly conserved, with the majority of shape changes occurring during growth as the cranium becomes more slender and elongate, accompanied by increasing interdigitation among the dermal roofing bones. Elements of the ventral portion of the cranium remain loosely connected in adults, possibly as a protective mechanism against repeated compression and torsion during burrow excavation. Intraspecific variation was strongly correlated with size change from juveniles to adults, indicating a dominant role of ontogenetic allometry in determining cranial shape. We found no evidence of sexual dimorphism, either during growth or among adults. Given the fossorial habits of C. leucura, we hypothesize that cranial allometry is under strong stabilizing selection to maintain adequate proportions for head-first digging, thereby constraining the ability of individuals to respond to differing selection pressures, including sexual selection and variation in diet or microhabitat. For species in which digging imposes less mechanical stress (e.g., in softer sand), allometric associations during growth may be weakened, allowing changes to the ontogenetic trajectory and subsequent morphological traits. Such developmental dissociation between size and shape, known

  17. Neurogenetics of aggressive behavior: studies in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Aki; Miczek, Klaus A

    2014-01-01

    Aggressive behavior is observed in many animal species, such as insects, fish, lizards, frogs, and most mammals including humans. This wide range of conservation underscores the importance of aggressive behavior in the animals' survival and fitness, and the likely heritability of this behavior. Although typical patterns of aggressive behavior differ between species, there are several concordances in the neurobiology of aggression among rodents, primates, and humans. Studies with rodent models may eventually help us to understand the neurogenetic architecture of aggression in humans. However, it is important to recognize the difference between the ecological and ethological significance of aggressive behavior (species-typical aggression) and maladaptive violence (escalated aggression) when applying the findings of aggression research using animal models to human or veterinary medicine. Well-studied rodent models for aggressive behavior in the laboratory setting include the mouse (Mus musculus), rat (Rattus norvegicus), hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), and prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). The neural circuits of rodent aggression have been gradually elucidated by several techniques, e.g., immunohistochemistry of immediate-early gene (c-Fos) expression, intracranial drug microinjection, in vivo microdialysis, and optogenetics techniques. Also, evidence accumulated from the analysis of gene-knockout mice shows the involvement of several genes in aggression. Here, we review the brain circuits that have been implicated in aggression, such as the hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex (PFC), dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), nucleus accumbens (NAc), and olfactory system. We then discuss the roles of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), excitatory and inhibitory amino acids in the brain, as well as their receptors, in controlling aggressive behavior, focusing mainly on recent findings. At the end of this chapter, we discuss how genes can be identified that underlie individual

  18. Evidence for novel hepaciviruses in rodents.

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    Jan Felix Drexler

    Full Text Available Hepatitis C virus (HCV is among the most relevant causes of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Research is complicated by a lack of accessible small animal models. The systematic investigation of viruses of small mammals could guide efforts to establish such models, while providing insight into viral evolutionary biology. We have assembled the so-far largest collection of small-mammal samples from around the world, qualified to be screened for bloodborne viruses, including sera and organs from 4,770 rodents (41 species; and sera from 2,939 bats (51 species. Three highly divergent rodent hepacivirus clades were detected in 27 (1.8% of 1,465 European bank voles (Myodes glareolus and 10 (1.9% of 518 South African four-striped mice (Rhabdomys pumilio. Bats showed anti-HCV immunoblot reactivities but no virus detection, although the genetic relatedness suggested by the serologic results should have enabled RNA detection using the broadly reactive PCR assays developed for this study. 210 horses and 858 cats and dogs were tested, yielding further horse-associated hepaciviruses but none in dogs or cats. The rodent viruses were equidistant to HCV, exceeding by far the diversity of HCV and the canine/equine hepaciviruses taken together. Five full genomes were sequenced, representing all viral lineages. Salient genome features and distance criteria supported classification of all viruses as hepaciviruses. Quantitative RT-PCR, RNA in-situ hybridisation, and histopathology suggested hepatic tropism with liver inflammation resembling hepatitis C. Recombinant serology for two distinct hepacivirus lineages in 97 bank voles identified seroprevalence rates of 8.3 and 12.4%, respectively. Antibodies in bank vole sera neither cross-reacted with HCV, nor the heterologous bank vole hepacivirus. Co-occurrence of RNA and antibodies was found in 3 of 57 PCR-positive bank vole sera (5.3%. Our data enable new hypotheses regarding HCV evolution and encourage

  19. Spontaneous Type 2 Diabetic Rodent Models

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    Yang-wei Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 diabetes (T2DM, is one of the most common chronic diseases and continues to increase in numbers with large proportion of health care budget being used. Many animal models have been established in order to investigate the mechanisms and pathophysiologic progress of T2DM and find effective treatments for its complications. On the basis of their strains, features, advantages, and disadvantages, various types of animal models of T2DM can be divided into spontaneously diabetic models, artificially induced diabetic models, and transgenic/knockout diabetic models. Among these models, the spontaneous rodent models are used more frequently because many of them can closely describe the characteristic features of T2DM, especially obesity and insulin resistance. In this paper, we aim to investigate the current available spontaneous rodent models for T2DM with regard to their characteristic features, advantages, and disadvantages, and especially to describe appropriate selection and usefulness of different spontaneous rodent models in testing of various new antidiabetic drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

  20. Spontaneous type 2 diabetic rodent models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yang-Wei; Sun, Guang-Dong; Sun, Jing; Liu, Shu-Jun; Wang, Ji; Xu, Xiao-Hong; Miao, Li-Ning

    2013-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus, especially type 2 diabetes (T2DM), is one of the most common chronic diseases and continues to increase in numbers with large proportion of health care budget being used. Many animal models have been established in order to investigate the mechanisms and pathophysiologic progress of T2DM and find effective treatments for its complications. On the basis of their strains, features, advantages, and disadvantages, various types of animal models of T2DM can be divided into spontaneously diabetic models, artificially induced diabetic models, and transgenic/knockout diabetic models. Among these models, the spontaneous rodent models are used more frequently because many of them can closely describe the characteristic features of T2DM, especially obesity and insulin resistance. In this paper, we aim to investigate the current available spontaneous rodent models for T2DM with regard to their characteristic features, advantages, and disadvantages, and especially to describe appropriate selection and usefulness of different spontaneous rodent models in testing of various new antidiabetic drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

  1. Urban pollution of sediments: Impact on the physiology and burrowing activity of tubificid worms and consequences on biogeochemical processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pigneret, M., E-mail: mathilde.pigneret@univ-lyon1.fr [LEHNA, UMR CNRS 5023, Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes Naturels et Anthropisés, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, ENTPE, 6 rue Raphael Dubois, 69622 Villeurbanne (France); Mermillod-Blondin, F.; Volatier, L.; Romestaing, C. [LEHNA, UMR CNRS 5023, Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes Naturels et Anthropisés, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, ENTPE, 6 rue Raphael Dubois, 69622 Villeurbanne (France); Maire, E.; Adrien, J. [MATEIS, UMR CNRS 5510, INSA de Lyon, 25 avenue Jean Capelle, 69621 Villeurbanne (France); Guillard, L.; Roussel, D.; Hervant, F. [LEHNA, UMR CNRS 5023, Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes Naturels et Anthropisés, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, ENTPE, 6 rue Raphael Dubois, 69622 Villeurbanne (France)

    2016-10-15

    In urban areas, infiltration basins are designed to manage stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces and allow the settling of associated pollutants. The sedimentary layer deposited at the surface of these structures is highly organic and multicontaminated (mainly heavy metals and hydrocarbons). Only few aquatic species are able to maintain permanent populations in such an extreme environment, including the oligochaete Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri. Nevertheless, the impact of urban pollutants on these organisms and the resulting influence on infiltration basin functioning remain poorly studied. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine how polluted sediments could impact the survival, the physiology and the bioturbation activity of L. hoffmeisteri and thereby modify biogeochemical processes occurring at the water-sediment interface. To this end, we conducted laboratory incubations of worms, in polluted sediments from infiltration basins or slightly polluted sediments from a stream. Analyses were performed to evaluate physiological state and burrowing activity (X-ray micro-tomography) of worms and their influences on biogeochemical processes (nutrient fluxes, CO{sub 2} and CH{sub 4} degassing rates) during 30-day long experiments. Our results showed that worms exhibited physiological responses to cope with high pollution levels, including a strong ability to withstand the oxidative stress linked to contamination with heavy metals. We also showed that the presence of urban pollutants significantly increased the burrowing activity of L. hoffmeisteri, demonstrating the sensitivity and the relevance of such a behavioural response as biomarker of sediment toxicity. In addition, we showed that X-ray micro-tomography was an adequate technique for accurate and non-invasive three-dimensional investigations of biogenic structures formed by bioturbators. The presence of worms induced stimulations of nutrient fluxes and organic matter recycling (between + 100% and 200% of CO

  2. Trait aggressiveness does not predict social dominance of rats in the Visible Burrow System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buwalda, Bauke; Koolhaas, Jaap M; de Boer, Sietse F

    2017-09-01

    Hierarchical social status greatly influences health and well-being in mammals, including humans. The social rank of an individual is established during competitive encounters with conspecifics. Intuitively, therefore, social dominance and aggressiveness may seem intimately linked. Yet, whether an aggressive personality trait may predispose individuals to a particular rank in a social colony setting remains largely unclear. Here we tested the hypothesis that high trait aggressiveness in Wildtype Groningen (WTG) rats, as assessed in a classic resident-intruder offensive aggression paradigm predicts social dominance in a mixed-sex colony housing using the Visible Burrow System (VBS). We also hypothesized that hierarchical steepness, as reflected in the number and intensity of the social conflicts, positively correlates with the average level of trait aggressiveness of the male subjects in the VBS. Clear and stable hierarchical ranking was formed within a few days in VBS colonies as indicated and reflected by a rapid loss of body weight in subordinates which stabilized after 2-3days. Social conflicts, that occurred mainly during these first few days, also resulted in bite wounds in predominantly subordinate males. Data clearly showed that trait aggressiveness does not predict dominance status. The most aggressive male in a mixed sex group of conspecifics living in a closed VBS environment does not always become the dominant male. In addition, data did not convincingly indicate that in colonies with only highly aggressive males, agonistic interactions were more intense. Number of bite wounds and body weight loss did not positively correlate with trait-aggressiveness of subordinates. In this study, rats from this wild-derived rat strain behave differently from Long-Evans laboratory rats that have been studied up till now in many experiments using the VBS. Strain dependent differences in the capacity to display appropriate social behavior fitting an adaptive strategy to

  3. Patterns of Species Richness and Turnover for the South American Rodent Fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maestri, Renan; Patterson, Bruce D.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the spatial distribution of species sheds light on the group’s biogeographical history, offers clues to the drivers of diversity, and helps to guide conservation strategies. Here, we compile geographic range information for South America’s diverse rodents, whose 14 families comprise ~50% of the continent’s mammalian species. The South American rodent fauna is dominated by independent and temporally staggered radiations of caviomorph and sigmodontine groups. We mapped species richness and turnover of all rodents and the principal clades to identify the main predictors of diversity patterns. Species richness was highest in the Andes, with a secondary hotspot in Atlantic Forest and some regions of considerable richness in Amazonia. Differences in richness were evident between the caviomorphs and sigmodontines, the former showing the greatest richness in tropical forests whereas the latter show—and largely determine—the all-rodent pattern. Elevation was the main predictor of sigmodontine richness, whereas temperature was the principal variable correlated with richness of caviomorphs. Across clades, species turnover was highest along the Andes and was best explained by elevational relief. In South America, the effects of the familiar latitudinal gradient in species richness are mixed with a strong longitudinal effect, triggered by the importance of elevation and the position of the Andes. Both latitudinal and elevational effects help explain the complicated distribution of rodent diversity across the continent. The continent’s restricted-range species—those seemingly most vulnerable to localized disturbance—are mostly distributed along the Andes and in Atlantic Forest, with the greatest concentration in Ecuador. Both the Andes and Atlantic Forest are known hotspots for other faunal and floral components. Contrasting patterns of the older caviomorph and younger sigmodontine radiations underscore the interplay of both historical and

  4. Patterns of Species Richness and Turnover for the South American Rodent Fauna.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Maestri

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial distribution of species sheds light on the group's biogeographical history, offers clues to the drivers of diversity, and helps to guide conservation strategies. Here, we compile geographic range information for South America's diverse rodents, whose 14 families comprise ~50% of the continent's mammalian species. The South American rodent fauna is dominated by independent and temporally staggered radiations of caviomorph and sigmodontine groups. We mapped species richness and turnover of all rodents and the principal clades to identify the main predictors of diversity patterns. Species richness was highest in the Andes, with a secondary hotspot in Atlantic Forest and some regions of considerable richness in Amazonia. Differences in richness were evident between the caviomorphs and sigmodontines, the former showing the greatest richness in tropical forests whereas the latter show-and largely determine-the all-rodent pattern. Elevation was the main predictor of sigmodontine richness, whereas temperature was the principal variable correlated with richness of caviomorphs. Across clades, species turnover was highest along the Andes and was best explained by elevational relief. In South America, the effects of the familiar latitudinal gradient in species richness are mixed with a strong longitudinal effect, triggered by the importance of elevation and the position of the Andes. Both latitudinal and elevational effects help explain the complicated distribution of rodent diversity across the continent. The continent's restricted-range species-those seemingly most vulnerable to localized disturbance-are mostly distributed along the Andes and in Atlantic Forest, with the greatest concentration in Ecuador. Both the Andes and Atlantic Forest are known hotspots for other faunal and floral components. Contrasting patterns of the older caviomorph and younger sigmodontine radiations underscore the interplay of both historical and

  5. American badgers selectively excavate burrows in areas used by black-footed ferrets: implications for predator avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated how American badgers (Taxidea taxus) might exert selective pressure on black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) to develop antipredator defenses. In a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in South Dakota, badgers concentrated their activities where burrow openings and prairie dogs were abundant, a selective behavior that was exhibited by ferrets in the same colony. Badgers excavated burrows more often when in areas recently used by a ferret, suggesting that badgers hunt ferrets or steal prey from ferrets, or both. We also conducted an analysis of survival studies for ferrets and Siberian polecats (M. eversmanii) released onto prairie dog colonies. This polecat is the ferret's ecological equivalent but evolved without a digging predator. Badgers accounted for 30.0% of predation on polecats and 5.5% of predation on ferrets. In contrast, both polecats and ferrets have evolutionary experience with canids, providing a plausible explanation for the similar relative impact of coyotes (Canis latrans) on them (65.0% and 67.1% of predation, respectively). We hypothesize that ferrets and badgers coexist because ferrets are superior at exploitation competition and are efficient at avoiding badgers, and badgers are superior at interference competition.

  6. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) identification of rodent blood meals confirms host sharing by flea vectors of plague.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Heather A; Stapp, Paul; Cohen, Amybeth

    2010-12-01

    Elucidating feeding relationships between hosts and parasites remains a significant challenge in studies of the ecology of infectious diseases, especially those involving small or cryptic vectors. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are a species of conservation importance in the North American Great Plains whose populations are extirpated by plague, a flea-vectored, bacterial disease. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, we determined that fleas (Oropsylla hirsuta) associated with prairie dogs feed upon northern grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster), a rodent that has been implicated in the transmission and maintenance of plague in prairie-dog colonies. Our results definitively show that grasshopper mice not only share fleas with prairie dogs during plague epizootics, but also provide them with blood meals, offering a mechanism by which the pathogen, Yersinia pestis, may be transmitted between host species and maintained between epizootics. The lack of identifiable host DNA in a significant fraction of engorged Oropsylla hirsuta collected from animals (47%) and prairie-dog burrows (100%) suggests a rapid rate of digestion and feeding that may facilitate disease transmission during epizootics but also complicate efforts to detect feeding on alternative hosts. Combined with other analytical approaches, e.g., stable isotope analysis, molecular genetic techniques can provide novel insights into host-parasite feeding relationships and improve our understanding of the role of alternative hosts in the transmission and maintenance of disease. © 2010 The Society for Vector Ecology.

  7. The number of species of rodent coccidia and of other protozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, N D

    1987-11-01

    About 447 species of coccidia have been named from the 1687 living, known species of rodents; 207 host species, 92 host genera, and 15 host families are represented; this is about 12% of the known species of rodents. About 4600 species of apicomplexan protozoa have been named. Assuming that the same proportion of the total number of apicomplexan species has been named as of the coccidian species, there must actually be about 38,333 species of apicomplexan protozoa. There are 5.4 times as many protozoan genera as of apicomplexan genera. Assuming that the number of species in each genus is the same for all the protozoa as it is for the Apicomplexa, there may actually be 206,998 species of protozoa. This may be too conservative an estimate. Based on other criteria, an estimate of over 20 million species could be made.

  8. Susceptibility of laboratory rodents to Trichinella papuae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadaow, Lakkhana; Intapan, Pewpan M; Boonmars, Thidarut; Morakote, Nimit; Maleewong, Wanchai

    2013-12-01

    Members of the genus Trichinella are small nematodes that can infect a wide range of animal hosts. However, their infectivity varies depending on the parasite and host species combination. In this study, we examined the susceptibility of 4 species of laboratory rodents, i.e., mice, rats, hamsters, and gerbils to Trichinella papuae, an emerging non-encapsulated Trichinella species. Trichinella spiralis and Trichinella pseudospiralis were also included in this study for comparison. Fifteen animals of each rodent species were infected orally with 100 muscle larvae of each Trichinella species. Intestinal worm burden was determined at day 6 and 10 post-inoculation (PI). The numbers of muscle larvae were examined at day 45 PI. The reproductive capacity index (RCI) of the 3 Trichinella species in different rodent hosts was determined. By day 6 PI, 33.2-69.6% of the inoculated larvae of the 3 Trichinella species became adult worms in the small intestines of the host animals. However, in rats, more than 96% of adult worms of all 3 Trichinella species were expelled from the gut by day 10 PI. In gerbils, only 4.8-18.1% of adult worms were expelled by day 10 PI. In accordance with the intestinal worm burden and the persistence of adults, the RCI was the highest in gerbils with values of 241.5±41.0 for T. papuae, 432.6±48 for T. pseudospiralis, and 528.6±20.6 for T. spiralis. Hamsters ranked second and mice ranked third in susceptibility in terms of the RCI, Rats yielded the lowest parasite RCI for all 3 Trichinella species. Gerbils may be an alternative laboratory animal for isolation and maintenance of Trichinella spp.

  9. Euthanasia using gaseous agents in laboratory rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentim, A M; Guedes, S R; Pereira, A M; Antunes, L M

    2016-08-01

    Several questions have been raised in recent years about the euthanasia of laboratory rodents. Euthanasia using inhaled agents is considered to be a suitable aesthetic method for use with a large number of animals simultaneously. Nevertheless, its aversive potential has been criticized in terms of animal welfare. The data available regarding the use of carbon dioxide (CO2), inhaled anaesthetics (such as isoflurane, sevoflurane, halothane and enflurane), as well as carbon monoxide and inert gases are discussed throughout this review. Euthanasia of fetuses and neonates is also addressed. A table listing currently available information to ease access to data regarding euthanasia techniques using gaseous agents in laboratory rodents was compiled. Regarding better animal welfare, there is currently insufficient evidence to advocate banning or replacing CO2 in the euthanasia of rodents; however, there are hints that alternative gases are more humane. The exposure to a volatile anaesthetic gas before loss of consciousness has been proposed by some scientific studies to minimize distress; however, the impact of such a measure is not clear. Areas of inconsistency within the euthanasia literature have been highlighted recently and stem from insufficient knowledge, especially regarding the advantages of the administration of isoflurane or sevoflurane over CO2, or other methods, before loss of consciousness. Alternative methods to minimize distress may include the development of techniques aimed at inducing death in the home cage of animals. Scientific outcomes have to be considered before choosing the most suitable euthanasia method to obtain the best results and accomplish the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement). © The Author(s) 2015.

  10. Prenatal stressors in rodents: Effects on behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Weinstock

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The current review focuses on studies in rodents published since 2008 and explores possible reasons for any differences they report in the effects of gestational stress on various types of behavior in the offspring. An abundance of experimental data shows that different maternal stressors in rodents can replicate some of the abnormalities in offspring behavior observed in humans. These include, anxiety, in juvenile and adult rats and mice, assessed in the elevated plus maze and open field tests and depression, detected in the forced swim and sucrose-preference tests. Deficits were reported in social interaction that is suggestive of pathology associated with schizophrenia, and in spatial learning and memory in adult rats in the Morris water maze test, but in most studies only males were tested. There were too few studies on the novel object recognition test at different inter-trial intervals to enable a conclusion about the effect of prenatal stress and whether any deficits are more prevalent in males. Among hippocampal glutamate receptors, NR2B was the only subtype consistently reduced in association with learning deficits. However, like in humans with schizophrenia and depression, prenatal stress lowered hippocampal levels of BDNF, which were closely correlated with decreases in hippocampal long-term potentiation. In mice, down-regulation of BDNF appeared to occur through the action of gene-methylating enzymes that are already increased above controls in prenatally-stressed neonates. In conclusion, the data obtained so far from experiments in rodents lend support to a physiological basis for the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia and depression.

  11. Dimethyl Fumarate ameliorates acute pancreatitis in rodent

    OpenAIRE

    Robles, Lourdes; Vaziri, Nostratola D.; Li, Shiri; Takasu, Chie; Masuda, Yuichi; Vo, Kelly; Farzaneh, Seyed H.; Stamos, Micheal J.; Ichii, Hirohito

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: Pancreatitis is a complex inflammatory disorder, ranging from a mild attack, to severe and potentially fatal condition. Dimethyl fumarate (DMF), a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, has been used medicinally for decades. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that treatment with DMF may ameliorate acute pancreatitis (AP) in a rodent model. Methods: Rats were treated with DMF (25 mg/kg) 24 hours prior to AP induction with L-arginine (3 g/kg). At 72 hours, the p...

  12. So as we worry we weigh: Visible burrow system stress and visceral adiposity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Michelle T

    2017-09-01

    The visible borrow system (VBS) simulates a natural rodent habitat that supports genuine stress provoking social interactions. This model allows investigation of behavioral, neural and endocrine alterations caused by chronic stress. The Sakai lab further used this model to investigate metabolic outcomes of stress in relation to dominance hierarchies formed within the VBS. Communal social conflict occurs among all VBS rats, but only the SUB rats succumb to the redistribution of lipids in the visceral cavity and consequent metabolic dysregulation, such as hyper-insulinemia. These increases in visceral adipose tissue occur after two cycles of VBS stress and recovery bouts and are associated with decreases in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Traditionally, distribution shift in lipid deposition is predominately thought to occur by characteristics specific to the visceral depot, but evidence supports that decreased subcutaneous adipose tissue deposition may be linked to enhanced visceral adipose expansion. This review will discuss VBS stress and redirection of adipose tissue in SUB rats. There will be specific focus on the enhanced adipogenic capacity of visceral adipose tissue as driven by glucocorticoid receptor density, 11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11-HSD1) and lipoprotein lipase (LPL). Additionally, the proposed contribution of decreased subcutaneous adipose expansion via stress-induced inhibition of lipid uptake, storage and cellularity will be discussed. Overall, this review will summarize how stress-induced visceral obesity may result from a combination of maladaptive responses within the visceral and subcutaneous depot. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Hunting, Food Preparation, and Consumption of Rodents in Lao PDR.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanokwan Suwannarong

    Full Text Available A cross-sectional study was conducted in 29 villages of Khamkeuth District in Bolikhamxay Province in the Lao PDR during March to May 2013. The study aimed to determine the characteristics associated with rodent consumption and related behaviors among different ethnic groups, ages, and genders. Five-hundred-eighty-four (584 males and females from 18-50 years of age participated in this study. Half of them were Hmong (292, 50% while 152 respondents were Lao-Tai (26% or other ethnic groups (140, 24%. Most of the respondents (79.5% had farming as their main occupation. Prevalences of the studied outcomes were high: 39.9 for hunting or capturing rodents in the previous year, 77.7% for preparing rodents as food, and 86.3% for rodent consumption. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that likelihood of these types of rodent contact was more consistently associated with behavioral factors (gathering things from the forest and elsewhere, cultivation-related activities, and taking measures to prevent rodent-borne disease than with socio-demographic, environmental, or cultural factors. The strongest associations were observed for gathering things; these associations were consistently positive and statistically significant. Although this study did not directly assess rodent-borne zoonosis risk, we believe that study findings raise concern that such risk may be substantial in the study area and other similar areas. Further epidemiological studies on the association between rodent-borne disease infection and rodent hunting, preparation for food, and consumption are recommended. Moreover, further studies are needed on the association between these potential exposure factors (i.e., rodent hunting, preparation for food, and consumption and rodent-borne infections, especially among ethnic groups like the Hmong in Lao PDR and those in neighboring countries with similar socio-demographic, environmental, behavioral and cultural contexts.

  14. Flea abundance, diversity, and plague in Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) and their burrows in montane grasslands in northern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megan M. Friggens; Robert R. Parmenter; Michael Boyden; Paulette L. Ford; Kenneth Gage; Paul Keim

    2010-01-01

    Plague, a flea-transmitted infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is a primary threat to the persistence of prairie dog populations (Cynomys spp.). We conducted a 3-yr survey (2004-2006) of fleas from Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) and their burrows in montane grasslands in Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico. Our...

  15. Oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) in casts and burrows of an endemic earthworm .i.Dendrobaena mrazeki./i. and in litter of thermophilous oak forests

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Starý, Josef; Pižl, Václav

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 4 (2007), s. 390-397 ISSN 1335-342X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/03/0056 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60660521 Keywords : soil oribatid mites * earthworms * casts and burrows Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.085, year: 2005

  16. Polymorphy and extinction of the Late Cretaceous burrowing shrimp Protocallianassa faujasi and first record of the genera Corallianassa and Calliax (Crustacea, Decapoda, Thalassinoidca) from the Cretaceous

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swen, Krista; Fraaije, René H.B.; Zwaan, van der Gijsbert J.

    2001-01-01

    A biometric study of chelae of the burrowing shrimp Protocallianassa faujasi (Desmarest, 1822), from the late Maastrichtian of the Maastrichtian type area, The Netherlands, has revealed three morphotypes. These types are interpreted as sexual dimorphs (male and female) and earliest ecdysis stages

  17. Burrow ventilation in the tube-dwelling shrimp Callianassa subterranea (Decapoda: thalassinidea). III. Hydrodynamic modelling and the energetics of pleopod pumping.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stamhuis, Eize; Videler, Johannes

    1998-01-01

    The process of flow generation with metachronally beating pleopods in a tubiform burrow was studied by designing a hydrodynamic model based on a thrust-drag force balance. The drag of the tube (including the shrimp) comprises components for accelerating the water into the tube entrance, for

  18. Locomotory behaviour and functional morphology of Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa: Actiniaria: Edwardsiidae): a contribution to a comparative study of burrowing behaviour in athenarian sea anemones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Williams, R.B.

    2003-01-01

    The locomotory behaviour and functional morphology of English populations of a small (<2 cm long), burrowing athenarian sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis Stephenson, 1935 (= N. pellucida Crowell, 1946), which lives in soft mud in salt marshes and creeks, are described. Objectives were to ascertain

  19. Oxygen equilibria and ligand binding kinetics of erythrocruorins from two burrowing polychaetes of different modes of life, Marphysa sanguinea and Diopatra cuprea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weber, Roy E.; Bonaventura, J.; Sullivan, B.

    1978-01-01

    Oxygen equilibria, ligand-binding kinetics and some other physicochemical properties are reported for erythrocruorins of two intertidal polychaetes:Marphysa sanguinea, which inhabits simple, relatively stagnant burrows, andDiopatra cuprea, which inhabits impermeable, parchment-like tubes that are...

  20. [Taxonomic status of the Tyulek virus (TLKV) (Orthomyxoviridae, Quaranjavirus, Quaranfil group) isolated from the ticks Argas vulgaris Filippova, 1961 (Argasidae) from the birds burrow nest biotopes in the Kyrgyzstan].

    Science.gov (United States)

    L'vov, D K; Al'khovskiĭ, S V; Shchelkanov, M Iu; Shchetinin, A M; Deriabin, P G; Aristova, V A; Gitel'man, A K; Samokhvalov, E I; Botikov, A G

    2014-01-01

    The Tyulek virus (TLKV) was isolated from the ticks Argas vulgaris Filippova, 1961 (Argasidae), collected from the burrow biotopes in multispecies birds colony in the Aksu river floodplain near Tyulek village (northern part of Chu Valley, Kyrgyzstan). Recently, the TLKV was assigned to the Quaranfil group (including the Quaranfil virus (QRFV), Johnston Atoll virus (JAV), Lake Chad virus) that is a novel genus of the Quaranjavirus in the Orthomyxoviridae family. In his work, the complete genome (ID GenBank KJ438647-8) sequence of the TLKV was determined using next-generation sequencing (Illumina platform). Comparison of deduced amino acid sequences shows closed relationship of the TLKV with QRFV and JAV (86% and 84% identity for PB1 and about 70% for PB2 and PA, respectively). The identity level of the TLKV and QRFV in outer glycoprotein GP is 72% and 80% for nucleotide and amino acid sequences, respectively. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the TLKV belongs to the genus of the Quaranjavirus in the family Orthomyxoviridae.

  1. Towards sustainable management of rodents in organic animal husbandry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Bonde, M.; Brom, F.W.A.; Endepols, S.; Jensen, A.N.; Leirs, H.; Lodal, J.; Singleton, G.R.; Pelz, H.J.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Kijlstra, A.

    2004-01-01

    From 26 to 28 May 2004 an international seminar was held in Wageningen, the Netherlands, about current knowledge and advice on rodent management on organic pig and poultry farms in Western Europe. This paper summarizes the discussions. Rodent management is necessary to protect the food production

  2. Ecology of rodents at an old quarry in Zambia

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ecology of rodents at an old quarry in Zambia. E.N. Chidumayo. Livingstone Museum, Zambia. An old quarry, 2,5 hain size near Livingstone in southern. Zambia was kill- and live-trapped between September 1974 and December 1976 to determine ecological relations among. rodent species inhabiting it. Seven species ...

  3. Rodent-borne diseases and their risks for public health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Singleton, G.R.; Kijlstra, A.

    2009-01-01

    Rodents are the most abundant and diversified order of living mammals in the world. Already since the Middle Ages we know that they can contribute to human disease, as black rats were associated with distribution of plague. However, also in modern times rodents form a threat for public health. In

  4. Energetics and water relations ofN amib desert rodents

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    desert rodents. P.C. Withers, G.N. Louw and J. Henschel. Zoology Department, University of Cape Town. All the Namib rodents investigated, except Petromus, can survive without ... Present address: Biology Department, Portland State University,. P.O. Box ...... pulmocutaneous water loss of Australian hopping mice. Compo.

  5. Rodents from the Middle Oligocene of Turkish Thrace

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ünay-Bayraktar, E.

