WorldWideScience

Sample records for carnivores

  1. Carnivorous Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canipe, Stephen

    This biology lesson on carnivorous (insectivorous) plants is designed to supplement the textbook in the areas of plant diversity, ecology, and distribution. An introduction provides general background information for use as lecture material by the teacher or as reading and/or study material for students. The introduction also includes…

  2. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    The past years have seen an upsurge of burger and barbecue restaurants in a Copenhagen gastronomic scene otherwise dominated by trends toward sustainability, ‘wholesome’, local and organic food. In these new spaces, meat is glorified and consumed materially and symbolically (through design and......’, opened in 2014 and elected as the 2014 Best New Restaurant in Copenhagen) and WarPigs, a Texas-inspired barbecue opened in 2015. We discuss negotiations of masculinity in these meatscapes that challenge contemporary ideals for (sustainable, moderate, wholesome) food consumption and gender performances....... We argue that these spaces of consumption express nostalgia and longing for authenticity that are simultaneously articulated as progressive and emancipatory. Consequently, these sites represent middle-class masculine counter-spaces – masculine, carnivorous heterotopias where archaic, working class...

  3. Carnivores of Syria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Masseti

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research is to outline the local occurrence and recent distribution of carnivores in Syria (Syrian Arab Republic in order to offer a starting point for future studies. The species of large dimensions, such as the Asiatic lion, the Caspian tiger, the Asiatic cheetah, and the Syrian brown bear, became extinct in historical times, the last leopard being reputed to have been killed in 1963 on the Alauwit Mountains (Al Nusyriain Mountains. The checklist of the extant Syrian carnivores amounts to 15 species, which are essentially referable to 4 canids, 5 mustelids, 4 felids – the sand catbeen reported only recently for the first time – one hyaenid, and one herpestid. The occurrence of the Blandford fox has yet to be confirmed. This paper is almost entirely the result of a series of field surveys carried out by the author mainly between 1989 and 1995, integrated by data from several subsequent reports and sightings by other authors.

  4. Global large carnivore conservation and international law

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trouwborst, A.

    2015-01-01

    International cooperation, including through international legal instruments, appears important for the conservation of large carnivores worldwide. This is due to, inter alia, the worrying conservation status and population trends of many large carnivore species; the importance of large carnivores f

  5. Plant-carnivore mutualism through herbivore-induced carnivore attractants.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Takabayashi, J.; Dicke, M.

    1996-01-01

    Plants and carnivorous arthropods can interact mutualistically. A recent discovery is that such mutualisms can be mediated by volatile compounds — produced by plants in response to herbivore damage — that attract carnivores. However, after emission of these attractants, the plant has no control over

  6. The systematics of carnivorous sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestetun, Jon Thomassen; Vacelet, Jean; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Borchiellini, Carole; Kelly, Michelle; Ríos, Pilar; Cristobo, Javier; Rapp, Hans Tore

    2016-01-01

    Carnivorous sponges are characterized by their unique method of capturing mesoplanktonic prey coupled with the complete or partial reduction of the aquiferous system characteristic of the phylum Porifera. Current systematics place the vast majority of carnivorous sponges within Cladorhizidae, with certain species assigned to Guitarridae and Esperiopsidae. Morphological characters have not been able to show whether this classification is evolutionary accurate, and whether carnivory has evolved once or in several lineages. In the present paper we present the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the carnivorous sponges, interpret these results in conjunction with morphological characters, and propose a revised classification of the group. Molecular phylogenies were inferred using 18S rDNA and a combined dataset of partial 28S rDNA, COI and ALG11 sequences. The results recovered carnivorous sponges as a clade closely related to the families Mycalidae and Guitarridae, showing family Cladorhizidae to be monophyletic and also including carnivorous species currently placed in other families. The genus Lycopodina is resurrected for species currently placed in the paraphyletic subgenus Asbestopluma (Asbestopluma) featuring forceps spicules and lacking sigmas or sigmancistras. The genera Chondrocladia and Cladorhiza are found to be monophyletic. However, results indicate that the subgenus Chondrocladia is polyphyletic with respect to the subgenera Meliiderma and Symmetrocladia. Euchelipluma, formerly Guitarridae, is retained, but transferred to Cladorhizidae. The four known carnivorous species currently in Esperiopsis are transferred to Abyssocladia. Neocladia is a junior homonym and is here renamed Koltunicladia. Our results provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that carnivory in sponges has evolved only once. While spicule characters mostly reflect monophyletic groups at the generic level, differences between genera represent evolution within family

  7. The systematics of carnivorous sponges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestetun, Jon Thomassen; Vacelet, Jean; Boury-Esnault, Nicole; Borchiellini, Carole; Kelly, Michelle; Ríos, Pilar; Cristobo, Javier; Rapp, Hans Tore

    2016-01-01

    Carnivorous sponges are characterized by their unique method of capturing mesoplanktonic prey coupled with the complete or partial reduction of the aquiferous system characteristic of the phylum Porifera. Current systematics place the vast majority of carnivorous sponges within Cladorhizidae, with certain species assigned to Guitarridae and Esperiopsidae. Morphological characters have not been able to show whether this classification is evolutionary accurate, and whether carnivory has evolved once or in several lineages. In the present paper we present the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the carnivorous sponges, interpret these results in conjunction with morphological characters, and propose a revised classification of the group. Molecular phylogenies were inferred using 18S rDNA and a combined dataset of partial 28S rDNA, COI and ALG11 sequences. The results recovered carnivorous sponges as a clade closely related to the families Mycalidae and Guitarridae, showing family Cladorhizidae to be monophyletic and also including carnivorous species currently placed in other families. The genus Lycopodina is resurrected for species currently placed in the paraphyletic subgenus Asbestopluma (Asbestopluma) featuring forceps spicules and lacking sigmas or sigmancistras. The genera Chondrocladia and Cladorhiza are found to be monophyletic. However, results indicate that the subgenus Chondrocladia is polyphyletic with respect to the subgenera Meliiderma and Symmetrocladia. Euchelipluma, formerly Guitarridae, is retained, but transferred to Cladorhizidae. The four known carnivorous species currently in Esperiopsis are transferred to Abyssocladia. Neocladia is a junior homonym and is here renamed Koltunicladia. Our results provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that carnivory in sponges has evolved only once. While spicule characters mostly reflect monophyletic groups at the generic level, differences between genera represent evolution within family

  8. Carnivorous leaves from Baltic amber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadowski, Eva-Maria; Seyfullah, Leyla J; Sadowski, Friederike; Fleischmann, Andreas; Behling, Hermann; Schmidt, Alexander R

    2015-01-01

    The fossil record of carnivorous plants is very scarce and macrofossil evidence has been restricted to seeds of the extant aquatic genus Aldrovanda of the Droseraceae family. No case of carnivorous plant traps has so far been reported from the fossil record. Here, we present two angiosperm leaves enclosed in a piece of Eocene Baltic amber that share relevant morphological features with extant Roridulaceae, a carnivorous plant family that is today endemic to the Cape flora of South Africa. Modern Roridula species are unique among carnivorous plants as they digest prey in a complex mutualistic association in which the prey-derived nutrient uptake depends on heteropteran insects. As in extant Roridula, the fossil leaves possess two types of plant trichomes, including unicellular hairs and five size classes of multicellular stalked glands (or tentacles) with an apical pore. The apices of the narrow and perfectly tapered fossil leaves end in a single tentacle, as in both modern Roridula species. The glandular hairs of the fossils are restricted to the leaf margins and to the abaxial lamina, as in extant Roridula gorgonias. Our discovery supports current molecular age estimates for Roridulaceae and suggests a wide Eocene distribution of roridulid plants. PMID:25453067

  9. The Carnivore Connection Hypothesis: Revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennie C. Brand-Miller

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The “Carnivore Connection” hypothesizes that, during human evolution, a scarcity of dietary carbohydrate in diets with low plant : animal subsistence ratios led to insulin resistance providing a survival and reproductive advantage with selection of genes for insulin resistance. The selection pressure was relaxed at the beginning of the Agricultural Revolution when large quantities of cereals first entered human diets. The “Carnivore Connection” explains the high prevalence of intrinsic insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in populations that transition rapidly from traditional diets with a low-glycemic load, to high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic index diets that characterize modern diets. Selection pressure has been relaxed longest in European populations, explaining a lower prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, despite recent exposure to famine and food scarcity. Increasing obesity and habitual consumption of high-glycemic-load diets worsens insulin resistance and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes in all populations.

  10. Piante carnivore: un percorso didattico

    OpenAIRE

    Delunas, Cristina; Fogu, Maria Caterina

    2006-01-01

    Since carnivorous plants always stir up interest and curiosity, we have realized a didactic route describing their different evolutional strategies. The route begins from observation of specimens present in the «Orto Botanico di Cagliari» to arrive inside the «Museo Botanico» where, by means of ancient tridimensional models and others of new constructions together with copious descriptive material, the visitor is guided to discover these strange vegetables.

  11. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zach J Farris

    Full Text Available The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar's largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar's largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica. Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (mean=90 individuals consumed/year, the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans (mean=58 consumed/year, and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox (mean=31 consumed/year. Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are highest

  12. Normal glucose metabolism of healthy carnivores mimics diabetes pathology of non-carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas eSchermerhorn

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Carnivores, such as the dolphin and the domestic cat, have numerous adaptations that befit consumption of diets with high protein and fat content, with little carbohydrate content. Consequently, nutrient metabolism in carnivorous species differs substantially from that of non-carnivores. Important metabolic pathways known to differ between carnivores and non-carnivores are implicated in the development of diabetes and insulin resistance in non-carnivores: 1. the hepatic glucokinase (GCK pathway is absent in healthy carnivores yet GCK deficiency may result in diabetes in rodents and humans, 2. healthy dolphins and cats are prone to periods of fasting hyperglycemia and exhibit insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for diabetes in non-carnivores. Similarly, carnivores develop naturally-occurring diseases such as hemachromatosis, fatty liver, obesity and diabetes that have strong parallels with the same disorders in humans. Understanding how evolution, environment, diet and domestication may play a role with nutrient metabolism in the dolphin and cat may also be relevant to human diabetes.

  13. "Sweet but dangerous": nectaries in carnivorous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bartosz J. Płachno

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In carnivorous plants, two types of nectaries occur: extra-floral nectaries, generally associated with prey luring, and floral ones associated with pollination. Nectar produced by extra-floral nectaries not only attracts prey but may also be involved in trapping prey and plays a role in myrmecophily. The diversity of nectary structure in carnivorous plants reflects complicated evolutionary routes in this unique ecological group.

  14. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Zach J.; Golden, Christopher D.; Karpanty, Sarah; Murphy, Asia; Stauffer, Dean; Ratelolahy, Felix; Andrianjakarivelo, Vonjy; Holmes, Christopher M.; Kelly, Marcella J.

    2015-01-01

    The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting) affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar’s largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar’s largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana) occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica). Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (x¯ = 90 individuals consumed/year), the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans) (x¯ = 58 consumed/year), and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (x¯ = 31 consumed/year). Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are

  15. Conservation management of large carnivores in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.G.L. Mills

    1991-09-01

    Full Text Available The conservation management of large carnivores in Africa is reviewed. In large protected areas the complexity of the relations between predators and prey, and between competing predators, indicate that these relationships should not be disturbed, even though, superficially, there may seem to be sound reasons to do so. Management action, however, may have to be taken against carnivores that break out of reserves. The related questions of translocation and re-introduction are also complex. Guidelines for considering whether to and how to implement these strategies are presented. It is stressed that adequate follow-up observations should be made after translocating or re- introducing carnivores, so that more information on the success of these strategies can be obtained. Much of Africa comprises rural areas inhabited by pastoralists. It may be possible to manage some large carnivore species in these areas to the mutual benefit of man and beast, but for this type of program to be successful, a well planned public relations campaign is essential.

  16. The Carnivores of the Northeastern Badia, Jordan

    OpenAIRE

    BUNAIAN, Fayez

    2001-01-01

    The presence of 8 carnivores representing 3 families (Canidae, Felidae and Hyaenidae) in the northeastern Badia was con-firmed by trapping and spotlighting. The family Canidae is represented by 4 species: Canis aureus syriaca, Canis lupus arabs, Vulpes vulpes and Vulpes rueppelli. Three felines, Caracal caracal schmitzi, Felis margarita and Felis sylvestris tristrami, were spotlighted. Remains of recently killed Hyaena hyaena syriacawere recovered. Major threats affecting the population of d...

  17. Fluorescent prey traps in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurup, R; Johnson, A J; Sankar, S; Hussain, A A; Sathish Kumar, C; Sabulal, B

    2013-05-01

    Carnivorous plants acquire most of their nutrients by capturing ants, insects and other arthropods through their leaf-evolved biological traps. So far, the best-known attractants in carnivorous prey traps are nectar, colour and olfactory cues. Here, fresh prey traps of 14 Nepenthes, five Sarracenia, five Drosera, two Pinguicula species/hybrids, Dionaea muscipula and Utricularia stellaris were scanned at UV 366 nm. Fluorescence emissions of major isolates of fresh Nepenthes khasiana pitcher peristomes were recorded at an excitation wavelength of 366 nm. N. khasiana field pitcher peristomes were masked by its slippery zone extract, and prey capture rates were compared with control pitchers. We found the existence of distinct blue fluorescence emissions at the capture spots of Nepenthes, Sarracenia and Dionaea prey traps at UV 366 nm. These alluring blue emissions gradually developed with the growth of the prey traps and diminished towards their death. On excitation at 366 nm, N. khasiana peristome 3:1 CHCl3–MeOH extract and its two major blue bands showed strong fluorescence emissions at 430–480 nm. Masking of blue emissions on peristomes drastically reduced prey capture in N. khasiana pitchers. We propose these molecular emissions as a critical factor attracting arthropods and other visitors to these carnivorous traps. Drosera, Pinguicula and Utricularia prey traps showed only red chlorophyll emissions at 366 nm. PMID:23696970

  18. Endocytotic uptake of nutrients in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Koller-Peroutka, Marianne; Bauer, Sonja; Koshkin, Edith; Lendl, Thomas; Lichtscheidl, Irene K

    2012-07-01

    Carnivorous plants trap, digest and absorb animals in order to supplement their mineral nutrition. Nutrients absorbed by the plant include different nitrogen species, phosphate, potassium, trace elements and small organic compounds. Uptake is usually thought to be performed via specific channels, but this study provides evidence that endocytosis is involved as well. Traps of the carnivorous plants Nepenthes coccinea, Nepenthes ventrata, Cephalotus follicularis, Drosophyllum lusitanicum, Drosera capensis, Dionaea muscipula, Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Genlisea violacea × lobata, Sarracenia psittacina and Sarracenia purpurea were stained with methylene blue in order to identify possible sites of uptake. The permeable parts of the traps were incubated with fluorescein isothiocyanate labelled bovine serum albumin (FITC-BSA) and other fluorescent endocytosis markers, combined with the soluble protein BSA or respiratory inhibitors. Uptake was studied by confocal microscopy. In Nepenthes, small fluorescent vesicles became visible 1 h after incubation with FITC-BSA. These vesicles fused to larger compartments within 30 h. A similar behaviour was found in the related genera Drosera, Dionaea, Aldrovanda and Drosophyllum but also in Cephalotus with glands of different evolutionary origin. In Genlisea and Sarracenia, no evidence for endocytosis was found. We propose that in many carnivorous plants, nutrient uptake by carriers is supplemented by endocytosis, which enables absorption and intracellular digestion of whole proteins. The advantage for the plant of reducing secretion of enzymes for extracellular digestion is evident. PMID:22417315

  19. CARNIVORE: A Disruption-Tolerant System for Studying Wildlife

    OpenAIRE

    Matthew Rutishauser; Vladislav Petkov; Jay Boice; Katia Obraczka; Patrick Mantey; Williams, Terrie M; Christopher C Wilmers

    2011-01-01

    We present CARNIVORE, a system for in situ, unobtrusive monitoring of cryptic, difficult-to-catch/observe wildlife in their natural habitat. CARNIVORE is a network of mobile and static nodes with sensing, processing, storage, and wireless communication capabilities. CARNIVORE's compact, low-power, mobile animal-borne nodes collect sensor data and transmit it to static nodes, which then relay it to the Internet. Depending on the wildlife being studied, the network can be quite sparse and ther...

  20. Human behaviour can trigger large carnivore attacks in developed countries

    OpenAIRE

    Vincenzo Penteriani; María del Mar Delgado; Francesco Pinchera; Javier Naves; Alberto Fernández-Gil; Ilpo Kojola; Sauli Härkönen; Harri Norberg; Jens Frank; José María Fedriani; Veronica Sahlén; Ole-Gunnar Støen; Swenson, Jon E; Petter Wabakken; Mario Pellegrini

    2016-01-01

    The media and scientific literature are increasingly reporting an escalation of large carnivore attacks on humans in North America and Europe. Although rare compared to human fatalities by other wildlife, the media often overplay large carnivore attacks on humans, causing increased fear and negative attitudes towards coexisting with and conserving these species. Although large carnivore populations are generally increasing in developed countries, increased numbers are not solely responsible f...

  1. Radio telemetry equipment and applications for carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Mark R.; Fuller, Todd K.

    2012-01-01

    Radio-telemetry was not included in the first comprehensive manual of wildlife research techniques (Mosby 1960) because the first published papers were about physiological wildlife telemetry (LeMunyan et al. 1959) and because research using telemetry in field ecology was just being initiated (Marshall et al. 1962; Cochran and Lord 1963). Among the first uses of telemetry to study wildlife, however, was a study of carnivores (Craighead et al. 1963), and telemetry has become a common method for studying numerous topics of carnivore biology. Our goals for this chapter are to provide basic information about radio-telemetry equipment and procedures. Although we provide many references to studies using telemetry equipment and methods, we recommend Kenward's (2001) comprehensive book, A manual of wildlife radio tagging for persons who are unfamiliar with radio-telemetry, Fuller et al. (2005), and Tomkiewicz et al. (2010). Compendia of uses of radio-telemetry in animal research appear regularly as chapters in manuals (Cochran 1980; Samuel and Fuller 1994), in books about equipment, field procedures, study design, and applications (Amlaner and Macdonald 1980; Anderka 1987; Amlaner 1989; White and Garrott 1990; Priede and Swift 1992; Kenward 2001; Millspaugh and Marzluff 2001; Mech and Barber 2002), and in reviews highlighting new developments (Cooke et al. 2004; Rutz and Hays 2009; Cagnacci et al. 2010). Some animal telemetry products and techniques have remained almost unchanged for years, but new technologies and approaches emerge and replace previously available equipment at an increasing pace. Here, we emphasize recent studies for which telemetry was used with carnivores.

  2. Wild carnivores (Mammalia) as hosts for ticks (Ixodida) in Panama

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bermudez, S.E.; Esser, H.J.; Miranda, R.; Moreno, R.S.

    2015-01-01

    This study reports ticks collected from wild carnivores from different habitat types in Panama. We examined 94 individual wild carnivores and we found 87 parasitized by ticks: seven coyotes, six crab-eating foxes, 54 coatis, four raccoons, five ocelots, two pumas, two gray foxes, two skunks, and one

  3. The Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koufos, G. D.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece includes a great number of taxa, described in numerous articles since the first decades of the 19th Century. The present article is a revision of all these taxa, providing information about their history, localities, age, as well as their stratigraphic distribution and palaeoenvironment. The Early/Middle Miocene carnivore record of Greece is poor as the available fossiliferous sites and material are rare. However, the Late Miocene one is quite rich, including numerous taxa. The Miocene localities with carnivores and their age are given in a stratigraphic table covering the European Mammal zones from MN 4 to MN 13. The type locality, holotype, and some historical and morphological remarks are given for each taxon. Several carnivore taxa were erected from Greek material and new photos of their holotypes are given. The stratigraphic distribution of the Greek carnivore taxa indicates that they are covering the time span from ~19.0-5.3Ma. The majority of the Miocene taxa (Adcrocuta, Hyaenictitherium, Plioviverrops, Protictitherium, Ictitherium, Indarctos, Dinocrocuta, Promephitis disappeared at the end of Miocene. The composition of the Early/Middle Miocene carnivore assemblage of Greece includes mainly viverrids (Lophocyon, Euboictis, while the hyaenids, percrocutids, felids and mustelids are very few. On the contrary the Late Miocene assemblage is richer, including more subfamilies and species; the hyaenids and mustelids dominate, while the viverrids are absent. The Late Miocene carnivore guild structure is similar to that of the modern Serengeti, indicating a relatively open, savannah-like environment.

    La asociación de carnívoros miocenos de Grecia incluye un gran número de taxones, descritos en numerosos artículos desde las primeras décadas del siglo XIX. El presente artículo supone un esfuerzo de síntesis de todos estos taxones, suministrando información sobre su

  4. Catapulting tentacles in a sticky carnivorous plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Hartmeyer, Siegfried Richard Heinrich; Seidel, Robin; Masselter, Tom; Hartmeyer, Irmgard; Speck, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed 'active' have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin's early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory. PMID:23049849

  5. Catapulting tentacles in a sticky carnivorous plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Poppinga

    Full Text Available Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed 'active' have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin's early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory.

  6. Overcoming DNA extraction problems from carnivorous plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fleischmann, Andreas

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available We tested previously published protocols for DNA isolation from plants with high contents of polyphenols and polysaccharides for several taxa of carnivorous plants. However, we did not get satisfying results with fresh or silica dried leaf tissue obtained from field collected or greenhouse grown plants, nor from herbarium specimens. Therefore, we have developed a simple modified protocol of the commercially available Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit for rapid, effective and reproducible isolation of high quality genomic DNA suitable for PCR reactions. DNA extraction can be conducted from both fresh and dried leaf tissue of various carnivorous plant taxa, irrespective of high contents of polysaccharides, phenolic compounds and other secondary plant metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and amplification.

    Probamos algunos protocolos publicados previamente para el aislamiento del ADN de plantas con alto contenido de polifenoles y polisacáridos para varios táxones de plantas carnívoras. Sin embargo, no conseguimos muy buenos resultados ni con tejidos de hojas frescas, ni con tejidos de hojas secadas en gel de sílice obtenidas de plantas colectadas en el campo o cultivadas en los invernaderos, ni de especímenes de herbario. Por lo tanto, hemos desarrollado un protocolo sencillo, modificado del Macherey- Nagel NucleoSpin® Plant kit disponible en el mercado para el aislamiento rápido, eficaz y reproducible de ADN genómico de alta calidad conveniente para la reacción en cadena de la polimerasa. La extracción del ADN se puede realizar en tejidos de hojas frescas o secas de varios táxones de plantas carnívoras, sin importar el grado de contenido de polisacáridos, compuestos fenólicos u otros metabolitos secundarios que interfieren con el aislamiento y la amplificación del ADN.

  7. Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2016-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict is challenging to quantify because it is shaped by both the realities and people's perceptions of carnivore threats. Whether perceptions align with realities can have implications for conflict mitigation: misalignments can lead to heightened and indiscriminant persecution of carnivores whereas alignments can offer deeper insights into human-carnivore interactions. We applied a landscape-scale spatial analysis of livestock killed by tigers and leopards in India to model and map observed attack risk, and surveyed owners of livestock killed by tigers and leopards for their rankings of threats across habitats to map perceived attack risk. Observed tiger risk to livestock was greatest near dense forests and at moderate distances from human activity while leopard risk was greatest near open vegetation. People accurately perceived spatial differences between tiger and leopard hunting patterns, expected greater threat in areas with high values of observed risk for both carnivores. Owners' perception of threats largely did not depend on environmental conditions surrounding their village (spatial location, dominant land-use or observed carnivore risk). Surveys revealed that owners who previously lost livestock to carnivores used more livestock protection methods than those who had no prior losses, and that owners who had recently lost livestock for the first time expressed greater interest in changing their protection methods than those who experienced prior losses. Our findings suggest that in systems where realities and perceptions of carnivore risk align, conservation programs and policies can optimize conservation outcomes by (1) improving the effectiveness of livestock protection methods and (2) working with owners who have recently lost livestock and are most willing to invest effort in adapting protection strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict. PMID:27617831

  8. Human Perceptions Mirror Realities of Carnivore Attack Risk for Livestock: Implications for Mitigating Human-Carnivore Conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2016-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict is challenging to quantify because it is shaped by both the realities and people's perceptions of carnivore threats. Whether perceptions align with realities can have implications for conflict mitigation: misalignments can lead to heightened and indiscriminant persecution of carnivores whereas alignments can offer deeper insights into human-carnivore interactions. We applied a landscape-scale spatial analysis of livestock killed by tigers and leopards in India to model and map observed attack risk, and surveyed owners of livestock killed by tigers and leopards for their rankings of threats across habitats to map perceived attack risk. Observed tiger risk to livestock was greatest near dense forests and at moderate distances from human activity while leopard risk was greatest near open vegetation. People accurately perceived spatial differences between tiger and leopard hunting patterns, expected greater threat in areas with high values of observed risk for both carnivores. Owners' perception of threats largely did not depend on environmental conditions surrounding their village (spatial location, dominant land-use or observed carnivore risk). Surveys revealed that owners who previously lost livestock to carnivores used more livestock protection methods than those who had no prior losses, and that owners who had recently lost livestock for the first time expressed greater interest in changing their protection methods than those who experienced prior losses. Our findings suggest that in systems where realities and perceptions of carnivore risk align, conservation programs and policies can optimize conservation outcomes by (1) improving the effectiveness of livestock protection methods and (2) working with owners who have recently lost livestock and are most willing to invest effort in adapting protection strategies to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

  9. The large terrestrial carnivore guild in Quaternary Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louys, Julien

    2014-07-01

    Much of Southeast Asia's large terrestrial carnivores appeared, evolved and disappeared from the region for reasons that remain poorly understood. Two of the most significant extinctions are represented by the charismatic Pleistocene megacarnivores Pachycrocuta and Pliocrocuta. Southeast Asia hosts the last populations of these species globally. Their persistence in southern China until the late Pleistocene suggests their extinction was not tied to that of the machairodont cats, which like the rest of the world became extinct sometime in the early Pleistocene in this region. Instead the disappearance of the hyenids is probably related to climate change and deteriorating environmental conditions. There is some evidence that the wolf and domesticated dog first appeared in Southeast Asia, although confirmation of this awaits more detailed fossil records. There does not appear to be a large carnivore guild turnover of the same scale or time as recorded in Europe and Africa, although an extinction event in the late Pleistocene is provisionally recorded. Environmental changes and fluctuating sea levels have had a unique impact on the region's large carnivore guild. Several large carnivores from Java show unique genetic and morphological variations, and this could potentially be related to the connection between Java and the Indochinese mainland sometime during the middle Pleistocene. The effects of islands on the large carnivores are complicated and at times contradictory. Nevertheless, periods of isolation of large carnivores on Java, Sumatra and Borneo from the continent had impacts on both extinctions and speciations, with at least one well documented endemic large carnivore evolving in Sundaland (Sunda clouded leopard). Hunting and deforestation ongoing since the mid- to late Holocene means that many extant members of the large carnivore guild are at high risk of extinction.

  10. Canine Evolution in Sabretoothed Carnivores: Natural Selection or Sexual Selection?

    OpenAIRE

    Marcela Randau; Chris Carbone; Turvey, Samuel T.

    2013-01-01

    The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae), representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids...

  11. Ecological drivers of antipredator defenses in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stankowich, Theodore; Haverkamp, Paul J; Caro, Tim

    2014-05-01

    Mammals have evolved several morphological and behavioral adaptations to reduce the risk of predation, but we know little about the ecological factors that favor their evolution. For example, some mammalian carnivores have the ability to spray noxious anal secretions in defense, whereas other species lack such weaponry but may instead rely on collective vigilance characteristic of cohesive social groups. Using extensive natural history data on 181 species in the order Carnivora, we created a new estimate of potential predation risk from mammals and birds of prey and used comparative phylogenetic methods to assess how different sources of predation risk and other ecological variables influence the evolution of either noxious weaponry or sociality in this taxon. We demonstrate that the evolution of enhanced spraying ability is favored by increased predation risk from other mammals and by nocturnality, but the evolution of sociality is favored by increased predation risk from birds of prey and by diurnality, which may allow for enhanced early visual detection. These results suggest that noxious defenses and sociality are alternative antipredator strategies targeting different predator guilds under different lighting conditions. PMID:24433406

  12. Expanding the menu for carnivorous plants: Uptake of potassium, iron and manganese by carnivorous pitcher plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adlassnig, Wolfram [University of Vienna, Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research Unit, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna (Austria)], E-mail: wolfram.adlassnig@univie.ac.at; Steinhauser, Georg [Vienna University of Technology, Atominstitut der Osterreichischen Universitaeten, Stadionallee 2, A-1020 Vienna (Austria); Peroutka, Marianne [University of Vienna, Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research Unit, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Musilek, Andreas; Sterba, Johannes H. [Vienna University of Technology, Atominstitut der Osterreichischen Universitaeten, Stadionallee 2, A-1020 Vienna (Austria); Lichtscheidl, Irene K. [University of Vienna, Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research Unit, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Bichler, Max [Vienna University of Technology, Atominstitut der Osterreichischen Universitaeten, Stadionallee 2, A-1020 Vienna (Austria)

    2009-12-15

    Carnivorous plants use animals as fertiliser substitutes which allow them to survive on nutrient deficient soils. Most research concentrated on the uptake of the prey's nitrogen and phosphorus; only little is known on the utilisation of other elements. We studied the uptake of three essential nutrients, potassium, iron and manganese, in three species of carnivorous pitcher plants (Cephalotus follicularis LaBilladiere, Sarracenia purpureaL., Heliamphora nutans Bentham). Using relatively short-lived and {gamma}-emitting radiotracers, we significantly improved the sensitivity compared to conventional protocols and gained the following results. We demonstrated the uptake of trace elements like iron and manganese. In addition, we found direct evidence for the uptake of potassium into the pitcher tissue. Potassium and manganese were absorbed to virtually 100% if offered in physiological concentrations or below in Cephalotus. Analysis of pitcher fluid collected in the natural habitat showed that uptake was performed here as efficiently as in the laboratory. The absorption of nutrients is an active process depending on living glandular cells in the pitcher epidermis and can be inhibited by azide. Unphysiologically high amounts of nutrients were taken up for a short time, but after a few hours the absorbing cells were damaged, and uptake stopped. Absorption rates of pitcher leaves from plants under controlled conditions varied highly, indicating that each trap is functionally independent. The comparison of minerals in typical prey with the plants' tissues showed that a complete coverage of the plants' needs by prey capture is improbable.

  13. CARNIVORE: A Disruption-Tolerant System for Studying Wildlife

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Williams TerrieM

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We present CARNIVORE, a system for in situ, unobtrusive monitoring of cryptic, difficult-to-catch/observe wildlife in their natural habitat. CARNIVORE is a network of mobile and static nodes with sensing, processing, storage, and wireless communication capabilities. CARNIVORE's compact, low-power, mobile animal-borne nodes collect sensor data and transmit it to static nodes, which then relay it to the Internet. Depending on the wildlife being studied, the network can be quite sparse and therefore disconnected frequently for arbitrarily long periods of time. To support "disconnected operation", CARNIVORE uses an "opportunistic routing" approach taking advantage of every encounter between nodes (mobile-to-mobile and mobile-to-static to propagate data. With a lifespan of 50–100 days, a CARNIVORE mobile node, outfitted on a collar, collects and transmits 1 GB of data compared to 450 kB of data from comparable commercially available wildlife collars. Each collar records 3-axis accelerometer and GPS data to infer animal behavior and energy consumption.Testing in both laboratory and free-range settings with domestic dogs shows that galloping and trotting behavior can be identified. Data collected from first deployments on mountain lions (Puma concolor near Santa Cruz, CA, USA show that the system is a viable and useful tool for wildlife research.

  14. Serosurvey of small carnivores in the Bolivian Chaco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorello, Christine V; Noss, Andrew J; Deem, Sharon L; Maffei, Leonardo; Dubovi, Edward J

    2007-07-01

    Five species of Bolivian carnivores, including nine Geoffroy's cats (Oncifelis geoffroyi), ten ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), one jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi), nine pampas foxes (Pseudalopex gymnocercus), and five crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) were sampled between March 2001 and April 2005 and tested for antibodies to common pathogens of domestic carnivores. Carnivores were trapped in three areas: a village, the region between human settlements and a protected area, and within Kaa-Iya National Park, Bolivia. Antibodies to canine distemper virus were detected in ocelots and pampas foxes. Antibodies to canine parvovirus were detected in pampas foxes and crab-eating foxes. Geoffroy's cats and all of the ocelots tested positive for antibodies to feline calicivirus (FCV), while fewer than half of Geoffroy's cats and no ocelots had antibodies to feline panleukopenia (FPV). These results confirm that these species of Bolivian carnivores are not naïve to common pathogens of domestic carnivores, and seropositive animals were found in villages as well as in the national park. PMID:17699100

  15. Approaches, field considerations and problems associated with radio tracking carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargeant, A.B.

    1979-01-01

    The adaptation of radio tracking to ecological studies was a major technological advance affecting field investigations of animal movements and behavior. Carnivores have been the recipients of much attention with this new technology and study approaches have varied from simple to complex. Equipment performance has much improved over the years, but users still face many difficulties. The beginning of all radio tracking studies should be a precise definition of objectives. Study objectives dictate type of gear required and field procedures. Field conditions affect equipment performance and investigator ability to gather data. Radio tracking carnivores is demanding and generally requires greater time than anticipated. Problems should be expected and planned for in study design. Radio tracking can be an asset in carnivore studies but caution is needed in its application.

  16. Glucose transporter 1 localisation throughout pregnancy in the carnivore placenta

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wooding, F.B.P.; Dantzer, Vibeke; Klisch, K.;

    2007-01-01

    to be located in placental membranes. GT1 may be the only one on the syncytiotrophoblast (human) or both may be present on the same membrane (rodents) or be required in sequence (ruminants, horses and elephant). This paper shows GT1 to be the only transporter demonstrable by immunocytochemistry in carnivore...... (cat, dog and mink) endotheliochorial placental membranes. GT1 is invariably present on both apical and basal surfaces of the cyto- and syncytiotrophoblast in all carnivore species examined and the pattern of development is described from implantation to term....

  17. New hosts and localities for helminths of carnivores in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moleón, María Soledad; Kinsella, John Mike; Moreno, Pablo Gastón; Ferreyra, Hebe Del Valle; Pereira, Javier; Pía, Mónica; Beldomenico, Pablo Martín

    2015-01-01

    A total of 111 samples (43 faeces and 79 gastrointestinal tracts) of 14 wild carnivore species from 12 Argentine provinces were analyzed. Helminth eggs were identified in 73% of the faecal samples and adult worms were recovered from 81% of the gastrointestinal tracts. We found 19 helminth species. Among the most frequent findings were parasites of domestic carnivores, namely Toxocara canis, Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina, Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma tubaeforme and Uncinaria stenocephala. In addition, new hosts are reported for 6 nematode species and 5 helminth species are recorded for the first time in Argentina: Aonchotheca putorii, Molineus brachiurus, Cyathospirura chevreuxi, Physaloptera praeputialis and Oncicola martini. PMID:26701468

  18. Small carnivores of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve, Karnataka, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honnavalli N. Kumara

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available During the present study in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT, nine species of small carnivores viz., Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Rusty-spotted Cat Prionalilurus rubiginosus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica, Asian Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Striped-necked Mongoose Herpestes vitticollis, Ruddy Mongoose Herpestes smithii, Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii and Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, were recorded using camera-trapping technique, transect walks, and night surveys. Vegetation type strongly influences the presence and abundance of each species. The most sightings of small carnivores occurred in dry deciduous forests. Among all the species, the Asian Palm Civet was the most abundant and was followed by the small Indian Civet. Compared to many other forests or regions in India, the sight records of the Rusty-spotted Cat were relatively higher in BRT. Although we were unable to use statistical methods to search for higher levels of interdependencies between forest types and small carnivore abundance, our study sheds light on patterns of small carnivore distribution in this unique habitat which bridges the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats.

  19. Go big or go fish: morphological specializations in carnivorous bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santana, Sharlene E; Cheung, Elena

    2016-05-11

    Specialized carnivory is relatively uncommon across mammals, and bats constitute one of the few groups in which this diet has evolved multiple times. While size and morphological adaptations for carnivory have been identified in other taxa, it is unclear what phenotypic traits characterize the relatively recent evolution of carnivory in bats. To address this gap, we apply geometric morphometric and phylogenetic comparative analyses to elucidate which characters are associated with ecological divergence of carnivorous bats from insectivorous ancestors, and if there is morphological convergence among independent origins of carnivory within bats, and with other carnivorous mammals. We find that carnivorous bats are larger and converged to occupy a subset of the insectivorous morphospace, characterized by skull shapes that enhance bite force at relatively wide gapes. Piscivorous bats are morphologically distinct, with cranial shapes that enable high bite force at narrow gapes, which is necessary for processing fish prey. All animal-eating species exhibit positive allometry in rostrum elongation with respect to skull size, which could allow larger bats to take relatively larger prey. The skull shapes of carnivorous bats share similarities with generalized carnivorans, but tend to be more suited for increased bite force production at the expense of gape, when compared with specialized carnivorans. PMID:27170718

  20. Carnivore activity in the Sima de los Huesos (Atapuerca, Spain) hominin sample

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana

    2014-08-01

    The Sima de los Huesos (SH) site is the largest accumulation of human remains from the Middle Pleistocene known to date. Studies in the last two decades have proposed different hypotheses to explain carnivore activity in the SH human sample. This study provides new data in order to test these different interpretations, and therefore to understand the role of the carnivores in site formation at SH. Carnivores are usually not the origin of large accumulations of hominin fossils in the Eurasian record. The results show that marks of carnivore activity in the SH sample appear very infrequently, which we interpret as indicating that carnivore activity was very sporadic at the site. This is in stark contrast with previous studies. The comparison of bone modification patterns at SH to actualistic carnivore data allows us to suggest that bears were likely to have been the carnivore responsible for the modification observed on both human and bear fossils.

  1. Financial costs of large carnivore translocations--accounting for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian J Weise

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflict continues to present a major conservation challenge around the world. Translocation of large carnivores is widely implemented but remains strongly debated, in part because of a lack of cost transparency. We report detailed translocation costs for three large carnivore species in Namibia and across different translocation scenarios. We consider the effect of various parameters and factors on costs and translocation success. Total translocation cost for 30 individuals in 22 events was $80,681 (US Dollars. Median translocation cost per individual was $2,393, and $2,669 per event. Median cost per cheetah was $2,760 (n = 23, and $2,108 per leopard (n = 6. One hyaena was translocated at a cost of $1,672. Tracking technology was the single biggest cost element (56%, followed by captive holding and feeding. Soft releases, prolonged captivity and orphaned individuals also increased case-specific costs. A substantial proportion (65.4% of the total translocation cost was successfully recovered from public interest groups. Less than half the translocations were confirmed successes (44.4%, 3 unknown with a strong species bias. Four leopards (66.7% were successfully translocated but only eight of the 20 cheetahs (40.0% with known outcome met these strict criteria. None of the five habituated cheetahs was translocated successfully, nor was the hyaena. We introduce the concept of Individual Conservation Cost (ICC and define it as the cost of one successfully translocated individual adjusted by costs of unsuccessful events of the same species. The median ICC for cheetah was $6,898 and $3,140 for leopard. Translocations are costly, but we demonstrate that they are not inherently more expensive than other strategies currently employed in non-lethal carnivore conflict management. We conclude that translocation should be one available option for conserving large carnivores, but needs to be critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  2. Financial costs of large carnivore translocations--accounting for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weise, Florian J; Stratford, Ken J; van Vuuren, Rudolf J

    2014-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflict continues to present a major conservation challenge around the world. Translocation of large carnivores is widely implemented but remains strongly debated, in part because of a lack of cost transparency. We report detailed translocation costs for three large carnivore species in Namibia and across different translocation scenarios. We consider the effect of various parameters and factors on costs and translocation success. Total translocation cost for 30 individuals in 22 events was $80,681 (US Dollars). Median translocation cost per individual was $2,393, and $2,669 per event. Median cost per cheetah was $2,760 (n = 23), and $2,108 per leopard (n = 6). One hyaena was translocated at a cost of $1,672. Tracking technology was the single biggest cost element (56%), followed by captive holding and feeding. Soft releases, prolonged captivity and orphaned individuals also increased case-specific costs. A substantial proportion (65.4%) of the total translocation cost was successfully recovered from public interest groups. Less than half the translocations were confirmed successes (44.4%, 3 unknown) with a strong species bias. Four leopards (66.7%) were successfully translocated but only eight of the 20 cheetahs (40.0%) with known outcome met these strict criteria. None of the five habituated cheetahs was translocated successfully, nor was the hyaena. We introduce the concept of Individual Conservation Cost (ICC) and define it as the cost of one successfully translocated individual adjusted by costs of unsuccessful events of the same species. The median ICC for cheetah was $6,898 and $3,140 for leopard. Translocations are costly, but we demonstrate that they are not inherently more expensive than other strategies currently employed in non-lethal carnivore conflict management. We conclude that translocation should be one available option for conserving large carnivores, but needs to be critically evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

  3. Bigger brains may make better problem-solving carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jennifer

    2016-06-01

    Benson-Amram, Dantzer, Stricker, Swanson, & Holekamp's (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 25321-25376, 2016) recent demonstration that larger-brained carnivores were more successful in a single problem-solving task, relative to smaller-brained carnivores, irrespective of social complexity, poses a challenge to proponents of the social intelligence hypothesis (Humphrey, 1976) and provides some support for the idea that larger relative brain sizes have evolved to support greater problem-solving abilities. However, an important question, neglected by the authors, is the extent to which foraging ecology, rather than social environment, more accurately predicts problem solving, and whether this relationship would be observed in noncarnivore, noncaptive animals across a range of tasks.

  4. A viscoelastic deadly fluid in carnivorous pitcher plants

    OpenAIRE

    Laurence Gaume; Yoel Forterre

    2007-01-01

    International audience Background : The carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes, widely distributed in the Asian tropics, rely mostly on nutrients derived from arthropods trapped in their pitcher-shaped leaves and digested by their enzymatic fluid. The genus exhibits a great diversity of prey and pitcher forms and its mechanism of trapping has long intrigued scientists. The slippery inner surfaces of the pitchers, which can be waxy or highly wettable, have so far been considered as the k...

  5. Evidence for competition between carnivorous plants and spiders

    OpenAIRE

    Jennings, David E.; Krupa, James J.; Raffel, Thomas R.; Rohr, Jason R.

    2010-01-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that competition between disparate taxa can be important in determining community structure, yet surprisingly, to our knowledge, no quantitative studies have been conducted on competition between carnivorous plants and animals. To examine potential competition between these taxa, we studied dietary and microhabitat overlap between pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) in the field, and conducted a laboratory experiment examining the e...

  6. A viscoelastic deadly fluid in carnivorous pitcher plants

    OpenAIRE

    Gaume, Laurence; Forterre, Yoël

    2007-01-01

    Background : The carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes, widely distributed in the Asian tropics, rely mostly on nutrients derived from arthropods trapped in their pitcher-shaped leaves and digested by their enzymatic fluid. The genus exhibits a great diversity of prey and pitcher forms and its mechanism of trapping has long intrigued scientists. The slippery inner surfaces of the pitchers, which can be waxy or highly wettable, have so far been considered as the key trapping devices. Howev...

  7. Pollen Morphology of some Carnivorous plants from Tripura, India

    OpenAIRE

    Somnath Bhowmik; B. K. Datta

    2013-01-01

    Pollen morphological structure of two carnivorous plant family covering four species of Tripura, India namely Drosera burmannii Vahl (Droseraceae) Utricularia bifida Linnaeus, Utricularia ceruleaea Linnaeus and Utricularia gibba Linnaeus (Lentibulariaceae) have been studied under Scanning Electron Microscope for the first time. Pollen grains of the studied four taxa varied widely among them and could be used for segregating both at generic as well as species level. Pollens of Droseraceae shed...

  8. A preliminary report on carnivorous mammals from Pondaung fauna

    OpenAIRE

    Egi, Naoko; Tsubamoto, Takehisa

    2000-01-01

    Some carnivore materials have been discovered from the Pondaung Formatioin in central Myanmar recently. The materials are separable into at least two genera, both of which are hyaenodontid creodonts. One of them is a medium-sized proviverrine. Collected parts include a maxilla, lower molar fragments, and some postcranial fragments. It shows some distinctive dental characters such as small protocone lobe on P_4, anterolingually-placed protocone and posterolingually-placed metacone relative to ...

  9. Isotopic tracking of large carnivore palaeoecology in the mammoth steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bocherens, Hervé

    2015-06-01

    Isotopic tracking of carnivore palaeoecology is a relatively new approach that yielded important results for the study of the non-analogue mammoth steppe biome. After describing the prerequisite to apply this approach and the possible complications, the main achievements will be described for extinct carnivore species such as scimitar-tooth cat Homotherium serum, cave lion Panthera spelaea, giant short-faced bear Arctodus simus, cave bear Ursus spelaeus s.l., as well as for ancient representatives of extant species such as brown bear Ursus arctos and wolf Canis lupus. Isotopic tracking showed that scimitar-tooth cats in Alaska were not specialist proboscidean predators but rather generalist consumers of other large herbivores. The majority of cave lions analysed so far were focused on reindeer, some individuals were specialized on cave bears, especially in contexts of competition with cave hyenas. Giant short-faced bears in Alaska were not pure herbivores and consumed meat from reindeer, muskoxen and possibly other predators, but may have still incorporated plant resources in their menu. In contrast, all cave bear populations studied so far for which a clear dietary reconstruction could be done were virtually pure herbivores, only a few cases are still unclear. Interestingly, brown bears used the opposite extreme of the dietary spectrum when competing with other large bears such as cave bears and giant short-faced bears, i.e. were more carnivorous in Europe and more herbivorous in Alaska. Finally wolves seem to have been outcompeted by hyenas but became dominant predators during the Lateglacial in Europe to the expense of the last cave lions. The results obtained through this approach are also relevant for improving conservation strategies of endangered extant large carnivores.

  10. Nomenclatural review of long digital forelimb flexors in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spoor, C F; Badoux, D M

    1986-12-01

    A hitherto-unknown atavistic muscle in the dog initiated a review of the literature on the homologies and nomenclature of the forelimb flexors in carnivores and man. A consequence is that we recommend a revision of the nomenclature in the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria (Ithaca, New York, 1983) so that it is in agreement with the Nomina Anatomica (Wilkins, Baltimore, 1983). This revision mainly consists of the incorporation of the terms M. palmaris longus and Mm. flexores breves manus.

  11. Mortality Pattern in Captive Wild Carnivores in Maharashtra State

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y.A. Kinge

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available A total of 244 deaths were recorded in seven different species of captive wild carnivores which reveal highest mortality in lion 92 (37.70 % followed by 60 (24.59 % in tiger and leopard respectively. Lowest mortality was recorded in rest of felines. Similarly region wise and season wise mortality summarized. Disease symptom wise mortality pattern revealed involvement of respiratory affection in 56 (22.95 % followed by digestive 46 (18.85 % miscellaneous 40 (16.39 % and generalized conditions 39 (15.98 %. The causes of death attributed to specific diseases in carnivores 13 (5.31 % showed trypanosomiasis, hookworm in tiger, trypanosomiasis in jungle cat, fox and pasteurellosis in lion and leopard. From study it is concluded that pattern of mortality in carnivores is serious concerned in captive wildlife conservation and these losses due to mortality can be controlled to considerable extent by taking appropriate measures (Veterinary aid well in time. [Vet. World 2010; 3(1.000: 23-25

  12. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randau, Marcela; Carbone, Chris; Turvey, Samuel T

    2013-01-01

    The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae), representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition. PMID:23951334

  13. Canine evolution in sabretoothed carnivores: natural selection or sexual selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Randau

    Full Text Available The remarkable elongated upper canines of extinct sabretoothed carnivorous mammals have been the subject of considerable speculation on their adaptive function, but the absence of living analogues prevents any direct inference about their evolution. We analysed scaling relationships of the upper canines of 20 sabretoothed feliform carnivores (Nimravidae, Barbourofelidae, Machairodontinae, representing both dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, and 33 non-sabretoothed felids in relation to body size in order to characterize and identify the evolutionary processes driving their development, using the scaling relationships of carnassial teeth in both groups as a control. Carnassials display isometric allometry in both sabretooths and non-sabretooths, supporting their close relationship with meat-slicing, whereas the upper canines of both groups display positive allometry with body size. Whereas there is no statistical difference in allometry of upper canine height between dirk-toothed and scimitar-toothed sabretooth ecomorphs, the significantly stronger positive allometry of upper canine height shown by sabretooths as a whole compared to non-sabretooths reveals that different processes drove canine evolution in these groups. Although sabretoothed canines must still have been effective for prey capture and processing by hypercarnivorous predators, canine morphology in these extinct carnivores was likely to have been driven to a greater extent by sexual selection than in non-sabretooths. Scaling relationships therefore indicate the probable importance of sexual selection in the evolution of the hypertrophied sabretooth anterior dentition.

  14. Major Patterns in the History of Carnivorous Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    The history of carnivorous mammals is characterized by a series of rise-and-fall patterns of diversification in which declining clades are replaced by phylogenetically distinct but functionally similar clades. Seven such examples from the last 46 million years are described for North America and Eurasia. In three of the seven turnover events, competition with replacement taxa may have driven the decline of formerly dominant taxa. In the remaining four this is less likely because inferred functional similarity was minimal during the interval of temporal overlap between clades. However, competition still may have been important in producing the rise-and-fall pattern through suppression of evolution within replacement taxa; as long as the large carnivore ecospace was filled, the radiation of new taxa into that ecospace was limited, only occurring after the extinction of the incumbents. The apparently inevitable decline of incumbent taxa may reflect the tendency for clades of large carnivorous mammals to produce more specialized species as they mature, leading to increased vulnerability to extinction when environments change.

  15. Assessing sloth bears as surrogates for carnivore conservation in Sri Lanka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnayeke, Shyamala; Van Manen, Frank T.

    2012-01-01

    Bears are large, charismatic mammals whose presence often garners conservation attention. Because healthy bear populations typically require large, contiguous areas of habitat, land conservation actions often are assumed to benefit co-occurring species, including other mammalian carnivores. However, we are not aware of an empirical test of this assumption. We used remote camera data from 2 national parks in Sri Lanka to test the hypothesis that the frequency of detection of sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) is associated with greater richness of carnivore species. We focused on mammalian carnivores because they play a pivotal role in the stability of ecological communities and are among Sri Lanka's most endangered species. Seven of Sri Lanka's carnivores are listed as endangered, vulnerable, or near threatened, and little empirical information exists on their status and distribution. During 2002–03, we placed camera traps at 152 sites to document carnivore species presence. We used Poisson regression to develop predictive models for 3 categories of dependent variables: species richness of (1) all carnivores, (2) carnivores considered at risk, and (3) carnivores of least conservation concern. For each category, we analyzed 8 a priori models based on combinations of sloth bear detections, sample year, and study area and used Akaike's information criterion (AICc) to test our research hypothesis. We detected sloth bears at 55 camera sites and detected 13 of Sri Lanka's 14 Carnivora species. Species richness of all carnivores showed positive associations with the number of sloth bear detections, regardless of study area. Sloth bear detections were also positively associated with species richness of carnivores at risk across both study years and study areas, but not with species richness of common carnivores. Sloth bears may serve as a valuable surrogate species whose habitat protection would contribute to conservation of other carnivores in Sri Lanka.

  16. Attract them anyway: benefits of large, showy flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant species

    OpenAIRE

    Salces-Castellano, A.; Paniw, M.; Casimiro-Soriguer, R.; Ojeda, F.

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive biology of carnivorous plants has largely been studied on species that rely on insects as pollinators and prey, creating potential conflicts. Autogamous pollination, although present in some carnivorous species, has received less attention. In angiosperms, autogamous self-fertilization is expected to lead to a reduction in flower size, thereby reducing resource allocation to structures that attract pollinators. A notable exception is the carnivorous pyrophyte Drosophyllum lusitan...

  17. Examining the Prey Mass of Terrestrial and Aquatic Carnivorous Mammals: Minimum, Maximum and Range

    OpenAIRE

    Tucker, Marlee A.; Tracey L Rogers

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majorit...

  18. Pollinator-prey conflicts in carnivorous plants: When flower and trap properties mean life or death

    OpenAIRE

    El-Sayed, Ashraf M.; Byers, John A.; David M. Suckling

    2016-01-01

    Insect-pollinated carnivorous plants are expected to have higher fitness if they resolve pollinator-prey conflicts by sparing insects pollinating their flowers while trapping prey insects. We examined whether separation between flowers and traps of the carnivorous sundew species or pollinator preferences for colours of flowers enable these plants to spare pollinators. In addition, we collected odours from flowers and traps of each carnivorous species in order to identify volatile chemicals th...

  19. Beware of the wolf: Is animal fear affecting willingness to pay for conservation of large carnivores?

    OpenAIRE

    Brännlund, Runar; Johansson, Maria; Karlsson, Jens; Sjöström, Magnus

    2010-01-01

    From an interdisciplinary approach, this study aims at analysing self-reported animal fear, specifically large carnivore fear, in relation to public willingness to financially contribute to fulfil a governmental policy on large carnivore-induced costs. In a survey of 2 455 Swedes, it was found that people whose animal fear was directed particularly towards large carnivores, were less likely to be willing to pay (WTP), or were likely to be willing to pay a lower amount of money. In the predict...

  20. Smallest bitter taste receptor(T2Rs)gene repertoire in carnivores%Smallest bitter taste receptor (T2Rs) gene repertoire in carnivores

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ling-Ling HU; Peng SHI

    2013-01-01

    Bitter taste reception is presumably associated with dietary selection,preventing animals from ingesting potentially harmful compounds.Accordingly,carnivores,who encounter these toxic substances less often,should have fewer genes associated with bitter taste reception compared with herbivores and omnivores.To investigate the genetic basis of bitter taste reception,we confirmed bitter taste receptor (T2R) genes previously found in the genome sequences of two herbivores (cow and horse),two omnivores (mouse and rat) and one carnivore (dog).We also identified,for the first time,the T2R repertoire from the genome of other four carnivore species (ferret,giant panda,polar bear and cat) and detected 17-20 bitter receptor genes from the five carnivore genomes,including 12-16 intact genes,0-1 partial but putatively functional genes,and 3-8 pseudogenes.Both the intact T2R genes and the total T2R gene number among carnivores were the smallest among the tested species,supporting earlier speculations that carnivores have fewer T2R genes,herbivores an intermediate number,and omnivores the largest T2R gene repertoire.To further explain the genetic basis for this disparity,we constructed a phylogenetic tree,which showed most of the T2R genes from the five carnivores were one-to-one orthologs across the tree,suggesting that carnivore T2Rs were conserved among mammals.Similarly,the small carnivore T2R family size was likely due to rare duplication events.Collectively,these results strengthen arguments for the connection between T2R gene family size,diet and habit.

  1. S-like ribonuclease gene expression in carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Emi; Kawahara, Minako; Kodaira, Reina; Kume, Marina; Arai, Naoki; Nishikawa, Jun-ichi; Ohyama, Takashi

    2013-11-01

    Functions of S-like ribonucleases (RNases) differ considerably from those of S-RNases that function in self-incompatibility. Expression of S-like RNases is usually induced by low nutrition, vermin damage or senescence. However, interestingly, an Australian carnivorous plant Drosera adelae (a sundew), which traps prey with a sticky digestive liquid, abundantly secretes an S-like RNase DA-I in the digestive liquid even in ordinary states. Here, using D. adelae, Dionaea muscipula (Venus flytrap) and Cephalotus follicularis (Australian pitcher plant), we show that carnivorous plants use S-like RNases for carnivory: the gene da-I encoding DA-I and its ortholog cf-I of C. follicularis are highly expressed and constitutively active in each trap/digestion organ, while the ortholog dm-I of D. muscipula becomes highly active after trapping insects. The da-I promoter is unmethylated only in its trap/digestion organ, glandular tentacles (which comprise a small percentage of the weight of the whole plant), but methylated in other organs, which explains the glandular tentacles-specific expression of the gene and indicates a very rare gene regulation system. In contrast, the promoters of dm-I, which shows induced expression, and cf-I, which has constitutive expression, were not methylated in any organs examined. Thus, it seems that the regulatory mechanisms of the da-I, dm-I and cf-I genes differ from each other and do not correlate with the phylogenetic relationship. The current study suggests that under environmental pressure in specific habitats carnivorous plants have managed to evolve their S-like RNase genes to function in carnivory. PMID:23959189

  2. Pollen Morphology of some Carnivorous plants from Tripura, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somnath Bhowmik

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Pollen morphological structure of two carnivorous plant family covering four species of Tripura, India namely Drosera burmannii Vahl (Droseraceae Utricularia bifida Linnaeus, Utricularia ceruleaea Linnaeus and Utricularia gibba Linnaeus (Lentibulariaceae have been studied under Scanning Electron Microscope for the first time. Pollen grains of the studied four taxa varied widely among them and could be used for segregating both at generic as well as species level. Pollens of Droseraceae shed in tetrahedral tetrad condition while those of Lentibulariaceae are in monad. The exine sculpture in Droseraceae is spinulose while in Lentibulariaceae it is psilate to faintly gemmate

  3. A Viscoelastic Deadly Fluid in Carnivorous Pitcher Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaume, Laurence; Forterre, Yoel

    2008-07-01

    We study the rheology of the digestive fluid secreted by the carnivorous pitcher plants Nepenthes rafflesiana and its role in the mechanism of insects trapping. Using a combination of physical measurements (surface tension, wetting properties, extensional and shear rheometry), insects bioessays and high-speed video, we show that the digestive fluid of Nepenthes rafflesiana is a highly viscoelastic fluid and that this property is crucial for the retention of insect in its trap. Trapping efficiency is shown to remain strong even when the fluid is highly diluted by water, as long as the elastic relaxation time of the fluid is higher than the typical time scale of insect movements (large Deborah numbers).

  4. The ultrafast valve of an aquatic carnivorous plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marmottant, Philippe; Vincent, Olivier; Joyeux, Marc; Quilliet, Catherine; Poppinga, Simon; Weisskopf, Carmen; Masselter, Tom; Speck, Thomas

    2010-11-01

    Aquatic carnivorous bladderworts (Utricularia spp.) are plants that catch prey animals with suction traps. Here we present an experimental study with high speed video analyses of the extremely fast trapping movements, and show that suction is performed in less than a millisecond, much faster than previously thought. We reveal how the convex door morphology is optimized for a fast opening and closure, which we confirm by numerical simulations: the trapdoor is an elastic valve that buckles inside (entailing rapid opening) and then unbuckles (entailing rapid closure). These precise and reproducible motions are coupled with a strong suction swirl causing accelerations of up to 600 g, and leaving little escape chances for prey animals.

  5. Cytochemical and ultrastructural aspects of aquatic carnivorous plant turions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Płachno, Bartosz J; Adamec, Lubomír; Kozieradzka-Kiszkurno, Małgorzata; Swiątek, Piotr; Kamińska, Iwona

    2014-11-01

    Turions, which are modified shoot apices, are vegetative, dormant overwintering organs produced by perennial aquatic plants. In this study, the turion cytochemistry and ultrastructure of Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Utricularia vulgaris and U. stygia were compared with particular emphasis placed on storage substances. These three aquatic, rootless carnivorous plant species were studied at the end of their winter dormancy. At this stage, the turions of all species had starch as their main storage material. In contrast with A. vesiculosa, Utricularia turions were rich in protein storage vacuoles, and proteins were also accumulated as crystalline inclusions in the nuclei. All examined species accumulated lipid droplets in cells of epidermal glands. PMID:24770880

  6. Beet western yellows virus infects the carnivorous plant Nepenthes mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miguel, Sissi; Biteau, Flore; Mignard, Benoit; Marais, Armelle; Candresse, Thierry; Theil, Sébastien; Bourgaud, Frédéric; Hehn, Alain

    2016-08-01

    Although poleroviruses are known to infect a broad range of higher plants, carnivorous plants have not yet been reported as hosts. Here, we describe the first polerovirus naturally infecting the pitcher plant Nepenthes mirabilis. The virus was identified through bioinformatic analysis of NGS transcriptome data. The complete viral genome sequence was assembled from overlapping PCR fragments and shown to share 91.1 % nucleotide sequence identity with the US isolate of beet western yellows virus (BWYV). Further analysis of other N. mirabilis plants revealed the presence of additional BWYV isolates differing by several insertion/deletion mutations in ORF5. PMID:27180098

  7. First findings and prevalence of adult heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) in wild carnivores from Serbia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penezic, Aleksandra; Selakovic, Sanja; Pavlovic, Ivan; Cirovic, Dusko

    2014-01-01

    Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasitic roundworm that causes a zoonotic disease known as dirofilariosis. Little is known about the role of wild carnivores serving as reservoirs in nature. Therefore, we examined 738 hearts and lungs of free ranging wild carnivores from Serbia to determine the

  8. The evolution of cursorial carnivores in the Tertiary: implications of elbow-joint morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Ki; Werdelin, Lars

    2003-11-01

    The evolution of cursorial adaptations in Tertiary (65-1.65 Myr ago) carnivores has been a contentious issue. Most such studies have focused on the relationship between hind limb proportions and running speed. Here, we show morphometrically that in extant carnivores, the elbow joint has evolved in two distinct directions with mutually exclusive implications for locomotor ability and prey procurement. Some carnivores retain supinatory ability, allowing them to manipulate prey and other items with the forepaws. Such carnivores can become very large. Other carnivores lose the ability to supinate and become cursors. This allows for only moderate size increase. Modern carnivores above ca. 20 kg body mass are committed to one or other of these strategies. This threshold coincides with a postulated threshold in carnivore physiology. The biaxial pattern mostly follows phylogenetic lines, but a strong selective regime can override this signal, as shown by the extant cheetah. Oligocene (33.7-23.8 Myr ago) and early-middle Miocene (23.8-11.2 Myr ago) carnivores follow the same pattern, though in the Miocene the pattern is shifted towards larger body mass, which may be owing to the extraordinary richness of browsing ungulates at this time.