    1989-01-01

    Associations of Middle Oligocene rodent teeth are described from five localities in the Lignite-Sandstone Formation of the Ergene basin. The Muroidea are the most abundant as well as the most diverse group in these associations. In rodent faunas of Western Europe the Theridomyoidea dominate. So

  6. seasonal population dynamics of rodents of mount chilalo, arsi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Preferred Customer

    Sidorowicz, 1974; George, 1984; Kotler, 1984;. Sillero-Zubiri et al., 1995). The record of highest trap success from grassland habitat was due to high abundance of rodents, capture of two individuals by single trap, and the gregarious life style of rodents in the habitat. The highest seasonal variation in the trap success was.

  7. Seed predation by nocturnal rodents in an African savanna ecosystem

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The small mammal community in Acacia savanna consists of three omnivorous nocturnal rodent species, Mastomys natalensis, Saccostomus campestris and Aethomys chrysophilus, which eat varying proportions of seed in their diet. From a seed removal experiment, it was found that rodents preferentially selected Acacia ...

  8. Diversity, relative abundance and habitat association of rodents in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Diversity, relative abundance and habitat association of rodents in Aquatimo Forest patches and adjacent farmland, east Gojjam, Ethiopia. ... This study about the ecology and biology of rodents is fundamental for proper monitoring of the environment in order to control and conserve small mammals. Keywords: Insectivores ...

  9. Public Health and Rodents: A Game of Cat and Mouse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.

    2015-01-01

    Rodents are the most abundant order of living mammals, distributed on every continent except Antarctic and represent 43 % of all mammalian species. Beside causing food losses and infrastructural damage, rodents can harbour pathogens that may cause serious problems to human and animal health.

  10. A Taxonomic Study on the Burrowing Cricket Genus Velarifictorus with Morphologically Resembled Genus Lepidogryllus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Gryllinae in Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tae-Woo Kim

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The burrowing-cricket genus Velarifictorus Randell, 1964 is reviewed in Korea, comparing with morphologically resembled genus Lepidogryllus Otte and Alexander, 1983 for the first time. First, Velarifictorus aspersus borealis Gorochov, 1985 is confirmed from only restricted area of southern regions in Gyeongsangnam- do and Jeollanam-do. Second, Velarifictorus micado (Saussure, 1877 is confirmed from nearly all around the Korean peninsula including North Korea. Third, the previously not recorded Velarifictorus ornatus (Shiraki, 1911 is newly recognized from South Korea. Relating to the genus Velarifictorus, the resembled genus Lepidogryllus Otte and Alexander, 1983 and its species Lepidogryllus siamensis (Chopard, 1961 com. & stat. nov. is studied and compared with Velarifictorus members. A key, descriptions, tables, photographs, figures, oscillograms and spectrograms of calling sounds are provided to aid identification between the four similar species.

  11. Composite Phymatoderma from Neogene deep-marine deposits in Japan: Implications for Phanerozoic benthic interactions between burrows and the trace-makers of Chondrites and Phycosiphon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentaro Izumi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Among composite trace fossils, one of the most common structures throughout the Phanerozoic are structures (e.g., dwelling trace, feeding trace reworked by Chondrites and/or Phycosiphon. However, differences in the nature of the reworking behaviors of these two ichnogenera remain unknown. Thus, in this study, composite Phymatoderma specimens from the Neogene deep-marine Shiramazu Formation in Japan, particularly those reworked by Chondrites and Phycosiphon, were analyzed to reveal the specific conditions that might control the activities of these trace-makers. Phymatoderma reworked by Phycosiphon is significantly larger than non-reworked Phymatoderma, whereas Phymatoderma reworked by Chondrites shows no significant difference in burrow diameter compared with non-reworked Phymatoderma. The recognized size selectivity (i.e., preference for larger burrows by the Phycosiphon trace-maker can be explained by considering the different feeding strategies of these two ichnogenera; namely deposit-feeding Phycosiphon-makers, which must have processed a significant mass of sediment to obtain sufficient organic matter, whereas chemosymbiotic Chondrites-producers did not require a lot of sediment to obtain nutrients. In order to test these interpretations, a dataset of Phanerozoic trace fossils reworked by Chondrites/Phycosiphon were compiled. Consequently, the Phycosiphon-producers’ preference toward relatively larger burrows was recognized, quantitatively supporting the results of this study. The compilation also indicates that the burrow size might have become one of the important limiting factors for the Phycosiphon-producers that tried to rework the sediments within previous subsurface burrows, at least for 80 million years.

  12. Faunal Burrows Alter the Diversity, Abundance, and Structure of AOA, AOB, Anammox and n-Damo Communities in Coastal Mangrove Sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jing; Gu, Ji-Dong

    2017-07-01

    In the present work, the diversity, community structures, and abundances of aerobic ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and bacteria (AOB), anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria, and denitrifying anaerobic methane oxidization (n-damo) bacteria were unraveled in the bioturbated areas of the coastal Mai Po mangrove sediments. Results indicated that the bioturbation by burrowing in mangrove sediments was associated with higher concentration of NH4+ but lower concentrations of both NO2- and NO3-, and increase in diversity and richness of both AOA and AOB, but relatively lower diversity and richness of n-damo bacteria. The phylotypes of anammox bacterial community were significantly increased while their phylogenetic lineages observed in the less bioturbated areas were also maintained. Infauna also showed a great impact on the composition of n-damo bacterial phylotypes and burrowing activity altered the n-damo community structure profoundly in the sampled areas. The communities of n-damo bacteria in the surrounding bulk sediments showed similar structures to marine n-damo communities, but those on the burrow wall and in the ambient surface layer had a freshwater pattern, which was different from previous findings in Mai Po wetland. On the other hand, the abundances of AOA, AOB, and n-damo bacteria were greatly stimulated on burrow walls while the abundance of anammox bacteria remained unchanged. Infaunal burrows and mangrove roots affected the relative abundance of AOA and AOB. The benthic infauna stimulated the abundances of AOA, AOB, anammox, and n-damo bacteria. Furthermore, NH4+ and NO2- were important environmental factors changing the structure of each group. The communities of anammox and n-damo bacteria in bioturbated areas showed a competitive relationship.

  13. Urban pollution of sediments: Impact on the physiology and burrowing activity of tubificid worms and consequences on biogeochemical processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigneret, M; Mermillod-Blondin, F; Volatier, L; Romestaing, C; Maire, E; Adrien, J; Guillard, L; Roussel, D; Hervant, F

    2016-10-15

    In urban areas, infiltration basins are designed to manage stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces and allow the settling of associated pollutants. The sedimentary layer deposited at the surface of these structures is highly organic and multicontaminated (mainly heavy metals and hydrocarbons). Only few aquatic species are able to maintain permanent populations in such an extreme environment, including the oligochaete Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri. Nevertheless, the impact of urban pollutants on these organisms and the resulting influence on infiltration basin functioning remain poorly studied. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine how polluted sediments could impact the survival, the physiology and the bioturbation activity of L. hoffmeisteri and thereby modify biogeochemical processes occurring at the water-sediment interface. To this end, we conducted laboratory incubations of worms, in polluted sediments from infiltration basins or slightly polluted sediments from a stream. Analyses were performed to evaluate physiological state and burrowing activity (X-ray micro-tomography) of worms and their influences on biogeochemical processes (nutrient fluxes, CO2 and CH4 degassing rates) during 30-day long experiments. Our results showed that worms exhibited physiological responses to cope with high pollution levels, including a strong ability to withstand the oxidative stress linked to contamination with heavy metals. We also showed that the presence of urban pollutants significantly increased the burrowing activity of L. hoffmeisteri, demonstrating the sensitivity and the relevance of such a behavioural response as biomarker of sediment toxicity. In addition, we showed that X-ray micro-tomography was an adequate technique for accurate and non-invasive three-dimensional investigations of biogenic structures formed by bioturbators. The presence of worms induced stimulations of nutrient fluxes and organic matter recycling (between +100% and 200% of CO2 degassing rate

  14. Relationships between yolk androgens and nest density, laying date, and laying order in Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welty, J.L.; Belthoff, J.R.; Egbert, J.; Schwabl, H.

    2012-01-01

    Increases in yolk androgens within and among avian clutches have been correlated with decreased incubation time, increased aggression within a nest, increased begging behaviour, decreased immune response, and decreased life span. Although the mechanisms that lead to variability in yolk androgens within and between clutches are not completely known, yolk androgens can be a function of both social and environmental conditions. We were interested in if and how nesting density, laying date, and laying order influenced yolk androgens in Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea (Bonaparte, 1825)) in which nest density varies considerably. In 2006 and 2007, we used radioimmunoassay to quantify the concentrations of testosterone, 5a-dihydrotestosterone, and androstenedione in the egg yolks from one early and one latelaid egg in 47 nests of Burrowing Owls located in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area in southern Idaho. Nesting density had no detectable effect on yolk androgens. Yolk androgens varied temporally and peaked in the middle of the laying season while being low before and after this time period. Within nests, late-laid eggs had higher testosterone and dihydrotestosterone than early-laid eggs; adrostendione exhibited a similar pattern in one but not both years of our study. It is possible that the seasonal pattern in yolk androgens that we observed is related to aspects of mate quality for females or declining chances of fledging success for later nesting females, whereas rises in egg androgens between early and late eggs within clutches could reflect a mechanism to assist nestlings from late-laid eggs that hatch one to several days after their siblings to better compete for resources within the nest or promote survival in the presence of larger siblings.

  15. Helminths in rodents from Wet Markets in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ribas A.

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Only a few surveys have ever been carried out of the helminths of the commensal rodents found in the traditional wet markets that play such an important part of daily life in South-east Asia. The potential of rodents as reservoirs of zoonoses including helminths is of great interest since in these markets humans and rodents come into closer contact than in other environments and food may be indirectly contaminated via rodent faeces. Helminths in a total of 98 rats belonging to two species (Rattus norvegicus and Rattus exulans were surveyed in eight traditional wet markets in Udon Thani, Thailand. Thirteen species of helminths were recovered, seven of which are potentially zoo-notic, with an overall prevalence of 89.8 %. Our results show that rodents in wet markets could pose a threat to human health as potential reservoirs of zoonotic helminthiases.

  16. Scatter-hoarding rodents prefer slightly astringent food.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Wang

    Full Text Available The mutualistic interaction between scatter-hoarding rodents and their seed plants is highly complex yet poorly understood. Plants may benefit from the seed dispersal behavior of rodents, as long as seed consumption is minimized. In parallel, rodents may maximize foraging efficiency and cache high-quality resources for future consumption. Defensive compounds, such as tannins, are thought to be a major mechanism for plant control over rodent behavior. However, previous studies, using naturally occurring seeds, have not provided conclusive evidence supporting this hypothesis. Here, we test the importance of tannin concentrations on the scatter-hoarding behavior of rodents by using an artificial seed system. We combined feeding trials and field observations to examine the overall impact of seed tannin concentrations on rodent behavior and health. We found that rodents favored seeds with an intermediate amount of tannin (~5% in the field. Meanwhile, in rodents that were fed a diet with different tannin content, only diets with high tannin content (25%, 15%, and 10% caused a significant negative influence on rodent survival and health. Significant differences were not found among treatments with tannin levels of 0-5%. In contrast to many existing studies, our results clearly demonstrate that scatter-hoarding rodents prefer slightly 'astringent' food. In the co-evolutionary arms race between plants and animals, our results suggest that while tannins may play a significant role in reducing general predation levels by the faunal community, they have no precise control over the behavior of their mutualistic partner. Instead, the two partners appear to have reached an evolutionary point where both parties receive adequate benefits, with the year-to-year outcome being dependent on a wide range of factors beyond the control of either partner.

  17. Epidemiology of Leptospira Transmitted by Rodents in Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mielcarek, Mathilde; Tatard, Caroline; Chaval, Yannick; Suputtamongkol, Yupin; Buchy, Philippe; Jittapalapong, Sathaporn; Herbreteau, Vincent; Morand, Serge

    2014-01-01

    Background Leptospirosis is the most common bacterial zoonoses and has been identified as an important emerging global public health problem in Southeast Asia. Rodents are important reservoirs for human leptospirosis, but epidemiological data is lacking. Methodology/Principal Findings We sampled rodents living in different habitats from seven localities distributed across Southeast Asia (Thailand, Lao PDR and Cambodia), between 2009 to 2010. Human isolates were also obtained from localities close to where rodents were sampled. The prevalence of Leptospira infection was assessed by real-time PCR using DNA extracted from rodent kidneys, targeting the lipL32 gene. Sequencing rrs and secY genes, and Multi Locus Variable-number Tandem Repeat (VNTR) analyses were performed on DNA extracted from rat kidneys for Leptospira isolates molecular typing. Four species were detected in rodents, L. borgpetersenii (56% of positive samples), L. interrogans (36%), L. kirschneri (3%) and L. weilli (2%), which were identical to human isolates. Mean prevalence in rodents was approximately 7%, and largely varied across localities and habitats, but not between rodent species. The two most abundant Leptospira species displayed different habitat requirements: L. interrogans was linked to humid habitats (rice fields and forests) while L. borgpetersenii was abundant in both humid and dry habitats (non-floodable lands). Conclusion/Significance L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii species are widely distributed amongst rodent populations, and strain typing confirmed rodents as reservoirs for human leptospirosis. Differences in habitat requirements for L. interrogans and L. borgpetersenii supported differential transmission modes. In Southeast Asia, human infection risk is not only restricted to activities taking place in wetlands and rice fields as is commonly accepted, but should also include tasks such as forestry work, as well as the hunting and preparation of rodents for consumption, which

  18. Magnetic mapping of iron in rodent spleen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blissett, Angela R; Ollander, Brooke; Penn, Brittany; McTigue, Dana M; Agarwal, Gunjan

    2017-04-01

    Evaluation of iron distribution and density in biological tissues is important to understand the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases and the fate of exogenously administered iron-based carriers and contrast agents. Iron distribution in tissues is typically characterized via histochemical (Perl's) stains or immunohistochemistry for ferritin, the major iron storage protein. A more accurate mapping of iron can be achieved via ultrastructural transmission electron microscopy (TEM) based techniques, which involve stringent sample preparation conditions. In this study, we elucidate the capability of magnetic force microscopy (MFM) as a label-free technique to map iron at the nanoscale level in rodent spleen tissue. We complemented and compared our MFM results with those obtained using Perl's staining and TEM. Our results show how MFM mapping corresponded to sizes of iron-rich lysosomes at a resolution comparable to that of TEM. In addition MFM is compatible with tissue sections commonly prepared for routine histology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Intraoperative cerebral blood flow imaging of rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hangdao; Li, Yao; Yuan, Lu; Wu, Caihong; Lu, Hongyang; Tong, Shanbao

    2014-09-01

    Intraoperative monitoring of cerebral blood flow (CBF) is of interest to neuroscience researchers, which offers the assessment of hemodynamic responses throughout the process of neurosurgery and provides an early biomarker for surgical guidance. However, intraoperative CBF imaging has been challenging due to animal's motion and position change during the surgery. In this paper, we presented a design of an operation bench integrated with laser speckle contrast imager which enables monitoring of the CBF intraoperatively. With a specially designed stereotaxic frame and imager, we were able to monitor the CBF changes in both hemispheres during the rodent surgery. The rotatable design of the operation plate and implementation of online image registration allow the technician to move the animal without disturbing the CBF imaging during surgery. The performance of the system was tested by middle cerebral artery occlusion model of rats.

  20. High prevalence and genetic heterogeneity of rodent-borne Bartonella species on Heixiazi Island, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dong-Mei; Hou, Yong; Song, Xiu-Ping; Fu, Ying-Qun; Li, Gui-Chang; Li, Ming; Eremeeva, Marina E; Wu, Hai-Xia; Pang, Bo; Yue, Yu-Juan; Huang, Ying; Lu, Liang; Wang, Jun; Liu, Qi-Yong

    2015-12-01

    We performed genetic analysis of Bartonella isolates from rodent populations from Heixiazi Island in northeast China. Animals were captured at four sites representing grassland and brushwood habitats in 2011 and examined for the prevalence and genetic diversity of Bartonella species, their relationship to their hosts, and geographic distribution. A high prevalence (57.7%) and a high diversity (14 unique genotypes which belonged to 8 clades) of Bartonella spp. were detected from 71 rodents comprising 5 species and 4 genera from 3 rodent families. Forty-one Bartonella isolates were recovered and identified, including B. taylorii, B. japonica, B. coopersplainsensis, B. grahamii, B. washoensis subsp. cynomysii, B. doshiae, and two novel Bartonella species, by sequencing of four genes (gltA, the 16S rRNA gene, ftsZ, and rpoB). The isolates of B. taylorii and B. grahamii were the most prevalent and exhibited genetic difference from isolates identified elsewhere. Several isolates clustered with strains from Japan and far-eastern Russia; strains isolated from the same host typically were found within the same cluster. Species descriptions are provided for Bartonella heixiaziensis sp. nov. and B. fuyuanensis sp. nov. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Burrowing as a novel voluntary strength training method for mice : A comparison of various voluntary strength or resistance exercise methods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roemers, P; Mazzola, P N; De Deyn, P P; Bossers, W J; van Heuvelen, M J G; van der Zee, E A

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Voluntary strength training methods for rodents are necessary to investigate the effects of strength training on cognition and the brain. However, few voluntary methods are available. NEW METHOD: The current study tested functional and muscular effects of two novel voluntary strength

  2. Natural History Museum Sound Archive I: Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae Leach, 1815, including 3D scans of burrow casts of Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (Linnaeus, 1758) and Gryllotalpa vineae Bennet-Clark, 1970.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Ed; Broom, Yoke-Shum

    2015-01-01

    The Natural History Museum (NHM) sound archive contains recordings of Gryllotalpidae, and the NHM collection holds plaster casts of the burrows of two species. These recordings and burrows have until now not been made available through the NHM's collection database, making it hard for researchers to make use of these resources. Eighteen recordings of mole crickets (three identified species) held by the NHM have been made available under open licenses via BioAcoustica. 3D scans of the burrows of Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (Linnaeus, 1758) and Gryllotalpa vineae Bennet-Clark, 1970 have been made available via the NHM Data Portal.

  3. New species in the genus Monoecocestus (Cestoda: Anoplocephalidae) from neotropical rodents (Caviidae and Sigmodontinae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haverkost, Terry R; Gardner, Scott L

    2010-06-01

    Anoplocephalid cestodes have a worldwide distribution, but relatively few species are known from South American rodents. By examining the collections of the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology and the United States National Parasite Collection, 6 new species of Monoecocestus Beddard, 1914, are described, along with a redescription of Monoecocestus mackiewiczi Schmidt and Martin, 1978, based on the type specimens. The discussion includes commentary about uterine development, an important taxonomic character of the family, the vaginal dilation in immature segments (a character of potential taxonomic importance), and the implication of host usage to the evolutionary history and biogeography of species in this genus.

  4. How large are the extinct giant insular rodents? New body mass estimations from teeth and bones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moncunill-Solé, Blanca; Jordana, Xavier; Marín-Moratalla, Nekane; Moyà-Solà, Salvador; Köhler, Meike

    2014-03-01

    The island rule entails a modification of the body size of insular mammals, a character related with numerous biological and ecological variables. From the Miocene to human colonization (Holocene), Mediterranean and Canary Islands were unaltered natural ecosystems, with paleofaunas formed with endemic giant rodents among other mammals. Our aim is to create methods to estimate the body masses of fossil island rodents and address the nature of ecological pressures driving the island rule. We created regression equations based on extant rodent data and used these to estimate the body masses of the extinct species. Our results show strong correlations between teeth, cranial and postcranial measurements and body mass, except for the length of the long bones, the transversal diameter of the distal tibia and the anteroposterior diameter of the proximal tibia, where the equations were less reliable. The use of equations obtained from a more homogeneous group (suborder and family) is preferable when analyzing the area of the first molar. The new regressions were applied to estimate the body masses of some Mediterranean and Canarian fossil rodents (Canariomys, C. bravoi 1.5 kg and C. tamarani 1 kg; Hypnomys, H. morpheus 230 g and H. onicensis 200 g; and Muscardinus cyclopeus 100 g). Our results indicate that under absence of predation, resource availability (island area) is the key factor that determines the size of the Canariomys sp. However, under presence of specialized predators (birds of prey), body size evolution is less pronounced (Hypnomys sp.). © 2013 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  5. Glycoprotein 130 receptor signaling mediates α-cell dysfunction in a rodent model of type 2 diabetes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chow, Samuel Z; Speck, Madeleine; Yoganathan, Piriya

    2014-01-01

    the effects of α-cell gp130 receptor signaling on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. IL-6 family cytokines were elevated in islets in rodent models of this disease. gp130 receptor activation increased STAT3 phosphorylation in primary α-cells and stimulated glucagon secretion. Pancreatic α-cell gp130......Dysregulated glucagon secretion accompanies islet inflammation in type 2 diabetes. We recently discovered that interleukin (IL)-6 stimulates glucagon secretion from human and rodent islets. IL-6 family cytokines require the glycoprotein 130 (gp130) receptor to signal. In this study, we elucidated...... knockout (αgp130KO) mice showed no differences in glycemic control, α-cell function, or α-cell mass. However, when subjected to streptozotocin plus high-fat diet to induce islet inflammation and pathophysiology modeling type 2 diabetes, αgp130KO mice had reduced fasting glycemia, improved glucose tolerance...

  6. The bushlike radiation of muroid rodents is exemplified by the molecular phylogeny of the LCAT nuclear gene.

    OpenAIRE

    Michaux, Johan; Catzeflis, F.

    2000-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among 40 extant species of rodents, with an emphasis on the taxonomic sampling of Muridae and Dipodidae, were studied using sequences of the nuclear protein-coding gene LCAT (lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase). Analysis of 804 bp from the exonic regions of LCAT confirmed many traditional groupings in and around Muridae. A strong support was found for the families Muridae (represented by 29 species) and Dipodidae (5 species). Compared with Sciuridae, Gliridae, an...

  7. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) susceptibility of several North American rodents that are sympatric with cervid CWD epidemics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heisey, D.M.; Mickelsen, N.A.; Schneider, J.R.; Johnson, C.J.; Langenberg, J.A.; Bochsler, P.N.; Keane, D.P.; Barr, D.J.

    2010-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a highly contagious always fatal neurodegenerative disease that is currently known to naturally infect only species of the deer family, Cervidae. CWD epidemics are occurring in free-ranging cervids at several locations in North America, and other wildlife species are certainly being exposed to infectious material. To assess the potential for transmission, we intracerebrally inoculated four species of epidemic-sympatric rodents with CWD. Transmission was efficient in all species; the onset of disease was faster in the two vole species than the two Peromyscus spp. The results for inocula prepared from CWD-positive deer with or without CWD-resistant genotypes were similar. Survival times were substantially shortened upon second passage, demonstrating adaptation. Unlike all other known prion protein sequences for cricetid rodents that possess asparagine at position 170, our red-backed voles expressed serine and refute previous suggestions that a serine in this position substantially reduces susceptibility to CWD. Given the scavenging habits of these rodent species, the apparent persistence of CWD prions in the environment, and the inevitable exposure of these rodents to CWD prions, our intracerebral challenge results indicate that further investigation of the possibility of natural transmission is warranted. Copyright ?? 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  8. Chilocoris serratus n. sp., the first burrower bug species (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Cydnidae) recorded in Guinea-Bissau with an annotated checklist of the Afrotropical species of the genus Chilocoris Mayr, 1865.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lis, Jerzy A; Lis, Barbara

    2016-04-14

    The first burrower bug species recorded in Guinea-Bissau, Chilocoris serratus n. sp., is described and compared with morphologically related species. Additionally, an annotated checklist of Afrotropical species of the genus Chilocoris is provided.

  9. Rodent models of aging bone: an update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Syed, Farhan A; Melim, Terry

    2011-12-01

    With an increase in the average life span especially in the Western hemisphere, there is renewed interest in treating maladies of old age including osteoporosis. Age-related bone loss and resultant osteoporosis substantially increase risk of fractures and morbidity in the geriatric population leading to both a decline in the quality of life for the elderly as well as a substantial burden on the health care system. Herein, we review recent research in murine and rodent models looking at how both extrinsic and intrinsic factors such as hormones, biochemicals, neuromodulators, inflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress, nutrition, and exercise influence the skeleton with age. Recent studies on the relationship between bone and fat in the marrow, and the fate of the marrow mesenchymal stromal cell population, which can give rise to either bone-forming osteoblasts or fat-forming adipocytic cells as a function of age, have also been highlighted. An appreciable range of studies using aging murine as well as cellular models are discussed, as these studies have broadened our understanding of the pathways and players in the aging bone. Impactful information regarding aging and the bone may then allow the application of better pharmacologic as well as nonpharmacologic regimens to alleviate bone loss due to aging.

  10. Assessing Spatial Learning and Memory in Rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorhees, Charles V.; Williams, Michael T.

    2014-01-01

    Maneuvering safely through the environment is central to survival of almost all species. The ability to do this depends on learning and remembering locations. This capacity is encoded in the brain by two systems: one using cues outside the organism (distal cues), allocentric navigation, and one using self-movement, internal cues and nearby proximal cues, egocentric navigation. Allocentric navigation involves the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex, and surrounding structures; in humans this system encodes allocentric, semantic, and episodic memory. This form of memory is assessed in laboratory animals in many ways, but the dominant form of assessment is the Morris water maze (MWM). Egocentric navigation involves the dorsal striatum and connected structures; in humans this system encodes routes and integrated paths and, when overlearned, becomes procedural memory. In this article, several allocentric assessment methods for rodents are reviewed and compared with the MWM. MWM advantages (little training required, no food deprivation, ease of testing, rapid and reliable learning, insensitivity to differences in body weight and appetite, absence of nonperformers, control methods for proximal cue learning, and performance effects) and disadvantages (concern about stress, perhaps not as sensitive for working memory) are discussed. Evidence-based design improvements and testing methods are reviewed for both rats and mice. Experimental factors that apply generally to spatial navigation and to MWM specifically are considered. It is concluded that, on balance, the MWM has more advantages than disadvantages and compares favorably with other allocentric navigation tasks. PMID:25225309

  11. Detailed review of transgenic rodent mutation assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Iain B; Singer, Timothy M; Boucher, Sherri E; Douglas, George R

    2005-09-01

    Induced chromosomal and gene mutations play a role in carcinogenesis and may be involved in the production of birth defects and other disease conditions. While it is widely accepted that in vivo mutation assays are more relevant to the human condition than are in vitro assays, our ability to evaluate mutagenesis in vivo in a broad range of tissues has historically been quite limited. The development of transgenic rodent (TGR) mutation models has given us the ability to detect, quantify, and sequence mutations in a range of somatic and germ cells. This document provides a comprehensive review of the TGR mutation assay literature and assesses the potential use of these assays in a regulatory context. The information is arranged as follows. (1) TGR mutagenicity models and their use for the analysis of gene and chromosomal mutation are fully described. (2) The principles underlying current OECD tests for the assessment of genotoxicity in vitro and in vivo, and also nontransgenic assays available for assessment of gene mutation, are described. (3) All available information pertaining to the conduct of TGR assays and important parameters of assay performance have been tabulated and analyzed. (4) The performance of TGR assays, both in isolation and as part of a battery of in vitro and in vivo short-term genotoxicity tests, in predicting carcinogenicity is described. (5) Recommendations are made regarding the experimental parameters for TGR assays, and the use of TGR assays in a regulatory context.

  12. Peptidomic analysis of skin secretions of the Mexican burrowing toad Rhinophrynus dorsalis (Rhinophrynidae): Insight into the origin of host-defense peptides within the Pipidae and characterization of a proline-arginine-rich peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conlon, J Michael; Guilhaudis, Laure; Leprince, Jérôme; Coquet, Laurent; Mangoni, Maria Luisa; Attoub, Samir; Jouenne, Thierry; King, Jay D

    2017-11-01

    The Mexican burrowing toad Rhinophrynus dorsalis is the sole extant representative of the Rhinophrynidae. United in the superfamily Pipoidea, the Rhinophrynidae is considered to be the sister-group to the extant Pipidae which comprises Hymenochirus, Pipa, Pseudhymenochirus and Xenopus. Cationic, α-helical host-defense peptides of the type found in Hymenochirus, Pseudhymenochirus, and Xenopus species (hymenochirins, pseudhymenochirins, magainins, and peptides related to PGLa, XPF, and CPF) were not detected in norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions of R. dorsalis. Skin secretions of representatives of the genus Pipa also do not contain cationic α-helical host-defense peptides which suggest, as the most parsimonious hypothesis, that the ability to produce such peptides by frogs within the Pipidae family arose in the common ancestor of (Hymenochirus+Pseudhymenochirus)+Xenopus after divergence from the line of evolution leading to extant Pipa species. Peptidomic analysis of the R. dorsalis secretions led to the isolation of rhinophrynin-27, a proline-arginine-rich peptide with the primary structure ELRLPEIARPVPEVLPARLPLPALPRN, together with rhinophrynin-33 containing the C-terminal extension KMAKNQ. Rhinophrynin-27 shows limited structural similarity to the porcine multifunctional peptide PR-39 but it lacks antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities. Like PR-39, the peptide adopts a poly-l-proline helix but some changes in the circular dichroism spectrum were observed in the presence of anionic sodium dodecylsulfate micelles consistent with the stabilization of turn structures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of the burrowing crab Chasmagnathus granulata (Dana on meiofauna of estuarine intertidal habitats of Patos Lagoon, Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Cruz Rosa

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the burrowing crab Chasmagnathus granulata on meiofauna at three intertidal habitats across a tidal exposure gradient (i.e., an emerged salt marsh, an emerged mudflat and a submerged mudflat in an estuarine embayment of Patos Lagoon, Southern Brazil. Meiofauna community was dominated by nematodes and ostracods, following by copepods and turbellarians. Densities of all studied organisms varied significantly among habitats. Highest values were observed in submerged mudflat while lower in salt marsh. Nematodes were unaffected by crab in either habitat, whereas ostracod, copepod and turbellarian densities were significantly lower in disturbed than control areas in both mudflat habitats. Any meiofaunal group was affected in salt marsh, probably due to a less intense disturbance. The results showed that the burrowing crab C. granulata could play an important role on meiofauna community structure in estuarine intertidal habitats of Patos Lagoon, because crab disturbance seemed to affect mainly surface populations, especially in mudflat. However, the meiofauna response to crab disturbance was variable among habitats depending of the intensity and the frequency of the disturbance.Este trabalho avalia os efeitos do caranguejo Chasmagnathus granulata sobre a meiofauna em três ambientes intermareais, durante um prolongado período de exposição (uma marisma emersa, um plano de lama emerso e outro submerso, numa enseada estuarina da Lagoa dos Patos. Nematódeos e ostrácodes foram os organismos dominantes, seguidos por copépodes e turbelários. As densidades dos organismos variam significativamente entre os hábitats. As maiores densidades foram registradas no plano de lama submerso e as menores na marisma. Os nematódeos não foram afetados pelo caranguejo em nenhum hábitat. As densidades dos ostrácodes, copépodes e turbelários foram significativamente menores nos sedimentos perturbados do que nas

  14. The rattling sound of rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis) as a communicative resource for ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) and burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owings, Donald H; Rowe, Matthew P; Rundus, Aaron S

    2002-06-01

    Animal communication involves very dynamic processes that can generate new uses and functions for established communicative activities. In this article, the authors describe how an aposematic signal, the rattling sound of rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis), has been exploited by 2 ecological associates of rattlesnakes: (a) California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi) use incidental acoustic cues in rattling sounds to assess the danger posed by the rattling snake, and (b) burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) defend themselves against mammalian predators by mimicking the sound of rattling. The remarkable similarity between the burrowing owl's defensive hiss and the rattlesnake's rattling reflects both exaptation and adaptation. Such exploitation of the rattling sound has favored alternations in both the structure and the deployment of rattling by rattlesnakes.

  15. Genetic backgrounds determine brown remodeling of white fat in rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Ferrannini

    2016-10-01

    Conclusion: Rodent genetic background determines the brown remodeling of different white fat depots. This study provides new insights into the role of genetic variation in fat remodeling in susceptibility to metabolic diseases.

  16. A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fabre, Pierre-Henri Fréderic; Hautier, Lionel; Dimitrov, Dimitar Stefanov

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND:Development of phylogenetic methods that do not rely on fossils for the study of evolutionary processes through time have revolutionized the field of evolutionary biology and resulted in an unprecedented expansion of our knowledge about the tree of life. These methods have helped to shed...... imbalances and the time line we discuss the potential role of different diversification factors that might have shaped the rodents radiation. CONCLUSIONS:The present glimpse on the diversification pattern of rodents can be used for further comparative meta-analyses. Muroid lineages have a greater degree...... of variation in their diversification rates than any other rodent group. Different topological signatures suggest distinct diversification processes among rodent lineages. In particular, Muroidea and Sciuroidea display widespread distribution and have undergone evolutionary and adaptive radiation on most...

  17. Morphometric variation in the forest rodent Malacomys edwardsi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SARAH

    2014-08-31

    Rodentia: Muridae) from a single locality in Ghana. Journal of. Mammalogy 53: 616-619. Decher J, Kadjo B, Abedi-Lartey M, Tounkara EO,. Kante S, 2005. A rapid survey of small mammals (shrews, rodents, and bats) from the.

  18. First Isolates of Leptospira spp., from Rodents Captured in Angola.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortes-Gabriel, Elsa; Carreira, Teresa; Vieira, Maria Luísa

    2016-05-04

    Rodents play an important role in the transmission of pathogenic Leptospira spp. However, in Angola, neither the natural reservoirs of these spirochetes nor leptospirosis diagnosis has been considered. Regarding this gap, we captured rodents in Luanda and Huambo provinces to identify circulating Leptospira spp. Rodent kidney tissue was cultured and DNA amplified and sequenced. Culture isolates were evaluated for pathogenic status and typing with rabbit antisera; polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing were also performed. A total of 37 rodents were captured: Rattus rattus (15, 40.5%), Rattus norvegicus (9, 24.3%), and Mus musculus (13, 35.2%). Leptospiral DNA was amplified in eight (21.6%) kidney samples. From the cultures, we obtained four (10.8%) Leptospira isolates belonging to the Icterohaemorrhagiae and Ballum serogroups of Leptospira interrogans and Leptospira borgpetersenii genospecies, respectively. This study provides information about circulating leptospires spread by rats and mice in Angola. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  19. Bone morphology of the hind limbs in two caviomorph rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Araújo, F A P; Sesoko, N F; Rahal, S C; Teixeira, C R; Müller, T R; Machado, M R F

    2013-04-01

    In order to evaluate the hind limbs of caviomorph rodents a descriptive analysis of the Cuniculus paca (Linnaeus, 1766) and Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (Linnaeus, 1766) was performed using anatomical specimens, radiography, computed tomography (CT) and full-coloured prototype models to generate bone anatomy data. The appendicular skeleton of the two largest rodents of Neotropical America was compared with the previously reported anatomical features of Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout, 1769) and domestic Cavia porcellus (Linnaeus, 1758). The structures were analyzed macroscopically and particular findings of each species reported. Features including the presence of articular fibular projection and lunulae were observed in the stifle joint of all rodents. Imaging aided in anatomical description and, specifically in the identification of bone structures in Cuniculus paca and Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris. The imaging findings were correlated with the anatomical structures observed. The data may be used in future studies comparing these animals to other rodents and mammalian species. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  20. Rodent brain extraction using B-spline based deformable model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weimin Huang; Chen Ling; Su Huang; Zhongkang Lu; Zhiping Lin

    2017-07-01

    Accurate rodent brain extraction is one of the basic steps for many translational study using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). In this paper, we present a new approach to model the rodent brain variation using non-rigid B-spline image registration for the brain extraction in MRI images. We model the shape and appearance with the B-spline parameters together with a mean brain image. Followed by a method using multi-expert, we refine the brain extraction region. Compared with the image-based template model using cross-correlation, the performance for rodent brain extraction has shown much improvement on one data set while maintaining the similar yet more consistent performance for another. Both template based methods however outperform the voxel based method (3D PCNN) and a modified BET version for rodent brain extraction.

  1. Natural History Museum Sound Archive I: Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae Leach, 1815, including 3D scans of burrow casts of Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa (Linnaeus, 1758) and Gryllotalpa vineae Bennet-Clark, 1970

    OpenAIRE

    Baker, Ed; Broom,Yoke-Shum

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background The Natural History Museum (NHM) sound archive contains recordings of Gryllotalpidae , and the NHM collection holds plaster casts of the burrows of two species. These recordings and burrows have until now not been made available through the NHM's collection database, making it hard for researchers to make use of these resources. New information Eighteen recordings of mole crickets (three identified species) held by the NHM have been made available under open licenses via B...

  2. Placentation in Sigmodontinae: a rodent taxon native to South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Favaron, Phelipe O; Carter, Anthony Michael; Ambrosio, Carlos E

    2011-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Sigmondontinae, known as "New World rats and mice," is a large subfamily of Cricetidae for which we herein provide the first comprehensive investigation of the placenta. METHODS: Placentas of various gestational ages ranging from early pregnancy to near term were obtained fo...... subfamily of South American rodents. We note, however, that some of these rodents can be captive bred and recommend that future studies focus on the study of time dated pregnancies....

  3. Occurrence of faecal pellet-filled simple and composite burrows in cold seep carbonates: A glimpse of a complex benthic ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Mazumdar, A.; Joshi, R.K.; Peketi, A.; Kocherla, M.

    .) influence the nature of composite burrows. Composite trace fossils can provide important information on behavioral ecology of primary and secondary tracemakers as well as environmental changes through time (Bromley and Ekdale, 1986; Pickerill, 1994... to Atlantic equatorial belt seep communities. Deep Sea Research. I 54, 637-653. Cornish, F.G., 1986. The trace-fossil Diplocraterion: Evidence of Animal-sediment interaction in Cambrian tidal deposits. Palaios 1, 478-491. De, C., 2000. Neoichnological...

  4. Serologic survey of orthopoxvirus infection among rodents in hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldal, Miklós; Sironen, Tarja; Henttonen, Heikki; Vapalahti, Olli; Madai, Mónika; Horváth, Győző; Dallos, Bianka; Kutas, Anna; Földes, Fanni; Kemenesi, Gábor; Németh, Viktória; Bányai, Krisztián; Jakab, Ferenc

    2015-05-01

    As a result of discontinuing vaccination against smallpox after the late 1970s, different orthopoxviruses (OPVs), such as cowpox virus (CPXV), have become a re-emerging healthcare threat among zoonotic pathogens. In Hungary, data on OPV prevalence among its rodent host species have been absent. Here, rodents belonging to four species, i.e., striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius), yellow-necked mouse (A. flavicollis), wood mouse (A. sylvaticus) and bank vole (Myodes glareolus), were live trapped at 13 sampling plots on a 149-ha area in the Mecsek Mountains, Hungary, from March to September in 2011 and 2012. Rodent sera were collected and screened for OPV-reactive antibodies with an immunfluorescence assay (IFA). Among the 1587 tested rodents, 286 (18.0%) harbored OPV-specific antibodies. Seroprevalence was the highest for the bank vole (71.4%) and the striped field mouse (66.7%). Due to a masting event in the autumn of 2011 across Central Europe, the abundance of bank voles increased drastically in the 2012 season, raising the overall OPV seroprevalence. We provide the first data on OPV occurrence and seroprevalence in rodents in Hungary. The circulation of OPV in rodents in densely populated areas warrants further studies to elucidate the zoonotic potential of OPV in humans.

  5. [Genomic analysis of Wenzhou virus in rodents from Zhejiang province].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, K; Lin, X D; Li, M H; Wang, M R; Sun, X Y; Zhang, Y Z

    2017-03-10

    Objective: Arenavirus is a negative single-stranded RNA virus and an important human pathogen, mainly harbored and transmitted by rodents, causing severe diseases, including hemorrhagic fever and encephalitis. Following the discovery of a novel pathogenic arenavirus (Wenzhou virus, WENV), the prevalence of WENV in local small rodents was investigated. Methods: By using RT-PCR, WENV was screened in 48 and 156 rodents sampled from Wenzhou and Longquan, respectively. Results: Consequently, WENV was detected in 5 (10.41%) rodents sampled from Wenzhou. However, no WENV was identified in all the rodents sampled from Longquan. Genetic analysis of complete genome sequences indicated that 4 of 5 virus strains were closely related to the known Wenzhou viruses with high homology. Especially, the L and S segments of Wencheng-Rn-288 strain shared homology of 87.5% and 91.6% with other viruses, respectively. They formed a distinct lineage, suggesting that this strain might be a novel variant of WENV. Conclusions: Our results indicate that WENV has a high prevalence and high genetic diversity among rodents in Wenzhou. As the respiratory disease caused by WENV has been detected in Cambodia, it is necessary to strengthen the surveillance for WENV in China.

  6. Expression of ORAII, a plasma membrane resident subunit of the CRAC channel, in rodent and non-rodent species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzman, Roberto; Valente, Eliane G; Pretorius, Jim; Pacheco, Efrain; Qi, Meiying; Bennett, Brian D; Fong, David H; Lin, Fen-Fen; Bi, Vivian; McBride, Helen J

    2014-12-01

    We determined the expression of ORAI1 protein in rodent and non-rodent tissues using a monoclonal antibody directed against an extracellular loop of the protein. Previous reports using antibodies directed at the C-terminus of ORAI1 have not detected central nervous system (CNS) expression. Our results demonstrate broad tissue expression that includes the CNS using a unique monoclonal antibody specific to an extracellular loop of ORAI1. In addition, we present in situ hybridization (ISH) results using a probe within the middle of the mouse coding region showing CNS expression of Orai1 RNA. We contrast the patterns of rodent and human tissue expression and conclude that rodents have similar expression of ORAI1 in most tissue types when compared to primates, with an important exception being the male reproductive system, where human-specific expression is observed. © The Author(s) 2014.

  7. CUSHAW: a CUDA compatible short read aligner to large genomes based on the Burrows-Wheeler transform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yongchao; Schmidt, Bertil; Maskell, Douglas L

    2012-07-15

    New high-throughput sequencing technologies have promoted the production of short reads with dramatically low unit cost. The explosive growth of short read datasets poses a challenge to the mapping of short reads to reference genomes, such as the human genome, in terms of alignment quality and execution speed. We present CUSHAW, a parallelized short read aligner based on the compute unified device architecture (CUDA) parallel programming model. We exploit CUDA-compatible graphics hardware as accelerators to achieve fast speed. Our algorithm uses a quality-aware bounded search approach based on the Burrows-Wheeler transform (BWT) and the Ferragina-Manzini index to reduce the search space and achieve high alignment quality. Performance evaluation, using simulated as well as real short read datasets, reveals that our algorithm running on one or two graphics processing units achieves significant speedups in terms of execution time, while yielding comparable or even better alignment quality for paired-end alignments compared with three popular BWT-based aligners: Bowtie, BWA and SOAP2. CUSHAW also delivers competitive performance in terms of single-nucleotide polymorphism calling for an Escherichia coli test dataset. http://cushaw.sourceforge.net

  8. A case of leucism in the burrowing owl Athene cunicularia (Aves: Strigiformes with confirmation of species identity using cytogenetic analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise M Nogueira

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Leucism is an inherited disorder, characterized by the lack of pigments in part or all of the body, normal coloration of the eyes and, in birds, in naked parts such as the bill and legs. This kind of disorder is sometimes erroneously designated as albinism or partial albinism. In this study, we present a case of leucism in a wild owl. The studied individual presented completely white plumage, light-yellow coloration of legs and bill and normal coloration of eyes. According to morphological features, this owl is a specimen of burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia (Molina, 1782. To confirm the species identity, we used cytogenetic analyses for karyotypic determination, comparing it to the previously described one in the literature. We also studied a captive female of A. cunicularia to complement the species karyotype, which was described in the literature based only on a single male. The karyotype of the leucistic owl individual was compatible with the previously published one for A. cunicularia, confirming the bird was a male specimen. Cytogenetic analysis of the captive female showed that the W sex chromosome is metacentric and comparable to the seventh pair in size. This is the first description of a case of leucism in A. cunicularia for South America. Long-term studies are needed in the Neotropical region to evaluate survival and breeding success in leucistic birds.

  9. The geometry and fluid dynamics of two- and three-dimensional maneuvers of burrowing and swimming C. elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blawzdziewicz, Jerzy; Bilbao, Alejandro; Patel, Amar; Rahman, Mizanur; Vanapalli, Siva A.

    2016-11-01

    In its natural environment, which is decomposing organic matter and water, C. elegans swims and burrows in 3D complex media. Yet quantitative investigations of C. elegans locomotion have been limited to 2D motion. Recently we have provided a quantitative analysis of turning maneuvers of crawling and swimming nematodes on flat surfaces and in 2D fluid layers. Here, we follow with the first full 3D description of how C. elegans moves in complex 3D environments. We show that the nematode can explore 3D space by combining 2D turns with roll maneuvers that result in rotation of the undulation plane around the direction of motion. Roll motion is achieved by superposing a 2D curvature wave with nonzero body torsion; 2D turns (within the current undulation plane) are attained by variation of undulation wave parameters. Our results indicate that while hydrodynamic interactions reduce angles of 2D turns, the roll efficiency is significantly enhanced. This hydrodynamic effect explains the rapid nematode reorientation observed in 3D swimming.

  10. Chemotaxis of Caenorhabditis elegans in complex media: crawling, burrowing, 2D and 3D swimming, and controlled fluctuations hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Amar; Bilbao, Alejandro; Rahman, Mizanur; Vanapalli, Siva; Blawzdziewicz, Jerzy

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful genetic model, essential for studies in diverse areas ranging from behavior to neuroscience to aging, and locomotion and chemotaxis are the two key observables used. We combine our recently developed theory of nematode locomotion and turning maneuvers [Phys. Fluids 25, 081902 (2013)] with simple models of chemosensation to analyze nematode chemotaxis strategies in 2D and 3D environments. We show that the sharp-turn (pirouette) chemotaxis mechanism is efficient in diverse media; in particular, the nematode does not need to adjust the sensing or motion-control parameters to efficiently chemotax in 2D crawling, 3D burrowing, and 2D or 3D swimming. In contrast, the graduate-turn mechanism becomes inefficient in swimming, unless a phase-shift is introduced between the sensing signal and modulation of body wave to generate the gradual turn. We hypothesize that there exists a new ``controlled fluctuations'' chemotaxis mechanism, in which the nematode changes the intensity of undulation fluctuations to adjust the persistence length of the trajectory in response to a variation in chemoattractant concentration. Supported by NSF Grant No. CBET 1059745.

  11. The G protein-coupled receptor subset of the dog genome is more similar to that in humans than rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schiöth Helgi B

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The dog is an important model organism and it is considered to be closer to humans than rodents regarding metabolism and responses to drugs. The close relationship between humans and dogs over many centuries has lead to the diversity of the canine species, important genetic discoveries and an appreciation of the effects of old age in another species. The superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs is one of the largest gene families in most mammals and the most exploited in terms of drug discovery. An accurate comparison of the GPCR repertoires in dog and human is valuable for the prediction of functional similarities and differences between the species. Results We searched the dog genome for non-olfactory GPCRs and obtained 353 full-length GPCR gene sequences, 18 incomplete sequences and 13 pseudogenes. We established relationships between human, dog, rat and mouse GPCRs resolving orthologous pairs and species-specific duplicates. We found that 12 dog GPCR genes are missing in humans while 24 human GPCR genes are not part of the dog GPCR repertoire. There is a higher number of orthologous pairs between dog and human that are conserved as compared with either mouse or rat. In almost all cases the differences observed between the dog and human genomes coincide with other variations in the rodent species. Several GPCR gene expansions characteristic for rodents are not found in dog. Conclusion The repertoire of dog non-olfactory GPCRs is more similar to the repertoire in humans as compared with the one in rodents. The comparison of the dog, human and rodent repertoires revealed several examples of species-specific gene duplications and deletions. This information is useful in the selection of model organisms for pharmacological experiments.

  12. Evolutionary and biological implications of dental mesial drift in rodents: the case of the Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia, Mammalia.

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    Helder Gomes Rodrigues

    Full Text Available Dental characters are importantly used for reconstructing the evolutionary history of mammals, because teeth represent the most abundant material available for the fossil species. However, the characteristics of dental renewal are presently poorly used, probably because dental formulae are frequently not properly established, whereas they could be of high interest for evolutionary and developmental issues. One of the oldest rodent families, the Ctenodactylidae, is intriguing in having longstanding disputed dental formulae. Here, we investigated 70 skulls among all extant ctenodactylid genera (Ctenodactylus, Felovia, Massoutiera and Pectinator by using X-ray conventional and synchrotron microtomography in order to solve and discuss these dental issues. Our study clearly indicates that Massoutiera, Felovia and Ctenodactylus differ from Pectinator not only by a more derived dentition, but also by a more derived eruptive sequence. In addition to molars, their dentition only includes the fourth deciduous premolars, and no longer bears permanent premolars, conversely to Pectinator. Moreover, we found that these premolars are lost during adulthood, because of mesial drift of molars. Mesial drift is a striking mechanism involving migration of teeth allowed by both bone remodeling and dental resorption. This dental innovation is to date poorly known in rodents, since it is only the second report described. Interestingly, we noted that dental drift in rodents is always associated with high-crowned teeth favoring molar size enlargement. It can thus represent another adaptation to withstand high wear, inasmuch as these rodents inhabit desert environments where dust is abundant. A more accurate study of mesial drift in rodents would be very promising from evolutionary, biological and orthodontic points of view.

  13. Evolutionary and Biological Implications of Dental Mesial Drift in Rodents: The Case of the Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Solé, Floréal; Charles, Cyril; Tafforeau, Paul; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Viriot, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Dental characters are importantly used for reconstructing the evolutionary history of mammals, because teeth represent the most abundant material available for the fossil species. However, the characteristics of dental renewal are presently poorly used, probably because dental formulae are frequently not properly established, whereas they could be of high interest for evolutionary and developmental issues. One of the oldest rodent families, the Ctenodactylidae, is intriguing in having longstanding disputed dental formulae. Here, we investigated 70 skulls among all extant ctenodactylid genera (Ctenodactylus, Felovia, Massoutiera and Pectinator) by using X-ray conventional and synchrotron microtomography in order to solve and discuss these dental issues. Our study clearly indicates that Massoutiera, Felovia and Ctenodactylus differ from Pectinator not only by a more derived dentition, but also by a more derived eruptive sequence. In addition to molars, their dentition only includes the fourth deciduous premolars, and no longer bears permanent premolars, conversely to Pectinator. Moreover, we found that these premolars are lost during adulthood, because of mesial drift of molars. Mesial drift is a striking mechanism involving migration of teeth allowed by both bone remodeling and dental resorption. This dental innovation is to date poorly known in rodents, since it is only the second report described. Interestingly, we noted that dental drift in rodents is always associated with high-crowned teeth favoring molar size enlargement. It can thus represent another adaptation to withstand high wear, inasmuch as these rodents inhabit desert environments where dust is abundant. A more accurate study of mesial drift in rodents would be very promising from evolutionary, biological and orthodontic points of view. PMID:23185576

  14. Paleoparasitological Findings from Rodent Coprolites Dated At 500 CE Sassanid Era in Archeological Site of Chehrabad(Douzlakh, Salt Mine Northwestern Iran.

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    Gholamreza Mowlavi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, paleoparasitological findings from rodent excrements obtained from Chehrabad Salt Mine archeological site located in northwest of Iran are demonstrated and discussed.Chehrabad Salt Mine archeological site located in northwest of Iran, dated to the Achaemenid (mid 1(st mill. BCE and to Sassanid (3(rd cent. - 7(th cent. CE period, is a unique study area to investigate parasites in the past millenniums in Iran. Rodent coprolites obtained from this archeological site were thoroughly analyzed for parasite eggs using TSP re-hydration technique.Specimen analyzed were attributed to juvenile and adult rats based on their apparent morphology comparing with the modern dried pellets of Muridea family. Helminth eggs retrieved from two positive pellets were identified as Trichosomoides crassicauda, yphacia sp. and Trichuris sp.The present paper discusses the first paleoparasitological findings of rodent gastrointestinal helminthes in Iran along with possible favorite items to rats in ancient Chehrabad Salt Mine.

  15. Paleoparasitological Findings from Rodent Coprolites Dated At 500 CE Sassanid Era in Archeological Site of Chehrabad(Douzlakh), Salt Mine Northwestern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mowlavi, Gholamreza; Makki, Mahsasadat; Mobedi, Iraj; Araujo, Adauto; Aali, Abolfazl; Stollner, Thomas; Rezaeian, Mostafa; Boenke, Nicole; Hassanpour, Gholamreza; Masoumian, Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, paleoparasitological findings from rodent excrements obtained from Chehrabad Salt Mine archeological site located in northwest of Iran are demonstrated and discussed. Chehrabad Salt Mine archeological site located in northwest of Iran, dated to the Achaemenid (mid 1(st) mill. BCE) and to Sassanid (3(rd) cent. - 7(th) cent. CE) period, is a unique study area to investigate parasites in the past millenniums in Iran. Rodent coprolites obtained from this archeological site were thoroughly analyzed for parasite eggs using TSP re-hydration technique. Specimen analyzed were attributed to juvenile and adult rats based on their apparent morphology comparing with the modern dried pellets of Muridea family. Helminth eggs retrieved from two positive pellets were identified as Trichosomoides crassicauda, yphacia sp. and Trichuris sp. The present paper discusses the first paleoparasitological findings of rodent gastrointestinal helminthes in Iran along with possible favorite items to rats in ancient Chehrabad Salt Mine.

  16. Field and laboratory studies provide insights into the meaning of day-time activity in a subterranean rodent (Ctenomys aff. knighti, the tuco-tuco.

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    Barbara M Tomotani

    Full Text Available South American subterranean rodents (Ctenomys aff. knighti, commonly known as tuco-tucos, display nocturnal, wheel-running behavior under light-dark (LD conditions, and free-running periods >24 h in constant darkness (DD. However, several reports in the field suggested that a substantial amount of activity occurs during daylight hours, leading us to question whether circadian entrainment in the laboratory accurately reflects behavior in natural conditions. We compared circadian patterns of locomotor activity in DD of animals previously entrained to full laboratory LD cycles (LD12:12 with those of animals that were trapped directly from the field. In both cases, activity onsets in DD immediately reflected the previous dark onset or sundown. Furthermore, freerunning periods upon release into DD were close to 24 h indicating aftereffects of prior entrainment, similarly in both conditions. No difference was detected in the phase of activity measured with and without access to a running wheel. However, when individuals were observed continuously during daylight hours in a semi-natural enclosure, they emerged above-ground on a daily basis. These day-time activities consisted of foraging and burrow maintenance, suggesting that the designation of this species as nocturnal might be inaccurate in the field. Our study of a solitary subterranean species suggests that the circadian clock is entrained similarly under field and laboratory conditions and that day-time activity expressed only in the field is required for foraging and may not be time-dictated by the circadian pacemaker.

  17. Field and Laboratory Studies Provide Insights into the Meaning of Day-Time Activity in a Subterranean Rodent (Ctenomys aff. knighti), the Tuco-Tuco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomotani, Barbara M.; Flores, Danilo E. F. L.; Tachinardi, Patrícia; Paliza, José D.; Oda, Gisele A.; Valentinuzzi, Verônica S.

    2012-01-01

    South American subterranean rodents (Ctenomys aff. knighti), commonly known as tuco-tucos, display nocturnal, wheel-running behavior under light-dark (LD) conditions, and free-running periods >24 h in constant darkness (DD). However, several reports in the field suggested that a substantial amount of activity occurs during daylight hours, leading us to question whether circadian entrainment in the laboratory accurately reflects behavior in natural conditions. We compared circadian patterns of locomotor activity in DD of animals previously entrained to full laboratory LD cycles (LD12∶12) with those of animals that were trapped directly from the field. In both cases, activity onsets in DD immediately reflected the previous dark onset or sundown. Furthermore, freerunning periods upon release into DD were close to 24 h indicating aftereffects of prior entrainment, similarly in both conditions. No difference was detected in the phase of activity measured with and without access to a running wheel. However, when individuals were observed continuously during daylight hours in a semi-natural enclosure, they emerged above-ground on a daily basis. These day-time activities consisted of foraging and burrow maintenance, suggesting that the designation of this species as nocturnal might be inaccurate in the field. Our study of a solitary subterranean species suggests that the circadian clock is entrained similarly under field and laboratory conditions and that day-time activity expressed only in the field is required for foraging and may not be time-dictated by the circadian pacemaker. PMID:22649565

  18. Lassa fever or lassa hemorrhagic fever risk to humans from rodent-borne zoonoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Bahnasawy, Mamdouh M; Megahed, Laila Abdel-Mawla; Abdalla Saleh, Hala Ahmed; Morsy, Tosson A

    2015-04-01

    Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) typically manifest as rapidly progressing acute febrile syndromes with profound hemorrhagic manifestations and very high fatality rates. Lassa fever, an acute hemorrhagic fever characterized by fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and chest and abdominal pain. Rodents are important reservoirs of rodent-borne zoonosis worldwide. Transmission rodents to humans occur by aerosol spread, either from the genus Mastomys rodents' excreta (multimammate rat) or through the close contact with infected patients (nosocomial infection). Other rodents of the genera Rattus, Mus, Lemniscomys, and Praomys are incriminated rodents hosts. Now one may ask do the rodents' ectoparasites play a role in Lassa virus zoonotic transmission. This paper summarized the update knowledge on LHV; hopping it might be useful to the clinicians, nursing staff, laboratories' personals as well as those concerned zoonoses from rodents and rodent control.

  19. Toxoplasmosis seroprevalence in urban rodents: a survey in Niamey, Niger

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    Aurelien Mercier

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available A serological survey of Toxoplasma gondii was conducted on 766 domestic and peridomestic rodents from 46 trapping sites throughout the city of Niamey, Niger. A low seroprevalence was found over the whole town with only 1.96% of the rodents found seropositive. However, differences between species were important, ranging from less than 2% in truly commensal Mastomys natalensis, Rattus rattus and Mus musculus, while garden-associated Arvicanthis niloticus displayed 9.1% of seropositive individuals. This is in line with previous studies on tropical rodents - that we reviewed here - which altogether show that Toxoplasma seroprevalence in rodent is highly variable, depending on many factors such as locality and/or species. Moreover, although we were not able to decipher statistically between habitat or species effect, such a contrast between Nile grass rats and the other rodent species points towards a potentially important role of environmental toxoplasmic infection. This would deserve to be further scrutinised since intra-city irrigated cultures are extending in Niamey, thus potentially increasing Toxoplasma circulation in this yet semi-arid region. As far as we are aware of, our study is one of the rare surveys of its kind performed in Sub-Saharan Africa and the first one ever conducted in the Sahel.

  20. Thieving rodents as substitute dispersers of megafaunal seeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Patrick A.; Hirsch, Ben T.; Emsens, Willem-Jan; Zamora-Gutierrez, Veronica; Wikelski, Martin; Kays, Roland

    2012-01-01

    The Neotropics have many plant species that seem to be adapted for seed dispersal by megafauna that went extinct in the late Pleistocene. Given the crucial importance of seed dispersal for plant persistence, it remains a mystery how these plants have survived more than 10,000 y without their mutualist dispersers. Here we present support for the hypothesis that secondary seed dispersal by scatter-hoarding rodents has facilitated the persistence of these large-seeded species. We used miniature radio transmitters to track the dispersal of reputedly megafaunal seeds by Central American agoutis, which scatter-hoard seeds in shallow caches in the soil throughout the forest. We found that seeds were initially cached at mostly short distances and then quickly dug up again. However, rather than eating the recovered seeds, agoutis continued to move and recache the seeds, up to 36 times. Agoutis dispersed an estimated 35% of seeds for >100 m. An estimated 14% of the cached seeds survived to the next year, when a new fruit crop became available to the rodents. Serial video-monitoring of cached seeds revealed that the stepwise dispersal was caused by agoutis repeatedly stealing and recaching each other’s buried seeds. Although previous studies suggest that rodents are poor dispersers, we demonstrate that communities of rodents can in fact provide highly effective long-distance seed dispersal. Our findings suggest that thieving scatter-hoarding rodents could substitute for extinct megafaunal seed dispersers of tropical large-seeded trees. PMID:22802644

  1. [Parasite-host relations of fleas and rodents].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosinina, E F

    1982-01-01

    Not infrequently lice can reach great abundance on rodents. The distribution of lice on animals is uneven. The infection with lice depends not only on the physiological and ecological properties of the host but also on the environmental conditions. The distribution of lice on rodents can be affected by the development of transport communications. If a population of rodents is parasitized by two species of specific lice, they belong to different genera. On single animals only one species of lice occurs as a rule; if two species occur, then one of them is dominant. In this way decreases the interspecific competition between lice. Seasonal and age changes in lice infection are associated with those in host's biology and behaviour under certain climatic conditions. It is clearly displayed in rodents breeding once a year. The infection with lice increase with the rise in rodents abundance. Along with the confirmation of the general rule of poor infection with specific parasites at the borders of the species distribution a case of high infection with lice at the border of the host's distribution was noted. In addition to specific lice, alien species are recorded on small mammals which appear due to exchange of parasites between hosts. Examples are given all conquering new hosts by lice; as a result close species of lice can parasitize phylogenetically distant hosts.

  2. Geographical distribution of rodent-associated hantaviruses in Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantooth, S J; Milazzo, M L; Bradley, R D; Hice, C L; Ceballos, G; Tesh, R B; Fulhorst, C F

    2001-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to increase our knowledge of the geographic distribution and natural host range of hantaviruses in Texas, southeastern New Mexico, and Mexico. Blood samples from 3,225 wild rodents, representing 34 species, were tested for hantavirus antibody (IgG), using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Hantavirus antibody was found in one or more rodents from each of 13 counties in Texas, Otero County in southeastern New Mexico, and Mexico State (central Mexico). The 133 antibody-positive rodents included seven Peromyscus species (P. attwateri, P. boylii, P. hylocetes, P. leucopus, P. maniculatis, P. melanotis, and P. pectoralis), Sigmodon hispidus, Oryzomys palustris, two Reithrodontomys species (R. fulvescens and R. megalotis), Neotoma albigula, and Perognathus merriami. This study provides further evidence that rodent-associated hantaviruses are geographically widely distributed in Texas. The discovery of antibody in P. hylocetes and P. melanotis is evidence that peromyscine rodents in Mexico are naturally associated with viruses belonging to the genus Hantavirus.