  9. European quaternary refugia: a factor in large carnivore extinction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Regan, Hannah J.; Turner, Alan; Wilkinson, David M.

    2002-12-01

    The extinction of large carnivores in Europe during the Quaternary is reviewed and the potential role of glacial refugia in these extinctions is investigated using the VORTEX model for population viability analysis. A model was built for a medium sized big cat similar to the extinct Panthera gombaszoegensis utilising life history data from the modern jaguar Panthera onca. This approach highlighted the potential importance of glacial refugia in the extinction process. Even model refugia the size of the Italian peninsula did not guarantee persistence of a population over a 1000 yr time span, illustrating the role of chance in survival in such a refugium. An area the size of the largest Mediterranean island was unable to support a big cat population for a period of 1000 yr. The models also demonstrated the importance of inbreeding as a mechanism for extinction in refugia. It is suggested that repeated genetic bottlenecks during successive glaciations would tend to remove lethal recessive alleles from the population, increasing the probability of survival in refugia in subsequent glaciations. The history of extinction of large carnivores in the European Quaternary is interpreted in the light of these results.

  10. Fungal root endophytes of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quilliam, Richard S; Jones, David L

    2010-06-01

    As carnivorous plants acquire substantial amounts of nutrients from the digestion of their prey, mycorrhizal associations are considered to be redundant; however, fungal root endophytes have rarely been examined. As endophytic fungi can have profound impacts on plant communities, we aim to determine the extent of fungal root colonisation of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia at two points in the growing season (spring and summer). We have used a culture-dependent method to isolate fungal endophytes and diagnostic polymerase chain reaction methods to determine arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonisation. All of the roots sampled contained culturable fungal root endophytes; additionally, we have provided molecular evidence that they also host arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Colonisation showed seasonal differences: Roots in the spring were colonised by Articulospora tetracladia, two isolates of uncultured ectomycorrhizal fungi, an unidentified species of fungal endophyte and Trichoderma viride, which was present in every plant sampled. In contrast, roots in the summer were colonised by Alatospora acuminata, an uncultured ectomycorrhizal fungus, Penicillium pinophilum and an uncultured fungal clone. Although the functional roles of fungal endophytes of D. rotundifolia are unknown, colonisation may (a) confer abiotic stress tolerance, (b) facilitate the acquisition of scarce nutrients particularly at the beginning of the growing season or (c) play a role in nutrient signalling between root and shoot. PMID:20012108

  11. The carnivorous bladderwort (Utricularia, Lentibulariaceae): a system inflates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Victor A; Jobson, Richard W; Michael, Todd P; Taylor, Derek J

    2010-01-01

    Carnivorous plants inhabit nutrient-poor environments, where prominent targets of prey capture are organic nitrogen and phosphorus. Some carnivorous plants also acquire carbon from their victims. A new report focusing on Utricularia, the bladderwort, demonstrates that carbon assimilated from photosynthesis is paradoxically secreted into the trapping environment, where it may help to support a mutualistic bacterial community. This bacterial community may also secrete allelochemicals that attract microcrustaceans which bear a strong overt resemblance to bladderwort traps. Furthermore, Utricularia and its sister genus Genlisea share anomalous molecular evolutionary features, such as highly increased rates of nucleotide substitution and dynamic evolution of genome size, from approximately 60-1500 megabases depending on the species or even population. A mechanistic hypothesis, based on the mutagenic action of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is proposed to underlie these phenomena, involving error-prone repair at the level of DNA bases and double-strand breaks. It is argued that these plants are prime candidates for further research on the complexities of plant physiology associated with carnivory, metagenomic surveys of trap microbial communities, novel plant nitrogen/nutrient utilization pathways, the ecology of prey attraction, whole-plant and trap comparative development, and, finally, evolution of the minimal angiosperm genome. PMID:20007200

  12. Remote camera-trap methods and analyses reveal impacts of rangeland management on Namibian carnivore communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauffman, M.J.; Sanjayan, M.; Lowenstein, J.; Nelson, A.; Jeo, R.M.; Crooks, K.R.

    2007-01-01

    Assessing the abundance and distribution of mammalian carnivores is vital for understanding their ecology and providing for their long-term conservation. Because of the difficulty of trapping and handling carnivores many studies have relied on abundance indices that may not accurately reflect real abundance and distribution patterns. We developed statistical analyses that detect spatial correlation in visitation data from combined scent station and camera-trap surveys, and we illustrate how to use such data to make inferences about changes in carnivore assemblages. As a case study we compared the carnivore communities of adjacent communal and freehold rangelands in central Namibia. We used an index of overdispersion to test for repeat visits to individual camera-trap scent stations and a bootstrap simulation to test for correlations in visits to camera neighbourhoods. After distilling our presence-absence data to the most defensible spatial scale, we assessed overall carnivore visitation using logistic regression. Our analyses confirmed the expected pattern of a depauparate fauna on the communal rangelands compared to the freehold rangelands. Additionally, the species that were not detected on communal sites were the larger-bodied carnivores. By modelling these rare visits as a Poisson process we illustrate a method of inferring whether or not such patterns are because of local extinction of species or are simply a result of low sample effort. Our Namibian case study indicates that these field methods and analyses can detect meaningful differences in the carnivore communities brought about by anthropogenic influences. ?? 2007 FFI.

  13. Ticks (Acari: Ixodida) on wild carnivores in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labruna, Marcelo B; Jorge, Rodrigo S P; Sana, Dênis A; Jácomo, Anah Tereza A; Kashivakura, Cyntia K; Furtado, Mariana M; Ferro, Claudia; Perez, Samuel A; Silveira, Leandro; Santos, Tarcísio S; Marques, Samuel R; Morato, Ronaldo G; Nava, Alessandra; Adania, Cristina H; Teixeira, Rodrigo H F; Gomes, Albério A B; Conforti, Valéria A; Azevedo, Fernando C C; Prada, Cristiana S; Silva, Jean C R; Batista, Adriana F; Marvulo, Maria Fernanda V; Morato, Rose L G; Alho, Cleber J R; Pinter, Adriano; Ferreira, Patrícia M; Ferreira, Fernado; Barros-Battesti, Darci M

    2005-01-01

    The present study reports field data of ticks infesting wild carnivores captured from July 1998 to September 2004 in Brazil. Additional data were obtained from one tick collection and from previous published data of ticks on carnivores in Brazil. During field work, a total of 3437 ticks were collected from 89 Cerdocyon thous (crab-eating fox), 58 Chrysocyon brachyurus (maned wolf), 30 Puma concolor (puma), 26 Panthera onca (jaguar), 12 Procyon cancrivorus (crab-eating raccoon), 4 Speothos venaticus (bush dog), 6 Pseudalopex vetulus (hoary fox), 6 Nasua nasua (coati), 6 Leopardus pardalis (ocelot), 2 Leopardus tigrinus (oncilla), 1 Leopardus wiedii (margay), 1 Herpailurus yagouaroundi (jaguarundi), 1 Oncifelis colocolo (pampas cat), 1 Eira barbara (tayara), 1 Galictis vittata (grison), 1 Lontra longicaudis (neotropical otter), and 1 Potus flavus (kinkajou). Data obtained from the Acari Collection IBSP included a total of 381 tick specimens collected on 13 C. thous, 8 C. brachyurus, 3 P. concolor, 10 P. onca, 3 P. cancrivorus, 4 N. nasua, 1 L. pardalis, 1 L. wiedii, 4 H. yagouaroundi, 1 Galictis cuja (lesser grison), and 1 L. longicaudis. The only tick-infested carnivore species previously reported in Brazil, for which we do not present any field data are Pseudalopex gymnocercus (pampas fox), Conepatus chinga (Molina's hog-nosed skunk), and Conepatus semistriatus (striped hog-nosed skunk). We report the first tick records in Brazil on two Felidae species (O. colocolo, H. yagouaroundi), two Canidae species (P. vetulus, S. venaticus), one Procyonidae species (P. flavus) and one Mustelidae (E. barbara). Tick infestation remains unreported for 5 of the 26 Carnivora species native in Brazil: Oncifelis geoffroyi (Geoffroy's cat), Atelocynus microtis (short-eared dog), Pteronura brasiliensis (giant otter), Mustela africana (Amazon weasel), and Bassaricyon gabbii (olingo). Our field data comprise 16 tick species represented by the genera Amblyomma (12 species), Ixodes (1

  14. Smallest bitter taste receptor (T2Rs) gene repertoire in carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ling-Ling; Shi, Peng

    2013-06-01

    Bitter taste reception is presumably associated with dietary selection, preventing animals from ingesting potentially harmful compounds. Accordingly, carnivores, who encounter these toxic substances less often, should have fewer genes associated with bitter taste reception compared with herbivores and omnivores. To investigate the genetic basis of bitter taste reception, we confirmed bitter taste receptor (T2R) genes previously found in the genome sequences of two herbivores (cow and horse), two omnivores (mouse and rat) and one carnivore (dog). We also identified, for the first time, the T2R repertoire from the genome of other four carnivore species (ferret, giant panda, polar bear and cat) and detected 17-20 bitter receptor genes from the five carnivore genomes, including 12-16 intact genes, 0-1 partial but putatively functional genes, and 3-8 pseudogenes. Both the intact T2R genes and the total T2R gene number among carnivores were the smallest among the tested species, supporting earlier speculations that carnivores have fewer T2R genes, herbivores an intermediate number, and omnivores the largest T2R gene repertoire. To further explain the genetic basis for this disparity, we constructed a phylogenetic tree, which showed most of the T2R genes from the five carnivores were one-to-one orthologs across the tree, suggesting that carnivore T2Rs were conserved among mammals. Similarly, the small carnivore T2R family size was likely due to rare duplication events. Collectively, these results strengthen arguments for the connection between T2R gene family size, diet and habit. PMID:23776004

  15. A new carnivorous dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göhlich, Ursula B; Chiappe, Luis M

    2006-03-16

    Small Late Jurassic theropod dinosaurs are rare worldwide. In Europe these carnivorous dinosaurs are represented primarily by only two skeletons of Compsognathus, neither of which is well preserved. Here we describe a small new theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic period of Schamhaupten in southern Germany. Being exquisitely preserved and complete from the snout to the distal third of the tail, the new fossil is the best-preserved predatory, non-avian dinosaur in Europe. It possesses a suite of characters that support its identification as a basal coelurosaur. A cladistic analysis indicates that the new taxon is closer to maniraptorans than to tyrannosauroids, grouping it with taxa often considered to be compsognathids. Large portions of integument are preserved along its tail. The absence of feathers or feather-like structures in a fossil phylogenetically nested within feathered theropods indicates that the evolution of these integumentary structures might be more complex than previously thought.

  16. Oriented cell division shapes carnivorous pitcher leaves of Sarracenia purpurea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukushima, Kenji; Fujita, Hironori; Yamaguchi, Takahiro; Kawaguchi, Masayoshi; Tsukaya, Hirokazu; Hasebe, Mitsuyasu

    2015-01-01

    Complex morphology is an evolutionary outcome of phenotypic diversification. In some carnivorous plants, the ancestral planar leaf has been modified to form a pitcher shape. However, how leaf development was altered during evolution remains unknown. Here we show that the pitcher leaves of Sarracenia purpurea develop through cell division patterns of adaxial tissues that are distinct from those in bifacial and peltate leaves, subsequent to standard expression of adaxial and abaxial marker genes. Differences in the orientation of cell divisions in the adaxial domain cause bifacial growth in the distal region and adaxial ridge protrusion in the middle region. These different growth patterns establish pitcher morphology. A computer simulation suggests that the cell division plane is critical for the pitcher morphogenesis. Our results imply that tissue-specific changes in the orientation of cell division underlie the development of a morphologically complex leaf. PMID:25774486

  17. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Oki Wong

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Archaeamphora longicervia H.Q.Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1 an innermost larval chamber with a distinctive outer wall; (2 an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3 an outermost zone of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the formerly reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G.Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation.

  18. Early Cretaceous Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous angiosperm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, William Oki; Dilcher, David Leonard; Labandeira, Conrad C; Sun, Ge; Fleischmann, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Archaeamphora longicervia H. Q. Li was described as an herbaceous, Sarraceniaceae-like pitcher plant from the mid Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Here, a re-investigation of A. longicervia specimens from the Yixian Formation provides new insights into its identity and the morphology of pitcher plants claimed by Li. We demonstrate that putative pitchers of Archaeamphora are insect-induced leaf galls that consist of three components: (1) an innermost larval chamber; (2) an intermediate zone of nutritive tissue; and (3) an outermost wall of sclerenchyma. Archaeamphora is not a carnivorous, Sarraceniaceae-like angiosperm, but represents insect-galled leaves of the previously reported gymnosperm Liaoningocladus boii G. Sun et al. from the Yixian Formation. PMID:25999978

  19. Phylogeny and biogeography of the carnivorous plant family Sarraceniaceae.

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    Aaron M Ellison

    Full Text Available The carnivorous plant family Sarraceniaceae comprises three genera of wetland-inhabiting pitcher plants: Darlingtonia in the northwestern United States, Sarracenia in eastern North America, and Heliamphora in northern South America. Hypotheses concerning the biogeographic history leading to this unusual disjunct distribution are controversial, in part because genus- and species-level phylogenies have not been clearly resolved. Here, we present a robust, species-rich phylogeny of Sarraceniaceae based on seven mitochondrial, nuclear, and plastid loci, which we use to illuminate this family's phylogenetic and biogeographic history. The family and genera are monophyletic: Darlingtonia is sister to a clade consisting of Heliamphora+Sarracenia. Within Sarracenia, two clades were strongly supported: one consisting of S. purpurea, its subspecies, and S. rosea; the other consisting of nine species endemic to the southeastern United States. Divergence time estimates revealed that stem group Sarraceniaceae likely originated in South America 44-53 million years ago (Mya (highest posterior density [HPD] estimate = 47 Mya. By 25-44 (HPD = 35 Mya, crown-group Sarraceniaceae appears to have been widespread across North and South America, and Darlingtonia (western North America had diverged from Heliamphora+Sarracenia (eastern North America+South America. This disjunction and apparent range contraction is consistent with late Eocene cooling and aridification, which may have severed the continuity of Sarraceniaceae across much of North America. Sarracenia and Heliamphora subsequently diverged in the late Oligocene, 14-32 (HPD = 23 Mya, perhaps when direct overland continuity between North and South America became reduced. Initial diversification of South American Heliamphora began at least 8 Mya, but diversification of Sarracenia was more recent (2-7, HPD = 4 Mya; the bulk of southeastern United States Sarracenia originated co-incident with Pleistocene glaciation

  20. Tigers and their prey: Predicting carnivore densities from prey abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karanth, K.U.; Nichols, J.D.; Kumar, N.S.; Link, W.A.; Hines, J.E.

    2004-01-01

    The goal of ecology is to understand interactions that determine the distribution and abundance of organisms. In principle, ecologists should be able to identify a small number of limiting resources for a species of interest, estimate densities of these resources at different locations across the landscape, and then use these estimates to predict the density of the focal species at these locations. In practice, however, development of functional relationships between abundances of species and their resources has proven extremely difficult, and examples of such predictive ability are very rare. Ecological studies of prey requirements of tigers Panthera tigris led us to develop a simple mechanistic model for predicting tiger density as a function of prey density. We tested our model using data from a landscape-scale long-term (1995-2003) field study that estimated tiger and prey densities in 11 ecologically diverse sites across India. We used field techniques and analytical methods that specifically addressed sampling and detectability, two issues that frequently present problems in macroecological studies of animal populations. Estimated densities of ungulate prey ranged between 5.3 and 63.8 animals per km2. Estimated tiger densities (3.2-16.8 tigers per 100 km2) were reasonably consistent with model predictions. The results provide evidence of a functional relationship between abundances of large carnivores and their prey under a wide range of ecological conditions. In addition to generating important insights into carnivore ecology and conservation, the study provides a potentially useful model for the rigorous conduct of macroecological science.

  1. Understanding patch departure rules for large carnivores: lion movements support a patch-disturbance hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valeix, Marion; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Loveridge, Andrew J; Davidson, Zeke; Hunt, Jane E; Madzikanda, Hillary; Macdonald, David W

    2011-08-01

    We test two hypotheses that could account for patch departure by large mammalian carnivores. One hypothesis is the unsuccessful-hunt hypothesis, where carnivores leave an area after an unsuccessful hunt but continue hunting in the same area after a successful hunt. The second hypothesis is the patch-disturbance hypothesis, where carnivores depart the area after a successful hunt because of behavioral responses of prey to predator presence. We used global positioning system collars to monitor the movements of African lions (Panthera leo) and identified their kill sites to distinguish between these two hypotheses. Lions moved to a different area (≥ 5 km away) after 87% of the kills, which supports the patch-disturbance hypothesis for patch-departure behavior of large mammalian carnivores.

  2. Living with large carnivores: predation on livestock by the snow leopard (Uncia uncia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bagchi, S.; Mishra, C.

    2006-01-01

    Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory persecution by pastoralists are worldwide conservation concerns. Poor understanding of the ecological and social underpinnings of this human¿wildlife conflict hampers effective conflict management programs. The endangered snow leopard Unc

  3. Infectivity of Canadian isolates of Trichinella spiralis nativa for swine, rats and carnivores.

    OpenAIRE

    Smith, H. J.

    1985-01-01

    The infectivity of Trichinella spiralis nativa isolates from widely separated geographic areas of Canada was determined by feeding infected musculature to swine, laboratory rats and carnivores (cats, foxes, ferrets). Low infectivity for swine and rats and high infectivity for carnivores were observed. Light infections were established in four of 16 swine examined between 25 and 53 days postinfection. Feeding of infected porcine musculature to ferrets demonstrated that Trichinella spiralis nat...

  4. Habitat Selection of a Large Carnivore along Human-Wildlife Boundaries in a Highly Modified Landscape

    OpenAIRE

    Chihiro Takahata; Scott Eric Nielsen; Akiko Takii; Shigeyuki Izumiyama

    2014-01-01

    When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears...

  5. Locomotor adaptations in Plio-Pleistocene large carnivores from the Italian Peninsula: Palaeoecological implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Carlo MELORO

    2011-01-01

    Mammalian carnivores are rarely considered for environmental reconstructions because they are extremely adaptable and their geographic range is usually large. However, the functional morphology of carnivore long bones can be indicative of locomotor behaviour as well as adaptation to specific kind of habitats. Here, different long bone ratios belonging to a subsample of extant large carnivores are used to infer palaeoecology of a comparative sample of Plio-Pleistocene fossils belonging to Italian paleo-communities. A multivariate long bone shape space reveals similarities between extant and fossil carnivores and multiple logistic regression models suggest that specific indices (the brachial and the Mt/F) can be applied to predict adaptations to grassland and tropical biomes. These functional indices exhibit also a phylogenetic signal to different degree. The brachial index is a significant predictor of adaptations to tropical biomes when phylogeny is taken into account, while Mt/F is not correlated anymore to habitat adaptations. However, the proportion of grassland-adapted carnivores in Italian paleo-communities exhibits a negative relationship with mean oxygen isotopic values, which are indicative of past climatic oscillations. As climate became more unstable during the Ice Ages, large carnivore guilds from the Italian peninsula were invaded by tropical/closed-adapted species. These species take advantage of the temperate forest cover that was more spread after 1.0 Ma than in the initial phase of the Quaternary (2.0 Ma) when the climate was more arid.

  6. Shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivore abundance and species richness in semiarid rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaum, Niels; Rossmanith, Eva; Popp, Alexander; Jeltsch, Florian

    2007-01-01

    Shrub encroachment due to overgrazing has led to dramatic changes of savanna landscapes and is considered to be one of the most threatening forms of rangeland degradation e.g. via habitat fragmentation. Mammalian carnivores are particularly vulnerable to local extinction in fragmented landscapes. However, our understanding of how shrub encroachment affects mammalian carnivores is poor. Here we investigated the relative sensitivities of ten native carnivores to different levels of shrub cover ranging from low (25%) in 20 southern Kalahari rangeland sites. Relative abundance of carnivores was monitored along 40 sand transects (5 m × 250 m) for each site. Our results show that increasing shrub cover affects carnivore species differently. African wild cats, striped polecats, cape foxes and suricates were negatively affected, whereas we found hump-shaped responses for yellow mongooses, bat-eared foxes and small-spotted genets with maximum abundance at shrub covers between 10 and 18%. In contrast, black-backed jackals, slender mongooses and small spotted cats were not significantly affected by increasing shrub cover. However, a negative impact of high shrub cover above 18% was congruent for all species. We conclude that intermediate shrub cover (10-18%) in savanna landscapes sustain viable populations of small carnivores.

  7. Frugivory and seed dispersal by carnivorous mammals, and associated fruit characteristics, in undisturbed Mediterranean habitatsFrugivory and seed dispersal by carnivorous mammals, and associated fruit characteristics, in undisturbed Mediterranean habitats

    OpenAIRE

    Herrera, Carlos M.

    1989-01-01

    The role of carnivorous mammals (Order Carnivora) in seed dispersal has remained virtually unexplored, despite the well-known fact that these animals commonly ingest fleshy fruits and defecate their seeds. This paper presents data on the dispersal of seeds by carnivores in an extensive area of relatively undisturbed habitats in south­ eastern Spain, and is based on the examination of more than 1,500 carnivore feces collected over a 10-yr period. Seeds from 27 plant ...

  8. Parasites of domestic and wild animals in South Africa. XLIV. Fleas (Insecta : Siphonaptera : Pulicidae collected from 15 carnivore species

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    I.G. Horak

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Fleas were collected from 61 wild carnivores belonging to 13 species in various nature reserves and on farms, two feral domestic cats in a nature reserve and a domestic dog in the city of Johannesburg. Eleven flea species, including two subspecies of one of these, belonging to six genera were recovered. Amongst these only Ctenocephalides felis felis and Ctenocephalides felis strongylus are considered specific parasites of carnivores. The remaining ten species normally infest the prey animals of the various carnivores.

  9. Locating human-wildlife interactions: landscape constructions and responses to large carnivore conservation in India and Norway

    OpenAIRE

    Sunetro Ghosal; Ketil Skogen; Siddhartha Krishnan

    2015-01-01

    People’s reactions to large carnivores take many forms, ranging from support and coexistence to resistance and conflict. While these reactions are the outcome of many different factors, in this paper we specifically explore the link between social constructions of landscapes and divergent responses to large carnivore presence. We compare case studies from four different landscapes shared by people and large carnivores, in India and Norway. We use social construction of landscapes ...

  10. Tracking neighbours promotes the coexistence of large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Bao, José Vicente; Mattisson, Jenny; Persson, Jens; Aronsson, Malin; Andrén, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    The study of competition and coexistence among similar interacting species has long been considered a cornerstone in evolutionary and community ecology. However, understanding coexistence remains a challenge. Using two similar and sympatric competing large carnivores, Eurasian lynx and wolverines, we tested the hypotheses that tracking among heterospecifics and reactive responses to potential risk decreases the probability of an agonistic encounter when predators access shared food resources, thus facilitating coexistence. Lynx and wolverines actively avoided each other, with the degree of avoidance being greater for simultaneous than time-delayed predator locations. Wolverines reacted to the presence of lynx at relatively short distances (mean: 383 m). In general, lynx stayed longer, and were more stationary, around reindeer carcasses than wolverines. However, when both predators were present at the same time around a carcass, lynx shortened their visits, while wolverine behavior did not change. Our results support the idea that risk avoidance is a reactive, rather than a predictive, process. Since wolverines have adapted to coexist with lynx, exploiting lynx-killed reindeer carcasses while avoiding potential encounters, the combined presence of both predators may reduce wolverine kill rate and thus the total impact of these predators on semi-domestic reindeer in Scandinavia. Consequently, population management directed at lynx may affect wolverine populations and human-wolverine conflicts. PMID:26979573

  11. Sport hunting, predator control and conservation of large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Packer

    Full Text Available Sport hunting has provided important economic incentives for conserving large predators since the early 1970's, but wildlife managers also face substantial pressure to reduce depredation. Sport hunting is an inherently risky strategy for controlling predators as carnivore populations are difficult to monitor and some species show a propensity for infanticide that is exacerbated by removing adult males. Simulation models predict population declines from even moderate levels of hunting in infanticidal species, and harvest data suggest that African countries and U.S. states with the highest intensity of sport hunting have shown the steepest population declines in African lions and cougars over the past 25 yrs. Similar effects in African leopards may have been masked by mesopredator release owing to declines in sympatric lion populations, whereas there is no evidence of overhunting in non-infanticidal populations of American black bears. Effective conservation of these animals will require new harvest strategies and improved monitoring to counter demands for predator control by livestock producers and local communities.

  12. Coproduction and ecological significance of naphthoquinones in carnivorous sundews (Drosera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Paul A; van der Kooy, Frank

    2012-06-01

    While the 1,4-naphthoquinone derivatives 7-methyljuglone (1) and plumbagin (2) possess a diverse and well documented array of biological activities, relatively little remains known about the functional significance of these compounds in planta and, in particular, their possible relation to carnivorous syndromes. In addition, the chemotaxonomic distribution of naphthoquinones (NQs) amongst species of Drosera L. is of phytopharmaceutical interest. Following the quantitative assessment of interspecific variation of 1 and 2 in 13 species and cultivars of Drosera, our findings demonstrate that these NQs are ubiquitously coproduced in, generally, species-specific ratios, and that 1 appears negatively associated with the occurrence of pigmentation in sundews. The prospective antifeedant function of 1 was evaluated in relation to allocation in various organs and ontogenetic phases of D. capensis L., revealing that significantly higher levels were accumulated in young and reproductive organs, most likely for defensive purposes. Investigation into the relationship between the biosynthesis of NQs and carnivory showed that production of 1 is optimally induced and localized in leaves in response to capture of insect prey. As a whole, these findings reveal the clear importance of this secondary metabolite in ecological interactions as well as holding implication for future bioactivity studies on the genus. PMID:22700223

  13. Evidence for competition between carnivorous plants and spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Krupa, James J; Raffel, Thomas R; Rohr, Jason R

    2010-10-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that competition between disparate taxa can be important in determining community structure, yet surprisingly, to our knowledge, no quantitative studies have been conducted on competition between carnivorous plants and animals. To examine potential competition between these taxa, we studied dietary and microhabitat overlap between pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and wolf spiders (Lycosidae) in the field, and conducted a laboratory experiment examining the effects of wolf spiders on sundew fitness. In the field, we found that sundews and spiders had a high dietary overlap with each other and with the available arthropod prey. Associations between sundews and spiders depended on spatial scale: both sundews and spiders were found more frequently in quadrats with more abundant prey, but within quadrats, spiders constructed larger webs and located them further away from sundews as the total sundew trapping area increased, presumably to reduce competition. Spiders also constructed larger webs when fewer prey were available. In the laboratory, our experiment revealed that spiders can significantly reduce sundew fitness. Our findings suggest that members of the plant and animal kingdoms can and do compete. PMID:20462904

  14. Feliform carnivores have a distinguished constitutive innate immune response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonja K. Heinrich

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Determining the immunological phenotype of endangered and threatened populations is important to identify those vulnerable to novel pathogens. Among mammals, members of the order Carnivora are particularly threatened by diseases. We therefore examined the constitutive innate immune system, the first line of protection against invading microbes, of six free-ranging carnivore species; the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas, the brown hyena (Hyena brunnea, the caracal (Caracal caracal, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, the leopard (Panthera pardus and the lion (Panthera leo using a bacterial killing assay. The differences in immune responses amongst the six species were independent of their foraging behaviour, body mass or social organisation but reflected their phylogenetic relatedness. The bacterial killing capacity of black-backed jackals, a member of the suborder Caniformia, followed the pattern established for a wide variety of vertebrates. In contrast, the five representatives of the suborder Feliformia demonstrated a killing capacity at least an order of magnitude higher than any species reported previously, with a particularly high capacity in caracals and cheetahs. Our results suggest that the immunocompetence of threatened felids such as the cheetah has been underestimated and its assessment ought to consider both innate and adaptive components of the immune system.

  15. Brain size predicts problem-solving ability in mammalian carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson-Amram, Sarah; Dantzer, Ben; Stricker, Gregory; Swanson, Eli M; Holekamp, Kay E

    2016-03-01

    Despite considerable interest in the forces shaping the relationship between brain size and cognitive abilities, it remains controversial whether larger-brained animals are, indeed, better problem-solvers. Recently, several comparative studies have revealed correlations between brain size and traits thought to require advanced cognitive abilities, such as innovation, behavioral flexibility, invasion success, and self-control. However, the general assumption that animals with larger brains have superior cognitive abilities has been heavily criticized, primarily because of the lack of experimental support for it. Here, we designed an experiment to inquire whether specific neuroanatomical or socioecological measures predict success at solving a novel technical problem among species in the mammalian order Carnivora. We presented puzzle boxes, baited with food and scaled to accommodate body size, to members of 39 carnivore species from nine families housed in multiple North American zoos. We found that species with larger brains relative to their body mass were more successful at opening the boxes. In a subset of species, we also used virtual brain endocasts to measure volumes of four gross brain regions and show that some of these regions improve model prediction of success at opening the boxes when included with total brain size and body mass. Socioecological variables, including measures of social complexity and manual dexterity, failed to predict success at opening the boxes. Our results, thus, fail to support the social brain hypothesis but provide important empirical support for the relationship between relative brain size and the ability to solve this novel technical problem.

  16. The microbial Phyllogeography of the carnivorous plant Sarracenia alata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koopman, Margaret M; Carstens, Bryan C

    2011-05-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants host diverse microbial communities. This plant-microbe association provides a unique opportunity to investigate the evolutionary processes that influence the spatial diversity of microbial communities. Using next-generation sequencing of environmental samples, we surveyed microbial communities from 29 pitcher plants (Sarracenia alata) and compare community composition with plant genetic diversity in order to explore the influence of historical processes on the population structure of each lineage. Analyses reveal that there is a core S. alata microbiome, and that it is similar in composition to animal gut microfaunas. The spatial structure of community composition in S. alata (phyllogeography) is congruent at the deepest level with the dominant features of the landscape, including the Mississippi river and the discrete habitat boundaries that the plants occupy. Intriguingly, the microbial community structure reflects the phylogeographic structure of the host plant, suggesting that the phylogenetic structure of bacterial communities and population genetic structure of their host plant are influenced by similar historical processes. PMID:21431933

  17. Strategy of nitrogen acquisition and utilization by carnivorous Dionaea muscipula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruse, Jörg; Gao, Peng; Honsel, Anne; Kreuzwieser, Jürgen; Burzlaff, Tim; Alfarraj, Saleh; Hedrich, Rainer; Rennenberg, Heinz

    2014-03-01

    Plant carnivory represents an exceptional means to acquire N. Snap traps of Dionaea muscipula serve two functions, and provide both N and photosynthate. Using (13)C/(15)N-labelled insect powder, we performed feeding experiments with Dionaea plants that differed in physiological state and N status (spring vs. autumn plants). We measured the effects of (15)N uptake on light-saturated photosynthesis (A(max)), dark respiration (R(D)) and growth. Depending on N status, insect capture briefly altered the dynamics of R(D)/A(max), reflecting high energy demand during insect digestion and nutrient uptake, followed by enhanced photosynthesis and growth. Organic N acquired from insect prey was immediately redistributed, in order to support swift renewal of traps and thereby enhance probability of prey capture. Respiratory costs associated with permanent maintenance of the photosynthetic machinery were thereby minimized. Dionaea's strategy of N utilization is commensurate with the random capture of large prey, occasionally transferring a high load of organic nutrients to the plant. Our results suggest that physiological adaptations to unpredictable resource availability are essential for Dionaea's success with regards to a carnivorous life style. PMID:24141381

  18. Bats Are Acoustically Attracted to Mutualistic Carnivorous Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schöner, Michael G; Schöner, Caroline R; Simon, Ralph; Grafe, T Ulmar; Puechmaille, Sébastien J; Ji, Liaw Lin; Kerth, Gerald

    2015-07-20

    Mutualisms between plants and animals shape the world's ecosystems. In such interactions, achieving contact with the partner species is imperative. Plants regularly advertise themselves with signals that specifically appeal to the partner's perceptual preferences. For example, many plants have acquired traits such as brightly colored, fragrant flowers that attract pollinators with visual, olfactory, or--in the case of a few bat-pollinated flowers--even acoustic stimuli in the form of echo-reflecting structures. However, acoustic attraction in plants is rare compared to other advertisements and has never been found outside the pollination context and only in the Neotropics. We hypothesized that this phenomenon is more widespread and more diverse as plant-bat interactions also occur in the Paleotropics. In Borneo, mutualistic bats fertilize a carnivorous pitcher plant while roosting in its pitchers. The pitcher's orifice features a prolonged concave structure, which we predicted to distinctively reflect the bats' echolocation calls for a wide range of angles. This structure should facilitate the location and identification of pitchers even within highly cluttered surroundings. Pitchers lacking this structure should be less attractive for the bats. Ensonifications of the pitchers around their orifice revealed that this structure indeed acts as a multidirectional ultrasound reflector. In behavioral experiments where bats were confronted with differently modified pitchers, the reflector's presence clearly facilitated the finding and identification of pitchers. These results suggest that plants have convergently acquired reflectors in the Paleotropics and the Neotropics to acoustically attract bats, albeit for completely different ecological reasons. PMID:26166777

  19. Fenestration: a window of opportunity for carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, H Martin; Ruxton, Graeme D

    2014-01-01

    A long-standing but controversial hypothesis assumes that carnivorous plants employ aggressive mimicry to increase their prey capture success. A possible mechanism is that pitcher plants use aggressive mimicry to deceive prey about the location of the pitcher's exit. Specifically, species from unrelated families sport fenestration, i.e. transparent windows on the upper surfaces of pitchers which might function to mimic the exit of the pitcher. This hypothesis has not been evaluated against alternative hypotheses predicting that fenestration functions to attract insects from afar. By manipulating fenestration, we show that it does not increase the number of Drosophila flies or of two ant species entering pitchers in Sarracenia minor nor their retention time or a pitcher's capture success. However, fenestration increased the number of Drosophila flies alighting on the pitcher compared with pitchers of the same plant without fenestration. We thus suggest that fenestration in S. minor is not an example of aggressive mimicry but rather functions in long-range attraction of prey. We highlight the need to evaluate aggressive mimicry relative to alternative concepts of plant-animal communication. PMID:24789140

  20. Morbillivirus infections, with special emphasis on morbilliviruses of carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, T

    1999-09-01

    Morbilliviruses infections cause significant mortality in human beings and animals. Measles virus is responsible for up to two million childhood deaths annually in the developing world, while rinderpest and peste des petits ruminants cause severe epizootics in domestic and wild ruminants in areas of the world where they remain endemic. Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a cause of fatal disease in many species of carnivores. Distemper is controlled by vaccination in domestic dogs and farmed mink, but it may be impossible to eradicate the virus because of its global distribution and wide variety of susceptible host species, which includes both freshwater and marine seals. Research is currently under way to develop new recombinant vaccines, since the currently available live attenuated vaccines for CDV are not safe for use for all species and many valuable zoo animals need to be protected from CDV. New morbilliviruses with potentially disastrous ecological consequences for marine mammals have been discovered in the past decade; phocid distemper virus (PDV) in seals and the cetacean morbillivirus (CMV) has been found in dolphins, whales and porpoises. Reverse transcription, coupled with the polymerase chain reaction (RT/PCR) and nucleic acid sequencing, has been used to characterise the morbilliviruses and has given insights into the evolution of this virus genus. PMID:10515262

  1. Spatial patterns of African ungulate aggregation reveal complex but limited risk effects from reintroduced carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Remington J; Killion, Alexander K; Montgomery, Robert A; Tambling, Craig J; Hayward, Matt W

    2016-05-01

    The "landscape of fear" model, recently advanced in research on the non-lethal effects of carnivores on ungulates, predicts that prey will exhibit detectable antipredator behavior not only during risky times (i.e., predators in close proximity) but also in risky places (i.e., habitat where predators kill prey or tend to occur). Aggregation is an important antipredator response in numerous ungulate species, making it a useful metric to evaluate the strength and scope of the landscape of fear in a multi-carnivore, multi-ungulate system. We conducted ungulate surveys over a 2-year period in South Africa to test the influence of three broad-scale sources of variation in the landscape on spatial patterns in aggregation: (1) habitat structure, (2) where carnivores tended to occur (i.e., population-level utilization distributions), and (3) where carnivores tended to kill ungulate prey (i.e., probabilistic kill site maps). We analyzed spatial variation in aggregation for six ungulate species exposed to predation from recently reintroduced lion (Panthera leo) and spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). Although we did detect larger aggregations of ungulates in "risky places," these effects existed primarily for smaller-bodied (lion, an ambush (stalking) carnivore, had stronger influence on ungulate aggregation than the hyena, an active (coursing) carnivore. In addition, places where lions tended to kill prey had a greater effect on ungulate aggregation than places where lions tended to occur, but an opposing pattern existed for hyena. Our study reveals heterogeneity in the landscape of fear and suggests broad-scale risk effects following carnivore reintroduction only moderately influence ungulate aggregation size and vary considerably by predator hunting mode, type of predation risk, and prey species.

  2. Landscape suitability in Botswana for the conservation of its six large African carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanlie E K Winterbach

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging large carnivores often range beyond the boundaries of protected areas into human-dominated areas. Mapping out potentially suitable habitats on a country-wide scale and identifying areas with potentially high levels of threats to large carnivore survival is necessary to develop national conservation action plans. We used a novel approach to map and identify these areas in Botswana for its large carnivore guild consisting of lion (Panthera leo, leopard (Panthera pardus, spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta, brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea, cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus. The habitat suitability for large carnivores depends primarily on prey availability, interspecific competition, and conflict with humans. Prey availability is most likely the strongest natural determinant. We used the distribution of biomass of typical wild ungulate species occurring in Botswana which is preyed upon by the six large carnivores to evaluate the potential suitability of the different management zones in the country to sustain large carnivore populations. In areas where a high biomass of large prey species occurred, we assumed interspecific competition between dominant and subordinated competitors to be high. This reduced the suitability of these areas for conservation of subordinate competitors, and vice versa. We used the percentage of prey biomass of the total prey and livestock biomass to identify areas with potentially high levels of conflict in agricultural areas. High to medium biomass of large prey was mostly confined to conservation zones, while small prey biomass was more evenly spread across large parts of the country. This necessitates different conservation strategies for carnivores with a preference for large prey, and those that can persist in the agricultural areas. To ensure connectivity between populations inside Botswana and also with its neighbours, a number of critical areas for priority management actions exist

  3. Examining the prey mass of terrestrial and aquatic carnivorous mammals: minimum, maximum and range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Marlee A; Rogers, Tracey L

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majority of studies that examine predator-prey body mass relationships focus on either a single or a subset of mammalian species, which limits the strength of our models as well as their broader application. We examine the relationship between predator body mass and the minimum, maximum and range of their prey's body mass across 108 mammalian carnivores, from weasels to baleen whales (Carnivora and Cetacea). We test whether mammals show a positive relationship between prey and predator body mass, as in reptiles and birds, as well as examine how environment (aquatic and terrestrial) and phylogenetic relatedness play a role in this relationship. We found that phylogenetic relatedness is a strong driver of predator-prey mass patterns in carnivorous mammals and accounts for a higher proportion of variance compared with the biological drivers of body mass and environment. We show a positive predator-prey body mass pattern for terrestrial mammals as found in reptiles and birds, but no relationship for aquatic mammals. Our results will benefit our understanding of trophic interactions, the susceptibility of carnivores to population declines and the role of carnivores within ecosystems. PMID:25162695

  4. Examining the prey mass of terrestrial and aquatic carnivorous mammals: minimum, maximum and range.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlee A Tucker

    Full Text Available Predator-prey body mass relationships are a vital part of food webs across ecosystems and provide key information for predicting the susceptibility of carnivore populations to extinction. Despite this, there has been limited research on the minimum and maximum prey size of mammalian carnivores. Without information on large-scale patterns of prey mass, we limit our understanding of predation pressure, trophic cascades and susceptibility of carnivores to decreasing prey populations. The majority of studies that examine predator-prey body mass relationships focus on either a single or a subset of mammalian species, which limits the strength of our models as well as their broader application. We examine the relationship between predator body mass and the minimum, maximum and range of their prey's body mass across 108 mammalian carnivores, from weasels to baleen whales (Carnivora and Cetacea. We test whether mammals show a positive relationship between prey and predator body mass, as in reptiles and birds, as well as examine how environment (aquatic and terrestrial and phylogenetic relatedness play a role in this relationship. We found that phylogenetic relatedness is a strong driver of predator-prey mass patterns in carnivorous mammals and accounts for a higher proportion of variance compared with the biological drivers of body mass and environment. We show a positive predator-prey body mass pattern for terrestrial mammals as found in reptiles and birds, but no relationship for aquatic mammals. Our results will benefit our understanding of trophic interactions, the susceptibility of carnivores to population declines and the role of carnivores within ecosystems.

  5. Structural and functional characteristics of S-like ribonucleases from carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Emi; Jumyo, Shinya; Arai, Naoki; Kanna, Kensuke; Kume, Marina; Nishikawa, Jun-ichi; Tanase, Jun-ichi; Ohyama, Takashi

    2014-07-01

    Although the S-like ribonucleases (RNases) share sequence homology with the S-RNases involved in the self-incompatibility mechanism in plants, they are not associated with this mechanism. They usually function in stress responses in non-carnivorous plants and in carnivory in carnivorous plants. In this study, we clarified the structures of the S-like RNases of Aldrovanda vesiculosa, Nepenthes bicalcarata and Sarracenia leucophylla, and compared them with those of other plants. At ten positions, amino acid residues are conserved or almost conserved only for carnivorous plants (six in total). In contrast, two positions are specific to non-carnivorous plants. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that the S-like RNases of the carnivorous plants form a group beyond the phylogenetic relationships of the plants. We also prepared and characterized recombinant S-like RNases of Dionaea muscipula, Cephalotus follicularis, A. vesiculosa, N. bicalcarata and S. leucophylla, and RNS1 of Arabidopsis thaliana. The recombinant carnivorous plant enzymes showed optimum activities at about pH 4.0. Generally, poly(C) was digested less efficiently than poly(A), poly(I) and poly(U). The kinetic parameters of the recombinant D. muscipula enzyme (DM-I) and A. thaliana enzyme RNS1 were similar. The k cat/K m of recombinant RNS1 was the highest among the enzymes, followed closely by that of recombinant DM-I. On the other hand, the k cat/K m of the recombinant S. leucophylla enzyme was the lowest, and was ~1/30 of that for recombinant RNS1. The magnitudes of the k cat/K m values or k cat values for carnivorous plant S-like RNases seem to correlate negatively with the dependency on symbionts for prey digestion. PMID:24771022

  6. Space use of African wild dogs in relation to other large carnivores.

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    Angela M Darnell

    Full Text Available Interaction among species through competition is a principle process structuring ecological communities, affecting behavior, distribution, and ultimately the population dynamics of species. High competition among large African carnivores, associated with extensive diet overlap, manifests in interactions between subordinate African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus and dominant lions (Panthera leo and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta. Using locations of large carnivores in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa, we found different responses from wild dogs to their two main competitors. Wild dogs avoided lions, particularly during denning, through a combination of spatial and temporal avoidance. However, wild dogs did not exhibit spatial or temporal avoidance of spotted hyenas, likely because wild dog pack sizes were large enough to adequately defend their kills. Understanding that larger carnivores affect the movements and space use of other carnivores is important for managing current small and fragmented carnivore populations, especially as reintroductions and translocations are essential tools used for the survival of endangered species, as with African wild dogs.

  7. Fluorescence labelling of phosphatase activity in digestive glands of carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Płachno, B J; Adamec, L; Lichtscheidl, I K; Peroutka, M; Adlassnig, W; Vrba, J

    2006-11-01

    A new ELF (enzyme labelled fluorescence) assay was applied to detect phosphatase activity in glandular structures of 47 carnivorous plant species, especially Lentibulariaceae, in order to understand their digestive activities. We address the following questions: (1) Are phosphatases produced by the plants and/or by inhabitants of the traps? (2) Which type of hairs/glands is involved in the production of phosphatases? (3) Is this phosphatase production a common feature among carnivorous plants or is it restricted to evolutionarily advanced species? Our results showed activity of the phosphatases in glandular structures of the majority of the plants tested, both from the greenhouse and from sterile culture. In addition, extracellular phosphatases can also be produced by trap inhabitants. In Utricularia, activity of phosphatase was detected in internal glands of 27 species from both primitive and advanced sections and different ecological groups. Further positive reactions were found in Genlisea, Pinguicula, Aldrovanda, Dionaea, Drosera, Drosophyllum, Nepenthes, and Cephalotus. In Utricularia and Genlisea, enzymatic secretion was independent of stimulation by prey. Byblis and Roridula are usually considered as "proto-carnivores", lacking digestive enzymes. However, we found high activity of phosphatases in both species. Thus, they should be classified as true carnivores. We suggest that the inflorescence of Byblis and some Pinguicula species might also be an additional "carnivorous organ", which can trap a prey, digest it, and finally absorb available nutrients. PMID:16865659

  8. Does litter size variation affect models of terrestrial carnivore extinction risk and management?

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    Eleanor S Devenish-Nelson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Individual variation in both survival and reproduction has the potential to influence extinction risk. Especially for rare or threatened species, reliable population models should adequately incorporate demographic uncertainty. Here, we focus on an important form of demographic stochasticity: variation in litter sizes. We use terrestrial carnivores as an example taxon, as they are frequently threatened or of economic importance. Since data on intraspecific litter size variation are often sparse, it is unclear what probability distribution should be used to describe the pattern of litter size variation for multiparous carnivores. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used litter size data on 32 terrestrial carnivore species to test the fit of 12 probability distributions. The influence of these distributions on quasi-extinction probabilities and the probability of successful disease control was then examined for three canid species - the island fox Urocyon littoralis, the red fox Vulpes vulpes, and the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. Best fitting probability distributions differed among the carnivores examined. However, the discretised normal distribution provided the best fit for the majority of species, because variation among litter-sizes was often small. Importantly, however, the outcomes of demographic models were generally robust to the distribution used. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide reassurance for those using demographic modelling for the management of less studied carnivores in which litter size variation is estimated using data from species with similar reproductive attributes.

  9. Use of an action-selection framework for human-carnivore conflict in the Bangladesh Sundarbans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Adam C D; Greenwood, Christina J; Ahmad, Ishtiaq U; Smith, James L D

    2010-10-01

    Human-carnivore conflict is manifested in the death of humans, livestock, and carnivores. The resulting negative local attitudes and retribution killings imperil the future of many endangered carnivores. We tailored existing management tools to create a framework to facilitate the selection of actions to alleviate human-carnivore conflict and applied the framework to the human-tiger conflict in the Bangladesh Sundarbans. We identified potential actions that consider previous management efforts, local knowledge, cost-effectiveness, fieldwork experience of authors and project staff, previous research on tiger ecology by the authors, and recommendations from human-carnivore conflict studies in other countries. Our framework includes creation of a profile to improve understanding of the nature of the conflict and its underlying causality. Identified actions include deterrents, education, direct tiger management, and response teams. We ranked actions by their potential to reduce conflict and the monetary cost of their implementation. We ranked tiger-response teams and monitoring problem tigers as the two best actions because both had relatively high impact and cost-effectiveness. We believe this framework could be used under a wide range of human-wildlife conflict situations because it provides a structured approach to selection of mitigating actions. PMID:20345402

  10. Functional constraints on tooth morphology in carnivorous mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smits Peter D

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The range of potential morphologies resulting from evolution is limited by complex interacting processes, ranging from development to function. Quantifying these interactions is important for understanding adaptation and convergent evolution. Using three-dimensional reconstructions of carnivoran and dasyuromorph tooth rows, we compared statistical models of the relationship between tooth row shape and the opposing tooth row, a static feature, as well as measures of mandibular motion during chewing (occlusion, which are kinetic features. This is a new approach to quantifying functional integration because we use measures of movement and displacement, such as the amount the mandible translates laterally during occlusion, as opposed to conventional morphological measures, such as mandible length and geometric landmarks. By sampling two distantly related groups of ecologically similar mammals, we study carnivorous mammals in general rather than a specific group of mammals. Results Statistical model comparisons demonstrate that the best performing models always include some measure of mandibular motion, indicating that functional and statistical models of tooth shape as purely a function of the opposing tooth row are too simple and that increased model complexity provides a better understanding of tooth form. The predictors of the best performing models always included the opposing tooth row shape and a relative linear measure of mandibular motion. Conclusions Our results provide quantitative support of long-standing hypotheses of tooth row shape as being influenced by mandibular motion in addition to the opposing tooth row. Additionally, this study illustrates the utility and necessity of including kinetic features in analyses of morphological integration.

  11. A viscoelastic deadly fluid in carnivorous pitcher plants.

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    Laurence Gaume

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes, widely distributed in the Asian tropics, rely mostly on nutrients derived from arthropods trapped in their pitcher-shaped leaves and digested by their enzymatic fluid. The genus exhibits a great diversity of prey and pitcher forms and its mechanism of trapping has long intrigued scientists. The slippery inner surfaces of the pitchers, which can be waxy or highly wettable, have so far been considered as the key trapping devices. However, the occurrence of species lacking such epidermal specializations but still effective at trapping insects suggests the possible implication of other mechanisms. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a combination of insect bioassays, high-speed video and rheological measurements, we show that the digestive fluid of Nepenthes rafflesiana is highly viscoelastic and that this physical property is crucial for the retention of insects in its traps. Trapping efficiency is shown to remain strong even when the fluid is highly diluted by water, as long as the elastic relaxation time of the fluid is higher than the typical time scale of insect movements. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This finding challenges the common classification of Nepenthes pitchers as simple passive traps and is of great adaptive significance for these tropical plants, which are often submitted to high rainfalls and variations in fluid concentration. The viscoelastic trap constitutes a cryptic but potentially widespread adaptation of Nepenthes species and could be a homologous trait shared through common ancestry with the sundew (Drosera flypaper plants. Such large production of a highly viscoelastic biopolymer fluid in permanent pools is nevertheless unique in the plant kingdom and suggests novel applications for pest control.

  12. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nogeire, Theresa M.; Davis, Frank W.; Duggan, Jennifer M.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Boydston, Erin E.

    2013-01-01

    Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  13. Carnivore use of avocado orchards across an agricultural-wildland gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Theresa M Nogeire

    Full Text Available Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, including mammalian carnivores. We examined occupancy of avocado orchards by mammalian carnivores across agricultural-wildland gradients in southern California with motion-activated cameras. More carnivore species were detected with cameras in orchards than in wildland sites, and for bobcats and gray foxes, orchards were associated with higher occupancy rates. Our results demonstrate that agricultural lands have potential to contribute to conservation by providing habitat or facilitating landscape connectivity.

  14. Within-population isotopic niche variability in savanna mammals: disparity between carnivores and herbivores

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    Daryl eCodron

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Large mammal ecosystems have relatively simple food webs, usually comprising three – and sometimes only two – trophic links. Since many syntopic species from the same trophic level therefore share resources, dietary niche partitioning features prominently within these systems. In African and other subtropical savannas, stable carbon isotopes readily distinguish between herbivore species for which foliage and other parts of dicot plants (13C-depleted C3 vegetation are the primary resource (browsers and those for which grasses (13C-enriched C4 vegetation are staples (grazers. Similarly, carbon isotopes distinguish between carnivore diets that may be richer in either browser, grazer, or intermediate-feeding prey. Here, we investigate levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopic niche variation and niche partitioning within populations (or species of carnivores and herbivores from South African savannas. We emphasize predictable differences in within-population trends across trophic levels: we expect that herbivore populations, which require more foraging effort due to higher intake requirements, are far less likely to display within-population resource partitioning than carnivore populations. Our results reveal generally narrower isotopic niche breadths in herbivore than carnivore populations, but more importantly we find lower levels of isotopic differentiation across individuals within herbivore species. While these results offer some support for our general hypothesis, the current paucity of isotopic data for African carnivores limits our ability to test the complete set of predictions arising from our hypothesis. Nevertheless, given the different ecological and ecophysiological constraints to foraging behaviour within each trophic level, comparisons across carnivores and herbivores, which are possible within such simplified foodwebs, make these systems ideal for developing a process-based understanding of conditions underlying the evolution of

  15. Stable Isotopes and Zooarchaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico Reveal Earliest Evidence of Wild Carnivore Management in Mesoamerica.

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    Nawa Sugiyama

    Full Text Available From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, the capture and manipulation of carnivores was instrumental in helping to shape social hierarchies throughout the ancient world. This paper investigates the historical inflection point when humans began to control animals not only as alimental resources but as ritual symbols and social actors in the New World. At Teotihuacan (A.D. 1-550, one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities, animal remains were integral components of ritual caches expressing state ideology and militarism during the construction of the Moon and the Sun Pyramids. The caches contain the remains of nearly 200 carnivorous animals, human sacrificial victims and other symbolic artifacts. This paper argues the presence of skeletal pathologies of infectious disease and injuries manifest on the carnivore remains show direct evidence of captivity. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C and δ15N of bones and teeth confirms that some of these carnivores were consuming high levels of C4 foods, likely reflecting a maize-based anthropocentric food chain. These results push back the antiquity of keeping captive carnivores for ritualistic purposes nearly 1000 years before the Spanish conquistadors described Moctezuma's zoo at the Aztec capital. Mirroring these documents the results indicate a select group of carnivores at Teotihuacan may have been fed maize-eating omnivores, such as dogs and humans. Unlike historical records, the present study provides the earliest and direct archaeological evidence for this practice in Mesoamerica. It also represents the first systematic isotopic exploration of a population of archaeological eagles (n = 24 and felids (n = 29.

  16. Patterns of Livestock Predation by Carnivores: Human-Wildlife Conflict in Northwest Yunnan, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xueyou; Buzzard, Paul; Chen, Yongchun; Jiang, Xuelong

    2013-12-01

    Alleviating human-carnivore conflict is central to large carnivore conservation and is often of economic importance, where people coexist with carnivores. In this article, we report on the patterns of predation and economic losses from wild carnivores preying on livestock in three villages of northern Baima Xueshan Nature Reserve, northwest Yunnan during a 2-year period between January 2010 and December 2011. We analyzed claims from 149 households that 258 head of livestock were predated. Wolves ( Canis lupus) were responsible for 79.1 % of livestock predation; Asiatic black bears ( Selenarctos thibetanus) and dholes ( Cuon alpinus) were the other predators responsible. Predation frequency varied between livestock species. The majority of livestock killed were yak-cattle hybrids or dzo (40.3 %). Wolves killed fewer cattle than expected, and more donkeys and horses than expected. Wolves and bears killed more adult female and fewer adult male livestock than expected. Intensified predation in wet season coincided with livestock being left to graze unattended in alpine meadows far away from villages. On average, carnivore attacks claimed 2.1 % of range stock annually. This predation represented an economic loss of 17 % (SD = 14 %) of the annual household income. Despite this loss and a perceived increase in carnivore conflict, a majority of the herders (66 %) still supported the reserve. This support is primarily due to the benefits from the collection of nontimber resources such as mushrooms and medicinal plants. Our study also suggested that improvement of husbandry techniques and facilities will reduce conflicts and contribute to improved conservation of these threatened predators.

  17. Locating Human-Wildlife Interactions: Landscape Constructions and Responses to Large Carnivore Conservation in India and Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunetro Ghosal

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available People′s reactions to large carnivores take many forms, ranging from support and coexistence to resistance and conflict. While these reactions are the outcome of many different factors, in this paper we specifically explore the link between social constructions of landscapes and divergent responses to large carnivore presence. We compare case studies from four different landscapes shared by people and large carnivores, in India and Norway. We use social construction of landscapes as a key concept to explore responses to large carnivores in the context of ecological, economic, social, and cultural changes in these areas. Based on this comparison, we argue that the process of change is complex, with a plurality of responses from the groups affected by it. The response to large carnivore presence is influenced by many different factors, of which the interpretation of change-particularly landscape change-plays a significant role.

  18. Hierarchical multi-species modeling of carnivore responses to hunting, habitat and prey in a West African protected area.

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    A Cole Burton

    Full Text Available Protected areas (PAs are a cornerstone of global efforts to shield wildlife from anthropogenic impacts, yet their effectiveness at protecting wide-ranging species prone to human conflict--notably mammalian carnivores--is increasingly in question. An understanding of carnivore responses to human-induced and natural changes in and around PAs is critical not only to the conservation of threatened carnivore populations, but also to the effective protection of ecosystems in which they play key functional roles. However, an important challenge to assessing carnivore communities is the often infrequent and imperfect nature of survey detections. We applied a novel hierarchical multi-species occupancy model that accounted for detectability and spatial autocorrelation to data from 224 camera trap stations (sampled between October 2006 and January 2009 in order to test hypotheses about extrinsic influences on carnivore community dynamics in a West African protected area (Mole National Park, Ghana. We developed spatially explicit indices of illegal hunting activity, law enforcement patrol effort, prey biomass, and habitat productivity across the park, and used a Bayesian model selection framework to identify predictors of site occurrence for individual species and the entire carnivore community. Contrary to our expectation, hunting pressure and edge proximity did not have consistent, negative effects on occurrence across the nine carnivore species detected. Occurrence patterns for most species were positively associated with small prey biomass, and several species had either positive or negative associations with riverine forest (but not with other habitat descriptors. Influences of sampling design on carnivore detectability were also identified and addressed within our modeling framework (e.g., road and observer effects, and the multi-species approach facilitated inference on even the rarest carnivore species in the park. Our study provides insight for the

  19. Molecular characterization of canine kobuvirus in wild carnivores and the domestic dog in Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olarte-Castillo, Ximena A; Heeger, Felix; Mazzoni, Camila J; Greenwood, Alex D; Fyumagwa, Robert; Moehlman, Patricia D; Hofer, Heribert; East, Marion L

    2015-03-01

    Knowledge of Kobuvirus (Family Picornaviridae) infection in carnivores is limited and has not been described in domestic or wild carnivores in Africa. To fill this gap in knowledge we used RT-PCR to screen fresh feces from several African carnivores. We detected kobuvirus RNA in samples from domestic dog, golden jackal, side-striped jackal and spotted hyena. Using next generation sequencing we obtained one complete Kobuvirus genome sequence from each of these species. Our phylogenetic analyses revealed canine kobuvirus (CaKV) infection in all four species and placed CaKVs from Africa together and separately from CaKVs from elsewhere. Wild carnivore strains were more closely related to each other than to those from domestic dogs. We found that the secondary structure model of the IRES was similar to the Aichivirus-like IRES subclass and was conserved among African strains. We describe the first CaKVs from Africa and extend the known host range of CaKV. PMID:25667111

  20. Nutrient-specific compensatory feeding in a mammalian carnivore, the mink, Neovison vison

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kim; Simpson, Stephen J; Nielsen, Vivi H;

    2014-01-01

    occurred for all the three macronutrients, including carbohydrate, which is particularly interesting as carbohydrate is not a major macronutrient for obligate carnivores in nature. However, there was also a ceiling to carbohydrate intake, as has been demonstrated previously in domestic cats. The results...

  1. A Ten-Year Molecular Survey on Parvoviruses Infecting Carnivores in Bulgaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filipov, C; Desario, C; Patouchas, O; Eftimov, P; Gruichev, G; Manov, V; Filipov, G; Buonavoglia, C; Decaro, N

    2016-08-01

    Parvoviruses represent the most important infectious agents that are responsible for severe to fatal disease in carnivores. This study reports the results of a 10-year molecular survey conducted on carnivores in Bulgaria (n = 344), including 262 dogs and 19 cats with gastroenteritis, and 57 hunted wild carnivores. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), followed by virus characterization by minor groove binder (MGB) probe assays, detected 216 parvovirus positive dogs with a predominance of canine parvovirus type 2a (CPV-2a, 79.17%) over CPV-2b (18.52%) and CPV-2c (2.31%). Rottweilers and German shepherds were the most frequent breeds among CPV-positive pedigree dogs (n = 96). Eighteen cats were found to shed parvoviruses in their faeces, with most strains being characterized as FPLV (n = 17), although a single specimen tested positive for CPV-2a. Only two wild carnivores were parvovirus positive, a wolf (Canis lupus) and a red fox (Vulpes vulpes), both being infected by CPV-2a strains. PMID:25382194

  2. Insecticides reduce survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory of carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennings, David E; Congelosi, Alexandra M; Rohr, Jason R

    2012-03-01

    While agrochemical pollution is thought to be an important conservation threat to carnivorous plants, the effects of insecticides on these taxa have not been quantified previously. Using a combination of lab- and field-based experiments, we tested the effects of commercial and technical grades of three widely used insecticides (carbaryl, lambda-cyhalothrin, and malathion) on survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory of pink sundews (Drosera capillaris) and Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula). Commercial grades were generally more harmful than technical grades under lab and field conditions, but all three insecticides were capable of reducing both survival and the expression of traits associated with carnivory within recommended application rates. However, pink sundews appeared to be more susceptible to insecticides than Venus flytraps, perhaps because of larger numbers of digestive glands on the leaf surfaces. We make several recommendations for future research directions, such as examining the long-term effects of insecticides on carnivorous plant populations, for example in terms of growth rates and fitness. Additionally, future research should include representative species from a wider-range of carnivorous plant growth forms, and explore the mechanism by which insecticides are harming the plants. Given the effects we observed in the present study, we suggest that the use of insecticides should be carefully managed in areas containing vulnerable carnivorous plant species. PMID:22076028

  3. First report of Spirocerca sp. in Denmark – a tumor-inducing parasite in carnivores

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Al-Sabi, Mohammad Nafi Solaiman; Hansen, Mette Sif; Larsen, Gitte;

    2014-01-01

    During routine health surveillance of wild carnivores in Denmark, several tumors, measuring up to 3.0 x 4.5 x 2.5 cm, were detected in the stomach and the omentum of an autopsied red fox (Vulpes vulpes). The fox was hunted in the Hanstholm Nature Reserve, which is 230 km from the closest mainland...