  3. Rodents and humans are able to detect the odour of L-Lactate.

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    Valentina Mosienko

    Full Text Available L-Lactate (LL is an essential cellular metabolite which can be used to generate energy. In addition, accumulating evidence suggests that LL is used for inter-cellular signalling. Some LL-sensitive receptors have been identified but we recently proposed that there may be yet another unknown G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR sensitive to LL in the brain. Olfactory receptors (ORs represent the largest family of GPCRs and some of them are expressed outside the olfactory system, including brain, making them interesting candidates for non-olfactory LL signalling. One of the "ectopically" expressed ORs, Olfr78 in mice (Olr59 in rats and OR51E2 in humans, reportedly can be activated by LL. This implies that both rodents and humans should be able to detect the LL odour. Surprisingly, this has never been demonstrated. Here we show that mice can detect the odour of LL in odour detection and habituation-dishabituation tasks, and discriminate it from peppermint and vanilla odours. Behaviour of the Olfr78 null mice and wildtype mice in odour detection task was not different, indicating that rodents are equipped with more than one LL-sensitive OR. Rats were also able to use the smell of LL as a cue in an odour-reward associative learning task. When presented to humans, more than 90% of participants detected a smell of LL in solution. Interestingly, LL was perceived differently than acetate or propionate-LL was preferentially reported as a pleasant sweet scent while acetate and propionate were perceived as repulsive sour/acid smells. Subjective perception of LL smell was different in men and women. Taken together, our data demonstrate that both rodents and humans are able to detect the odour of LL. Moreover, in mice, LL perception is not purely mediated by Olfr78. Discovery of further LL-sensitive OR might shed the light on their contribution to LL signalling in the body.

  4. Epidemiology of pathogenic enterobacteria in humans, livestock, and peridomestic rodents in rural Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bublitz, DeAnna C; Wright, Patricia C; Bodager, Jonathan R; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Bliska, James B; Gillespie, Thomas R

    2014-01-01

    Among the families of enteric bacteria are globally important diarrheal agents. Despite their potential for zoonotic and environmental transmission, few studies have examined the epidemiology of these pathogens in rural systems characterized by extensive overlap among humans, domesticated and peridomestic animals. We investigated patterns of infection with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella enterica, Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia spp. (enterocolitica, and pseudotuberculosis) in Southeastern Madagascar where the potential for the aforementioned interactions is high. In this pilot project we conducted surveys to examine behaviors potentially associated with risk of infection and if infection with specific enterobacteria species was associated with diarrheal disease. PCR was conducted on DNA from human, livestock, and rodent fecal samples from three villages. Overall, human prevalence was highest (77%), followed by rodents (51%) and livestock (18%). Rodents were ∼2.8 times more likely than livestock to carry one of the bacteria. The incidence of individual species varied between villages, with the observation that, E. coli and Shigella spp. were consistently associated with co-infections. As an aggregate, there was a significant risk of infection linked to a water source in one village. Individually, different pathogens were associated with certain behaviors, including: those who had used medication, experienced diarrhea in the past four weeks, or do not use toilets. Different bacteria were associated with an elevated risk of infection for various human activities or characteristics. Certain bacteria may also predispose people to co-infections. These data suggest that a high potential for transmission among these groups, either directly or via contaminated water sources. As these bacteria were most prevalent in humans, it is possible that they are maintained in humans and that transmission to other species is infrequent. Further studies are

  5. Epidemiology of pathogenic enterobacteria in humans, livestock, and peridomestic rodents in rural Madagascar.

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    DeAnna C Bublitz

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Among the families of enteric bacteria are globally important diarrheal agents. Despite their potential for zoonotic and environmental transmission, few studies have examined the epidemiology of these pathogens in rural systems characterized by extensive overlap among humans, domesticated and peridomestic animals. We investigated patterns of infection with Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella enterica, Vibrio cholerae, and Yersinia spp. (enterocolitica, and pseudotuberculosis in Southeastern Madagascar where the potential for the aforementioned interactions is high. In this pilot project we conducted surveys to examine behaviors potentially associated with risk of infection and if infection with specific enterobacteria species was associated with diarrheal disease. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PCR was conducted on DNA from human, livestock, and rodent fecal samples from three villages. Overall, human prevalence was highest (77%, followed by rodents (51% and livestock (18%. Rodents were ∼2.8 times more likely than livestock to carry one of the bacteria. The incidence of individual species varied between villages, with the observation that, E. coli and Shigella spp. were consistently associated with co-infections. As an aggregate, there was a significant risk of infection linked to a water source in one village. Individually, different pathogens were associated with certain behaviors, including: those who had used medication, experienced diarrhea in the past four weeks, or do not use toilets. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Different bacteria were associated with an elevated risk of infection for various human activities or characteristics. Certain bacteria may also predispose people to co-infections. These data suggest that a high potential for transmission among these groups, either directly or via contaminated water sources. As these bacteria were most prevalent in humans, it is possible that they are

  6. Development of rapidly evolving intron markers to estimate multilocus species trees of rodents.

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    Ana Rodríguez-Prieto

    Full Text Available One of the major challenges in the analysis of closely related species, speciation and phylogeography is the identification of variable sequence markers that allow the determination of genealogical relationships in multiple genomic regions using coalescent and species tree approaches. Rodent species represent nearly half of the mammalian diversity, but so far no systematic study has been carried out to detect suitable informative markers for this group. Here, we used a bioinformatic pipeline to extract intron sequences from rodent genomes available in databases and applied a series of filters that allowed the identification of 208 introns that adequately fulfilled several criteria for these studies. The main required characteristics of the introns were that they had the maximum possible mutation rates, that they were part of single-copy genes, that they had an appropriate sequence length for amplification, and that they were flanked by exons with suitable regions for primer design. In addition, in order to determine the validity of this approach, we chose ten of these introns for primer design and tested them in a panel of eleven rodent species belonging to different representative families. We show that all these introns can be amplified in the majority of species and that, overall, 79% of the amplifications worked with minimum optimization of the annealing temperature. In addition, we confirmed for a pair of sister species the relatively high level of sequence divergence of these introns. Therefore, we provide here a set of adequate intron markers that can be applied to different species of Rodentia for their use in studies that require significant sequence variability.

  7. Expression of social behaviors of C57BL/6J versus BTBR inbred mouse strains in the visible burrow system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pobbe, Roger L. H.; Pearson, Brandon L.; Defensor, Erwin B.; Bolivar, Valerie J.; Blanchard, D. Caroline; Blanchard, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    The core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) include deficits in social interaction, impaired communication, and repetitive behaviors with restricted interests. Mouse models with behavioral phenotypes relevant to these core symptoms offer an experimental approach to advance the investigation of genes associated with ASD. Previous findings demonstrate that BTBR T+ tf/J (BTBR) is an inbred mouse strain that shows robust behavioral phenotypes with analogies to all three of the diagnostic symptoms of ASD. In the present study, we investigated the expression of social behaviors in a semi-natural visible burrow system (VBS), during colony formation and maintenance in groups comprising three adult male mice of the same strain, either C57BL/6J (B6) or BTBR. For comparative purposes, an extensively investigated three-chambered test was subsequently used to assess social approach in both strains. The effects of strain on these two situations were consistent and highly significant. In the VBS, BTBR mice showed reductions in all interactive behaviors: approach (front and back), flight, chase/follow, allo-grooming and huddling, along with increases in self-grooming and alone, as compared to B6. These results were corroborated in the three-chambered test: in contrast to B6, male BTBR mice failed to spend more time in the side of the test box containing the unfamiliar CD-1 mouse. Overall, the present data indicates that the strain profile for BTBR mice, including consistent social deficits and high levels of repetitive self-grooming, models multiple components of the ASD phenotype. PMID:20600340

  8. The impact of olive leaves, mosses and the burrowing of wild boars on soil erosion in olive orchards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerdà, Artemi; Nadal-Romero, Estela; Brevik, Eric C.; Pulido, Manuel; Maestre, Fermando T.; Taguas, Tani; Novara, Agata; Keesstra, Saskia; Cammeraat, Erik; Parras-Alcantara, Luis

    2017-04-01

    The main factor controlling soil erosion is vegetation cover (Cerdà and Doerr, 2005; Van Eck et al., 2016; van Hall et al., 2017). However, due to the removal of the vegetation in agricultural fields and the increase in soil erosion rates other factors arise as keys to control soil erosion rates and mechanisms (Ochoa-Cueva et al., 2016; Rodrigo Comino et al., 2016). Soil erosion rates in olive plantations are high due to the lack of vegetation cover as a consequence of intensive tillage and herbicides abuse (Taguas et al., 2015; Parras-Alcantara et al., 2016; Zema et al., 2016). This is also found in vineyards and other orchards around the world (Prosdocimi et al., 2016; Rodrígo Comino et al., 2016), and the reason to look for sustainable management techniques such as geotextiles, mulches or catch crops that will stop the accelerated soil erosion (Giménez Morera et al., 2010; Mwango et al., 2016; Nawaz et al., 2016a; 2016b; Nishigaki et al., 2016). All these management techniques are difficult to apply and have high costs. Natural solutions such as weeds to provide cover are very efficient and have no cost (Cerdà et al., 2016; Keesstra et al., 2016) and they can be adapted to the management of the farmers. In olive orchards under herbicide treatment there is a natural growth of mosses and the development of a litter layer composed of olive leaves. There is also burrowing by wild boars that "ploughs" the soil. This research evaluates the impact of the three items above on soil erosion. The measurements were carried out using simulated rainfall experiments over an area of 0.25 m2 at a rainfall rate of 55 mm h-1 during one hour (Cerdà, 1996; Prosdocimi et al., 2017) on 15 plots of mosses, 15 wild boar burrowed surfaces and 15 leaf covered surfaces during the winter of 2015. The soil erosion rates were 34 times greater in the wild boar burrowed soils, meanwhile the litter and mosses covered soils showed similar erosional responses and the soil erosion rates were

  9. Antenatal Maternal Hypoxia: Criterion for Fetal Growth Restriction in Rodents

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    Amy E Jang

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Rodents are a useful model for life science research. Accumulating evidence suggests that the offspring of mice and rats suffer from similar disorders as humans when exposed to hypoxia during pregnancy. Importantly, with antenatal hypoxic exposure, human neonates demonstrate low birth weight or growth restriction. Similarly, with antenatal hypoxic exposure rodents also demonstrate the fetal growth restriction (FGR. Surprisingly, there is no consensus on the minimum duration or degree of hypoxic exposure required to cause FGR in rodents. Thus, we have reviewed the available literature in an attempt to answer these questions. Based on studies in rats, birth weight reduction of 31% corresponded to 10th percentile reduction in birth weight curve. With the similar criterion (10th percentile, in mice 3 days or more and in rats 7 days or more of 14% or lower hypoxia administration was required to produce statistically significant FGR.

  10. Imaging conditioned fear circuitry using awake rodent fMRI.

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    Nichola M Brydges

    Full Text Available Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is a powerful method for exploring emotional and cognitive brain responses in humans. However rodent fMRI has not previously been applied to the analysis of learned behaviour in awake animals, limiting its use as a translational tool. Here we have developed a novel paradigm for studying brain activation in awake rats responding to conditioned stimuli using fMRI. Using this method we show activation of the amygdala and related fear circuitry in response to a fear-conditioned stimulus and demonstrate that the magnitude of fear circuitry activation is increased following early life stress, a rodent model of affective disorders. This technique provides a new translatable method for testing environmental, genetic and pharmacological manipulations on emotional and cognitive processes in awake rodent models.

  11. Anatomy and Histology of Rodent and Human Major Salivary Glands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Osamu; Mizobe, Kenichi; Bando, Yasuhiko; Sakiyama, Koji

    2012-01-01

    Major salivary glands of both humans and rodents consist of three pairs of macroscopic glands: parotid, submandibular, and sublingual. These glands secrete serous, mucous or mixed saliva via the proper main excretory ducts connecting the glandular bodies with the oral cavity. A series of discoveries about the salivary ducts in the 17th century by Niels Stensen (1638–1686), Thomas Wharton (1614–1673), and Caspar Bartholin (1655–1738) established the concept of exocrine secretion as well as salivary glands. Recent investigations have revealed the endocrine functions of parotin and a variety of cell growth factors produced by salivary glands. The present review aims to describe macroscopic findings on the major salivary glands of rodents and the microscopic differences between those of humans and rodents, which review should be of interest to those researchers studying salivary glands. PMID:23209333

  12. Rodent-Pika Parasite Spillover in Western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Patrick; Roth, Tara; Foley, Janet; Ray, Chris

    2017-09-01

    Competition during the Cenozoic expansion of the Rodentia may have contributed to ecological niche reduction of pikas, which are now increasingly under threat as their habitat degrades under global climate change, while some rodents expand their ranges and overlap with pikas. Range overlap carries the possibility of disease spillover. Contemporary North American pikas are cold-adapted and relegated primarily to alpine environments where they subsist on relatively low-quality herbaceous diet. Yet their evolutionary ancestors were distributed geographically even into the subtropics. Here we examine historical and contemporary records of fleas on pikas (Ochotona princeps) from sites at different elevations in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest. We calculated indices of diversity from each site and spillover fraction, i.e., the proportion of fleas on pikas that have a preference for rodents. Across this range there are four pika specialist flea species, with no more than two of these per site, and 18 characteristically rodent flea species. Diversity is greatest in the Pacific Northwest and lowest in Montana. Rodent flea spillover onto pikas declines with elevation in the Rocky Mountains. These data provide evidence that rodents and pikas interact enough to allow considerable parasite spillover, and which could be exacerbated as pikas are increasingly stressed by climate change at lower elevations some rodent species expand up-elevation in the face of increasing global warming. With global climate change, both biotic and abiotic niche shrinkage demand our attention. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Interactions between multiple helminths and the gut microbiota in wild rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreisinger, Jakub; Bastien, Géraldine; Hauffe, Heidi C; Marchesi, Julian; Perkins, Sarah E

    2015-01-01

    The gut microbiota is vital to host health and, as such, it is important to elucidate the mechanisms altering its composition and diversity. Intestinal helminths are host immunomodulators and have evolved both temporally and spatially in close association with the gut microbiota, resulting in potential mechanistic interplay. Host–helminth and host–microbiota interactions are comparatively well-examined, unlike microbiota–helminth relationships, which typically focus on experimental infection with a single helminth species in laboratory animals. Here, in addition to a review of the literature on helminth–microbiota interactions, we examined empirically the association between microbiota diversity and composition and natural infection of multiple helminth species in wild mice (Apodemus flavicollis), using 16S rRNA gene catalogues (metataxonomics). In general, helminth presence is linked with high microbiota diversity, which may confer health benefits to the host. Within our wild rodent system variation in the composition and abundance of gut microbial taxa associated with helminths was specific to each helminth species and occurred both up- and downstream of a given helminth's niche (gut position). The most pronounced helminth–microbiota association was between the presence of tapeworms in the small intestine and increased S24–7 (Bacteroidetes) family in the stomach. Helminths clearly have the potential to alter gut homeostasis. Free-living rodents with a diverse helminth community offer a useful model system that enables both correlative (this study) and manipulative inference to elucidate helminth–microbiota interactions. PMID:26150661

  14. Molecular analysis of a 11 700-year-old rodent midden from the Atacama Desert, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuch, M.; Rohland, N.; Betancourt, J.L.; Latorre, C.; Steppan, S.; Poinar, H.N.

    2002-01-01

    DNA was extracted from an 11 700-year-old rodent midden from the Atacama Desert, Chile and the chloroplast and animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) gene sequences were analysed to investigate the floral environment surrounding the midden, and the identity of the midden agent. The plant sequences, together with the macroscopic identifications, suggest the presence of 13 plant families and three orders that no longer exist today at the midden locality, and thus point to a much more diverse and humid climate 11 700 years ago. The mtDNA sequences suggest the presence of at least four different vertebrates, which have been putatively identified as a camelid (vicuna), two rodents (Phyllotis and Abrocoma), and a cardinal bird (Passeriformes). To identify the midden agent, DNA was extracted from pooled faecal pellets, three small overlapping fragments of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were amplified and multiple clones were sequenced. These results were analysed along with complete cytochrome b sequences for several modern Phyllotis species to place the midden sequence phylogenetically. The results identified the midden agent as belonging to an ancestral P. limatus. Today, P. limatus is not found at the midden locality but it can be found 100 km to the north, indicating at least a small range shift. The more extensive sampling of modern Phyllotis reinforces the suggestion that P. limatus is recently derived from a peripheral isolate.

  15. Homeobox genes in the rodent pineal gland: roles in development and phenotype maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rath, Martin F; Rohde, Kristian; Klein, David C; Møller, Morten

    2013-06-01

    The pineal gland is a neuroendocrine gland responsible for nocturnal synthesis of melatonin. During early development of the rodent pineal gland from the roof of the diencephalon, homeobox genes of the orthodenticle homeobox (Otx)- and paired box (Pax)-families are expressed and are essential for normal pineal development consistent with the well-established role that homeobox genes play in developmental processes. However, the pineal gland appears to be unusual because strong homeobox gene expression persists in the pineal gland of the adult brain. Accordingly, in addition to developmental functions, homeobox genes appear to be key regulators in postnatal phenotype maintenance in this tissue. In this paper, we review ontogenetic and phylogenetic aspects of pineal development and recent progress in understanding the involvement of homebox genes in rodent pineal development and adult function. A working model is proposed for understanding the sequential action of homeobox genes in controlling development and mature circadian function of the mammalian pinealocyte based on knowledge from detailed developmental and daily gene expression analyses in rats, the pineal phenotypes of homebox gene-deficient mice and studies on development of the retinal photoreceptor; the pinealocyte and retinal photoreceptor share features not seen in other tissues and are likely to have evolved from the same ancestral photodetector cell.

  16. The bioeconomics of controlling an African rodent pest species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skonhoft, Anders; Leirs, Herwig; Andreassen, Harry P

    2006-01-01

    The paper treats the economy of controlling an African pest rodent, the multimammate rat, causing major damage in maize production. An ecological population model is presented and used as a basis for the economic analyses carried out at the village level using data from Tanzania. This model...... of the dry season/beginning of rainy season. The paper demonstrates that changing from today's practice of symptomatic treatment when heavy rodent damage is noticed to a practice where the calendar is emphasized, may substantially improve the economic conditions for the maize producing farmers. This main...... conclusion is highly robust and not much affected by changing prices of maize production....

  17. Discovery of Novel Alphacoronaviruses in European Rodents and Shrews

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theocharis Tsoleridis

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Eight hundred and thirteen European rodents and shrews encompassing seven different species were screened for alphacoronaviruses using PCR detection. Novel alphacoronaviruses were detected in the species Rattus norvegicus, Microtus agrestis, Sorex araneus and Myodes glareolus. These, together with the recently described Lucheng virus found in China, form a distinct rodent/shrew-specific clade within the coronavirus phylogeny. Across a highly conserved region of the viral polymerase gene, the new members of this clade were up to 22% dissimilar at the nucleotide level to the previously described Lucheng virus. As such they might represent distinct species of alphacoronaviruses. These data greatly extend our knowledge of wildlife reservoirs of alphacoronaviruses.

  18. Stress, social behavior, and resilience: insights from rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Annaliese K; Kaufer, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    The neurobiology of stress and the neurobiology of social behavior are deeply intertwined. The social environment interacts with stress on almost every front: social interactions can be potent stressors; they can buffer the response to an external stressor; and social behavior often changes in response to stressful life experience. This review explores mechanistic and behavioral links between stress, anxiety, resilience, and social behavior in rodents, with particular attention to different social contexts. We consider variation between several different rodent species and make connections to research on humans and non-human primates.

  19. Museum specimen data predict crop damage by tropical rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Cordero, V; Martínez-Meyer, E

    2000-06-20

    Museum collections constitute a massive store of information on biological diversity. We used museum specimen data to generate ecological niche models that provide predictions of geographic distributions of native rodent pest species and agricultural census data that summarize the geographic distribution of nine crops in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, as well as crop losses between planting and harvest. Herein, we show that crop damage is related significantly to the predicted presence of rodent species for seven of nine crops. Museum collections may thus provide important baseline information for designing land-use and agricultural pest-management programs.

  20. Farmer survey in the hinterland of Kisangani (Democratic Republic of Congo) on rodent crop damage and rodent control techniques used

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Drazo, Nicaise Amundala; Kennis, Jan; Leirs, Herwig

    2008-01-01

    We conducted a survey on rodent crop damage among farmers in the hinterland of Kisangani (Democratic Republic of Congo). We studied the amount of crop damage, the rodent groups causing crop damage, the growth stages affected and the control techniques used. We conducted this survey in three...... municipalities using a standard questionnaire form translated into local languages, between November 2005 and June 2006 and during July 2007. We used the Quotas method and interviewed 70 households per municipality. Farmers indicated rodent groups implicated in crop damage on color photographs. Two types...... of survey techniques were used: individual and focus-group surveys. The sugar cane rat, Thryonomys sp. and Lemniscomys striatus caused most damage to crops, but inside granaries, Rattus rattus was the primary pest species eating stored food supplies and causing damage to stored goods. Cassava and maize were...

  1. Infusion of low dose glyceryl trinitrate has no consistent effect on burrowing behavior, running wheel activity and light sensitivity in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Sarah L T; Petersen, Steffen; Sørensen, Dorte B; Olesen, Jes; Jansen-Olesen, Inger

    2016-01-01

    Glyceryl trinitrate induces headache during infusion to man and migraine patients develop an additional migraine attack a few hours after the infusion. Recently, we have moved this model into rat with the intention of developing an animal model predictive of migraine therapy. In the current paper we have studied the effect of glyceryl trinitrate infusion on three different rat behaviors. The stability of burrowing behavior, running wheel activity and light sensitivity towards repeated testing was evaluated also with respect to estrous cycle. Finally, the effect of glyceryl trinitrate on these behaviors in female rats was observed. Burrowing behavior and running wheel activity were stable in the individual rat between experiments. The burrowing behavior was significantly affected by the stage of estrous cycle. The other assays were stable throughout the cycle. None of the three behavioral tests were altered by glyceryl trinitrate infusion. In the light-dark box, some batches of rats showed light sensitivity after treatment with glyceryl trinitrate but it could not be repeated in other batches of rats. We have investigated the stability towards repeated testing and the effect of i.v. glyceryl trinitrate infusion to awake rats in three behavioral assays. Of the assays evaluated, only light sensitivity was capable of detecting changes after glyceryl trinitrate infusion but, this was not repeatable. Thus, the infusion of a low dose glyceryl trinitrate to concious rats together with the chosen behavioral tests is not a robust setup for studying immediate GTN induced headache behavior in rats. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Effects of human disturbance on a burrow nesting seabird Efectos de la presencia de humanos en aves marinas que anidan en madrigueras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri V. Albores-Barajas

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available During 2004, we followed 72 natural burrows to determine the effects of disturbance on breeding success of Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus. We used distance from a human settlement or path in the analysis of disturbance. Birds whose burrows were closer to the path or the village had a higher rate of nest abandonment and lower breeding success compared to birds nesting further away from the path or the village. Also, older and more experienced individuals represented a larger proportion of the breeding population on less disturbed areas than on highly disturbed ones, probably as older individuals tend to arrive earlier at the breeding grounds, and failed breeders may change burrow sites to move away from disturbance. P. aleuticus are adversely affected by human activity at colonies even if birds are not handled and burrows are not opened, and this has implications for conservation, and planning of ecotourism. On the long term, this can have negative consequences for this species and others with similar characteristics.Durante el 2004 seguimos 72 nidos de la alcuela (Ptychoramphus aleuticus para determinar los efectos de disturbio en el éxito reproductivo. Utilizamos la distancia del nido a áreas asentamientos humanos o al camino como medidas de disturbio. Los nidos que estaban más cerca de los asentamientos o del camino tuvieron una tasa de abandono mayor y un éxito reproductivo menor en comparación con los nidos que estaban más alejados de las fuentes de disturbio. También observamos que en las zonas menos expuestas la proporción de adultos, con mayor experiencia, era más alta, posiblemente porque los individuos con mayor experiencia llegan antes a la zona de anidación. Las alcuelas son afectadas negativamente por la presencia de los humanos y sus actividades, aunque las aves no entren en contacto directo con los humanos. A largo plazo, esto puede acarrear consecuencias graves para esta especie y otras con caracter

  3. Presence of the fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Westwood) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) stimulates burrowing behavior by larvae of the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) (Diptera: Psychodidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harvey, Jeffrey A. [Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Heteren (Netherlands). Dept. of Terrestrial Ecology; Hamilton, James G.C.; Ward, Richard D. [University of Keele, Staffordshire (United Kingdom). Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology. Dept. of Biological Sciences

    2010-01-15

    The sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis (Lutz and Neiva) vectors leishmaniasis in the neotropics. Although much is known about the biology of adult flies, little is known about interactions with its natural enemies. Here, we examined behavior of larvae of L4 L. longipalpis on a soil substrate when exposed to the fire ant Solenopsis invicata (Westwood). When ants were absent, most larvae tended to remain at or close to the soil surface, but when ants were present the larvae burrowed into the soil. Sandflies seek refuges in the presence of generalist predators, thus rendering them immune to attack from many potential enemies. (author)

  4. Metapeachia schlenzae sp. nov. (Cnidaria: Actiniaria: Haloclavidae) a new burrowing sea anemone from Brazil, with a discussion of the genus Metapeachia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusmão, Luciana C

    2016-02-02

    The diversity of burrowing sea anemones from Brazil is poorly known with only three species recorded. Metapeachia schlenzae sp. nov. is described from specimens collected in the intertidal zone of São Sebastião and Cabo Frio in the southeastern coast of Brazil. Metapeachia schlenzae sp. nov. is the second species described for the genus and the second haloclavid recorded from Brazil. A comparison between Metapeachia schlenzae sp. nov. and Metapeachia tropica, the type species of the genus, is included. The two valid species of Metapeachia differ in the morphology of the conchula, internal anatomy, cnidae and geographical distribution.

  5. Family Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Family therapy Overview By Mayo Clinic Staff Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) that can help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. Family therapy is usually provided ...

  6. Dissolved families

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christoffersen, Mogens

    The situation in the family preceding a family separation is studied here, to identify risk factors for family dissolution. Information registers covering prospective statistics about health aspects, demographic variables, family violence, self-destructive behaviour, unemployment, and the spousal...

  7. Genetic characterization of commensal Escherichia coli isolated from laboratory rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loong, Shih Keng; Mahfodz, Nur Hidayana; Che Mat Seri, Nurul Asma Anati; Mohamad Wali, Haryanti Azura; Abd Gani, Syahar Amir; Wong, Pooi-Fong; AbuBakar, Sazaly

    2016-01-01

    Escherichia coli, a commensal in the intestines of vertebrates, is capable of colonizing many different hosts and the environment. Commensal E. coli strains are believed to be the precursor of pathogenic strains by means of acquisition of antimicrobial resistant and virulence genes. Laboratory rodents are inherently susceptible to numerous known infectious agents, which could transfer virulence determinants to commensal E. coli. Hence, in this study, the genetic structure of commensal E. coli found in laboratory rodents and their antimicrobial resistance profiles were investigated. E. coli strains belonging to phylogroup A were the predominant strain obtained from the animals used in the study. Four novel sequence types (ST746, ST747, ST748 and ST749) were discovered using the multi locus sequence typing, together with one common ST357 in the gastrointestinal tract, liver and, the trachea and lung. Serotyping demonstrated that these commensal E. coli strains were non-Shiga toxin-producers. Phenotypic and genotypic analyses of extended spectrum beta lactamases were also negative. These findings implied that the E. coli strains recovered from the laboratory rodents were truly commensal in nature. Further study is required to investigate the possible influence of gender on the susceptibility of hosts to E. coli colonization in laboratory rodents.

  8. Tick-borne agents in rodents, China, 2004-2006

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Zhan (Lin); W.C. Cao (Wu Chun); C.Y. Chu (Chen); B.G. Jiang; F. Zhang (Fang); L.J. Liu (Wei); J.S. Dumler (Stephen); X-M. Wu (Xiao-Ming); S-Q. Zuo (Shu-Qing); H.N. Huang; Q.M. Zhao; N. Jia (Na); H. Yang (Hong); J.H. Richardus (Jan Hendrik); J.D.F. Habbema (Dik)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractA total of 705 rodents from 6 provinces and autonomous regions of mainland People's Republic of China were tested by PCRs for tick-borne agents (Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, spotted fever group rickettsiae, and Francisella tularensis). Infection rates were

  9. Foraging behaviour of two rodent species inhabiting a kopje (rocky ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We employed patch use theory to evaluate how several environmental factors influence the foraging behaviour of two rodent species: Grammomys dolichurus and Acomys cahirinus. Foraging efficiency was determined by measuring the remaining food in artificial food patches (giving-up densities: GUDs) from two ...

  10. The biology of arboreal rodents in Douglas-fir forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew B. Carey

    1991-01-01

    Arboreal rodents in Douglas-fir forests west of the Cascade crest in Oregon and Washington include (listed in decreasing order of dependence on trees) red tree vole (Phenacomys longicaucfus), northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus), Douglas' squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii), dusky-footed woodrat...

  11. Behavioural studies on some Rhodesian Rodents | Choate | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Field studies (Lake Kariba shoreline and Salisbury) and experiments with a captive colony of 12 species of Rhodesian rodents were undertaken for a period of three years. Comparative behavioural data are presented here with special reference to den and nest behaviour, group and territorial behaviour, reproductive and ...

  12. Ectoparasite diversity on rodents at De Hoop Nature Reserve ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fleas, lice, mites and ticks were collected from 41 Rhabdomys pumilio and seven Otomys irroratus at De Hoop Nature Reserve in theWestern Cape Province of South Africa. The aims of the study were firstly to quantify parasite abundance and to record the species richness on the rodents. Secondly to record the parasite ...

  13. Helminthes parasites of rodents caught around human habitats in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Four groups of helminthes, a trematode species, two species of cestodes, four species of nematodes and one species of an acanthocephalan were encountered in the rodents. The prevalence rates for the respective groups of helminthes were 11.61%, 25.00%, 33.93%, and 8.93%. The worm burdens per infected host were ...

  14. Prevalence of leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis: a study of rodents ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis are among understudied zoonotic diseases that are also not diagnosed routinely in Tanzania. Humans get leptospirosis and toxoplasmosis through contact with an environment contaminated with Leptospira bacteria and Toxoplasma protozoa from reservoir hosts, which are rodents and ...

  15. Seasonal Population Dynamics of Rodents of Mount Chilalo, Arsi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A study on seasonal population dynamics of rodents was carried out on Mount Chilalo from August, 2007 to April, 2008. Six habitats, namely grassland, bush land, montane forest, Erica forest, Afroalpine forest and moor land were identified to carry out live and snap trapping during wet and dry seasons in randomly selected ...