  4. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buch, F. (Franziska); W.E. Kaman (Wendy); F.J. Bikker (Floris); Yilamujiang, A. (Ayufu); Mithöfer, A. (Axel)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractCarnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the p

  5. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    F. Buch; W.E. Kaman; F.J. Bikker; A. Yilamujiang; A. Mithöfer

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themse

  6. Pollinator-prey conflicts in carnivorous plants: When flower and trap properties mean life or death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Sayed, Ashraf M; Byers, John A; Suckling, David M

    2016-01-01

    Insect-pollinated carnivorous plants are expected to have higher fitness if they resolve pollinator-prey conflicts by sparing insects pollinating their flowers while trapping prey insects. We examined whether separation between flowers and traps of the carnivorous sundew species or pollinator preferences for colours of flowers enable these plants to spare pollinators. In addition, we collected odours from flowers and traps of each carnivorous species in order to identify volatile chemicals that are attractive or repellent to pollinators and prey insects. In Drosera spatulata and D. arcturi, no volatiles were detected from either their flowers or traps that could serve as kairomone attractants for insects. However, behavioural experiments indicated white colour and spatial separation between flowers and traps aid in reducing pollinator entrapment while capturing prey. In contrast, D. auriculata have flowers that are adjacent to their traps. In this species we identified chemical signals emanating from flowers that comprised an eight-component blend, while the plant's traps emitted a unique four-component blend. The floral odour attracted both pollinator and prey insects, while trap odour only attracted prey. This is the first scientific report to demonstrate that carnivorous plants utilize visual, spatial, and chemical signals to spare flower visitors while trapping prey insects. PMID:26888545

  7. Jasmonic acid and herbivory differentially induce carnivore-attracting plant volatiles in Lima bean plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dicke, M.; Gols, R.; Ludeking, D.; Posthumus, M.A.

    1999-01-01

    Lima bean plants respond to feeding damage of two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) with the emission of a complex blend of volatiles that are products of several different biosynthetic pathways. These volatiles attract the carnivorous mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, a specialist predator of

  8. The acclimation of carnivorous round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) to solar radiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tkalec, Mirta; Doboš, Marko; Babić, Marija; Jurak, Edita

    2015-01-01

    Round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.) is a carnivorous plant which inhabits nutrient-poor, moist, and sun-exposed areas such as peat bogs and sandpits. These habitats are threatened by succession which could lead to substantial shading of sundews. Nevertheless, D. rotundifolia can also gr

  9. Iridoid and caffeoyl phenylethanoid glycosides of the endangered carnivorous plant Pinguicula lusitanica L. (Lentibulariaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grevenstuk, T.; Hooft, van der J.J.J.; Vervoort, J.J.M.; Waard, de P.; Romano, A.

    2009-01-01

    This work reports for the first time the identification of the major compounds of Pinguicula lusitanica, an endangered carnivorous plant species, using minimal amounts of plant material. A methanol extract was prepared from in vitro cultured plantlets and analyzed by HPLC–SPE–NMR/HPLC–MS. Three irid

  10. Spatial-temporal patterns in Mediterranean carnivore road casualties: Consequences for mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilo, C.; Bissonette, J.A.; Santos-Reis, M.

    2009-01-01

    Many carnivores have been seriously impacted by the expansion of transportation systems and networks; however we know little about carnivore response to the extent and magnitude of road mortality, or which age classes may be disproportionately impacted. Recent research has demonstrated that wildlife-vehicle-collisions (WVC) involving carnivores are modulated by temporal and spatial factors. Thus, we investigated road mortality on a guild of small and medium-sized carnivores in southern Portugal using road-kill data obtained from a systematic 36 months monitoring period along highways (260 km) and national roads (314 km) by addressing the following questions: (a) which species and age class are most vulnerable to WVC? (b) are there temporal and/or spatial patterns in road-kill? and (c) which life-history and/or spatial factors influence the likelihood of collisions? We recorded a total of 806 carnivore casualties, which represented an average of 47 ind./100 km/year. Red fox and stone marten had the highest mortality rates. Our findings highlight three key messages: (1) the majority of road-killed individuals were adults of common species; (2) all carnivores, except genets, were more vulnerable during specific life-history phenological periods: higher casualties were observed when red fox and stone marten were provisioning young, Eurasian badger casualties occurred more frequently during dispersal, and higher Egyptian mongoose mortality occurred during the breeding period; and (3) modeling demonstrated that favorable habitat, curves in the road, and low human disturbance were major contributors to the deadliest road segments. Red fox carcasses were more likely to be found on road sections with passages distant from urban areas. Conversely, stone marten mortalities were found more often on national roads with high of cork oak woodland cover; Egyptian mongoose and genet road-kills were found more often on road segments close to curves. Based on our results, two key

  11. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gompper, Matthew E; Lesmeister, Damon B; Ray, Justina C; Malcolm, Jay R; Kays, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York's Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus) and fisher (Martes pennanti) distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor). Martens (Martes americana) were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp.) occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel) where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild. PMID:26731404

  12. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew E Gompper

    Full Text Available Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York's Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus and fisher (Martes pennanti distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor. Martens (Martes americana were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp. occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild.

  13. Big cats in our backyards: persistence of large carnivores in a human dominated landscape in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athreya, Vidya; Odden, Morten; Linnell, John D C; Krishnaswamy, Jagdish; Karanth, Ullas

    2013-01-01

    Protected areas are extremely important for the long term viability of biodiversity in a densely populated country like India where land is a scarce resource. However, protected areas cover only 5% of the land area in India and in the case of large carnivores that range widely, human use landscapes will function as important habitats required for gene flow to occur between protected areas. In this study, we used photographic capture recapture analysis to assess the density of large carnivores in a human-dominated agricultural landscape with density >300 people/km(2) in western Maharashtra, India. We found evidence of a wide suite of wild carnivores inhabiting a cropland landscape devoid of wilderness and wild herbivore prey. Furthermore, the large carnivores; leopard (Panthera pardus) and striped hyaena (Hyaena hyaena) occurred at relatively high density of 4.8±1.2 (sd) adults/100 km(2) and 5.03±1.3 (sd) adults/100 km(2) respectively. This situation has never been reported before where 10 large carnivores/100 km(2) are sharing space with dense human populations in a completely modified landscape. Human attacks by leopards were rare despite a potentially volatile situation considering that the leopard has been involved in serious conflict, including human deaths in adjoining areas. The results of our work push the frontiers of our understanding of the adaptability of both, humans and wildlife to each other's presence. The results also highlight the urgent need to shift from a PA centric to a landscape level conservation approach, where issues are more complex, and the potential for conflict is also very high. It also highlights the need for a serious rethink of conservation policy, law and practice where the current management focus is restricted to wildlife inside Protected Areas. PMID:23483933

  14. An advanced method to assess the diet of free-ranging large carnivores based on scats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Wachter

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The diet of free-ranging carnivores is an important part of their ecology. It is often determined from prey remains in scats. In many cases, scat analyses are the most efficient method but they require correction for potential biases. When the diet is expressed as proportions of consumed mass of each prey species, the consumed prey mass to excrete one scat needs to be determined and corrected for prey body mass because the proportion of digestible to indigestible matter increases with prey body mass. Prey body mass can be corrected for by conducting feeding experiments using prey of various body masses and fitting a regression between consumed prey mass to excrete one scat and prey body mass (correction factor 1. When the diet is expressed as proportions of consumed individuals of each prey species and includes prey animals not completely consumed, the actual mass of each prey consumed by the carnivore needs to be controlled for (correction factor 2. No previous study controlled for this second bias. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we use an extended series of feeding experiments on a large carnivore, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus, to establish both correction factors. In contrast to previous studies which fitted a linear regression for correction factor 1, we fitted a biologically more meaningful exponential regression model where the consumed prey mass to excrete one scat reaches an asymptote at large prey sizes. Using our protocol, we also derive correction factor 1 and 2 for other carnivore species and apply them to published studies. We show that the new method increases the number and proportion of consumed individuals in the diet for large prey animals compared to the conventional method. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results have important implications for the interpretation of scat-based studies in feeding ecology and the resolution of human-wildlife conflicts for the conservation of large carnivores.

  15. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Millett, J., E-mail: j.millett@lboro.ac.uk [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Foot, G.W. [Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystem Science, Department of Geography, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU (United Kingdom); Svensson, B.M. [Department of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18 D, SE-752 36 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2015-04-15

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant–prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. - Highlights: • We measured nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia across Europe. • We measured tissue nutrient concentrations and prey and root N uptake at 16 sites. • Tissue N concentrations were a product of root N availability and prey N uptake. • N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey. • N deposition reduced the strength of a

  16. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant–prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. - Highlights: • We measured nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia across Europe. • We measured tissue nutrient concentrations and prey and root N uptake at 16 sites. • Tissue N concentrations were a product of root N availability and prey N uptake. • N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey. • N deposition reduced the strength of a

  17. Geo-spatial aspects of acceptance of illegal hunting of large carnivores in Scandinavia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin E Gangaas

    Full Text Available Human-carnivore conflicts are complex and are influenced by: the spatial distribution of the conflict species; the organisation and intensity of management measures such as zoning; historical experience with wildlife; land use patterns; and local cultural traditions. We have used a geographically stratified sampling of social values and attitudes to provide a novel perspective to the human - wildlife conflict. We have focused on acceptance by and disagreements between residents (measured as Potential Conflict Index; PCI towards illegal hunting of four species of large carnivores (bear, lynx, wolf, wolverine. The study is based on surveys of residents in every municipality in Sweden and Norway who were asked their opinion on illegal hunting. Our results show how certain social values are associated with acceptance of poaching, and how these values differ geographically independent of carnivore abundance. Our approach differs from traditional survey designs, which are often biased towards urban areas. Although these traditional designs intend to be representative of a region (i.e. a random sample from a country, they tend to receive relatively few respondents from rural areas that experience the majority of conflict with carnivores. Acceptance of poaching differed significantly between Norway (12.7-15.7% of respondents and Sweden (3.3-4.1% of respondents. We found the highest acceptance of illegal hunting in rural areas with free-ranging sheep and strong hunting traditions. Disagreements between residents (as measured by PCI were highest in areas with intermediate population density. There was no correlation between carnivore density and either acceptance of illegal hunting or PCI. A strong positive correlation between acceptance of illegal hunting and PCI showed that areas with high acceptance of illegal hunting are areas with high potential conflict between people. Our results show that spatially-stratified surveys are required to reveal the

  18. Geo-spatial aspects of acceptance of illegal hunting of large carnivores in Scandinavia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangaas, Kristin E; Kaltenborn, Bjørn P; Andreassen, Harry P

    2013-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflicts are complex and are influenced by: the spatial distribution of the conflict species; the organisation and intensity of management measures such as zoning; historical experience with wildlife; land use patterns; and local cultural traditions. We have used a geographically stratified sampling of social values and attitudes to provide a novel perspective to the human - wildlife conflict. We have focused on acceptance by and disagreements between residents (measured as Potential Conflict Index; PCI) towards illegal hunting of four species of large carnivores (bear, lynx, wolf, wolverine). The study is based on surveys of residents in every municipality in Sweden and Norway who were asked their opinion on illegal hunting. Our results show how certain social values are associated with acceptance of poaching, and how these values differ geographically independent of carnivore abundance. Our approach differs from traditional survey designs, which are often biased towards urban areas. Although these traditional designs intend to be representative of a region (i.e. a random sample from a country), they tend to receive relatively few respondents from rural areas that experience the majority of conflict with carnivores. Acceptance of poaching differed significantly between Norway (12.7-15.7% of respondents) and Sweden (3.3-4.1% of respondents). We found the highest acceptance of illegal hunting in rural areas with free-ranging sheep and strong hunting traditions. Disagreements between residents (as measured by PCI) were highest in areas with intermediate population density. There was no correlation between carnivore density and either acceptance of illegal hunting or PCI. A strong positive correlation between acceptance of illegal hunting and PCI showed that areas with high acceptance of illegal hunting are areas with high potential conflict between people. Our results show that spatially-stratified surveys are required to reveal the large scale

  19. Big cats in our backyards: persistence of large carnivores in a human dominated landscape in India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidya Athreya

    Full Text Available Protected areas are extremely important for the long term viability of biodiversity in a densely populated country like India where land is a scarce resource. However, protected areas cover only 5% of the land area in India and in the case of large carnivores that range widely, human use landscapes will function as important habitats required for gene flow to occur between protected areas. In this study, we used photographic capture recapture analysis to assess the density of large carnivores in a human-dominated agricultural landscape with density >300 people/km(2 in western Maharashtra, India. We found evidence of a wide suite of wild carnivores inhabiting a cropland landscape devoid of wilderness and wild herbivore prey. Furthermore, the large carnivores; leopard (Panthera pardus and striped hyaena (Hyaena hyaena occurred at relatively high density of 4.8±1.2 (sd adults/100 km(2 and 5.03±1.3 (sd adults/100 km(2 respectively. This situation has never been reported before where 10 large carnivores/100 km(2 are sharing space with dense human populations in a completely modified landscape. Human attacks by leopards were rare despite a potentially volatile situation considering that the leopard has been involved in serious conflict, including human deaths in adjoining areas. The results of our work push the frontiers of our understanding of the adaptability of both, humans and wildlife to each other's presence. The results also highlight the urgent need to shift from a PA centric to a landscape level conservation approach, where issues are more complex, and the potential for conflict is also very high. It also highlights the need for a serious rethink of conservation policy, law and practice where the current management focus is restricted to wildlife inside Protected Areas.

  20. Diurnal Human Activity and Introduced Species Affect Occurrence of Carnivores in a Human-Dominated Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreira-Arce, Dario; Vergara, Pablo M; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    Diurnal human activity and domestic dogs in agro-forestry mosaics should theoretically modify the diurnal habitat use patterns of native carnivores, with these effects being scale-dependent. We combined intensive camera trapping data with Bayesian occurrence probability models to evaluate both diurnal and nocturnal patterns of space use by carnivores in a mosaic of land-use types in southern Chile. A total of eight carnivores species were recorded, including human-introduced dogs. During the day the most frequently detected species were the culpeo fox and the cougar. Conversely, during the night, the kodkod and chilla fox were the most detected species. The best supported models showed that native carnivores responded differently to landscape attributes and dogs depending on both the time of day as well as the spatial scale of landscape attributes. The positive effect of native forest cover at 250 m and 500 m radius buffers was stronger during the night for the Darwin's fox and cougar. Road density at 250 m scale negatively affected the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s fox, whereas at 500 m scale roads had a stronger negative effect on the diurnal occurrence of Darwin´s foxes and cougars. A positive effect of road density on dog occurrence was evidenced during both night and day. Patch size had a positive effect on cougar occurrence during night whereas it affected negatively the occurrence of culpeo foxes and skunks during day. Dog occurrence had a negative effect on Darwin's fox occurrence during day-time and night-time, whereas its negative effect on the occurrence of cougar was evidenced only during day-time. Carnivore occurrences were not influenced by the proximity to a conservation area. Our results provided support for the hypothesis that diurnal changes to carnivore occurrence were associated with human and dog activity. Landscape planning in our study area should be focused in reducing both the levels of diurnal human activity in native forest remnants

  1. Urban domestic dog populations as a source of canine distemper virus for wild carnivores in the Coquimbo region of Chile

    OpenAIRE

    Acosta-Jamett, G.; Chalmers, W.S.K.; Cunningham, A.A.; Cleaveland, S.; Handel, I.G.; Bronsvoort, B.M.DeC.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Urban areas can support dog populations dense enough to maintain canine distemper virus (CDV) and can be a source of infection for rural dogs and free-ranging carnivores. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between urban and rural domestic dog and wild carnivore populations and their effects on the epidemiology of CDV to explain retrospectively a CD outbreak in wild foxes in 2003. From 2005 to 2007 a cross-sectional household questionnaire survey was...

  2. Red trap colour of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function

    OpenAIRE

    Foot, G.; RICE S.p.; Millett, J.

    2014-01-01

    The traps of many carnivorous plants are red in colour. This has been widely hypothesized to serve a prey attraction function; colour has also been hypothesized to function as camouflage, preventing prey avoidance. We tested these two hypotheses in situ for the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. We conducted three separate studies: (i) prey attraction to artificial traps to isolate the influence of colour; (ii) prey attraction to artificial traps on artificial backgrounds to control the ...

  3. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction

    OpenAIRE

    Andreas Fleischmann; Fernando Rivadavia; Paulo M Gonella; Celeste Pérez-Bañón; Ximo Mengual; Santos Rojo

    2016-01-01

    A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the D...

  4. PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODIES TO SELECTED VIRUSES AND PARASITES IN INTRODUCED AND ENDEMIC CARNIVORES IN WESTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomerantz, Julie; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Dollar, Luke; Rahajanirina, Leon Pierrot; Andrianaivoarivelo, Radosoa; Parker, Patricia; Dubovi, Edward

    2016-07-01

    Introduced animals impact endemic populations through predation, competition, and disease transmission. Populations of endemic carnivores in Madagascar are declining, and pathogens transmitted from introduced species may further endanger these unique species. We assessed the exposure of introduced and endemic carnivores to common viral and parasitic pathogens in two national parks of Madagascar (Kirindy Mitea National Park and Ankarafantsika National Park) and their neighboring villages. We also identified variables associated with the presence of antibodies to these pathogens in fosa ( Cryptoprocta ferox ). Introduced and endemic species were exposed to canine parvovirus, canine herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and Toxoplasma gondii . Domestic dogs ( Canis familiaris ) and cats ( Felis catus ) may be sources of infection for these pathogens. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma in captured fosa was >93%, and adults were more likely to be exposed than immature individuals. Our data provide a basis upon which to evaluate and manage risks of pathogen transmission between species. PMID:27195685

  5. Straminipilous organisms growing on herbivorous pirapitinga (Piaractus brachypomus) and carnivorous piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) from Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czeczuga, B; Godlewska, A; Mazalska, B; Muszyńska, E

    2010-05-01

    We investigated the growth of straminipilous organisms on the skin, muscles and liver of herbivorous pirapitinga (Piaractus brachypomus) and carnivorous piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) in water of three different eutrophication levels. Sixteen straminipilous organism species were found growing on the investigated body parts of both species of fish used as baits. The higher number of species was found on the baits of carnivorous species (15) when compared with the ones from the herbivorous pirapitinga (10 species). The highest number of straminipilous organisms species developed on the skin of both species of fish. The highest number of species of straminipilous organisms was observed growing in the water of the BiaBa river (middle eutrophication), while the lowest number occurred in the baits of vessels with water from the Dojlidy pond (low eutrophication). PMID:20549064

  6. PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODIES TO SELECTED VIRUSES AND PARASITES IN INTRODUCED AND ENDEMIC CARNIVORES IN WESTERN MADAGASCAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomerantz, Julie; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa T; Dollar, Luke; Rahajanirina, Leon Pierrot; Andrianaivoarivelo, Radosoa; Parker, Patricia; Dubovi, Edward

    2016-07-01

    Introduced animals impact endemic populations through predation, competition, and disease transmission. Populations of endemic carnivores in Madagascar are declining, and pathogens transmitted from introduced species may further endanger these unique species. We assessed the exposure of introduced and endemic carnivores to common viral and parasitic pathogens in two national parks of Madagascar (Kirindy Mitea National Park and Ankarafantsika National Park) and their neighboring villages. We also identified variables associated with the presence of antibodies to these pathogens in fosa ( Cryptoprocta ferox ). Introduced and endemic species were exposed to canine parvovirus, canine herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, and Toxoplasma gondii . Domestic dogs ( Canis familiaris ) and cats ( Felis catus ) may be sources of infection for these pathogens. Prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma in captured fosa was >93%, and adults were more likely to be exposed than immature individuals. Our data provide a basis upon which to evaluate and manage risks of pathogen transmission between species.

  7. A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rybczynski, Natalia; Dawson, Mary R; Tedford, Richard H

    2009-04-23

    Modern pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and the walrus) are semi-aquatic, generally marine carnivores the limbs of which have been modified into flippers. Recent phylogenetic studies using morphological and molecular evidence support pinniped monophyly, and suggest a sister relationship with ursoids (for example bears) or musteloids (the clade that includes skunks, badgers, weasels and otters). Although the position of pinnipeds within modern carnivores appears moderately well resolved, fossil evidence of the morphological steps leading from a terrestrial ancestor to the modern marine forms has been weak or contentious. The earliest well-represented fossil pinniped is Enaliarctos, a marine form with flippers, which had appeared on the northwestern shores of North America by the early Miocene epoch. Here we report the discovery of a nearly complete skeleton of a new semi-aquatic carnivore from an early Miocene lake deposit in Nunavut, Canada, that represents a morphological link in early pinniped evolution. The new taxon retains a long tail and the proportions of its fore- and hindlimbs are more similar to those of modern terrestrial carnivores than to modern pinnipeds. Morphological traits indicative of semi-aquatic adaptation include a forelimb with a prominent deltopectoral ridge on the humerus, a posterodorsally expanded scapula, a pelvis with relatively short ilium, a shortened femur and flattened phalanges, suggestive of webbing. The new fossil shows evidence of pinniped affinities and similarities to the early Oligocene Amphicticeps from Asia and the late Oligocene and Miocene Potamotherium from Europe. The discovery suggests that the evolution of pinnipeds included a freshwater transitional phase, and may support the hypothesis that the Arctic was an early centre of pinniped evolution. PMID:19396145

  8. Scent-marking and intrasexual competition in a cooperative carnivore with low reproductive skew

    OpenAIRE

    Müller, C. A.; Manser, M B

    2008-01-01

    Most mammals scent-mark and a variety of hypotheses have been put forward to explain this behaviour. Differences in the main function of scent-marking between species are likely to be related to differences in social systems. Here, we investigate the functions of scent-marking in a cooperatively breeding carnivore. In the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo), individuals of both sexes commonly breed in their natal group and reproductive skew within groups is low. Using experimental scent-mark prese...

  9. Megaherbivores as pacemakers of carnivore diversity and biomass: distributing or sinking trophic energy

    OpenAIRE

    Hummel, J; M Clauss

    2008-01-01

    Question: What is the trophic role of megaherbivores? Hypothesis: Depending on their life histories, megaherbivores can either act as sinks or distributors of trophic energy. Methods: Comparative review of mammal and dinosaur faunas, and aspects of their reproductive biology. Conclusion: Extant (mammalian) megaherbivore populations represent trophic sinks that potentially limit carnivore diversity and productivity, because they are immune to predation and follow a reproductive strate...

  10. Thelazia callipaeda in wild carnivores from Romania: new host and geographical records

    OpenAIRE

    Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Ionică, Angela Monica; D’Amico, Gianluca; Daskalaki, Aikaterini Alexandra; Deak, Georgiana; Matei, Ioana Adriana; Șimonca, Vasile; Iordache, Daniel; Modrý, David; Gherman, Călin Mircea

    2016-01-01

    Background Thelazia callipaeda is a vector-borne zoonotic nematode parasitizing the conjunctival sac of domestic and wild carnivores, rabbits and humans, with a vast distribution in Asia and the former Soviet Union. In Europe, the nematode has an emerging trend, being reported in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Romania, Greece and Serbia, with human cases known in Italy, France, Spain, Serbia and Croatia. In Romania, the infection was so ...

  11. Mapping trends of large and medium size carnivores of conservation interest in Romania

    OpenAIRE

    Mihai Cristian Adamescu; Constantin Cazacu; Ovidiu Ionescu; Georgeta Ionescu; Ramon Jurj; Marius Popa; Roxana Cazacu; Ancuta Cotovelea

    2014-01-01

    We analysed yearly estimates of population size data during 2001-2012 for five carnivores species of conservation interest (Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Lynx lynx, Felis silvestris and Canis aureus). Population size estimations were done by the game management authorities and integrated by the competent authorities on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Trends in data were detected using non-parametric Mann-Kendall test. This test was chosen considering the short length of data seri...

  12. Integrating resource selection into spatial capture-recapture models for large carnivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proffitt, Kelly M.; Goldberg, Joshua; Hebblewite, Mark; Russell, Robin E.; Jimenez, Ben; Robinson, Hugh S.; Pilgrim, Kristine; Schwartz, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife managers need reliable methods to estimate large carnivore densities and population trends; yet large carnivores are elusive, difficult to detect, and occur at low densities making traditional approaches intractable. Recent advances in spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models have provided new approaches for monitoring trends in wildlife abundance and these methods are particularly applicable to large carnivores. We applied SCR models in a Bayesian framework to estimate mountain lion densities in the Bitterroot Mountains of west central Montana. We incorporate an existing resource selection function (RSF) as a density covariate to account for heterogeneity in habitat use across the study area and include data collected from harvested lions. We identify individuals through DNA samples collected by (1) biopsy darting mountain lions detected in systematic surveys of the study area, (2) opportunistically collecting hair and scat samples, and (3) sampling all harvested mountain lions. We included 80 DNA samples collected from 62 individuals in the analysis. Including information on predicted habitat use as a covariate on the distribution of activity centers reduced the median estimated density by 44%, the standard deviation by 7%, and the width of 95% credible intervals by 10% as compared to standard SCR models. Within the two management units of interest, we estimated a median mountain lion density of 4.5 mountain lions/100 km2 (95% CI = 2.9, 7.7) and 5.2 mountain lions/100 km2 (95% CI = 3.4, 9.1). Including harvested individuals (dead recovery) did not create a significant bias in the detection process by introducing individuals that could not be detected after removal. However, the dead recovery component of the model did have a substantial effect on results by increasing sample size. The ability to account for heterogeneity in habitat use provides a useful extension to SCR models, and will enhance the ability of wildlife managers to reliably and

  13. Phytochemical studies and biological activity of carnivorous plants from the Mediterranean region

    OpenAIRE

    Grevenstuk, Tomás

    2010-01-01

    Dissertação de mest., Ciências Biotecnológicas (Biotecnologia Vegetal), Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade do Algarve, 2010 In this thesis several studies were conducted with four carnivorous plant species which occur on Portuguese territory: Pinguicula lusitanica, Pinguicula vulgaris, Drosera intermedia and Drosera rotundifolia. Most habitats of these plants are threatened and natural populations are scarce, therefore micropropagation protocols were developed to ...

  14. Jasmonates trigger prey-induced formation of ‘outer stomach’ in carnivorous sundew plants

    OpenAIRE

    Nakamura, Yoko; Reichelt, Michael; Mayer, Veronika E.; Mithöfer, Axel

    2013-01-01

    It has been widely accepted that the growth-related phytohormone auxin is the endogenous signal that initiates bending movements of plant organs. In 1875, Charles Darwin described how the bending movement of leaves in carnivorous sundew species formed an ‘outer stomach’ that allowed the plants to enclose and digest captured insect prey. About 100 years later, auxin was suggested to be the factor responsible for this movement. We report that prey capture induces both leaf bending and the accum...

  15. Microrheometry of sub-nanolitre biopolymer samples: non-Newtonian flow phenomena of carnivorous plant mucilage

    OpenAIRE

    Erni, Philipp; Varagnat, Matthieu; Clasen, Christian; Crest, Jérôme; McKinley, Gareth H.

    2011-01-01

    Sundew plants (Drosera) capture insects using tiny drops of a viscoelastic fluid. These mucilage droplets are typically tens of micrometres in diameter, corresponding to fluid volumes in, or below, the nanolitre range. In contrast to other carnivorous plants, the physical principles and the role of rheology in the capturing mechanism are not yet fully understood. The rather simple chemical composition reported for the capturing fluid (a high molecular weight acidic polysaccharide composed of ...

  16. Ecophysiological Traits of Terrestrial and Aquatic Carnivorous Plants: Are the Costs and Benefits the Same?

    OpenAIRE

    Adamec, Lubomír; Ellison, Aaron M.

    2011-01-01

    Identification of trade-offs among physiological and morphological traits and their use in cost-benefit models and ecological or evolutionary optimization arguments have been hallmarks of ecological analysis for at least 50 years. Carnivorous plants are model systems for studying a wide range of ecophysiological and ecological processes and the application of a cost-benefit model for the evolution of carnivory by plants has provided many novel insights into trait-based cost-benefit models. Ce...

  17. Conflict Misleads Large Carnivore Management and Conservation: Brown Bears and Wolves in Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Fernández-Gil

    Full Text Available Large carnivores inhabiting human-dominated landscapes often interact with people and their properties, leading to conflict scenarios that can mislead carnivore management and, ultimately, jeopardize conservation. In northwest Spain, brown bears Ursus arctos are strictly protected, whereas sympatric wolves Canis lupus are subject to lethal control. We explored ecological, economic and societal components of conflict scenarios involving large carnivores and damages to human properties. We analyzed the relation between complaints of depredations by bears and wolves on beehives and livestock, respectively, and bear and wolf abundance, livestock heads, number of culled wolves, amount of paid compensations, and media coverage. We also evaluated the efficiency of wolf culling to reduce depredations on livestock. Bear damages to beehives correlated positively to the number of female bears with cubs of the year. Complaints of wolf predation on livestock were unrelated to livestock numbers; instead, they correlated positively to the number of wild ungulates harvested during the previous season, the number of wolf packs, and to wolves culled during the previous season. Compensations for wolf complaints were fivefold higher than for bears, but media coverage of wolf damages was thirtyfold higher. Media coverage of wolf damages was unrelated to the actual costs of wolf damages, but the amount of news correlated positively to wolf culling. However, wolf culling was followed by an increase in compensated damages. Our results show that culling of the wolf population failed in its goal of reducing damages, and suggest that management decisions are at least partly mediated by press coverage. We suggest that our results provide insight to similar scenarios, where several species of large carnivores share the landscape with humans, and management may be reactive to perceived conflicts.

  18. Carnivore Competition and Resource use in the Serengeti Ecosystem of Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Frame, George Walter

    1986-01-01

    Coexisting ungulate-eating carnivores--lion, spotted hyena, cheetah, leopard, African wild dog, black-backed jackal, common jackal, and six species of vulture--are examined in East Africa's Serengeti ecosystem. Niche similarities year-round, by season, and by location are described using food, habitat, time of hunting, and other variables. Intraspecific niches of cheetah sex, age, and social groups show that male coalitions differ most from the others in hunting behavior and habitat use. Test...

  19. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous Nepenthes plants

    OpenAIRE

    Franziska Buch; Kaman, Wendy E.; Bikker, Floris J.; Ayufu Yilamujiang; Axel Mithöfer

    2015-01-01

    textabstractCarnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themselves. In order to digest caught prey in their pitchers, Nepenthes plants produce various hydrolytic enzymes including aspartic proteases, nepenthesins (Nep). Knowledge about the generat...

  20. Diet Composition and Digestive Enzymes Activity in Carnivorous Fishes Inhabiting Mudflats of Indian Sundarban Estuaries

    OpenAIRE

    Chaudhuri, Atreyee; Mukherjee, Sudeshna; HOMECHAUDHURI, Sumit

    2012-01-01

    Intertidal mudflats occupy a significant component of the total estuarine habitat available to fishes as nursery and foraging grounds. In this study, fifteen sites were randomly explored along three estuarine rivers in Indian Sundarbans and 27 fish species, were recorded. Upon analysis of prey preferences, they were categorized into different trophic types. A comparative study of the digestive physiology of 10 carnivorous species as functional analogues was carried out in order to find ou...

  1. Carnivores from the mexican state of Puebla: Distribution, taxonomy, and conservation

    OpenAIRE

    José Ramírez-Pulido; Noé González-Ruiz; Genoways, Hugh H.

    2005-01-01

    We examined 96 museum specimens belonging to 14 species of Carnivora from the Mexican State of Puebla. In addition, four species were documented based on literature records and by indirect evidence. The carnivorous mammals of Puebla belong to 5 families, 18 genera, 18 species and 23 subspecies. Eight of these 23 taxa are reported herein for the first time from the state of Puebla. Of the 18 species, Herpailurus yagouaroundi, Lontra longicaudis, Taxidea taxus, and Galictis vittata are consider...

  2. The First Sequenced Carnivore Genome Shows Complex Host-Endogenous Retrovirus Relationships

    OpenAIRE

    Álvaro Martínez Barrio; Marie Ekerljung; Patric Jern; Farid Benachenhou; Sperber, Göran O.; Erik Bongcam-Rudloff; Jonas Blomberg; Göran Andersson

    2011-01-01

    Host-retrovirus interactions influence the genomic landscape and have contributed substantially to mammalian genome evolution. To gain further insights, we analyzed a female boxer (Canis familiaris) genome for complexity and integration pattern of canine endogenous retroviruses (CfERV). Intriguingly, the first such in-depth analysis of a carnivore species identified 407 CfERV proviruses that represent only 0.15% of the dog genome. In comparison, the same detection criteria identified about si...

  3. Attract them anyway: benefits of large, showy flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salces-Castellano, A; Paniw, M; Casimiro-Soriguer, R; Ojeda, F

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive biology of carnivorous plants has largely been studied on species that rely on insects as pollinators and prey, creating potential conflicts. Autogamous pollination, although present in some carnivorous species, has received less attention. In angiosperms, autogamous self-fertilization is expected to lead to a reduction in flower size, thereby reducing resource allocation to structures that attract pollinators. A notable exception is the carnivorous pyrophyteDrosophyllum lusitanicum(Drosophyllaceae), which has been described as an autogamous selfing species but produces large, yellow flowers. Using a flower removal and a pollination experiment, we assessed, respectively, whether large flowers in this species may serve as an attracting device to prey insects or whether previously reported high selfing rates for this species in peripheral populations may be lower in more central, less isolated populations. We found no differences between flower-removed plants and intact, flowering plants in numbers of prey insects trapped. We also found no indication of reduced potential for autogamous reproduction, in terms of either seed set or seed size. However, our results showed significant increases in seed set of bagged, hand-pollinated flowers and unbagged flowers exposed to insect visitation compared with bagged, non-manipulated flowers that could only self-pollinate autonomously. Considering that the key life-history strategy of this pyrophytic species is to maintain a viable seed bank, any increase in seed set through insect pollinator activity would increase plant fitness. This in turn would explain the maintenance of large, conspicuous flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant. PMID:26977052

  4. Genome-wide analysis of adaptive molecular evolution in the carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba

    OpenAIRE

    CARRETERO PAULET, LORENZO; Chang, T-H; Librado Sanz, Pablo; Ibarra Laclette, E.; Herrera Estrella, L.; Rozas Liras, Julio A.; Albert, V.A.

    2015-01-01

    The genome of the bladderwort Utricularia gibba provides an unparalleled opportunity to uncover the adaptive landscape of an aquatic carnivorous plant with unique phenotypic features such as absence of roots, development of water-filled suction bladders, and a highly ramified branching pattern. Despite its tiny size, the U. gibba genome accommodates approximately as many genes as other plant genomes. To examine the relationship between the compactness of its genome and gene turnover, we compa...

  5. Genome-Wide Analysis of Adaptive Molecular Evolution in the Carnivorous Plant Utricularia gibba

    OpenAIRE

    Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Chang, Tien-Hao; Librado, Pablo; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Rozas, Julio; Albert, Victor A.

    2015-01-01

    The genome of the bladderwort Utricularia gibba provides an unparalleled opportunity to uncover the adaptive landscape of an aquatic carnivorous plant with unique phenotypic features such as absence of roots, development of water-filled suction bladders, and a highly ramified branching pattern. Despite its tiny size, the U. gibba genome accommodates approximately as many genes as other plant genomes. To examine the relationship between the compactness of its genome and gene turnover, we compa...

  6. Book review: Large carnivore conservation: Integrating science and policy in the North American West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albertsen, A. J.; Cox, M. M.; Ernst, E. E.; Haley, H. J.; Klaver, Robert W.; Loney, D. A.; Mackert, M. M.; McCombs, A. L.; Piatscheck, F.; Pocius, V. M.; Stein, D. S.

    2016-01-01

    Dr. Klaver reviewed Large Carnivore Conservation as part of a graduate seminar and seminar participants represented the full range of readers who might be interested in the book: natural resource managers, citizen advocates, researchers, and students. Although we encountered a variety of opinions based on our different backgrounds and orientations, we discovered a surprising amount of consensus both about what the book does well and where it falls short of our expectations.

  7. A Survey of Trichinella spiralis in Wild Carnivores in Southwestern Quebec

    OpenAIRE

    Bourque, Michel

    1985-01-01

    In 1982-1983, 144 muscle samples from 11 different species of wild carnivores from southwestern Quebec, Canada, were examined for the presence of Trichinella spiralis larvae, using direct microscopic examination and the peptic digestion method. Two red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) (out of 29) and one pine marten (Martes americana) (out of 56) were found positive, giving a 2.1% prevalence for the whole sample.

  8. Conservation of the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus): carnivore and people relationships in the southeast of Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Consorte-McCrea, A.

    2011-01-01

    Maned wolves are endangered carnivores endemic to Brazil. This research aimed to compare the attitudes of interest groups towards the conservation of the maned wolf in urban and rural areas; to investigate how such attitudes may influence the maned wolf's status and conservation; and to recommend ways to incorporate such knowledge into strategies to conserve both wolf and habitat. The methodology used questionnaires and interviews. Questionnaires targeted people living in the neighbourhoo...

  9. Blood does not buy goodwill: allowing culling increases poaching of a large carnivore

    OpenAIRE

    Chapron, Guillaume; Treves, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    Quantifying environmental crime and the effectiveness of policy interventions is difficult because perpetrators typically conceal evidence. To prevent illegal uses of natural resources, such as poaching endangered species, governments have advocated granting policy flexibility to local authorities by liberalizing culling or hunting of large carnivores. We present the first quantitative evaluation of the hypothesis that liberalizing culling will reduce poaching and improve population status of...

  10. Development of new stem cell-based technologies for carnivore reproduction research

    OpenAIRE

    Alexander J Travis; Kim, Yeunhee; Meyers-Wallen, Vicki

    2009-01-01

    New reproductive technologies based on stem cells offer several potential benefits to carnivore species. For example, development of lines of embryonic stem cells in cats and dogs would allow for the generation of transgenic animal models, which could be used to advance both veterinary and human health. Techniques such as spermatogonial stem cell transplantation and testis xenografting offer new approaches to propagate genetically valuable individual males, even if they should die before prod...

  11. Attract them anyway: benefits of large, showy flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salces-Castellano, A; Paniw, M; Casimiro-Soriguer, R; Ojeda, F

    2016-01-01

    Reproductive biology of carnivorous plants has largely been studied on species that rely on insects as pollinators and prey, creating potential conflicts. Autogamous pollination, although present in some carnivorous species, has received less attention. In angiosperms, autogamous self-fertilization is expected to lead to a reduction in flower size, thereby reducing resource allocation to structures that attract pollinators. A notable exception is the carnivorous pyrophyteDrosophyllum lusitanicum(Drosophyllaceae), which has been described as an autogamous selfing species but produces large, yellow flowers. Using a flower removal and a pollination experiment, we assessed, respectively, whether large flowers in this species may serve as an attracting device to prey insects or whether previously reported high selfing rates for this species in peripheral populations may be lower in more central, less isolated populations. We found no differences between flower-removed plants and intact, flowering plants in numbers of prey insects trapped. We also found no indication of reduced potential for autogamous reproduction, in terms of either seed set or seed size. However, our results showed significant increases in seed set of bagged, hand-pollinated flowers and unbagged flowers exposed to insect visitation compared with bagged, non-manipulated flowers that could only self-pollinate autonomously. Considering that the key life-history strategy of this pyrophytic species is to maintain a viable seed bank, any increase in seed set through insect pollinator activity would increase plant fitness. This in turn would explain the maintenance of large, conspicuous flowers in a highly autogamous, carnivorous plant.

  12. Assessing the Potential Threat Landscape of a Proposed Reintroduction Site for Carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Page, Samantha K.; Parker, Daniel M; Peinke, Dean M.; Davies-Mostert, Harriet T

    2015-01-01

    This study provides a framework to assess the feasibility of reintroducing carnivores into an area, using African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) as an example. The Great Fish River Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, has been identified as a potential reserve to reintroduce wild dogs, and we applied this framework to provide a threat assessment of the surrounding area to determine potential levels of human-wildlife conflict. Although 56% of neighbouring landowners and local ...

  13. Geo-Spatial Aspects of Acceptance of Illegal Hunting of Large Carnivores in Scandinavia

    OpenAIRE

    Kristin E Gangaas; Kaltenborn, Bjørn P.; Andreassen, Harry P.

    2013-01-01

    Human-carnivore conflicts are complex and are influenced by: the spatial distribution of the conflict species; the organisation and intensity of management measures such as zoning; historical experience with wildlife; land use patterns; and local cultural traditions. We have used a geographically stratified sampling of social values and attitudes to provide a novel perspective to the human – wildlife conflict. We have focused on acceptance by and disagreements between residents (m...

  14. Balancing macronutrient intake in a mammalian carnivore: disentangling the influences of flavour and nutrition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewson-Hughes, Adrian K; Colyer, Alison; Simpson, Stephen J; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-06-01

    There is a large body of research demonstrating that macronutrient balancing is a primary driver of foraging in herbivores and omnivores, and more recently, it has been shown to occur in carnivores. However, the extent to which macronutrient selection in carnivores may be influenced by organoleptic properties (e.g. flavour/aroma) remains unknown. Here, we explore the roles of nutritional and hedonic factors in food choice and macronutrient balancing in a mammalian carnivore, the domestic cat. Using the geometric framework, we determined the amounts and ratio of protein and fat intake in cats allowed to select from combinations of three foods that varied in protein : fat (P : F) composition (approx. 10 : 90, 40 : 60 and 70 : 30 on a per cent energy basis) to which flavours of different 'attractiveness' (fish, rabbit and orange) were added. In two studies, in which animal and plant protein sources were used, respectively, the ratio and amounts of protein and fat intake were very consistent across all groups regardless of flavour combination, indicating regulation of both protein and fat intake. Our results suggest that macronutrient balancing rather than hedonistic rewards based on organoleptic properties of food is a primary driver of longer-term food selection and intake in domestic cats. PMID:27429768

  15. First findings and prevalence of adult heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) in wild carnivores from Serbia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penezić, Aleksandra; Selaković, Sanja; Pavlović, Ivan; Ćirović, Duško

    2014-09-01

    Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasitic roundworm that causes a zoonotic disease known as dirofilariosis. Little is known about the role of wild carnivores serving as reservoirs in nature. Therefore, we examined 738 hearts and lungs of free ranging wild carnivores from Serbia to determine the presence of adult heartworms. During the period 2009-2013, the prevalence in golden jackals (Canis aureus) was 7.32%, in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) 1.55%, in wolves (Canis lupus) 1.43%, and in wild cats (Felis silvestris) 7.69%. No adult heartworm specimens were found in beech martens (Martes foina), stone martens (Martes martes), European polecats (Mustela putorius), badgers (Meles meles) or otter (Lutra lutra). The highest recorded prevalence was in 2013 (7.30%) and the lowest in 2012 (1.6%). In jackals, the prevalence was higher in males (10%) than in females (4.06%), while in foxes the prevalence was 1.75% in males and 1.26% in females. The most infected host was a wolf in which 37 adult specimens were found. Because of the potentially significant role in the life cycle of D. immitis, populations of wild carnivores in Europe should be further examined and tested for heartworm infections. PMID:24951168

  16. Experimental Evidence for the Population-Dynamic Mechanisms Underlying Extinction Cascades of Carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Kehoe, Rachel; van Veen, F J Frank

    2015-12-01

    Species extinction rates due to human activities are high, and initial extinctions can trigger cascades of secondary extinctions, leading to further erosion of biodiversity. A potential major mechanism for secondary extinction cascades is provided by the long-standing theory that the diversity of consumer species is maintained due to the positive indirect effects that these species have on each other by reducing competition among their respective resource species. This means that the loss of one carnivore species could lead to competitive exclusion at the prey trophic level, leading to extinctions of further carnivore species. Evidence for these effects is difficult to obtain due to many confounding factors in natural systems, but extinction cascades that could be due to this mechanism have been demonstrated in simplified laboratory microcosms. We established complex insect food webs in replicated field mesocosms and found that the overharvesting of one parasitoid wasp species caused increased extinction rates of other parasitoid species, compared to controls, but only when we manipulated the spatial distribution of herbivore species such that the potential for interspecific competition at this level was high. This provides clear evidence for horizontal extinction cascades at high trophic levels due to the proposed mechanism. Our results demonstrate that the loss of carnivores can have widespread effects on other species at the same trophic level due to indirect population-dynamic effects that are rarely considered in this context.

  17. Human attacks by large felid carnivores in captivity and in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Suzanne M; Mills, Angela; Shoff, William H

    2014-06-01

    Whereas those who live in the native ranges of the large feline carnivores are well aware of the risks of cat and human encounters, North Americans and Europeans are increasingly exposed to exotic animals through travel, ecotourism, leisure pursuits in rural areas, occupational exposure, zoo and animal park visits, wild habitat encroachment at the urban-wildlands interface, and contact with exotic pets. In encounters during which persons have been severely injured, lapses in animal management protocols, lack of appropriate adult supervision, and intoxication have been reported. Unlike common domestic pets that have lived in close association with humans for thousands of years, no matter where individual large felines may have been raised, they remain wild carnivores with strong prey-drive and territorial instincts. The emergency management of large felid attacks is similar to that of other major trauma: stabilization; management of significant orthopedic, neurologic, vascular, and soft tissue injuries; antibiotic coverage provided for the number of organisms that inhabit their mouths and the potential for tetanus and rabies; and early management in survivors of likely posttraumatic stress disorder. We must actively explore responsible measures globally that can be taken to ensure biologically appropriate, ethical, safe, and sustainable conservation of these large carnivores in both their natural habitats and captivity.

  18. A carnivorous sundew plant prefers protein over chitin as a source of nitrogen from its traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej; Krausko, Miroslav; Adamec, Lubomír

    2016-07-01

    Carnivorous plants have evolved in nutrient-poor wetland habitats. They capture arthropod prey, which is an additional source of plant growth limiting nutrients. One of them is nitrogen, which occurs in the form of chitin and proteins in prey carcasses. In this study, the nutritional value of chitin and protein and their digestion traits in the carnivorous sundew Drosera capensis L. were estimated using stable nitrogen isotope abundance. Plants fed on chitin derived 49% of the leaf nitrogen from chitin, while those fed on the protein bovine serum albumin (BSA) derived 70% of its leaf nitrogen from this. Moreover, leaf nitrogen content doubled in protein-fed in comparison to chitin-fed plants indicating that the proteins were digested more effectively in comparison to chitin and resulted in significantly higher chlorophyll contents. The surplus chlorophyll and absorbed nitrogen from the protein digestion were incorporated into photosynthetic proteins - the light harvesting antennae of photosystem II. The incorporation of insect nitrogen into the plant photosynthetic apparatus may explain the increased rate of photosynthesis and plant growth after feeding. This general response in many genera of carnivorous plants has been reported in many previous studies. PMID:26998942

  19. The carnivore remains from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, N; Arsuaga, J L; Torres, T

    1997-01-01

    Remains of carnivores from the Sima de los Huesos site representing at least 158 adult individuals of a primitive (i.e., not very speleoid) form of Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau 1906, have been recovered through the 1995 field season. These new finds extend our knowledge of this group in the Sierra de Atapuerca Middle Pleistocene. Material previously classified as Cuoninae indet, is now assigned to Canis lupus and a third metatarsal assigned in 1987 to Panthera of gombaszoegensis, is in our opinion only attributable to Panthera sp. The family Mustelidae is added to the faunal list and includes Martes sp. and a smaller species. The presence of Panthera leo cf. fossilis, Lynx pardina spelaea and Felis silvestris, is confirmed. The presence of a not very speloid Ursus deningeri, together with the rest of the carnivore assemblage, points to a not very late Middle Pleistocene age, i.e., oxygen isotope stage 7 or older. Relative frequencies of skeletal elements for the bear and fox samples are without major biases. The age structure of the bear sample, based on dental wear stages, does not follow the typical hibernation mortality profile and resembles a catastrophic profile. The site was not a natal or refuge den. The hypothesis that the site was a natural trap is the most plausible. If the Sima de los Huesos functioned as a natural trap (without an egress out), the human accumulation cannot be attributed to carnivore: activities and must be explained differently. PMID:9300340

  20. Balancing macronutrient intake in a mammalian carnivore: disentangling the influences of flavour and nutrition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewson-Hughes, Adrian K.; Colyer, Alison; Simpson, Stephen J.; Raubenheimer, David

    2016-01-01

    There is a large body of research demonstrating that macronutrient balancing is a primary driver of foraging in herbivores and omnivores, and more recently, it has been shown to occur in carnivores. However, the extent to which macronutrient selection in carnivores may be influenced by organoleptic properties (e.g. flavour/aroma) remains unknown. Here, we explore the roles of nutritional and hedonic factors in food choice and macronutrient balancing in a mammalian carnivore, the domestic cat. Using the geometric framework, we determined the amounts and ratio of protein and fat intake in cats allowed to select from combinations of three foods that varied in protein : fat (P : F) composition (approx. 10 : 90, 40 : 60 and 70 : 30 on a per cent energy basis) to which flavours of different ‘attractiveness’ (fish, rabbit and orange) were added. In two studies, in which animal and plant protein sources were used, respectively, the ratio and amounts of protein and fat intake were very consistent across all groups regardless of flavour combination, indicating regulation of both protein and fat intake. Our results suggest that macronutrient balancing rather than hedonistic rewards based on organoleptic properties of food is a primary driver of longer-term food selection and intake in domestic cats. PMID:27429768

  1. Human attacks by large felid carnivores in captivity and in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, Suzanne M; Mills, Angela; Shoff, William H

    2014-06-01

    Whereas those who live in the native ranges of the large feline carnivores are well aware of the risks of cat and human encounters, North Americans and Europeans are increasingly exposed to exotic animals through travel, ecotourism, leisure pursuits in rural areas, occupational exposure, zoo and animal park visits, wild habitat encroachment at the urban-wildlands interface, and contact with exotic pets. In encounters during which persons have been severely injured, lapses in animal management protocols, lack of appropriate adult supervision, and intoxication have been reported. Unlike common domestic pets that have lived in close association with humans for thousands of years, no matter where individual large felines may have been raised, they remain wild carnivores with strong prey-drive and territorial instincts. The emergency management of large felid attacks is similar to that of other major trauma: stabilization; management of significant orthopedic, neurologic, vascular, and soft tissue injuries; antibiotic coverage provided for the number of organisms that inhabit their mouths and the potential for tetanus and rabies; and early management in survivors of likely posttraumatic stress disorder. We must actively explore responsible measures globally that can be taken to ensure biologically appropriate, ethical, safe, and sustainable conservation of these large carnivores in both their natural habitats and captivity. PMID:24864068

  2. Experimental Evidence for the Population-Dynamic Mechanisms Underlying Extinction Cascades of Carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Kehoe, Rachel; van Veen, F J Frank

    2015-12-01

    Species extinction rates due to human activities are high, and initial extinctions can trigger cascades of secondary extinctions, leading to further erosion of biodiversity. A potential major mechanism for secondary extinction cascades is provided by the long-standing theory that the diversity of consumer species is maintained due to the positive indirect effects that these species have on each other by reducing competition among their respective resource species. This means that the loss of one carnivore species could lead to competitive exclusion at the prey trophic level, leading to extinctions of further carnivore species. Evidence for these effects is difficult to obtain due to many confounding factors in natural systems, but extinction cascades that could be due to this mechanism have been demonstrated in simplified laboratory microcosms. We established complex insect food webs in replicated field mesocosms and found that the overharvesting of one parasitoid wasp species caused increased extinction rates of other parasitoid species, compared to controls, but only when we manipulated the spatial distribution of herbivore species such that the potential for interspecific competition at this level was high. This provides clear evidence for horizontal extinction cascades at high trophic levels due to the proposed mechanism. Our results demonstrate that the loss of carnivores can have widespread effects on other species at the same trophic level due to indirect population-dynamic effects that are rarely considered in this context. PMID:26585283

  3. Trypanosoma cruzi infection in neotropical wild carnivores (Mammalia: Carnivora: at the top of the T. cruzi transmission chain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Lopes Rocha

    Full Text Available Little is known on the role played by Neotropical wild carnivores in the Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles. We investigated T. cruzi infection in wild carnivores from three sites in Brazil through parasitological and serological tests. The seven carnivore species examined were infected by T. cruzi, but high parasitemias detectable by hemoculture were found only in two Procyonidae species. Genotyping by Mini-exon gene, PCR-RFLP (1f8/Akw21I and kDNA genomic targets revealed that the raccoon (Procyon cancrivorus harbored TcI and the coatis (Nasua nasua harbored TcI, TcII, TcIII-IV and Trypanosoma rangeli, in single and mixed infections, besides four T. cruzi isolates that displayed odd band patterns in the Mini-exon assay. These findings corroborate the coati can be a bioaccumulator of T. cruzi Discrete Typing Units (DTU and may act as a transmission hub, a connection point joining sylvatic transmission cycles within terrestrial and arboreal mammals and vectors. Also, the odd band patterns observed in coatis' isolates reinforce that T. cruzi diversity might be much higher than currently acknowledged. Additionally, we assembled our data with T. cruzi infection on Neotropical carnivores' literature records to provide a comprehensive analysis of the infection patterns among distinct carnivore species, especially considering their ecological traits and phylogeny. Altogether, fifteen Neotropical carnivore species were found naturally infected by T. cruzi. Species diet was associated with T. cruzi infection rates, supporting the hypothesis that predator-prey links are important mechanisms for T. cruzi maintenance and dispersion in the wild. Distinct T. cruzi infection patterns across carnivore species and study sites were notable. Musteloidea species consistently exhibit high parasitemias in different studies which indicate their high infectivity potential. Mesocarnivores that feed on both invertebrates and mammals, including the coati, a host that

  4. Does size matter? An investigation of habitat use across a carnivore assemblage in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durant, Sarah M; Craft, Meggan E; Foley, Charles; Hampson, Katie; Lobora, Alex L; Msuha, Maurus; Eblate, Ernest; Bukombe, John; McHetto, John; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2010-09-01

    1. This study utilizes a unique data set covering over 19 000 georeferenced records of species presence collected between 1993 and 2008, to explore the distribution and habitat selectivity of an assemblage of 26 carnivore species in the Serengeti-Ngorongoro landscape in northern Tanzania. 2. Two species, the large-spotted genet and the bushy-tailed mongoose, were documented for the first time within this landscape. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) was used to examine habitat selectivity for 18 of the 26 carnivore species for which there is sufficient data. Eleven ecogeographical variables (EGVs), such as altitude and habitat type, were used for these analyses. 3. The ENFA demonstrated that species differed in their habitat selectivity, and supported the limited ecological information already available for these species, such as the golden jackals' preference for grassland and the leopards' preference for river valleys. 4. Two aggregate scores, marginality and tolerance, are generated by the ENFA, and describe each species' habitat selectivity in relation to the suite of EGVs. These scores were used to test the hypothesis that smaller species are expected to be more selective than larger species [Science, 1989, 243, 1145]. Two predictions were tested: Marginality should decrease with body mass; and tolerance should increase with body mass. Our study provided no evidence for either prediction. 5. Our results not only support previous analyses of carnivore diet breadth, but also represent a novel approach to the investigation of habitat selection across species assemblages. Our method provides a powerful tool to explore similar questions in other systems and for other taxa. PMID:20646121

  5. Integrating economic costs and biological traits into global conservation priorities for carnivores.

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    Rafael Dias Loyola

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prioritization schemes usually highlight species-rich areas, where many species are at imminent risk of extinction. To be ecologically relevant these schemes should also include species biological traits into area-setting methods. Furthermore, in a world of limited funds for conservation, conservation action is constrained by land acquisition costs. Hence, including economic costs into conservation priorities can substantially improve their conservation cost-effectiveness. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined four global conservation scenarios for carnivores based on the joint mapping of economic costs and species biological traits. These scenarios identify the most cost-effective priority sets of ecoregions, indicating best investment opportunities for safeguarding every carnivore species, and also establish priority sets that can maximize species representation in areas harboring highly vulnerable species. We compared these results with a scenario that minimizes the total number of ecoregions required for conserving all species, irrespective of other factors. We found that cost-effective conservation investments should focus on 41 ecoregions highlighted in the scenario that consider simultaneously both ecoregion vulnerability and economic costs of land acquisition. Ecoregions included in priority sets under these criteria should yield best returns of investments since they harbor species with high extinction risk and have lower mean land cost. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study highlights ecoregions of particular importance for the conservation of the world's carnivores defining global conservation priorities in analyses that encompass socioeconomic and life-history factors. We consider the identification of a comprehensive priority-set of areas as a first step towards an in-situ biodiversity maintenance strategy.

  6. Implications of Harvest on the Boundaries of Protected Areas for Large Carnivore Viewing Opportunities.

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    Bridget L Borg

    Full Text Available The desire to see free ranging large carnivores in their natural habitat is a driver of tourism in protected areas around the globe. However, large carnivores are wide-ranging and subject to human-caused mortality outside protected area boundaries. The impact of harvest (trapping or hunting on wildlife viewing opportunities has been the subject of intense debate and speculation, but quantitative analyses have been lacking. We examined the effect of legal harvest of wolves (Canis lupus along the boundaries of two North American National Parks, Denali (DNPP and Yellowstone (YNP, on wolf viewing opportunities within the parks during peak tourist season. We used data on wolf sightings, pack sizes, den site locations, and harvest adjacent to DNPP from 1997-2013 and YNP from 2008-2013 to evaluate the relationship between harvest and wolf viewing opportunities. Although sightings were largely driven by wolf population size and proximity of den sites to roads, sightings in both parks were significantly reduced by harvest. Sightings in YNP increased by 45% following years with no harvest of a wolf from a pack, and sightings in DNPP were more than twice as likely during a period with a harvest buffer zone than in years without the buffer. These findings show that harvest of wolves adjacent to protected areas can reduce sightings within those areas despite minimal impacts on the size of protected wolf populations. Consumptive use of carnivores adjacent to protected areas may therefore reduce their potential for non-consumptive use, and these tradeoffs should be considered when developing regional wildlife management policies.

  7. Implications of Harvest on the Boundaries of Protected Areas for Large Carnivore Viewing Opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borg, Bridget L; Arthur, Stephen M; Bromen, Nicholas A; Cassidy, Kira A; McIntyre, Rick; Smith, Douglas W; Prugh, Laura R

    2016-01-01

    The desire to see free ranging large carnivores in their natural habitat is a driver of tourism in protected areas around the globe. However, large carnivores are wide-ranging and subject to human-caused mortality outside protected area boundaries. The impact of harvest (trapping or hunting) on wildlife viewing opportunities has been the subject of intense debate and speculation, but quantitative analyses have been lacking. We examined the effect of legal harvest of wolves (Canis lupus) along the boundaries of two North American National Parks, Denali (DNPP) and Yellowstone (YNP), on wolf viewing opportunities within the parks during peak tourist season. We used data on wolf sightings, pack sizes, den site locations, and harvest adjacent to DNPP from 1997-2013 and YNP from 2008-2013 to evaluate the relationship between harvest and wolf viewing opportunities. Although sightings were largely driven by wolf population size and proximity of den sites to roads, sightings in both parks were significantly reduced by harvest. Sightings in YNP increased by 45% following years with no harvest of a wolf from a pack, and sightings in DNPP were more than twice as likely during a period with a harvest buffer zone than in years without the buffer. These findings show that harvest of wolves adjacent to protected areas can reduce sightings within those areas despite minimal impacts on the size of protected wolf populations. Consumptive use of carnivores adjacent to protected areas may therefore reduce their potential for non-consumptive use, and these tradeoffs should be considered when developing regional wildlife management policies. PMID:27124729

  8. Nitrogen deposition and prey nitrogen uptake control the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millett, J; Foot, G W; Svensson, B M

    2015-04-15

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has important negative impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems, impacting on biotic interactions across trophic levels. Low-nutrient systems are particularly sensitive to changes in N inputs and are therefore more vulnerable to N deposition. Carnivorous plants are often part of these ecosystems partly because of the additional nutrients obtained from prey. We studied the impact of N deposition on the nutrition of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing on 16 ombrotrophic bogs across Europe. We measured tissue N, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations and prey and root N uptake using a natural abundance stable isotope approach. Our aim was to test the impact of N deposition on D. rotundifolia prey and root N uptake, and nutrient stoichiometry. D. rotundifolia root N uptake was strongly affected by N deposition, possibly resulting in reduced N limitation. The contribution of prey N to the N contained in D. rotundifolia ranged from 20 to 60%. N deposition reduced the maximum amount of N derived from prey, but this varied below this maximum. D. rotundifolia tissue N concentrations were a product of both root N availability and prey N uptake. Increased prey N uptake was correlated with increased tissue P concentrations indicating uptake of P from prey. N deposition therefore reduced the strength of a carnivorous plant-prey interaction, resulting in a reduction in nutrient transfer between trophic levels. We suggest that N deposition has a negative impact on D. rotundifolia and that responses to N deposition might be strongly site specific. PMID:25655989

  9. Detection of Echinococcus multilocularis in carnivores in Razavi Khorasan province, Iran using mitochondrial DNA.

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    Molouk Beiromvand

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Echinococcus multilocularis is the source of alveolar echinococcosis, a potentially fatal zoonotic disease. This investigation assessed the presence of E. multilocularis infection in definitive hosts in the Chenaran region of Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Fecal samples from 77 domestic and stray dogs and 14 wild carnivores were examined using the flotation/sieving method followed by multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. The intestinal scraping technique (IST and the sedimentation and counting technique (SCT revealed adult Echinococcus in the intestines of five of 10 jackals and of the single wolf examined. Three jackals were infected only with E. multilocularis but two, and the wolf, were infected with both E. multilocularis and E. granulosus. Multiplex PCR revealed E. multilocularis, E. granulosus, and Taenia spp. in 19, 24, and 28 fecal samples, respectively. Echinococcus multilocularis infection was detected in the feces of all wild carnivores sampled including nine jackals, three foxes, one wolf, one hyena, and five dogs (6.5%. Echinococcus granulosus was found in the fecal samples of 16.9% of dogs, 66.7% of jackals, and all of the foxes, the wolf, and the hyena. The feces of 16 (21.8% dogs, 7 of 9 (77.8% jackals, and all three foxes, one wolf and one hyena were infected with Taenia spp. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The prevalence of E. multilocularis in wild carnivores of rural areas of the Chenaran region is high, indicating that the life cycle is being maintained in northeastern Iran with the red fox, jackal, wolf, hyena, and dog as definitive hosts.