  16. Rodent damage to natural and replanted mountain forest regeneration

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Heroldová, Marta; Bryja, Josef; Jánová, Eva; Suchomel, J.; Homolka, Miloslav

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 2012, č. 872536 (2012), s. 872536 ISSN 1537-744X R&D Projects: GA MZe QH72075 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : small rodents * forest regeneration Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.730, year: 2012

  17. Rodents and Shrews as Vectors of Zoonotic Spirochetes and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Blood samples were collected from the captured animals and screened for infectious agents of public health importance, including; Trypanosoma spp., Plasmodium spp., Borrelia spp. and Bacillus spp. Out of 4,963 blood smears examined, 424 (8.5%) were from shrews and 4,539 (91.5%) were from rodents. Trypanosoma ...

  18. 40 CFR 798.5450 - Rodent dominant lethal assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... CONTROL ACT (CONTINUED) HEALTH EFFECTS TESTING GUIDELINES Genetic Toxicity § 798.5450 Rodent dominant... methanesulfonate. (d) Test method—(1) Principle. Generally, male animals are exposed to the test substance and... determine the total number of implants and the number of live and dead embryos. (3) Animal selection—(i...

  19. 40 CFR 798.5460 - Rodent heritable translocation assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT (CONTINUED) HEALTH EFFECTS TESTING GUIDELINES Genetic Toxicity § 798.5460 Rodent... fertile animals for cytological confirmation as translocation heterozygotes. (3) Animal selection—(i... animals shall be used. (iii) Number. (A) The number of male animals necessary is determined by the...

  20. Food deprivation and drinking in two African rodents, Mastomys ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1986-02-12

    Feb 12, 1986 ... Food deprivation and drinking in two African rodents, Mastomys natalensis and ... therefore able to survive for longer on a given energy in- ... drinking). No adaptive explanation was advanced re- garding these trends, but a hypothesis was proposed which predicted similar responses in other mesophilic.

  1. Blood protozoan parasites of rodents in Jos, Plateau State, Nigerai ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    One hundred and thirty rodents, comprising nine different species caught from seven different locations in Jos, Nigeria, were examined for blood protozoan parasites, and 82(63.08%) were positive, with Plasmodium 63(48.46%), Trypanosoma 4(3.08%), Toxoplasma 6(4.62%), Babesia 7(5.38%) and Anaplasma 2(1.54%).

  2. Access to the tracheal pulmonary pathway in small rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto S. A. Ribeiro

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The tracheal pulmonary route is used in diverse experimental models for the study of drugs, infectious agents, and diseases. In view of its importance and associated difficulties, the present article proposes to give research groups up-to-date information on techniques to access the tracheal pulmonary pathway of small rodents.

  3. Lassa serology in natural populations of rodents and horizontal transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fichet-Calvet, Elisabeth; Becker-Ziaja, Beate; Koivogui, Lamine; Günther, Stephan

    2014-09-01

    Lassa virus causes hemorrhagic fever in West Africa. Previously, we demonstrated by PCR screening that only the multimammate mouse, Mastomys natalensis, hosts Lassa virus in Guinea. In the present study, we used the same specimen collection from 17 villages in Coastal, Upper, and Forest Guinea to investigate the Lassa virus serology in the rodent population. The aim was to determine the dynamics of antibody development in M. natalensis and to detect potential spillover infections in other rodent species. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody screening was performed using the indirect immunofluorescence assay with the Guinean Lassa virus strain Bantou 289 as antigen. The overall seroprevalence was 8% (129/1551) with the following rodents testing positive: 109 M. natalensis, seven Mastomys erythroleucus, four Lemniscomys striatus, four Praomys daltoni, three Mus minutoides, and two Praomys rostratus. Nearly all of them (122/129) originated from Bantou, Tanganya, and Gbetaya, where Lassa virus is highly endemic in M. natalensis. The antibody seroprevalence in M. natalensis from this high-endemic area (27%; 108/396) depended on the village, habitat, host age, and host abundance. A main positive factor was age; the maximum seroprevalence reached 50% in older animals. Our data fit with a model implicating that most M. natalensis rodents become horizontally infected, clear the virus within a period significantly shorter than their life span, and develop antibodies. In addition, the detection of antibodies in other species trapped in the habitats of M. natalensis suggests spillover infections.

  4. Factors associated with flea infestation among the different rodent ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Flea infection with the bacterium, Yersinia pestis is acquired from reservoirs which include several rodents and other small mammals. In areas that are endemic of plague, reservoirs of Y. pestis and various flea vectors are responsible for perpetuating existence of the disease. The objective of this cross sectional study was to ...

  5. Preliminary report of shrews and rodents in and around Lake ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Surveys during October 2004 and July 2005, in and around Lake Bogoria National Reserve, Kenya, collected evidence of nine rodent species, and one species of shrew. The diversity of small mammals live-trapped within a single habitat type was low compared to similar studies in Africa. The low diversity may be due to the ...

  6. home range and reproduction of rodents in maynugus irrigation field

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADMIN

    observations were outside irrigated fields. Population dynamics of small mammals in irrigated fields is unique due to the continuous supply of food. Hence this investigation was carried out in agricultural fields at Maynugus, in northern Ethiopia, to understand the home range and reproductive patterns of rodents, and to.

  7. Defensive burying in rodents : ethology, neurobiology and psychopharmacology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, S.F.; Koolhaas, J.M.

    2003-01-01

    Defensive burying refers to the typical rodent behavior of displacing bedding material with vigorous treading-like movements of their forepaws and shoveling movements of their heads directed towards a variety of noxious stimuli that pose a near and immediate threat, such as a wall-mounted

  8. A rodent malarial model of Plasmodium berghei for the development ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated the development of pyrimethamine (pyr) and sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (S/P) resistance in Plasmodium berghei, a rodent parasite in mice using a serial technique (3.50 – 10mg/kg pyrimethamine) and a single treatment course approach with 125/6.25mg/kg S/P. The stability of resistance ...

  9. Sleep EEG spectral analysis in a diurnal rodent : Eutamias sibiricus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    DIJK, DJ; DAAN, S

    1989-01-01

    1. Sleep was studied in the diurnal rodent Eutamias sibiricus, chronically implanted with EEG and EMG electrodes. Analysis of the distribution of wakefulness, nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep over the 24 h period (LD 12:12) showed that total sleep time was 27.5%

  10. Early Eocene rodents (Mammalia) from the Subathu Formation of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    known whether ailuravines could ever spread to the sub-Himalayan region and lived alongside the chapattimyids and yuomyids at any point of time. In otherwise very rich and quite diverse. Vastan vertebrate fauna with plenty of preda- tors, especially snakes, the presence of just one rodent species is rather surprising and ...

  11. Epidemiological role of a rodent in Morocco: Case of cutaneous leishmaniasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Echchakery

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Commensal rodents as well as wild ones may present a potential risk to public health. They are reservoirs or vectors of many pathogens. This review provides an update on their epidemiological role in the spread of leishmaniasis in Morocco. In Morocco, the order Rodentia is represented by 7 families and 32 species of which Rattus norvegicus, Psammomys obesus, Mastomys erythrolecus, Meriones shawi, Meriones crassus and Meriones libycus are considered reservoirs of leishmaniasis in Asia, Midle East and Africa. With the aim to define the extent of zoonotic leishmaniasis risk in Morocco, we represent and discuss the geographical distribution of these potential reservoirs in relation to that of Phlebotomus papatasi, proven vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis by Leishmania major in Morocco.

  12. Temperature and UV-B-insensitive performance in tadpoles of the ornate burrowing frog: an ephemeral pond specialist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Pippa; Cramp, Rebecca L; Franklin, Craig E

    2014-04-15

    Animals may overcome the challenges of temperature instability through behavioural and physiological mechanisms in response to short- and long-term temperature changes. When ectotherms face the challenge of large diel temperature fluctuations, one strategy may be to reduce the thermal sensitivity of key traits in order to maintain performance across the range of temperatures experienced. Additional stressors may limit the ability of animals to respond to these thermally challenging environments through changes to energy partitioning or interactive effects. Ornate burrowing frog (Platyplectrum ornatum) tadpoles develop in shallow ephemeral pools that experience high diel thermal variability (>20°C) and can be exposed to high levels of UV-B radiation. Here, we investigated how development in fluctuating versus stable temperature conditions in the presence of high or low UV-B radiation influences thermal tolerance and thermal sensitivity of performance traits of P. ornatum tadpoles. Tadpoles developed in either stable (24°C) or fluctuating temperatures (18-32°C) under high or low UV-B conditions. Tadpoles were tested for upper critical thermal limits, thermal dependence of resting metabolic rate and maximum burst swimming performance. We hypothesised that developmental responses to thermal fluctuations would increase thermal tolerance and reduce thermal dependence of physiological traits, and that trade-offs in the allocation of metabolic resources towards repairing UV-B-induced damage may limit the ability to maintain performance over the full range of temperatures experienced. We found that P. ornatum tadpoles were thermally insensitive for both burst swimming performance, across the range of temperatures tested, and resting metabolic rate at high temperatures independent of developmental conditions. Maintenance of performance led to a trade-off for growth under fluctuating temperatures and UV-B exposure. Temperature treatment and UV-B exposure had an interactive

  13. Rodent Research on the International Space Station - A Look Forward

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapusta, A. B.; Smithwick, M.; Wigley, C. L.

    2014-01-01

    Rodent Research on the International Space Station (ISS) is one of the highest priority science activities being supported by NASA and is planned for up to two flights per year. The first Rodent Research flight, Rodent Research-1 (RR-1) validates the hardware and basic science operations (dissections and tissue preservation). Subsequent flights will add new capabilities to support rodent research on the ISS. RR-1 will validate the following capabilities: animal husbandry for up to 30 days, video downlink to support animal health checks and scientific analysis, on-orbit dissections, sample preservation in RNA. Later and formalin, sample transfer from formalin to ethanol (hindlimbs), rapid cool-down and subsequent freezing at -80 of tissues and carcasses, sample return and recovery. RR-2, scheduled for SpX-6 (Winter 20142015) will add the following capabilities: animal husbandry for up to 60 days, RFID chip reader for individual animal identification, water refill and food replenishment, anesthesia and recovery, bone densitometry, blood collection (via cardiac puncture), blood separation via centrifugation, soft tissue fixation in formalin with transfer to ethanol, and delivery of injectable drugs that require frozen storage prior to use. Additional capabilities are also planned for future flights and these include but are not limited to male mice, live animal return, and the development of experiment unique equipment to support science requirements for principal investigators that are selected for flight. In addition to the hardware capabilities to support rodent research the Crew Office has implemented a training program in generic rodent skills for all USOS crew members during their pre-assignment training rotation. This class includes training in general animal handling, euthanasia, injections, and dissections. The dissection portion of this training focuses on the dissection of the spleen, liver, kidney with adrenals, brain, eyes, and hindlimbs. By achieving and

  14. Sexual selection and the adaptive evolution of PKDREJ protein in primates and rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicens, Alberto; Gómez Montoto, Laura; Couso-Ferrer, Francisco; Sutton, Keith A; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2015-02-01

    PKDREJ is a testis-specific protein thought to be located on the sperm surface. Functional studies in the mouse revealed that loss of PKDREJ has effects on sperm transport and the ability to undergo an induced acrosome reaction. Thus, PKDREJ has been considered a potential target of post-copulatory sexual selection in the form of sperm competition. Proteins involved in reproductive processes often show accelerated evolution. In many cases, this rapid divergence is promoted by positive selection which may be driven, at least in part, by post-copulatory sexual selection. We analysed the evolution of the PKDREJ protein in primates and rodents and assessed whether PKDREJ divergence is associated with testes mass relative to body mass, which is a reliable proxy of sperm competition levels. Evidence of an association between the evolutionary rate of the PKDREJ gene and testes mass relative to body mass was not found in primates. Among rodents, evidence of positive selection was detected in the Pkdrej gene in the family Cricetidae but not in Muridae. We then assessed whether Pkdrej divergence is associated with episodes of sperm competition in these families. We detected a positive significant correlation between the evolutionary rates of Pkdrej and testes mass relative to body mass in cricetids. These findings constitute the first evidence of post-copulatory sexual selection influencing the evolution of a protein that participates in the mechanisms regulating sperm transport and the acrosome reaction, strongly suggesting that positive selection may act on these fertilization steps, leading to advantages in situations of sperm competition. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Survey of Hymenolepis spp. in pet rodents in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Ovidio, D; Noviello, Emilio; Pepe, P; Del Prete, L; Cringoli, G; Rinaldi, L

    2015-12-01

    We carried out the first survey of Hymenolepis spp. infection in pet rodents in Italy. Fresh fecal samples were collected from 172 pet rodents as follows: guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus; n = 60), squirrels (Callosciurus finlaysonii, Callosciurus prevosti, Tamias striatus, Tamias sibiricus, Sciurus calorinensis; n = 52), hamsters (Phodopus campbelli, Mesocricetus auratus; n = 30), chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera; n = 13), rats (Rattus norvegicus; n = 10), and mice (Mus minutoides; n = 7). These animals were housed either in pet shops or in private houses. All fecal samples were processed using the FLOTAC pellet technique to assess the number of eggs per gram (EPG) of feces. Eggs of Hymenolepis nana were found in 24 out of 172 (13.9 %; 95 % confidence interval = 9.3-20.2 %) pet rodents. Of those rodents, 41.6 % (10/24) were rats (mean EPG = 55.7; range = 2-200), 29.2 % (7/24) mice (mean EPG = 64.5; range = 32-120), 25.0 % (6/24) were chinchillas (mean EPG = 25.5; range = 10-50), and 4.2 % (1/24) hamsters (P. campbelli) (EPG = 86.0). In addition, Hymenolepis diminuta eggs were found in 2 out of 172 (1.2 %; 95 % confidence interval = 0.2-4.6 %) rodents examined, both of which (100 %; 2/2) were pet squirrels (C. prevosti) (mean EPG = 10; range = 4-16). To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of a natural infection of H. diminuta in pet squirrels.

  16. The role of wild rodents in spread and transmission of Coxiella burnetii needs further elucidation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meerburg, B.G.; Reusken, C.B.E.M.

    2011-01-01

    Rodents are known to cause massive food losses, but are also implicated as reservoirs for a wide variety of zoonotic pathogens. This review discusses the contribution of rodents in the spread and transmission of Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q-fever. We found that rodents have been

  17. Can small terrestrial rodents affect the natural regeneration of tropical forest?

    OpenAIRE

    ELEXHAUSEROVÁ, Anna

    2011-01-01

    In my bachelor thesis, I focused on the question if small terrestrial rodents can affect natural regeneration of tropical forest. In this work, I summarize knowledge about rodents acting as dispersers of tree seeds and I mention the factors affecting rodents in treating with seeds.

  18. Siphonaptera of small rodents and marsupials in the Pedra Branca State Park, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Heloiza H; Almeida, Adilson B; Carvalho, Raimundo W; Gomes, Valmir; Serra-Freire, Nicolau M; Quinelato, Igor; Carvalho, Acácio G

    2010-01-01

    In an region of Atlantic Rainforest corresponding to the geopolitical area of the Pedra Branca State Park, Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil, 160 small mammals were captured, of which 64 rodents and 96 marsupials from October 2005 to October 2007. There were collected in these hosts six flea species from three families (Ctenophthalmidae, Rhopalopsyllidae and Pulicidae), totalizing 162 specimens. Adoratopsylla (Tritopsylla) intermedia intermedia was the most common species found, followed by Polygenis (Polygenis) occidentalis occidentalis. Philander frenatus and Micoureus paraguayanus were reported as new hosts to Adoratopsylla (Tritopsylla) intermedia intermedia and P. o. occidentalis was reported for the first time in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

  19. Assessing the risk to green sturgeon from application of imidacloprid to control burrowing shrimp in Willapa Bay, Washington--Part II: controlled exposure studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frew, John A; Grue, Christian E

    2015-11-01

    The activities of 2 species of burrowing shrimp have a negative impact on the growth and survival of oysters reared on intertidal mudflats in Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, Washington (USA). To maintain viable harvests, oyster growers proposed the application of the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid onto harvested beds for the control of burrowing shrimp. In test applications, water column concentrations of imidacloprid were relatively low and dissipated rapidly. The foraging activities of the green sturgeon (listed in the US Endangered Species Act) could result in exposure to higher, more sustained imidacloprid concentrations within sediment porewater and from the consumption of contaminated shrimp. Controlled experiments were conducted using surrogate white sturgeon to determine acute and chronic effect concentrations, to examine overt effects at more environmentally realistic concentrations and durations of exposure, and to assess chemical depuration. The 96-h median lethal concentration was 124 mg L(-1) , and the predicted 35-d no-observed-adverse-effect concentration was 0.7 mg L(-1) . No overt effects were observed following environmentally relevant exposures. Imidacloprid half-life in plasma was greater than 32 h. Measured concentrations of imidacloprid in porewater were significantly lower than the derived acute and chronic effect concentrations for white sturgeon. Exposure risk quotients were calculated using the effect concentrations and estimated environmental exposure. The resulting values were considerably below the level of concern for direct effects from either acute or chronic exposure to an endangered species. © 2015 SETAC.

  20. Assessing the risk to green sturgeon from application of imidacloprid to control burrowing shrimp in Willapa Bay, Washington-Part I: exposure characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frew, John A; Sadilek, Martin; Grue, Christian E

    2015-11-01

    Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor (WA, USA) comprise the largest region of commercial oyster cultivation on the Pacific Coast. The activities of 2 species of burrowing shrimp impair growth and survival of oysters reared on the intertidal mudflats. To maintain viable harvests, the oyster growers have proposed controlling the shrimp by applying the insecticide imidacloprid onto harvested beds. Green sturgeon (listed in the Endangered Species Act) forage on burrowing shrimp and could be exposed to imidacloprid in the sediment porewater and through consumed prey. Studies were conducted to evaluate the likelihood that green sturgeon would be exposed to imidacloprid and to characterize the subsequent environmental exposure. Comparisons between treated and untreated control beds following test application of the insecticide suggested that green sturgeon fed opportunistically on imidacloprid-impaired shrimp. The highest interpolated imidacloprid residue concentrations in field samples following chemical application were 27.8 µg kg(-1) and 31.4 µg kg(-1) in porewater and shrimp, respectively. Results from modeled branchial and dietary uptake, based on conservative assumptions, indicated that the porewater exposure route had the greatest contribution to systemic absorption of imidacloprid. The highest average daily uptake from porewater (177.9 µg kg(-1) body wt) was 9.5-fold greater than total dietary uptake (18.8 µg kg(-1) body wt). Concentrations and durations of exposure would be lower than the levels expected to elicit direct acute or chronic toxic effects. © 2015 SETAC.

  1. Impact of elevated levels of CO2 on animal mediated ecosystem function: the modification of sediment nutrient fluxes by burrowing urchins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widdicombe, S; Beesley, A; Berge, J A; Dashfield, S L; McNeill, C L; Needham, H R; Øxnevad, S

    2013-08-30

    A mesocosm experiment was conducted to quantify the relationships between the presence and body size of two burrowing heart urchins (Brissopsis lyrifera and Echinocardium cordatum) and rates of sediment nutrient flux. Furthermore, the impact of seawater acidification on these relationships was determined during this 40-day exposure experiment. Using carbon dioxide (CO2) gas, seawater was acidified to pHNBS 7.6, 7.2 or 6.8. Control treatments were maintained in natural seawater (pH≈8.0). Under normocapnic conditions, burrowing urchins were seen to reduce the sediment uptake of nitrite or nitrate whilst enhancing the release of silicate and phosphate. In acidified (hypercapnic) treatments, the biological control of biogeochemical cycles by urchins was significantly affected, probably through the combined impacts of high CO2 on nitrifying bacteria, benthic algae and urchin behaviour. This study highlights the importance of considering biological interactions when predicting the consequences of seawater acidification on ecosystem function. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Chilocoris capensis n. sp., the first species of the genus Chilocoris Mayr, 1865 (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Cydnidae) recorded in the Republic of South Africa with an annotated checklist of South African burrower bugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lis, Jerzy A; Lis, Barbara; Compton, Stephen G

    2016-08-08

    Chilocoris capensis n. sp. collected from fallen ripe figs of broom cluster fig Ficus sur Forsskål, 1775, the first burrower bug species of the genus Chilocoris Mayr, 1865 recorded in the Republic of South Africa, is described and compared with Chilocoris laevicollis Horváth, 1919, the morphologically most closely allied Afrotropical species. Additionally, an annotated checklist of burrower bug species recorded in the Republic of South Africa is provided. The known biology of Afrotropical Chilocoris species is briefly summarized.

  3. Colonisation and shedding of Lawsonia intracellularis in experimentally inoculated rodents and in wild rodents on pig farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, A M; Fell, S; Pearson, H; Toribio, J-A

    2011-06-02

    Lawsonia intracellularis is an intracellular bacterium causing proliferative enteropathy in various animal species, and is considered an economically important pathogen of pigs. Rats and mice have been implicated as external vectors for a wide range of pig pathogens, including L. intracellularis. Previous studies have demonstrated L. intracellularis infection and proliferative enteropathy in rodents, but did not show the duration of shedding or the number of L. intracellularis shed by infected rodents, and therefore the infection risk that rodents pose to pigs. In this study, the number of L. intracellularis shed in the faeces and intestinal mucosa of wild rats trapped on pig farms was determined by a quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction assay. The prevalence of L. intracellularis in wild rats trapped on pig farms with endemic proliferative enteropathy (PE) was very high (≥ 70.6%), and large numbers of L. intracellularis were shed (10(10)/g of faeces) in a small proportion of wild rats. The duration of colonisation in laboratory rats and mice challenged with porcine isolates of L. intracellularis was also shown. Faecal shedding of L. intracellularis persisted for 14-21 days in rats and mice that were mildly affected with histological lesions of PE. The humoral immune response to L. intracellularis persisted for 40 days in both species. This study demonstrates that rodents may be an important reservoir of L. intracellularis on piggeries, and hence rodent control is important in disease eradication programs on pig farms. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Anticonvulsant activity of Bacopa monniera in rodents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darpan Kaushik

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacopa monnieri (L, belonging to the Scrophulariaceae family and commonly known as Brahmi, is well known in India for its CNS activity but its neuropharmacological effect has not yet been explored. In the present study, the antiepileptic effects of the plant were investigated. The ethanolic extract of Bacopa monniera was tested for anticonvulsant activity in albino rats, using different convulsive models. The ethanolic extract of leaves produced significant anticonvulsant activity for all the different models studied. The present study shows a probable mechanism of action similar to that of benzodiazepines (GABA agonist. Thus, these results emphasize the need to diversify by using alternative therapeutic approaches pertaining to herbal medicine, where a single easily available plant may provide solutions to several therapeutic challenges, as observed in the anticonvulsant action of ethanolic extract of B. monniera.Bacopa monniera, da família Scrophulariaceae, e comumente denominada Brahmi, é bem conhecida na Índia por sua atividade no Sistema Nervoso Central, mas seu efeito neurofarmacológico não foi, ainda, explorado. No presente estudo, investigaram-se os efeitos antiepilépticos da planta. O extrato etanólico da Bacopa monniera foi testado quanto à atividade anticonvulsivante em ratos albinos, utilizando-se diferentes modelos de convulsão. O extrato etanólico das folhas produziu atividade anticonvulsivante significativa para todos os diferentes modelos estudados. O presente estudo mostra provável mecanismo de ação semelhante ao dos benzodiazepínicos (agonista do GABA. Assim sendo, esses resultados enfatizam a necessidade de diversificar, utilizando-se abordagens terapêuticas alternativas da medicina natural, em que uma planta facilmente disponível pode fornecer soluções para vários desafios terapêuticos, como o observado na ação anticonvulsivante do extrato etanólico de Bacopa monniera.

  5. Family functioning in neglectful families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudin, J M; Polansky, N A; Kilpatrick, A C; Shilton, P

    1996-04-01

    Family functioning in 103 neglectful and 102 non-neglectful low-income families is examined using self-report and observational measures. Neglectful mothers reported their families as having more family conflict and less expression of feelings, but not less cohesive. Ratings of observed and videotaped family interactions indicated neglect families were less organized, more chaotic, less verbally expressive, showed less positive and more negative affect than comparison families. However, there were wide differences on measures of functioning among neglect families. Three distinct types of neglectful family functioning are identified and interventions for each type are suggested to improve parental-family functioning.

  6. Social modulation of and by pain in humans and rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogil, Jeffrey S

    2015-04-01

    The social domain of the biopsychosocial model of pain has been greatly understudied compared with the biological and psychological domains but holds great promise for furthering our understanding, and better treatment, of pain. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in social neuroscience and have revealed the ability of pain stimuli to alter social interactions. These experiments suggest that rodents are capable of producing simplified versions of any number of social phenomena involving empathy, previously thought to be the sole province of human beings. This review describes the state of science in both humans and nonhuman animals, and notes intriguing parallels in observations from both species. Indeed, my laboratory is starting to demonstrate perfectly translatable findings regarding social modulation of pain in rodents and humans.

  7. Family Meals

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Late for the Flu Vaccine? Eating Disorders Arrhythmias Family Meals KidsHealth > For Parents > Family Meals Print A ... even more important as kids get older. Making Family Meals Happen It can be a big challenge ...

  8. Family Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and grandparents raise grandchildren. Some children live in foster families, adoptive families, or in stepfamilies. Families are much more than groups of people who share the same genes or the ...

  9. Family Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Family and Friends > Family Life Request Permissions Family Life Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board , 11/ ... treatment become as overwhelming for others in your life as they are for you. Understanding the potential ...

  10. Familial hypertriglyceridemia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Familial hypertriglyceridemia is a common disorder passed down through families. It causes a higher-than-normal level of ... Familial hypertriglyceridemia is caused by a genetic defect, which is passed on in an autosomal dominant fashion. This ...

  11. Neurogenetics of Aggressive Behavior – Studies in Rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Aki; Miczek, Klaus A.

    2014-01-01

    Aggressive behavior is observed in many animal species, such as insects, fish, lizards, frogs, and most mammals including humans. This wide range of conservation underscores the importance of aggressive behavior in the animals’ survival and fitness, and the likely heritability of this behavior. Although typical patterns of aggressive behavior differ between species, there are several concordances in the neurobiology of aggression among rodents, primates, and humans. Studies with rodent models may eventually help us to understand the neurogenetic architecture of aggression in humans. However, it is important to recognize the difference between the ecological and ethological significance of aggressive behavior (species-typical aggression) and maladaptive violence (escalated aggression) when applying the findings of aggression research using animal models to human or veterinary medicine. Well-studied rodent models for aggressive behavior in the laboratory setting include the mouse (Mus musculus), rat (Rattus norvegicus), hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), and prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). The neural circuits of rodent aggression have been gradually elucidated by several techniques e.g. immunohistochemistry of immediate-early gene (c-Fos) expression, intracranial drug microinjection, in vivo microdialysis, and optogenetics techniques. Also, evidence accumulated from the analysis of gene-knockout mice shows the involvement of several genes in aggression. Here we review the brain circuits that have been implicated in aggression, such as the hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex (PFC), dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN), nucleus accumbens (NAc), and olfactory system. We then discuss the roles of glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), major inhibitory and excitatory amino acids in the brain, as well as their receptors, in controlling aggressive behavior, focusing mainly on recent findings. At the end of this chapter, we discuss how genes can be identified that underlie

  12. Anatomy and Histology of Rodent and Human Major Salivary Glands

    OpenAIRE

    Amano, Osamu; Mizobe, Kenichi; Bando, Yasuhiko; Sakiyama, Koji

    2012-01-01

    Major salivary glands of both humans and rodents consist of three pairs of macroscopic glands: parotid, submandibular, and sublingual. These glands secrete serous, mucous or mixed saliva via the proper main excretory ducts connecting the glandular bodies with the oral cavity. A series of discoveries about the salivary ducts in the 17th century by Niels Stensen (1638–1686), Thomas Wharton (1614–1673), and Caspar Bartholin (1655–1738) established the concept of exocrine secretion as well as sal...

  13. Seasonal variation in telomere length of a hibernating rodent

    OpenAIRE

    Turbill, Christopher; Ruf, Thomas; Smith, Steve; Bieber, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    Small hibernating rodents have greater maximum lifespans and hence appear to age more slowly than similar-sized non-hibernators. We tested for a direct effect of hibernation on somatic maintenance and ageing by measuring seasonal changes in relative telomere length (RTL) in the edible dormouse Glis glis. Average RTL in our population did not change significantly over the hibernation season, and a regression model explaining individual variation in post-hibernation RTL suggested a significant ...

  14. Nest Predation by Commensal Rodents in Urban Bushland Remnants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen M Smith

    Full Text Available Exotic predators are a major threat to native wildlife in many parts of the world. Developing and implementing effective strategies to mitigate their effects requires robust quantitative data so that management can be evidence-based, yet in many ecosystems this is missing. Birds in particular have been severely impacted by exotic mammalian predators, and a plethora of studies on islands record predation of bird eggs, fledglings and adults by exotic species such as rodents, stoats and cats. By comparison, few studies have examined nest predation around mainland urban centres which often act as dispersal hubs, especially for commensal species such as rodents. Here, we experimentally examine nest predation rates in habitat patches with varying black rat (Rattus rattus densities in Sydney, Australia and test whether these exotic rats have the effects expected of exotic predators using effect size benchmarks. In the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus spp., we expected that black rats, being more arboreal than native Rattus spp., would be a significant source of predation on birds because they can readily access the arboreal niche where many birds nest. We tested this idea using above-ground artificial nests to represent those of typical small bird species such as the New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae. We found that fewer eggs were depredated by rodents on sites where we removed black rats compared to unmanipulated sites, and that the effect size calculated from the total number of eggs surviving beyond the typical incubation period was similar to that expected for an exotic predator. Our results suggest that, although Australian birds have co-evolved with native Rattus species, in the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus species, exotic black rats appear to pose an additive source of predation on birds in remnant habitats, most likely due to their ability to climb more efficiently than their native

  15. Nest Predation by Commensal Rodents in Urban Bushland Remnants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Helen M; Dickman, Chris R; Banks, Peter B

    2016-01-01

    Exotic predators are a major threat to native wildlife in many parts of the world. Developing and implementing effective strategies to mitigate their effects requires robust quantitative data so that management can be evidence-based, yet in many ecosystems this is missing. Birds in particular have been severely impacted by exotic mammalian predators, and a plethora of studies on islands record predation of bird eggs, fledglings and adults by exotic species such as rodents, stoats and cats. By comparison, few studies have examined nest predation around mainland urban centres which often act as dispersal hubs, especially for commensal species such as rodents. Here, we experimentally examine nest predation rates in habitat patches with varying black rat (Rattus rattus) densities in Sydney, Australia and test whether these exotic rats have the effects expected of exotic predators using effect size benchmarks. In the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus spp., we expected that black rats, being more arboreal than native Rattus spp., would be a significant source of predation on birds because they can readily access the arboreal niche where many birds nest. We tested this idea using above-ground artificial nests to represent those of typical small bird species such as the New Holland honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae). We found that fewer eggs were depredated by rodents on sites where we removed black rats compared to unmanipulated sites, and that the effect size calculated from the total number of eggs surviving beyond the typical incubation period was similar to that expected for an exotic predator. Our results suggest that, although Australian birds have co-evolved with native Rattus species, in the case where black rats have replaced native Rattus species, exotic black rats appear to pose an additive source of predation on birds in remnant habitats, most likely due to their ability to climb more efficiently than their native counterparts

  16. Miniature wireless recording and stimulation system for rodent behavioural testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinnell, R. C.; Dempster, J.; Pratt, J.

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Elucidation of neural activity underpinning rodent behaviour has traditionally been hampered by the use of tethered systems and human involvement. Furthermore the combination of deep-brain stimulation (DBS) and various neural recording modalities can lead to complex and time-consuming laboratory setups. For studies of this type, novel tools are required to drive forward this research. Approach. A miniature wireless system weighing 8.5 g (including battery) was developed for rodent use that combined multichannel DBS and local-field potential (LFP) recordings. Its performance was verified in a working memory task that involved 4-channel fronto-hippocampal LFP recording and bilateral constant-current fimbria-fornix DBS. The system was synchronised with video-tracking for extraction of LFP at discrete task phases, and DBS was activated intermittently at discrete phases of the task. Main results. In addition to having a fast set-up time, the system could reliably transmit continuous LFP at over 8 hours across 3-5 m distances. During the working memory task, LFP pertaining to discrete task phases was extracted and compared with well-known neural correlates of active exploratory behaviour in rodents. DBS could be wirelessly activated/deactivated at any part of the experiment during EEG recording and transmission, allowing for a seamless integration of this modality. Significance. The wireless system combines a small size with a level of robustness and versatility that can greatly simplify rodent behavioural experiments involving EEG recording and DBS. Designed for versatility and simplicity, the small size and low-cost of the system and its receiver allow for enhanced portability, fast experimental setup times, and pave the way for integration with more complex behaviour.

  17. Population response of rodents to control with rodenticides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.V. TCHABOVSKY

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available We summarize theoretical approaches and practice of rodent pest control in Russia and former USSR during last 50 years. We review literature as well as original data to understand mechanisms of rodent populations recovery after chemical control campaigns in urban areas, agricultural lands and natural foci of plague. Laboratory and field experiments indicate that inherent individual variation in behavioural, physiological and life-history traits provides survival of heterogeneous mix of individuals in residual population with increased resistance to poisonous baits and high reproductive potential that leads to fast recovery of a population. In a series of field experiments with various rodent and lagomorph species (Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, Meriones unguiculatus, M.meridianus, M.tamariscinus, Ochotona pallasii we have shown that patterns of recolonization of depopulated area and mechanisms of population recovery vary among species and depend on species-specific social organization. After control territorial and group-living species demonstrated an increase in mobility and affiliative and marking behaviour and a decrease in intraspecific aggression. The rate of recolonization of treated areas was high due to redistribution of survived individuals and immigration by neighbors. Population recovered to original level due to increased breeding performance and fecundity of both survived residents and immigrants. In contrast, socially-independent species exhibited minor changes in behaviour. Recolonization was mainly due to better survival and recruitment of youngs, so the rate of recolonization was low. Species-specificity of behavioural compensation mechanisms to control should be considered when developing ecologically based rodent management strategies.

  18. Stress impact on learning in rodents {--} ethological & fysiological approach

    OpenAIRE

    HAVLOVÁ, Jitka

    2009-01-01

    The review compares two methodological approaches of studying stress impact on learning in rodents. Particular forms of stress that can harm or facilitace memory and learning process are distinguished. Permanent exposure to hormone treatments results in space memory damage, whereas short-term exposure enforces the learning processes. Ethological methods have predominantly a negative effect on learning, particularly on space learning and reference memory. On the contrary, some methods can faci...

  19. Trying to make sense of rodents' drug choice behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Serge H

    2017-09-28

    Since the first experimental hint for the existence of "an actual desire or striving for the drug" in nonhuman animals by Sidney Spragg in the late 1930s, much effort has been expended by lab researchers to try to model in a valid manner the key behavioral aspects and signs of addiction in animals, typically in rodents (i.e., mainly rats and, to a lesser extent, mice). Despite much advances, there still remains a lingering doubt about the disordered status of drug use in rodents. This is mainly because drug use occurs in a particular setting where animals have access to a drug for self-administration but without access to other valuable behavioral options that could compete with and divert from drug use. Here I review evidence showing that enriching the drug setting with other behavioral options can dramatically influence the pattern of drug choices in rodents. Overall, access to other options during drug access can divert the vast majority of rats from continued drug use. Only few individuals continue to engage in drug use despite access to and at the expense of other options. However, there exist certain high-risk settings in which virtually all animals are vulnerable to develop a harmful pattern of exclusive drug use that can even become fatal in the long run if not discontinued by an outside intervention. Paradoxically, it appears that the behavioral trait that is hypothesized to uniquely render rodents vulnerable to the latter settings (i.e., a narrow focus on the local, current choice, with no consideration of the global pattern of choice) would also protect most of them from using drugs in other choice settings. I conclude with an attempt to make sense of this peculiar setting-specific behavior and with some general propositions for future research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Expression of nesfatin-1/NUCB2 in rodent digestive system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yutaka; Oomura

    2010-01-01

    AIM: To observe the regional distributions and morphological features of nesfatin-1/nucleobindin-2 (NUCB2) immunoreactive (IR) cells in the rodent digestive system. METHODS: Paraffin-embedded sections of seven organs (pancreas, stomach, duodenum, esophagus, liver, small intestine and colon) dissected from sprague-dawley (SD) rats and institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice were prepared. The regional distributions of nesfatin-1/NUCB2 IR cells were observed by immunohistochemical staining. The morphological ...

  1. New rodent models for studies of chemopreventive agents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipkin, M

    1997-01-01

    Some recent studies of the effects of chemopreventive agents have begun to use new rodent models to improve the analysis of stages of colonic preneoplasia, and how chemopreventive agents modify progressive abnormal cell development. In one of the models of inherited predisposition to colon cancer, mice carrying a truncated Apc allele with a nonsense mutation in exon 15 have been generated by gene targeting and embryonic stem cell technology (Apc1638 mice). These mice develop multiple gastrointestinal lesions, including adenomas and carcinomas, focal areas of high-grade dysplasia (FAD), and polypoid hyperplasias with FADS. The incidence of inherited colonic neoplasms has now been modulated by a chemopreventive regimen. Colonic lesions significantly increased in Apc1638 mice on a Western-style diet, which has higher fat content and lower calcium and vitamin D compared to the same mice on AIN-76A diet. In another rodent model, Min mice were treated with sulindac, which markedly reduced the incidence of intestinal tumors. A third new rodent model containing a targeted mutation in the gene Mcc (mutated in colorectal cancer) recently became available for chemoprevention studies. These mice develop multiple types of neoplasms including adenocarcinomas, focal areas of gastrointestinal dysplasia, papillomas of the forestomach, and tumors in other organs including lung, liver, and lymphoid tissue. Feeding a Western-style diet to the Mcc mutant mice also resulted in significantly increased gastrointestinal lesions. These nutrient modifications also have been given to normal mice, demonstrating without any chemical carcinogen that a Western-style diet induced colonic tumorigenesis. Western-style diets also have now induced modulation of cell proliferation in other organs including mammary gland, pancreas, and prostate. These findings help develop new preclinical rodent models to aid the analysis of genetic and environmental factors leading to neoplasia, as well as new methods

  2. Stress, social behavior, and resilience: Insights from rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Beery, Annaliese K.; Kaufer, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    The neurobiology of stress and the neurobiology of social behavior are deeply intertwined. The social environment interacts with stress on almost every front: social interactions can be potent stressors; they can buffer the response to an external stressor; and social behavior often changes in response to stressful life experience. This review explores mechanistic and behavioral links between stress, anxiety, resilience, and social behavior in rodents, with particular attention to different s...

  3. Museum specimen data predict crop damage by tropical rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Sánchez-Cordero, Víctor; Martínez-Meyer, Enrique

    2000-01-01

    Museum collections constitute a massive store of information on biological diversity. We used museum specimen data to generate ecological niche models that provide predictions of geographic distributions of native rodent pest species and agricultural census data that summarize the geographic distribution of nine crops in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, as well as crop losses between planting and harvest. Herein, we show that crop damage is related significantly to the predicted presence of rod...

  4. Rodent models for resolving extremes of exercise and health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garton, Fleur C; North, Kathryn N; Koch, Lauren G; Britton, Steven L; Nogales-Gadea, Gisela; Lucia, Alejandro

    2016-02-01

    The extremes of exercise capacity and health are considered a complex interplay between genes and the environment. In general, the study of animal models has proven critical for deep mechanistic exploration that provides guidance for focused and hypothesis-driven discovery in humans. Hypotheses underlying molecular mechanisms of disease and gene/tissue function can be tested in rodents to generate sufficient evidence to resolve and progress our understanding of human biology. Here we provide examples of three alternative uses of rodent models that have been applied successfully to advance knowledge that bridges our understanding of the connection between exercise capacity and health status. First we review the strong association between exercise capacity and all-cause morbidity and mortality in humans through artificial selection on low and high exercise performance in the rat and the consequent generation of the "energy transfer hypothesis." Second we review specific transgenic and knockout mouse models that replicate the human disease condition and performance. This includes human glycogen storage diseases (McArdle and Pompe) and α-actinin-3 deficiency. Together these rodent models provide an overview of the advancements of molecular knowledge required for clinical translation. Continued study of these models in conjunction with human association studies will be critical to resolving the complex gene-environment interplay linking exercise capacity, health, and disease. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  5. Genotypes of pathogenic Leptospira spp isolated from rodents in Argentina

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    Sylvia Grune Loffler

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonosis in the world and significant efforts have been made to determine and classify pathogenic Leptospira strains. This zoonosis is maintained in nature through chronic renal infections of carrier animals, with rodents and other small mammals serving as the most important reservoirs. Additionally, domestic animals, such as livestock and dogs, are significant sources of human infection. In this study, a multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA was applied to genotype 22 pathogenic Leptospira strains isolated from urban and periurban rodent populations from different regions of Argentina. Three MLVA profiles were identified in strains belonging to the species Leptospira interrogans (serovars Icterohaemorrhagiae and Canicola; one profile was observed in serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae and two MLVA profiles were observed in isolates of serovars Canicola and Portlandvere. All strains belonging to Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Castellonis exhibited the same MLVA profile. Four different genotypes were isolated from urban populations of rodents, including both mice and rats and two different genotypes were isolated from periurban populations.

  6. Allometric relations of neotropical small rodents (Sigmodontinae) in anthropogenic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosalino, Luís M; Martin, Paula S; Gheler-Costa, Carla; Lopes, Paula C; Verdade, Luciano M

    2013-07-01

    The present study aims at assessing allometric relationships in the Sigmodontinae rodents (Calomys tener, Akodon cf. montensis, Necromys lasiurus, Oligoryzomys flavescens, and Oligoryzomys nigripes), and morphological variation among different habitats in human-dominated environments in Southeastern Brazil. We captured rodents using pitfall traps placed in Eucalyptus plantations, abandoned pastures, and remnants of secondary native vegetation, and took the following measurements: body mass, total length, body length, left hind foot length, and left ear length. Males were usually larger than females, except in N. lasiurus. There was no intraspecific difference in body condition among habitats, suggesting that Eucalyptus may not have a deleterious effect upon its residents. However, A. cf montensis from Eucalyptus plantations had longer feet than those from other vegetation associations, suggesting a possible adaptive response to the lower cover in the plantation environment, and its consequent higher predation risk, or alternatively that only individuals with greater dispersal ability are found in Eucalyptus plantations. Future studies should investigate a possible co-evolutionary predator-prey relationship, including rapid evolution by Sigmodontinae rodents in anthropogenic landscapes.

  7. Rodent Damage to Natural and Replanted Mountain Forest Regeneration

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    Marta Heroldová

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Impact of small rodents on mountain forest regeneration was studied in National Nature Reserve in the Beskydy Mountains (Czech Republic. A considerable amount of bark damage was found on young trees (20% in spring after the peak abundance of field voles (Microtus agrestis in combination with long winter with heavy snowfall. In contrast, little damage to young trees was noted under high densities of bank voles (Myodes glareolus with a lower snow cover the following winter. The bark of deciduous trees was more attractive to voles (22% damaged than conifers (8%. Young trees growing in open and grassy localities suffered more damage from voles than those under canopy of forest stands (2=44.04, <0.001. Natural regeneration in Nature Reserve was less damaged compared to planted trees (2=55.89, <0.001. The main factors influencing the impact of rodent species on tree regeneration were open, grassy habitat conditions, higher abundance of vole species, tree species preferences- and snow-cover condition. Under these conditions, the impact of rodents on forest regeneration can be predicted. Foresters should prefer natural regeneration to the artificial plantings.

  8. Rodent damage to natural and replanted mountain forest regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heroldová, Marta; Bryja, Josef; Jánová, Eva; Suchomel, Josef; Homolka, Miloslav

    2012-01-01

    Impact of small rodents on mountain forest regeneration was studied in National Nature Reserve in the Beskydy Mountains (Czech Republic). A considerable amount of bark damage was found on young trees (20%) in spring after the peak abundance of field voles (Microtus agrestis) in combination with long winter with heavy snowfall. In contrast, little damage to young trees was noted under high densities of bank voles (Myodes glareolus) with a lower snow cover the following winter. The bark of deciduous trees was more attractive to voles (22% damaged) than conifers (8%). Young trees growing in open and grassy localities suffered more damage from voles than those under canopy of forest stands (χ² = 44.04, P Natural regeneration in Nature Reserve was less damaged compared to planted trees (χ² = 55.89, P impact of rodent species on tree regeneration were open, grassy habitat conditions, higher abundance of vole species, tree species preferences- and snow-cover condition. Under these conditions, the impact of rodents on forest regeneration can be predicted. Foresters should prefer natural regeneration to the artificial plantings.

  9. Genotypes of pathogenic Leptospira spp isolated from rodents in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loffler, Sylvia Grune; Pavan, Maria Elisa; Vanasco, Bibiana; Samartino, Luis; Suarez, Olga; Auteri, Carmelo; Romero, Graciela; Brihuega, Bibiana

    2014-04-01

    Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonosis in the world and significant efforts have been made to determine and classify pathogenic Leptospira strains. This zoonosis is maintained in nature through chronic renal infections of carrier animals, with rodents and other small mammals serving as the most important reservoirs. Additionally, domestic animals, such as livestock and dogs, are significant sources of human infection. In this study, a multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) was applied to genotype 22 pathogenic Leptospira strains isolated from urban and periurban rodent populations from different regions of Argentina. Three MLVA profiles were identified in strains belonging to the species Leptospira interrogans (serovars Icterohaemorrhagiae and Canicola); one profile was observed in serovar Icterohaemorrhagiae and two MLVA profiles were observed in isolates of serovars Canicola and Portlandvere. All strains belonging to Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Castellonis exhibited the same MLVA profile. Four different genotypes were isolated from urban populations of rodents, including both mice and rats and two different genotypes were isolated from periurban populations.

  10. Karyotype and reproduction mode of the rodent parasite Strongyloides venezuelensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hino, Akina; Tanaka, Teruhisa; Takaishi, Maho; Fujii, Yumiko; Palomares-Rius, Juan E; Hasegawa, Koichi; Maruyama, Haruhiko; Kikuchi, Taisei

    2014-11-01

    SUMMARY Strongyloides venezuelensis is a parasitic nematode that infects rodents. Although Strongyloides species described to date are known to exhibit parthenogenetic reproduction in the parasitic stage of their life cycle and sexual reproduction in the free-living stage, we did not observe any free-living males in S. venezuelensis in our strain, suggesting that the nematode is likely to depend on parthenogenetic reproduction. We confirmed by cytological analysis that S. venezuelensis produces eggs by parthenogenesis during the parasitic stage of its life cycle. Phylogenetic analysis using nearly the full length of 18S and D3 region of 28S ribosomal RNA gene suggested that S. venezuelensis is distantly related to another rodent parasite, namely Strongyloides ratti, but more closely related to a ruminant parasite, Strongyloides papillosus. Karyotype analysis revealed S. venezuelensis reproduces with mitotic parthenogenesis, and has the same number of chromosomes as S. papillosus (2n = 4), but differs from S. ratti (2n = 6) in this regard. These results, taken together, suggest that S. venezuelensis evolved its parasitism for rodents independently from S. ratti and, therefore, is likely to have a different reproductive strategy.

  11. Performance analysis of exam gloves used for aseptic rodent surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeMoine, Dana M; Bergdall, Valerie K; Freed, Carrie

    2015-05-01

    Aseptic technique includes the use of sterile surgical gloves for survival surgeries in rodents to minimize the incidence of infections. Exam gloves are much less expensive than are surgical gloves and may represent a cost-effective, readily available option for use in rodent surgery. This study examined the effectiveness of surface disinfection of exam gloves with 70% isopropyl alcohol or a solution of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid (HP-PA) in reducing bacterial contamination. Performance levels for asepsis were met when gloves were negative for bacterial contamination after surface disinfection and sham 'exertion' activity. According to these criteria, 94% of HP-PA-disinfected gloves passed, compared with 47% of alcohol-disinfected gloves. In addition, the effect of autoclaving on the integrity of exam gloves was examined, given that autoclaving is another readily available option for aseptic preparation. Performance criteria for glove integrity after autoclaving consisted of: the ability to don the gloves followed by successful simulation of wound closure and completion of stretch tests without tearing or observable defects. Using this criteria, 98% of autoclaved nitrile exam gloves and 76% of autoclaved latex exam gloves met performance expectations compared with the performance of standard surgical gloves (88% nitrile, 100% latex). The results of this study support the use of HP-PA-disinfected latex and nitrile exam gloves or autoclaved nitrile exam gloves as viable cost-effective alternatives to sterile surgical gloves for rodent surgeries.

  12. The valproic acid-induced rodent model of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolini, Chiara; Fahnestock, Margaret

    2017-05-02

    Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impairments in social communication and interaction and by repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and activities. While autism has a strong genetic component, environmental factors including toxins, pesticides, infection and drugs are known to confer autism susceptibility, likely by inducing epigenetic changes. In particular, exposure to valproic acid (VPA) during pregnancy has been demonstrated to increase the risk of autism in children. Furthermore, rodents prenatally exposed to this drug display behavioral phenotypes characteristics of the human condition. Indeed, in utero exposure of rodents to VPA represents a robust model of autism exhibiting face, construct and predictive validity. This model might better represent the many cases of idiopathic autism which are of environmental/epigenetic origins than do transgenic models carrying mutations in single autism-associated genes. The VPA model provides a valuable tool to investigate the neurobiology underlying autistic behavior and to screen for novel therapeutics. Here we review the VPA-induced rodent model of autism, highlighting its importance and reliability as an environmentally-induced animal model of autism. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Rodent Models of Depression: Neurotrophic and Neuroinflammatory Biomarkers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mikhail Stepanichev

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Rodent models are an indispensable tool for studying etiology and progress of depression. Since interrelated systems of neurotrophic factors and cytokines comprise major regulatory mechanisms controlling normal brain plasticity, impairments of these systems form the basis for development of cerebral pathologies, including mental diseases. The present review focuses on the numerous experimental rodent models of depression induced by different stress factors (exteroceptive and interoceptive during early life (including prenatal period or adulthood, giving emphasis to the data on the changes of neurotrophic factors and neuroinflammatory indices in the brain. These parameters are closely related to behavioral depression-like symptoms and impairments of neuronal plasticity and are both gender- and genotype-dependent. Stress-related changes in expression of neurotrophins and cytokines in rodent brain are region-specific. Some contradictory data reported by different groups may be a consequence of differences of stress paradigms or their realization in different laboratories. Like all experimental models, stress-induced depression-like conditions are experimental simplification of clinical depression states; however, they are suitable for understanding the involvement of neurotrophic factors and cytokines in the pathogenesis of the disease—a goal unachievable in the clinical reality. These major regulatory systems may be important targets for therapeutic measures as well as for development of drugs for treatment of depression states.

  14. Isolating human DNA repair genes using rodent-cell mutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, L.H.; Weber, C.A.; Brookman, K.W.; Salazar, E.P.; Stewart, S.A.; Mitchell, D.L.

    1987-03-23

    The DNA repair systems of rodent and human cells appear to be at least as complex genetically as those in lower eukaryotes and bacteria. The use of mutant lines of rodent cells as a means of identifying human repair genes by functional complementation offers a new approach toward studying the role of repair in mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. In each of six cases examined using hybrid cells, specific human chromosomes have been identified that correct CHO cell mutations affecting repair of damage from uv or ionizing radiations. This finding suggests that both the repair genes and proteins may be virtually interchangeable between rodent and human cells. Using cosmid vectors, human repair genes that map to chromosome 19 have cloned as functional sequences: ERCC2 and XRCC1. ERCC1 was found to have homology with the yeast excision repair gene RAD10. Transformants of repair-deficient cell lines carrying the corresponding human gene show efficient correction of repair capacity by all criteria examined. 39 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  15. Rodent facial nerve recovery after selected lesions and repair techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadlock, Tessa A; Kowaleski, Jeffrey; Lo, David; Mackinnon, Susan E; Heaton, James T

    2010-01-01

    Measuring rodent facial movements is a reliable method for studying recovery from facial nerve manipulation and for examining the behavioral correlates of aberrant regeneration. The authors quantitatively compared recovery of vibrissal and ocular function following three types of clinically relevant nerve injury. One hundred seventy-eight adult rats underwent facial nerve manipulation and testing. In the experimental groups, the left facial nerve was either crushed, transected, and repaired epineurially, or transected and the stumps suture-secured into a tube with a 2-mm gap between them. Facial recovery was measured for the ensuing 1 to 4 months. Data were analyzed for whisking recovery. Previously developed markers of co-contraction of the upper and midfacial zones (possible synkinesis markers) were also examined. Animals in the crush groups recovered nearly normal whisking parameters within 25 days. The distal branch crush group showed improved recovery over the main trunk crush group for several days during early recovery. By week 9, the transection/repair groups showed evidence of recovery that trended further upward throughout the study period. The entubulation groups followed a similar recovery pattern, although they did not maintain significant recovery levels by the study conclusion. Markers of potential synkinesis increased in selected groups following facial nerve injury. Rodent vibrissal function recovers in a predictable fashion following manipulation. Generalized co-contraction of the upper and midfacial zones emerges following facial nerve manipulation, possibly related to aberrant regeneration, polyterminal axons, or hypersensitivity of the rodent to sensory stimuli following nerve manipulation.

  16. Two New Mylagaulid Rodents from the Early Miocene of China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoyu Lu

    Full Text Available Mylagaulid fossorial rodents are a common component of North American Miocene fossil faunas. However outside of North America, only three species are known from Asia. Here we report two new mylagaulids, Irtyshogaulus minor gen. et sp. nov. and Irtyshogaulus major gen. et sp. nov., recovered from early Miocene sediments in the Junggar Basin in northwestern China. The two new taxa are small-sized, high-crowned promylagauline rodents. Their lower molars possess high metastylid crests, small mesostylids, broad and posterolingually expanded labial inflections, and transversely extending metalophid IIs. The mesoconid is absent in both species. The anterior and posterior fossettids are large and equally developed. Their upper M1-2s possess a square occlusal surface with five deep fossettes. The two new taxa are distinguished from each other mainly by their size, the morphology of fossettes and fossettids, development of mesial and distal lophs, posterior reduction of M3, and the orientation of m2 hypolophid. Our phylogenetic analysis indicates that Irtyshogaulus and Lamugaulus (another early Miocene Asian mylagaulid are sister taxa. The two genera are nested among the North American promylagaulines, and share a common ancestor from North America, indicating early Miocene intercontinental dispersal within this clade of rodents.

  17. Leptin and the adaptations of lactation in rodents and ruminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernon, R G; Denis, R G P; Sorensen, A; Williams, G

    2002-01-01

    Lactation markedly increases nutrient requirements in both rodents and ruminants. This is met mostly by increased food intake, but there are also adaptations to increase metabolic efficiency. Despite such changes, lactating animals usually experience periods of negative energy balance. This is not due to a physical constraint on food intake, at least in the rat. Leptin, a hormone secreted by adipocytes, plays an important role in the regulation of appetite and energy balance. During lactation, serum leptin concentration is decreased in both rodents and ruminants, and the nocturnal rise in concentration is lost in rats. Hypoleptinaemia in lactation is primarily a result of negative energy balance. There is also increased clearance of serum leptin, and the attenuation of the nocturnal rise in leptin in rats is at least partly due to the suckling stimulus. Hypoleptinaemia is not the major factor driving hyperphagia in lactating rats, but it probably facilitates the increased food intake. Leptin may play a more important role in this respect in lactating ruminants. Leptin is probably involved in other adaptations that increase metabolic efficiency during lactation. The ability of hypothalamic neuropeptides to respond to leptin does not appear to be altered by lactation in either rodents or ruminants. The reason why lactating animals do not respond to hypoleptinaemia with a further increase in appetite, thereby achieving energy balance, appears to be due to a failure to respond to changes in neuropeptides which mediate the effects of leptin.

  18. Ancient phylogenetic divergence of the enigmatic African rodent Zenkerella and the origin of anomalurid gliding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Heritage

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The “scaly-tailed squirrels” of the rodent family Anomaluridae have a long evolutionary history in Africa, and are now represented by two gliding genera (Anomalurus and Idiurus and a rare and obscure genus (Zenkerella that has never been observed alive by mammalogists. Zenkerella shows no anatomical adaptations for gliding, but has traditionally been grouped with the glider Idiurus on the basis of craniodental similarities, implying that either the Zenkerella lineage lost its gliding adaptations, or that Anomalurus and Idiurus evolved theirs independently. Here we present the first nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences of Zenkerella, based on recently recovered whole-body specimens from Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea, which show unambiguously that Zenkerella is the sister taxon of Anomalurus and Idiurus. These data indicate that gliding likely evolved only once within Anomaluridae, and that there were no subsequent evolutionary reversals. We combine this new molecular evidence with morphological data from living and extinct anomaluromorph rodents and estimate that the lineage leading to Zenkerella has been evolving independently in Africa since the early Eocene, approximately 49 million years ago. Recently discovered fossils further attest to the antiquity of the lineage leading to Zenkerella, which can now be recognized as a classic example of a “living fossil,” about which we know remarkably little. The osteological markers of gliding are estimated to have evolved along the stem lineage of the Anomalurus–Idiurus clade by the early Oligocene, potentially indicating that this adaptation evolved in response to climatic perturbations at the Eocene–Oligocene boundary (∼34 million years ago.

  19. Diversity and distribution of small terrestrial rodents along a disturbance gradient in montane Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.B. Van den Bergh

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available A total of 389 rodent captures in five unequally disturbed habitats in a Costa Rican montane cloud forest corresponded to 185 individuals (seven species, two families. Species richness was similar for all habitats, averaging 4-5 species/habitat. Population density and capture frequency were higher in moderately disturbed habitats; Peromyscus mexicanus and Scotinomys xerampelinus were four to five times more common than other murids. These species represented 79.4 % of all captures and 73.5 % of all captured individuals. Heteromyid species were rarely trapped. The importance of disturbance-mediated within-habitat microenvironmental heterogeneity for terrestrial small-sized rodent populations is stressed.Se estudió la distribución y diversidad de roedores terrestres en cinco hábitats perturbados en un área de bosque montano nuboso en Costa Rica. Un total de 389 capturas correspondió a 185 individuos (siete especies en 2 familias. La riqueza de especies resultó muy similar para todos los hábitats, con 4-5 especies/hábitat. La densidad de población y la frecuencia de captura fueron más altas en hábitats con niveles intermedios de perturbación; Peromyscus mexicanus y Scotinomys xerampelinus fueron cuatro a cinco veces más comunes que otras especies de Muridae. Estas representaron el 79.4 % de todas las capturas y el 73.5 % de todos los individuos. Se capturo pocos Heteromyidae.

  20. Corticolimbic expression of TRPC4 and TRPC5 channels in the rodent brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa A Fowler

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The canonical transient receptor potential (TRPC channels are a family of non-selective cation channels that are activated by increases in intracellular Ca(2+ and G(q/phospholipase C-coupled receptors. We used quantitative real-time PCR, in situ hybridization, immunoblots and patch-clamp recording from several brain regions to examine the expression of the predominant TRPC channels in the rodent brain. Quantitative real-time PCR of the seven TRPC channels in the rodent brain revealed that TRPC4 and TRPC5 channels were the predominant TRPC subtypes in the adult rat brain. In situ hybridization histochemistry and immunoblotting further resolved a dense corticolimbic expression of the TRPC4 and TRPC5 channels. Total protein expression of HIP TRPC4 and 5 proteins increased throughout development and peaked late in adulthood (6-9 weeks. In adults, TRPC4 expression was high throughout the frontal cortex, lateral septum (LS, pyramidal cell layer of the hippocampus (HIP, dentate gyrus (DG, and ventral subiculum (vSUB. TRPC5 was highly expressed in the frontal cortex, pyramidal cell layer of the HIP, DG, and hypothalamus. Detailed examination of frontal cortical layer mRNA expression indicated TRPC4 mRNA is distributed throughout layers 2-6 of the prefrontal cortex (PFC, motor cortex (MCx, and somatosensory cortex (SCx. TRPC5 mRNA expression was concentrated specifically in the deep layers 5/6 and superficial layers 2/3 of the PFC and anterior cingulate. Patch-clamp recording indicated a strong metabotropic glutamate-activated cation current-mediated depolarization that was dependent on intracellular Ca(2+and inhibited by protein kinase C in brain regions associated with dense TRPC4 or 5 expression and absent in regions lacking TRPC4 and 5 expression. Overall, the dense corticolimbic expression pattern suggests that these Gq/PLC coupled nonselective cation channels may be involved in learning, memory, and goal-directed behaviors.

  1. A comprehensive evaluation of rodent malaria parasite genomes and gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Otto, Thomas D

    2014-10-30

    Background: Rodent malaria parasites (RMP) are used extensively as models of human malaria. Draft RMP genomes have been published for Plasmodium yoelii, P. berghei ANKA (PbA) and P. chabaudi AS (PcAS). Although availability of these genomes made a significant impact on recent malaria research, these genomes were highly fragmented and were annotated with little manual curation. The fragmented nature of the genomes has hampered genome wide analysis of Plasmodium gene regulation and function. Results: We have greatly improved the genome assemblies of PbA and PcAS, newly sequenced the virulent parasite P. yoelii YM genome, sequenced additional RMP isolates/lines and have characterized genotypic diversity within RMP species. We have produced RNA-seq data and utilized it to improve gene-model prediction and to provide quantitative, genome-wide, data on gene expression. Comparison of the RMP genomes with the genome of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum and RNA-seq mapping permitted gene annotation at base-pair resolution. Full-length chromosomal annotation permitted a comprehensive classification of all subtelomeric multigene families including the `Plasmodium interspersed repeat genes\\' (pir). Phylogenetic classification of the pir family, combined with pir expression patterns, indicates functional diversification within this family. Conclusions: Complete RMP genomes, RNA-seq and genotypic diversity data are excellent and important resources for gene-function and post-genomic analyses and to better interrogate Plasmodium biology. Genotypic diversity between P. chabaudi isolates makes this species an excellent parasite to study genotype-phenotype relationships. The improved classification of multigene families will enhance studies on the role of (variant) exported proteins in virulence and immune evasion/modulation.