  10. Weed seed predation by granivorous carabids as influenced by carnivorous carabids

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    de Mol, Friederike

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Weed seed predation is influenced for both biological and abiotic factors. Knowledge about these factors is necessary to optimize seed predation as a biological weed control measure. Here, we asked whether carnivorous carabid beetles can affect the seed predation. Additionally, the effect of weather on seed predation rate was investigated. For this purpose, 12, 1m² enclosures were installed in a field (block design with four treatments and three replications in northeastern Germany over a period of 23 days. Treatments in the enclosures were 1 without carabids, 2 with a natural density and species composition of carabids, 3 with granivorous carabid beetles (Pseudoophonus rufipes, Harpulus affinis, and 4 as 3 but additionally with carnivorous carabids (Pterostichus melanarius, Poecilus cupreus Seed predation rate was determined daily using seed cards with Poa annua and Stellaria media seeds. Temperature, relative air humidity and daily precipitation were measured as covariables. In the treatment with granivorous carabids seed predation rate was 54.3 (P. annua resp. 14.3 (S. media seeds per enclosure and day. In the treatment with granivorous and carnivorous carabids, seed predation rate was significantly lower for P. annua (46.6 seeds per enclosure and day, paired Wilcoxon-Test, p = 0.04 and equally high for S. media (14.4 seeds per enclosure and day. In enclosures containing non-manipulated carabid densities 9.1 seeds of P. annua and 7.2 seeds of S. media were lost per enclosure and per day, which is significantly higher than from enclosures that were void of carabids. The minimum night temperature was the only weather variable that significantly influenced seed predation rate. This work contributes to a better understanding of the factors influencing seed predation rates in the field.

  11. Carnivore distributions across chaparral habitats exposed to wildfire and rural housing in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuette, P.A.; Diffendorfer, J.E.; Deutschman, D.H.; Tremor, S.; Spencer, W.

    2014-01-01

    Chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitats in southern California support biologically diverse plant and animal communities. However, native plant and animal species within these shrubland systems are increasingly exposed to human-caused wildfires and an expansion of the human–wildland interface. Few data exist to evaluate the effects of fire and anthropogenic pressures on plant and animal communities found in these environments. This is particularly true for carnivore communities. To address this knowledge gap, we collected detection–non-detection data with motion-sensor cameras and track plots to measure carnivore occupancy patterns following a large, human-caused wildfire (1134 km2) in eastern San Diego County, California, USA, in 2003. Our focal species set included coyote (Canis latrans), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), bobcat (Lynx rufus) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis). We evaluated the influence on species occupancies of the burned environment (burn edge, burn interior and unburned areas), proximity of rural homes, distance to riparian area and elevation. Gray fox occupancies were the highest overall, followed by striped skunk, coyote and bobcat. The three species considered as habitat and foraging generalists (gray fox, coyote, striped skunk) were common in all conditions. Occupancy patterns were consistent through time for all species except coyote, whose occupancies increased through time. In addition, environmental and anthropogenic variables had weak effects on all four species, and these responses were species-specific. Our results helped to describe a carnivore community exposed to frequent fire and rural human residences, and provide baseline data to inform fire management policy and wildlife management strategies in similar fire-prone ecosystems.

  12. Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahata, Chihiro; Nielsen, Scott Eric; Takii, Akiko; Izumiyama, Shigeyuki

    2014-01-01

    When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF). Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores. PMID:24465947

  13. Habitat selection of a large carnivore along human-wildlife boundaries in a highly modified landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chihiro Takahata

    Full Text Available When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF. Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores.

  14. Frequent cross-species transmission of parvoviruses among diverse carnivore hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, Andrew B.; Kohler, Dennis J.; Fox, Karen A.; Brown, Justin D.; Gerhold, Richard W.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Dubovi, Edward J.; Parrish, Colin R.; Holmes, Edward C.

    2013-01-01

    Although parvoviruses are commonly described in domestic carnivores, little is known about their biodiversity in nondomestic species. A phylogenetic analysis of VP2 gene sequences from puma, coyote, gray wolf, bobcat, raccoon, and striped skunk revealed two major groups related to either feline panleukopenia virus (“FPV-like”) or canine parvovirus (“CPV-like”). Cross-species transmission was commonplace, with multiple introductions into each host species but, with the exception of raccoons, relatively little evidence for onward transmission in nondomestic species.

  15. [Comparative histology of mushroom bodies in carnivorous beetles of the suborder polyphaga (Insecta, Coleoptera)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panov, A A

    2013-01-01

    Mushroom bodies in beetles of the families Histeridae, Staphylinidae, Cantharidae, Trogossitidae, Peltidae, Cleridae, Malachiidae, and Coccinellidae are shown to be rather poorly developed. The calyx region of the mushroom bodies in these beetles never forms two separate cups, and the peduncular apparatus includes a unified shaft almost over its entire length. Only the pedunculus contains two separate shafts in a few cases. Two proliferative centers consisting of one to three neuroblasts are often found in each Kenyon cell group. The shift from carnivorous to feeding on pollen or leaves, which has taken place in some taxa, does not visibly affect the degree of mushroom body development.

  16. Coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in carnivores and small mammals at Dhaka zoo, Bangladesh

    OpenAIRE

    M.M.R.U. Raja; Dey, A. R.; Begum, N.; Kundu, U.K.; F.A. Ashad

    2014-01-01

    A study on the coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites using 94 faecal samples from different carnivores (n=32) and small mammals (n=15) was undertaken from January to May 2012 at Dhaka Zoo. The overall prevalence of parasitic infection was 78.72%, with a prevalence of 51.06% for helminths and 27.66% for protozoa. The identified parasites included—Toxascaris leonina (9.57%), Balantidium coli (25.53%) Spirometra sp. (10.64%), Toxocara cati (12.76%), Hook worm (4.26%), unidentifie...

  17. Hemoglobin affinity and structure in high-altitude and sea-level carnivores from Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    León-Velarde, F; de Muizon, C; Palacios, J A; Clark, D; Monge, C

    1996-04-01

    We compared hemoglobin affinity (P50) and structure of high altitude (HA) carnivores with populations of the same species or genus living at sea level (SL). P50 was measured in cats, pumas and foxes. It differed in animals occupying both niches. SL: cat 29.3 torr, puma 36.3 torr, fox 26.2 torr; HA: cat 22.5 torr, puma 31.1 torr, fox 18.5 torr. Heme and globins were fractionated by HPLC. Puma and fox hemoglobins also showed structural differences. P50 is lower in genotypically HA-adapted species studied and can differentiate SL and HA populations of the same species.

  18. Anatomy and Disorders of the Oral Cavity of Ferrets and Other Exotic Companion Carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Delaney, Cathy A

    2016-09-01

    Exotic companion carnivores such as ferrets, skunks, fennec foxes, coatimundis, raccoons, and kinkajous presented in clinical practice share similar dental anatomy, function, and diseases. The domestic ferret serves as the representative species for this group with its anatomy, diseases, and conditions described in detail. Dog and cat guidelines for veterinary and home care seem to be relevant and applicable, including dental endodontic procedures. Annual or biannual dental examinations and prophylaxis are recommended. The most common dental and oral problems are tooth wear, plaque and calculus, teeth fractures, gingivitis and periodontitis, tooth loss, abscesses, oral ulceration, tonsillitis, and neoplasia. PMID:27497211

  19. Migratory and carnivorous birds in Brazil: reservoirs for Anaplasma and Ehrlichia species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Rosangela Zacarias; André, Marcos Rogério; Werther, Karin; de Sousa, Eliane; Gavioli, Fernando Antônio; Alves Junior, José Roberto Ferreira

    2012-08-01

    In order to investigate new hosts for Anaplasmataceae agents in Brazil, we collected blood samples from 21 wild birds. Using molecular techniques, we detected the presence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, and an Ehrlichia species closely related to Ehrlichia canis in carnivorous avian blood samples. In addition, an Ehrlichia species closely related to an Ehrlichia species found in wild felines in Brazil was also detected in a goose blood sample. Wild birds may play a role as carriers of Anaplasmataceae agents in Brazil. PMID:22607070

  20. Little Shop of Horrors: Rheology of the Mucilage of Drosera sp., a Carnivorous Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erni, Philipp; Varagnat, Matthieu; McKinley, Gareth H.

    2008-07-01

    Drosera sp. (`sundew') are carnivorous plants; they capture insects using tiny drops of mucilage secreted by stalked glands on their leaf laminae. Prey gets trapped by the sticky viscoelastic liquid, initiating a metabolic cascade on the leaf that eventually results in the insect being digested by the plant. The mucilage droplets typically are in the size range of tens of micrometers; at these extremely small sample sizes, complex fluids are usually not amenable to traditional rheometry. We discuss how microrheometric techniques, in particular capillary breakup extensional rheometry ("μ-caber"), can be used to test the nonlinear rheological properties of nanoliter volumes of such small-volume biopolymer samples.

  1. Gut transport characteristics in herbivorous and carnivorous serrasalmid fish from ion-poor Rio Negro water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelster, Bernd; Wood, Chris M; Speers-Roesch, Ben; Driedzic, William R; Almeida-Val, Vera; Val, Adalberto

    2015-02-01

    Three closely related characids, Tambaqui (omnivore), black Piranha (carnivore), and Pacu (herbivore), all Serrasalmidae, inhabit the ion-poor, acidic Rio Negro. We compared O2-consumption and N excretion rates in vivo, and sodium, chloride, glucose, and ammonia transport characteristics of gut sac preparations in vitro. The Pacu had a significantly higher weight-specific oxygen consumption, and a lower N/Q ratio than the omnivorous Tambaqui, and a significantly lower urea-N excretion rate than the carnivorous black Piranha, suggesting N-limitation in the herbivorous Pacu. With a value of 2.62 ± 0.15, gut to fork length ratio in the Pacu was about 2.5 times higher than in the black Piranha, and 2.0 times higher than in the Tambaqui. Anterior intestinal activities of three enzymes involved in N-fixation for amino acid synthesis (glutamate dehydrogenase, glutamate-oxaloacetate transferase, and glutamate-pyruvate transferase) were generally greatest in the carnivore and lowest in the herbivore species. In all three species, sodium, chloride, glucose, and ammonia were taken up at high rates from the intestine, resulting in an isosmotic fluid flux. Comparing the area-specific fluid flux of the anterior, mid, and posterior gut sections, no difference was detected between the three sections of the Pacu, while in the Tambaqui, it was highest in the anterior section, and in the black Piranha highest in the middle section. Overall, the area-specific uptake rates for sodium, chloride, glucose, and ammonia of anterior, mid, and posterior sections were similar in all three species, indicating that there is no difference in the area-specific transport rates associated with trophic position. The net ammonia uptake flux from gut interior was not significantly different from the net ammonia efflux to the serosal fluid, so that the ammonia removed from the intestine by the mucosal epithelium was quantitatively transferred through the tissue to the serosal side in all three

  2. Stable isotopes reveal rail-associated behavior in a threatened carnivore

    OpenAIRE

    Hopkins, John B.; Whittington, Jesse; Anthony P. Clevenger; Michael A. Sawaya; St. Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Human–wildlife conflict is a leading cause of adult mortality for large carnivores worldwide. Train collision is the primary cause of mortality for threatened grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff National Park. We investigated the use of stable isotope analysis as a tool for identifying bears that use the railway in Banff. Rail-associated bears had higher δ15N and δ34S values than bears sampled away from the rail, but similar δ13C values. Because elevated δ15N values are indicative of higher...

  3. From cheetahs to chimpanzees: a comparative review of the drivers of human-carnivore conflict and human-primate conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, Amy J

    2012-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflict is a growing conservation threat, and is increasingly of importance to primate conservationists. Despite this, relatively little work has been done to date on the drivers of human-primate conflict, especially compared to other conflict-causing taxa such as large carnivores. However, the drivers of conflict are often very similar across species, so conflict researchers can learn important lessons from work conducted on other taxa. This paper discusses 8 key factors which are likely to affect how hostile people are towards wildlife and any damage they cause--6 of these are common to both carnivores and primates, while one is much more applicable to carnivores and the other is specific to primates. These conflict drivers involve numerous social and cultural factors, and highlight the importance of truly understanding the local drivers of conflict in order to develop effective mitigation strategies. PMID:23363596

  4. Forelimb anatomy and the discrimination of the predatory behavior of carnivorous mammals: the thylacine as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janis, Christine M; Figueirido, Borja

    2014-12-01

    Carnivorous mammals use their forelimbs in different ways to capture their prey. Most terrestrial carnivores have some cursorial (running) adaptations, but ambush predators retain considerable flexibility in their forelimb movement, important for grappling with their prey. In contrast, predators that rely on pursuit to run down their prey have sacrificed some of this flexibility for locomotor efficiency, in the greater restriction of the forelimb motion to the parasagittal plane. In this article, we measured aspects of the forelimb anatomy (44 linear measurements) in 36 species of carnivorous mammals of known predatory behavior, and used multivariate analyses to investigate how well the forelimb anatomy reflects the predatory mode (ambush, pursuit, or pounce-pursuit). A prime intention of this study was to establish morphological correlates of behavior that could then be applied to fossil mammals: for this purpose, five individuals of the recently extinct thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) were also included as unknowns. We show that the three different types of predators can be distinguished by their morphology, both in analyses where all the forelimb bones are included together, and in the separate analyses of each bone individually. Of particular interest is the ability to distinguish between the two types of more cursorial predators, pursuit and pounce-pursuit, which have previously been considered as primarily size-based categories. Despite a prior consideration of the thylacine as a "pounce-pursuit" or an "ambush" type of predator, the thylacines did not consistently cluster with any type of predatory carnivores in our analyses. Rather, the thylacines appeared to be more generalized in their morphology than any of the extant carnivores. The absence of a large diversity of large carnivorous mammals in Australia, past and present, may explain the thylacine's generalized morphology. PMID:24934132

  5. Forelimb anatomy and the discrimination of the predatory behavior of carnivorous mammals: the thylacine as a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janis, Christine M; Figueirido, Borja

    2014-12-01

    Carnivorous mammals use their forelimbs in different ways to capture their prey. Most terrestrial carnivores have some cursorial (running) adaptations, but ambush predators retain considerable flexibility in their forelimb movement, important for grappling with their prey. In contrast, predators that rely on pursuit to run down their prey have sacrificed some of this flexibility for locomotor efficiency, in the greater restriction of the forelimb motion to the parasagittal plane. In this article, we measured aspects of the forelimb anatomy (44 linear measurements) in 36 species of carnivorous mammals of known predatory behavior, and used multivariate analyses to investigate how well the forelimb anatomy reflects the predatory mode (ambush, pursuit, or pounce-pursuit). A prime intention of this study was to establish morphological correlates of behavior that could then be applied to fossil mammals: for this purpose, five individuals of the recently extinct thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) were also included as unknowns. We show that the three different types of predators can be distinguished by their morphology, both in analyses where all the forelimb bones are included together, and in the separate analyses of each bone individually. Of particular interest is the ability to distinguish between the two types of more cursorial predators, pursuit and pounce-pursuit, which have previously been considered as primarily size-based categories. Despite a prior consideration of the thylacine as a "pounce-pursuit" or an "ambush" type of predator, the thylacines did not consistently cluster with any type of predatory carnivores in our analyses. Rather, the thylacines appeared to be more generalized in their morphology than any of the extant carnivores. The absence of a large diversity of large carnivorous mammals in Australia, past and present, may explain the thylacine's generalized morphology.

  6. An objective approach to determining the weight ranges of prey preferred by and accessible to the five large African carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hayley S Clements

    Full Text Available Broad-scale models describing predator prey preferences serve as useful departure points for understanding predator-prey interactions at finer scales. Previous analyses used a subjective approach to identify prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores, hence their accuracy is questionable. This study uses a segmented model of prey weight versus prey preference to objectively quantify the prey weight preferences of the five large African carnivores. Based on simulations of known predator prey preference, for prey species sample sizes above 32 the segmented model approach detects up to four known changes in prey weight preference (represented by model break-points with high rates of detection (75% to 100% of simulations, depending on number of break-points and accuracy (within 1.3±4.0 to 2.7±4.4 of known break-point. When applied to the five large African carnivores, using carnivore diet information from across Africa, the model detected weight ranges of prey that are preferred, killed relative to their abundance, and avoided by each carnivore. Prey in the weight ranges preferred and killed relative to their abundance are together termed "accessible prey". Accessible prey weight ranges were found to be 14-135 kg for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus, 1-45 kg for leopard Panthera pardus, 32-632 kg for lion Panthera leo, 15-1600 kg for spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta and 10-289 kg for wild dog Lycaon pictus. An assessment of carnivore diets throughout Africa found these accessible prey weight ranges include 88±2% (cheetah, 82±3% (leopard, 81±2% (lion, 97±2% (spotted hyaena and 96±2% (wild dog of kills. These descriptions of prey weight preferences therefore contribute to our understanding of the diet spectrum of the five large African carnivores. Where datasets meet the minimum sample size requirements, the segmented model approach provides a means of determining, and comparing, the prey weight range preferences of any carnivore

  7. Relative influence of human harvest, carnivores, and weather on adult female elk survival across western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodie, Jedediah; Johnson, Heather; Mitchell, Michael; Zager, Peter; Proffitt, Kelly; Hebblewhite, Mark; Kauffman, Matthew; Johnson, Bruce; Bissonette, John; Bishop, Chad; Gude, Justin; Herbert, Jeff; Hersey, Kent; Hurley, Mark; Lukacs, Paul M.; McCorquodale, Scott; McIntire, Eliot; Nowak, Josh; Sawyer, Hall; Smith, Douglas; White, P.J.

    2013-01-01

    Well-informed management of harvested species requires understanding how changing ecological conditions affect demography and population dynamics, information that is lacking for many species. We have limited understanding of the relative influence of carnivores, harvest, weather and forage availability on elk Cervus elaphus demography, despite the ecological and economic importance of this species. We assessed adult female survival, a key vital rate for population dynamics, from 2746 radio-collared elk in 45 populations across western North America that experience wide variation in carnivore assemblage, harvest, weather and habitat conditions. Proportional hazard analysis revealed that 'baseline' (i.e. not related to human factors) mortality was higher with very high winter precipitation, particularly in populations sympatric with wolves Canis lupus. Mortality may increase via nutritional stress and heightened vulnerability to predation in snowy winters. Baseline mortality was unrelated to puma Puma concolor presence, forest cover or summer forage productivity. Cause-specific mortality analyses showed that wolves and all carnivore species combined had additive effects on baseline elk mortality, but only reduced survival by <2%. When human factors were included, ‘total’ adult mortality was solely related to harvest; the influence of native carnivores was compensatory. Annual total mortality rates were lowest in populations sympatric with both pumas and wolves because managers reduced female harvest in areas with abundant or diverse carnivores. Mortality from native carnivores peaked in late winter and early spring, while harvest-induced mortality peaked in autumn. The strong peak in harvest-induced mortality during the autumn hunting season decreased as the number of native carnivore species increased. Synthesis and applications. Elevated baseline adult female elk mortality from wolves in years with high winter precipitation could affect elk abundance as

  8. Toward Human-Carnivore Coexistence: Understanding Tolerance for Tigers in Bangladesh.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chloe Inskip

    Full Text Available Fostering local community tolerance for endangered carnivores, such as tigers (Panthera tigris, is a core component of many conservation strategies. Identification of antecedents of tolerance will facilitate the development of effective tolerance-building conservation action and secure local community support for, and involvement in, conservation initiatives. We use a stated preference approach for measuring tolerance, based on the 'Wildlife Stakeholder Acceptance Capacity' concept, to explore villagers' tolerance levels for tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, an area where, at the time of the research, human-tiger conflict was severe. We apply structural equation modeling to test an a priori defined theoretical model of tolerance and identify the experiential and psychological basis of tolerance in this community. Our results indicate that beliefs about tigers and about the perceived current tiger population trend are predictors of tolerance for tigers. Positive beliefs about tigers and a belief that the tiger population is not currently increasing are both associated with greater stated tolerance for the species. Contrary to commonly-held notions, negative experiences with tigers do not directly affect tolerance levels; instead, their effect is mediated by villagers' beliefs about tigers and risk perceptions concerning human-tiger conflict incidents. These findings highlight a need to explore and understand the socio-psychological factors that encourage tolerance towards endangered species. Our research also demonstrates the applicability of this approach to tolerance research to a wide range of socio-economic and cultural contexts and reveals its capacity to enhance carnivore conservation efforts worldwide.

  9. Dietary separation of sympatric carnivores identified by molecular analysis of scats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, L E; Roman, J; Sunquist, M E

    2000-10-01

    We studied the diets of four sympatric carnivores in the flooding savannas of western Venezuela by analysing predator DNA and prey remains in faeces. DNA was isolated and a portion of the cytochrome b gene of the mitochondrial genome amplified and sequenced from 20 of 34 scats. Species were diagnosed by comparing the resulting sequences to reference sequences generated from the blood of puma (Puma concolor), jaguar (Panthera onca), ocelot (Leopardus pardalus) and crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous). Scat size has previously been used to identify predators, but DNA data show that puma and jaguar scats overlap in size, as do those of puma, ocelot and fox. Prey-content analysis suggests minimal prey partitioning between pumas and jaguars. In field testing this technique for large carnivores, two potential limitations emerged: locating intact faecal samples and recovering DNA sequences from samples obtained in the wet season. Nonetheless, this study illustrates the tremendous potential of DNA faecal studies. The presence of domestic dog (Canis familiaris) in one puma scat and of wild pig (Sus scrofa), set as bait, in one jaguar sample exemplifies the forensic possibilities of this noninvasive analysis. In addition to defining the dietary habits of similar size sympatric mammals, DNA identifications from faeces allow wildlife managers to detect the presence of endangered taxa and manage prey for their conservation. PMID:11050553

  10. Biting through constraints: cranial morphology, disparity and convergence across living and fossil carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Anjali; Milne, Nick; Wroe, Stephen

    2011-06-22

    Carnivory has evolved independently several times in eutherian (including placental) and metatherian (including marsupial) mammals. We used geometric morphometrics to assess convergences associated with the evolution of carnivory across a broad suite of mammals, including the eutherian clades Carnivora and Creodonta and the metatherian clades Thylacoleonidae, Dasyuromorphia, Didelphidae and Borhyaenoidea. We further quantified cranial disparity across eutherians and metatherians to test the hypothesis that the marsupial mode of reproduction has constrained their morphological evolution. This study, to our knowledge the first to extensively sample pre-Pleistocene taxa, analysed 30 three-dimensional landmarks, focused mainly on the facial region, which were digitized on 130 specimens, including 36 fossil taxa. Data were analysed with principal components (PC) analysis, and three measures of disparity were compared between eutherians and metatherians. PC1 showed a shift from short to long faces and seemed to represent diet and ecology. PC2 was dominated by the unique features of sabre-toothed forms: dramatic expansion of the maxilla at the expense of the frontal bones. PC3, in combination with PC1, distinguished metatherians and eutherians. Metatherians, despite common comparisons with felids, were more similar to caniforms, which was unexpected for taxa such as the sabre-toothed marsupial Thylacosmilus. Contrary to previous studies, metatherian carnivores consistently exhibited disparity which exceeded that of the much more speciose eutherian carnivore radiations, refuting the hypothesis that developmental constraints have limited the morphological evolution of the marsupial cranium.

  11. Human-carnivore coexistence on communal land bordering the greater Kruger area, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagendijk, D D Georgette; Gusset, Markus

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential for coexistence between rural people (living adjacent to a protected area) and predators (from the same area) ranging onto communal land. Ninety members of local communities bordering Manyeleti Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Kruger National Park, South Africa were interviewed. Respondents expressed diverging attitudes toward predators, which were more favorable among participants with higher education. Negative views were particularly due to fear of human and livestock losses, especially to lions, Panthera leo. Lions were thought to be the most abundant predator both within and outside the reserve. Lions were also the best known predator and were most often held responsible for killing livestock. Despite these livestock losses and a lack of conservation education, most participants voiced favorable opinions about large carnivore conservation, as predators were considered an integral part of the respondents' natural heritage. Thanks to this cultural tolerance and also because of a largely accepted management policy regarding predator control, large carnivores and people can coexist in the vicinity of Kruger National Park.

  12. Human Carnivore Coexistence on Communal Land Bordering the Greater Kruger Area, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagendijk, D. D. Georgette; Gusset, Markus

    2008-12-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the potential for coexistence between rural people (living adjacent to a protected area) and predators (from the same area) ranging onto communal land. Ninety members of local communities bordering Manyeleti Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Kruger National Park, South Africa were interviewed. Respondents expressed diverging attitudes toward predators, which were more favorable among participants with higher education. Negative views were particularly due to fear of human and livestock losses, especially to lions, Panthera leo. Lions were thought to be the most abundant predator both within and outside the reserve. Lions were also the best known predator and were most often held responsible for killing livestock. Despite these livestock losses and a lack of conservation education, most participants voiced favorable opinions about large carnivore conservation, as predators were considered an integral part of the respondents’ natural heritage. Thanks to this cultural tolerance and also because of a largely accepted management policy regarding predator control, large carnivores and people can coexist in the vicinity of Kruger National Park.

  13. Jasmonates trigger prey-induced formation of 'outer stomach' in carnivorous sundew plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yoko; Reichelt, Michael; Mayer, Veronika E; Mithöfer, Axel

    2013-05-22

    It has been widely accepted that the growth-related phytohormone auxin is the endogenous signal that initiates bending movements of plant organs. In 1875, Charles Darwin described how the bending movement of leaves in carnivorous sundew species formed an 'outer stomach' that allowed the plants to enclose and digest captured insect prey. About 100 years later, auxin was suggested to be the factor responsible for this movement. We report that prey capture induces both leaf bending and the accumulation of defence-related jasmonate phytohormones. In Drosera capensis fed with fruitflies, within 3 h after prey capture and simultaneous with leaf movement, we detected an increase in jasmonic acid and its isoleucine conjugate. This accumulation was spatially restricted to the bending segment of the leaves. The application of jasmonates alone was sufficient to trigger leaf bending. Only living fruitflies or the body fluids of crushed fruitflies induced leaf curvature; neither dead flies nor mechanical treatment had any effect. Our findings strongly suggest that the formation of the 'outer stomach' in Drosera is a chemonastic movement that is triggered by accumulation of endogenous jasmonates. These results suggest that in carnivorous sundew plants the jasmonate cascade might have been adapted to facilitate carnivory rather than to defend against herbivores. PMID:23516244

  14. Assessing the potential threat landscape of a proposed reintroduction site for carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha K Page

    Full Text Available This study provides a framework to assess the feasibility of reintroducing carnivores into an area, using African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus as an example. The Great Fish River Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, has been identified as a potential reserve to reintroduce wild dogs, and we applied this framework to provide a threat assessment of the surrounding area to determine potential levels of human-wildlife conflict. Although 56% of neighbouring landowners and local communities were positive about a wild dog reintroduction, data collected from questionnaire surveys revealed that human-wild dog conflict is a potential threat to wild dog survival in the area. Additional potential threats include diseases, snaring, poaching and hunting wild dogs for the use of traditional medicine. A threat index was developed to establish which properties harboured the greatest threats to wild dogs. This index was significantly influenced by the respondent's first language (isiXhosa had more positive indices, education level (poorer education was synonymous with more positive threat indices, land use (wildlife ranching being the most negative and land tenure (community respondents had more positive indices than private landowners. Although threats are present, they can be effectively mitigated through strategies such as carnivore education programs, vaccination campaigns and anti-snare patrols to promote a successful reintroduction of this endangered canid.

  15. Protein sequence evidence for monophyly of the carnivore families Procyonidae and Mustelidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jong, W W

    1986-05-01

    The amino acid sequence of the eye lens protein alpha-crystallin A of the ring-tailed cat, Bassariscus astutus, has been determined. The sequence of the Bassariscus alpha A chain, which is 173 residues long, was compared with the previously determined set of 41 mammalian alpha A sequences. Among the investigated carnivores (dog, cat, sloth bear, American mink, gray seal, and California sea lion) the Bassariscus alpha A sequence exclusively shares two amino acid replacements with the alpha A chain of the mink, Mustela vison: 7 His----Gln and 61 Ile----Val. The Mustela and Bassariscus alpha A sequences differ at only three positions and have no replacements in common with any of the other investigated carnivore alpha A chains. Furthermore, the replacement 7 His----Gln has only been found in three-toed sloth, whereas 61 Ile----Val occurs scattered in three other taxa: pig, rhinoceros, and prosimians. It thus is most parsimonious to join Bassariscus and Mustela--and consequently their respective families, Procyonidae and Mustelidae--as sister groups in the phylogenetic tree of mammalian alpha A sequences. PMID:3444403

  16. Replacement of moist ingredients in the feed training of carnivorous fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Lúcia Salaro

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The study evaluated the replacement of bovine heart by gelatin in the feed training of carnivorous fish, using giant trahira (Hoplias lacerdae as an experimental model. A completely randomized design with four treatments and five repetitions was employed. The treatments were composed of wet ingredients beef heart (control, gelatin diluted in water, gelatin diluted in beef heart broth, and gelatin diluted in water mixed with fish meal. The fish (3.22±0.03 cm and 0.57±0.01 g were conditioned to accept industrialized diets by the technique of gradual feed ingredients transition in the diet. Gains in weight and length, efficiency of feed training, specific growth rate, cannibalism, mortality and survival rates were evaluated. There was significant difference in weight and length gains and specific growth rate, whereby the use of bovine heart gave the best results. Greater efficiency of feed training was observed for fish fed diets containing beef heart and gelatin diluted in water mixed with fish meal. The high survival rates and the absence of significant differences among treatments for rates of cannibalism, mortality and survival indicate the feasibility of using gelatin as a moist ingredient in the feed training of carnivorous fish.

  17. Evidence of the three main clonal Toxoplasma gondii lineages from wild mammalian carnivores in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrells, A; Bartley, P M; Zimmer, I A; Roy, S; Kitchener, A C; Meredith, A; Wright, S E; Innes, E A; Katzer, F

    2013-12-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic pathogen defined by three main clonal lineages (types I, II, III), of which type II is most common in Europe. Very few data exist on the prevalence and genotypes of T. gondii in the UK. Wildlife can act as sentinel species for T. gondii genotypes present in the environment, which may subsequently be transmitted to livestock and humans. DNA was extracted from tissue samples of wild British carnivores, including 99 ferrets, 83 red foxes, 70 polecats, 65 mink, 64 badgers and 9 stoats. Parasite DNA was detected using a nested ITS1 PCR specific for T. gondii, PCR positive samples were subsequently genotyped using five PCR-RFLP markers. Toxoplasma gondii DNA was detected within all these mammal species and prevalence varied from 6·0 to 44·4% depending on the host. PCR-RFLP genotyping identified type II as the predominant lineage, but type III and type I alleles were also identified. No atypical or mixed genotypes were identified within these animals. This study demonstrates the presence of alleles for all three clonal lineages with potential for transmission to cats and livestock. This is the first DNA-based study of T. gondii prevalence and genotypes across a broad range of wild British carnivores.

  18. Toward Human-Carnivore Coexistence: Understanding Tolerance for Tigers in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inskip, Chloe; Carter, Neil; Riley, Shawn; Roberts, Thomas; MacMillan, Douglas

    2016-01-01

    Fostering local community tolerance for endangered carnivores, such as tigers (Panthera tigris), is a core component of many conservation strategies. Identification of antecedents of tolerance will facilitate the development of effective tolerance-building conservation action and secure local community support for, and involvement in, conservation initiatives. We use a stated preference approach for measuring tolerance, based on the 'Wildlife Stakeholder Acceptance Capacity' concept, to explore villagers' tolerance levels for tigers in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, an area where, at the time of the research, human-tiger conflict was severe. We apply structural equation modeling to test an a priori defined theoretical model of tolerance and identify the experiential and psychological basis of tolerance in this community. Our results indicate that beliefs about tigers and about the perceived current tiger population trend are predictors of tolerance for tigers. Positive beliefs about tigers and a belief that the tiger population is not currently increasing are both associated with greater stated tolerance for the species. Contrary to commonly-held notions, negative experiences with tigers do not directly affect tolerance levels; instead, their effect is mediated by villagers' beliefs about tigers and risk perceptions concerning human-tiger conflict incidents. These findings highlight a need to explore and understand the socio-psychological factors that encourage tolerance towards endangered species. Our research also demonstrates the applicability of this approach to tolerance research to a wide range of socio-economic and cultural contexts and reveals its capacity to enhance carnivore conservation efforts worldwide. PMID:26760035

  19. Exploring cultivable Bacteria from the prokaryotic community associated with the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma hypogea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, Samuel; Carre-Mlouka, Alyssa; Domart-Coulon, Isabelle; Vacelet, Jean; Bourguet-Kondracki, Marie-Lise

    2014-04-01

    Combining culture-dependent and independent approaches, we investigated for the first time the cultivable fraction of the prokaryotic community associated with the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma hypogea. The heterotrophic prokaryotes isolated from this tiny sponge were compared between specimens freshly collected from cave and maintained in aquarium. Overall, 67 isolates obtained in pure culture were phylogenetically affiliated to the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes. This cultivable diversity was lower than the prokaryotic diversity obtained by previous pyrosequencing study and comparable to that of another Mediterranean demosponge, the filter-feeding Phorbas tenacior. Furthermore, using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we visualized bacterial and archaeal cells, confirming the presence of both prokaryotes in A. hypogea tissue. Approximately 16% of the bacterial isolates tested positive for chitinolytic activity, suggesting potential microbial involvement in the digestion processes of crustacean prey by this carnivorous sponge. Additionally, 6% and 16% of bacterial isolates revealed antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, respectively. One Streptomyces sp. S1CA strain was identified as a promising candidate for the production of antimicrobial and antioxidant secondary metabolites as well as chitinolytic enzymes. Implications in the context of the sponge biology and prey-feeding strategy are discussed.

  20. Technical Note: Silica stable isotopes and silicification in a carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, K. R.; Swann, G. E. A.; Leng, M. J.; Sloane, H. J.; Goodwin, C.; Berman, J.; Maldonado, M.

    2015-06-01

    The stable isotope composition of benthic sponge spicule silica is a potential source of palaeoceanographic information about past deep seawater chemistry. The silicon isotope composition of spicules has been shown to relate to the silicic acid concentration of ambient water, although existing calibrations do exhibit a degree of scatter in the relationship. Less is known about how the oxygen isotope composition of sponge spicule silica relates to environmental conditions during growth. Here, we investigate the vital effects on silica, silicon and oxygen isotope composition in a carnivorous sponge, Asbestopluma sp., from the Southern Ocean. We find significant variations in silicon and oxygen isotopic composition within the specimen that are related to unusual spicule silicification. The largest variation in both isotope systems was associated with the differential distribution of an unconventional, hypersilicified spicule type (desma) along the sponge body. The absence an internal canal in the desmas suggests an unconventional silicification pattern leading to an unusually heavy isotope signature. Additional internal variability derives from a systematic offset between the peripheral skeleton of the body having systematically a higher isotopic composition than the internal skeleton. A simplified silicon isotope fractionation model, in which desmas were excluded, suggests that the lack of a system for seawater pumping in carnivorous sponges favours a low replenishment of dissolved silicon within the internal tissues, causing kinetic fractionation during silicification that impacts the isotope signature of the internal skeleton. Analysis of multiple spicules should be carried out to "average out" any artefacts in order to produce more robust downcore measurements.

  1. Resolving phylogenetic relationships of the recently radiated carnivorous plant genus Sarracenia using target enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Jessica D; Rogers, Willie L; Heyduk, Karolina; Cruse-Sanders, Jennifer M; Determann, Ron O; Glenn, Travis C; Malmberg, Russell L

    2015-04-01

    The North American carnivorous pitcher plant genus Sarracenia (Sarraceniaceae) is a relatively young clade (carnivorous plants; however, little is known regarding evolutionary relationships within the genus. Previous attempts at resolving the phylogeny have been unsuccessful, most likely due to few parsimony-informative sites compounded by incomplete lineage sorting. Here, we applied a target enrichment approach using multiple accessions to assess the relationships of Sarracenia species. This resulted in 199 nuclear genes from 75 accessions covering the putative 8-11 species and 8 subspecies/varieties. In addition, we recovered 42kb of plastome sequence from each accession to estimate a cpDNA-derived phylogeny. Unsurprisingly, the cpDNA had few parsimony-informative sites (0.5%) and provided little information on species relationships. In contrast, use of the targeted nuclear loci in concatenation and coalescent frameworks elucidated many relationships within Sarracenia even with high heterogeneity among gene trees. Results were largely consistent for both concatenation and coalescent approaches. The only major disagreement was with the placement of the purpurea complex. Moreover, results suggest an Appalachian massif biogeographic origin of the genus. Overall, this study highlights the utility of target enrichment using multiple accessions to resolve relationships in recently radiated taxa. PMID:25689607

  2. Functional analyses of carnivorous plant-specific amino acid residues in S-like ribonucleases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arai, Naoki; Nishimura, Emi; Kikuchi, Yo; Ohyama, Takashi

    2015-09-11

    Unlike plants with no carnivory, carnivorous plants seem to use S-like ribonucleases (RNases) as an enzyme for carnivory. Carnivorous plant-specific conserved amino acid residues are present at four positions around the conserved active site (CAS). The roles of these conserved amino acid residues in the enzymatic function were explored in the current study by preparing five recombinant variants of DA-I, the S-like RNase of Drosera adelae. The kcat and kcat/Km values of the enzymes revealed that among the four variants with a single mutation, the serine to glycine mutation at position 111 most negatively influenced the enzymatic activity. The change in the bulkiness of the amino acid residue side-chain seemed to be the major cause of the above effect. Modeling of the three dimensional (3D) structures strongly suggested that the S to G mutation at 111 greatly altered the overall enzyme conformation. The conserved four amino acid residues are likely to function in keeping the two histidine residues, which are essential for the cleavage of RNA strands, and the CAS in the most functional enzymatic conformation. PMID:26235877

  3. Mapping trends of large and medium size carnivores of conservation interest in Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihai Cristian Adamescu

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We analysed yearly estimates of population size data during 2001-2012 for five carnivores species of conservation interest (Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Lynx lynx, Felis silvestris and Canis aureus. Population size estimations were done by the game management authorities and integrated by the competent authorities on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Trends in data were detected using non-parametric Mann-Kendall test. This test was chosen considering the short length of data series and its usefulness for non-normal distributed data. The trend was tested at three spatial scales: game management units (n=1565, biogeographical region (n=5 and national. Trends depicted for each game management unit were plotted using ArcGIS, resulting species trend distribution maps. For the studied period increasing population trends were observed for Ursus arctos, Canis lupus, Canis aureus and Lynx lynx, while for Felis silvestris there was no trend recorded. Such an analysis in especially useful for conservation proposes, game management and reporting obligations under article 17 of the EC Habitat Directive, using population trend as a proxy for population dynamics. We conclude that the status of the five carnivore species is favourable during the study period.

  4. Blood does not buy goodwill: allowing culling increases poaching of a large carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapron, Guillaume; Treves, Adrian

    2016-05-11

    Quantifying environmental crime and the effectiveness of policy interventions is difficult because perpetrators typically conceal evidence. To prevent illegal uses of natural resources, such as poaching endangered species, governments have advocated granting policy flexibility to local authorities by liberalizing culling or hunting of large carnivores. We present the first quantitative evaluation of the hypothesis that liberalizing culling will reduce poaching and improve population status of an endangered carnivore. We show that allowing wolf (Canis lupus) culling was substantially more likely to increase poaching than reduce it. Replicated, quasi-experimental changes in wolf policies in Wisconsin and Michigan, USA, revealed that a repeated policy signal to allow state culling triggered repeated slowdowns in wolf population growth, irrespective of the policy implementation measured as the number of wolves killed. The most likely explanation for these slowdowns was poaching and alternative explanations found no support. When the government kills a protected species, the perceived value of each individual of that species may decline; so liberalizing wolf culling may have sent a negative message about the value of wolves or acceptability of poaching. Our results suggest that granting management flexibility for endangered species to address illegal behaviour may instead promote such behaviour. PMID:27170719

  5. Shoot, shovel and shut up: cryptic poaching slows restoration of a large carnivore in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberg, Olof; Chapron, Guillaume; Wabakken, Petter; Pedersen, Hans Christian; Hobbs, N Thompson; Sand, Håkan

    2012-03-01

    Poaching is a widespread and well-appreciated problem for the conservation of many threatened species. Because poaching is illegal, there is strong incentive for poachers to conceal their activities, and consequently, little data on the effects of poaching on population dynamics are available. Quantifying poaching mortality should be a required knowledge when developing conservation plans for endangered species but is hampered by methodological challenges. We show that rigorous estimates of the effects of poaching relative to other sources of mortality can be obtained with a hierarchical state-space model combined with multiple sources of data. Using the Scandinavian wolf (Canis lupus) population as an illustrative example, we show that poaching accounted for approximately half of total mortality and more than two-thirds of total poaching remained undetected by conventional methods, a source of mortality we term as 'cryptic poaching'. Our simulations suggest that without poaching during the past decade, the population would have been almost four times as large in 2009. Such a severe impact of poaching on population recovery may be widespread among large carnivores. We believe that conservation strategies for large carnivores considering only observed data may not be adequate and should be revised by including and quantifying cryptic poaching. PMID:21849323

  6. Assessing the potential threat landscape of a proposed reintroduction site for carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, Samantha K; Parker, Daniel M; Peinke, Dean M; Davies-Mostert, Harriet T

    2015-01-01

    This study provides a framework to assess the feasibility of reintroducing carnivores into an area, using African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) as an example. The Great Fish River Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, has been identified as a potential reserve to reintroduce wild dogs, and we applied this framework to provide a threat assessment of the surrounding area to determine potential levels of human-wildlife conflict. Although 56% of neighbouring landowners and local communities were positive about a wild dog reintroduction, data collected from questionnaire surveys revealed that human-wild dog conflict is a potential threat to wild dog survival in the area. Additional potential threats include diseases, snaring, poaching and hunting wild dogs for the use of traditional medicine. A threat index was developed to establish which properties harboured the greatest threats to wild dogs. This index was significantly influenced by the respondent's first language (isiXhosa had more positive indices), education level (poorer education was synonymous with more positive threat indices), land use (wildlife ranching being the most negative) and land tenure (community respondents had more positive indices than private landowners). Although threats are present, they can be effectively mitigated through strategies such as carnivore education programs, vaccination campaigns and anti-snare patrols to promote a successful reintroduction of this endangered canid. PMID:25822468

  7. Carnivorous heterotopias

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    The past years have seen an upsurge of burger and barbecue restaurants in a Copenhagen gastronomic scene otherwise dominated by trends toward sustainability, ‘wholesome’, local and organic food. In these new spaces, meat is glorified and consumed materially and symbolically (through design and de...

  8. Plant carnivory in the Caryophyllales: phylogenetic relationships, morphological adaptations, and molecular evolution of digestive enzymes among carnivorous genera

    OpenAIRE

    Renner, Tanya

    2011-01-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among carnivorous plants of the angiosperm order Caryophyllales are explored using Bayesian statistics and maximum-likelihood based searches of phylogeny. Nuclear ribosomal (ITS) and chloroplast intergenic spacer (PY-IGS) regions, along with previously- sequenced DNA are utilized for phylogenetic reconstructions. Taxonomic relationships across genera are refined and three strongly supported clades are identified: monophyletic Droseraceae, Nepenthaceae, and a third c...

  9. Determinants of Persistence and Tolerance of Carnivores on Namibian Ranches: Implications for Conservation on Southern African Private Lands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lindsey, P.A.; Havemann, C.P.; Lines, R.M.; Palazy, L.; Price, A.E.; Retief, T.A.; Rhebergen, T.; Waal, van der C.

    2013-01-01

    Changing land use patterns in southern Africa have potential to dramatically alter the prospects for carnivore conservation. Understanding these influences is essential for conservation planning. We interviewed 250 ranchers in Namibia to assess human tolerance towards and the distribution of large c

  10. Frugivory and spatial patterns of seed deposition by carnivorous mammals in anthropogenic landscapes: a multi-scale approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José V López-Bao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Knowledge about how frugivory and seed deposition are spatially distributed is valuable to understand the role of dispersers on the structure and dynamics of plant populations. This may be particularly important within anthropogenic areas, where either the patchy distribution of wild plants or the presence of cultivated fleshy-fruits may influence plant-disperser interactions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated frugivory and spatial patterns of seed deposition by carnivorous mammals in anthropogenic landscapes considering two spatial scales: 'landscape' (∼10 km(2 and 'habitat type' (∼1-2 km(2. We sampled carnivore faeces and plant abundance at three contrasting habitats (chestnut woods, mosaics and scrublands, each replicated within three different landscapes. Sixty-five percent of faeces collected (n = 1077 contained seeds, among which wild and cultivated seeds appeared in similar proportions (58% and 53% despite that cultivated fruiting plants were much less abundant. Seed deposition was spatially structured among both spatial scales being different between fruit types. Whereas the most important source of spatial variation in deposition of wild seeds was the landscape scale, it was the habitat scale for cultivated seeds. At the habitat scale, seeds of wild species were mostly deposited within mosaics while seeds of cultivated species were within chestnut woods and scrublands. Spatial concordance between seed deposition and plant abundance was found only for wild species. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Spatial patterns of seed deposition by carnivores differed between fruit types and seemed to be modulated by the fleshy-fruited plant assemblages and the behaviour of dispersers. Our results suggest that a strong preference for cultivated fruits by carnivores may influence their spatial foraging behaviour and lower their dispersal services to wild species. However, the high amount of seeds removed within and between

  11. Carnivorous heterotopias: gender, nostalgia and hipsterness in the Copenhagen meat scene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    The past years have seen an upsurge of burger and barbecue restaurants in a Copenhagen gastronomic scene otherwise dominated by trends toward sustainability, ‘wholesome’, local and organic food. In these new spaces, meat is glorified and consumed materially and symbolically (through design and......’, opened in 2014 and elected as the 2014 Best New Restaurant in Copenhagen) and WarPigs, a Texas-inspired barbecue opened in 2015. We discuss negotiations of masculinity in these meatscapes that challenge contemporary ideals for (sustainable, moderate, wholesome) food consumption and gender performances....... We argue that these spaces of consumption express nostalgia and longing for authenticity that are simultaneously articulated as progressive and emancipatory. Consequently, these sites represent middle-class masculine counter-spaces – masculine, carnivorous heterotopias where archaic, working class...

  12. Adaptive radiation with regard to nutrient sequestration strategies in the carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlovič, Andrej

    2012-02-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved a great diversity of pitcher morphologies. Selective pressures for maximizing nutrient uptake have driven speciation and diversification of the genus in a process known as adaptive radiation. This leads to the evolution of pitchers adapted to specific and often bizarre source of nutrients, which are not strictly animal-derived. One example is Nepenthes ampullaria with unusual growth pattern and pitcher morphology what enables the plant to capture a leaf litter from the canopy above. We showed that the plant benefits from nitrogen uptake by increased rate of photosynthesis and growth what may provide competitive advantage over others co-habiting plants. A possible impact of such specialization toward hybridization, an important mechanism in speciation, is discussed.

  13. Congestion Control in the Internet by Employing a Ratio dependent Plant Herbivore Carnivorous Model

    CERN Document Server

    Jamali, Shahram

    2009-01-01

    The demand for Internet based services has exploded over the last decade. Many organizations use the Internet and particularly the World Wide Web as their primary medium for communication and business. This phenomenal growth has dramatically increased the performance requirements for the Internet. To have a high performance Internet, a good congestion control system is essential for it. The current work proposes that the congestion control in the Internet can be inspired from the population control tactics of the nature. Toward this idea, each flow (W) in the network is viewed as a species whose population size is congestion window size of the flow. By this assumption, congestion control problem is redefined as population control of flow species. This paper defines a three trophic food chain analogy in congestion control area, and gives a ratio dependent model to control population size of W species within this plant herbivore carnivorous food chain. Simulation results show that this model achieves fair bandw...

  14. Balancing of protein and lipid intake by a mammalian carnivore, the mink, Mustela vison

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayntz, David; Nielsen, Vivi Hunnicke; Sørensen, Allan;

    2009-01-01

    mink and found a pronounced ability to balance and regulate intake of protein and lipid. When faced with one of several different pairings of complementary foods varying in protein to lipid composition, mink apportioned intake between the two foods to defend a near constant ratio and amount (intake...... target) of the two macronutrients. When given only one food of fixed nutrient composition, mink balanced macronutrient intake relative to the intake target, without showing the excessive energy intake on diets with a low percentage of protein and energy deficit on diets with a high percentage of protein......Many herbivores and omnivores can balance their intake of macronutrients when faced with nutritionally variable environments. Carnivores, however, are widely believed to optimize their rates of prey capture and energy intake rather than balancing nutrients. We tested nutrient balancing in captive...

  15. The ecology of large carnivores in the highlands of northern Ethiopia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yirga, Gidey; De Iongh, Hans H.; Leirs, Herwig;

    2013-01-01

    to hyaena, leopard and jackal predation over the past 5 years. This loss equated to a total financial loss of U.S.$ 50,381. Livestock predation incidents of spotted hyaena, leopard and jackal demonstrated that spotted hyaena had a preference for dog, donkey, goat and sheep; leopard for goat, dog and sheep......The degradation and fragmentation of the northern Ethiopian highlands has resulted in frequent encounters of large carnivores with humans and their livestock. We interviewed 500 randomly selected households to estimate economic impact of livestock predation by spotted hyaena (Crocuta crocuta......; and jackal for goat and sheep. Livestock predation of spotted hyaena and leopard were mainly during the night. We conclude that assessing depredation problems is important to develop actions for management of either livestock practices or wildlife conservation....

  16. Spontaneous firings of carnivorous aquatic Utricularia traps: temporal patterns and mechanical oscillations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Vincent

    Full Text Available Aquatic species of Utricularia are carnivorous plants living in environments poor in nutrients. Their trapping mechanism has fascinated generations of scientists and is still debated today. It was reported recently that Utricularia traps can fire spontaneously. We show here that these spontaneous firings follow an unexpected diversity of temporal patterns, from "metronomic" traps which fire at fixed time intervals to "random" patterns, displaying more scattered firing times. Some "bursting" traps even combine both aspects, with groups of fast regular firings separated by a variable amount of time. We propose a physical model to understand these very particular behaviors, showing that a trap of Utricularia accomplishes mechanical oscillations, based on continuous pumping and sudden opening of the trap door (buckling. We isolate the key parameters governing these oscillations and discuss the effect of their fluctuations.

  17. Selection for adaptation to dietary shifts: towards sustainable breeding of carnivorous fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Le Boucher

    Full Text Available Genetic adaptation to dietary environments is a key process in the evolution of natural populations and is of great interest in animal breeding. In fish farming, the use of fish meal and fish oil has been widely challenged, leading to the rapidly increasing use of plant-based products in feed. However, high substitution rates impair fish health and growth in carnivorous species. We demonstrated that survival rate, mean body weight and biomass can be improved in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss after a single generation of selection for the ability to adapt to a totally plant-based diet (15.1%, 35.3% and 54.4%, respectively. Individual variability in the ability to adapt to major diet changes can be effectively used to promote fish welfare and a more sustainable aquaculture.

  18. Helminths of foxes and other wild carnivores from rural areas in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papdopoulos, H; Himonas, C; Papazahariadou, M; Antoniadou-Sotiriadou, K

    1997-09-01

    Twenty species of helminth parasites were identified from fox, wolf, jackal and wild cat material collected in Greece. Of the 314 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) examined, 18 helminth species were recovered comprising one trematode, eight cestodes, seven nematodes and two acanthocephalans, with the cestode species Mesocestoides sp. (73.2%), Joyeuxiella echinorhynchoides (24.5%) and the nematode species Uncinaria stenocephala (43.9%), and Toxara canis (28.6%) being the most prevalent. Five cestode and three nematode species were reported from six wolves (CaniS lupus), together with one trematode, three cestode and four nematode species from five jackals (Canis aureus) and two cestode and three nematode species from four wild cats (Felis silvestris) examined. The species J. echinorhynchoides, Taenia crassiceps and Onicola canis and the genera Spirometra, Rictularia and Pachysentis are reported here for the first time in Greece. The results are discussed in the light of the feeding characteristics of wild carnivores in rural areas of Greece. PMID:9705680

  19. Structural habitat predicts functional dispersal habitat of a large carnivore: how leopards change spots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattebert, Julien; Robinson, Hugh S; Balme, Guy; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-10-01

    Natal dispersal promotes inter-population linkage, and is key to spatial distribution of populations. Degradation of suitable landscape structures beyond the specific threshold of an individual's ability to disperse can therefore lead to disruption of functional landscape connectivity and impact metapopulation function. Because it ignores behavioral responses of individuals, structural connectivity is easier to assess than functional connectivity and is often used as a surrogate for landscape connectivity modeling. However using structural resource selection models as surrogate for modeling functional connectivity through dispersal could be erroneous. We tested how well a second-order resource selection function (RSF) models (structural connectivity), based on GPS telemetry data from resident adult leopard (Panthera pardus L.), could predict subadult habitat use during dispersal (functional connectivity). We created eight non-exclusive subsets of the subadult data based on differing definitions of dispersal to assess the predictive ability of our adult-based RSF model extrapolated over a broader landscape. Dispersing leopards used habitats in accordance with adult selection patterns, regardless of the definition of dispersal considered. We demonstrate that, for a wide-ranging apex carnivore, functional connectivity through natal dispersal corresponds to structural connectivity as modeled by a second-order RSF. Mapping of the adult-based habitat classes provides direct visualization of the potential linkages between populations, without the need to model paths between a priori starting and destination points. The use of such landscape scale RSFs may provide insight into predicting suitable dispersal habitat peninsulas in human-dominated landscapes where mitigation of human-wildlife conflict should be focused. We recommend the use of second-order RSFs for landscape conservation planning and propose a similar approach to the conservation of other wide-ranging large

  20. Technical Note: Silica stable isotopes and silicification in a carnivorous sponge \\textit{Asbestopluma} sp.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. R. Hendry

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The stable isotope composition of benthic sponge spicule silica is a potential source of palaeoceanographic information about past deep seawater chemistry. The silicon isotopic composition of spicules has been shown to relate to the silicic acid concentration of ambient water, although existing calibrations do exhibit a degree of scatter in the relationship. Less is known about how the oxygen isotope composition of sponge spicule silica relates to environmental conditions during growth. Here, we investigate the biological vital effects on silica silicon and oxygen isotope composition in a carnivorous sponge, Asbestopluma sp., from the Southern Ocean. We find significant variations in silicon and oxygen isotopic composition within the specimen that appear related to unusual spicule silicification. The largest variation in both isotope systems was associated to the differential distribution of an unconventional, hypersilicified spicule type (desma along the sponge body. The absence of an internal canal in the desmas suggests an unconventional silicification pattern leading to an unusually heavy isotopic signature. Additional internal variability derives from a systematic offset between the peripheral skeleton of the body having systematically a higher isotopic composition than the internal skeleton. A simplified silicon isotope fractionation model, in which desmas were excluded, suggests that the lack of a system for seawater pumping in carnivorous sponges favours a low replenishment of dissolved silicon within the internal tissues, causing kinetic fractionation during silicification that impacts the isotopic signature of the internal skeleton. Analysis of multiple spicules should be carried out to "average out" any artefacts in order to produce more robust downcore measurements.

  1. Conservation endocrinology: A noninvasive tool to understand relationships between carnivore colonization and ecological carrying capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, J.; Testa, J.W.; Roffe, T.; Monfort, S.L.

    1999-01-01

    Reproductive technology, especially the diagnosis of pregnancy by radioimmunoassay of fecal steroid metabolites, is an important component of captive propagation, but its role in our understanding of ecological interactions and in situ biological restoration has been more limited. Where large herbivores have been 'released' from predation by the extirpation of carnivores, controversy often exists about possible detrimental effects at the ecosystem level A related concern is that the reestablishment of large carnivores may decrease the availability of prey populations for human subsistence. We suggest that pregnancy assays can be a valuable tool to help distinguish between the roles of predation versus food-imposed limitations on population size and their effects on juvenile recruitment in wild species. We explored this issue through analyses of fecal progestagen concentration (FPC) levels to document pregnancy in moose (Alces alces) in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a site where wolves (Canis lupus) and grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) are recolonizing former habitats after an absence of more than 60 years. Pregnancy was clearly discernible (mean FPC for pregnant and nonpregnant females, respectively: 10.60 vs. 2.57 ??g/g; p animals. With these issues accounted for, the local moose population experienced juvenile survival rates among the highest in North America. Pregnancy rates, however, dropped from 90% in 1966 to about 75% today, rendering them in the lowest fifteenth percentile among moose populations in North America. Our findings suggest that a relatively low frequency of juvenile moose is not the likely result of predation, and they illustrate how endocrinology can be applied to issues involving reproductive events within an ecological context. They also affirm that noninvasive and generally inexpensive endocrinological procedures will be applicable to understanding interactions between recolonizing predators and prey, an issue that will continue to

  2. Human-carnivore conflict in China: a review of current approaches with recommendations for improved management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettigrew, Melissa; Xie, Yan; Kang, Aili; Rao, Madhu; Goodrich, John; Liu, Tong; Berger, Joshua

    2012-06-01

    Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a conservation concern that increasingly threatens the continued existence of some of the world's most endangered species. With an increase in human population, urban sprawl and subsequent encroachment on wild land, human and wildlife interaction has become inevitable. In the majority of cases, this interaction results in a negative outcome for humans, wildlife or both. In China, these key elements, along with a decrease in wild prey species, have resulted in the expansion of HWC encounters, and the need for alleviating this conflict has become a conservation priority. Loss of human life, livestock and/or crops is most often the catalysts that fuel HWC. Techniques to alleviate conflict around the world have included preventative measures and mitigation techniques, such as financial compensation and other incentive programs. Both types of measures have had variable success. We review the current status of human-carnivore conflict management in China, and, drawing lessons from around the globe, we make recommendations for improving conservation management in China. For example, an increase in law enforcement in nature reserves is vital to reducing human disturbance in prime carnivore habitat, thereby reducing conflict encounters. Also, modifications to current wildlife compensation programs, so that they are linked with preventative measures, will ensure that moral hazards are avoided. Furthermore, investigating the potential for a community self-financed insurance scheme to fund compensation and increasing efforts to restore wild prey populations will improve the outcome for wildlife conservation. Ultimately, HWC management in China will greatly benefit from an integrative approach.

  3. Carnivore translocations and conservation: insights from population models and field data for fishers (Martes pennanti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Jeffrey C; Powell, Roger A; Zielinski, William J

    2012-01-01

    Translocations are frequently used to restore extirpated carnivore populations. Understanding the factors that influence translocation success is important because carnivore translocations can be time consuming, expensive, and controversial. Using population viability software, we modeled reintroductions of the fisher, a candidate for endangered or threatened status in the Pacific states of the US. Our model predicts that the most important factor influencing successful re-establishment of a fisher population is the number of adult females reintroduced (provided some males are also released). Data from 38 translocations of fishers in North America, including 30 reintroductions, 5 augmentations and 3 introductions, show that the number of females released was, indeed, a good predictor of success but that the number of males released, geographic region and proximity of the source population to the release site were also important predictors. The contradiction between model and data regarding males may relate to the assumption in the model that all males are equally good breeders. We hypothesize that many males may need to be released to insure a sufficient number of good breeders are included, probably large males. Seventy-seven percent of reintroductions with known outcomes (success or failure) succeeded; all 5 augmentations succeeded; but none of the 3 introductions succeeded. Reintroductions were instrumental in reestablishing fisher populations within their historical range and expanding the range from its most-contracted state (43% of the historical range) to its current state (68% of the historical range). To increase the likelihood of translocation success, we recommend that managers: 1) release as many fishers as possible, 2) release more females than males (55-60% females) when possible, 3) release as many adults as possible, especially large males, 4) release fishers from a nearby source population, 5) conduct a formal feasibility assessment, and 6) develop

  4. Serologic evidence of canine parvovirus in domestic dogs, wild carnivores, and marsupials in the Argentinean Chaco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orozco, María Marcela; Miccio, Luciano; Enriquez, Gustavo Fabián; Iribarren, Fabián Eduardo; Gürtler, Ricardo Esteban

    2014-09-01

    The transmission of pathogens between domestic dogs and generalist wildlife species may be modified by environmental degradation, biodiversity losses, host densities, and increased contact rates in remnant forest patches. A serologic survey of canine parvovirus (CPV) in rural domestic dogs and wild mammals was conducted in two neighboring rural areas (disturbed and protected) from Pampa del Indio, northeastern Argentina, between 2008 and 2011. A total of 174 domestic dogs and 26 wild mammals-4 crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous), 3 crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus), 17 white-eared opossums (Didelphis albiventris), and 2 gray four-eyed opossums (Philander opossum)-were examined for antibodies to CPV using a hemagglutination inhibition assay. Domestic dogs were numerous and their movements unrestricted. The main function of dogs differed significantly between areas, with more dogs used for herding or hunting around the protected area. The seroprevalence of antibodies to CPV in dogs from both areas was very high (93.9-94.6%) and increased steeply with age. Nearly all carnivores and marsupials showed high exposure to CPV. Although a higher exposure to CPV was expected in wild mammals from disturbed areas as a result of enhanced contact between dogs and wildlife, no significant differences were found between areas. To the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to document exposure to CPV of free-ranging Pr. cancrivorus, D. albiventris, and Ph. opossum, and include a detailed demographic study of the domestic dog populations living in the area. This study highlights that dogs and wildlife have potential opportunities for contact and shows that the edges of the protected area may be as suitable as other fragmented areas for the transmission of CPV. Rural domestic dogs may pose serious threats to the health and conservation of wild carnivores in both disturbed and protected areas, especially in the Gran Chaco, where habitat fragmentation is severely

  5. Consumption of benthic fauna by carnivorous birds in the Wadden Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheiffarth, G.; Nehls, G.

    1997-12-01

    Consumption by carnivorous birds was estimated for the Sylt-Rømø tidal inlet in the northern part of the Wadden Sea, as well as the subarea Königshafen, a small, tidal bay. The bird community of the Sylt-Rømø Wadden Sea was dominated by Dunlin (35% of all birds counted), Eider (9%), Oystercatcher (8%), Knot (8%), and Shelduck (7%). The community in the Königshafen was dominated by Eider (20%), Knot (17%), Bar-tailed Godwit (17%), Dunlin (13%), and Oystercatcher (8%). Annual consumption was estimated at 3.4 g AFDW · m-2 · year-1 for the entire Sylt-Rømø Wadden Sea and 19.2 g AFDW · m-2 · year-1 for the Königshafen. Restricting the calculations to the intertidal area resulted in a consumption of 8.7 g AFDW · m-2 · year-1 for the Sylt-Rømø Wadden Sea and 17.6 g AFDW · m-2 · year-1 for the Königshafen. In the two areas, consumption was dominated by the Eider with 37% and 60% of the total consumption, respectively. In comparison to the western parts of the Wadden Sea the seasonal pattern of consumption as well as species composition differed, most probably as an effect of different climatic conditions, whereas annual consumption on intertidal flats seems to be in the same order of magnitude. On average, 15 25% of the mean annual macrozoobenthic biomass seems to be taken by carnivorous birds in the Wadden Sea, which is in the same order of magnitude as in other northern temperate estuarine areas.

  6. The first sequenced carnivore genome shows complex host-endogenous retrovirus relationships.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Álvaro Martínez Barrio

    Full Text Available Host-retrovirus interactions influence the genomic landscape and have contributed substantially to mammalian genome evolution. To gain further insights, we analyzed a female boxer (Canis familiaris genome for complexity and integration pattern of canine endogenous retroviruses (CfERV. Intriguingly, the first such in-depth analysis of a carnivore species identified 407 CfERV proviruses that represent only 0.15% of the dog genome. In comparison, the same detection criteria identified about six times more HERV proviruses in the human genome that has been estimated to contain a total of 8% retroviral DNA including solitary LTRs. These observed differences in man and dog are likely due to different mechanisms to purge, restrict and protect their genomes against retroviruses. A novel group of gammaretrovirus-like CfERV with high similarity to HERV-Fc1 was found to have potential for active retrotransposition and possibly lateral transmissions between dog and human as a result of close interactions during at least 10.000 years. The CfERV integration landscape showed a non-uniform intra- and inter-chromosomal distribution. Like in other species, different densities of ERVs were observed. Some chromosomal regions were essentially devoid of CfERVs whereas other regions had large numbers of integrations in agreement with distinct selective pressures at different loci. Most CfERVs were integrated in antisense orientation within 100 kb from annotated protein-coding genes. This integration pattern provides evidence for selection against CfERVs in sense orientation relative to chromosomal genes. In conclusion, this ERV analysis of the first carnivorous species supports the notion that different mammals interact distinctively with endogenous retroviruses and suggests that retroviral lateral transmissions between dog and human may have occurred.

  7. Carnivores from the Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation (13-12 Ma, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pickford, M.

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The late Middle Miocene Ngorora Formation has yielded several interesting carnivore fossils. Among these are a huge creodont, Megistotherium osteothlastes, at 12 Ma, possibly the youngest record of the species, an amphicyonid, two species of mustelids (an otter and a honey badger, two kinds of viverrids (one about the size of a civet, one the size of a genet and an extremely small herpestid the size of a dwarf mongoose. It has also yielded remains of a moderate sized percrocutid. Perhaps the most interesting carnivore is a new genus and species of bundont viverrid that is intermediate in size and morphology between Early Miocene Orangictis on the one hand and Plio-Pleistocene Pseudocivetta on the other. This lineage of bundont viverrids appears to have been restricted to Africa.La Formación Mioceno medio final de Ngorora (Kenia ha suministrado carnívoros muy interesantes. Entre los que se encuentran un enorme creodonto, Megistotherium osteothlastes, de 12 Ma, que posiblemente es el registro más moderno de la especie, un amphicyonido, dos especies de mustélidos (una nutria y un melivorino, dos diferentes tipos de vivérridos (uno de la talla de una civeta y el otro de la de una jineta y un herpéstido diminuto de la talla de una mangosta enana. También hay fósiles de un percrocútido de talla moderada. Tal vez el carnívoro más interesante es un nuevo género y especie de vivérrido bunodonto que presenta una talla y morfología intermedia entre Oragictis del Mioceno inferior y Pseudocivetta del Plio-Pleistoceno. Esta línea de vivérridos bunodontos parece estar restringida a Africa.

  8. Human-carnivore conflict in China: a review of current approaches with recommendations for improved management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettigrew, Melissa; Xie, Yan; Kang, Aili; Rao, Madhu; Goodrich, John; Liu, Tong; Berger, Joshua

    2012-06-01

    Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a conservation concern that increasingly threatens the continued existence of some of the world's most endangered species. With an increase in human population, urban sprawl and subsequent encroachment on wild land, human and wildlife interaction has become inevitable. In the majority of cases, this interaction results in a negative outcome for humans, wildlife or both. In China, these key elements, along with a decrease in wild prey species, have resulted in the expansion of HWC encounters, and the need for alleviating this conflict has become a conservation priority. Loss of human life, livestock and/or crops is most often the catalysts that fuel HWC. Techniques to alleviate conflict around the world have included preventative measures and mitigation techniques, such as financial compensation and other incentive programs. Both types of measures have had variable success. We review the current status of human-carnivore conflict management in China, and, drawing lessons from around the globe, we make recommendations for improving conservation management in China. For example, an increase in law enforcement in nature reserves is vital to reducing human disturbance in prime carnivore habitat, thereby reducing conflict encounters. Also, modifications to current wildlife compensation programs, so that they are linked with preventative measures, will ensure that moral hazards are avoided. Furthermore, investigating the potential for a community self-financed insurance scheme to fund compensation and increasing efforts to restore wild prey populations will improve the outcome for wildlife conservation. Ultimately, HWC management in China will greatly benefit from an integrative approach. PMID:22691204

  9. Occurrence of oral diseases in neotropical wild carnivores kept in captivity at the zoo from Federal University of Mato Grosso – Cuiabá

    OpenAIRE

    Paula Márcia Marques de Campos Andrade; Thais Oliveira Morgado; Paulo Ricardo Mallmann; Paulo Roberto Spiller; Lianna Ghisi Gomes; Matias Bassinello Stocco; Andresa de Cássia Martini; Deise Cristine Schroder; Sandra Helena Ramiro Correa; Roberto Lopes Souza

    2015-01-01

    Control of oral lesions contributes directly to the health, survival and welfare of captive animals. In order to investigate the occurrence of oral diseases in neotropical wild carnivores kept at the zoo at the Federal University of Mato Grosso – Cuiabá, we evaluated 31 oral cavities from three families of carnivores (Felidae, Canidae and Procyonidae) between July 2012 and June 2013. Twelve coatis (Nasua nasua), three raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus), two maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus), s...

  10. Predatory behaviour of carnivorous dinosaurs: Ecological interpretations based on tooth marked dinosaur bones and wear patterns of theropod teeth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    Predation marks on bones are a source on information on the feeding behaviour of the carnivores involved. Although predator damaged bone is common in the fossil record, published reports of such marks on dinosaur bones are rare. Patterns of bone modification by mammalian carnivores overlap patterns...... left by theropod dinosaurs.Differences in tooth morphology can also be correlated with characteristics of the marks left by the teeth. In a study of tooth marks on dinosaur bones from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, it was possible to identify the feeding theropods to family, generic...... different taxa and different skeletal elements produced some interesting results. The frequency of tooth marked dinosaur bones is higher than expected. Up to 14 % of the observed hadrosaur bones were predator damaged. The lower incidence of damage in ceratopsian bones can be explained by the fact...

  11. Venus Flytrap HKT1-Type Channel Provides for Prey Sodium Uptake into Carnivorous Plant Without Conflicting with Electrical Excitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, J.; Scherzer, S.; Shabala, S.; Krol, E.; Neher, E.; Mueller, T.D.; Hedrich, R.

    2016-01-01

    The animal diet of the carnivorous Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, contains a sodium load that enters the capture organ via an HKT1-type sodium channel, expressed in special epithelia cells on the inner trap lobe surface. DmHKT1 expression and sodium uptake activity is induced upon prey contact. Here, we analyzed the HKT1 properties required for prey sodium osmolyte management of carnivorous Dionaea. Analyses were based on homology modeling, generation of model-derived point mutants, and their functional testing in Xenopus oocytes. We showed that the wild-type HKT1 and its Na+- and K+-permeable mutants function as ion channels rather than K+ transporters driven by proton or sodium gradients. These structural and biophysical features of a high-capacity, Na+-selective ion channel enable Dionaea glands to manage prey-derived sodium loads without confounding the action potential-based information management of the flytrap. PMID:26455461

  12. Red trap colour of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foot, G; Rice, S P; Millett, J

    2014-01-01

    The traps of many carnivorous plants are red in colour. This has been widely hypothesized to serve a prey attraction function; colour has also been hypothesized to function as camouflage, preventing prey avoidance. We tested these two hypotheses in situ for the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia. We conducted three separate studies: (i) prey attraction to artificial traps to isolate the influence of colour; (ii) prey attraction to artificial traps on artificial backgrounds to control the degree of contrast and (iii) observation of prey capture by D. rotundifolia to determine the effects of colour on prey capture. Prey were not attracted to green traps and were deterred from red traps. There was no evidence that camouflaged traps caught more prey. For D. rotundifolia, there was a relationship between trap colour and prey capture. However, trap colour may be confounded with other leaf traits. Thus, we conclude that for D. rotundifolia, red trap colour does not serve a prey attraction or camouflage function. PMID:24740904

  13. Venus Flytrap HKT1-Type Channel Provides for Prey Sodium Uptake into Carnivorous Plant Without Conflicting with Electrical Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, J; Scherzer, S; Shabala, S; Krol, E; Neher, E; Mueller, T D; Hedrich, R

    2016-03-01

    The animal diet of the carnivorous Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, contains a sodium load that enters the capture organ via an HKT1-type sodium channel, expressed in special epithelia cells on the inner trap lobe surface. DmHKT1 expression and sodium uptake activity is induced upon prey contact. Here, we analyzed the HKT1 properties required for prey sodium osmolyte management of carnivorous Dionaea. Analyses were based on homology modeling, generation of model-derived point mutants, and their functional testing in Xenopus oocytes. We showed that the wild-type HKT1 and its Na(+)- and K(+)-permeable mutants function as ion channels rather than K(+) transporters driven by proton or sodium gradients. These structural and biophysical features of a high-capacity, Na(+)-selective ion channel enable Dionaea glands to manage prey-derived sodium loads without confounding the action potential-based information management of the flytrap.

  14. Venus Flytrap HKT1-Type Channel Provides for Prey Sodium Uptake into Carnivorous Plant Without Conflicting with Electrical Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Böhm, J; Scherzer, S; Shabala, S; Krol, E; Neher, E; Mueller, T D; Hedrich, R

    2016-03-01

    The animal diet of the carnivorous Venus flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, contains a sodium load that enters the capture organ via an HKT1-type sodium channel, expressed in special epithelia cells on the inner trap lobe surface. DmHKT1 expression and sodium uptake activity is induced upon prey contact. Here, we analyzed the HKT1 properties required for prey sodium osmolyte management of carnivorous Dionaea. Analyses were based on homology modeling, generation of model-derived point mutants, and their functional testing in Xenopus oocytes. We showed that the wild-type HKT1 and its Na(+)- and K(+)-permeable mutants function as ion channels rather than K(+) transporters driven by proton or sodium gradients. These structural and biophysical features of a high-capacity, Na(+)-selective ion channel enable Dionaea glands to manage prey-derived sodium loads without confounding the action potential-based information management of the flytrap. PMID:26455461

  15. Echinococcus in the wild carnivores and stray dogs of northern Tunisia: the results of a pilot survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahmar, S; Boufana, B S; Lahmar, S; Inoubli, S; Guadraoui, M; Dhibi, M; Bradshaw, H; Craig, P S

    2009-06-01

    Echinococcus granulosus is endemic throughout Tunisia and E. multilocularis has previously been reported as the cause of two cases of human alveolar echinococcosis in the north-west of the country. The aim of the present study was to screen wild carnivores from the north-western Jendouba governorate and semi-stray dogs from the Siliana and Sejnane regions of northern Tunisia for these two zoonotic cestodes. The results of the coproscopy, coproELISA and coproPCR that were undertaken were compared with those of necropsy, where possible. Overall, 111 faecal samples (51 from wild carnivores and 60 from stray dogs) were tested by coproELISA for Echinococcus antigen and by coproPCR for E. granulosus and E. multilocularis species-specific DNA. All 60 dogs and seven of the wild carnivores were necropsied. Eleven (18.4%) of the dogs and one golden jackal (Canis aureus) were found positive for E. granulosus at necropsy. The jackal was found to be carrying 72 E. granulosus tapeworms, which were confirmed to be of the common sheep-dog (G1) genotype. Faecal samples from 10 (19.6%) of the wild carnivores--putatively, four golden jackals, two red foxes (Vulpes vulpes atlantica), one hyaena (Hyaena hyaena) and three genets (Genetta genetta)--gave a positive result in the Echinococcus coproELISA. In the coproPCR-based follow-up, E. granulosus DNA was detected in faecal samples from five jackals, two foxes and six stray dogs. The DNA of E. multilocularis was not, however, detected in any of the faecal samples investigated. This is the first report from Tunisia of (coproPCR-)confirmed E. granulosus infections in golden jackals and red foxes. The possible role of such wild hosts in the transmission of E. granulosus in Tunisia should be investigated further. The possibility of the active transmission of E. multilocularis in Tunisia still remains an open question. PMID:19508750

  16. Molecular, Biochemical, and Dietary Regulation Features of α-Amylase in a Carnivorous Crustacean, the Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martos-Sitcha, Juan Antonio; Perdomo-Morales, Rolando; Casuso, Antonio; Montero-Alejo, Vivian; García-Galano, Tsai; Martínez-Rodríguez, Gonzalo; Mancera, Juan Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Alpha-amylases are ubiquitously distributed throughout microbials, plants and animals. It is widely accepted that omnivorous crustaceans have higher α-amylase activity and number of isoforms than carnivorous, but contradictory results have been obtained in some species, and carnivorous crustaceans have been less studied. In addition, the physiological meaning of α-amylase polymorphism in crustaceans is not well understood. In this work we studied α-amylase in a carnivorous lobster at the gene, transcript, and protein levels. It was showed that α-amylase isoenzyme composition (i.e., phenotype) in lobster determines carbohydrate digestion efficiency. Most frequent α-amylase phenotype has the lowest digestion efficiency, suggesting this is a favoured trait. We revealed that gene and intron loss have occurred in lobster α-amylase, thus lobsters express a single 1830 bp cDNA encoding a highly conserved protein with 513 amino acids. This protein gives rise to two isoenzymes in some individuals by glycosylation but not by limited proteolysis. Only the glycosylated isoenzyme could be purified by chromatography, with biochemical features similar to other animal amylases. High carbohydrate content in diet down-regulates α-amylase gene expression in lobster. However, high α-amylase activity occurs in lobster gastric juice irrespective of diet and was proposed to function as an early sensor of the carbohydrate content of diet to regulate further gene expression. We concluded that gene/isoenzyme simplicity, post-translational modifications and low Km, coupled with a tight regulation of gene expression, have arose during evolution of α-amylase in the carnivorous lobster to control excessive carbohydrate digestion in the presence of an active α-amylase. PMID:27391425

  17. Evolutionary Histories of Transposable Elements in the Genome of the Largest Living Marsupial Carnivore, the Tasmanian Devil

    OpenAIRE

    Gallus, Susanne; Hallström, Björn M.; Kumar, Vikas; Dodt, William G; Janke, Axel; Schumann, Gerald G.; Nilsson, Maria A.

    2015-01-01

    The largest living carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), is the sole survivor of a lineage originating about 12 Ma. We set out to investigate the spectrum of transposable elements found in the Tasmanian devil genome, the first high-coverage genome of an Australian marsupial. Marsupial genomes have been shown to have the highest amount of transposable elements among vertebrates. We analyzed the horizontally transmitted DNA transposons OC1 and hAT-1_MEu in the Tasma...

  18. Molecular, Biochemical, and Dietary Regulation Features of α-Amylase in a Carnivorous Crustacean, the Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Viera, Leandro; Perera, Erick; Martos-Sitcha, Juan Antonio; Perdomo-Morales, Rolando; Casuso, Antonio; Montero-Alejo, Vivian; García-Galano, Tsai; Martínez-Rodríguez, Gonzalo; Mancera, Juan Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Alpha-amylases are ubiquitously distributed throughout microbials, plants and animals. It is widely accepted that omnivorous crustaceans have higher α-amylase activity and number of isoforms than carnivorous, but contradictory results have been obtained in some species, and carnivorous crustaceans have been less studied. In addition, the physiological meaning of α-amylase polymorphism in crustaceans is not well understood. In this work we studied α-amylase in a carnivorous lobster at the gene, transcript, and protein levels. It was showed that α-amylase isoenzyme composition (i.e., phenotype) in lobster determines carbohydrate digestion efficiency. Most frequent α-amylase phenotype has the lowest digestion efficiency, suggesting this is a favoured trait. We revealed that gene and intron loss have occurred in lobster α-amylase, thus lobsters express a single 1830 bp cDNA encoding a highly conserved protein with 513 amino acids. This protein gives rise to two isoenzymes in some individuals by glycosylation but not by limited proteolysis. Only the glycosylated isoenzyme could be purified by chromatography, with biochemical features similar to other animal amylases. High carbohydrate content in diet down-regulates α-amylase gene expression in lobster. However, high α-amylase activity occurs in lobster gastric juice irrespective of diet and was proposed to function as an early sensor of the carbohydrate content of diet to regulate further gene expression. We concluded that gene/isoenzyme simplicity, post-translational modifications and low Km, coupled with a tight regulation of gene expression, have arose during evolution of α-amylase in the carnivorous lobster to control excessive carbohydrate digestion in the presence of an active α-amylase. PMID:27391425

  19. Molecular, Biochemical, and Dietary Regulation Features of α-Amylase in a Carnivorous Crustacean, the Spiny Lobster Panulirus argus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Rodríguez-Viera

    Full Text Available Alpha-amylases are ubiquitously distributed throughout microbials, plants and animals. It is widely accepted that omnivorous crustaceans have higher α-amylase activity and number of isoforms than carnivorous, but contradictory results have been obtained in some species, and carnivorous crustaceans have been less studied. In addition, the physiological meaning of α-amylase polymorphism in crustaceans is not well understood. In this work we studied α-amylase in a carnivorous lobster at the gene, transcript, and protein levels. It was showed that α-amylase isoenzyme composition (i.e., phenotype in lobster determines carbohydrate digestion efficiency. Most frequent α-amylase phenotype has the lowest digestion efficiency, suggesting this is a favoured trait. We revealed that gene and intron loss have occurred in lobster α-amylase, thus lobsters express a single 1830 bp cDNA encoding a highly conserved protein with 513 amino acids. This protein gives rise to two isoenzymes in some individuals by glycosylation but not by limited proteolysis. Only the glycosylated isoenzyme could be purified by chromatography, with biochemical features similar to other animal amylases. High carbohydrate content in diet down-regulates α-amylase gene expression in lobster. However, high α-amylase activity occurs in lobster gastric juice irrespective of diet and was proposed to function as an early sensor of the carbohydrate content of diet to regulate further gene expression. We concluded that gene/isoenzyme simplicity, post-translational modifications and low Km, coupled with a tight regulation of gene expression, have arose during evolution of α-amylase in the carnivorous lobster to control excessive carbohydrate digestion in the presence of an active α-amylase.

  20. Transcriptomics and molecular evolutionary rate analysis of the bladderwort (Utricularia), a carnivorous plant with a minimal genome

    OpenAIRE

    Herrera-Estrella Alfredo; Ortega-Estrada María de J; Zamudio-Hernández Flor; Albert Victor A; Pérez-Torres Claudia A; Ibarra-Laclette Enrique; Herrera-Estrella Luis

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background The carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba (bladderwort) is remarkable in having a minute genome, which at ca. 80 megabases is approximately half that of Arabidopsis. Bladderworts show an incredible diversity of forms surrounding a defined theme: tiny, bladder-like suction traps on terrestrial, epiphytic, or aquatic plants with a diversity of unusual vegetative forms. Utricularia plants, which are rootless, are also anomalous in physiological features (respiration and carbon ...

  1. The carnivore remains from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site(Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain)

    OpenAIRE

    Torres Pérez-Hidalgo, Trinidad José de

    1997-01-01

    Remains of carnivores from the Sima de los Huesos site representing at least 158 adult individuals of a primitive (i.e., not very speleoid) form of Ursus deningeri Von Reichenau 1906, have been recovered through the 1995 field season. These new finds extend our knowledge of this group in the Sierra de Atapuerca Middle Pleistocene. Material previously classified as Cuoninae indet. is now assigned to Canis lupus and a third metatarsal assigned in 1987 to Panthera cf. gombaszoe...

  2. A hypothetico-deductive approach to assessing the social function of chemical signalling in a non-territorial solitary carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Clapham

    Full Text Available The function of chemical signalling in non-territorial solitary carnivores is still relatively unclear. Studies on territorial solitary and social carnivores have highlighted odour capability and utility, however the social function of chemical signalling in wild carnivore populations operating dominance hierarchy social systems has received little attention. We monitored scent marking and investigatory behaviour of wild brown bears Ursus arctos, to test multiple hypotheses relating to the social function of chemical signalling. Camera traps were stationed facing bear 'marking trees' to document behaviour by different age sex classes in different seasons. We found evidence to support the hypothesis that adult males utilise chemical signalling to communicate dominance to other males throughout the non-denning period. Adult females did not appear to utilise marking trees to advertise oestrous state during the breeding season. The function of marking by subadult bears is somewhat unclear, but may be related to the behaviour of adult males. Subadults investigated trees more often than they scent marked during the breeding season, which could be a result of an increased risk from adult males. Females with young showed an increase in marking and investigation of trees outside of the breeding season. We propose the hypothesis that females engage their dependent young with marking trees from a young age, at a relatively 'safe' time of year. Memory, experience, and learning at a young age, may all contribute towards odour capabilities in adult bears.

  3. Isotopic Incorporation and the Effects of Fasting and Dietary Lipid Content on Isotopic Discrimination in Large Carnivorous Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, K D; Stricker, C A; Erlenbach, J; Robbins, C T; Cherry, S G; Newsome, S D; Cutting, A; Jensen, S; Stenhouse, G; Brooks, M; Hash, A; Nicassio, N

    2016-01-01

    There has been considerable emphasis on understanding isotopic discrimination for diet estimation in omnivores. However, discrimination may differ for carnivores, particularly species that consume lipid-rich diets. Here, we examined the potential implications of several factors when using stable isotopes to estimate the diets of bears, which can consume lipid-rich diets and, alternatively, fast for weeks to months. We conducted feeding trials with captive brown bears (Ursus arctos) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). As dietary lipid content increased to ∼90%, we observed increasing differences between blood plasma and diets that had not been lipid extracted (∆(13)Ctissue-bulk diet) and slightly decreasing differences between plasma δ(13)C and lipid-extracted diet. Plasma Δ(15)Ntissue-bulk diet increased with increasing protein content for the four polar bears in this study and data for other mammals from previous studies that were fed purely carnivorous diets. Four adult and four yearling brown bears that fasted 120 d had plasma δ(15)N values that changed by carnivores has minimal effects on δ(13)C and δ(15)N discrimination between predators and their prey but that dietary lipid content is an important factor directly affecting δ(13)C discrimination and indirectly affecting δ(15)N discrimination via the inverse relationship with dietary protein content. PMID:27153128

  4. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Fleischmann

    Full Text Available A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1 the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2 a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3 the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided.

  5. Where Is My Food? Brazilian Flower Fly Steals Prey from Carnivorous Sundews in a Newly Discovered Plant-Animal Interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischmann, Andreas; Rivadavia, Fernando; Gonella, Paulo M; Pérez-Bañón, Celeste; Mengual, Ximo; Rojo, Santos

    2016-01-01

    A new interaction between insects and carnivorous plants is reported from Brazil. Larvae of the predatory flower fly Toxomerus basalis (Diptera: Syrphidae: Syrphinae) have been found scavenging on the sticky leaves of several carnivorous sundew species (Drosera, Droseraceae) in Minas Gerais and São Paulo states, SE Brazil. This syrphid apparently spends its whole larval stage feeding on prey trapped by Drosera leaves. The nature of this plant-animal relationship is discussed, as well as the Drosera species involved, and locations where T. basalis was observed. 180 years after the discovery of this flower fly species, its biology now has been revealed. This is (1) the first record of kleptoparasitism in the Syrphidae, (2) a new larval feeding mode for this family, and (3) the first report of a dipteran that shows a kleptoparasitic relationship with a carnivorous plant with adhesive flypaper traps. The first descriptions of the third instar larva and puparium of T. basalis based on Scanning Electron Microscope analysis are provided. PMID:27144980

  6. The competitor release effect applied to carnivore species: how red foxes can increase in numbers when persecuted

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lozano, J.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of our study was to numerically simulate the population dynamics of a hypothetical community of three species of small to medium–sized carnivores subjected to non–selective control within the context of the competitor release effect (CRE. We applied the CRE to three carnivore species, linking interspecific competition with predator control efforts. We predicted the population response of European badger, the red fox and the pine marten to this wildlife management tool by means of numerical simulations. The theoretical responses differed depending on the intrinsic rate of growth (r, although modulated by the competition coefficients. The red fox, showing the highest r value, can increase its populations despite predator control efforts if control intensity is moderate. Populations of the other two species, however, decreased with control efforts, even reaching extinction. Three additional theoretical predictions were obtained. The conclusions from the simulations were: 1 predator control can play a role in altering the carnivore communities; 2 red fox numbers can increase due to control; and 3 predator control programs should evaluate the potential of unintended effects on ecosystems.

  7. Persistence of canine distemper virus in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's carnivore community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almberg, E.S.; Cross, P.C.; Smith, D.W.

    2010-01-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) is an acute, highly immunizing pathogen that should require high densities and large populations of hosts for long-term persistence, yet CDV persists among terrestrial carnivores with small, patchily distributed groups. We used CDV in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem's (GYE) wolves (Canis lupus) and coyotes (Canis latrans) as a case study for exploring how metapopulation structure, host demographics, and multi-host transmission affect the critical community size and spatial scale required for CDV persistence. We illustrate how host spatial connectivity and demographic turnover interact to affect both local epidemic dynamics, such as the length and variation in inter-epidemic periods, and pathogen persistence using stochastic, spatially explicit susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered simulation models. Given the apparent absence of other known persistence mechanisms (e.g., a carrier or environmental state, densely populated host, chronic infection, or a vector), we suggest that CDV requires either large spatial scales or multi-host transmission for persistence. Current GYE wolf populations are probably too small to support endemic CDV. Coyotes are a plausible reservoir host, but CDV would still require 50 000-100 000 individuals for moderate persistence (>50% over 10 years), which would equate to an area of 1-3 times the size of the GYE (60000-200000 km2). Coyotes, and carnivores in general, are not uniformly distributed; therefore, this is probably a gross underestimate of the spatial scale of CDV persistence. However, the presence of a second competent host species can greatly increase the probability of long-term CDV persistence at much smaller spatial scales. Although no management of CDV is currently recommended for the GYE, wolf managers in the region should expect periodic but unpredictable CDV-related population declines as often as every 2-5 years. Awareness and monitoring of such outbreaks will allow corresponding

  8. Coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in carnivores and small mammals at Dhaka zoo, Bangladesh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.M.R.U. Raja

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A study on the coprological prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites using 94 faecal samples from different carnivores (n=32 and small mammals (n=15 was undertaken from January to May 2012 at Dhaka Zoo. The overall prevalence of parasitic infection was 78.72%, with a prevalence of 51.06% for helminths and 27.66% for protozoa. The identified parasites included—Toxascaris leonina (9.57%, Balantidium coli (25.53% Spirometra sp. (10.64%, Toxocara cati (12.76%, Hook worm (4.26%, unidentified strongyles (3.19%, Trichuris sp. (7.45%, Coccidia sp. (2.12%, Capillaria sp. (1.06%, Trichostrongylus sp. (1.06%, and Physaloptera sp. (1.06%. Mixed infection was observed in Indian Lion (Toxascaris leonina and Spirometra sp., Royal Bengal Tiger (Balantidium coli and Toxocara cati, Spotted Hyena (Balantidium coli and hook worm, Leopard (Balantidium coli and Spirometra/I> sp., Rhesus Macaque (Trichuris sp. and Coccidia sp., Pig-tailed Macaque (Balantidium coli and Trichuris sp., Hamadryas Baboon (Balantidium coli and Trichuris sp., Golden Mangabey (Trichuris sp., Balantidium coli and unidentified strongyles, Large Indian Civet (Balantidium coli and unidentified strongyles, Torior Dog (Balantidium coli and Physaloptera, Rabbit (Balantidium coli and Hook worm, Hanuman Langur (Balantidium coli and Capillaria sp.. Due to the high prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites, the present study suggests to apply control measures against these parasites in order to safeguard the health of housed wild animals, especially in case of threatened species.

  9. Stable isotopes reveal rail-associated behavior in a threatened carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, John B.; Whittington, Jesse; Clevenger, Anthony P.; Sawaya, Michael A.; St. Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Human–wildlife conflict is a leading cause of adult mortality for large carnivores worldwide. Train collision is the primary cause of mortality for threatened grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff National Park. We investigated the use of stable isotope analysis as a tool for identifying bears that use the railway in Banff. Rail-associated bears had higher δ15N and δ34S values than bears sampled away from the rail, but similar δ13C values. Because elevated δ15N values are indicative of higher animal protein consumption, rail-associated bears likely preyed on ungulates that foraged along the rail or scavenged on train-killed animals. The higher δ34S values in bear hair could have resulted from bears consuming sulfur pellets spilled on the rail or through the uptake of sulfur in the plants bears or animals consumed. Similar δ13C values suggest that the two types of bears had generally similar plant-based diets. Results from this study suggest that stable isotopes analysis could be used as a non-invasive, affordable, and efficient technique to identify and monitor bears that forage on the railway in Banff and potentially other transportation corridors worldwide. PMID:24936982

  10. Metatranscriptome analysis reveals host-microbiome interactions in traps of carnivorous Genlisea species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hieu X. Cao

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea a unique lobster pot trapping mechanism supplements nutrition in nutrient-poor habitats. A wide spectrum of microbes frequently occurs in Genlisea’s leaf-derived traps without clear relevance for Genlisea carnivory. We sequenced the metatranscriptomes of subterrestrial traps versus the aerial chlorophyll-containing leaves of G. nigrocaulis and of G. hispidula. Ribosomal RNA assignment revealed soil-borne microbial diversity in Genlisea traps, with 92 genera of 19 phyla present in more than one sample. Microbes from 16 of these phyla including proteobacteria, green algae, amoebozoa, fungi, ciliates and metazoans, contributed additionally short-lived mRNA to the metatranscriptome. Furthermore, transcripts of 438 members of hydrolases (e.g. proteases, phosphatases, lipases, mainly resembling those of metazoans, ciliates and green algae, were found. Compared to aerial leaves, Genlisea traps displayed a transcriptional up-regulation of endogenous NADH oxidases generating reactive oxygen species as well as of acid phosphatases for prey digestion. A leaf-versus-trap transcriptome comparison reflects that carnivory provides inorganic P- and different forms of N-compounds (ammonium, nitrate, amino acid, oligopeptides and implies the need to protect trap cells against oxidative stress. The analysis elucidates a complex food web inside the Genlisea traps, and suggests ecological relationships between this plant genus and its entrapped microbiome.

  11. Metatranscriptome analysis reveals host-microbiome interactions in traps of carnivorous Genlisea species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Hieu X; Schmutzer, Thomas; Scholz, Uwe; Pecinka, Ales; Schubert, Ingo; Vu, Giang T H

    2015-01-01

    In the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea a unique lobster pot trapping mechanism supplements nutrition in nutrient-poor habitats. A wide spectrum of microbes frequently occurs in Genlisea's leaf-derived traps without clear relevance for Genlisea carnivory. We sequenced the metatranscriptomes of subterrestrial traps vs. the aerial chlorophyll-containing leaves of G. nigrocaulis and of G. hispidula. Ribosomal RNA assignment revealed soil-borne microbial diversity in Genlisea traps, with 92 genera of 19 phyla present in more than one sample. Microbes from 16 of these phyla including proteobacteria, green algae, amoebozoa, fungi, ciliates and metazoans, contributed additionally short-lived mRNA to the metatranscriptome. Furthermore, transcripts of 438 members of hydrolases (e.g., proteases, phosphatases, lipases), mainly resembling those of metazoans, ciliates and green algae, were found. Compared to aerial leaves, Genlisea traps displayed a transcriptional up-regulation of endogenous NADH oxidases generating reactive oxygen species as well as of acid phosphatases for prey digestion. A leaf-vs.-trap transcriptome comparison reflects that carnivory provides inorganic P- and different forms of N-compounds (ammonium, nitrate, amino acid, oligopeptides) and implies the need to protect trap cells against oxidative stress. The analysis elucidates a complex food web inside the Genlisea traps, and suggests ecological relationships between this plant genus and its entrapped microbiome. PMID:26236284

  12. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and a sympatric widespread carnivore

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Figueiredo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes, in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina, and a protozoa (Balantidium coli were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species.

  13. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and a sympatric widespread carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueiredo, Ana; Oliveira, Lucia; Madeira de Carvalho, Luís; Fonseca, Carlos; Torres, Rita Tinoco

    2016-08-01

    Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes), in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from both species were collected monthly in several transects distributed throughout the study area. All samples were submitted to several coprological techniques. In total, 6 helminth parasites (Crenosoma vulpis, Angiostrongylus vasorum, Toxocara canis, Trichuris vulpis, Ancylostomatidae, Toxascaris leonina), and a protozoa (Balantidium coli) were identified based on size and morphology. The red fox was infected by seven different parasites while the Iberian wolf was infected by four. All parasites present in wolf were also present in the red fox. C. vulpis had the higher prevalence in red fox, while Ancylostomatidae were the most prevalent parasites in wolf. To our knowledge, this is the first study in this isolated subpopulation of the Iberian wolf. Our results show that both carnivores carry parasites that are of concern as they are pathogenic to humans and other wild and domestic animals. We suggest that surveillance programs must also include monitoring protocols of wildlife; particularly endangered species. PMID:27358768

  14. Evaluating the responses of a territorial solitary carnivore to potential mates and competitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Maximilian L; Yovovich, Veronica; Wilmers, Christopher C

    2016-06-02

    Successful communication is critical to the fitness of individuals and maintenance of populations, but less is known regarding the social contexts and reactions to scent marking by other individuals in solitary carnivores, including pumas. We evaluated the responses of resident male pumas to visitation and scent marking by potential competitors (other male pumas) and potential mates (female pumas) by capturing and marking 46 pumas (Puma concolor), and documenting scent marking behaviours using motion-triggered video cameras. By comparing resident male puma visitation rates and communication behaviours in response to either male or female visitors, we found that their visitation and communication behaviours were best explained by the combination of visitation by both competitors and potential mates. Resident males returned to scent marking sites more quickly and increased their rate of flehmen response after visitation by a females, while they increased their rate of visitation and duration of visits in response to other males. Male pumas also visited less frequently in summer and autumn when female visitation rates were lower, but males created nearly twice as many scrapes during these visits. This study suggests that advertising for mates when scent marking may sometimes overshadow the importance of deterring competitors and claiming territory.

  15. Morphology and histochemistry of the digestive tract in carnivorous freshwater Hemisorubim platyrhynchos (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faccioli, Claudemir Kuhn; Chedid, Renata Alari; do Amaral, Antônio Carlos; Franceschini Vicentini, Irene Bastos; Vicentini, Carlos Alberto

    2014-09-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the morphology and histochemistry of the digestive tract of Hemisorubim platyrhynchos, a freshwater carnivorous catfish found in Neotropical region, using gross anatomy, light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. This species presented a short and tubular esophagus with thick longitudinal folds. The esophageal mucosa was lined by stratified squamous epithelium containing epithelial cells, club cells and also numerous goblet cells, which secreted acidic and neutral mucins to protect and lubricate the epithelium. The stomach was a J-shaped saccular organ consisting of the cardiac, fundic and pyloric regions. The cardiac and fundic regions contained tubular gastric glands, whereas these glands were absent in the pyloric region. The gastric epithelial cells presented apical secretions that predominantly consisted of neutral mucins. The gastric musculature was, therefore, likely designed for retaining prey and the mechanical preparation of food. The intestine consisted of four regions: anterior, middle, posterior and rectal. The anterior intestine possessed thick folds to increase the surface area for absorption, the middle intestine was coiled and the posterior intestine presented thin folds and a thick musculature. The intestinal epithelium consisted mainly of enterocytes and goblet cells. Enterocytes were columnar cells with a PAS-positive brush border that contained lysosomes in the posterior intestine. Goblet cells were more numerous in the posterior intestine and secreted acidic and neutral mucins important for lubricating and protecting the epithelium. The rectum was lined by columnar epithelium with goblet cells and epithelial cells containing apical acidic and neutral mucins.

  16. Phytochemistry of the carnivorous sundew genus Drosera (Droseraceae) - future perspectives and ethnopharmacological relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Paul A; van der Kooy, Frank

    2013-10-01

    Species of the carnivorous genus Drosera L. have long been a source of valuable natural products. The various phytochemicals characteristic of these species, particularly 1,4-naphthoquinones and flavonoids, have contributed to the diverse utilization of sundews in traditional medicine systems worldwide. A growing number of studies have sought to investigate the comparative phytochemistry of Drosera species for improved sources of pharmaceutically important compounds. The outcomes of these studies are here collated, with emergent trends discussed in detail. Important factors which affect production of secondary metabolites in plants are critically examined, such as environmental influences and in vitro culture, and recommendations subsequently presented based on this. Explicitly, the current review aims to i) present an updated, comprehensive listing of the phytochemical constituents of the genus (including quantitative data where available), ii) summarize important factors which may influence the production of phytopharmaceuticals in plants, and iii) recommend guidelines for future research based on the above, including improved standardization and quality control. We have also included a section discussing future perspectives of research on Drosera spp. based on three different research lines i) the potential to produce much needed lead compounds for treatment of tuberculosis, ii) the potential role of anthocyanins in nitrogen transport, and iii) research into 'Natural Deep Eutectic' solvents produced by Drosera spp. in the droplets or 'dew' employed to capture insect prey. PMID:24130022

  17. Phenolic metabolites in carnivorous plants: Inter-specific comparison and physiological studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kováčik, Jozef; Klejdus, Bořivoj; Repčáková, Klára

    2012-03-01

    Despite intensive phytochemical research, data related to the accumulation of phenols in carnivorous plants include mainly qualitative reports. We have quantified phenolic metabolites in three species: Drosera capensis, Dionaea muscipula and Nepenthes anamensis in the "leaf" (assimilatory part) and the "trap" (digestive part). For comparison, commercial green tea was analysed. Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activities in Dionaea and Nepenthes were higher in the trap than in the leaf while the opposite was found in Drosera. Soluble phenols and majority of phenolic acids were mainly accumulated in the trap among species. Flavonoids were abundant in Drosera and Dionaea traps but not in Nepenthes. Phenolic acids were preferentially accumulated in a glycosidically-bound form and gallic acid was the main metabolite. Green tea contained more soluble phenols and phenolic acids but less quercetin. In vitro experiments with Drosera spathulata revealed that nitrogen deficiency enhances PAL activity, accumulation of phenols and sugars while PAL inhibitor (2-aminoindane-2-phosphonic acid) depleted phenols and some amino acids (but free phenylalanine and sugars were elevated). Possible explanations in physiological, biochemical and ecological context are discussed. PMID:22305064

  18. Centromere and telomere sequence alterations reflect the rapid genome evolution within the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Trung D; Cao, Hieu X; Jovtchev, Gabriele; Neumann, Pavel; Novák, Petr; Fojtová, Miloslava; Vu, Giang T H; Macas, Jiří; Fajkus, Jiří; Schubert, Ingo; Fuchs, Joerg

    2015-12-01

    Linear chromosomes of eukaryotic organisms invariably possess centromeres and telomeres to ensure proper chromosome segregation during nuclear divisions and to protect the chromosome ends from deterioration and fusion, respectively. While centromeric sequences may differ between species, with arrays of tandemly repeated sequences and retrotransposons being the most abundant sequence types in plant centromeres, telomeric sequences are usually highly conserved among plants and other organisms. The genome size of the carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) is highly variable. Here we study evolutionary sequence plasticity of these chromosomal domains at an intrageneric level. We show that Genlisea nigrocaulis (1C = 86 Mbp; 2n = 40) and G. hispidula (1C = 1550 Mbp; 2n = 40) differ as to their DNA composition at centromeres and telomeres. G. nigrocaulis and its close relative G. pygmaea revealed mainly 161 bp tandem repeats, while G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra displayed a combination of four retroelements at centromeric positions. G. nigrocaulis and G. pygmaea chromosome ends are characterized by the Arabidopsis-type telomeric repeats (TTTAGGG); G. hispidula and G. subglabra instead revealed two intermingled sequence variants (TTCAGG and TTTCAGG). These differences in centromeric and, surprisingly, also in telomeric DNA sequences, uncovered between groups with on average a > 9-fold genome size difference, emphasize the fast genome evolution within this genus. Such intrageneric evolutionary alteration of telomeric repeats with cytosine in the guanine-rich strand, not yet known for plants, might impact the epigenetic telomere chromatin modification.

  19. Emerging ecosystems change the spatial distribution of top carnivores even in poorly populated areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Facundo Barbar

    Full Text Available Humans affect biological diversity and species distribution patterns by modifying resource availability and generating novel environments where generalist species benefit and specialist species are rare. In particular, cities create local homogenization while roads fragment habitat, although both processes can increase food availability for some species that may be able to take advantage of this new source. We studied space use by birds of prey in relation to human construction, hypothesizing that these birds would be affected even in poorly populated areas. We worked in Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, which is experiencing a high population growth, but still having very large unpopulated areas. We related the presence of raptors with different sources of human disturbance and found that both the abundance and richness of these birds were positively associated with anthropogenic environments. These results are driven mostly by a strong association between the medium-sized generalist species and these novel environments (mainly roads and cities. This may create an imbalance in intra-guild competitive abilities, modifying the normal structures of top carnivore hierarchies. Indeed, the structure of raptor communities seems to be changing, even in poorly populated areas, with anthropogenic constructions seemingly producing changes in wild areas more promptly than thought, a cause for concern in ecosystems conservation issues.

  20. Emerging ecosystems change the spatial distribution of top carnivores even in poorly populated areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbar, Facundo; Werenkraut, Victoria; Morales, Juan Manuel; Lambertucci, Sergio Agustín

    2015-01-01

    Humans affect biological diversity and species distribution patterns by modifying resource availability and generating novel environments where generalist species benefit and specialist species are rare. In particular, cities create local homogenization while roads fragment habitat, although both processes can increase food availability for some species that may be able to take advantage of this new source. We studied space use by birds of prey in relation to human construction, hypothesizing that these birds would be affected even in poorly populated areas. We worked in Northwestern Patagonia, Argentina, which is experiencing a high population growth, but still having very large unpopulated areas. We related the presence of raptors with different sources of human disturbance and found that both the abundance and richness of these birds were positively associated with anthropogenic environments. These results are driven mostly by a strong association between the medium-sized generalist species and these novel environments (mainly roads and cities). This may create an imbalance in intra-guild competitive abilities, modifying the normal structures of top carnivore hierarchies. Indeed, the structure of raptor communities seems to be changing, even in poorly populated areas, with anthropogenic constructions seemingly producing changes in wild areas more promptly than thought, a cause for concern in ecosystems conservation issues.

  1. Deep phylogeographic structure and environmental differentiation in the carnivorous plant Sarracenia alata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellmer, Amanda J; Hanes, Margaret M; Hird, Sarah M; Carstens, Bryan C

    2012-10-01

    We collected ~29 kb of sequence data using Roche 454 pyrosequencing in order to estimate the timing and pattern of diversification in the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia alata. Utilizing modified protocols for reduced representation library construction, we generated sequence data from 86 individuals across 10 populations from throughout the range of the species. We identified 76 high-quality and high-coverage loci (containing over 500 SNPs) using the bioinformatics pipeline PRGmatic. Results from a Bayesian clustering analysis indicate that populations are highly structured, and are similar in pattern to the topology of a population tree estimated using *BEAST. The pattern of diversification within Sarracenia alata implies that riverine barriers are the primary factor promoting population diversification, with divergence across the Mississippi River occurring more than 60,000 generations before present. Further, significant patterns of niche divergence and the identification of several outlier loci suggest that selection may contribute to population divergence. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using next-generation sequencing to investigate intraspecific genetic variation in nonmodel species. PMID:22556200

  2. Isolation of viable multicellular glands from tissue of the carnivorous plant, Nepenthes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rottloff, Sandy; Mithöfer, Axel; Müller, Ute; Kilper, Roland

    2013-01-01

    Many plants possess specialized structures that are involved in the production and secretion of specific low molecular weight compounds and proteins. These structures are almost always localized on plant surfaces. Among them are nectaries or glandular trichomes. The secreted compounds are often employed in interactions with the biotic environment, for example as attractants for pollinators or deterrents against herbivores. Glands that are unique in several aspects can be found in carnivorous plants. In so-called pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes, bifunctional glands inside the pitfall-trap on the one hand secrete the digestive fluid, including all enzymes necessary for prey digestion, and on the other hand take-up the released nutrients. Thus, these glands represent an ideal, specialized tissue predestinated to study the underlying molecular, biochemical, and physiological mechanisms of protein secretion and nutrient uptake in plants. Moreover, generally the biosynthesis of secondary compounds produced by many plants equipped with glandular structures could be investigated directly in glands. In order to work on such specialized structures, they need to be isolated efficiently, fast, metabolically active, and without contamination with other tissues. Therefore, a mechanical micropreparation technique was developed and applied for studies on Nepenthes digestion fluid. Here, a protocol is presented that was used to successfully prepare single bifunctional glands from Nepenthes traps, based on a mechanized microsampling platform. The glands could be isolated and directly used further for gene expression analysis by PCR techniques after preparation of RNA. PMID:24378909

  3. Ants provide nutritional and defensive benefits to the carnivorous plant Sarracenia minor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Daniel C; Rossi, Anthony M; Depaz, Jacqueline; McKelvey, Lindsey; Elias, Sheryl; Wheeler, Emily; Moon, Jamie

    2010-09-01

    Ants can have important, but sometimes unexpected, effects on the plants they associate with. For carnivorous plants, associating with ants may provide defensive benefits in addition to nutritional ones. We examined the effects of increased ant visitation and exclusion of insect prey from pitchers of the hooded pitcher plant Sarracenia minor, which has been hypothesized to be an ant specialist. Visitation by ants was increased by placing PVC pipes in the ground immediately adjacent to 16 of 32 pitcher plants, which created nesting/refuge sites. Insects were excluded from all pitchers of 16 of the plants by occluding the pitchers with cotton. Treatments were applied in a 2 x 2 factorial design in order to isolate the hypothesized defensive benefits from nutritional ones. We recorded visitation by ants, the mean number of ants captured, foliar nitrogen content, plant growth and size, and levels of herbivory by the pitcher plant mining moth Exyra semicrocea. Changes in ant visitation and prey capture significantly affected nitrogen content, plant height, and the number of pitchers per plant. Increased ant visitation independent of prey capture reduced herbivory and pitcher mortality, and increased the number of pitchers per plant. Results from this study show that the hooded pitcher plant derives a double benefit from attracting potential prey that are also capable of providing defense against herbivory. PMID:20532567

  4. [Species-specific features of tocopherol content in carnivorous mammals during autumn period].

    Science.gov (United States)

    il'ina, T N; Baishnikova, I V

    2015-01-01

    A comparative study of the major liposoluble antioxidant, vitamin E (α-tocopherol), content was conducted in carnivorous mammals (polar fox, silver fox, raccoon dog, mink, sable) during late autumn under natural lowering of temperature. The highest vitamin E content in liver and kidney was found in polar fox and raccoon dog, obviously due to seasonal metabolic changes and ecological specialization determining the accumulation of considerable amounts of tocopherol both in polar and hibernating species. To investigate the features of vitamin E accumulation, the tocopherol loading experiment was implemented on three species (polar fox, silver fox, mink). It was shown that polar fox, as compared to silverfox and mink, exhibits a higher ability to reserve vitamin E. The established differences in tocopherol content and distribution in different species should be considered as a genetically fixed reaction to the effect of environment underlain by metabolic differences in animals with different ecological specialization. The ability of tocopherol to accumulate in tissues and organs allows considering its essential role in stabilization of the antioxidant system and ensuring thereby a seasonal cold resistance. PMID:25859604

  5. Carnivorous dinocephalian from the Middle Permian of Brazil and tetrapod dispersal in Pangaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisneros, Juan Carlos; Abdala, Fernando; Atayman-Güven, Saniye; Rubidge, Bruce S.; Celâl Şengör, A. M.; Schultz, Cesar L.

    2012-01-01

    The medial Permian (∼270-260 Ma: Guadalupian) was a time of important tetrapod faunal changes, in particular reflecting a turnover from pelycosaurian- to therapsid-grade synapsids. Until now, most knowledge on tetrapod distribution during the medial Permian has come from fossils found in the South African Karoo and the Russian Platform, whereas other areas of Pangaea are still poorly known. We present evidence for the presence of a terrestrial carnivorous vertebrate from the Middle Permian of South America based on a complete skull. Pampaphoneus biccai gen. et sp. nov. was a dinocephalian "mammal-like reptile" member of the Anteosauridae, an early therapsid predator clade known only from the Middle Permian of Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and South Africa. The genus is characterized, among other features, by postorbital bosses, short, bulbous postcanines, and strongly recurved canines. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the Brazilian dinocephalian occupies a middle position within the Anteosauridae, reinforcing the model of a global distribution for therapsids as early as the Guadalupian. The close phylogenetic relationship of the Brazilian species to dinocephalians from South Africa and the Russian Platform suggests a closer faunistic relationship between South America and eastern Europe than previously thought, lending support to a Pangaea B-type continental reconstruction.

  6. Centromere and telomere sequence alterations reflect the rapid genome evolution within the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Trung D; Cao, Hieu X; Jovtchev, Gabriele; Neumann, Pavel; Novák, Petr; Fojtová, Miloslava; Vu, Giang T H; Macas, Jiří; Fajkus, Jiří; Schubert, Ingo; Fuchs, Joerg

    2015-12-01

    Linear chromosomes of eukaryotic organisms invariably possess centromeres and telomeres to ensure proper chromosome segregation during nuclear divisions and to protect the chromosome ends from deterioration and fusion, respectively. While centromeric sequences may differ between species, with arrays of tandemly repeated sequences and retrotransposons being the most abundant sequence types in plant centromeres, telomeric sequences are usually highly conserved among plants and other organisms. The genome size of the carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) is highly variable. Here we study evolutionary sequence plasticity of these chromosomal domains at an intrageneric level. We show that Genlisea nigrocaulis (1C = 86 Mbp; 2n = 40) and G. hispidula (1C = 1550 Mbp; 2n = 40) differ as to their DNA composition at centromeres and telomeres. G. nigrocaulis and its close relative G. pygmaea revealed mainly 161 bp tandem repeats, while G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra displayed a combination of four retroelements at centromeric positions. G. nigrocaulis and G. pygmaea chromosome ends are characterized by the Arabidopsis-type telomeric repeats (TTTAGGG); G. hispidula and G. subglabra instead revealed two intermingled sequence variants (TTCAGG and TTTCAGG). These differences in centromeric and, surprisingly, also in telomeric DNA sequences, uncovered between groups with on average a > 9-fold genome size difference, emphasize the fast genome evolution within this genus. Such intrageneric evolutionary alteration of telomeric repeats with cytosine in the guanine-rich strand, not yet known for plants, might impact the epigenetic telomere chromatin modification. PMID:26485466

  7. Integration of trap- and root-derived nitrogen nutrition of carnivorous Dionaea muscipula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Peng; Loeffler, Theresa Sofi; Honsel, Anne; Kruse, Jörg; Krol, Elzbieta; Scherzer, Sönke; Kreuzer, Ines; Bemm, Felix; Buegger, Franz; Burzlaff, Tim; Hedrich, Rainer; Rennenberg, Heinz

    2015-02-01

    Carnivorous Dionaea muscipula operates active snap traps for nutrient acquisition from prey; so what is the role of D. muscipula's reduced root system? We studied the capacity for nitrogen (N) acquisition via traps, and its effect on plant allometry; the capacity of roots to absorb NO₃(-), NH₄(+) and glutamine from the soil solution; and the fate and interaction of foliar- and root-acquired N. Feeding D. muscipula snap traps with insects had little effect on the root : shoot ratio, but promoted petiole relative to trap growth. Large amounts of NH₄(+) and glutamine were absorbed upon root feeding. The high capacity for root N uptake was maintained upon feeding traps with glutamine. High root acquisition of NH₄(+) was mediated by 2.5-fold higher expression of the NH₄(+) transporter DmAMT1 in the roots compared with the traps. Electrophysiological studies confirmed a high constitutive capacity for NH₄(+) uptake by roots. Glutamine feeding of traps inhibited the influx of (15)N from root-absorbed (15)N/(13)C-glutamine into these traps, but not that of (13)C. Apparently, fed traps turned into carbon sinks that even acquired organic carbon from roots. N acquisition at the whole-plant level is fundamentally different in D. muscipula compared with noncarnivorous species, where foliar N influx down-regulates N uptake by roots. PMID:25345872

  8. Potential for chromium (VI) bioremediation by the aquatic carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba L. (Lentibulariaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustynowicz, Joanna; Łukowicz, Krzysztof; Tokarz, Krzysztof; Płachno, Bartosz Jan

    2015-07-01

    The aquatic carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba has one of the smallest known genomes among flowering plants, and therefore, it is an excellent model organism for physiological and developmental studies. The main aim of our work was to check whether the ubiquitous U. gibba might be useful for the phytoremediation of the highly toxic and mobile hexavalent chromium in waters. Plants were incubated for 1 week in a 50 μM (2.6 mg dm(-3)) Cr(VI) solution in laboratory conditions. Our results revealed that the plant exhibits a very high accumulation capacity for Cr. The accumulation level was higher than 780 mg kg(-1) and a bioconcentration factor >300. On the other hand, the plants showed a low tolerance to the elevated Cr concentration, which was expressed in a significant decrease of the photosystem II activity. However, the most pronounced negative influence of chromate was found on the morphology and activity of the traps. Due to its high accumulation capacity, we suggest that U. gibba may be efficient in the removal of chromate over a short time scale. It can also provide a new molecular resource for studying the mechanisms of Cr(VI) detoxification. PMID:25634365

  9. The Metagenome of Utricularia gibba's Traps: Into the Microbial Input to a Carnivorous Plant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis David Alcaraz

    Full Text Available The genome and transcriptome sequences of the aquatic, rootless, and carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba L. (Lentibulariaceae, were recently determined. Traps are necessary for U. gibba because they help the plant to survive in nutrient-deprived environments. The U. gibba's traps (Ugt are specialized structures that have been proposed to selectively filter microbial inhabitants. To determine whether the traps indeed have a microbiome that differs, in composition or abundance, from the microbiome in the surrounding environment, we used whole-genome shotgun (WGS metagenomics to describe both the taxonomic and functional diversity of the Ugt microbiome. We collected U. gibba plants from their natural habitat and directly sequenced the metagenome of the Ugt microbiome and its surrounding water. The total predicted number of species in the Ugt was more than 1,100. Using pan-genome fragment recruitment analysis, we were able to identify to the species level of some key Ugt players, such as Pseudomonas monteilii. Functional analysis of the Ugt metagenome suggests that the trap microbiome plays an important role in nutrient scavenging and assimilation while complementing the hydrolytic functions of the plant.

  10. Elastic models of the fast traps of carnivorous Dionaea and Aldrovanda

    CERN Document Server

    Joyeux, Marc

    2013-01-01

    The carnivorous aquatic Waterwheel Plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula SOL. EX J. ELLIS) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Although Aldrovanda is usually considered as a miniature aquatic Dionaea, the shutting mechanisms of the two plants are actually quite different. The fast shutting of Aldrovanda is indeed based on a simple swelling/shrinking mechanism, while the movement of Dionaea's traps is accelerated by the snap-buckling of the lobes. The purpose of this Report is to describe several key improvements to the elastic models that have recently been introduced to elucidate these movements [Poppinga and Joyeux, Phys. Rev. E 84, 041928 (2011)]. In particular, a precise mechanism for the action of the motor cells of Aldrovanda is proposed, the facts that the opening of the leaves of Dionaea is an irreversible mechanism based on growth and that the strain field is a...

  11. The Metagenome of Utricularia gibba's Traps: Into the Microbial Input to a Carnivorous Plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaraz, Luis David; Martínez-Sánchez, Shamayim; Torres, Ignacio; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    2016-01-01

    The genome and transcriptome sequences of the aquatic, rootless, and carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba L. (Lentibulariaceae), were recently determined. Traps are necessary for U. gibba because they help the plant to survive in nutrient-deprived environments. The U. gibba's traps (Ugt) are specialized structures that have been proposed to selectively filter microbial inhabitants. To determine whether the traps indeed have a microbiome that differs, in composition or abundance, from the microbiome in the surrounding environment, we used whole-genome shotgun (WGS) metagenomics to describe both the taxonomic and functional diversity of the Ugt microbiome. We collected U. gibba plants from their natural habitat and directly sequenced the metagenome of the Ugt microbiome and its surrounding water. The total predicted number of species in the Ugt was more than 1,100. Using pan-genome fragment recruitment analysis, we were able to identify to the species level of some key Ugt players, such as Pseudomonas monteilii. Functional analysis of the Ugt metagenome suggests that the trap microbiome plays an important role in nutrient scavenging and assimilation while complementing the hydrolytic functions of the plant. PMID:26859489

  12. Carnivorous Nutrition in Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes spp.) via an Unusual Complement of Endogenous Enzymes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Linda; Zhang, Ye; Ozar, Brittany; Sensen, Christoph W; Schriemer, David C

    2016-09-01

    Plants belonging to the genus Nepenthes are carnivorous, using specialized pitfall traps called "pitchers" that attract, capture, and digest insects as a primary source of nutrients. We have used RNA sequencing to generate a cDNA library from the Nepenthes pitchers and applied it to mass spectrometry-based identification of the enzymes secreted into the pitcher fluid using a nonspecific digestion strategy superior to trypsin in this application. This first complete catalog of the pitcher fluid subproteome includes enzymes across a variety of functional classes. The most abundant proteins present in the secreted fluid are proteases, nucleases, peroxidases, chitinases, a phosphatase, and a glucanase. Nitrogen recovery involves a particularly rich complement of proteases. In addition to the two expected aspartic proteases, we discovered three novel nepenthensins, two prolyl endopeptidases that we name neprosins, and a putative serine carboxypeptidase. Additional proteins identified are relevant to pathogen-defense and secretion mechanisms. The full complement of acid-stable enzymes discovered in this study suggests that carnivory in the genus Nepenthes can be sustained by plant-based mechanisms alone and does not absolutely require bacterial symbiosis. PMID:27436081

  13. Hierarchical Structure and Multifunctional Surface Properties of Carnivorous Pitcher Plants Nepenthes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chiao-Peng; Lin, Yu-Min; Chen, Po-Yu

    2015-04-01

    Carnivorous pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes have evolved specialized leaves fulfilling the multi-functions of attracting, capturing, retaining and digesting the prey, mostly arthropods. Different capturing mechanisms have been proposed and discussed in previous works. The most important capture mechanism is the unique super-hydrophilic surface properties of the peristome. The combination of a hierarchical surface structure and nectar secretions results in an exceptional water-lubricated trapping system. Anisotropic and unidirectional wettability is attributed to the ridge-like surface and epidermal folding. The three-dimensional plate-like wax crystals in the hydrophobic waxy zone can further prevent the prey from escaping. The captured prey are then digested in the hydrophilic digestive zone. The hybrid species Nepenthes × Miranda was investigated in this study. The surface morphology and hierarchical microstructure were characterized by scanning electron microscope. Contact angle measurement and wetting efficiency tests were performed to determine the wettability of the peristome under fresh, nectar-free and sucrose-coated conditions with controlled temperature and humidity. The results showed that sucrose-coated peristome surfaces possess the best wetting efficiency. The structure-property-function relationship and the capturing mechanism of Nepenthes were elucidated, which could further lead to the design and synthesis of novel bio-inspired surfaces and potential applications.