  2. A Field Study of Plague and Tularemia in Rodents, Western Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostafavi, Ehsan; Shahraki, Abdolrazagh Hashemi; Japoni-Nejad, Alireza; Esmaeili, Saber; Darvish, Jamshid; Sedaghat, Mohammad Mehdi; Mohammadi, Ali; Mohammadi, Zeinolabedin; Mahmoudi, Ahmad; Pourhossein, Behzad; Ghasemi, Ahmad; Gyuranecz, Miklós; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2017-04-01

    Kurdistan Province in Iran is a historical focus for plague and tularemia. This study aimed at assessing the current status of these two foci by studying their rodent reservoirs. Rodents were trapped and their ectoparasites were collected. The genus and species of both rodents and ectoparasites were determined. Serological analyses of rodent blood samples were done by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for plague and by standard tube agglutination assay for tularemia. Rodent spleen samples were subjected to bacterial culture, microscopic examination, and real-time PCR to search for active plague or tularemia infection. During this study, 245 rodents were trapped, of which the most abundant genera were Apodemus (40%), Mus (24.49%), and Meriones (12.65%). One hundred fifty-three fleas, 37 mites, and 54 ticks were collected on these rodents. The results of all direct and indirect tests were negative for plague. Serological tests were positive for tularemia in 4.8% of trapped rodents. This study is the first report on the presence of tularemia infection in rodents in Western Iran. Since Meriones persicus is a known reservoir for plague and tularemia, and this rodent carried plague and tularemia vectors in Marivan and Sanandaj districts, there is a real potential for the occurrence of these two diseases in this region.

  3. The vanilloid receptor TRPV1 is activated and sensitized by local anesthetics in rodent sensory neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leffler, Andreas; Fischer, Michael J.; Rehner, Dietlinde; Kienel, Stephanie; Kistner, Katrin; Sauer, Susanne K.; Gavva, Narender R.; Reeh, Peter W.; Nau, Carla

    2008-01-01

    Local anesthetics (LAs) block the generation and propagation of action potentials by interacting with specific sites of voltage-gated Na+ channels. LAs can also excite sensory neurons and be neurotoxic through mechanisms that are as yet undefined. Nonspecific cation channels of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family that are predominantly expressed by nociceptive sensory neurons render these neurons sensitive to a variety of insults. Here we demonstrated that the LA lidocaine activated TRP channel family receptors TRPV1 and, to a lesser extent, TRPA1 in rodent dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons as well as in HEK293t cells expressing TRPV1 or TRPA1. Lidocaine also induced a TRPV1-dependent release of calcitonin gene–related peptide (CGRP) from isolated skin and peripheral nerve. Lidocaine sensitivity of TRPV1 required segments of the putative vanilloid-binding domain within and adjacent to transmembrane domain 3, was diminished under phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate depletion, and was abrogated by a point mutation at residue R701 in the proximal C-terminal TRP domain. These data identify TRPV1 and TRPA1 as putative key elements of LA-induced nociceptor excitation. This effect is sufficient to release CGRP, a key component of neurogenic inflammation, and warrants investigation into the role of TRPV1 and TRPA1 in LA-induced neurotoxicity. PMID:18172555

  4. Family Privilege

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seita, John R.

    2014-01-01

    Family privilege is defined as "strengths and supports gained through primary caring relationships." A generation ago, the typical family included two parents and a bevy of kids living under one roof. Now, every variation of blended caregiving qualifies as family. But over the long arc of human history, a real family was a…

  5. Novel role of cold/menthol-sensitive transient receptor potential melastatine family member 8 (TRPM8) in the activation of store-operated channels in LNCaP human prostate cancer epithelial cells.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thebault, S.C.; Lemonnier, L.; Bidaux, G.; Flourakis, M.; Bavencoffe, A.; Gordienko, D.; Roudbaraki, M.; Delcourt, P.; Panchin, Y.; Shuba, Y.; Skryma, R.; Prevarskaya, N.

    2005-01-01

    Recent cloning of a cold/menthol-sensitive TRPM8 channel (transient receptor potential melastatine family member 8) from rodent sensory neurons has provided the molecular basis for the cold sensation. Surprisingly, the human orthologue of rodent TRPM8 also appears to be strongly expressed in the

  6. Effect of woodland patch size on rodent seed predation in a fragmented landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Loman

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Predation on large woody plant seeds; chestnuts, acorns and sloe kernels, was studied in deciduous forests of two size classes: small woodlots (<1 ha and large woods (at least 25 ha in southern Sweden. Seeds used for the study were artificially distributed on the forest ground and seed predation measured as seed removal. Predation rate was similar in both types of woods. However, rodent density was higher in small woodlots and a correction for differences in rodent density showed that predation rate per individual rodent was higher in the large woods. This suggests that the small woodlots (including the border zone and their adjacent fields have more rodent food per area unit. A small woodlot cannot be considered a representative sample of a large continuous forest, even if the habitats appear similar. There was a strong effect of rodent density on seed predation rate. This suggests that rodents are major seed predators in this habitat.

  7. Gastrointestinal helminth fauna of rodents from Cambodia: emphasizing the community ecology of host-parasite associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaisiri, K; Chou, M; Siew, C C; Morand, S; Ribas, A

    2017-11-01

    Extensive field surveys of rodents were conducted in Cambodia from 2008 to 2014 to study the diversity and ecology of helminth infection in wild rodent populations. Gastrointestinal helminths were isolated from 14 species of rodents (569 individuals) trapped from different habitats (forest, dry land, rain-fed land and human settlements) in four provinces of Cambodia (Krong Preah Sihanouk, Mondolkiri, Pursat and Steung Treng). The average prevalence of parasitic infection was 58.5% (range, 16.0-64.7%), and 19 helminth taxa were identified in total. Trichostrongylid nematodes were the most prevalent (25.8%), followed by Raillietina sp. (14.1%), Gongylonema neoplasticum (10.7%), Syphacia muris (9.8%) and Hymenolepis diminuta (9.6%). Potential rodent-borne zoonotic helminths were also identified, and the risks of helminthiasis were discussed. The status of helminth infection and species diversity in rodents from settlements were significantly lower than in rodents from forest and peri-domesticated habitats, which indicates that habitat alteration might affect helminth infection and diversity in rodent hosts. Generalized linear models revealed that host attributes (host species and maturity) and environmental factors (habitat and geographical location) were explanatory variables for helminth infection in these rodents. Using network analyses, we showed that the oriental house rat, Rattus tanezumi, was the most central host in the rodent-helminth assemblage, based on the number of helminth taxa it shared with other rodent species. Therefore, R. tanezumi could play an important role in rodent-helminth interactions and helminth transmission to other rodent hosts.

  8. Fossil and molecular evidence constrain scenarios for the early evolutionary and biogeographic history of hystricognathous rodents

    OpenAIRE

    Sallam, Hesham M.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Steiper, Michael E.; Simons, Elwyn L.

    2009-01-01

    The early evolutionary and paleobiogeographic history of the diverse rodent clade Hystricognathi, which contains Hystricidae (Old World porcupines), Caviomorpha (the endemic South American rodents), and African Phiomorpha (cane rats, dassie rats, and blesmols) is of great interest to students of mammalian evolution, but remains poorly understood because of a poor early fossil record. Here we describe the oldest well-dated hystricognathous rodents from an earliest late Eocene (≈37 Ma) fossil l...

  9. Arthropod Parasites of Rodents in Khorram Abbad district, Lorestan Provincen of Iran

    OpenAIRE

    A Shayan; J Rafinejad

    2006-01-01

    Ectoparasites are considered as the main vectors of zoonotic diseases. They play an important role for transmission of wide variety of diseases such as CCHF, leishmaniosis and plague to human and vertebrates. Mammals, especially rodents, are the most important reservoirs of zoonotic diseases. The aim of this study was to identify the ectoparasites of rodents captured in Korram-Abad, Lurestan Province, Iran during year 2002-2003. Rodents were live trapped from 24 localities in six major land-r...

  10. Unintentional wildlife poisoning and proposals for sustainable management of rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coeurdassier, Michael; Riols, Romain; Decors, Anouk; Mionnet, Aymeric; David, Fabienne; Quintaine, Thomas; Truchetet, Denis; Scheifler, Renaud; Giraudoux, Patrick

    2014-04-01

    In Europe, bromadiolone, an anticoagulant rodenticide authorized for plant protection, may be applied intensively in fields to control rodents. The high level of poisoning of wildlife that follows such treatments over large areas has been frequently reported. In France, bromadiolone has been used to control water voles (Arvicola terrestris) since the 1980s. Both regulation and practices of rodent control have evolved during the last 15 years to restrict the quantity of poisoned bait used by farmers. This has led to a drastic reduction of the number of cases of poisoned wildlife reported by the French surveillance network SAGIR. During the autumn and winter 2011, favorable weather conditions and high vole densities led to the staging of several hundreds of Red Kites (Milvus milvus) in the Puy-de-Dôme department (central France). At the same time, intensive treatments with bromadiolone were performed in this area. Although no misuse has been mentioned by the authorities following controls, 28 Red Kites and 16 Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo) were found dead during surveys in November and December 2011. For all these birds, poisoning by bromadiolone as the main cause of death was either confirmed or highly suspected. Other observations suggest a possible impact of bromadiolone on the breeding population of Red Kites in this area during the spring 2011. French regulation of vole control for plant protection is currently under revision, and we believe this event calls for more sustainable management of rodent outbreaks. Based on large-scale experiments undertaken in eastern France, we propose that direct control of voles at low density (with trapping or limited chemical treatments) and mechanical destruction of vole tunnels, mole control, landscape management, and predator fostering be included in future regulation because such practices could help resolve conservation and agricultural issues. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Protection of Stored Plant Products Using Chlorophacinone Against Rodent Pests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina Vukša

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Apart from some preventive measures advisably taken during construction of storage facilities or at the time of product storage, treatments with chemical rodenticides are the most widely practiced method of controlling commensal rodents. Their control in storage facilities is normally carried out after animal presence has been observed, and treatments from early autumn onwards throughout the season provide the best effect. The aim of this paper is to present the effects of rodent control using baits with less content am chlorofacinon than recommended, to the protection of stored plant products. The experiments were set up using the relevant OEPP/EPPO method. A ready for use (RB paste bait formulation was used with different contents (0.005% and 0.0075% of the active ingredient chlorophacinone.Baits were laid in boxes along rodent routes, underneath pallets with sacs and in places where major damage had been observed. Baits for house mouse were placed at a rate of 10-20 g per 1-3 m, while 30-50 g of bait for brown rats were laid at specific points. Daily bait intake was monitored over a period of ten days and the portions were replaced with new ones as needed. Placebo baits were laid in identical boxes for four days before the experiment began. The abundance of house mouse was estimated based on the highest and lowest daily intake of bait divided by the species’ daily requirement. Mice presence was monitored over the next 20 days. Rodenticide efficacy was calculated using Abbott’s formula. The data in this experiment show that chorophacinone contents of 0.005% and 0.0075% in RB baits had no effect on the palatability and bait efficacy in controlling house mouse and brown rat indoors. The average efficacy of chorophacinone was 87-93% against house mouse and 90-100% against brown rat.

  12. The Immunology of Wild Rodents: Current Status and Future Prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Viney

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Wild animals’ immune responses contribute to their evolutionary fitness. These responses are moulded by selection to be appropriate to the actual antigenic environment in which the animals live, but without imposing an excessive energetic demand which compromises other component of fitness. But, exactly what these responses are, and how they compare with those of laboratory animals, has been little studied. Here, we review the very small number of published studies of immune responses of wild rodents, finding general agreement that their humoral (antibody responses are highly elevated when compared with those of laboratory animals, and that wild rodents’ cellular immune system reveals extensive antigenic exposure. In contrast, proliferative and cytokine responses of ex vivo-stimulated immune cells of wild rodents are typically depressed compared with those of laboratory animals. Collectively, these responses are appropriate to wild animals’ lives, because the elevated responses reflect the cumulative exposure to infection, while the depressed proliferative and cytokine responses are indicative of effective immune homeostasis that minimizes immunopathology. A more comprehensive understanding of the immune ecology of wild animals requires (i understanding the antigenic load to which wild animals are exposed, and identification of any key antigens that mould the immune repertoire, (ii identifying immunoregulatory processes of wild animals and the events that induce them, and (iii understanding the actual resource state of wild animals, and the immunological consequences that flow from this. Together, by extending studies of wild rodents, particularly addressing these questions (while drawing on our immunological understanding of laboratory animals, we will be better able to understand how rodents’ immune responses contribute to their fitness in the wild.

  13. Default-mode-like network activation in awake rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaymin Upadhyay

    Full Text Available During wakefulness and in absence of performing tasks or sensory processing, the default-mode network (DMN, an intrinsic central nervous system (CNS network, is in an active state. Non-human primate and human CNS imaging studies have identified the DMN in these two species. Clinical imaging studies have shown that the pattern of activity within the DMN is often modulated in various disease states (e.g., Alzheimer's, schizophrenia or chronic pain. However, whether the DMN exists in awake rodents has not been characterized. The current data provides evidence that awake rodents also possess 'DMN-like' functional connectivity, but only subsequent to habituation to what is initially a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI environment as well as physical restraint. Specifically, the habituation process spanned across four separate scanning sessions (Day 2, 4, 6 and 8. At Day 8, significant (p<0.05 functional connectivity was observed amongst structures such as the anterior cingulate (seed region, retrosplenial, parietal, and hippocampal cortices. Prior to habituation (Day 2, functional connectivity was only detected (p<0.05 amongst CNS structures known to mediate anxiety (i.e., anterior cingulate (seed region, posterior hypothalamic area, amygdala and parabracial nucleus. In relating functional connectivity between cingulate-default-mode and cingulate-anxiety structures across Days 2-8, a significant inverse relationship (r = -0.65, p = 0.0004 was observed between these two functional interactions such that increased cingulate-DMN connectivity corresponded to decreased cingulate anxiety network connectivity. This investigation demonstrates that the cingulate is an important component of both the rodent DMN-like and anxiety networks.

  14. Sex differences in chronic stress effects on cognition in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luine, Victoria; Gomez, Juan; Beck, Kevin; Bowman, Rachel

    2017-01-01

    Chronic stress causes deleterious changes in physiological function in systems ranging from neural cells in culture to laboratory rodents, sub-human primates and humans. It is notable, however, that the vast majority of research in this area has been conducted in males. In this review, we provide information about chronic stress effects on cognition in female rodents and contrast it with responses in male rodents. In general, females show cognitive resilience to chronic stressors which impair male cognitive function using spatial tasks including the radial arm maze, radial arm water maze, Morris water maze, Y-maze and object placement. Moreover, stress often enhances female performance in some of these cognitive tasks. Memory in females is not affected by stress in non-spatial memory tasks like recognition memory and temporal order recognition memory while males show impaired memory following stress. We discuss possible bases for these sex-dependent differences including the use of different strategies by the sexes to solve cognitive tasks. Whether the sex differences result from changes in non-mnemonic factors is also considered. Sex-dependent differences in alcohol and drug influences on stress responses are also described. Finally, the role of neurally derived estradiol in driving sex differences and providing resilience to stress in females is shown. The importance of determining the nature and extent of sex differences in stress responses is that such differences may provide vital information for understanding why some stress related diseases have different incidence rates between the sexes and for developing novel therapeutic treatments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Evidence for rectus extraocular muscle pulleys in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanna, S; Porter, J D

    2001-08-01

    Extraocular rectus muscle (EOM) pulleys are important determinants of orbital biomechanics in humans. In this study, the authors evaluated orbital connective tissue morphology, specifically characterizing rectus muscle pulleys, in the rat, a species with laterally placed eyes, afoveate vision, and a less complex visuomotor repertoire than primates. Adult rat orbits were paraffin processed and serially sectioned for histochemical and immunohistochemical staining. Frozen sections of enucleated globes with intact EOMs and associated connective tissue were also studied with myosin immunohistochemistry and histochemistry for the mitochondrial enzyme, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)-tetrazolium reductase, to delineate the orbital layer relationship with the pulley tissue. Focal condensations of collagenous connective tissue were found in relationship to the rectus muscles in the equatorial Tenon's fascia, similar to those described as human recti muscle pulleys. The fibroelastic pulley rings were coupled to adjacent EOM pulleys by bands containing collagen and elastin. The coupling of pulleys to the orbital walls was significantly less than that previously described in humans. As in humans, there was a dual insertion of rodent rectus muscles, with the orbital layer inserting on the muscle pulley and the global layer attaching to the sclera. The data support the presence of structures in the rat orbit that are the morphologic equivalent of the human rectus pulley system. Although rodent and human pulleys were similar in many respects, there were species-specific properties that may relate to established differences in orbital anatomy and/or visuomotor behavior. These data extend the rectus muscle pulley concept to rodents and may provide insight into pulley structure-function relationships.

  16. Do farming practices influence population dynamics of rodents?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Massawe, A W; Rwamugira, W; Leirs, Herwig

    2007-01-01

    A capture-mark-recapture study was conducted in crop fields in Morogoro, Tanzania, to investigate how the population dynamics of multimammate field rats, Mastomys natalensis, was influenced by the commonly practised land preparation methods and cropping systems. Two land preparation methods (trac...... practices. In maize fields in Tanzania, the crop is most susceptible to damage by M. natalensis in the first 2 weeks after planting, and therefore, lower densities of rodents will result into lower crop damage in tractor ploughed fields....

  17. Diagnostic Imaging of Dental Disease in Pet Rabbits and Rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capello, Vittorio

    2016-09-01

    Diagnostic imaging techniques are of paramount importance for dentistry and oral disorders of rabbits, rodents, and other exotic companion mammals. Aside from standard radiography, stomatoscopy is a complementary tool allowing a thorough and detailed inspection of the oral cavity. Computed tomography (CT) generates multiple 2-dimensional views and 3-dimensional reconstructions providing superior diagnostic accuracy also useful for prognosis and treatment of advanced dental disease and its related complications. MRI is a diagnostic imaging technique additional to CT used primarily to enhance soft tissues, including complex odontogenic abscesses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Rodent Habitat On ISS: Spaceflight Effects On Mouse Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronca, A. E.; Moyer, E. L.; Talyansky, Y.; Padmanabhan, S.; Choi, S.; Gong, C.; Globus, R. K.

    2016-01-01

    The NASA Decadal Survey (2011), Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era, emphasized the importance of expanding NASA life sciences research to long duration, rodent experiments on the International Space Station (ISS). To accomplish this objective, flight hardware, operations, and science capabilities supporting mouse studies in space were developed at NASA Ames Research Center. The first flight experiment carrying mice, Rodent Research Hardware and Operations Validation (Rodent Research-1), was launched on Sept 21, 2014 in an unmanned Dragon Capsule, SpaceX4, exposing the mice to a total of 37 days in space. Ground control groups were maintained in environmental chambers at Kennedy Space Center. Mouse health and behavior were monitored for the duration of the experiment via video streaming. Here we present behavioral analysis of two groups of five C57BL/6 female adult mice viewed via fixed camera views compared with identically housed Ground Controls. Flight (Flt) and Ground Control (GC) mice exhibited the same range of behaviors, including eating, drinking, exploratory behavior, self- and allo-grooming, and social interactions at similar or greater levels of occurrence. Mice propelled themselves freely and actively throughout the Habitat using their forelimbs to push off or by floating from one cage area to another, and they quickly learned to anchor themselves using tails and/or paws. Overall activity was greater in Flt as compared to GC mice, with spontaneous ambulatory behavior including the development of organized ‘circling’ or ‘race-tracking’ behavior that emerged within the first few days of flight and encompassed the primary dark cycle activity for the remainder of the experiment. We quantified the bout frequency, duration and rate of circling with respect to characteristic behaviors observed in the varying stages of the progressive development of circling: flipping utilizing two sides of the

  19. The water economy of South American desert rodents: from integrative to molecular physiological ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozinovic, Francisco; Gallardo, Pedro

    2006-01-01

    Rodents from arid and semi-arid habitats live under conditions where the spatial and temporal availability of free water is limited, or scarce, thus forcing these rodents to deal with the problem of water conservation. The response of rodents to unproductive desert environments and water deficits has been intensively investigated in many deserts of the world. However, current understanding of the cellular, systemic and organismal physiology of water economy relies heavily on short-term, laboratory-oriented experiments, which usually focus on responses at isolated levels of biological organization. In addition, studies in small South American mammals are scarce. Indeed xeric habitats have existed in South America for a long time and it is intriguing why present day South American desert rodents do not show the wide array of adaptive traits to desert life observed for rodents on other continents. Several authors have pointed out that South American desert rodents lack physiological and energetic specialization for energy and water conservation, hypothesizing that their success is based more on behavioral and ecological strategies. We review phenotypic flexibility and physiological diversity in water flux rate, urine osmolality, and expression of water channels in South American desert-dwelling rodents. As far as we know, this is the first review of integrative studies at cellular, systemic and organismal levels. Our main conclusion is that South American desert rodents possess structural as well as physiological systems for water conservation, which are as remarkable as those found in "classical" rodents inhabiting other desert areas of the world.

  20. A new form of rodent placentation in the relict species, Laonastes aenigmamus (Rodentia Diatomyidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carter, Anthony Michael; Enders, A C; Jones, C J P

    2013-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: The Laotian rock rat is a relict species in a sister group relationship to hystricognath rodents (Hystricognathi). We asked whether there were similarities in placentation that might reflect this relationship or differences that might cast light on the evolution of Hystricognathi...... was the plesiomorphic condition for rodents. A hemomonochorial interhemal region was plesiomorphic for rodents and Hystricognathi, and the hemodichorial condition found in Laonastes, and possibly in Ctenodactylus, was unlike that of any rodent studied to date. CONCLUSION: Similar to Hystricognathi, Laonastes bears...

  1. Comparative analysis of the oral mucosae from rodents and non-rodents: Application to the nonclinical evaluation of sublingual immunotherapy products.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Thirion-Delalande

    Full Text Available A comparative characterization of the oral mucosa in various animals is needed to identify the best animal model(s for nonclinical evaluation of sublingual immunotherapy products. With this aim, we studied the histological characteristics and immune cell infiltrates of oral mucosae from common animal species.Three oral regions (i.e. ventral surface of the tongue, mouth floor and cheek obtained from eight animal species, including rodents (i.e. mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs and non-rodents (i.e. rabbits, dogs, minipigs and monkeys were characterized by histology and immunohistology in comparison with a human tongue.Rodents exhibit a thin keratinized epithelium with low epithelial extensions, whereas non-rodents, most particularly minipigs and monkeys, display a non-keratinized epithelium with larger rete ridges, similarly to humans. Glycogen-rich cells in the superficial epithelial layers are observed in samples from both minipigs, monkeys and humans. Comparable immune subpopulations detected in the 3 oral regions from rodent and non-rodent species include MHC-II+ antigen presenting cells, mostly CD163+ macrophages, located in the lamina propria (LP and muscle tissue in the vicinity of resident CD3+CD4+ T cells. Limited numbers of mast cells are also detected in the LP and muscle tissue from all species.The oral mucosae of minipigs and monkeys are closest to that of humans, and the immune networks are quite similar between all rodents and non-rodents. Taking into account the ethical and logistical difficulties of performing research in the latter species, rodents and especially mice, should preferentially be used for pharmacodynamics/efficacy studies. Our data also support the use of minipigs to perform biodistribution and safety studies of sublingual immunotherapy products.

  2. Familial gigantism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    W.W. de Herder (Wouter)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractFamilial GH-secreting tumors are seen in association with three separate hereditary clinical syndromes: multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, Carney complex, and familial isolated pituitary adenomas.

  3. Familial gigantism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter W. de Herder

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Familial GH-secreting tumors are seen in association with three separate hereditary clinical syndromes: multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, Carney complex, and familial isolated pituitary adenomas.

  4. Family Ties

    OpenAIRE

    Alesina, Alberto; Giuliano, Paola

    2009-01-01

    We study the role of the most primitive institution in society: the family. Its organization and relationship between generations shape values formation, economic outcomes and influences national institutions. We use a measure of family ties, constructed from the World Values Survey, to review and extend the literature on the effect of family ties on economic behavior and economic attitudes. We show that strong family ties are negatively correlated with generalized trust; they imply more hous...

  5. Digestive and Nondigestive Functions of Rodents' Salivary Glands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, V V; Milto, I V; Sukhodolo, I V; Serebryakova, O N; Buzenkova, A V

    2017-01-01

    Major salivary glands play a role not only in digestion, but also in regulation of other functions in rodents. In this review, we analyzed and summarized the data about the rodents' parotid, submandibular and sublingual salivary glands functions, which is not limited to the production of saliva and action of its hydrolytic enzymes on food in the oral cavity. In recent decades significantly expanded understanding of major salivary glands nondigestive functions. They are involved in excretion of metabolic products, maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. Special attention has been paid to the characteristics of specific (parotin, sialorphin, etc.) and nonspecific (epidermal growth factor, nerve growth factor, kallikrein, etc.) active substances of the major salivary glands and their involvement in wound healing, mineral metabolism, regulation of hematopoiesis and immunity system. Summarized and analyzed major salivary glands endocrine function in the organs and systems. Available literature data suggest: the structure of the major salivary glands, as well as the synthesis and secretion of a number of biologically active substances are controlled by sex hormones. In turn, these biologically active factors of the salivary glands, as epidermal growth factor, and parotin, sialorphin, whose expression is regulated by androgens, have an impact on the morphological and functional state of the gonads. Thus, major salivary glands operate a wide range of functions and involved in the regulation of sexual behavior of reproductive function and maintaining homeostasis in the body.

  6. Studying autism in rodent models: reconciling endophenotypes with comorbidities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew eArgyropoulos

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorder (ASD patients commonly exhibit a variety of comorbid traits including seizures, anxiety, aggressive behavior, gastrointestinal problems, motor deficits, abnormal sensory processing and sleep disturbances for which the cause is unknown. These features impact negatively on daily life and can exaggerate the effects of the core diagnostic traits (social communication deficits and repetitive behaviors. Studying endophenotypes relevant to both core and comorbid features of ASD in rodent models can provide insight into biological mechanisms underlying these disorders. Here we review the characterization of endophenotypes in a selection of environmental, genetic and behavioural rodent models of ASD. In addition to exhibiting core ASD-like behaviours, each of these animal models display one or more endophenotypes relevant to comorbid features including altered sensory processing, seizure susceptibility, anxiety-like behaviour and disturbed motor functions, suggesting that these traits are indicators of altered biological pathways in ASD. However, the study of behaviours paralleling comorbid traits in animal models of ASD is an emerging field and further research is needed to assess altered gastrointestinal function, aggression and disorders of sleep onset across models. Future studies should include investigation of these endophenotypes in order to advance our understanding of the etiology of this complex disorder.

  7. Seasonal variation in telomere length of a hibernating rodent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turbill, Christopher; Ruf, Thomas; Smith, Steve; Bieber, Claudia

    2013-04-23

    Small hibernating rodents have greater maximum lifespans and hence appear to age more slowly than similar-sized non-hibernators. We tested for a direct effect of hibernation on somatic maintenance and ageing by measuring seasonal changes in relative telomere length (RTL) in the edible dormouse Glis glis. Average RTL in our population did not change significantly over the hibernation season, and a regression model explaining individual variation in post-hibernation RTL suggested a significant negative effect of the reduction in body mass over the inactive hibernation period (an index of time spent euthermic), supporting the idea that torpor slows ageing. Over the active season, RTL on average decreased in sub-adults but increased in adults, supporting previous findings of greater telomere shortening at younger ages. Telomere length increase might also have been associated with reproduction, which occurred only in adults. Our study reveals how seasonal changes in physiological state influence the progress of life-history traits, such as somatic maintenance and ageing, in a small hibernating rodent.

  8. Population Ecology of Hantavirus Rodent Hosts in Southern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Bernardo R.; Loureiro, Nathalie; Strecht, Liana; Gentile, Rosana; Oliveira, Renata C.; Guterres, Alexandro; Fernandes, Jorlan; Mattos, Luciana H. B. V.; Raboni, Sonia M.; Rubio, Giselia; Bonvicino, Cibele R.; Duarte dos Santos, Claudia N.; Lemos, Elba R. S.; D'Andrea, Paulo S.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we analyze population dynamics of hantavirus rodent hosts and prevalence of infection over a 2-year period in Southern Brazil, a region with a high incidence of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The 14 small mammal species captured were composed of 10 rodents and four marsupials, the six most abundant species being Akodon serrensis, Oxymycterus judex, Akodon montensis, Akodon paranaensis, Oligoryzomys nigripes, and Thaptomys nigrita. These species displayed a similar pattern with increasing population sizes in fall/winter caused by recruitment and both, increase in reproductive activity and higher hantavirus prevalence in spring/summer. Specific associations between A. montensis/Jaborá Virus (JABV) and O. nigripes/Juquitiba-like Virus (JUQV-like) and spillover infections between A. paranaensis/JABV, A. serrensis/JABV, and A. paranaensis/JUQV-like were observed. Spillover infection in secondary hosts seems to play an important role in maintaining JABV and JUQV-like in the hantavirus sylvatic cycle mainly during periods of low prevalence in primary hosts. PMID:24935954

  9. Animal models of excessive alcohol consumption in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Howard C

    2013-01-01

    Numerous animal models have been developed to study excessive alcohol consumption in rodents. Use of such models has played a valuable role in elucidating biological underpinnings and environmental factors that mediate/promote excessive levels of alcohol drinking. A major obstacle in this work has been the need to overcome the natural tendency of rodents to either avoid alcohol or consume it in limited amounts that typically do not produce overt signs of intoxication. A variety of experimental approaches that entail modifying genetic and/or environmental factors have been employed to address this general problem and demonstrate excessive levels of alcohol consumption. Five different approaches that characterize animal models of excessive alcohol consumption are described: models that involve (a) scheduled access to alcohol; (b) scheduled periods of alcohol deprivation; (c) scheduled intermittent access to alcohol; (d) scheduled-induced polydipsia; and (e) dependence and withdrawal experience. Each of the models possesses unique experimental features that engender excessive levels of alcohol consumption. Both advantages and disadvantages for each model are described along with discussion of future challenges to be considered in developing more optimal models. Ultimately, the validity and usefulness of these models will lie in their ability to serve as a platform for studying biological underpinnings and environmental influences that drive increased motivation for alcohol seeking and consumption, as well as evaluation of treatment strategies that effectively reduce excessive levels of alcohol consumption.