  14. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous nepenthes plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, Franziska; Kaman, Wendy E; Bikker, Floris J; Yilamujiang, Ayufu; Mithöfer, Axel

    2015-01-01

    Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themselves. In order to digest caught prey in their pitchers, Nepenthes plants produce various hydrolytic enzymes including aspartic proteases, nepenthesins (Nep). Knowledge about the generation and induction of these proteases is limited. Here, by employing a FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer)-based technique that uses a synthetic fluorescent substrate an easy and rapid detection of protease activities in the digestive fluids of various Nepenthes species was feasible. Biochemical studies and the heterologously expressed Nep II from Nepenthes mirabilis proved that the proteolytic activity relied on aspartic proteases, however an acid-mediated auto-activation mechanism was necessary. Employing the FRET-based approach, the induction and dynamics of nepenthesin in the digestive pitcher fluid of various Nepenthes plants could be studied directly with insect (Drosophila melanogaster) prey or plant material. Moreover, we observed that proteolytic activity was induced by the phytohormone jasmonic acid but not by salicylic acid suggesting that jasmonate-dependent signaling pathways are involved in plant carnivory. PMID:25750992

  15. Elastic models of the fast traps of carnivorous Dionaea and Aldrovanda

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyeux, Marc

    2013-09-01

    The carnivorous aquatic waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Sol. ex J. Ellis) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Although Aldrovanda is usually considered a miniature aquatic Dionaea, the shutting mechanisms of the two plants differ quite markedly. The fast shutting of Aldrovanda is indeed based on a simple swelling or shrinking mechanism, while the movement of Dionaea's traps is accelerated by the snap-buckling of the lobes. The purpose of this Brief Report is to describe several key improvements to the elastic models that have recently been introduced to elucidate these movements [Poppinga and Joyeux, Phys. Rev. EPLEEE81063-651X10.1103/PhysRevE.84.041928 84, 041928 (2011)]. In particular, a precise mechanism for the action of the motor cells of Aldrovanda is proposed, the facts that the opening of the leaves of Dionaea is an irreversible mechanism based on growth and that the strain field is anisotropic and much smaller on the inner than on the outer surface of the leaves during shutting are taken properly into account, and a more accurate formula for calculating mean curvatures is used. The improvements brought to the model are described in detail and the physical consequences of these improvements are discussed.

  16. Novel proteases from the genome of the carnivorous plant Drosera capensis: Structural prediction and comparative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butts, Carter T; Bierma, Jan C; Martin, Rachel W

    2016-10-01

    In his 1875 monograph on insectivorous plants, Darwin described the feeding reactions of Drosera flypaper traps and predicted that their secretions contained a "ferment" similar to mammalian pepsin, an aspartic protease. Here we report a high-quality draft genome sequence for the cape sundew, Drosera capensis, the first genome of a carnivorous plant from order Caryophyllales, which also includes the Venus flytrap (Dionaea) and the tropical pitcher plants (Nepenthes). This species was selected in part for its hardiness and ease of cultivation, making it an excellent model organism for further investigations of plant carnivory. Analysis of predicted protein sequences yields genes encoding proteases homologous to those found in other plants, some of which display sequence and structural features that suggest novel functionalities. Because the sequence similarity to proteins of known structure is in most cases too low for traditional homology modeling, 3D structures of representative proteases are predicted using comparative modeling with all-atom refinement. Although the overall folds and active residues for these proteins are conserved, we find structural and sequence differences consistent with a diversity of substrate recognition patterns. Finally, we predict differences in substrate specificities using in silico experiments, providing targets for structure/function studies of novel enzymes with biological and technological significance. Proteins 2016; 84:1517-1533. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27353064

  17. Two new naphthalene glucosides and other bioactive compounds from the carnivorous plant Nepenthes mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thanh, Nguyen Van; Thao, Nguyen Phuong; Dat, Le Duc; Huong, Phan Thi Thanh; Lee, Sang Hyun; Jang, Hae Dong; Cuong, Nguyen Xuan; Nam, Nguyen Hoai; Kiem, Phan Van; Minh, Chau Van; Kim, Young Ho

    2015-10-01

    Two new naphthalene diglucosides named nepenthosides A (1) and B (2), together with eleven known compounds (3-13), were isolated from the carnivorous plant Nepenthes mirabilis. The structures of these compounds were elucidated based on extensive spectroscopic analysis, including 1D- and 2D-NMR, and MS. The antioxidant activities of compounds 1-13 were evaluated in terms of their peroxyl radical-scavenging (trolox equivalent, TE) and reducing capacities. All isolates showed peroxyl radical-scavenging and reducing activities at concentrations of 1.0 and 10.0 μM. Anti-osteoporotic activities were investigated using murine osteoclastic RAW 264.7 cells. Compounds 1-7 and 9-12 significantly suppressed tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity down to 91.13 ± 1.18 to 42.39 ± 1.11%, relative to the control (100%) in nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANκL)-induced osteoclastic RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. PMID:25724283

  18. Adaptive evolution of cytochrome c oxidase: Infrastructure for a carnivorous plant radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobson, Richard W.; Nielsen, Rasmus; Laakkonen, Liisa; Wikström, Mårten; Albert, Victor A.

    2004-01-01

    Much recent attention in the study of adaptation of organismal form has centered on developmental regulation. As such, the highly conserved respiratory machinery of eukaryotic cells might seem an unlikely target for selection supporting novel morphologies. We demonstrate that a dramatic molecular evolutionary rate increase in subunit I of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) from an active-trapping lineage of carnivorous plants is caused by positive Darwinian selection. Bladderworts (Utricularia) trap plankton when water-immersed, negatively pressured suction bladders are triggered. The resetting of traps involves active ion transport, requiring considerable energy expenditure. As judged from the quaternary structure of bovine COX, the most profound adaptive substitutions are two contiguous cysteines absent in ≈99.9% of databased COX I sequences from Eukaryota, Archaea, and Bacteria. This motif lies directly at the docking point of COX I helix 3 and cytochrome c, and modeling of bovine COX I suggests the possibility of an unprecedented helix-terminating disulfide bridge that could alter COX/cytochrome c dissociation kinetics. Thus, the key adaptation in Utricularia likely lies in molecular energetic changes that buttressed the mechanisms responsible for the bladderworts' radical morphological evolution. Along with evidence for COX evolution underlying expansion of the anthropoid neocortex, our findings underscore that important morphological and physiological innovations must often be accompanied by specific adaptations in proteins with basic cellular functions. PMID:15596720

  19. Would carnosine or a carnivorous diet help suppress aging and associated pathologies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hipkiss, Alan R

    2006-05-01

    Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) is found exclusively in animal tissues. Carnosine has the potential to suppress many of the biochemical changes (e.g., protein oxidation, glycation, AGE formation, and cross-linking) that accompany aging and associated pathologies. Glycation, generation of advanced glycosylation end-products (AGEs), and formation of protein carbonyl groups play important roles in aging, diabetes, its secondary complications, and neurodegenerative conditions. Due to carnosine's antiglycating activity, reactivity toward deleterious carbonyls, zinc- and copper-chelating activity and low toxicity, carnosine and related structures could be effective against age-related protein carbonyl stress. It is suggested that carnivorous diets could be beneficial because of their carnosine content, as the dipeptide has been shown to suppress some diabetic complications in mice. It is also suggested that carnosine's therapeutic potential should be explored with respect to neurodegeneration. Olfactory tissue is normally enriched in carnosine, but olfactory dysfunction is frequently associated with neurodegeneration. Olfactory administration of carnosine could provide a direct route to compromised tissue, avoiding serum carnosinases. PMID:16804013

  20. Stable isotopes reveal rail-associated behavior in a threatened carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, John B; Whittington, Jesse; Clevenger, Anthony P; Sawaya, Michael A; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflict is a leading cause of adult mortality for large carnivores worldwide. Train collision is the primary cause of mortality for threatened grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff National Park. We investigated the use of stable isotope analysis as a tool for identifying bears that use the railway in Banff. Rail-associated bears had higher δ(15)N and δ(34)S values than bears sampled away from the rail, but similar δ(13)C values. Because elevated δ(15)N values are indicative of higher animal protein consumption, rail-associated bears likely preyed on ungulates that foraged along the rail or scavenged on train-killed animals. The higher δ(34)S values in bear hair could have resulted from bears consuming sulfur pellets spilled on the rail or through the uptake of sulfur in the plants bears or animals consumed. Similar δ(13)C values suggest that the two types of bears had generally similar plant-based diets. Results from this study suggest that stable isotopes analysis could be used as a non-invasive, affordable, and efficient technique to identify and monitor bears that forage on the railway in Banff and potentially other transportation corridors worldwide.

  1. The Metagenome of Utricularia gibba's Traps: Into the Microbial Input to a Carnivorous Plant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcaraz, Luis David; Martínez-Sánchez, Shamayim; Torres, Ignacio; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    2016-01-01

    The genome and transcriptome sequences of the aquatic, rootless, and carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba L. (Lentibulariaceae), were recently determined. Traps are necessary for U. gibba because they help the plant to survive in nutrient-deprived environments. The U. gibba's traps (Ugt) are specialized structures that have been proposed to selectively filter microbial inhabitants. To determine whether the traps indeed have a microbiome that differs, in composition or abundance, from the microbiome in the surrounding environment, we used whole-genome shotgun (WGS) metagenomics to describe both the taxonomic and functional diversity of the Ugt microbiome. We collected U. gibba plants from their natural habitat and directly sequenced the metagenome of the Ugt microbiome and its surrounding water. The total predicted number of species in the Ugt was more than 1,100. Using pan-genome fragment recruitment analysis, we were able to identify to the species level of some key Ugt players, such as Pseudomonas monteilii. Functional analysis of the Ugt metagenome suggests that the trap microbiome plays an important role in nutrient scavenging and assimilation while complementing the hydrolytic functions of the plant. PMID:26859489

  2. Stable isotopes reveal rail-associated behavior in a threatened carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, John B; Whittington, Jesse; Clevenger, Anthony P; Sawaya, Michael A; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Human-wildlife conflict is a leading cause of adult mortality for large carnivores worldwide. Train collision is the primary cause of mortality for threatened grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Banff National Park. We investigated the use of stable isotope analysis as a tool for identifying bears that use the railway in Banff. Rail-associated bears had higher δ(15)N and δ(34)S values than bears sampled away from the rail, but similar δ(13)C values. Because elevated δ(15)N values are indicative of higher animal protein consumption, rail-associated bears likely preyed on ungulates that foraged along the rail or scavenged on train-killed animals. The higher δ(34)S values in bear hair could have resulted from bears consuming sulfur pellets spilled on the rail or through the uptake of sulfur in the plants bears or animals consumed. Similar δ(13)C values suggest that the two types of bears had generally similar plant-based diets. Results from this study suggest that stable isotopes analysis could be used as a non-invasive, affordable, and efficient technique to identify and monitor bears that forage on the railway in Banff and potentially other transportation corridors worldwide. PMID:24936982

  3. The vocal repertoire in a solitary foraging carnivore, Cynictis penicillata, may reflect facultative sociality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Roux, Aliza; Cherry, Michael I.; Manser, Marta B.

    2009-05-01

    We describe the vocal repertoire of a facultatively social carnivore, the yellow mongoose, Cynictis penicillata. Using a combination of close-range observations, recordings and experiments with simulated predators, we were able to obtain clear descriptions of call structure and function for a wide range of calls used by this herpestid. The vocal repertoire of the yellow mongooses comprised ten call types, half of which were used in appeasing or fearful contexts and half in aggressive interactions. Data from this study suggest that the yellow mongoose uses an urgency-based alarm calling system, indicating high and low urgency through two distinct call types. Compared to solitary mongooses, the yellow mongoose has a large proportion of ‘friendly’ vocalisations that enhance group cohesion, but its vocal repertoire is smaller and less context-specific than those of obligate social species. This study of the vocal repertoire of the yellow mongoose is, to our knowledge, the most complete to have been conducted on a facultatively social species in its natural habitat.

  4. Nepenthesin protease activity indicates digestive fluid dynamics in carnivorous nepenthes plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Buch

    Full Text Available Carnivorous plants use different morphological features to attract, trap and digest prey, mainly insects. Plants from the genus Nepenthes possess specialized leaves called pitchers that function as pitfall-traps. These pitchers are filled with a digestive fluid that is generated by the plants themselves. In order to digest caught prey in their pitchers, Nepenthes plants produce various hydrolytic enzymes including aspartic proteases, nepenthesins (Nep. Knowledge about the generation and induction of these proteases is limited. Here, by employing a FRET (fluorescent resonance energy transfer-based technique that uses a synthetic fluorescent substrate an easy and rapid detection of protease activities in the digestive fluids of various Nepenthes species was feasible. Biochemical studies and the heterologously expressed Nep II from Nepenthes mirabilis proved that the proteolytic activity relied on aspartic proteases, however an acid-mediated auto-activation mechanism was necessary. Employing the FRET-based approach, the induction and dynamics of nepenthesin in the digestive pitcher fluid of various Nepenthes plants could be studied directly with insect (Drosophila melanogaster prey or plant material. Moreover, we observed that proteolytic activity was induced by the phytohormone jasmonic acid but not by salicylic acid suggesting that jasmonate-dependent signaling pathways are involved in plant carnivory.

  5. Risk assessment of metals and organic pollutants for herbivorous and carnivorous small mammal food chains in a polluted floodplain (Biesbosch, The Netherlands)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hamers, Timo [Wageningen University, Toxicology Group, PO Box 8000, 6700 EA Wageningen (Netherlands)]. E-mail: timo.hamers@ivm.falw.vu.nl; Berg, Johannes H.J. van den [Wageningen University, Toxicology Group, PO Box 8000, 6700 EA Wageningen (Netherlands); Gestel, Cornelis A.M. van [Vrije Universiteit, Department of Animal Ecology, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam (Netherlands); Schooten, Frederik-Jan van [Maastricht University, Department of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht (Netherlands); Murk, Albertinka J. [Wageningen University, Toxicology Group, PO Box 8000, 6700 EA Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2006-11-15

    A risk assessment was made for a carnivorous and a herbivorous food chain in a heavily polluted natural estuary (Biesbosch), by determining the most critical pollutants and the food chain most at risk. Exposure of food chains to metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was assessed by analyzing dietary concentrations, internal concentrations, and biomarkers of exposure. Common shrew (Sorex araneus) and bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus) were selected as representative small mammal species for the carnivorous and herbivorous food chain, respectively, and earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus) and snails (Cepaea nemoralis) as representative prey species for the carnivorous food chain. Metals contributed most to the total risk for small mammals and earthworms. PCBs, but not PAHs, contributed to the overall risk for S. araneus at regularly flooded locations. The carnivorous food chain appeared most at risk given the higher exposure levels and bioaccumulating potency found for contaminants in S. araneus. - In polluted floodplain areas, dietary exposure to metals poses a larger risk for small mammals in a carnivorous than in a herbivorous food chain.

  6. A carnivorous plant fed by its ant symbiont: a unique multi-faceted nutritional mutualism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent Bazile

    Full Text Available Scarcity of essential nutrients has led plants to evolve alternative nutritional strategies, such as myrmecotrophy (ant-waste-derived nutrition and carnivory (invertebrate predation. The carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata grows in the Bornean peatswamp forests and is believed to have a mutualistic relationship with its symbiotic ant Camponotus schmitzi. However, the benefits provided by the ant have not been quantified. We tested the hypothesis of a nutritional mutualism, using foliar isotopic and reflectance analyses and by comparing fitness-related traits between ant-inhabited and uninhabited plants. Plants inhabited by C. schmitzi produced more leaves of greater area and nitrogen content than unoccupied plants. The ants were estimated to provide a 200% increase in foliar nitrogen to adult plants. Inhabited plants also produced more and larger pitchers containing higher prey biomass. C. schmitzi-occupied pitchers differed qualitatively in containing C. schmitzi wastes and captured large ants and flying insects. Pitcher abortion rates were lower in inhabited plants partly because of herbivore deterrence as herbivory-aborted buds decreased with ant occupation rate. Lower abortion was also attributed to ant nutritional service. The ants had higher δ(15N values than any tested prey, and foliar δ(15N increased with ant occupation rate, confirming their predatory behaviour and demonstrating their direct contribution to the plant-recycled N. We estimated that N. bicalcarata derives on average 42% of its foliar N from C. schmitzi wastes, (76% in highly-occupied plants. According to the Structure Independent Pigment Index, plants without C. schmitzi were nutrient stressed compared to both occupied plants, and pitcher-lacking plants. This attests to the physiological cost of pitcher production and poor nutrient assimilation in the absence of the symbiont. Hence C. schmitzi contributes crucially to the nutrition of N. bicalcarata, via protection

  7. Genome-wide analysis of adaptive molecular evolution in the carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Chang, Tien-Hao; Librado, Pablo; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Rozas, Julio; Albert, Victor A

    2015-02-01

    The genome of the bladderwort Utricularia gibba provides an unparalleled opportunity to uncover the adaptive landscape of an aquatic carnivorous plant with unique phenotypic features such as absence of roots, development of water-filled suction bladders, and a highly ramified branching pattern. Despite its tiny size, the U. gibba genome accommodates approximately as many genes as other plant genomes. To examine the relationship between the compactness of its genome and gene turnover, we compared the U. gibba genome with that of four other eudicot species, defining a total of 17,324 gene families (orthogroups). These families were further classified as either 1) lineage-specific expanded/contracted or 2) stable in size. The U. gibba-expanded families are generically related to three main phenotypic features: 1) trap physiology, 2) key plant morphogenetic/developmental pathways, and 3) response to environmental stimuli, including adaptations to life in aquatic environments. Further scans for signatures of protein functional specialization permitted identification of seven candidate genes with amino acid changes putatively fixed by positive Darwinian selection in the U. gibba lineage. The Arabidopsis orthologs of these genes (AXR, UMAMIT41, IGS, TAR2, SOL1, DEG9, and DEG10) are involved in diverse plant biological functions potentially relevant for U. gibba phenotypic diversification, including 1) auxin metabolism and signal transduction, 2) flowering induction and floral meristem transition, 3) root development, and 4) peptidases. Taken together, our results suggest numerous candidate genes and gene families as interesting targets for further experimental confirmation of their functional and adaptive roles in the U. gibba's unique lifestyle and highly specialized body plan. PMID:25577200

  8. Wild carnivore acceptance of baits for delivery of liquid rabies vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, P; Bramwell, R N; Fraser, S J; Gilmore, D A; Johnston, D H; Lawson, K F; MacInnes, C D; Matejka, F O; Miles, H E; Pedde, M A

    1990-10-01

    A series of experiments are described on the acceptance, by red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and other species, of two types of vaccine-baits intended to deliver liquid rabies vaccine. The baits consisted of a cube of sponge coated in a mixture of tallow and wax, or a plastic blister-pack embedded in tallow. All baits contained tetracycline as a biological marking agent: examination of thin sections of carnivore canines under an ultraviolet microscope revealed a fluorescent line of tetracycline if an individual had eaten baits. Baits were dropped from fixed-wing aircraft flying about 100 m above ground at approximately 130 km/h. Flight lines followed the edges of woodlots midway between parallel roads. Baits were dropped at one/sec, resulting in one bait/36 m on the ground, or 17 to 25 baits per km2. Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) removed many baits, but did not appear to lower the percent of the fox population which took bait. Dropping baits only into corn and woodland to conceal baits, to reduce depredation by crows, reduced acceptance by foxes. Acceptance by foxes ranged between 37 and 68%. Meat added as an attractant did not raise acceptance. Presence, absence, color and perforations of plastic bags did not alter bait acceptance. Dispersal by juvenile foxes probably lowered the estimates of bait acceptance. It took 7 to 17 days for 80% (n = 330) of foxes to eat their first bait. The rapidity with which foxes picked up their first bait appeared more affected by unknown characteristics of years or study areas than by experimental variables. Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) also ate these baits, but acceptance was lower. Small mammals contacted baits, but rarely contacted the vaccine, which had the potential for vaccine-induced rabies in some species. Aerial distribution of baits was more cost-effective than ground distribution as practiced in Europe. This system has potential for field control of rabies, although higher acceptance will be desirable

  9. Can rare positive interactions become common when large carnivores consume livestock?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundararaj, Vijayan; McLaren, Brian E; Morris, Douglas W; Goyal, S P

    2012-02-01

    Livestock populations in protected areas are viewed negatively because of their interaction with native ungulates through direct competition for food resources. However, livestock and native prey can also interact indirectly through their shared predator. Indirect interactions between two prey species occur when one prey modifies either the functional or numerical responses of a shared predator. This interaction is often manifested as negative effects (apparent competition) on one or both prey species through increased predation risk. But indirect interactions can also yield positive effects on a focal prey if the shared predator modifies its functional response toward increased consumption of an abundant and higher-quality alternative prey. Such a phenomenon between two prey species is underappreciated and overlooked in nature. Positive indirect effects can be expected to occur in livestock-dominated wildlife reserves containing large carnivores. We searched for such positive effects in Acacia-Zizhypus forests of India's Gir sanctuary where livestock (Bubalus bubalis and Bos indicus) and a coexisting native prey (chital deer, Axis axis) are consumed by Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica). Chital vigilance was higher in areas with low livestock density than in areas with high livestock density. This positive indirect effect occurred because lion predation rates on livestock were twice as great where livestock were abundant than where livestock density was low. Positive indirect interactions mediated by shared predators may be more common than generally thought with rather major consequences for ecological understanding and conservation. We encourage further studies to understand outcomes of indirect interactions on long-term predator-prey dynamics in livestock-dominated protected areas.

  10. Comparative neuronal morphology of the cerebellar cortex in afrotherians, carnivores, cetartiodactyls, and primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bob eJacobs

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the basic morphological characteristics of neurons in the cerebellar cortex have been documented in several species, virtually nothing is known about the quantitative morphological characteristics of these neurons across different taxa. To that end, the present study investigated cerebellar neuronal morphology among eight different, large-brained mammalian species comprising a broad phylogenetic range: afrotherians (African elephant, Florida manatee, carnivores (Siberian tiger, clouded leopard, cetartiodactyls (humpback whale, giraffe and primates (human, common chimpanzee. Specifically, several neuron types (e.g., stellate, basket, Lugaro, Golgi, and granule neurons; N = 317 of the cerebellar cortex were stained with a modified rapid Golgi technique and quantified on a computer-assisted microscopy system. There was a 64-fold variation in brain mass across species in our sample (from clouded leopard to the elephant and a 103-fold variation in cerebellar volume. Most dendritic measures tended to increase with cerebellar volume. The cerebellar cortex in these species exhibited the trilaminate pattern common to all mammals. Morphologically, neuron types in the cerebellar cortex were generally consistent with those described in primates (Fox et al., 1967 and rodents (Palay and Chan-Palay, 1974, although there was substantial quantitative variation across species. In particular, Lugaro neurons in the elephant appeared to be disproportionately larger than those in other species. To explore potential quantitative differences in dendritic measures across species, MARSplines analyses were used to evaluate whether species could be differentiated from each other based on dendritic characteristics alone. Results of these analyses indicated that there were significant differences among all species in dendritic measures.

  11. Direct comparisons of 2D and 3D dental microwear proxies in extant herbivorous and carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSantis, Larisa R G; Scott, Jessica R; Schubert, Blaine W; Donohue, Shelly L; McCray, Brian M; Van Stolk, Courtney A; Winburn, Amanda A; Greshko, Michael A; O'Hara, Mackie C

    2013-01-01

    The analysis of dental microwear is commonly used by paleontologists and anthropologists to clarify the diets of extinct species, including herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Currently, there are numerous methods employed to quantify dental microwear, varying in the types of microscopes used, magnifications, and the characterization of wear in both two dimensions and three dimensions. Results from dental microwear studies utilizing different methods are not directly comparable and human quantification of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches) introduces interobserver error, with higher error being produced by less experienced individuals. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA), which analyzes microwear features in three dimensions, alleviates some of the problems surrounding two-dimensional microwear methods by reducing observer bias. Here, we assess the accuracy and comparability within and between 2D and 3D dental microwear analyses in herbivorous and carnivorous mammals at the same magnification. Specifically, we compare observer-generated 2D microwear data from photosimulations of the identical scanned areas of DMTA in extant African bovids and carnivorans using a scanning white light confocal microscope at 100x magnification. Using this magnification, dental microwear features quantified in 2D were able to separate grazing and frugivorous bovids using scratch frequency; however, DMTA variables were better able to discriminate between disparate dietary niches in both carnivorous and herbivorous mammals. Further, results demonstrate significant interobserver differences in 2D microwear data, with the microwear index remaining the least variable between experienced observers, consistent with prior research. Overall, our results highlight the importance of reducing observer error and analyzing dental microwear in three dimensions in order to consistently interpret diets accurately. PMID:23936506

  12. Direct comparisons of 2D and 3D dental microwear proxies in extant herbivorous and carnivorous mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larisa R G DeSantis

    Full Text Available The analysis of dental microwear is commonly used by paleontologists and anthropologists to clarify the diets of extinct species, including herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. Currently, there are numerous methods employed to quantify dental microwear, varying in the types of microscopes used, magnifications, and the characterization of wear in both two dimensions and three dimensions. Results from dental microwear studies utilizing different methods are not directly comparable and human quantification of wear features (e.g., pits and scratches introduces interobserver error, with higher error being produced by less experienced individuals. Dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA, which analyzes microwear features in three dimensions, alleviates some of the problems surrounding two-dimensional microwear methods by reducing observer bias. Here, we assess the accuracy and comparability within and between 2D and 3D dental microwear analyses in herbivorous and carnivorous mammals at the same magnification. Specifically, we compare observer-generated 2D microwear data from photosimulations of the identical scanned areas of DMTA in extant African bovids and carnivorans using a scanning white light confocal microscope at 100x magnification. Using this magnification, dental microwear features quantified in 2D were able to separate grazing and frugivorous bovids using scratch frequency; however, DMTA variables were better able to discriminate between disparate dietary niches in both carnivorous and herbivorous mammals. Further, results demonstrate significant interobserver differences in 2D microwear data, with the microwear index remaining the least variable between experienced observers, consistent with prior research. Overall, our results highlight the importance of reducing observer error and analyzing dental microwear in three dimensions in order to consistently interpret diets accurately.

  13. Mark-recapture and mark-resight methods for estimating abundance with remote cameras: a carnivore case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S Alonso

    Full Text Available Abundance estimation of carnivore populations is difficult and has prompted the use of non-invasive detection methods, such as remotely-triggered cameras, to collect data. To analyze photo data, studies focusing on carnivores with unique pelage patterns have utilized a mark-recapture framework and studies of carnivores without unique pelage patterns have used a mark-resight framework. We compared mark-resight and mark-recapture estimation methods to estimate bobcat (Lynx rufus population sizes, which motivated the development of a new "hybrid" mark-resight model as an alternative to traditional methods. We deployed a sampling grid of 30 cameras throughout the urban southern California study area. Additionally, we physically captured and marked a subset of the bobcat population with GPS telemetry collars. Since we could identify individual bobcats with photos of unique pelage patterns and a subset of the population was physically marked, we were able to use traditional mark-recapture and mark-resight methods, as well as the new "hybrid" mark-resight model we developed to estimate bobcat abundance. We recorded 109 bobcat photos during 4,669 camera nights and physically marked 27 bobcats with GPS telemetry collars. Abundance estimates produced by the traditional mark-recapture, traditional mark-resight, and "hybrid" mark-resight methods were similar, however precision differed depending on the models used. Traditional mark-recapture and mark-resight estimates were relatively imprecise with percent confidence interval lengths exceeding 100% of point estimates. Hybrid mark-resight models produced better precision with percent confidence intervals not exceeding 57%. The increased precision of the hybrid mark-resight method stems from utilizing the complete encounter histories of physically marked individuals (including those never detected by a camera trap and the encounter histories of naturally marked individuals detected at camera traps. This new

  14. Snapshot of Viral Infections in Wild Carnivores Reveals Ubiquity of Parvovirus and Susceptibility of Egyptian Mongoose to Feline Panleukopenia Virus

    OpenAIRE

    Duarte, Margarida D.; Ana Margarida Henriques; Sílvia Carla Barros; Teresa Fagulha; Paula Mendonça; Paulo Carvalho; Madalena Monteiro; Miguel Fevereiro; Basto, Mafalda P.; Luís Miguel Rosalino; Tânia Barros; Victor Bandeira; Carlos Fonseca; Cunha, Mónica V.

    2013-01-01

    The exposure of wild carnivores to viral pathogens, with emphasis on parvovirus (CPV/FPLV), was assessed based on the molecular screening of tissue samples from 128 hunted or accidentally road-killed animals collected in Portugal from 2008 to 2011, including Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon, n = 99), red fox (Vulpes vulpes, n = 19), stone marten (Martes foina, n = 3), common genet (Genetta genetta, n = 3) and Eurasian badger (Meles meles, n = 4). A high prevalence of parvovirus DNA (63%...

  15. The Bamboo-Eating Giant Panda Harbors a Carnivore-Like Gut Microbiota, with Excessive Seasonal Variations

    OpenAIRE

    Xue, Zhengsheng; Zhang, Wenping; Wang, Linghua; Hou, Rong; Zhang, Menghui; Fei, Lisong; Zhang, Xiaojun; Huang, He; Bridgewater, Laura C.; Jiang, Yi; Jiang, Chenglin; Zhao, Liping; Pang, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Zhihe

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The giant panda evolved from omnivorous bears. It lives on a bamboo-dominated diet at present, but it still retains a typical carnivorous digestive system and is genetically deficient in cellulose-digesting enzymes. To find out whether this endangered mammalian species, like other herbivores, has successfully developed a gut microbiota adapted to its fiber-rich diet, we conducted a 16S rRNA gene-based large-scale structural profiling of the giant panda fecal microbiota. Forty-five ca...

  16. Landscape-scale accessibility of livestock to tigers: implications of spatial grain for modeling predation risk to mitigate human-carnivore conflict.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jennifer R B; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Jena, Jyotirmay; Schmitz, Oswald J

    2015-03-01

    Innovative conservation tools are greatly needed to reduce livelihood losses and wildlife declines resulting from human-carnivore conflict. Spatial risk modeling is an emerging method for assessing the spatial patterns of predator-prey interactions, with applications for mitigating carnivore attacks on livestock. Large carnivores that ambush prey attack and kill over small areas, requiring models at fine spatial grains to predict livestock depredation hot spots. To detect the best resolution for predicting where carnivores access livestock, we examined the spatial attributes associated with livestock killed by tigers in Kanha Tiger Reserve, India, using risk models generated at 20, 100, and 200-m spatial grains. We analyzed land-use, human presence, and vegetation structure variables at 138 kill sites and 439 random sites to identify key landscape attributes where livestock were vulnerable to tigers. Land-use and human presence variables contributed strongly to predation risk models, with most variables showing high relative importance (≥0.85) at all spatial grains. The risk of a tiger killing livestock increased near dense forests and near the boundary of the park core zone where human presence is restricted. Risk was nonlinearly related to human infrastructure and open vegetation, with the greatest risk occurring 1.2 km from roads, 1.1 km from villages, and 8.0 km from scrubland. Kill sites were characterized by denser, patchier, and more complex vegetation with lower visibility than random sites. Risk maps revealed high-risk hot spots inside of the core zone boundary and in several patches in the human-dominated buffer zone. Validation against known kills revealed predictive accuracy for only the 20 m model, the resolution best representing the kill stage of hunting for large carnivores that ambush prey, like the tiger. Results demonstrate that risk models developed at fine spatial grains can offer accurate guidance on landscape attributes livestock should

  17. Tracking Cats: Problems with Placing Feline Carnivores on δ18O, δD Isoscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietsch, Stephanie J.; Hobson, Keith A.; Wassenaar, Leonard I.; Tütken, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Background Several felids are endangered and threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. Establishing geographic origin of tissues of endangered species is thus crucial for wildlife crime investigations and effective conservation strategies. As shown in other species, stable isotope analysis of hydrogen and oxygen in hair (δDh, δ18Oh) can be used as a tool for provenance determination. However, reliably predicting the spatial distribution of δDh and δ18Oh requires confirmation from animal tissues of known origin and a detailed understanding of the isotopic routing of dietary nutrients into felid hair. Methodology/Findings We used coupled δDh and δ18Oh measurements from the North American bobcat (Lynx rufus) and puma (Puma concolor) with precipitation-based assignment isoscapes to test the feasibility of isotopic geo-location of felidae. Hairs of felid and rabbit museum specimens from 75 sites across the United States and Canada were analyzed. Bobcat and puma lacked a significant correlation between H/O isotopes in hair and local waters, and also exhibited an isotopic decoupling of δ18Oh and δDh. Conversely, strong δD and δ18O coupling was found for key prey, eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus; hair) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; collagen, bone phosphate). Conclusions/Significance Puma and bobcat hairs do not adhere to expected pattern of H and O isotopic variation predicted by precipitation isoscapes for North America. Thus, using bulk hair, felids cannot be placed on δ18O and δD isoscapes for use in forensic investigations. The effective application of isotopes to trace the provenance of feline carnivores is likely compromised by major controls of their diet, physiology and metabolism on hair δ18O and δD related to body water budgets. Controlled feeding experiments, combined with single amino acid isotope analysis of diets and hair, are needed to reveal mechanisms and physiological traits explaining why felid hair does

  18. Tracking cats: problems with placing feline carnivores on δO, δD isoscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie J Pietsch

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Several felids are endangered and threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. Establishing geographic origin of tissues of endangered species is thus crucial for wildlife crime investigations and effective conservation strategies. As shown in other species, stable isotope analysis of hydrogen and oxygen in hair (δD(h, δ(18O(h can be used as a tool for provenance determination. However, reliably predicting the spatial distribution of δD(h and δ(18O(h requires confirmation from animal tissues of known origin and a detailed understanding of the isotopic routing of dietary nutrients into felid hair. METHODOLOGY/FINDINGS: We used coupled δD(h and δ(18O(h measurements from the North American bobcat (Lynx rufus and puma (Puma concolor with precipitation-based assignment isoscapes to test the feasibility of isotopic geo-location of felidae. Hairs of felid and rabbit museum specimens from 75 sites across the United States and Canada were analyzed. Bobcat and puma lacked a significant correlation between H/O isotopes in hair and local waters, and also exhibited an isotopic decoupling of δ(18O(h and δD(h. Conversely, strong δD and δ(18O coupling was found for key prey, eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus; hair and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; collagen, bone phosphate. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Puma and bobcat hairs do not adhere to expected pattern of H and O isotopic variation predicted by precipitation isoscapes for North America. Thus, using bulk hair, felids cannot be placed on δ(18O and δD isoscapes for use in forensic investigations. The effective application of isotopes to trace the provenance of feline carnivores is likely compromised by major controls of their diet, physiology and metabolism on hair δ(18O and δD related to body water budgets. Controlled feeding experiments, combined with single amino acid isotope analysis of diets and hair, are needed to reveal mechanisms and physiological traits

  19. Digestive enzymes along digestive tract of a carnivorous fish Glyptosternum maculatum (Sisoridae, Siluriformes).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, D M; Xie, C X; Zhang, H J; Liu, H P

    2011-02-01

    This study attempted to determine the presence, distribution and levels of digestive proteases, pepsin, amylase and lipase in the homogenates of digestive tract of a freshwater, cold-adapted, carnivorous teleost of Tibet, Glyptosternum maculatum (n= 10, mean weight: 129.6±28.9 g, mean length: 195.1±16.6 mm, approximately 6 years old), at different temperatures and pH levels. The descending order of protease activity was as follows: stomach (pepsin, 16.16±0.96 U/mg protein), anterior intestine (3.18±0.25 U/mg protein), posterior intestine (1.76±0.21 U/mg protein) and middle intestine (1.52±0.23 U/mg protein). Amylase activity levels in descending order were as follows: anterior intestine (0.0062±0.0007 U/mg protein), stomach (0.0032±0.0009 U/mg protein), middle intestine (0.0023±0.0005 U/mg protein) and posterior intestine (0.0023±0.0004 U/mg protein). The highest lipase activity was found in the anterior intestine (0.83±0.25 U/mg protein), followed by posterior intestine (0.51±0.19 U/mg protein), middle intestine (0.48±0.09 U/mg protein) and stomach (0.39±0.10 U/mg protein). The optimal temperature and pH level for protease were 50°C and 9.0-10.0, respectively, along the intestine. The pepsin optima in the stomach were 30°C and 2.0 respectively. The optimal temperature for amylase was found to be 30°C along the digestive tract and the optimal pH was 7.0 in the intestine and 6.0 in the stomach. The optimal temperature and pH levels of lipase were 30°C, pH 6.0 for the stomach and 40-50°C, pH 8.0 for the intestine, respectively. Hepato-somatic index was 1.35±0.2% and relative intestine length was 0.90±0.19. The weight ratio of the stomach and intestine to body weight was 1.63±0.43% and 1.57±0.24% respectively. PMID:20487102

  20. Mitochondrial genome sequences illuminate maternal lineages of conservation concern in a rare carnivore

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    Pilgrim Kristine

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Science-based wildlife management relies on genetic information to infer population connectivity and identify conservation units. The most commonly used genetic marker for characterizing animal biodiversity and identifying maternal lineages is the mitochondrial genome. Mitochondrial genotyping figures prominently in conservation and management plans, with much of the attention focused on the non-coding displacement ("D" loop. We used massively parallel multiplexed sequencing to sequence complete mitochondrial genomes from 40 fishers, a threatened carnivore that possesses low mitogenomic diversity. This allowed us to test a key assumption of conservation genetics, specifically, that the D-loop accurately reflects genealogical relationships and variation of the larger mitochondrial genome. Results Overall mitogenomic divergence in fishers is exceedingly low, with 66 segregating sites and an average pairwise distance between genomes of 0.00088 across their aligned length (16,290 bp. Estimates of variation and genealogical relationships from the displacement (D loop region (299 bp are contradicted by the complete mitochondrial genome, as well as the protein coding fraction of the mitochondrial genome. The sources of this contradiction trace primarily to the near-absence of mutations marking the D-loop region of one of the most divergent lineages, and secondarily to independent (recurrent mutations at two nucleotide position in the D-loop amplicon. Conclusions Our study has two important implications. First, inferred genealogical reconstructions based on the fisher D-loop region contradict inferences based on the entire mitogenome to the point that the populations of greatest conservation concern cannot be accurately resolved. Whole-genome analysis identifies Californian haplotypes from the northern-most populations as highly distinctive, with a significant excess of amino acid changes that may be indicative of molecular

  1. Molecular cloning and ontogenic mRNA expression of fatty acid desaturase in the carnivorous striped snakehead fish (Channa striata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaya-Ram, Annette; Ishak, Sairatul Dahlianis; Enyu, Yee-Ling; Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Wong, Kah-Loon; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2011-04-01

    There is very little information on the capacity of freshwater carnivorous fish to biosynthesize highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA). The striped snakehead fish (Channa striata) is a carnivorous species cultured inland of several Southeast Asian countries due to its pharmaceutical properties in wound healing enhancement. We described here the full-length cDNA cloning of a striped snakehead fatty acid desaturase (fads), which is responsible for desaturation of unsaturated fatty acids in the HUFA biosynthesis. Bioinformatics analysis reveals a protein coding region with length of 445 amino acids containing all characteristic features of desaturase enzyme, including a cytochrome b5-domain with the heme-binding motif, two transmembrane domains and three histidine-rich regions. The striped snakehead fads amino acid sequence shares high similarity with known fads of other teleosts. The mRNA expression of striped snakehead fads also showed an ontogenic-related increase in expression in 0-20 days after hatch larva. Using ISH, we localized the presence of fads in larva brain, liver and intestinal tissues.

  2. Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marica Bakovic

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Research in various species has indicated that diets deficient in labile methyl groups (methionine, choline, betaine, folate produce fatty liver and links to steatosis and metabolic syndrome, but also provides evidence of the importance of labile methyl group balance to maintain normal liver function. Cats, being obligate carnivores, rely on nutrients in animal tissues and have, due to evolutionary pressure, developed several physiological and metabolic adaptations, including a number of peculiarities in protein and fat metabolism. This has led to specific and unique nutritional requirements. Adult cats require more dietary protein than omnivorous species, maintain a consistently high rate of protein oxidation and gluconeogenesis and are unable to adapt to reduced protein intake. Furthermore, cats have a higher requirement for essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hastened use coupled with an inability to conserve certain amino acids, including methionine, cysteine, taurine and arginine, necessitates a higher dietary intake for cats compared to most other species. Cats also seemingly require higher amounts of several B-vitamins compared to other species and are predisposed to depletion during prolonged inappetance. This carnivorous uniqueness makes cats more susceptible to hepatic lipidosis.

  3. Molecular cloning and ontogenic mRNA expression of fatty acid desaturase in the carnivorous striped snakehead fish (Channa striata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaya-Ram, Annette; Ishak, Sairatul Dahlianis; Enyu, Yee-Ling; Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Wong, Kah-Loon; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2011-04-01

    There is very little information on the capacity of freshwater carnivorous fish to biosynthesize highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA). The striped snakehead fish (Channa striata) is a carnivorous species cultured inland of several Southeast Asian countries due to its pharmaceutical properties in wound healing enhancement. We described here the full-length cDNA cloning of a striped snakehead fatty acid desaturase (fads), which is responsible for desaturation of unsaturated fatty acids in the HUFA biosynthesis. Bioinformatics analysis reveals a protein coding region with length of 445 amino acids containing all characteristic features of desaturase enzyme, including a cytochrome b5-domain with the heme-binding motif, two transmembrane domains and three histidine-rich regions. The striped snakehead fads amino acid sequence shares high similarity with known fads of other teleosts. The mRNA expression of striped snakehead fads also showed an ontogenic-related increase in expression in 0-20 days after hatch larva. Using ISH, we localized the presence of fads in larva brain, liver and intestinal tissues. PMID:21130179

  4. Glucan-rich diet is digested and taken up by the carnivorous sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.): implication for a novel role of plant β-1,3-glucanases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalko, Jaroslav; Socha, Peter; Mészáros, Patrik; Blehová, Alžbeta; Libantová, Jana; Moravčíková, Jana; Matušíková, Ildikó

    2013-10-01

    Carnivory in plants evolved as an adaptation strategy to nutrient-poor environments. Thanks to specialized traps, carnivorous plants can gain nutrients from various heterotrophic sources such as small insects. Digestion in traps requires a coordinated action of several hydrolytic enzymes that break down complex substances into simple absorbable nutrients. Among these, several pathogenesis-related proteins including β-1,3-glucanases have previously been identified in digestive fluid of some carnivorous species. Here we show that a single acidic endo-β-1,3-glucanase of ~50 kDa is present in the digestive fluid of the flypaper-trapped sundew (Drosera rotundifolia L.). The enzyme is inducible with a complex plant β-glucan laminarin from which it releases simple saccharides when supplied to leaves as a substrate. Moreover, thin-layer chromatography of digestive exudates showed that the simplest degradation products (especially glucose) are taken up by the leaves. These results for the first time point on involvement of β-1,3-glucanases in digestion of carnivorous plants and demonstrate the uptake of saccharide-based compounds by traps. Such a strategy could enable the plant to utilize other types of nutritional sources e.g., pollen grains, fungal spores or detritus from environment. Possible multiple roles of β-1,3-glucanases in the digestive fluid of carnivorous sundew are also discussed. PMID:23832529

  5. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco.

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    Camille Daujeard

    Full Text Available In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco, in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH, dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco.

  6. Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daujeard, Camille; Geraads, Denis; Gallotti, Rosalia; Lefèvre, David; Mohib, Abderrahim; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2016-01-01

    In many Middle Pleistocene sites, the co-occurrence of hominins with carnivores, who both contributed to faunal accumulations, suggests competition for resources as well as for living spaces. Despite this, there is very little evidence of direct interaction between them to-date. Recently, a human femoral diaphysis has been recognized in South-West of Casablanca (Morocco), in the locality called Thomas Quarry I. This site is famous for its Middle Pleistocene fossil hominins considered representatives of Homo rhodesiensis. The bone was discovered in Unit 4 of the Grotte à Hominidés (GH), dated to c. 500 ky and was associated with Acheulean artefacts and a rich mammalian fauna. Anatomically, it fits well within the group of known early Middle Pleistocene Homo, but its chief point of interest is that the diaphyseal ends display numerous tooth marks showing that it had been consumed shortly after death by a large carnivore, probably a hyena. This bone represents the first evidence of consumption of human remains by carnivores in the cave. Whether predated or scavenged, this chewed femur indicates that humans were a resource for carnivores, underlining their close relationships during the Middle Pleistocene in Atlantic Morocco.

  7. The glucose and insulin response to isoenergetic reduction of dietary energy sources in a true carnivore: the domestic cat ( Felis catus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbrugghe, Adronie; Hesta, Myriam; Van Weyenberg, Stephanie; Papadopoulos, Georgios A; Gommeren, Kris; Daminet, Sylvie; Bosmans, Tim; Polis, Ingeborgh; Buyse, Johan; Janssens, Geert P J

    2010-07-01

    The present study assessed the effect of separate reduction of each energy-delivering nutrient - protein, fat and carbohydrate - on glucose tolerance and insulin response in a strict carnivore: the domestic cat (Felis catus). Three isoenergetic, home-made diets with the following energetic distribution, low protein (LP): protein 28 % of metabolisable energy; fat 43 %; nitrogen-free extract 29 %; low fat: 47, 27 and 25 %; low carbohydrate (LC): 45, 48 and 7 %, were tested in a 3 x 3 Latin square design. Nine healthy normal-weight cats were randomly assigned to each of the diets in a random order at intervals of 3 weeks. At the end of each testing period, intravenous glucose tolerance tests were performed. Plasma glucose concentrations and area under the glucose curve showed no differences. Area under the insulin curve was lower when cats were fed the LP diet, and the second insulin peak tended to be delayed when the LC diet was fed. In contrast to other studies, in which energy sources were elevated instead of being reduced, the present trial contradicts the often suggested negative impact of carbohydrates on insulin sensitivity in carnivores, and shows that reducing the dietary carbohydrate content below common amounts for commercial foods evokes an insulin-resistant state, which can be explained by the cats' strict carnivorous nature. It even points to a negative effect of protein on insulin sensitivity, a finding that corresponds with the highly gluconeogenic nature of amino acids in strict carnivores. PMID:20193098

  8. Risk assessment of metals and organic pollutants for herbivorous and carnivorous small mammal food chains in a polluted floodplain (Biesbosch, The Netherlands)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hamers, T.H.M.; Berg, van den J.H.J.; Gestel, van C.A.M.; Schooten, van F.J.; Murk, A.J.

    2006-01-01

    A risk assessment was made for a carnivorous and a herbivorous food chain in a heavily polluted natural estuary (Biesbosch), by determining the most critical pollutants and the food chain most at risk. Exposure of food chains to metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated bi

  9. Piroplasmosis in wildlife: Babesia and Theileria affecting free-ranging ungulates and carnivores in the Italian Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Piroplasmosis are among the most relevant diseases of domestic animals. Babesia is emerging as cause of tick-borne zoonosis worldwide and free-living animals are reservoir hosts of several zoonotic Babesia species. We investigated the epidemiology of Babesia spp. and Theileria spp. in wild ungulates and carnivores from Northern Italy to determine which of these apicomplexan species circulate in wildlife and their prevalence of infection. Methods PCR amplification of the V4 hyper-variable region of the 18S rDNA of Babesia sp./Theileria sp was carried out on spleen samples of 1036 wild animals: Roe deer Capreolus capreolus (n = 462), Red deer Cervus elaphus (n = 52), Alpine Chamois Rupicapra rupicapra (n = 36), Fallow deer Dama dama (n = 17), Wild boar Sus scrofa (n = 257), Red fox Vulpes vulpes (n = 205) and Wolf Canis lupus (n = 7). Selected positive samples were sequenced to determine the species of amplified Babesia/Theileria DNA. Results Babesia/Theileria DNA was found with a mean prevalence of 9.94% (IC95% 8.27-11.91). The only piroplasms found in carnivores was Theileria annae, which was detected in two foxes (0.98%; IC95% 0.27-3.49). Red deer showed the highest prevalence of infection (44.23%; IC95% 31.6-57.66), followed by Alpine chamois (22.22%; IC95% 11.71-38.08), Roe deer (12.55%; IC95% 9.84-15.89), and Wild boar (4.67%; IC95% 2.69-7.98). Genetic analysis identified Babesia capreoli as the most prevalent piroplasmid found in Alpine chamois, Roe deer and Red deer, followed by Babesia bigemina (found in Roe deer, Red deer and Wild boar), and the zoonotic Babesia venatorum (formerly Babesia sp. EU1) isolated from 2 Roe deer. Piroplasmids of the genus Theileria were identified in Wild boar and Red deer. Conclusions The present study offers novel insights into the role of wildlife in Babesia/Theileria epidemiology, as well as relevant information on genetic variability of piroplasmids infecting wild ungulates and

  10. Rates and modes of body size evolution in early carnivores and herbivores: a case study from Captorhinidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocklehurst, Neil

    2016-01-01

    Body size is an extremely important characteristic, impacting on a variety of ecological and life-history traits. It is therefore important to understand the factors which may affect its evolution, and diet has attracted much interest in this context. A recent study which examined the evolution of the earliest terrestrial herbivores in the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian concluded that in the four herbivorous clades examined there was a trend towards increased body size, and that this increase was more substantial than that observed in closely related carnivorous clades. However, this hypothesis was not based on quantitative examination, and phylogenetic comparative methods provide a more robust means of testing such hypotheses. Here, the evolution of body size within different dietary regimes is examined in Captorhinidae, the most diverse and longest lived of these earliest high fibre herbivores. Evolutionary models were fit to their phylogeny to test for variation in rate and mode of evolution between the carnivorous and herbivorous members of this clade, and an analysis of rate variation throughout the tree was carried out. Estimates of ancestral body sizes were calculated in order to compare the rates and direction of evolution of lineages with different dietary regimes. Support for the idea that the high fibre herbivores within captorhinids are being drawn to a higher adaptive peak in body size than the carnivorous members of this clade is weak. A shift in rates of body size evolution is identified, but this does not coincide with the evolution of high-fibre herbivory, instead occurring earlier in time and at a more basal node. Herbivorous lineages which show an increase in size are not found to evolve at a faster rate than those which show a decrease; in fact, it is those which experience a size decrease which evolve at higher rates. It is possible the shift in rates of evolution is related to the improved food processing ability of the more derived

  11. Molecular detection of vector-borne pathogens in wild and domestic carnivores and their ticks at the human-wildlife interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millán, Javier; Proboste, Tatiana; Fernández de Mera, Isabel G; Chirife, Andrea D; de la Fuente, José; Altet, Laura

    2016-03-01

    Urbanization of natural areas is considered one of the causes of the current apparent emergence of infectious diseases. Carnivores are among the species that adapt well to urban and periurban environments, facilitating cross-species disease transmission with domestic dogs and cats, and potentially with their owners. The prevalence of vector-borne pathogens (VBP) of zoonotic and veterinary interest was studied in sympatric wild and domestic carnivores into Barcelona Metropolitan Area (NE Spain). Blood or spleen samples from 130 animals, including 34 common genets (Genetta genetta), 12 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 10 stone martens (Martes foina), three Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), 34 free-roaming domestic cats and 37 dogs with outdoor access, were collected either in protected or adjacent residential areas. A total of 309 ticks (chiefly Rhipicephalus turanicus) were collected on these animals. The samples were analyzed with a battery of PCR assays targeting the DNA of Rickettsia spp., Anaplasmataceae, Coxiella burnetii, Bartonella spp., and Piroplasmida, and the amplicons were sequenced. The fox showed the highest prevalence (58%) and diversity of VBP (four pathogens), whereas none of the dogs were infected. Bartonella spp. (including B. clarridgeiae, B. henselae, and B. rochalimae) was the most prevalent pathogen. Infection of wild carnivores with Ehrlichia canis, C. burnetii, Theileria annae and Babesia vogeli was also confirmed, with some cases of coinfection observed. The presence of DNA of T. annae and B. vogeli was also confirmed in tick pools from four species of wild carnivores, supporting their role in piroplasmid life-cycle. By the sequencing of several target genes, DNA of Rickettsia massiliae was confirmed in 17 pools of Rh. turanicus, Rh. sanguineous, and Rh. pusillus from five different species, and Rickettsia conorii in one pool of Rh. sanguineous from a dog. None of the hosts from which these ticks were collected was infected by Rickettsia. Although

  12. A rapid and efficient method for isolating high quality DNA from leaves of carnivorous plants from the Drosera genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biteau, Flore; Nisse, Estelle; Hehn, Alain; Miguel, Sissi; Hannewald, Paul; Bourgaud, Frédéric

    2012-07-01

    Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera capensis, and Drosera regia are carnivorous plants of the sundew family, characterized by the presence of stalked and sticky glands on the upper leaf surface, to attract, trap, and digest insects. These plants contain exceptionally high amounts of polysaccharides, polyphenols, and other secondary metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and subsequent enzymatic reactions such as PCR amplification. We present here a protocol for quick isolation of Drosera DNA with high yield and a high level of purity, by combining a borate extraction buffer with a commercial DNA extraction kit, and a proteinase K treatment during extraction. The yield of genomic DNA is from 13.36 μg/g of fresh weight to 35.29 μg/g depending of the species of Drosera, with a A₂₆₀/A₂₈₀ ratio of 1.43-1.92. Moreover, the procedure is quick and can be completed in 2.5 h. PMID:22002226

  13. Different mechanics of snap-trapping in the two closely related carnivorous plants Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa

    CERN Document Server

    Poppinga, Simon

    2011-01-01

    The carnivorous aquatic Waterwheel Plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula SOL. EX J. ELLIS) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Traditionally, Aldrovanda is considered as a miniature, aquatic Dionaea, an assumption which was already established by Charles Darwin. However, videos of snapping traps from both species suggest completely different closure mechanisms. Indeed, the well-described snapping mechanism in Dionaea comprises abrupt curvature inversion of the two trap lobes, while the closing movement in Aldrovanda involves deformation of the trap midrib but not of the lobes, which do not change curvature. In this paper, we present the first detailed mechanical models for these plants, which are based on the theory of thin solid membranes and explain this difference by showing that the fast snapping of Aldrovanda is due to kinematic amplification of the bending deforma...

  14. A rapid and efficient method for isolating high quality DNA from leaves of carnivorous plants from the Drosera genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biteau, Flore; Nisse, Estelle; Hehn, Alain; Miguel, Sissi; Hannewald, Paul; Bourgaud, Frédéric

    2012-07-01

    Drosera rotundifolia, Drosera capensis, and Drosera regia are carnivorous plants of the sundew family, characterized by the presence of stalked and sticky glands on the upper leaf surface, to attract, trap, and digest insects. These plants contain exceptionally high amounts of polysaccharides, polyphenols, and other secondary metabolites that interfere with DNA isolation and subsequent enzymatic reactions such as PCR amplification. We present here a protocol for quick isolation of Drosera DNA with high yield and a high level of purity, by combining a borate extraction buffer with a commercial DNA extraction kit, and a proteinase K treatment during extraction. The yield of genomic DNA is from 13.36 μg/g of fresh weight to 35.29 μg/g depending of the species of Drosera, with a A₂₆₀/A₂₈₀ ratio of 1.43-1.92. Moreover, the procedure is quick and can be completed in 2.5 h.

  15. Using molecular epidemiology to track Toxoplasma gondii from terrestrial carnivores to marine hosts: implications for public health and conservation.

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    Elizabeth VanWormer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Environmental transmission of the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which is shed only by felids, poses risks to human and animal health in temperate and tropical ecosystems. Atypical T. gondii genotypes have been linked to severe disease in people and the threatened population of California sea otters. To investigate land-to-sea parasite transmission, we screened 373 carnivores (feral domestic cats, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, and coyotes for T. gondii infection and examined the distribution of genotypes in 85 infected animals sampled near the sea otter range. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Nested PCR-RFLP analyses and direct DNA sequencing at six independent polymorphic genetic loci (B1, SAG1, SAG3, GRA6, L358, and Apico were used to characterize T. gondii strains in infected animals. Strains consistent with Type X, a novel genotype previously identified in over 70% of infected sea otters and four terrestrial wild carnivores along the California coast, were detected in all sampled species, including domestic cats. However, odds of Type X infection were 14 times higher (95% CI: 1.3-148.6 for wild felids than feral domestic cats. Type X infection was also linked to undeveloped lands (OR = 22, 95% CI: 2.3-250.7. A spatial cluster of terrestrial Type II infection (P = 0.04 was identified in developed lands bordering an area of increased risk for sea otter Type II infection. Two spatial clusters of animals infected with strains consistent with Type X (P ≤ 0.01 were detected in less developed landscapes. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in T. gondii genotype prevalence among domestic and wild felids, as well as the spatial distribution of genotypes, suggest co-existing domestic and wild T. gondii transmission cycles that likely overlap at the interface of developed and undeveloped lands. Anthropogenic development driving contact between these cycles may increase atypical T. gondii genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission

  16. Behavioral responses to mammalian blood odor and a blood odor component in four species of large carnivores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Nilsson

    Full Text Available Only little is known about whether single volatile compounds are as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in animals as the whole complex mixture of a behaviorally relevant odor. Recent studies analysing the composition of volatiles in mammalian blood, an important prey-associated odor stimulus for predators, found the odorant trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal to evoke a typical "metallic, blood-like" odor quality in humans. We therefore assessed the behavior of captive Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus, African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus, South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus, and Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica when presented with wooden logs that were impregnated either with mammalian blood or with the blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal, and compared it to their behavior towards a fruity odor (iso-pentyl acetate and a near-odorless solvent (diethyl phthalate as control. We found that all four species displayed significantly more interactions with the odorized wooden logs such as sniffing, licking, biting, pawing, and toying, when they were impregnated with the two prey-associated odors compared to the two non-prey-associated odors. Most importantly, no significant differences were found in the number of interactions with the wooden logs impregnated with mammalian blood and the blood odor component in any of the four species. Only one of the four species, the South American bush dogs, displayed a significant decrease in the number of interactions with the odorized logs across the five sessions performed per odor stimulus. Taken together, the results demonstrate that a single blood odor component can be as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in large carnivores as the odor of real blood, suggesting that trans-4,5-epoxy-(E-2-decenal may be perceived by predators as a "character impact compound" of mammalian blood odor. Further, the results suggest that odorized wooden logs are a suitable manner of environmental

  17. Genetic predictions of prion disease susceptibility in carnivore species based on variability of the prion gene coding region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Stewart

    Full Text Available Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrP(C protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo and pine marten (Martes martes were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus and mountain lion (Puma concolor from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter.

  18. Evolutionary histories of transposable elements in the genome of the largest living marsupial carnivore, the Tasmanian devil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallus, Susanne; Hallström, Björn M; Kumar, Vikas; Dodt, William G; Janke, Axel; Schumann, Gerald G; Nilsson, Maria A

    2015-05-01

    The largest living carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), is the sole survivor of a lineage originating about 12 Ma. We set out to investigate the spectrum of transposable elements found in the Tasmanian devil genome, the first high-coverage genome of an Australian marsupial. Marsupial genomes have been shown to have the highest amount of transposable elements among vertebrates. We analyzed the horizontally transmitted DNA transposons OC1 and hAT-1_MEu in the Tasmanian devil genome. OC1 is present in all carnivorous marsupials, while having a very limited distribution among the remaining Australian marsupial orders. In contrast, hAT-1_MEu is present in all Australian marsupial orders, and has so far only been identified in a few placental mammals. We screened 158 introns for phylogenetically informative retrotransposons in the order Dasyuromorphia, and found that the youngest SINE (Short INterspersed Element), WSINE1, is no longer active in the subfamily Dasyuridae. The lack of detectable WSINE1 activity in this group may be due to a retrotransposon inactivation event approximately 30 Ma. We found that the Tasmanian devil genome contains a relatively low number of continuous full-length LINE-1 (Long INterspersed Element 1, L1) retrotransposons compared with the opossum genome. Furthermore, all L1 elements in the Tasmanian devil appeared to be nonfunctional. Hidden Markov Model approaches suggested that other potential sources of functional reverse transcriptase are absent from the genome. We discuss the issues associated with assembling long, highly similar L1 copies from short read Illumina data and describe how assembly artifacts can potentially lead to erroneous conclusions. PMID:25633377

  19. High Gene Family Turnover Rates and Gene Space Adaptation in the Compact Genome of the Carnivorous Plant Utricularia gibba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Librado, Pablo; Chang, Tien-Hao; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Rozas, Julio; Albert, Victor A

    2015-05-01

    Utricularia gibba is an aquatic carnivorous plant with highly specialized morphology, featuring fibrous floating networks of branches and leaf-like organs, no recognizable roots, and bladder traps that capture and digest prey. We recently described the compressed genome of U. gibba as sufficient to control the development and reproduction of a complex organism. We hypothesized intense deletion pressure as a mechanism whereby most noncoding DNA was deleted, despite evidence for three independent whole-genome duplications (WGDs). Here, we explore the impact of intense genome fractionation in the evolutionary dynamics of U. gibba's functional gene space. We analyze U. gibba gene family turnover by modeling gene gain/death rates under a maximum-likelihood statistical framework. In accord with our deletion pressure hypothesis, we show that the U. gibba gene death rate is significantly higher than those of four other eudicot species. Interestingly, the gene gain rate is also significantly higher, likely reflecting the occurrence of multiple WGDs and possibly also small-scale genome duplications. Gene ontology enrichment analyses of U. gibba-specific two-gene orthogroups, multigene orthogroups, and singletons highlight functions that may represent adaptations in an aquatic carnivorous plant. We further discuss two homeodomain transcription factor gene families (WOX and HDG/HDZIP-IV) showing conspicuous differential expansions and contractions in U. gibba. Our results 1) reconcile the compactness of the U. gibba genome with its accommodation of a typical number of genes for a plant genome, and 2) highlight the role of high gene family turnover in the evolutionary diversification of U. gibba's functional gene space and adaptations to its unique lifestyle and highly specialized body plan. PMID:25637935

  20. Coexistence of sympatric carnivores in relatively homogeneous Mediterranean landscapes: functional importance of habitat segregation at the fine-scale level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, Carolina; Palomares, Francisco

    2015-09-01

    One of the main objectives of community ecology is to understand the conditions allowing species to coexist. However, few studies have investigated the role of fine-scale habitat use segregation in the functioning of guild communities in relatively homogeneous landscapes where opportunities for coexistence are likely to be the most restrictive. We investigate how the process of habitat use differentiation at the home range level according to the degree of specialism/generalism of species can lead to coexistence between guild species. We examine differences in fine-scale habitat use and niche separation as potential mechanisms explaining the coexistence of five sympatric carnivore species that differ in life history traits (Iberian lynx, Eurasian badger, Egyptian mongoose, common genet and red fox) by collecting data from systematic track censuses in a relatively homogeneous Mediterranean landscape. We found that a higher degree of specialism determines the segregation of species among the fine-scale ecological niche dimensions defined using quantitative elements associated with vegetation, landscape, prey availability and human disturbance. The species with the lowest total performance over the set of variables did not exhibit segregation in the use of habitat at this level. Our study indicates that in relatively homogeneous landscapes, there exist subtle patterns of habitat partitioning over small-scale gradients of habitat determinants as a function of the degree of specialism of carnivore species within a guild. Our results also suggest that coexistence between generalist species may be permitted by fine-scale spatial-temporal segregation of activity patterns or trophic resource consumption, but not fine-scale habitat use differentiation. PMID:25933639

  1. Carnivore re-colonisation: Reality, possibility and a non-equilibrium century for grizzly bears in the southern Yellowstone ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyare, Sanjay; Cain, S.; Moody, D.; Schwartz, C.; Berger, J.

    2004-01-01

    Most large native carnivores have experienced range contractions due to conflicts with humans, although neither rates of spatial collapse nor expansion have been well characterised. In North America, the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) once ranged from Mexico northward to Alaska, however its range in the continental USA has been reduced by 95-98%. Under the U. S. Endangered Species Act, the Yellowstone grizzly bear population has re-colonised habitats outside Yellowstone National Park. We analysed historical and current records, including data on radio-collared bears, (1) to evaluate changes in grizzly bear distribution in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) over a 100-year period, (2) to utilise historical rates of re-colonisation to project future expansion trends and (3) to evaluate the reality of future expansion based on human limitations and land use. Analysis of distribution in 20-year increments reflects range reduction from south to north (1900-1940) and expansion to the south (1940-2000). Expansion was exponential and the area occupied by grizzly bears doubled approximately every 20 years. A complementary analysis of bear occurrence in Grand Teton National Park also suggests an unprecedented period of rapid expansion during the last 20-30 years. The grizzly bear population currently has re-occupied about 50% of the southern GYE. Based on assumptions of continued protection and ecological stasis, our model suggests total occupancy in 25 years. Alternatively, extrapolation of linear expansion rates from the period prior to protection suggests total occupancy could take > 100 years. Analyses of historical trends can be useful as a restoration tool because they enable a framework and timeline to be constructed to pre-emptively address the social challenges affecting future carnivore recovery. ?? 2004 The Zoological Society of London.

  2. Reproduction in a carnivorous sponge: the significance of the absence of an aquiferous system to the sponge body plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesgo, Ana; Taylor, Chantel; Leys, Sally P

    2007-01-01

    Sponges usually produce, release, and capture gametes via the aquiferous system, and so the absence of both choanocytes and an aquiferous system in the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis has led to unusual characteristics of development for this Phylum. Sperm are highly specialized elongate cells tightly packed into spermatic cysts in the peripheral tissue of the sponge. Mature spermatozoa have proacrosomal vesicles at the anterior end and a ciliary pit surrounding the flagellum. Clusters of four to five oocytes are in synchronous stages of cleavage, suggesting that fertilization is synchronous. All stages of embryos occur in the same individual. Early cleavage was holoblastic and equal; blastomeres in two-, four- and eight-cell embryos were compact and 16-cell stage embryos were bi-layered. Late-stage embryos show three cellular regions along the anterior-posterior axis: the anterior hemisphere with heterogeneous cells, a mid-region with cells lying perpendicular to the A-P axis in a collagenous matrix, and small cells at the posterior pole. Unusually for Porifera, multiciliated cells cover all but the posterior pole. It is inferred that fertilization occurs by capture of intact spermatic cysts whose surrounding forceps spicules become trapped in the anisochelae of neighboring sponges. The elongate shape of sperm may be designed to penetrate the loose collagenous mesohyl, such that the arrival of a packet of sperm would lead to simultaneous fertilization of oocytes in a cluster. Loss of the water canal system in carnivorous sponges has allowed the evolution of features that are highly specialized for the habitat of this animal, but such modifications were not necessarily a prerequisite for the subsequent evolution of metazoans. Given the extremely versatile mechanisms of gametogenesis, embryogenesis, and tissue/body structure in sponges, generalizations regarding basal metazoan reproduction, development, and structure must be approached with caution.

  3. Behavioral responses to mammalian blood odor and a blood odor component in four species of large carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, Sara; Sjöberg, Johanna; Amundin, Mats; Hartmann, Constanze; Buettner, Andrea; Laska, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Only little is known about whether single volatile compounds are as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in animals as the whole complex mixture of a behaviorally relevant odor. Recent studies analysing the composition of volatiles in mammalian blood, an important prey-associated odor stimulus for predators, found the odorant trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal to evoke a typical "metallic, blood-like" odor quality in humans. We therefore assessed the behavior of captive Asian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), South American bush dogs (Speothos venaticus), and Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) when presented with wooden logs that were impregnated either with mammalian blood or with the blood odor component trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal, and compared it to their behavior towards a fruity odor (iso-pentyl acetate) and a near-odorless solvent (diethyl phthalate) as control. We found that all four species displayed significantly more interactions with the odorized wooden logs such as sniffing, licking, biting, pawing, and toying, when they were impregnated with the two prey-associated odors compared to the two non-prey-associated odors. Most importantly, no significant differences were found in the number of interactions with the wooden logs impregnated with mammalian blood and the blood odor component in any of the four species. Only one of the four species, the South American bush dogs, displayed a significant decrease in the number of interactions with the odorized logs across the five sessions performed per odor stimulus. Taken together, the results demonstrate that a single blood odor component can be as efficient in eliciting behavioral responses in large carnivores as the odor of real blood, suggesting that trans-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal may be perceived by predators as a "character impact compound" of mammalian blood odor. Further, the results suggest that odorized wooden logs are a suitable manner of environmental enrichment

  4. Chemical composition of fish and diets - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  5. Growth data - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  6. Fish culture data - Stable isotope analysis as a tool to determine the metabolic fates of dietary carbohydrates from plant-based alternative feed ingredients in the carnivorous sablefish, Anoplopoma fimbria

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Development of specialized feeds for carnivorous species such as sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) in which fishmeal and oil from marine sources are replaced by more...

  7. How Does a Carnivore Guild Utilise a Substantial but Unpredictable Anthropogenic Food Source? Scavenging on Hunter-Shot Ungulate Carcasses by Wild Dogs/Dingoes, Red Foxes and Feral Cats in South-Eastern Australia Revealed by Camera Traps

    OpenAIRE

    David M Forsyth; Luke Woodford; Moloney, Paul D.; Jordan O. Hampton; Andrew P Woolnough; Mark Tucker

    2014-01-01

    There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥ 150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red f...

  8. Differential Predation by Age and Sex Classes in Blue Wildebeest in Serengeti: Study of a Modern Carnivore Den in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania)

    OpenAIRE

    Mari Carmen Arriaza; Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo; Cayetana Martínez-Maza; Audax Mabulla; Enrique Baquedano

    2015-01-01

    Age and sex selection of prey is an aspect of predator ecology which has been extensively studied in both temperate and African ecosystems. This dimension, along with fecundity, survival rates of prey and mortality factors other than predation are important in laying down the population dynamics of prey and have important implications in the management of species. A carnivore den located in the short-grassland ecological unit of the Serengeti was studied. Sex- and age- class (using five age c...

  9. Survival of a native mammalian carnivore, the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis Kerr, 1792 (Carnivora: Felidae), in an agricultural landscape on an oceanic Philippine island

    OpenAIRE

    M.R.P. Lorica; Heaney, L.R.

    2013-01-01

    Concerns about vulnerability of mammalian carnivores to extinction, especially on small islands, appear to conflict with prior reports of endemic populations of leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792) surviving in agricultural landscapes on oceanic islands. We investigated the persistence of the Visayan leopard cat (P. b. rabori) in the sugarcane fields on Negros, an oceanic island in central Philippines. A population remained throughout the year at our study site on a sugarcane f...

  10. Is GC bias in the nuclear genome of the carnivorous plant Utricularia driven by ROS-based mutation and biased gene conversion?

    OpenAIRE

    Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Albert, Victor A.; Herrera-Estrella, Alfredo; Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    2011-01-01

    At less than 90 Mbp, the tiny nuclear genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant Utricularia is an attractive model system for studying molecular evolutionary processes leading to genome miniaturization. Recently, we reported that expression of genes encoding DNA repair and reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification enzymes is highest in Utricularia traps, and we argued that ROS mutagenic action correlates with the high nucleotide substitution rates observed in the Utricularia plastid, mit...

  11. Anthropogenic extinction of top carnivores and interspecific animal behaviour: implications of the rapid decoupling of a web involving wolves, bears, moose and ravens.

    OpenAIRE

    Berger, J

    1999-01-01

    The recent extinction of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) by humans from 95-99% of the contiguous USA and Mexico in less than 100 years has resulted in dramatically altered and expanded prey communities. Such rampant ecological change and putative ecological instability has not occurred in North American northern boreal zones. This geographical variation in the loss of large carnivores as a consequence of anthropogenic disturbance offers opportunities for examining the po...

  12. Anthropogenic extinction of top carnivores and interspecific animal behaviour: implications of the rapid decoupling of a web involving wolves, bears, moose and ravens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, J

    1999-11-22

    The recent extinction of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and wolves (Canis lupus) by humans from 95-99% of the contiguous USA and Mexico in less than 100 years has resulted in dramatically altered and expanded prey communities. Such rampant ecological change and putative ecological instability has not occurred in North American northern boreal zones. This geographical variation in the loss of large carnivores as a consequence of anthropogenic disturbance offers opportunities for examining the potential consequences of extinction on subtle but important ecological patterns involving behaviour and interspecific ecological interactions. In Alaska, where scavengers and large carnivores are associated with carcasses, field experiments involving sound playback simulations have demonstrated that at least one prey species, moose (Alces alces), is sensitive to the vocalizations of ravens (Corvus corax) and may rely on their cues to avoid predation. However, a similar relationship is absent on a predator-free island in Alaska's Cook Inlet and at two sites in the Jackson Hole region of the Rocky Mountains (USA) where grizzly bears and wolves have been extinct for 50-70 years. While prior study of birds and mammals has demonstrated that prey may retain predator recognition capabilities for thousands of years even after predation as a selective force has been relaxed, the results presented here establish that a desensitization in interspecific responsiveness can also occur in less than ten generations. These results affirm (i) a rapid decoupling in behaviour involving prey and scavengers as a consequence of anthropogenic-caused predator-prey disequilibriums, and (ii) subtle, community-level modifications in terrestrial ecosystems where large carnivores no longer exist. If knowledge about ecological and behavioural processes in extant systems is to be enhanced, the potential effects of recently extinct carnivores must be incorporated into current programmes. PMID:10629976

  13. Application of DNA barcoding for identification of freshwater carnivorous fish diets: Is number of prey items dependent on size class for Micropterus salmoides?

    OpenAIRE

    Jo, Hyunbin; Gim, Jeong-An; Jeong, Kwang-Seuk; Kim, Heui-Soo; Joo, Gea-Jae

    2013-01-01

    Understanding predator–prey interactions is a major challenge in ecological studies. In particular, the accurate identification of prey is a fundamental requirement in elucidating food-web structure. This study took a molecular approach in determining the species identity of consumed prey items of a freshwater carnivorous fish (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides), according to their size class. Thirty randomly selected gut samples were categorized into three size classes, based on the tot...

  14. Extinctions of Late Ice Age Cave Bears as a Result of Climate/Habitat Change and Large Carnivore Lion/Hyena/Wolf Predation Stress in Europe

    OpenAIRE

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2013-01-01

    Predation onto cave bears (especially cubs) took place mainly by lion Panthera leo spelaea (Goldfuss), as nocturnal hunters deep in the dark caves in hibernation areas. Several cave bear vertebral columns in Sophie’s Cave have large carnivore bite damages. Different cave bear bones are chewed or punctured. Those lets reconstruct carcass decomposition and feeding technique caused only/mainly by Ice Age spotted hyenas Crocuta crocuta spelaea, which are the only of all three predators that crush...

  15. A fatty acyl desaturase (fads2) with dual Δ6 and Δ5 activities from the freshwater carnivorous striped snakehead Channa striata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Jaya-Ram, Annette; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2016-11-01

    There is a lack of understanding on how the environment and trophic niche affect the capability of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in freshwater carnivorous teleost. In this present study, we isolated and functionally characterised a fatty acyl desaturase (Fads) from the striped snakehead Channa striata. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis suggested a Fads2 protein that is closely related to previously characterised Fads2 proteins from freshwater carnivorous and marine herbivorous fish species. We further demonstrated the capacity of Δ6 and Δ5 desaturation activities for this particular desaturase, with highest activities towards the conversion of omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Low Δ4 desaturation activity was also detected, although the significance of this at a physiological level remains to be studied. The expression of this striped snakehead Δ6/Δ5 fads2 gene was highest in brain, followed by liver and intestine. In liver, diet fortified with high LC-PUFA concentration impeded the expression of Δ6/Δ5 fads2 gene compared to vegetable oil (VO) based diets. The discovery of Δ6/Δ5 Fads2 desaturase here complements the previous discovery of a Δ4 Fads2 desaturase and an Elovl5 elongase, lending proof to the existence of all the required enzymatic machinery to biosynthesise LC-PUFA from C18 PUFA in a freshwater carnivorous species.

  16. Influence of dietary feathers on the fecal microbiota in captive Arctic fox: do dietary hair or feathers play a role in the evolution of carnivorous mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Liang; Yang, Shuhui; Xu, Yanchun; Dahmer, Thomas D

    2014-11-01

    Hair and feathers are composed of keratin and are indigestible, inalimental and unpalatable for carnivores. However, carnivores often ingest hair and feathers during feeding or when grooming. We hypothesized that ingestion of hair and feathers changes species diversity and relative abundance of bacteria in the gut of carnivores. To test this hypothesis, we added disinfected poultry down feathers to the normal diet of captive Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus). We then used fluorescently labeled terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs) to examine changes in fecal bacterial diversity and abundance. The results showed that the number of bacterial species increased significantly after feather ingestion, but that total abundance was unchanged. This demonstrated that addition of disinfected feathers to the diet stimulated increased production among less abundant bacteria, resulting in a balancing of relative abundance of different bacterial species, or that some newly-ingested microbial species would colonize the gut because a suitable microhabitat had become available. This implies that the overall production of bacterial metabolites would be made up of a greater range of substances after feather ingestion. On one hand, the host's immune response would be more diverse, increasing the capacity of the immune system to regulate gut microflora. On the other hand, the animal's physiological performance would also be affected. For wild animals, such altered physiological traits would be subjected to natural selection, and, hence, persistent geographic differences in the character of ingested feathers or fur would drive speciation. PMID:25420637

  17. Transcriptomics and molecular evolutionary rate analysis of the bladderwort (Utricularia, a carnivorous plant with a minimal genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herrera-Estrella Alfredo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The carnivorous plant Utricularia gibba (bladderwort is remarkable in having a minute genome, which at ca. 80 megabases is approximately half that of Arabidopsis. Bladderworts show an incredible diversity of forms surrounding a defined theme: tiny, bladder-like suction traps on terrestrial, epiphytic, or aquatic plants with a diversity of unusual vegetative forms. Utricularia plants, which are rootless, are also anomalous in physiological features (respiration and carbon distribution, and highly enhanced molecular evolutionary rates in chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear ribosomal sequences. Despite great interest in the genus, no genomic resources exist for Utricularia, and the substitution rate increase has received limited study. Results Here we describe the sequencing and analysis of the Utricularia gibba transcriptome. Three different organs were surveyed, the traps, the vegetative shoot bodies, and the inflorescence stems. We also examined the bladderwort transcriptome under diverse stress conditions. We detail aspects of functional classification, tissue similarity, nitrogen and phosphorus metabolism, respiration, DNA repair, and detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS. Long contigs of plastid and mitochondrial genomes, as well as sequences for 100 individual nuclear genes, were compared with those of other plants to better establish information on molecular evolutionary rates. Conclusion The Utricularia transcriptome provides a detailed genomic window into processes occurring in a carnivorous plant. It contains a deep representation of the complex metabolic pathways that characterize a putative minimal plant genome, permitting its use as a source of genomic information to explore the structural, functional, and evolutionary diversity of the genus. Vegetative shoots and traps are the most similar organs by functional classification of their transcriptome, the traps expressing hydrolytic enzymes for prey

  18. Patterns of prey capture and prey availability among populations of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) along an environmental gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2003-09-01

    In this study we explored the effect of the physical environment and the availability of prey (biomass and taxonomic composition) on the patterns of prey capture and reproduction on five populations of Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) in areas ranging from pine-oak forests to desert scrublands. Environmental variation was summarized using principal factor analysis. Prey availability and prey capture increased toward the shadiest, most humid, and fertile population. The probability of reproduction and average bud production per population did not follow the same tendency because both fitness components peaked at the middle of the environmental gradient. These results suggest that the benefits derived from carnivory are maximized at sites fulfilling a trade-off between light, moisture, and prey availability. We also found that the taxonomic composition of both the available prey and that of the prey captured by plants varied among populations. The results also indicated that the prey captured by plants are not a random sample of prey available within populations. Overall, the results from this study revealed a marked amount of heterogeneity in the physical and biotic environment among the populations of P. moranensis, which has the potential to affect the outcome of the interaction between this carnivorous species and its prey.

  19. Patterns of Natural and Human-Caused Mortality Factors of a Rare Forest Carnivore, the Fisher (Pekania pennanti in California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mourad W Gabriel

    Full Text Available Wildlife populations of conservation concern are limited in distribution, population size and persistence by various factors, including mortality. The fisher (Pekania pennanti, a North American mid-sized carnivore whose range in the western Pacific United States has retracted considerably in the past century, was proposed for threatened status protection in late 2014 under the United States Endangered Species Act by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in its West Coast Distinct Population Segment. We investigated mortality in 167 fishers from two genetically and geographically distinct sub-populations in California within this West Coast Distinct Population Segment using a combination of gross necropsy, histology, toxicology and molecular methods. Overall, predation (70%, natural disease (16%, toxicant poisoning (10% and, less commonly, vehicular strike (2% and other anthropogenic causes (2% were causes of mortality observed. We documented both an increase in mortality to (57% increase and exposure (6% from pesticides in fishers in just the past three years, highlighting further that toxicants from marijuana cultivation still pose a threat. Additionally, exposure to multiple rodenticides significantly increased the likelihood of mortality from rodenticide poisoning. Poisoning was significantly more common in male than female fishers and was 7 times more likely than disease to kill males. Based on necropsy findings, suspected causes of mortality based on field evidence alone tended to underestimate the frequency of disease-related mortalities. This study is the first comprehensive investigation of mortality causes of fishers and provides essential information to assist in the conservation of this species.

  20. Reliance on prey-derived nitrogen by the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia decreases with increasing nitrogen deposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millett, J; Svensson, B M; Newton, J; Rydin, H

    2012-07-01

    • Carnivory in plants is presumed to be an adaptation to a low-nutrient environment. Nitrogen (N) from carnivory is expected to become a less important component of the N budget as root N availability increases. • Here, we investigated the uptake of N via roots versus prey of the carnivorous plant Drosera rotundifolia growing in ombrotrophic bogs along a latitudinal N deposition gradient through Sweden, using a natural abundance stable isotope mass balance technique. • Drosera rotundifolia plants receiving the lowest level of N deposition obtained a greater proportion of N from prey (57%) than did plants on bogs with higher N deposition (22% at intermediate and 33% at the highest deposition). When adjusted for differences in plant mass, this pattern was also present when considering total prey N uptake (66, 26 and 26 μg prey N per plant at the low, intermediate and high N deposition sites, respectively). The pattern of mass-adjusted root N uptake was opposite to this (47, 75 and 86 μg N per plant). • Drosera rotundifolia plants in this study switched from reliance on prey N to reliance on root-derived N as a result of increasing N availability from atmospheric N deposition. PMID:22506640

  1. Indole-3-acetic acid-producing yeasts in the phyllosphere of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Feng Sun

    Full Text Available Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture.

  2. Patterns of Natural and Human-Caused Mortality Factors of a Rare Forest Carnivore, the Fisher (Pekania pennanti) in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabriel, Mourad W; Woods, Leslie W; Wengert, Greta M; Stephenson, Nicole; Higley, J Mark; Thompson, Craig; Matthews, Sean M; Sweitzer, Rick A; Purcell, Kathryn; Barrett, Reginald H; Keller, Stefan M; Gaffney, Patricia; Jones, Megan; Poppenga, Robert; Foley, Janet E; Brown, Richard N; Clifford, Deana L; Sacks, Benjamin N

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife populations of conservation concern are limited in distribution, population size and persistence by various factors, including mortality. The fisher (Pekania pennanti), a North American mid-sized carnivore whose range in the western Pacific United States has retracted considerably in the past century, was proposed for threatened status protection in late 2014 under the United States Endangered Species Act by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in its West Coast Distinct Population Segment. We investigated mortality in 167 fishers from two genetically and geographically distinct sub-populations in California within this West Coast Distinct Population Segment using a combination of gross necropsy, histology, toxicology and molecular methods. Overall, predation (70%), natural disease (16%), toxicant poisoning (10%) and, less commonly, vehicular strike (2%) and other anthropogenic causes (2%) were causes of mortality observed. We documented both an increase in mortality to (57% increase) and exposure (6%) from pesticides in fishers in just the past three years, highlighting further that toxicants from marijuana cultivation still pose a threat. Additionally, exposure to multiple rodenticides significantly increased the likelihood of mortality from rodenticide poisoning. Poisoning was significantly more common in male than female fishers and was 7 times more likely than disease to kill males. Based on necropsy findings, suspected causes of mortality based on field evidence alone tended to underestimate the frequency of disease-related mortalities. This study is the first comprehensive investigation of mortality causes of fishers and provides essential information to assist in the conservation of this species. PMID:26536481

  3. Cell death and renewal during prey capture and digestion in the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma hypogea (Porifera: Poecilosclerida).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinand-Mari, Camille; Vacelet, Jean; Nickel, Michael; Wörheide, Gert; Mangeat, Paul; Baghdiguian, Stephen

    2012-11-15

    The sponge Asbestopluma hypogea is unusual among sponges due to its peculiar carnivorous feeding habit. During various stages of its nutrition cycle, the sponge is subjected to spectacular morphological modifications. Starved animals are characterized by many elongated filaments, which are crucial for the capture of prey. After capture, and during the digestion process, these filaments actively regress before being regenerated during a subsequent period of starvation. Here, we demonstrate that these morphological events rely on a highly dynamic cellular turnover, implying a coordinated sequence of programmed cell death (apoptosis and autophagy), cell proliferation and cell migration. A candidate niche for cell renewal by stem cell proliferation and differentiation was identified at the base of the sponge peduncle, characterized by higher levels of BrdU/EdU incorporation. Therefore, BrdU/EdU-positive cells of the peduncle base are candidate motile cells responsible for the regeneration of the prey-capturing main sponge body, i.e. the dynamic filaments. Altogether, our results demonstrate that dynamics of cell renewal in sponge appear to be regulated by cellular mechanisms as multiple and complex as those already identified in bilaterian metazoans.

  4. How to catch more prey with less effective traps: explaining the evolution of temporarily inactive traps in carnivorous pitcher plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Ulrike; Federle, Walter; Seidel, Hannes; Grafe, T Ulmar; Ioannou, Christos C

    2015-02-22

    Carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plants capture arthropods with specialized slippery surfaces. The key trapping surface, the pitcher rim (peristome), is highly slippery when wetted by rain, nectar or condensation, but not when dry. As natural selection should favour adaptations that maximize prey intake, the evolution of temporarily inactive traps seems paradoxical. Here, we show that intermittent trap deactivation promotes 'batch captures' of ants. Prey surveys revealed that N. rafflesiana pitchers sporadically capture large numbers of ants from the same species. Continuous experimental wetting of the peristome increased the number of non-recruiting prey, but decreased the number of captured ants and shifted their trapping mode from batch to individual capture events. Ant recruitment was also lower to continuously wetted pitchers. Our experimental data fit a simple model that predicts that intermittent, wetness-based trap activation should allow safe access for 'scout' ants under dry conditions, thereby promoting recruitment and ultimately higher prey numbers. The peristome trapping mechanism may therefore represent an adaptation for capturing ants. The relatively rare batch capture events may particularly benefit larger plants with many pitchers. This explains why young plants of many Nepenthes species additionally employ wetness-independent, waxy trapping surfaces. PMID:25589604

  5. Different mechanics of snap-trapping in the two closely related carnivorous plants Dionaea muscipula and Aldrovanda vesiculosa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Joyeux, Marc

    2011-10-01

    The carnivorous aquatic waterwheel plant (Aldrovanda vesiculosa L.) and the closely related terrestrial venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula Sol. ex J. Ellis) both feature elaborate snap-traps, which shut after reception of an external mechanical stimulus by prey animals. Traditionally, Aldrovanda is considered as a miniature, aquatic Dionaea, an assumption which was already established by Charles Darwin. However, videos of snapping traps from both species suggest completely different closure mechanisms. Indeed, the well-described snapping mechanism in Dionaea comprises abrupt curvature inversion of the two trap lobes, while the closing movement in Aldrovanda involves deformation of the trap midrib but not of the lobes, which do not change curvature. In this paper, we present detailed mechanical models for these plants, which are based on the theory of thin solid membranes and explain this difference by showing that the fast snapping of Aldrovanda is due to kinematic amplification of the bending deformation of the midrib, while that of Dionaea unambiguously relies on the buckling instability that affects the two lobes.

  6. Resting electrical network activity in traps of the aquatic carnivorous plants of the genera Aldrovanda and Utricularia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masi, Elisa; Ciszak, Marzena; Colzi, Ilaria; Adamec, Lubomir; Mancuso, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    In this study the MEA (multielectrode array) system was used to record electrical responses of intact and halved traps, and other trap-free tissues of two aquatic carnivorous plants, Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Utricularia reflexa. They exhibit rapid trap movements and their traps contain numerous glands. Spontaneous generation of spikes with quite uniform shape, propagating across the recording area, has been observed for all types of sample. In the analysis of the electrical network, higher richer synchronous activity was observed relative to other plant species and organs previously described in the literature: indeed, the time intervals between the synchronized clusters (the inter-spike intervals) create organized patterns and the propagation times vary non-linearly with the distance due to this synchronization. Interestingly, more complex electrical activity was found in traps than in trap-free organs, supporting the hypothesis that the nature of the electrical activity may reflect the anatomical and functional complexity of different organs. Finally, the electrical activity of functionally different traps of Aldrovanda (snapping traps) and Utricularia (suction traps) was compared and some differences in the features of signal propagation were found. According to these results, a possible use of the MEA system for the study of different trap closure mechanisms is proposed. PMID:27117956

  7. Indole-3-acetic acid-producing yeasts in the phyllosphere of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Pei-Feng; Fang, Wei-Ta; Shin, Li-Ying; Wei, Jyuan-Yu; Fu, Shih-Feng; Chou, Jui-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Yeasts are widely distributed in nature and exist in association with other microorganisms as normal inhabitants of soil, vegetation, and aqueous environments. In this study, 12 yeast strains were enriched and isolated from leaf samples of the carnivorous plant Drosera indica L., which is currently threatened because of restricted habitats and use in herbal industries. According to similarities in large subunit and small subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences, we identified 2 yeast species in 2 genera of the phylum Ascomycota, and 5 yeast species in 5 genera of the phylum Basidiomycota. All of the isolated yeasts produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) when cultivated in YPD broth supplemented with 0.1% L-tryptophan. Growth conditions, such as the pH and temperature of the medium, influenced yeast IAA production. Our results also suggested the existence of a tryptophan-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway. We evaluated the effects of various concentrations of exogenous IAA on yeast growth and observed that IAA produced by wild yeasts modifies auxin-inducible gene expression in Arabidopsis. Our data suggest that yeasts can promote plant growth and support ongoing prospecting of yeast strains for inclusion into biofertilizer for sustainable agriculture. PMID:25464336

  8. A novel method to obtain accurate length estimates of carnivorous reef fishes from a single video camera

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gastón A. Trobbiani

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, technological advances enhanced the utilization of baited underwater video (BUV to monitor the diversity, abundance, and size composition of fish assemblages. However, attempts to use static single-camera devices to estimate fish length were limited due to high errors, originated from the variable distance between the fishes and the reference scale included in the scene. In this work, we present a novel simple method to obtain accurate length estimates of carnivorous fishes by using a single downward-facing camera baited video station. The distinctive feature is the inclusion of a mirrored surface at the base of the stand that allows for correcting the apparent or "naive" length of the fish by the distance between the fish and the reference scale. We describe the calibration procedure and compare the performance (accuracy and precision of this new technique with that of other single static camera methods. Overall, estimates were highly accurate (mean relative error = -0.6% and precise (mean coefficient of variation = 3.3%, even in the range of those obtained with stereo-video methods.

  9. Contribution of pitcher fragrance and fluid viscosity to high prey diversity in a Nepenthes carnivorous plant from Borneo

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Bruno Di Giusto; Vladimir Grosbois; Elodie Fargeas; David J Marshall; Laurence Gaume

    2008-03-01

    Mechanisms that improve prey richness in carnivorous plants may involve three crucial phases of trapping: attraction, capture and retention. Nepenthes rafflesiana var. typica is an insectivorous pitcher plant that is widespread in northern Borneo. It exhibits ontogenetic pitcher dimorphism with the upper pitchers trapping more flying prey than the lower pitchers. While this difference in prey composition has been ascribed to differences in attraction, the contribution of capture and retention has been overlooked. This study focused on distinguishing between the prey trapping mechanisms, and assessing their relative contribution to prey diversity. Arthropod richness and diversity of both visitors and prey in the two types of pitchers were analysed to quantify the relative contribution of attraction to prey trapping. Rate of insect visits to the different pitcher parts and the presence or absence of a sweet fragrance was recorded to clarify the origin and mechanism of attraction. The mechanism of retention was studied by insect bioassays and measurements of fluid viscosity. Nepenthes rafflesiana was found to trap a broader prey spectrum than that previously described for any Nepenthes species, with the upper pitchers attracting and trapping a greater quantity and diversity of prey items than the lower pitchers. Capture efficiency was low compared with attraction or retention efficiency. Fragrance of the peristome, or nectar rim, accounted mainly for the observed non-specific, better prey attraction by the upper pitchers, while the retentive properties of the viscous fluid in these upper pitchers arguably explains the species richness of their flying prey. The pitchers of N. rafflesiana are therefore more than simple pitfall traps and the digestive fluid plays an important yet unsuspected role in the ecological success of the species.

  10. Isolation by distance, resistance and/or clusters? Lessons learned from a forest-dwelling carnivore inhabiting a heterogeneous landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Gonzalez, Aritz; Cushman, Samuel A; Madeira, María José; Randi, Ettore; Gómez-Moliner, Benjamín J

    2015-10-01

    Landscape genetics provides a valuable framework to understand how landscape features influence gene flow and to disentangle the factors that lead to discrete and/or clinal population structure. Here, we attempt to differentiate between these processes in a forest-dwelling small carnivore [European pine marten (Martes martes)]. Specifically, we used complementary analytical approaches to quantify the spatially explicit genetic structure and diversity and analyse patterns of gene flow for 140 individuals genotyped at 15 microsatellite loci. We first used spatially explicit and nonspatial Bayesian clustering algorithms to partition the sample into discrete clusters and evaluate hypotheses of 'isolation by barriers' (IBB). We further characterized the relationships between genetic distance and geographical ('isolation by distance', IBD) and ecological distances ('isolation by resistance', IBR) obtained from optimized landscape models. Using a reciprocal causal modelling approach, we competed the IBD, IBR and IBB hypotheses with each other to unravel factors driving population genetic structure. Additionally, we further assessed spatially explicit indices of genetic diversity using sGD across potentially overlapping genetic neighbourhoods that matched the inferred population structure. Our results revealed a complex spatial genetic cline that appears to be driven jointly by IBD and partial barriers to gene flow (IBB) associated with poor habitat and interspecific competition. Habitat loss and fragmentation, in synergy with past overharvesting and possible interspecific competition with sympatric stone marten (Martes foina), are likely the main factors responsible for the spatial genetic structure we observed. These results emphasize the need for a more thorough evaluation of discrete and clinal hypotheses governing gene flow in landscape genetic studies, and the potential influence of different limiting factors affecting genetic structure at different spatial scales

  11. Anticoagulant rodenticides on our public and community lands: spatial distribution of exposure and poisoning of a rare forest carnivore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mourad W Gabriel

    Full Text Available Anticoagulant rodenticide (AR poisoning has emerged as a significant concern for conservation and management of non-target wildlife. The purpose for these toxicants is to suppress pest populations in agricultural or urban settings. The potential of direct and indirect exposures and illicit use of ARs on public and community forest lands have recently raised concern for fishers (Martes pennanti, a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act in the Pacific states. In an investigation of threats to fisher population persistence in the two isolated California populations, we investigate the magnitude of this previously undocumented threat to fishers, we tested 58 carcasses for the presence and quantification of ARs, conducted spatial analysis of exposed fishers in an effort to identify potential point sources of AR, and identified fishers that died directly due to AR poisoning. We found 46 of 58 (79% fishers exposed to an AR with 96% of those individuals having been exposed to one or more second-generation AR compounds. No spatial clustering of AR exposure was detected and the spatial distribution of exposure suggests that AR contamination is widespread within the fisher's range in California, which encompasses mostly public forest and park lands Additionally, we diagnosed four fisher deaths, including a lactating female, that were directly attributed to AR toxicosis and documented the first neonatal or milk transfer of an AR to an altricial fisher kit. These ARs, which some are acutely toxic, pose both a direct mortality or fitness risk to fishers, and a significant indirect risk to these isolated populations. Future research should be directed towards investigating risks to prey populations fishers are dependent on, exposure in other rare forest carnivores, and potential AR point sources such as illegal marijuana cultivation in the range of fishers on California public lands.

  12. Wound and insect-induced jasmonate accumulation in carnivorous Drosera capensis: two sides of the same coin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mithöfer, A; Reichelt, M; Nakamura, Y

    2014-09-01

    Carnivorous sundew plants catch and digest insect prey for their own nutrition. The sundew species Drosera capensis shows a pronounced leaf bending reaction upon prey capture in order to form an 'outer stomach'. This formation is triggered by jasmonates, phytohormones typically involved in defence reactions against herbivory and wounding. Whether jasmonates still have this function in D. capensis in addition to mediating the leaf bending reaction was investigated here. Wounded, insect prey-fed and insect-derived oral secretion-treated leaves of D. capensis were analysed for jasmonates (jasmonic acid, JA; jasmonic acid-isoleucine conjugate, JA-Ile) using LC-MS/MS. Prey-induced jasmonate accumulation in D. capensis leaves was persistent, and showed high levels of JA and JA-Ile (575 and 55.7 pmol · g · FW(-1) , respectively), whereas wounding induced a transient increase of JA (maximum 500 pmol · g · FW(-1) ) and only low (3.1 pmol · g · FW(-1) ) accumulation of JA-Ile. Herbivory, mimicked with a combined treatment of wounding plus oral secretion (W+OS) obtained from Spodoptera littoralis larvae induced both JA (4000 pmol · g · FW(-1) ) and JA-Ile (25 pmol · g · FW(-1) ) accumulation, with kinetics similar to prey treatment. Only prey and W+OS, but not wounding alone or OS, induced leaf bending. The results indicate that both mechanical and chemical stimuli trigger JA and JA-Ile synthesis. Differences in kinetics and induced jasmonate levels suggest different sensing and signalling events upon injury and insect-dependent challenge. Thus, in Drosera, jasmonates are still part of the response to wounding. Jasmonates are also employed in insect-induced reactions, including responses to herbivory and carnivory. PMID:24499476

  13. Determination of the variability of both hydrophilic and lipophilic toxins in endemic wild bivalves and carnivorous gastropods from the southern part of Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamorano, Ruben; Marín, Michelle; Cabrera, Fabiola; Figueroa, Diego; Contreras, Cristóbal; Barriga, Andrés; Lagos, Néstor; García, Carlos

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse and determine the composition of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins and lipophilic toxins in the Region of Aysén, Chile, in wild endemic mussels (Mytilus chilensis, Venus antiqua, Aulacomya ater, Choromytilus chorus, Tagelus dombeii and Gari solida) and in two endemic carnivorous molluscs species (Concholepas concholepas and Argobuccinum ranelliforme). PSP-toxin contents were determined by using HPLC with fluorescence detection, while lipophilic toxins were determined by using LC-MS/MS. Mean concentrations for the total of PSP toxins were in the range 55-2505 μg saxitoxin-equivalent/100 g. The two most contaminated samples for PSP toxicity were bivalve Gari solida and carnivorous Argobuccinum ranelliforme with 2505 ± 101 and 1850 ± 137 μg saxitoxin-equivalent/100 g, respectively (p shellfish together with YTX at levels ranging from 1.0 ± 0.1 to 18 ± 0.9 μg of YTX-equivalent/kg shellfish and AZA at levels ranging from 3.6 ± 0.2 to 31 ± 2.1 μg of AZA-equivalent/kg shellfish. Furthermore, different bivalves and gastropods differ in their capacity of retention of lipophilic toxins, as shown by the determination of their respective lipophilic toxins levels. In all the evaluated species, the presence of lipophilic toxins associated with biotransformation in molluscs and carnivorous gastropods was not identified, in contrast to the identification of PSP toxins, where the profiles identified in the different species are directly related to biotransformation processes. Thus, this study provides evidence that the concentration of toxins in the food intake of the evaluated species (Bivalvia and Gastropoda class) determines the degree of bioaccumulation and biotransformation they will thereafter exhibit. PMID:23822152

  14. The Chloroplast Genome of Utricularia reniformis Sheds Light on the Evolution of the ndh Gene Complex of Terrestrial Carnivorous Plants from the Lentibulariaceae Family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Saura R.; Diaz, Yani C. A.; Penha, Helen Alves; Pinheiro, Daniel G.; Fernandes, Camila C.; Miranda, Vitor F. O.; Michael, Todd P.

    2016-01-01

    Lentibulariaceae is the richest family of carnivorous plants spanning three genera including Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia. Utricularia is globally distributed, and, unlike Pinguicula and Genlisea, has both aquatic and terrestrial forms. In this study we present the analysis of the chloroplast (cp) genome of the terrestrial Utricularia reniformis. U. reniformis has a standard cp genome of 139,725bp, encoding a gene repertoire similar to essentially all photosynthetic organisms. However, an exclusive combination of losses and pseudogenization of the plastid NAD(P)H-dehydrogenase (ndh) gene complex were observed. Comparisons among aquatic and terrestrial forms of Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia indicate that, whereas the aquatic forms retained functional copies of the eleven ndh genes, these have been lost or truncated in terrestrial forms, suggesting that the ndh function may be dispensable in terrestrial Lentibulariaceae. Phylogenetic scenarios of the ndh gene loss and recovery among Pinguicula, Genlisea, and Utricularia to the ancestral Lentibulariaceae cladeare proposed. Interestingly, RNAseq analysis evidenced that U. reniformis cp genes are transcribed, including the truncated ndh genes, suggesting that these are not completely inactivated. In addition, potential novel RNA-editing sites were identified in at least six U. reniformis cp genes, while none were identified in the truncated ndh genes. Moreover, phylogenomic analyses support that Lentibulariaceae is monophyletic, belonging to the higher core Lamiales clade, corroborating the hypothesis that the first Utricularia lineage emerged in terrestrial habitats and then evolved to epiphytic and aquatic forms. Furthermore, several truncated cp genes were found interspersed with U. reniformis mitochondrial and nuclear genome scaffolds, indicating that as observed in other smaller plant genomes, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, and the related and carnivorous Genlisea nigrocaulis and G. hispidula, the

  15. An S-like ribonuclease gene is used to generate a trap-leaf enzyme in the carnivorous plant Drosera adelae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okabe, Takahiro; Yoshimoto, Iwakiri; Hitoshi, Mori; Ogawa, Tomoshisa; Ohyama, Takashi

    2005-10-24

    Carnivorous plants usually grow in nutrient-deficient habitats, and thus they partly depend on insects for nitrogen and phosphate needed for amino acid and nucleotide synthesis. We report that a sticky digestive liquid from a sundew, Drosera adelae, contains an abundant amount of an S-like ribonuclease (RNase) that shows high amino acid-sequence similarity to S-like RNases induced by phosphate starvation or wounding in normal plants. By giving leaves an RNase "coat", D. adelae seems to achieve two requirements simultaneously to adapt itself to its specific surroundings: it obtains phosphates from insects, and defends itself against pathogen attack. PMID:16225872

  16. Hyperparathyroïdie secondaire d'origine nutritionnelle et ostéogénèse imparfaite chez les carnivores domestiques

    OpenAIRE

    Léger, Emilie

    2006-01-01

    L'Hyperparathyroïdie secondaire nutritionnelle et l'ostéogénèse imparfaite sont deux maladies bien différentes par leur étiologie, mais très similaires sur les plans épidémiologique, clinique et radiographique. Elles concernent les carnivores domestiques en croissance et provoquent une ostéopénie sévère résultant en de multiples fractures pathologiques. L'hyperparathyroïdie nutritionnelle a pour origine un régime déséquilibré en Calcium et Phosphore suite à une alimentation uniquement à base ...

  17. Differential predation by age and sex classes in blue wildebeest in Serengeti: study of a modern carnivore den in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari Carmen Arriaza

    Full Text Available Age and sex selection of prey is an aspect of predator ecology which has been extensively studied in both temperate and African ecosystems. This dimension, along with fecundity, survival rates of prey and mortality factors other than predation are important in laying down the population dynamics of prey and have important implications in the management of species. A carnivore den located in the short-grassland ecological unit of the Serengeti was studied. Sex- and age- class (using five age categories of the wildebeest remains recovered were analyzed through horn morphology, biometrics of the bones and tooth wear patterns. We compared our results with previous studies from lion and hyaena kills through multivariate analyses. Seasonality of the accumulation was analyzed through tooth histology. PCA and CVA results show that age class selection by predators depends on season, habitat-type, and growth rate of the wildebeest population. Female-biased predation was found to contradict classical hypotheses based on territorial male behaviour. The lion and spotted hyaena showed strong selection on age classes, contrary to previous studies. Migratory wildebeest sex ratio is regulated through differential predation by seasons and female deaths in the wet season are a trade-off for population stability. These data are crucial for an effective management of the species and the new method created may be useful for different carnivore species and their prey.

  18. SEROPREVALENCE OF NINE LEPTOSPIRA INTERROGANS SEROVARS IN WILD CARNIVORES, UNGULATES, AND PRIMATES FROM A ZOO POPULATION IN A METROPOLITAN REGION OF CHILE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Beas, Eduardo; Abalos, Pedro; Hidalgo-Hermoso, Ezequiel

    2015-12-01

    Serum samples from 130 individuals representing 42 species of carnivores, ungulates, and primates from a population of captive mammals in Metropolitan Region in Chile were tested for antibodies against nine serovars of Leptospira interrogans using the microscopic agglutination test. Ten percent of the animals were seropositive to one or more serovars. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in ungulates (20.4%) compared to carnivores (3.8%) and primates (3.4%). There were no significant differences in seroprevalence among sex and age ranges. The most frequent serovar detected was Autumnalis, present in 53.4% of antibody-positive animals. Most positive animals had titers of ≤1 : 200, except for a maned wolf ( Chrysocyon brachyurus ) with titers of 1 : 400 against serovar Hardjo. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of Leptospira exposure detected in native endangered pudu ( Pudu puda ) and the first confirmation of exposure to L. interrogans in captive wild mammals in Chile. Leptospirosis should be considered as a differential diagnosis in future disease presentation for hepatitis or abortions in captive mammals in Chile.

  19. Survival of a native mammalian carnivore, the leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis Kerr, 1792 (Carnivora: Felidae, in an agricultural landscape on an oceanic Philippine island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R.P. Lorica

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Concerns about vulnerability of mammalian carnivores to extinction, especially on small islands, appear to conflict with prior reports of endemic populations of leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis (Kerr, 1792 surviving in agricultural landscapes on oceanic islands. We investigated the persistence of the Visayan leopard cat (P. b. rabori in the sugarcane fields on Negros, an oceanic island in central Philippines. A population remained throughout the year at our study site on a sugarcane farm, and reproduction was noted. Non-native rodents form the bulk of the cat diet, followed by reptiles, birds, amphibians, and insects. Prey species identified from the samples commonly occur in agricultural areas in the Philippines. Prey composition did not vary significantly with respect to wet and dry season, or sugarcane harvest cycle. This study provides evidence that an intensively managed agricultural landscape on this oceanic island supports a native obligate carnivore that subsists primarily on exotic rats. This study supports a prior prediction that leopard cats will show flexibility in prey selection on islands with few or no native small mammal prey species, but in this case they do so not by switching to other vertebrates and invertebrates, but rather to exotic pest species of rodents.

  20. Trypanosoma cruzi TcI and TcII transmission among wild carnivores, small mammals and dogs in a conservation unit and surrounding areas, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, Fabiana Lopes; Roque, André Luiz Rodrigues; Arrais, Ricardo Corassa; Santos, Jean Pierre; Lima, Valdirene dos Santos; Xavier, Samanta Cristina das Chagas; Cordeir-Estrela, Pedro; D'Andrea, Paulo Sérgio; Jansen, Ana Maria

    2013-02-01

    Aiming to better understand the ecological aspects of Trypanosoma cruzi transmission cycles, wild carnivores, small mammals and dogs were examined for T. cruzi infection in the Serra da Canastra National Park region, Brazil. Isolates were genotyped using mini-exon gene and PCR-RFLP (1f8 and H3) genomic targets. Trypanosoma cruzi transmission was well established in the area and occurred in both wild and peridomestic environments. Dog seroprevalence was 29·4% (63/214) and TcI and TcII genotypes, besides mixed infections were observed. Only TcI was detected in wild mammals. Marsupials displayed lower relative abundance, but a high prevalence of positive haemocultures (4/22), whereas rodents displayed positive haemocultures (9/113) mainly in the abundant Akodon montensis and Cerradomys subflavus species. The felid Leopardus pardalis was the only carnivore to display positive haemoculture and was captured in the same region where the small mammal prevalence of T. cruzi infection was high. Two canid species, Chrysocyon brachyurus and Cerdocyon thous, were serologically positive for T. cruzi infection (4/8 and 8/39, respectively), probably related to their capacity to exploit different ecological niches. Herein, dog infection not only signals T. cruzi transmission but also the genotypes present. Distinct transmission strategies of the T. cruzi genotypes are discussed. PMID:23062278

  1. Previously unsuspected dietary habits of hydrothermal vent fauna: the bactivorous shrimp Rimicaris hybisae can be carnivorous or even cannibalistic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Versteegh, Emma; Van Dover, Cindy; Coleman, Max

    2014-05-01

    Most hydrothermal vents support productive communities, with chemosynthetic bacteria at the base of the food web. They form a potentially important link in global geochemical cycles. However, few data yet exist on their significance in ocean biogeochemistry and related ecological processes. We present results on the structure of part of the food web around hydrothermal vents of the Mid-Cayman Rise (MCR), revealing previously unknown life-history traits of the alvinocarid shrimp species Rimicaris hybisae. We also demonstrate that stable carbon isotope ratios (δ13C values) are an excellent tracer of trophic positions in these ecosystems, in spite of recent findings arguing otherwise. Two hydrothermal vent fields have been described at the ultra-slow spreading ridge of the MCR. These include the world's deepest hydrothermal vents (Piccard field ~4985 m), which support a food web, which includes bactivorous shrimp and carnivorous anemones. The nearby Von Damm vent field (~2300 m) supports a more complex food web, with more primary producers, and probably some influx of photosynthetically produced carbon. Rimicaris hybisae is abundant at both known MCR vent fields and shows a high degree of spatial variability in population structure and reproductive features. In previous work it has been considered bactivorous. Large variations in tissue δ13C values remained largely unexplained, and it has been argued that δ13C values are not a good food web tracer in hydrothermal vent ecosystems. We observed that shrimp tended to be either in dense aggregations on active chimneys or more sparsely distributed, peripheral shrimp in ambient or near-ambient temperatures. With the hypothesis that varying δ13C values show real differences in food sources between individuals and that shrimp in different locales might have different diets, we collected shrimp from both environments at the Von Damm site during E/V Nautilus (NA034, August 2013) and examined their gut contents. Stomach

  2. Composite structure and properties of the pitcher surface of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes and its influence on the insect attachment system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lixin Wang; Qiang Zhou; Yongjun Zheng; Shuyan Xu

    2009-01-01

    Pitchers of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes have evolved specialized organs serving the purpose of attracting,capturing,retaining and digesting small animals,mostly insects.They consist of several well distinguishable zones,including a leaf-like lid,a collar-like peristome,a slippery zone and a digestive zone,differing in morphology,microstructure,chemical composition and physical properties.Discriminating zones display different functions,and the combined effects of several zones result in great trapping efficiency.The principal aim of this review is to introduce the structure and physiochemical properties of the pitcher surface,as well as the interaction between the pitcher surface and the insect attachment systems.Combining with our present study,the potential application of the pitcher surface being utilized in bionics to manufacture insect slippery trapping plates is discussed,and the original research direction of the pitcher surface and its application on agricultural pest control is highlighted.

  3. Autumn-winter diet of three carnivores, European mink (Mustela lutreola, Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra and small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta, in northern Spain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Palazón, S.

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the autumn-winter diet of three carnivores (Mustela lutreola, Lutra lutra and Genetta genetta in northern Spain. Diet composition was analysed from 85 European mink, 156 otter and 564 spotted genet fecal samples The European mink diet was based on small mammals (relative frequency of occurrences 38.1%, fish (30.9% and birds (16.7%. Spotted genet consumed mainly small mammals, birds and fruits, whilst otter predated practically only fish (95%. Using Levins’ index, trophic-niche widths in European mink, small-spotted genet and Eurasian otter were 3.76, 3.77 and 1.10, respectively. The trophic niche overlap by Pianka index for autumn-winter was 0.77 for European mink vs. Small-spotted genet, and 0.60 for European mink vs. otter. The average size of brown trout taken by otter was larger than those consumed by European mink.

  4. Contribution à l'étude de l'anatomie fonctionnelle de l'oreille et de la surdité chez les carnivores domestiques

    OpenAIRE

    Simeon, Ludovic

    2003-01-01

    L'étude de la surdité chez les Carnivores domestiques est, à l'heure actuelle, une pathologie peu décrite en médecine vétérinaire. Ainsi, ce travail constitue une synthèse bibliographique des données disponibles sur ce thème en médecine vétérinaire (et parfois en médecine de l'homme). En effet, pour pouvoir, par la suite, bien appréhender les mécanismes pathologiques de la surdité, la première partie de ce travail est consacrée aux bases anatomiques (embryologie comprise) et physiologiques...

  5. Improvements on GPS Location Cluster Analysis for the Prediction of Large Carnivore Feeding Activities: Ground-Truth Detection Probability and Inclusion of Activity Sensor Measures.

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    Kevin A Blecha

    Full Text Available Animal space use studies using GPS collar technology are increasingly incorporating behavior based analysis of spatio-temporal data in order to expand inferences of resource use. GPS location cluster analysis is one such technique applied to large carnivores to identify the timing and location of feeding events. For logistical and financial reasons, researchers often implement predictive models for identifying these events. We present two separate improvements for predictive models that future practitioners can implement. Thus far, feeding prediction models have incorporated a small range of covariates, usually limited to spatio-temporal characteristics of the GPS data. Using GPS collared cougar (Puma concolor we include activity sensor data as an additional covariate to increase prediction performance of feeding presence/absence. Integral to the predictive modeling of feeding events is a ground-truthing component, in which GPS location clusters are visited by human observers to confirm the presence or absence of feeding remains. Failing to account for sources of ground-truthing false-absences can bias the number of predicted feeding events to be low. Thus we account for some ground-truthing error sources directly in the model with covariates and when applying model predictions. Accounting for these errors resulted in a 10% increase in the number of clusters predicted to be feeding events. Using a double-observer design, we show that the ground-truthing false-absence rate is relatively low (4% using a search delay of 2-60 days. Overall, we provide two separate improvements to the GPS cluster analysis techniques that can be expanded upon and implemented in future studies interested in identifying feeding behaviors of large carnivores.

  6. Clouded leopards, the secretive top-carnivore of South-East Asian rainforests: their distribution, status and conservation needs in Sabah, Malaysia

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    Linsenmair K Eduard

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The continued depletion of tropical rainforests and fragmentation of natural habitats has led to significant ecological changes which place most top carnivores under heavy pressure. Various methods have been used to determine the status of top carnivore populations in rainforest habitats, most of which are costly in terms of equipment and time. In this study we utilized, for the first time, a rigorous track classification method to estimate population size and density of clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa in Tabin Wildlife Reserve in north-eastern Borneo (Sabah. Additionally, we extrapolated our local-scale results to the regional landscape level to estimate clouded leopard population size and density in all of Sabah's reserves, taking into account the reserves' conservation status (totally protected or commercial forest reserves, their size and presence or absence of clouded leopards. Results The population size in the 56 km2 research area was estimated to be five individuals, based on a capture-recapture analysis of four confirmed animals differentiated by their tracks. Extrapolation of these results led to density estimates of nine per 100 km2 in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The true density most likely lies between our approximately 95 % confidence interval of eight to 17 individuals per 100 km2. Conclusion We demonstrate that previous density estimates of 25 animals/100 km2 most likely overestimated the true density. Applying the 95% confidence interval we calculated in total a very rough number of 1500–3200 clouded leopards to be present in Sabah. However, only 275–585 of these animals inhabit the four totally protected reserves that are large enough to hold a long-term viable population of > 50 individuals.

  7. A novel type of nutritional ant-plant interaction: ant partners of carnivorous pitcher plants prevent nutrient export by dipteran pitcher infauna.

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    Mathias Scharmann

    Full Text Available Many plants combat herbivore and pathogen attack indirectly by attracting predators of their herbivores. Here we describe a novel type of insect-plant interaction where a carnivorous plant uses such an indirect defence to prevent nutrient loss to kleptoparasites. The ant Camponotus schmitzi is an obligate inhabitant of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes bicalcarata in Borneo. It has recently been suggested that this ant-plant interaction is a nutritional mutualism, but the detailed mechanisms and the origin of the ant-derived nutrient supply have remained unexplained. We confirm that N. bicalcarata host plant leaves naturally have an elevated (15N/(14N stable isotope abundance ratio (δ(15N when colonised by C. schmitzi. This indicates that a higher proportion of the plants' nitrogen is insect-derived when C. schmitzi ants are present (ca. 100%, vs. 77% in uncolonised plants and that more nitrogen is available to them. We demonstrated direct flux of nutrients from the ants to the host plant in a (15N pulse-chase experiment. As C. schmitzi ants only feed on nectar and pitcher contents of their host, the elevated foliar δ(15N cannot be explained by classic ant-feeding (myrmecotrophy but must originate from a higher efficiency of the pitcher traps. We discovered that C. schmitzi ants not only increase the pitchers' capture efficiency by keeping the pitchers' trapping surfaces clean, but they also reduce nutrient loss from the pitchers by predating dipteran pitcher inhabitants (infauna. Consequently, nutrients the pitchers would have otherwise lost via emerging flies become available as ant colony waste. The plants' prey is therefore conserved by the ants. The interaction between C. schmitzi, N. bicalcarata and dipteran pitcher infauna represents a new type of mutualism where animals mitigate the damage by nutrient thieves to a plant.

  8. Occurrence of oral diseases in neotropical wild carnivores kept in captivity at the zoo from Federal University of Mato Grosso – Cuiabá

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    Paula Márcia Marques de Campos Andrade

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Control of oral lesions contributes directly to the health, survival and welfare of captive animals. In order to investigate the occurrence of oral diseases in neotropical wild carnivores kept at the zoo at the Federal University of Mato Grosso – Cuiabá, we evaluated 31 oral cavities from three families of carnivores (Felidae, Canidae and Procyonidae between July 2012 and June 2013. Twelve coatis (Nasua nasua, three raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus, two maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus, six crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous, one hoary fox (Pseudalopex vetulus, three ocelots (Leopardus pardalis, one cougar (Puma concolor and three wild cats (Puma yagouaroundi, Leopardus wiedii and Leopardus colocolo were reviewed. The most frequent lesions were dental absences 21/31 (67.7%, dental fractures 20/31 (64.5% and tooth wear 19/31 (61.3%, which were suggestive of trauma caused from stress. Of lesser importance, we also observed occurrence of dental calculus grade I in 18/31 (58%, caries 1/31 (3.2%, foreign bodies 2/31 (6.4%, orofacial fistulas 1/31 (3.2%, hyperplasia in the oral mucosa 1/31 (3.2%, dental dimming 3/31 (9.7% and chafing of the soft tissue 5/31 (16.1%. Therefore, it was concluded that environmental enrichment strategies and oral routine evaluation must be implemented to ensure the welfare of these animals, reducing local and systemic adverse effects of oral lesions. The diet has been successful in preventing periodontal disease, suggesting that this diet for the captive animals in the institution should be maintained.

  9. Using fecal profiles of bile acids to assess habitat use by threatened carnivores in the Maulino forest of central Chile Empleo del perfil de ácidos biliares fecales para evaluar uso del hábitat por carnívoros amenazados en el bosque maulino de Chile central

    OpenAIRE

    CARLA GUERRERO; LUIS ESPINOZA; HERMANN M. NIEMEYER; JAVIER A SIMONETTI

    2006-01-01

    The distribution and habitat use by carnivores can be assessed by studying their tracks or feces. If these methods are to be used confidently, they should not only unequivocally discriminate among species, but should also render the same patterns of spatial distributions. We assessed the fulfillment of these requirements with five carnivores inhabiting the Maulino forest of central Chile: Galictis cuja, Oncifelis guigna, Pseudalopex culpaeus, Pseudalopex griseus, and Puma concolor. Fecal bile...

  10. Mamíferos carnívoros e sua relação com a diversidade de hábitats no Parque Nacional dos Aparados da Serra, sul do Brasil Carnivore mammals and their relation with habitat diversity in Aparados da Serra National Park, southern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Maria de Fátima M. dos Santos; Mateus Pellanda; Ana Cristina Tomazzoni; Heinrich Hasenack; Sandra Maria Hartz

    2004-01-01

    A survey of carnivore mammals was accomplished in Aparados da Serra National Park from February 1998 to March 2000. The park has 10,250 ha and is considered a biodiversity core area of the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve in the Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. The landscape is characterized by relatively well preserved relicts of Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol.) Kuntze forest, grasslands and Atlantic Forest, which have contributed for the survival of endangered carnivore mammals. The Nation...

  11. Free-Living Species of Carnivorous Mammals in Poland: Red Fox, Beech Marten, and Raccoon as a Potential Reservoir of Salmonella, Yersinia, Listeria spp. and Coagulase-Positive Staphylococcus

    OpenAIRE

    Aneta Nowakiewicz; Przemysław Zięba; Grażyna Ziółkowska; Sebastian Gnat; Marta Muszyńska; Krzysztof Tomczuk; Barbara Majer Dziedzic; Łukasz Ulbrych; Aleksandra Trościańczyk

    2016-01-01

    The objective of the study was to examine a population of free-living carnivorous mammals most commonly found in Poland (red fox, beech marten, and raccoon) for the occurrence of bacteria that are potentially pathogenic for humans and other animal species and to determine their virulence potential (the presence of selected virulence genes). From the total pool of isolates obtained (n = 328), we selected 90 belonging to species that pose the greatest potential threat to human health: Salmonell...