  10. Identifying genes for neurobehavioural traits in rodents: progress and pitfalls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amelie Baud

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Identifying genes and pathways that contribute to differences in neurobehavioural traits is a key goal in psychiatric research. Despite considerable success in identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs associated with behaviour in laboratory rodents, pinpointing the causal variants and genes is more challenging. For a long time, the main obstacle was the size of QTLs, which could encompass tens if not hundreds of genes. However, recent studies have exploited mouse and rat resources that allow mapping of phenotypes to narrow intervals, encompassing only a few genes. Here, we review these studies, showcase the rodent resources they have used and highlight the insights into neurobehavioural traits provided to date. We discuss what we see as the biggest challenge in the field – translating QTLs into biological knowledge by experimentally validating and functionally characterizing candidate genes – and propose that the CRISPR/Cas genome-editing system holds the key to overcoming this obstacle. Finally, we challenge traditional views on inbred versus outbred resources in the light of recent resource and technology developments.

  11. Relapsing fever group Borrelia in Southern California rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieto, Nathan C; Teglas, Mike B

    2014-09-01

    Wild rodent reservoir host species were surveyed prospectively for infection with Borrelia hermsii, the causative agent of tick-borne relapsing fever in the western United States. Trapping occurred during the summer of 2009-2012 at field sites surrounding Big Bear Lake, CA, a region where human infection has been reported for many years. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), we tested 207 rodents from 11 species and found chipmunks (Tamias spp.) and a woodrat (Neotoma macrotis) infected. Chipmunks represented the majority of captures at these sites. Sixteen of the 207 (7.7%; CI = 4.6-12.4) animals were qPCR-positive for Borrelia spp. associated with relapsing fever, and of those, we obtained bacterial DNA sequences from eight. The phylogram made from these sequences depict a clear association with B. hermsii genomic group I. In addition, we identified an infection with Borrelia coriaceae in a Tamias merriami, a potentially nonpathogenic member of the tick-borne relapsing fever group. Our findings support the hypothesis that chipmunk species play an important role in the maintenance of Borrelia species that cause tick-borne relapsing fever in the western United States, and therefore the risk of infection to people.

  12. A Practical Guide to Rodent Islet Isolation and Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carter Jeffrey D

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Pancreatic islets of Langerhans secrete hormones that are vital to the regulation of blood glucose and are, therefore, a key focus of diabetes research. Purifying viable and functional islets from the pancreas for study is an intricate process. This review highlights the key elements involved with mouse and rat islet isolation, including choices of collagenase, the collagenase digestion process, purification of islets using a density gradient, and islet culture conditions. In addition, this paper reviews commonly used techniques for assessing islet viability and function, including visual assessment, fluorescent markers of cell death, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, and intracellular calcium measurements. A detailed protocol is also included that describes a common method for rodent islet isolation that our laboratory uses to obtain viable and functional mouse islets for in vitro study of islet function, beta-cell physiology, and in vivo rodent islet transplantation. The purpose of this review is to serve as a resource and foundation for successfully procuring and purifying high-quality islets for research purposes.

  13. Intrinsic membrane properties of central vestibular neurons in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eugène, Daniel; Idoux, Erwin; Beraneck, Mathieu; Moore, L E; Vidal, Pierre-Paul

    2011-05-01

    Numerous studies in rodents have shown that the functional efficacy of several neurotransmitter receptors and the intrinsic membrane excitability of central vestibular neurons, as well as the organization of synaptic connections within and between vestibular nuclei can be modified during postnatal development, after a lesion of peripheral vestibular organs or in vestibular-deficient mutant animals. This review mainly focuses on the intrinsic membrane properties of neurons of the medial vestibular nuclei of rodents, their postnatal maturation, and changes following experimental or congenital alterations in vestibular inputs. It also presents the concomitant modifications in the distribution of these neurons into different neuron types, which has been based on their membrane properties in relation to their anatomical, biochemical, or functional properties. The main points discussed in this review are that (1) the intrinsic membrane properties can be used to distinguish between two dominant types of neurons, (2) the system remains plastic throughout the whole life of the animal, and finally, (3) the intracellular calcium concentration has a major effect on the intrinsic membrane properties of central vestibular neurons.

  14. Functional assessments of the rodent facial nerve: a synkinesis model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadlock, Tessa; Kowaleski, Jeffrey; Lo, David; Bermejo, Roberto; Zeigler, H Philip; Mackinnon, Susan; Heaton, James T

    2008-10-01

    Rodent whisker movement has been used as a tool, after facial nerve manipulation, to quantify functional recovery. We have recently established a method to study functional correlates of aberrant regeneration of the facial nerve. Our objective was to establish normative parameters for both spontaneous and induced whisking and blinking behavior in a large group of normal rats. Prospective animal study. Eighty animals underwent quantitative facial movement testing to measure simultaneous vibrissal movement and ocular closure for each side independently. Right and left C-1 whisker positions were continuously recorded for 5-minute sessions, and changes in infrared detection corresponding to eye closure were continuously recorded. Whisking and blinking were elicited by delivery of olfactory stimuli (10 s scented airflows) and corneal air puffs. Whisks were counted and analyzed, and eye closures were counted. Whisking amplitude, velocity, and acceleration were consistent with literature values. Air puff delivery elicited an ipsilateral blink 99% of the time, a contralateral blink 18% of the time, and changes in or initiation of bilateral whisking 70% of the time. Olfactory stimulus delivery prompted a change in whisking behavior 83% of the time, and eye closure 20% of the time. This study establishes normative data for assessing cranial nerve VII-controlled facial movement in four separate facial regions. We demonstrate the capability and tendency of animals to move their orbicularis oculi muscles independently of and simultaneously with their midfacial muscles. This model provides an excellent tool for the study of aberrant regeneration after facial nerve injury in the rodent.

  15. Cranial MRI of small rodents using a clinical MR scanner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linn, Jennifer; Schwarz, Friederike; Schichor, Christian; Wiesmann, Martin

    2007-09-01

    Increasing numbers of small animal models are in use in the field of neuroscience research. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides an excellent method for non-invasive imaging of the brain. Using three-dimensional (3D) MR sequences allows lesion volumetry, e.g. for the quantification of tumor size. Specialized small-bore animal MRI scanners are available for high-resolution MRI of small rodents' brain, but major drawbacks of this dedicated equipment are its high costs and thus its limited availability. Therefore, more and more research groups use clinical MR scanners for imaging small animal models. But to achieve a reasonable spatial resolution at an acceptable signal-to-noise ratio with these scanners, some requirements concerning sequence parameters have to be matched. Thus, the aim of this paper was to present in detail a method how to perform MRI of small rodents brain using a standard clinical 1.5 T scanner and clinically available radio frequency coils to keep material costs low and to circumvent the development of custom-made coils.

  16. Management of rodent exposure and allergy in the pediatric population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Elizabeth C

    2013-12-01

    Although rodent allergy has long been recognized as an occupational disease, it has only been in the past decade that it has been recognized as a community-based disease that affects children. Most homes in the US have detectable mouse allergen, but the concentrations in inner-city homes are orders of magnitude higher than those found in suburban homes. Home mouse allergen exposure has been linked to sensitization to mouse, and children with asthma who are both sensitized and exposed to high mouse allergen concentrations at home are at greater risk for symptoms, exacerbations and reduced lung function. Rat allergen is found primarily in inner-city homes and has also been linked to asthma morbidity among sensitized children. The objective of this review is to summarize the scientific literature on rodents and their allergens, the effects of exposure to these allergens on allergic respiratory disease, and to make recommendations, based on this evidence base, for the evaluation and management of mouse allergy in the pediatric population.

  17. Exponential families

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hallin, M.; Piegorsch, W.; El Shaarawi, A.

    2012-01-01

    Exponential families of distributions are parametric dominated families in which the logarithm of probability densities take a simple bilinear form (bilinear in the parameter and a statistic). As a consequence of that special form, sampling models in those families admit a finite-dimensional

  18. Family Matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Featherstone, Joseph

    1979-01-01

    Emphasizing the family as the center of political/policy debates is the result of the tradition of romanticizing family virtues and a set of events ("the sixities"). Author sees the family emerging as a symbol in communal social policy development. Warns of dangers inherent in seeking private solutions to collective problems. (Author/CSS)

  19. Advances in Rodent Research Missions on the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, S. Y.; Ronca, A.; Leveson-Gower, D.; Gong, C.; Stube, K.; Pletcher, D.; Wigley, C.; Beegle, J.; Globus, R. K.

    2016-01-01

    A research platform for rodent experiment on the ISS is a valuable tool for advancing biomedical research in space. Capabilities offered by the Rodent Research project developed at NASA Ames Research Center can support experiments of much longer duration on the ISS than previous experiments performed on the Space Shuttle. NASAs Rodent Research (RR)-1 mission was completed successfully and achieved a number of objectives, including validation of flight hardware, on-orbit operations, and science capabilities as well as support of a CASIS-sponsored experiment (Novartis) on muscle atrophy. Twenty C57BL6J adult female mice were launched on the Space-X (SpX) 4 Dragon vehicle, and thrived for up to 37 days in microgravity. Daily health checks of the mice were performed during the mission via downlinked video; all flight animals were healthy and displayed normal behavior, and higher levels of physical activity compared to ground controls. Behavioral analysis demonstrated that Flight and Ground Control mice exhibited the same range of behaviors, including eating, drinking, exploratory behavior, self- and allo-grooming, and social interactions indicative of healthy animals. The animals were euthanized on-orbit and select tissues were collected from some of the mice on orbit to assess the long-term sample storage capabilities of the ISS. In general, the data obtained from the flight mice were comparable to those from the three groups of control mice (baseline, vivarium and ground controls, which were housed in flight hardware), showing that the ISS has adequate capability to support long-duration rodent experiments. The team recovered 35 tissues from 40 RR-1 frozen carcasses, yielding 3300 aliquots of tissues to distribute to the scientific community in the U.S., including NASAs GeneLab project and scientists via Space Biology's Biospecimen Sharing Program Ames Life Science Data Archive. Tissues also were distributed to Russian research colleagues at the Institute for

  20. Community families

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Lotte Groth; Lou, Stina; Aagaard, Jørgen

    2017-01-01

    Background: Social interventions targeted at people with severe mental illness (SMI) often include volunteers. Volunteers' perspectives are important for these interventions to work. The present paper investigates the experiences of volunteer families who befriend a person with SMI. Material......: Qualitative interviews with members of volunteer families. Discussion: The families were motivated by helping a vulnerable person and to engaging in a rewarding relationship. However, the families often doubted their personal judgment and relied on mental health workers to act as safety net. Conclusion......: The volunteer involvement is meaningful but also challenging. The families value professional support....

  1. Polyandry and polygyny in an African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kennis, J.; Sluydts, V.; Leirs, H.; Hooft, van W.F.

    2008-01-01

    Males and females use different mating strategies and seldom have these strategies been studied on the field for cryptic rodent species. We studied the breeding strategies of both males and females of the sub-Sahara African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis, in the field using capture removal

  2. Long-term population patterns of rodents and associated damage in German forestry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imholt, Christian; Reil, Daniela; Plašil, Pavel; Rödiger, Kerstin; Jacob, Jens

    2017-02-01

    Several rodent species can damage forest trees, especially at young tree age in afforestation. Population outbreaks of field voles (Microtus agrestis L.) and bank voles (Myodes glareolus Schreber) in particular can cause losses. Analyses of long-term time series indicate good synchrony of population abundance in rodent species associated with damage in forestry. This synchrony could be related to the effect of beech (Fagus spec.) mast in the previous year on population growth rates of both species. In shorter time series from Eastern Germany, damage in forestry was mostly associated with autumn abundances of rodents. Environmental factors such as beech mast and snow cover did not explain additional variation in rodent damage to trees. Beech mast is a good indicator of long-term rodent abundance in Northern German afforestation areas. However, rodent damage to forestry in Central Germany did not seem to depend on environmental parameters other than rodent abundance at large scale. As a result, there is still uncertainty about the link between environmental predictors and rodent damage to forestry, and further experimental work is required to identify suitable environmental drivers and their interplay with other potential factors such as the local predator community. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. The role of rodents and shrews in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii to pigs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kijlstra, A.; Meerburg, B.G.; Cornelissen, J.B.W.J.; Craeye, de S.; Vereijken, P.F.G.; Jongert, E.

    2008-01-01

    Inadequate rodent control is considered to play a role in Toxoplasma gondii infection of pigs. This issue was addressed in the current study by combining a 4-month rodent control campaign and a 7-month longitudinal analysis of T. gondii seroprevalence in slaughter pigs. Three organic pig farms with

  4. Draft Genome Sequence of the Rodent Opportunistic Pathogen Pasteurella pneumotropica ATCC 35149T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Hiraku; Ishikawa, Hiroki; Asano, Ryoki; Ueshiba, Hidehiro; Matsumoto, Tetsuya; Boot, Ron; Kawamoto, Eiichi

    2014-08-07

    Pasteurella pneumotropica is an opportunistic pathogen in rodents that is commonly isolated from upper respiratory tracts in laboratory rodents. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the P. pneumotropica type strain ATCC 35149, which was first isolated and characterized as biotype Jawetz. Copyright © 2014 Sasaki et al.

  5. Draft Genome Sequence of the Rodent Opportunistic Pathogen Pasteurella pneumotropica ATCC 35149T

    OpenAIRE

    Sasaki, Hiraku; Ishikawa, Hiroki; Asano, Ryoki; Ueshiba, Hidehiro; Matsumoto, Tetsuya; Boot, Ron; Kawamoto, Eiichi

    2014-01-01

    Pasteurella pneumotropica is an opportunistic pathogen in rodents that is commonly isolated from upper respiratory tracts in laboratory rodents. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of the P. pneumotropica type strain ATCC 35149, which was first isolated and characterized as biotype Jawetz.

  6. Rough-legged buzzards, Arctic foxes and red foxes in a tundra ecosystem without rodents

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Pokrovsky, Ivan; Ehrich, Dorothée; Ims, Rolf A; Kondratyev, Alexander V; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Kulikova, Olga; Mihnevich, Julia; Pokrovskaya, Liya; Shienok, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    ... to collapse in a warming Arctic. Here we document for the first time how three normally rodent-dependent predator species-rough-legged buzzard, arctic fox and red fox - perform in a low-arctic ecosystem with no rodents. During six years...

  7. Prevalence of SFTSV among Asian house shrews and rodents, China, January-August 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jian-Wei; Wen, Hong-Ling; Fang, Li-Zhu; Zhang, Zhen-Tang; He, Shu-Ting; Xue, Zai-Feng; Ma, Dong-Qiang; Zhang, Xiao-Shuang; Wang, Tao; Yu, Hao; Zhang, Yan; Zhao, Li; Yu, Xue-jie

    2014-12-01

    To evaluate the role of small mammals as hosts of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), we tested serum samples from rodents and shrews in China, collected in 2013. SFTSV antibodies and RNA were detected, suggesting that rodents and shrews might be hosts for SFTSV.

  8. Molecular Survey of Zoonotic Agents in Rodents and Other Small Mammals in Croatia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tadin, Ante; Tokarz, Rafal; Markotić, Alemka; Margaletić, Josip; Turk, Nenad; Habuš, Josipa; Svoboda, Petra; Vucelja, Marko; Desai, Aaloki; Jain, Komal; Lipkin, W Ian

    2016-02-01

    Croatia is a focus for many rodent-borne zoonosis. Here, we report a survey of 242 rodents and small mammals, including 43 Myodes glareolus, 131 Apodemus flavicollis, 53 Apodemus agrarius, three Apodemus sylvaticus, six Sorex araneus, four Microtus arvalis, one Microtus agrestis, and one Muscardinus avellanarius, collected at eight sites in Croatia over an 8-year period. Multiplex MassTag polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used for detection of Borrelia, Rickettsia, Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Francisella tularensis, and Coxiella burnetii. Individual PCR assays were used for detection of Leptospira, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, orthopoxviruses, flaviviruses, hantaviruses, and Toxoplasma gondii. Of the rodents, 52 (21.5%) were infected with Leptospira, 9 (3.7%) with Borrelia miyamotoi, 5 (2%) with Borrelia afzelii, 29 (12.0%) with Bartonella, 8 (3.3%) with Babesia microti, 2 (0.8%) with Ehrlichia, 4 (1.7%) with Anaplasma, 2 (0.8%) with F. tularensis, 43 (17.8%) with hantaviruses, and 1 (0.4%) with an orthopoxvirus. Other agents were not detected. Multiple infections were found in 32 rodents (13.2%): dual infections in 26 rodents (10.7%), triple infections in four rodents (2.9%), and quadruple infections in two rodents (0.8%). Our findings indicate that rodents in Croatia harbor a wide range of bacteria and viruses that are pathogenic to humans. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  9. Polyandry and polygyny in an African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kennis, Jan; Sluydts, Vincent; Leirs, Herwig

    2008-01-01

    Males and females use different mating strategies and seldom have these strategies been studied on the field for cryptic rodent species. We studied the breeding strategies of both males and females of the sub-Sahara African rodent pest species, Mastomys natalensis, in the field using capture remo...... as a pest management technique due to the promiscuous mating and high frequency of sexual contacts....

  10. Prevalence of rodent and mongoose leptospirosis on the Island of Oahu.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higa, H H; Fujinaka, I T

    1976-01-01

    Sporadic occurrences of human leptospirosis in recent years throughout the State of Hawaii have resulted in at least one death. Because of the apparent association of rodents and possibly mongooses with human leptospiral infections, a survey for leptospirosis was conducted among rodents as well as mongooses on Oahu. No such work had been recorded since a survey of rodents and mongooses for leptospirosis 31 years ago. In the current work, the prevalence of rodent and mongoose leptospirosis in the districts of Oahu was determined by the kidney-culture method. A serologic study of the rodents and mongooses subjected to kidney culturing was also conducted by use of the microscopic slide agglutination test. There were 1.2 times as many kidney culture results that were positive as serologic results. High prevalence of rodent leptospirosis were found where there was considerable rainfall or fresh surface water such as from streams. The overall leptospirosis prevalence for rodents was 23.4 percent, and for mongooses it was 23.0 percent. The Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) had the highest infection rate, 33.3 percent, and the predominant (72.2 percent) organism in these infections was Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, which causes Weil's disease in man. Observations of rodent leptospirosis recorded 31 years ago were compared with results of the current study. The mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) is the preeminent carrier of Leptospira sejroe, a serotype that generally causes a mild form of leptospirosis in man.

  11. Heat generates oxidized linoleic acid metabolites that activate TRPV1 and produce pain in rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patwardhan, Amol M.; Akopian, Armen N.; Ruparel, Nikita B.; Diogenes, Anibal; Weintraub, Susan T.; Uhlson, Charis; Murphy, Robert C.; Hargreaves, Kenneth M.

    2010-01-01

    The transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel is the principal detector of noxious heat in the peripheral nervous system. TRPV1 is expressed in many nociceptors and is involved in heat-induced hyperalgesia and thermoregulation. The precise mechanism or mechanisms mediating the thermal sensitivity of TRPV1 are unknown. Here, we have shown that the oxidized linoleic acid metabolites 9- and 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid (9- and 13-HODE) are formed in mouse and rat skin biopsies by exposure to noxious heat. 9- and 13-HODE and their metabolites, 9- and 13-oxoODE, activated TRPV1 and therefore constitute a family of endogenous TRPV1 agonists. Moreover, blocking these substances substantially decreased the heat sensitivity of TRPV1 in rats and mice and reduced nociception. Collectively, our results indicate that HODEs contribute to the heat sensitivity of TRPV1 in rodents. Because oxidized linoleic acid metabolites are released during cell injury, these findings suggest a mechanism for integrating the hyperalgesic and proinflammatory roles of TRPV1 and linoleic acid metabolites and may provide the foundation for investigating new classes of analgesic drugs. PMID:20424317

  12. Molecular cloning and biochemical characterization of iron superoxide dismutase from the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium vinckei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prakash, Kirtika; Goyal, Manish; Soni, Awakash; Siddiqui, Arif Jamal; Bhardwaj, Jyoti; Puri, Sunil K

    2014-12-01

    Plasmodium parasite utilizes superoxide dismutase family proteins to limit the toxicity of reactive oxygen species, such as produced through hemoglobin degradation. These proteins play an important role in parasite survival during intra-erythrocytic phase. We have identified, and biochemically characterized a putative iron dependent superoxide dismutase from rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium vinckei (PvSOD1). The recombinant PvSOD1 protein was purified to homogeneity through a combination of affinity and gel filtration chromatography. Crosslinking, Native-PAGE and FPLC gel filtration analyses documented that PvSOD1 exists as a dimer in solution, a common feature shared by other Fe-SODs. PvSOD1 is cytosolic in localization and its expression is comparatively higher during trophozoite as compared to that of ring and schizont stages. Enzymatic activity of recombinant PvSOD1 was validated using conventional zymogram analyses and xanthine-xanthine oxidase system. Under optimal conditions, PvSOD1 was highly active and catalyzed the dismutation of superoxide radicals. Furthermore, PvSOD1 showed activity over a broad range of pH and temperature. Inhibition studies suggested that PvSOD1 was inactivated by hydrogen peroxide, and peroxynitrite, but not by cyanide and azide. Since, PvSOD1 plays a central role in oxidative defense mechanism, therefore, characterization of PvSOD1 will be exploited in the screening of new superoxide dismutase inhibitors for their antimalarial activity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. NPFFR2 Activates the HPA Axis and Induces Anxiogenic Effects in Rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ya-Tin; Yu, Yu-Lian; Hong, Wei-Chen; Yeh, Ting-Shiuan; Chen, Ting-Chun; Chen, Jin-Chung

    2017-08-21

    Neuropeptide FF (NPFF) belongs to the RFamide family and is known as a morphine-modulating peptide. NPFF regulates various hypothalamic functions through two receptors, NPFFR1 and NPFFR2. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis participates in physiological stress response by increasing circulating glucocorticoid levels and modulating emotional responses. Other RFamide peptides, including neuropeptide AF, neuropeptide SF and RFamide related peptide also target NPFFR1 or NPFFR2, and have been reported to activate the HPA axis and induce anxiety- or depression-like behaviors. However, little is known about the action of NPFF on HPA axis activity and anxiety-like behaviors, and the role of the individual receptors remains unclear. In this study, NPFFR2 agonists were used to examine the role of NPFFR2 in activating the HPA axis in rodents. Administration of NPFFR2 agonists, dNPA (intracerebroventricular, ICV) and AC-263093 (intraperitoneal, IP), time-dependently (in rats) and dose-dependently (in mice) increased serum corticosteroid levels and the effects were counteracted by the NPFF receptor antagonist, RF9 (ICV), as well as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) antagonist, α-helical CRF(9-41) (intravenous, IV). Treatment with NPFFR2 agonist (AC-263093, IP) increased c-Fos protein expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus and induced an anxiogenic effect, which was evaluated in mice using an elevated plus maze. These findings reveal, for the first time, that the direct action of hypothalamic NPFFR2 stimulates the HPA axis and triggers anxiety-like behaviors.

  14. Rodents on pig and chicken farms – a potential threat to human and animal health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annette Backhans

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Rodents can cause major problems through spreading various diseases to animals and humans. The two main species of rodents most commonly found on farms around the world are the house mouse (Mus musculus and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus. Both species are omnivorous and can breed year-round under favourable conditions. This review describes the occurrence of pathogens in rodents on specialist pig and chicken farms, which are usually closed units with a high level of bio-security. However, wild rodents may be difficult to exclude completely, even from these sites, and can pose a risk of introducing and spreading pathogens. This article reviews current knowledge regarding rodents as a hazard for spreading disease on farms. Most literature available regards zoonotic pathogens, while the literature regarding pathogens that cause disease in farm animals is more limited.

  15. Comparing strategies for controlling an African pest rodent: an empirically based theoretical study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stenseth, Nils Chr.; Leirs, Herwig; Mercelis, Saskia

    2001-01-01

    1. Small rodents in general and the multimammate rat Mastomys natalensis in particular cause major economic losses in Africa through damage to crops. Attempts to develop dynamic population models for this and other pest rodents are ongoing. Small rodents in general and the multimammate rat...... in particular cause major economic losses in Africa through damage to crops. Attempts to develop dynamic population models for this and other pest rodents are ongoing. 2. Demographic estimates from a capture-mark-recapture (CMR) study in Tanzania were used to parameterize a population model for this species....... This model incorporated three functional age categories (juveniles, subadults and adults) of both sexes and used density-dependent and density-independent factors, the latter represented by rainfall.3. The model was used to analyse the effect of rodent control on the population dynamics and resulting number...

  16. Neurobiology of rodent self-grooming and its value for translational neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalueff, Allan V; Stewart, Adam Michael; Song, Cai; Berridge, Kent C; Graybiel, Ann M; Fentress, John C

    2016-01-01

    Self-grooming is a complex innate behaviour with an evolutionarily conserved sequencing pattern and is one of the most frequently performed behavioural activities in rodents. In this Review, we discuss the neurobiology of rodent self-grooming, and we highlight studies of rodent models of neuropsychiatric disorders--including models of autism spectrum disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder--that have assessed self-grooming phenotypes. We suggest that rodent self-grooming may be a useful measure of repetitive behaviour in such models, and therefore of value to translational psychiatry. Assessment of rodent self-grooming may also be useful for understanding the neural circuits that are involved in complex sequential patterns of action.

  17. Family therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaikh Altamash

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Another major force not letting us succeed in the treatment of diabetes remains right inside the patients home, their family members. Hence, it is important to know the perception of the close family members about this simple and strong tool in diabetes, ′insulin′. The drug is nearing its century, it has not fully being accepted gracefully even in todays electronic savvy society. So, we need to strongly discover the reason for its non-acceptance, while trials are out inventing new drugs. One vital thing that can change this attitude is increasing the understanding of this drug, insulin in depth to close people around the patient, the ′family′. Underestimating family′s perception about disease and treatment for diabetes is detrimental to both diseased and the doctor. This consists of a biopsychosocial model; biological, psychological and social factors. Family forms the most important part of it. The strategies in family therapy include psychodynamic, structural, strategic, and cognitive-behavioral component. Diabetes has and will continue to rise, so will be the treatment options. From the clinicians side its to fix fasting first but from patients its fix family first. Family therapy demonstrates the importance of insulin initiation and maintenance in insulin naive patients, and continuation for others. The specific needs of such patients and their impact on family life are met with family therapy. Who needs family therapy? Benefits of family therapy and a case based approach is covered.

  18. Next-generation sequencing for rodent barcoding: species identification from fresh, degraded and environmental samples.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxime Galan

    Full Text Available Rodentia is the most diverse order among mammals, with more than 2,000 species currently described. Most of the time, species assignation is so difficult based on morphological data solely that identifying rodents at the specific level corresponds to a real challenge. In this study, we compared the applicability of 100 bp mini-barcodes from cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase 1 genes to enable rodent species identification. Based on GenBank sequence datasets of 115 rodent species, a 136 bp fragment of cytochrome b was selected as the most discriminatory mini-barcode, and rodent universal primers surrounding this fragment were designed. The efficacy of this new molecular tool was assessed on 946 samples including rodent tissues, feces, museum samples and feces/pellets from predators known to ingest rodents. Utilizing next-generation sequencing technologies able to sequence mixes of DNA, 1,140 amplicons were tagged, multiplexed and sequenced together in one single 454 GS-FLX run. Our method was initially validated on a reference sample set including 265 clearly identified rodent tissues, corresponding to 103 different species. Following validation, 85.6% of 555 rodent samples from Europe, Asia and Africa whose species identity was unknown were able to be identified using the BLASTN program and GenBank reference sequences. In addition, our method proved effective even on degraded rodent DNA samples: 91.8% and 75.9% of samples from feces and museum specimens respectively were correctly identified. Finally, we succeeded in determining the diet of 66.7% of the investigated carnivores from their feces and 81.8% of owls from their pellets. Non-rodent species were also identified, suggesting that our method is sensitive enough to investigate complete predator diets. This study demonstrates how this molecular identification method combined with high-throughput sequencing can open new realms of possibilities in achieving fast, accurate and inexpensive

  19. Effects of Fat and Protein Levels on Foraging Preferences of Tannin in Scatter-Hoarding Rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bo; Chen, Jin

    2012-01-01

    Both as consumers and dispersers of seeds, scatter-hoarding rodents often play an important role in the reproductive ecology of many plant species. However, the seeds of many plant species contain tannins, which are a diverse group of water-soluble phenolic compounds that have a high affinity for proteins. The amount of tannins in seeds is expected to affect rodent foraging preferences because of their major impact on rodent physiology and survival. However, variable results have been obtained in studies that evaluated the effects of tannin on rodent foraging behavior. Hence, in this study, we aimed to explain these inconsistent results and proposed that a combination of seed traits might be important in rodent foraging behavior, because it is difficult to distinguish between the effects of individual traits on rodent foraging behavior and the interactions among them. By using a novel artificial seed system, we manipulated seed tannin and fat/protein levels to examine directly the univariate effects of each component on the seed preferences of free-ranging forest rats (Apodemus latronum and Apodemus chevrieri) during the behavioral process of scatter hoarding. Our results showed that both tannin and fat/protein had significant effects on rodent foraging behavior. Although only a few interactive effects of tannin and fat/protein were recorded, higher concentrations of both fat and protein could attenuate the exclusion of seeds with higher tannin concentrations by rodents, thus influencing seed fate. Furthermore, aside from the concentrations of tannin, fat, and protein, numerous other traits of plant seeds may also influence rodent foraging behavior. We suggest that by clarifying rodent foraging preferences, a better understanding of the evolution of plant seed traits may be obtained because of their strong potential for selective pressure. PMID:22808217

  20. Rodent and flea abundance fail to predict a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkerhoff, Robert Jory; Collinge, Sharon K; Ray, Chris; Gage, Ken L

    2010-01-01

    Small rodents are purported to be enzootic hosts of Yersinia pestis and may serve as sources of infection to prairie dogs or other epizootic hosts by direct or flea-mediated transmission. Recent research has shown that small rodent species composition and small rodent flea assemblages are influenced by the presence of prairie dogs, with higher relative abundance of both small rodents and fleas at prairie dog colony sites compared to grasslands without prairie dogs. However, it is unclear if increased rodent or flea abundance predisposes prairie dogs to infection with Y. pestis. We tracked rodent and flea occurrence for 3 years at a number of prairie dog colony sites in Boulder County, Colorado, before, during, and after a local plague epizootic to see if high rodent or flea abundance was associated with plague-affected colonies when compared to colonies that escaped infection. We found no difference in preepizootic rodent abundance or flea prevalence or abundance between plague-positive and plague-negative colonies. Further, we saw no significant before-plague/after-plague change in these metrics at either plague-positive or plague-negative sites. We did, however, find that small rodent species assemblages changed in the year following prairie dog die-offs at plague-affected colonies when compared to unaffected colonies. In light of previous research from this system that has shown that landscape features and proximity to recently plagued colonies are significant predictors of plague occurrence in prairie dogs, we suggest that landscape context is more important to local plague occurrence than are characteristics of rodent or flea species assemblages.