  12. Fastest predators in the plant kingdom: functional morphology and biomechanics of suction traps found in the largest genus of carnivorous plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Weisskopf, Carmen; Westermeier, Anna Sophia; Masselter, Tom; Speck, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the physics of plant movements, which describe the interplay between plant architecture, movement speed and actuation principles, is essential for the comprehension of important processes like plant morphogenesis. Recent investigations especially on rapid plant movements at the interface of biology, physics and engineering sciences highlight how such fast motions can be achieved without the presence of muscles, nerves and technical hinge analogies. The suction traps (bladders) of carnivorous bladderworts (Utricularia spp., Lentibulariaceae, Lamiales) are considered as some of the most elaborate moving structures in the plant kingdom. A complex interplay of morphological and physiological adaptations allows the traps to pump water out of their body and to store elastic energy in the deformed bladder walls. Mechanical stimulation by prey entails opening of the otherwise watertight trapdoor, followed by trap wall relaxation, sucking in of water and prey, and consecutive trapdoor closure. Suction can also occur spontaneously in non-stimulated traps. We review the current state of knowledge about the suction trap mechanism with a focus on architectonically homogeneous traps of aquatic bladderwort species from section Utricularia (the so-called 'Utricularia vulgaris trap type'). The functional morphology and biomechanics of the traps are described in detail. We discuss open questions and propose promising aspects for future studies on these sophisticated ultra-fast trapping devices. PMID:26602984

  13. Is GC bias in the nuclear genome of the carnivorous plant Utricularia driven by ROS-based mutation and biased gene conversion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Albert, Victor A; Herrera-Estrella, Alfredo; Herrera-Estrella, Luis

    2011-11-01

    At less than 90 Mbp, the tiny nuclear genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant Utricularia is an attractive model system for studying molecular evolutionary processes leading to genome miniaturization. Recently, we reported that expression of genes encoding DNA repair and reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification enzymes is highest in Utricularia traps, and we argued that ROS mutagenic action correlates with the high nucleotide substitution rates observed in the Utricularia plastid, mitochondrial, and nuclear genomes. Here, we extend our analysis of 100 nuclear genes from Utricularia and related asterid eudicots to examine nucleotide substitution biases and their potential correlation with ROS-induced DNA lesions. We discovered an unusual bias toward GC nucleotides, most prominently in transition substitutions at the third position of codons, which are presumably silent with respect to adaptation. Given the general tendency of biased gene conversion to drive GC bias, and of ROS to induce double strand breaks requiring recombinational repair, we propose that some of the unusual features of the bladderwort and its genome may be more reflective of these nonadaptive processes than of natural selection. PMID:22057327

  14. Application of DNA barcoding for identification of freshwater carnivorous fish diets: Is number of prey items dependent on size class for Micropterus salmoides?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Hyunbin; Gim, Jeong-An; Jeong, Kwang-Seuk; Kim, Heui-Soo; Joo, Gea-Jae

    2014-01-01

    Understanding predator-prey interactions is a major challenge in ecological studies. In particular, the accurate identification of prey is a fundamental requirement in elucidating food-web structure. This study took a molecular approach in determining the species identity of consumed prey items of a freshwater carnivorous fish (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides), according to their size class. Thirty randomly selected gut samples were categorized into three size classes, based on the total length of the bass. Using the universal primer for the mtDNA cytochrome oxidase I (COI) region, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification was performed on unidentified gut contents and then sequenced after cloning. Two gut samples were completely empty, and DNA materials from 27 of 28 gut samples were successfully amplified by PCR (success rate: 96.4%). Sequence database navigation yielded a total of 308 clones, containing DNA from 26 prey items. They comprised four phyla, including seven classes, 12 orders, and 12 families based on BLAST and BOLD database searches. The results indicate that largemouth bass show selective preferences in prey item consumption as they mature. These results corroborate a hypothesis, presence of ontogenetic diet shift, derived through other methodological approaches. Despite the practical limitations inherent in DNA barcoding analysis, high-resolution (i.e., species level) identification was possible, and the predation patterns of predators of different sizes were identifiable. The utilization of this method is strongly recommended for determining specific predator-prey relationships in complex freshwater ecosystems. PMID:24558577

  15. Oligotyping reveals differences between gut-microbiomes of free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivores (Acinonyx jubatus, Canis mesomelas on a bacterial species-like level

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    Sebastian eMenke

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent gut microbiome studies in model organisms emphasize the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on the variation of the bacterial composition and its impact on the overall health status of the host. Species occurring in the same habitat might share a similar microbiome, especially if they overlap in ecological and behavioral traits. So far, the natural variation in microbiomes of free-ranging wildlife species has not been thoroughly investigated. The few existing studies exploring microbiomes through 16S rRNA gene reads clustered sequencing reads into operational taxonomic units (OTUs based on a similarity threshold (e.g. 97%. This approach, in combination with the low resolution of target databases, generally limits the level of taxonomic assignments to the genus level. However, distinguishing natural variation of microbiomes in healthy individuals from abnormal microbial compositions that affect host health requires knowledge of the normal microbial flora at a high taxonomic resolution. This gap can now be addressed using the recently published oligotyping approach, which can resolve closely related organisms into distinct oligotypes by utilizing subtle nucleotide variation. Here, we used Illumina MiSeq to sequence amplicons generated from the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene to investigate the gut microbiome of two free-ranging sympatric Namibian carnivore species, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus and the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas. Bacterial phyla with proportions > 0.2 % were identical for both species and included Firmicutes, Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. At a finer taxonomic resolution, black-backed jackals exhibited 69 bacterial taxa with proportions ≥ 0.1 %, whereas cheetahs had only 42. Finally, oligotyping revealed that shared bacterial taxa consisted of distinct oligotype profiles. Thus, in contrast to 3 % OTUs, oligotyping can detect fine-scale taxonomic differences between

  16. Is It Necessary Managing Carnivores to Reverse the Decline of Endangered Prey Species? Insights from a Removal Experiment of Mesocarnivores to Benefit Demographic Parameters of the Pyrenean Capercaillie.

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    Rubén Moreno-Opo

    Full Text Available Mesopredator control has long been used to alleviate the effect of elevated predation pressure on vulnerable, threatened or valuable species. However, the convenience of using mesopredator controls is technically questionable and scientifically-sound research is therefore required to evaluate the impact of predation on prey case by case. In this study we evaluated the effect of the alteration of terrestrial mesopredator dynamics on the demographic parameters of a relict capercaillie Tetrao urogallus aquitanicus population currently in decline for which the impact of predation has not previously been assessed. We used a six-year mesocarnivore removal experiment (2008-2013 together with seven-years of previous demographic information on capercaillies (1999-2007 within a before-after control-impact (BACI design to evaluate the effect of mesocarnivore removal on capercaillie demographic parameters and on spatial behaviour of the most frequent predatory mesocarnivores of the capercaillie (Martes spp. and red fox Vulpes vulpes. Using a dynamic site-occupancy approach, the reduction of mesocarnivore population levels as a result of removal was clear for marten species, mainly during key months for capercaillie reproduction, but not for the red fox. Our results show that the breeding success of capercaillies was enhanced in areas where carnivores were removed and was inversely related to the occupation level of the studied mesocarnivores, although being only significant for Martes spp. Moreover, capercaillie predation rates were lower and adult survival seemingly higher in treatment during the removal phase. Cost-effective, long-term management interventions to ensure the recovery of this threatened capercaillie population are discussed in the light of the results. At our study area, the decision for implementing predation management should be included within a broader long-term conservation perspective. In this regard, a more feasible and sustainable

  17. Interspecific and geographic variation in the diets of sympatric carnivores: dingoes/wild dogs and red foxes in south-eastern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Naomi E; Forsyth, David M; Triggs, Barbara; Pascoe, Charlie; Benshemesh, Joe; Robley, Alan; Lawrence, Jenny; Ritchie, Euan G; Nimmo, Dale G; Lumsden, Lindy F

    2015-01-01

    Dingoes/wild dogs (Canis dingo/familiaris) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are widespread carnivores in southern Australia and are controlled to reduce predation on domestic livestock and native fauna. We used the occurrence of food items in 5875 dingo/wild dog scats and 11,569 fox scats to evaluate interspecific and geographic differences in the diets of these species within nine regions of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. The nine regions encompass a wide variety of ecosystems. Diet overlap between dingoes/wild dogs and foxes varied among regions, from low to near complete overlap. The diet of foxes was broader than dingoes/wild dogs in all but three regions, with the former usually containing more insects, reptiles and plant material. By contrast, dingoes/wild dogs more regularly consumed larger mammals, supporting the hypothesis that niche partitioning occurs on the basis of mammalian prey size. The key mammalian food items for dingoes/wild dogs across all regions were black wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), brushtail possum species (Trichosurus spp.), common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), cattle (Bos taurus) and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). The key mammalian food items for foxes across all regions were European rabbit, sheep (Ovis aries) and house mouse (Mus musculus). Foxes consumed 6.1 times the number of individuals of threatened Critical Weight Range native mammal species than did dingoes/wild dogs. The occurrence of intraguild predation was asymmetrical; dingoes/wild dogs consumed greater biomass of the smaller fox. The substantial geographic variation in diet indicates that dingoes/wild dogs and foxes alter their diet in accordance with changing food availability. We provide checklists of taxa recorded in the diets of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes as a resource for managers and researchers wishing to understand the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on dingoes/wild dogs, foxes and the food resources they

  18. Interspecific and geographic variation in the diets of sympatric carnivores: dingoes/wild dogs and red foxes in south-eastern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi E Davis

    Full Text Available Dingoes/wild dogs (Canis dingo/familiaris and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes are widespread carnivores in southern Australia and are controlled to reduce predation on domestic livestock and native fauna. We used the occurrence of food items in 5875 dingo/wild dog scats and 11,569 fox scats to evaluate interspecific and geographic differences in the diets of these species within nine regions of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. The nine regions encompass a wide variety of ecosystems. Diet overlap between dingoes/wild dogs and foxes varied among regions, from low to near complete overlap. The diet of foxes was broader than dingoes/wild dogs in all but three regions, with the former usually containing more insects, reptiles and plant material. By contrast, dingoes/wild dogs more regularly consumed larger mammals, supporting the hypothesis that niche partitioning occurs on the basis of mammalian prey size. The key mammalian food items for dingoes/wild dogs across all regions were black wallaby (Wallabia bicolor, brushtail possum species (Trichosurus spp., common wombat (Vombatus ursinus, sambar deer (Rusa unicolor, cattle (Bos taurus and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus. The key mammalian food items for foxes across all regions were European rabbit, sheep (Ovis aries and house mouse (Mus musculus. Foxes consumed 6.1 times the number of individuals of threatened Critical Weight Range native mammal species than did dingoes/wild dogs. The occurrence of intraguild predation was asymmetrical; dingoes/wild dogs consumed greater biomass of the smaller fox. The substantial geographic variation in diet indicates that dingoes/wild dogs and foxes alter their diet in accordance with changing food availability. We provide checklists of taxa recorded in the diets of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes as a resource for managers and researchers wishing to understand the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on dingoes/wild dogs, foxes and the food

  19. Interspecific and geographic variation in the diets of sympatric carnivores: dingoes/wild dogs and red foxes in south-eastern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Naomi E; Forsyth, David M; Triggs, Barbara; Pascoe, Charlie; Benshemesh, Joe; Robley, Alan; Lawrence, Jenny; Ritchie, Euan G; Nimmo, Dale G; Lumsden, Lindy F

    2015-01-01

    Dingoes/wild dogs (Canis dingo/familiaris) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are widespread carnivores in southern Australia and are controlled to reduce predation on domestic livestock and native fauna. We used the occurrence of food items in 5875 dingo/wild dog scats and 11,569 fox scats to evaluate interspecific and geographic differences in the diets of these species within nine regions of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. The nine regions encompass a wide variety of ecosystems. Diet overlap between dingoes/wild dogs and foxes varied among regions, from low to near complete overlap. The diet of foxes was broader than dingoes/wild dogs in all but three regions, with the former usually containing more insects, reptiles and plant material. By contrast, dingoes/wild dogs more regularly consumed larger mammals, supporting the hypothesis that niche partitioning occurs on the basis of mammalian prey size. The key mammalian food items for dingoes/wild dogs across all regions were black wallaby (Wallabia bicolor), brushtail possum species (Trichosurus spp.), common wombat (Vombatus ursinus), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), cattle (Bos taurus) and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). The key mammalian food items for foxes across all regions were European rabbit, sheep (Ovis aries) and house mouse (Mus musculus). Foxes consumed 6.1 times the number of individuals of threatened Critical Weight Range native mammal species than did dingoes/wild dogs. The occurrence of intraguild predation was asymmetrical; dingoes/wild dogs consumed greater biomass of the smaller fox. The substantial geographic variation in diet indicates that dingoes/wild dogs and foxes alter their diet in accordance with changing food availability. We provide checklists of taxa recorded in the diets of dingoes/wild dogs and foxes as a resource for managers and researchers wishing to understand the potential impacts of policy and management decisions on dingoes/wild dogs, foxes and the food resources they

  20. Presencia y abundancia relativa de carnívoros en una selva dañada por el huracán Dean (2007 Occurrence and relative abundance of carnivores in a tropical forest impacted by Hurricane Dean (2007

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malú Hernández-Díaz

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Los huracanes son disturbios comunes en el Caribe, pero se desconocen sus efectos sobre los carnívoros. El objetivo de este estudio fue evaluar la presencia y la abundancia relativa de los carnívoros respecto al daño en la vegetación debido al paso del huracán Dean (2007 en la península de Yucatán, 18 meses después del evento. Mediante fototrampeo, se muestrearon 4 sitios afectados en diferentes intensidades por el huracán. Se exploraron las respuestas de los carnívoros a 4 escalas espaciales. Los daños a la vegetación se estimaron mediante imágenes de satélite MODIS como la diferencia en el índice de Vegetación Mejorado (dEVI antes y después de que el huracán tocara tierra. En la mayoría de las escalas, la relación entre presencia y abundancia relativa de los carnívoros y el daño a la vegetación fue poco o nada significativa, probablemente debido a su poca especificidad de hábitat. Sin embargo, la aparente resistencia de estas especies al paso de un huracán debe confirmarse con un mayor esfuerzo de muestreo y un enfoque temporal.Hurricanes are common disturbances in the Caribbean, but their effect on carnivores is unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the occurrence and relative abundance of carnivores in relation with vegetation damage 18 months after Hurricane Dean (2007 hit the Yucatan Peninsula. Using camera-trapping, 4 sites showing different intensities of hurricane damage were sampled. The response of carnivores was explored at 4 spatial scales. Vegetation damage was estimated as the difference in the Enhanced Vegetation Index (dEVI before and after the hurricane using MODIS satellite images. At most resolutions, carnivores' occurrence and relative abundance were weakly or not related with vegetation damage, probably due to their little habitat specificity. Nevertheless, the apparent resistance of the studied species should be confirmed using a larger sampling effort and temporal framework.

  1. Les Néandertaliens étaient-ils essentiellement carnivores ? Résultats préliminaires sur les teneurs en Sr et en Ba de la paléobiocénose mammalienne de Saint-CésaireWere Neandertalians essentially carnivores? Sr and Ba preliminary results of the mammalian palaeobiocoenosis of Saint-Césaire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balter, Vincent; Person, Alain; Labourdette, Nathalie; Drucker, Dorothée; Renard, Maurice; Vandermeersch, Bernard

    2001-01-01

    Strontium-calcium (Sr/Ca) and barium-calcium (Ba/Ca) ratios are reduced constantly between diet and bioapatite in mammal organisms. This phenomenon leads to a reduction in the Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios at higher trophic level in predator-prey mammalian communities, and is applied here to the reconstruction of a castelperronian food web, which includes a Neanderthal specimen. Adapted chemical pretreatment allows to isolate bioapatite from diagenetic compounds for analysis of Ca, Sr and Ba. Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca results of the fauna are consistent with trophic predictions. Initial results for the Neandertal suggest that he was mostly carnivorous. Distribution of Ba/Ca values of bones of herbivorous taxa reveals that ruminant animals can be distinguished from non-ruminants. The biosegregation model predicts that the diet of the Neandertal was composed by about 97 % in weight of meat with a weak contribution of vegetable or fish, and that the association of fish and plant is excluded in any proportion.

  2. Induction and recovery of morphofunctional changes in the intestine of juvenile carnivorous fish (Epinephelus coioides) upon exposure to foodborne benzo[a]pyrene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuen, Bonny B.H. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC (United States); Wong, Chris K.C. [Department of Biology, Baptist University of Hong Kong, Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China); Woo, N.Y.S. [Department of Biology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, New Territory, Hong Kong (China); Au, Doris W.T. [Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong (China)]. E-mail: bhdwtau@cityu.edu.hk

    2007-05-15

    The sublethal toxicity of dietary benzo[a]pyrene, B[a]P, on fish growth and intestinal morphofunctional changes [as measured by epithelial turnover, cell proliferation, hyperplasia, de novo crypt formation and protein absorption efficiency (i.e. expression of proton/peptide co-transporter, PepT-1, on the mucosal brush border)] were studied for the carnivorous orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides). Juvenile fish were force-fed daily with pellets containing environmentally realistic concentrations of B[a]P (dissolved in corn oil) at 0.25 {mu}g/g body weight (low-dose) and 12.5 {mu}g/g body weight (high-dose) for 4 weeks, followed by a control diet for a further 4 weeks to assess recovery. Although growth inhibition was observed in fish treated with high-dose B[a]P during the exposure period, no mortality was observed throughout the 8-week experiment. Significant hyperplasia of basal enterocytes of mucosal folds was detected shortly after 3-day exposure to the high-dose B[a]P. Moreover, a faster epithelial turnover was measured in the high-dose B[a]P exposed fish at exposure week 1, which was followed by an increase of basal cell proliferation and a reduction of PepT-1 expression at exposure week 2. The formation of de novo crypts, resemblance to the cancer predisposition syndrome 'juvenile polyposis', was significantly higher in the intestine of high-dose treated fish as compared to the control at exposure week 2 and onwards. Abnormal cytoplasmic extrusions were frequently observed in mucosal folds of high-dose fish at exposure week 4. In the low-dose treatment group, only the expression of PepT-1 was significantly reduced at exposure week 2 and an early adaptive response was observed at exposure week 4. Despite all these intestinal disturbances were reversible in fish upon the abatement to dietary B[a]P (within 1-4 weeks), environmental realistic levels of foodborne B[a]P could induce sublethal toxicity to E. coioides, and probably impose potential

  3. Evaluation of Scat Deposition Transects versus Radio Telemetry for Developing a Species Distribution Model for a Rare Desert Carnivore, the Kit Fox.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven J Dempsey

    Full Text Available Development and evaluation of noninvasive methods for monitoring species distribution and abundance is a growing area of ecological research. While noninvasive methods have the advantage of reduced risk of negative factors associated with capture, comparisons to methods using more traditional invasive sampling is lacking. Historically kit foxes (Vulpes macrotis occupied the desert and semi-arid regions of southwestern North America. Once the most abundant carnivore in the Great Basin Desert of Utah, the species is now considered rare. In recent decades, attempts have been made to model the environmental variables influencing kit fox distribution. Using noninvasive scat deposition surveys for determination of kit fox presence, we modeled resource selection functions to predict kit fox distribution using three popular techniques (Maxent, fixed-effects, and mixed-effects generalized linear models and compared these with similar models developed from invasive sampling (telemetry locations from radio-collared foxes. Resource selection functions were developed using a combination of landscape variables including elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation height, and soil type. All models were tested against subsequent scat collections as a method of model validation. We demonstrate the importance of comparing multiple model types for development of resource selection functions used to predict a species distribution, and evaluating the importance of environmental variables on species distribution. All models we examined showed a large effect of elevation on kit fox presence, followed by slope and vegetation height. However, the invasive sampling method (i.e., radio-telemetry appeared to be better at determining resource selection, and therefore may be more robust in predicting kit fox distribution. In contrast, the distribution maps created from the noninvasive sampling (i.e., scat transects were significantly different than the invasive method, thus scat

  4. Development of a Real-Time PCR for a Sensitive One-Step Coprodiagnosis Allowing both the Identification of Carnivore Feces and the Detection of Toxocara spp. and Echinococcus multilocularis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Jenny; Umhang, Gérald; Poulle, Marie-Lazarine; Millon, Laurence

    2016-05-15

    Studying the environmental occurrence of parasites of concern for humans and animals based on coprosamples is an expanding field of work in epidemiology and the ecology of health. Detecting and quantifying Toxocara spp. and Echinococcus multilocularis, two predominant zoonotic helminths circulating in European carnivores, in feces may help to better target measures for prevention. A rapid, sensitive, and one-step quantitative PCR (qPCR) allowing detection of E. multilocularis and Toxocara spp. was developed in the present study, combined with a host fecal test based on the identification of three carnivores (red fox, dog, and cat) involved in the life cycles of these parasites. A total of 68 coprosamples were collected from identified specimens from Vulpes vulpes, Canis lupus familiaris, Canis lupus, Felis silvestris catus, Meles meles, Martes foina, and Martes martes With DNA coprosamples, real-time PCR was performed in duplex with a qPCR inhibitor control specifically designed for this study. All the coprosample host identifications were confirmed by qPCR combined with sequencing, and parasites were detected and confirmed (E. multilocularis in red foxes and Toxocara cati in cats; 16% of samples presented inhibition). By combining parasite detection and quantification, the host fecal test, and a new qPCR inhibitor control, we created a technique with a high sensitivity that may considerably improve environmental studies of pathogens. PMID:26969697

  5. Species and geographical distribution of carnivores and small mammals in Sanjiangyuan region%三江源地区食肉动物和小型兽类的种类与分布

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汪元忠; 李超; 吴克梅; 魏有文; 郭文涛

    2009-01-01

    Objective To know the species and distributions of carnivores and small mammals in Sanjiangyuan area.Methods The investigation was done by the night trap. Results There were many carnivores and small mammals in San jiang yuan, belonging to 4 orders, 11 Familys, 27 Genera and 51 species. Conclusion Marrnota himalayana, Microtus oeconornus, Mus musculus, Cricetulus longicaudatus, Ochotona curzoniae, Felis catus, Canis farailiaris, Vulpes vulpes, Vulpes corsac, Canis upus,Mustela eversmanni distributed widely in Sanjiangyuan Area. Marmota himalayana was the main host of nature plague foci in the Qinghai-Tibet plateau.%目的 了解三江源地区食肉动物和小型兽类的种类与分布.方法 整理收藏动物标本,查阅资料,采用鼠夹法调查.结果 在三江源地区有食肉动物和小型兽类4目ll科27属51种.结论 三江源地区喜马拉雅旱獭、根田鼠、小家鼠、长尾仓鼠、高原鼠兔、猫、犬、赤狐、沙狐、狼、艾鼬等广泛分布,其中喜马拉雅旱獭是青藏高原喜马拉雅旱獭鼠疫自然疫源地的主要宿主.

  6. A 10-year wildlife survey of 15 species of Canadian carnivores identifies new hosts or geographic locations for Trichinella genotypes T2, T4, T5, and T6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gajadhar, Alvin A; Forbes, Lorry B

    2010-02-26

    A survey of wild carnivores in Canada was conducted over a 10-year period to determine the prevalence and genotypes of Trichinella. Muscle samples collected from 1409 animals representing 15 hosts species were enzymatically digested to recover Trichinella larvae. Larvae were recovered from a total of 287 (20.4%) animals and PCR identified four genotypes of Trichinella. Trichinella nativa was found in 5 host species and was the most commonly found genotype. Trichinella T6 was present in 7 species of carnivores, and coyote and badger are new host records for this genotype. The recovery of T. pseudospiralis and T. murrelli from cougars is the first documentation of these species in Canada and in cougars. The cougar was also the only host species in which all four genotypes of Trichinella were identified. Black bears and walruses had the highest tissue levels of larvae in this study and are also the species most frequently associated with human trichinellosis in Canada. This work identifies additional host species and expanded geographic ranges for 4 genotypes of Trichinella in North America. Failure to demonstrate T. spiralis in wildlife and continued negative results from ongoing surveillance activities in swine provide additional evidence that T. spiralis is not present in Canada. PMID:19926223

  7. How does a carnivore guild utilise a substantial but unpredictable anthropogenic food source? Scavenging on hunter-shot ungulate carcasses by wild dogs/dingoes, red foxes and feral cats in south-eastern Australia revealed by camera traps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Forsyth

    Full Text Available There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor is a large (≥ 150 kg exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes and feral cats (Felis catus utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring. We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼ 14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10% fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources.

  8. The capacity for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis in a carnivorous vertebrate: Functional characterisation and nutritional regulation of a Fads2 fatty acyl desaturase with Δ4 activity and an Elovl5 elongase in striped snakehead (Channa striata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Jaya-Ram, Annette; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2015-03-01

    The endogenous production of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in carnivorous teleost species inhabiting freshwater environments is poorly understood. Although a predatory lifestyle could potentially supply sufficient LC-PUFA to satisfy the requirements of these species, the nutrient-poor characteristics of the freshwater food web could impede this advantage. In this study, we report the cloning and functional characterisation of an elongase enzyme in the LC-PUFA biosynthesis pathway from striped snakehead (Channa striata), which is a strict freshwater piscivore that shows high deposition of LC-PUFA in its flesh. We also functionally characterised a previously isolated fatty acyl desaturase cDNA from this species. Results showed that the striped snakehead desaturase is capable of Δ4 and Δ5 desaturation activities, while the elongase showed the characteristics of Elovl5 elongases. Collectively, these findings reveal that striped snakehead exhibits the genetic resources to synthesise docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3). Both genes are expressed at considerable levels in the brain and the liver. In liver, both genes were up-regulated by dietary C18 PUFA, although this increase did not correspond to a significant rise in the deposition of muscle LC-PUFA. Brain tissue of fish fed with plant oil diets showed higher expression of fads2 gene compared to fish fed with fish oil-based diet, which could ensure DHA levels remain constant under limited dietary DHA intake. This suggests the importance of DHA production from EPA via the ∆4 desaturation step in order to maintain an optimal reserve of DHA in the neuronal tissues of carnivores.

  9. On the ecological context of the earliest human settlements in Europe: Resource availability and competition intensity in the carnivore guild of Barranco León-D and Fuente Nueva-3 (Orce, Baza Basin, SE Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo; Palmqvist, Paul; Rodríguez, Jesús; Mateos, Ana; Martín-González, Jesús A.; Espigares, M. Patrocinio; Ros-Montoya, Sergio; Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido

    2016-07-01

    With an age of ∼1.4 Ma, the Early Pleistocene archaeopaleontological sites of Barranco León and Fuente Nueva-3 (Orce, Baza Basin, SE Spain) provide the oldest evidence on human presence in Western Europe, including the finding of a deciduous tooth of Homo sp., huge lithic assemblages of Oldowan tradition and abundant cut-marks on large mammal bones. Here we use a mathematical approach based on Leslie matrices to quantify for the large mammal species preserved at the sites the biomass of primary consumers available, the distribution of meat resources among the secondary consumers and the competition intensity within the carnivore guild. The results obtained show a community of large mammals with a high diversity of secondary consumers that would satisfy slightly less than half of their dietary requirements under optimal ecological conditions. In the case of Homo sp., and considering that flesh resources were obtained through the scavenging of ungulate carcasses, the model indicates that the ecosystems of the basin could hold 10-14 individuals per 100 km2 during a year, a value that is close to the mean population density of recent hunter-gatherers. These density estimates decrease slightly when a mixed hunting-scavenging strategy is considered and even more in the case of a strict hunting behavior. In addition, the value of the species competition index obtained for Homo sp. is among the lowest of the carnivore guild. These results suggest that the hominin populations that inhabited Southeast Spain during the Early Pleistocene behaved more as opportunistic scavengers than as active predators.

  10. The capacity for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis in a carnivorous vertebrate: Functional characterisation and nutritional regulation of a Fads2 fatty acyl desaturase with Δ4 activity and an Elovl5 elongase in striped snakehead (Channa striata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuah, Meng-Kiat; Jaya-Ram, Annette; Shu-Chien, Alexander Chong

    2015-03-01

    The endogenous production of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in carnivorous teleost species inhabiting freshwater environments is poorly understood. Although a predatory lifestyle could potentially supply sufficient LC-PUFA to satisfy the requirements of these species, the nutrient-poor characteristics of the freshwater food web could impede this advantage. In this study, we report the cloning and functional characterisation of an elongase enzyme in the LC-PUFA biosynthesis pathway from striped snakehead (Channa striata), which is a strict freshwater piscivore that shows high deposition of LC-PUFA in its flesh. We also functionally characterised a previously isolated fatty acyl desaturase cDNA from this species. Results showed that the striped snakehead desaturase is capable of Δ4 and Δ5 desaturation activities, while the elongase showed the characteristics of Elovl5 elongases. Collectively, these findings reveal that striped snakehead exhibits the genetic resources to synthesise docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3). Both genes are expressed at considerable levels in the brain and the liver. In liver, both genes were up-regulated by dietary C18 PUFA, although this increase did not correspond to a significant rise in the deposition of muscle LC-PUFA. Brain tissue of fish fed with plant oil diets showed higher expression of fads2 gene compared to fish fed with fish oil-based diet, which could ensure DHA levels remain constant under limited dietary DHA intake. This suggests the importance of DHA production from EPA via the ∆4 desaturation step in order to maintain an optimal reserve of DHA in the neuronal tissues of carnivores. PMID:25542509

  11. How does a carnivore guild utilise a substantial but unpredictable anthropogenic food source? Scavenging on hunter-shot ungulate carcasses by wild dogs/dingoes, red foxes and feral cats in south-eastern Australia revealed by camera traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, David M; Woodford, Luke; Moloney, Paul D; Hampton, Jordan O; Woolnough, Andrew P; Tucker, Mark

    2014-01-01

    There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥ 150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring). We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼ 14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10%) fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources. PMID:24918425

  12. How does a carnivore guild utilise a substantial but unpredictable anthropogenic food source? Scavenging on hunter-shot ungulate carcasses by wild dogs/dingoes, red foxes and feral cats in south-eastern Australia revealed by camera traps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsyth, David M; Woodford, Luke; Moloney, Paul D; Hampton, Jordan O; Woolnough, Andrew P; Tucker, Mark

    2014-01-01

    There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥ 150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring). We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼ 14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10%) fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources.

  13. Mamíferos carnívoros e sua relação com a diversidade de hábitats no Parque Nacional dos Aparados da Serra, sul do Brasil Carnivore mammals and their relation with habitat diversity in Aparados da Serra National Park, southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria de Fátima M. dos Santos

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available A survey of carnivore mammals was accomplished in Aparados da Serra National Park from February 1998 to March 2000. The park has 10,250 ha and is considered a biodiversity core area of the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve in the Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. The landscape is characterized by relatively well preserved relicts of Araucaria angustifolia (Bertol. Kuntze forest, grasslands and Atlantic Forest, which have contributed for the survival of endangered carnivore mammals. The National Park was divided in a grid of 16 km² cells using a 1:50,000 scale map. The animals were recorded using indirect methods, by identifying signs (scats, tracks and direct observation in 2.5 km long and 5 m wide transects, with 10 replicates in each grid cell. Interviews with local people were also used to confirm the animal presence. A total of 13 species was recorded: Procyon cancrivorus (Cuvier, 1798, Pseudalopex gymnocercus (G. Fischer, 1814, Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758 and Cerdocyon thous (Linnaeus, 1766 were the most frequent species registered. Nasua nasua (Linnaeus 1766, Herpailurus yaguarondi (Lacépède, 1809, Chrysocyon brachyurus (Illiger, 1815, Eira barbara (Linnaeus, 1758, Leopardus sp., Puma concolor (Linnaeus, 1771, Galictis cuja (Molina, 1782, Conepatus chinga (Molina, 1892 and Lontra longicaudis (Olfers, 1818 showed lower frequencies. The Park presented areas with significant differences (Mantel Test, P< 0.05 in species richness and composition related to habitat classes. Areas with high habitat richness presented high species richness. The Araucaria forest was the habitat that presented the higher carnivore richness. The border areas of the Park are influenced by several environmental degradation factors that could be affecting the distribution of carnivores.

  14. 阿尔金山国家级自然保护区食肉鸟兽调查%Survey on Carnivore Birds and Mammals in Altun Mountain National Natural Reserve

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李叶; 张翔; 时磊

    2012-01-01

    2011-2012年,对阿尔金山国家级自然保护区的鼠类天敌——食肉鸟兽开展专项调查.通过调查,初步查明了保护区内共分布有鼠类天敌27种,分属2纲3目7科17属,其中有国家一级保护动物5种,二级保护动物17种.赤狐为保护区首次记录物种.对主要天敌的种类、分布、食性和活动规律,以及对高原鼠兔防治的潜在作用进行了初步分析.藏狐和大鵟可以作为进一步开展天敌防治鼠害工作的目标物种.%A special investigation on carnivorous mammals and birds was carried out in the Altun Mountain National Nature Reserve in 2011-2012. Research found out total 27 kinds of predators on rodent pests belonging to 2 classes,3 orders,7 families,and 17 genera distributing in the protected areas. Among them there are 5 kinds of national first class protection animal and 17 kinds of national second class protection animal. The red fox(Vulpes vuLpes)was first recorded from this region. The first analysis was carried out on varieties,distribution,feeding habits and the patterns of the main natural enemies and the potential role in controlling plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) . Tibetan fox and Buzzard can be used as target species for a further natural enemies controlling pika project.

  15. Free-Living Species of Carnivorous Mammals in Poland: Red Fox, Beech Marten, and Raccoon as a Potential Reservoir of Salmonella, Yersinia, Listeria spp. and Coagulase-Positive Staphylococcus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aneta Nowakiewicz

    Full Text Available The objective of the study was to examine a population of free-living carnivorous mammals most commonly found in Poland (red fox, beech marten, and raccoon for the occurrence of bacteria that are potentially pathogenic for humans and other animal species and to determine their virulence potential (the presence of selected virulence genes. From the total pool of isolates obtained (n = 328, we selected 90 belonging to species that pose the greatest potential threat to human health: Salmonella spp. (n = 19; 4.51%, Yersinia enterocolitica (n = 10; 2.37%, Listeria monocytogenes and L. ivanovii (n = 21, and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 40; 9.5%. The Salmonella spp. isolates represented three different subspecies; S. enterica subsp. enterica accounted for a significant proportion (15/19, and most of the serotypes isolated (S. Typhimurium, S. Infantis, S. Newport and S. Enteritidis were among the 10 non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes that are most often responsible for infections in Europe, including Poland. Y. enterococlitica was detected in the smallest percentage of animals, but 60% of strains among the isolates tested possessed the ail gene, which is responsible for attachment and invasion. Potentially pathogenic Listeria species were isolated from approx. 5% of the animals. The presence of all tested virulence genes was shown in 35% of L. monocytogenes strains, while in the case of the other strains, the genes occurred in varying numbers and configurations. The presence of the inlA, inlC, hlyA, and iap genes was noted in all strains, whereas the genes encoding PI-PLC, actin, and internalin Imo2821 were present in varying percentages (from 80% to 55%. S. aureus was obtained from 40 individuals. Most isolates possessed the hla, hld (95% for each, and hlb (32.5% genes encoding hemolysins as well as the gene encoding leukotoxin lukED (70%. In a similar percentage of strains (77.5%, the presence of at least one gene encoding enterotoxin was found, with 12

  16. Free-Living Species of Carnivorous Mammals in Poland: Red Fox, Beech Marten, and Raccoon as a Potential Reservoir of Salmonella, Yersinia, Listeria spp. and Coagulase-Positive Staphylococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowakiewicz, Aneta; Zięba, Przemysław; Ziółkowska, Grażyna; Gnat, Sebastian; Muszyńska, Marta; Tomczuk, Krzysztof; Majer Dziedzic, Barbara; Ulbrych, Łukasz; Trościańczyk, Aleksandra

    2016-01-01

    The objective of the study was to examine a population of free-living carnivorous mammals most commonly found in Poland (red fox, beech marten, and raccoon) for the occurrence of bacteria that are potentially pathogenic for humans and other animal species and to determine their virulence potential (the presence of selected virulence genes). From the total pool of isolates obtained (n = 328), we selected 90 belonging to species that pose the greatest potential threat to human health: Salmonella spp. (n = 19; 4.51%), Yersinia enterocolitica (n = 10; 2.37%), Listeria monocytogenes and L. ivanovii (n = 21), and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 40; 9.5%). The Salmonella spp. isolates represented three different subspecies; S. enterica subsp. enterica accounted for a significant proportion (15/19), and most of the serotypes isolated (S. Typhimurium, S. Infantis, S. Newport and S. Enteritidis) were among the 10 non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes that are most often responsible for infections in Europe, including Poland. Y. enterococlitica was detected in the smallest percentage of animals, but 60% of strains among the isolates tested possessed the ail gene, which is responsible for attachment and invasion. Potentially pathogenic Listeria species were isolated from approx. 5% of the animals. The presence of all tested virulence genes was shown in 35% of L. monocytogenes strains, while in the case of the other strains, the genes occurred in varying numbers and configurations. The presence of the inlA, inlC, hlyA, and iap genes was noted in all strains, whereas the genes encoding PI-PLC, actin, and internalin Imo2821 were present in varying percentages (from 80% to 55%). S. aureus was obtained from 40 individuals. Most isolates possessed the hla, hld (95% for each), and hlb (32.5%) genes encoding hemolysins as well as the gene encoding leukotoxin lukED (70%). In a similar percentage of strains (77.5%), the presence of at least one gene encoding enterotoxin was found, with 12

  17. An Investigation of Intestinal Parasitic Infection in Ornamental Carnivorous Animals Raised in Scatters and in Sites%半散养和圈养肉食目动物肠道寄生虫感染情况调查

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    金兰梅; 周加武; 高小梅; 徐美娜; 蔡志慧; 夏国强; 周玲玲; 沈素娟

    2012-01-01

    The paper investigates parasitic infection in ornamental carnivorous animals raised in scatters and in sites.116 fecal samples representing 4 families of animals such as the tiger,lion,bear,and wolf,are examined by flotation and sedimentation.It shows that the total infection rate of helminth is 71.55%.The infection rate of animals raised in scatter is 74%,while that of captive animals is 56.39%.The average infectivity of nematode in animals raised in scatter is 10 158,among which the highest EPG is 23 400.The average infectivity of fluke nematode in animals raised in scatter is 6 008,among which the highest EPG is 33 600.The average infectivity of coccidiosis in animals raised in scatter is 142.The average infectivity of nematode in captive animals is 350,among which the highest EPG is 600.The average infectivity of coccidiosis in captive animals is 120,among which the highest EPG is 600.The average infectivity of flupe nematode in captive animals is 0.%为了解动物园半散养和圈养肉食目动物寄生虫的感染状况,采用饱和盐水漂浮法和水洗沉淀法对虎、狮、熊、狼等116头肉食动物粪便进行了寄生虫检查。结果显示:寄生虫总感染率为71.55%,半散养的肉食目动物寄生虫的感染率为74%(74/100),圈养的感染率为56.3%(9/16)。半散养的线虫平均感染强度(EPG)为10158,其中EPG值最高的达23 400;吸虫平均感染强度(EPG)为6 008,其中EPG值最高的达33 600;球虫平均感染强度(EPG)为142。圈养的线虫平均感染强度(EPG)为350,其中EPG值最高的达600;球虫平均感染强度(EPG)为120,其中EPG值最高的达600;吸虫的平均感染强度(EPG)为0。

  18. Communities of gastrointestinal helminths of fish in historically connected habitats: habitat fragmentation effect in a carnivorous catfish Pelteobagrus fulvidraco from seven lakes in flood plain of the Yangtze River, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yao Wei J

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Habitat fragmentation may result in the reduction of diversity of parasite communities by affecting population size and dispersal pattern of species. In the flood plain of the Yangtze River in China, many lakes, which were once connected with the river, have become isolated since the 1950s from the river by the construction of dams and sluices, with many larger lakes subdivided into smaller ones by road embankments. These artificial barriers have inevitably obstructed the migration of fish between the river and lakes and also among lakes. In this study, the gastrointestinal helminth communities were investigated in a carnivorous fish, the yellowhead catfish Pelteobagrus fulvidraco, from two connected and five isolated lakes in the flood plain in order to detect the effect of lake fragmentation on the parasite communities. Results A total of 11 species of helminths were recorded in the stomach and intestine of P. fulvidraco from seven lakes, including two lakes connected with the Yangtze River, i.e. Poyang and Dongting lakes, and five isolated lakes, i.e. Honghu, Liangzi, Tangxun, Niushan and Baoan lakes. Mean helminth individuals and diversity of helminth communities in Honghu and Dongting lakes was lower than in the other five lakes. The nematode Procamallanus fulvidraconis was the dominant species of communities in all the seven lakes. No significant difference in the Shannon-Wiener index was detected between connected lakes (0.48 and isolated lakes (0.50. The similarity of helminth communities between Niushan and Baoan lakes was the highest (0.6708, and the lowest was between Tangxun and Dongting lakes (0.1807. The similarity was low between Dongting and the other lakes, and the similarity decreased with the geographic distance among these lakes. The helminth community in one connected lake, Poyang Lake was clustered with isolated lakes, but the community in Dongting Lake was separated in the tree. Conclusion The

  19. Management Considerations for Designing Carnivore Highway Crossings

    OpenAIRE

    Ruediger, William Bill C.

    2007-01-01

    Many agencies are contemplating building wildlife crossings to reduce wildlife mortality, to improve habitat connectivity, and to reduce vehicle collisions. For this to occur without problems and interagency disagreements, relationships between agencies and key individuals must be well-developed. Once relationships are in-place highway improvements and wildlife habitat objectives are more easily integrated. The second step in coordinating wildlife issues with transportation is development of ...

  20. Pathogens in free-ranging African carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Goller, Katja Verena

    2011-01-01

    Die ökologische Rolle der meisten Wildtier-Pathogene in Bezug zur langfristigen Populationsdynamik ihrer Wirte ist nur ansatzweise erforscht und wird deshalb nur unzureichend verstanden. Stattdessen ist die Erforschung von Infektionen mit Pathogenen oft beschränkt auf einzelne Fallstudien oder auf Perioden mit deutlich erhöhten Mortalitätsraten innerhalb der Wirtspopulation. Pathogene mit geringer Virulenz können jedoch durch synergistisches Auftreten verheerende Auswirkungen auf die Fitness ...

  1. Koch's postulates, carnivorous cows, and tuberculosis today.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabrah, Frank L

    2011-07-01

    With Koch's announcement in 1882 of his work with the tubercle bacillus, his famous postulates launched the rational world of infectious disease and an abrupt social change--strict patient isolation. The postulates, so successful at their inception, soon began to show some problems, particularly with cholera, which clearly violated some of Koch's requirements. Subsequent studies of other diseases and the discovery of entirely new ones have so altered and expanded the original postulates that they now are little but a precious touch of history. The present additions and replacements of the original concepts are skillful changes that several authors have devised to introduce new order into understanding complex viral and prion diseases. In 1988, this knowledge, with the totally rational response of the British population and its cattle industry, was critical in promptly blocking the threatened epidemic of human prion disease. In contrast, the recent upsurge of tuberculosis (TB) in the worldwide AIDS epidemic in developing countries, and the sudden increase in metabolic syndrome in wealthy ones, suggests the need for focused sociobiologic research seeking ways to affect the damaging lifestyle behavior of many less educated populations in both settings. The world awaits an equivalent of Koch's Postulates in sociobiology to explain and possibly avert large self-destructive behaviors. PMID:21886302

  2. Major taste loss in carnivorous mammals

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang, Peihua; Josue, Jesusa; Li, Xia; Glaser, Dieter; LI, Weihua; Brand, Joseph G.; Margolskee, Robert F.; Reed, Danielle R.; Beauchamp, Gary K.

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian sweet taste is primarily mediated by the type 1 taste receptor Tas1r2/Tas1r3, whereas Tas1r1/Tas1r3 act as the principal umami taste receptor. Bitter taste is mediated by a different group of G protein-coupled receptors, the Tas2rs, numbering 3 to ∼66, depending on the species. We showed previously that the behavioral indifference of cats toward sweet-tasting compounds can be explained by the pseudogenization of the Tas1r2 gene, which encodes the Tas1r2 receptor. To examine the gene...

  3. Major taste loss in carnivorous mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Peihua; Josue, Jesusa; Li, Xia; Glaser, Dieter; Li, Weihua; Brand, Joseph G; Margolskee, Robert F; Reed, Danielle R; Beauchamp, Gary K

    2012-03-27

    Mammalian sweet taste is primarily mediated by the type 1 taste receptor Tas1r2/Tas1r3, whereas Tas1r1/Tas1r3 act as the principal umami taste receptor. Bitter taste is mediated by a different group of G protein-coupled receptors, the Tas2rs, numbering 3 to ∼66, depending on the species. We showed previously that the behavioral indifference of cats toward sweet-tasting compounds can be explained by the pseudogenization of the Tas1r2 gene, which encodes the Tas1r2 receptor. To examine the generality of this finding, we sequenced the entire coding region of Tas1r2 from 12 species in the order Carnivora. Seven of these nonfeline species, all of which are exclusive meat eaters, also have independently pseudogenized Tas1r2 caused by ORF-disrupting mutations. Fittingly, the purifying selection pressure is markedly relaxed in these species with a pseudogenized Tas1r2. In behavioral tests, the Asian otter (defective Tas1r2) showed no preference for sweet compounds, but the spectacled bear (intact Tas1r2) did. In addition to the inactivation of Tas1r2, we found that sea lion Tas1r1 and Tas1r3 are also pseudogenized, consistent with their unique feeding behavior, which entails swallowing food whole without chewing. The extensive loss of Tas1r receptor function is not restricted to the sea lion: the bottlenose dolphin, which evolved independently from the sea lion but displays similar feeding behavior, also has all three Tas1rs inactivated, and may also lack functional bitter receptors. These data provide strong support for the view that loss of taste receptor function in mammals is widespread and directly related to feeding specializations. PMID:22411809

  4. Novel gene acquisition on carnivore Y chromosomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite its importance in harboring genes critical for spermatogenesis and male-specific functions, the Y chromosome has been largely excluded as a priority in recent mammalian genome sequencing projects. Only the human and chimpanzee Y chromosomes have been well characterized at the sequence level. This is primarily due to the presumed low overall gene content and highly repetitive nature of the Y chromosome and the ensuing difficulties using a shotgun sequence approach for assembly. Here we used direct cDNA selection to isolate and evaluate the extent of novel Y chromosome gene acquisition in the genome of the domestic cat, a species from a different mammalian superorder than human, chimpanzee, and mouse (currently being sequenced. We discovered four novel Y chromosome genes that do not have functional copies in the finished human male-specific region of the Y or on other mammalian Y chromosomes explored thus far. Two genes are derived from putative autosomal progenitors, and the other two have X chromosome homologs from different evolutionary strata. All four genes were shown to be multicopy and expressed predominantly or exclusively in testes, suggesting that their duplication and specialization for testis function were selected for because they enhance spermatogenesis. Two of these genes have testis-expressed, Y-borne copies in the dog genome as well. The absence of the four newly described genes on other characterized mammalian Y chromosomes demonstrates the gene novelty on this chromosome between mammalian orders, suggesting it harbors many lineage-specific genes that may go undetected by traditional comparative genomic approaches. Specific plans to identify the male-specific genes encoded in the Y chromosome of mammals should be a priority.

  5. Novel Gene Acquisition on Carnivore Y Chromosomes

    OpenAIRE

    Murphy, William J.; A J Pearks Wilkerson; Terje Raudsepp; Richa Agarwala; Schäffer, Alejandro A.; Roscoe Stanyon; Chowdhary, Bhanu P

    2006-01-01

    Despite its importance in harboring genes critical for spermatogenesis and male-specific functions, the Y chromosome has been largely excluded as a priority in recent mammalian genome sequencing projects. Only the human and chimpanzee Y chromosomes have been well characterized at the sequence level. This is primarily due to the presumed low overall gene content and highly repetitive nature of the Y chromosome and the ensuing difficulties using a shotgun sequence approach for assembly. Here we...

  6. Importancia de la heterogeneidad ambiental en la ecología de plantas carnívoras mediterráneas: implicaciones para la conservación Environmental heterogeneity and the ecology of carnivorous plants: implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Regino Zamora

    2002-03-01

    Full Text Available En la cuenca mediterránea, la mayoría de las plantas carnívoras pertenecientes al género Pinguicula habitan las paredes húmedas de montañas calizas. Estos escenarios rocosos condicionan la ecología de las poblaciones situadas en distintos exposiciones (solana versus umbría. Las diferencias temporales en la floración entre plantas que crecen en distintos microhábitats, unido a las diferencias espaciales en la distribución y abundancia de las especies de polinizadores, provocan barreras al flujo genico vía polen entre microhábitats soleados y umbríos. Estos mecanismos ecológicos pueden actuar sinérgicamente con otros factores que limitan el flujo génico, como distancia geográfica y la compleja orografía de las montañas, favoreciendo la diferenciación local. Las poblaciones de Pinguicula vallisneriifolia muestran también diferentes abundancias y estructuras demográficas dependiendo del microhábitat donde crecen las plantas. El carácter perenne y la reproducción asexual de esta planta le permite ralentizar la extinción poblacional, incluso en ausencia de reclutamiento via plántula en los lugares secos y soleados. Sin embargo, con la actual tendencia hacia una mayor aridez, los escasos micrositios adecuados para la germinación y establecimiento de plántulas se desplazan hacia los sectores de las paredes más umbríos y húmedos, pero donde el desarrollo reproductivo está limitado por la escasez de luz. Para la conservación de esta planta carnívora hay que llevar a cabo medidas de manejo para mantener un número mínimo de nichos de regeneración efectivos. La conservación de P. vallisneriifolia pasa por mantener la riqueza de escenarios ecológicos (i.e., mantener poblaciones de sol versus de sombra, como parte de la variabilidad total a conservar, no solo geográfica, sino también de escenario microclimáticoMost carnivorous plants belonging to the Pinguicula genus inhabit mountains in the Mediterranean basin

  7. THE AGE AND ENVIRONMENT STUDY OF Gigantopithecus FAUNA OF PA'ERYAN, BIJIE, GUIZHOU, BASED ON THE CARNIVORE FOSSILS%贵州毕节扒耳岩巨猿动物群的年代与环境——来自食肉类化石的分析和研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘金毅; 赵凌霞; 陈津; 王新金; 蔡回阳; 张忠文

    2011-01-01

    Pa'eryan, a cave or fissure deposit at Bijie, Guizhou Province ( 27°22'12"N, 105°15'16"E, Fig. 1 ) , was identified as a Gigantopithecus site with of fossil mammals accumulation. Most carnivores, although small in number with only 19 pieces unearthed, are in good conditions; some of them can even be classified to species level. The carnivores unearthed from Pa'eryan include: hyaena ( Pachycrocuta licenti), black bear ( Ursus thibetanus primitinus) ,giant panda(Ailuropoda microta) ,jackal( Cuon dubius)and leopard(Panthera sp. ) ,namely 4 families, 5 genera and 5 species.The present fossil record indicates that Pachycrocuta licenti, Ailuropoda microta, Cuon dubius and Ursus thibetanus primitinus were endemic elements of the Early Pleistocene fauna in South China. The time period of these animals was short and only in the Early Pleistocene. Those of Ailuropoda microta and Cuon dubius were even shorter and possibly limited to the early Early Pleistocene. It can definitely be confirmed that Pa'eryan fauna is in Early Pleistocene according to its carnivore guild.All species mentioned above, except Panthera sp., are extinct species or subspecieces, which is a typical feature of mammalian assemblage of Early Pleistocene. The indexes for the extinct species and genera of Pa'eryan's carnivore guild are 80% and 20% respectively, which are similar to those of Juyuandong ( Liucheng) and Mehuidong ( Tiandong) , but somewhat lower than those from Longgupo ( Wushan) and higher than those from Longgudong( Jianshi) (Table 4). Moreove,the carnivore guild of Pa'eryan has 5 common or similar members with Juyuandong and Mehuidong, 4 with Longgupo ( Wushan ) , and only 3 with Longgudong ( Jianshi). The carnivore guild of Pa'eryan differs from that of Longgupo in hyaena fossils. The hyaenas from Longgupo are more primitive in morphology than those from Pa'eryan,and even identified as a different species,namely Pachycrocuta perrieri. The major differences between Pa'eryan and Longgudong

  8. Using fecal profiles of bile acids to assess habitat use by threatened carnivores in the Maulino forest of central Chile Empleo del perfil de ácidos biliares fecales para evaluar uso del hábitat por carnívoros amenazados en el bosque maulino de Chile central

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CARLA GUERRERO

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and habitat use by carnivores can be assessed by studying their tracks or feces. If these methods are to be used confidently, they should not only unequivocally discriminate among species, but should also render the same patterns of spatial distributions. We assessed the fulfillment of these requirements with five carnivores inhabiting the Maulino forest of central Chile: Galictis cuja, Oncifelis guigna, Pseudalopex culpaeus, Pseudalopex griseus, and Puma concolor. Fecal bile acid thin layer chromatographic profiles were assessed, and shown to be species-specific, invariant within samples of a given individual and among individuals of a given species, but consistently different across species. The spatial distribution of feces in mixed stands of native forests and exotic pine plantations in the coastal Maule region of central Chile was compared with the expected distribution according to habitat offer, and also with the expected distribution based on earlier track records. The results revealed that Pseudalopex culpaeus makes extensive use of pine plantations; Oncifelis guigna prefers native forests, and Pseudalopex griseus thrives in pine plantations, native forests, and patches of native forest, in proportion to habitat availability. Results from scat distribution were similar to those obtained by tracks records. Feces and tracks were thus useful indicators of habitat use by carnivores, and could be used complementarily to study species with conservation problemsEl uso del hábitat por carnívoros puede ser examinado a partir de la distribución de sus huellas y fecas. Para que ambas aproximaciones sean usadas en forma segura y complementaria, ellas deberían no solamente discriminar inequívocamente entre especies, sino que también deberían entregar la misma información sobre los patrones de distribución espacial. Analizamos el cumplimiento de estos requisitos con cinco especies de carnívoros en el bosque maulino de Chile

  9. Fruits as unusual food items of the carnivorous bat Chrotopterus auritus (Mammalia, Phyllostomidae from southeastern Brazil Frutos como item alimentar não habitual do morcego carnívoro Chrotopterus auritus (Mammalia, Phyllostomidae da região sudeste do Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wilson Uieda

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available We record here the occurrence of seeds of several plant species in feces found inside the day roost of Chrotoperus auritus, at the Estação Experimental de Itirapina, State of São Paulo, Southeastern Brazil, in July 2001. The roost was used by only one adult female, non pregnant, during about a month. In the feces, fur of rodent (Muridae, bone fragments, fragments of Scarabaeidae and other beetles and insects, leaves (not determined and many seeds of Piperaceae (Piper sp., Urticaceae (Cecropia sp. and Solanaceae (Solanum spp. and Cestrum sp. were found. In the gut content, insect fragments, fur of rodent (Muridae and plant remains were found. It was discussed why this carnivorous bat would be consuming plant items.Relatamos aqui a ocorrência de sementes de diversas espécies de plantas em fezes encontradas num abrigo diurno de C. auritus, localizado na Estação Experimental de Itirapina, São Paulo, em julho de 2001. O abrigo era utilizado por apenas uma fêmea adulta não grávida durante cerca de um mês. Nas fezes, foram encontrados pêlos de roedor (Muridae, fragmentos de ossos, fragmentos de Scarabaeidae e de outros Coleópteros e insetos, folhas (não identificáveis e muitas sementes de Piperaceae (Piper sp., Urticaceae (Cecropia sp. e Solanaceae (Solanum spp. e Cestrum sp.. No trato digestivo foram encontrados fragmentos de insetos, pêlos de roedores (Muridae e restos de vegetais. Discute-se porque esse morcego carnívoro poderia estar consumindo itens vegetais.

  10. PRODUCCIÓN Y USO DE OBJETOS ORNAMENTALES ELABORADOS SOBRE DIENTES DE CARNÍVOROS EN CONTEXTOS ARQUEOLÓGICOS DEL HUMEDAL DEL PARANÁ INFERIOR / Manufacture and use of ornaments made on carnivore teeth from archaeological sites of Low Paraná Wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Alberto Acosta

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available En este trabajo se analizan una serie de piezas dentarias de carnívoros discutiendo su utilización como objetos ornamentales por las poblaciones humanas que ocuparon el sector meridional del humedal del Paraná inferior durante el Holoceno tardío. La identificación taxonómica de los distintos elementos dentarios se efectuó mediante estudios morfométricos, siendo de particular interés señalar el reconocimiento de especies que son poco frecuentes o que hasta ahora no estaban presentes en el registro arqueológico regional como Canis familiaris y Nasua nasua. A través del análisis microscópico, logramos identificar distintos rastros o huellas de transformación y utilización de los dientes, incluso en aquellos ejemplares que a ojo desnudo no presentaban modificaciones antrópicas. En función de los resultados obtenidos se discute la obtención y uso de estos objetos como objetos ornamentales y se realizan distintas consideraciones en cuanto a su potencial valor simbólico, señalando ciertas limitaciones interpretativas que existen sobre este tópico, así como las vías analíticas y conceptos desarrollados por otros autores para abordar problemáticas similares a las aquí estudiadas. AbstractThis paper analyses Carnivore dental items, discussing their use as ornaments by human societies that inhabited the southern sector of Low Paraná wetland during the Late Holocene. Taxonomic identification of dental items was made trough morphometric analysis. It is very interesting to show the presence of taxa not available in the area as Canis familiaris and Nasua nasua. Through microscopic analysis, we identified use and manufacture process, also in those items which do not show anthropic modification at the naked eye. On the basis of these results, we discuss the bone raw material acquisition and their use as ornaments, arguing their symbolic value but pointing the analytical restrictions on this subject, as well as the methodological and

  11. Possibilities of acupressure diagnostics indifferent diseases of carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Petrović Branislav

    2002-01-01

    The paper describes the possibility of using acupressure on established points of stepped-up skin sensibility (puncta maxima - PM) for the purpose of diagnosing certain diseases of internal organs or the state of the bone-joint system in carnivora. It presents the theoretical basis of acupressure diagnostics on the grounds of the existence of pathways for conducting pain and the familiar principle of viscero-cutaneous reflexes. It describes the technique of diagnosis using acupressure. Seven ...

  12. Possibilities of acupressure diagnostics indifferent diseases of carnivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petrović Branislav

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the possibility of using acupressure on established points of stepped-up skin sensibility (puncta maxima - PM for the purpose of diagnosing certain diseases of internal organs or the state of the bone-joint system in carnivora. It presents the theoretical basis of acupressure diagnostics on the grounds of the existence of pathways for conducting pain and the familiar principle of viscero-cutaneous reflexes. It describes the technique of diagnosis using acupressure. Seven graphic pictures present the localization of optimal PM for acupressure diagnostics.

  13. Circovirus in domestic and wild carnivores: An important opportunistic agent?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaccaria, Guendalina; Malatesta, Daniela; Scipioni, Gabriella; Di Felice, Elisabetta; Campolo, Marco; Casaccia, Claudia; Savini, Giovanni; Di Sabatino, Daria; Lorusso, Alessio

    2016-03-01

    Circoviruses are relatively novel pathogens with increased importance in canids. In this study, we first screened the presence of dog circovirus (DogCV) by molecular methods from a total number of 389 internal organ samples originating from 277 individuals of domestic dogs and wild animals including wolves, foxes and badgers. All the animals originated from Central-Southern Italy, specifically from Abruzzi and Molise regions, areas hosting several natural parks. DogCV was detected in 9/34 wolves (P=26.4%; IC 95%: 14.6-43.1%), 8/209 dogs (P=3.8%; IC 95%: 1.9-7.3%), 0/24 foxes (P=0%; IC 95%: 0-13.8%), 1/10 badgers (P=10%; IC 95%: 1.79-40.4%). However, all DogCV positive animals were shown to be infected at least by an additional key pathogen, including canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine parvovirus type 2. All wolves, but one, presenting DogCV in the internal tissues suffered from CDV infection. The DNA purified from 17 DogCV infected organs was used for whole genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. PMID:26848830

  14. Sarcocystis leporum in cottontail rabbits and its transmission to carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayer, R; Kradel, D

    1977-04-01

    Muscle from Sarcocystis-infected cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) was fed to coccidia-free cats (Felis domestica) and dogs (Canis familiaris). Only cats became infected and shed sporocysts in their feces. The prepatent period ranged from 10 to 25 days and the patent period from 3 to 46 days. Sporocysts were fully sporulated when shed. They contained 4 sporozoites and a coarse granular residuum and averaged 9.4 by 13.6 micron (N=55). Doses of 200-75,000 sporocysts were orally administered to 5 domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Domestic rabbits did not become infected, suggesting a strict host specificity for the intermediate host S. floridanus. PMID:405509

  15. Female brain size and parental care in carnivores.

    OpenAIRE

    Gittleman, J L

    1994-01-01

    Comparative studies indicate that species differences in mammalian brain size relate to body size, ecology, and life-history traits. Previous analyses failed to show intrasexual or behavioral patterns of brain size in mammals. Across the terrestrial Carnivora, I find to the contrary. Differences in female, but not male, brain size associate with a fundamental ecological and evolutionary characteristic of female behavior. Other factors equal, females that provide the sole parental care have la...

  16. Food for Thought As Carnivorous Robot Is Born

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    林兆佩

    2000-01-01

    美国的New Scientist杂志最近刊登了一则耸人听闻的消息:一个名为Chew Chew的食肉类的机器人已经诞生。它的发明人Wilkinson幽默地说:…they’ll notice there’s an awful lot of humans running about and try to eat them.

  17. Sabretoothed Carnivores and the Killing of Large Prey

    OpenAIRE

    Ki Andersson; David Norman; Lars Werdelin

    2011-01-01

    Sabre-like canines clearly have the potential to inflict grievous wounds leading to massive blood loss and rapid death. Hypotheses concerning sabretooth killing modes include attack to soft parts such as the belly or throat, where biting deep is essential to generate strikes reaching major blood vessels. Sabretoothed carnivorans are widely interpreted as hunters of larger and more powerful prey than that of their present-day nonsabretoothed relatives. However, the precise functional advantage...

  18. Competition and intraguild predation among three sympatric carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Fedriani, José M.; Fuller, Todd K.; Sauvajot, Raymond M.; York, Eric C.

    2000-01-01

    We examined the relative roles of dominance in agonistic interactions and energetic constraints related to body size in determining local abundances of coyotes (Canis latrans, 8-20 kg), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus, 3-5 kg) and bobcats (Felis rufus, 5-15 kg) at three study sites (hereafter referred to as NP, CP, and SP) in the Santa Monica Mountains of California. We hypothesized that the largest and behaviorally dominant species, the coyote, would exploit a wider range of resources (...

  19. Functional constraints on tooth morphology in carnivorous mammals

    OpenAIRE

    Smits Peter D; Evans Alistair R

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background The range of potential morphologies resulting from evolution is limited by complex interacting processes, ranging from development to function. Quantifying these interactions is important for understanding adaptation and convergent evolution. Using three-dimensional reconstructions of carnivoran and dasyuromorph tooth rows, we compared statistical models of the relationship between tooth row shape and the opposing tooth row, a static feature, as well as measures of mandibu...

  20. Venus flytrap carnivorous lifestyle builds on herbivore defense strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Dirk; Larisch, Christina; Kreuzer, Ines; Escalante-Perez, Maria; Schulze, Waltraud X.; Ankenbrand, Markus; Van de Weyer, Anna-Lena; Krol, Elzbieta; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A.; Mithöfer, Axel; Weber, Andreas P.; Schultz, Jörg

    2016-01-01

    Although the concept of botanical carnivory has been known since Darwin's time, the molecular mechanisms that allow animal feeding remain unknown, primarily due to a complete lack of genomic information. Here, we show that the transcriptomic landscape of the Dionaea trap is dramatically shifted toward signal transduction and nutrient transport upon insect feeding, with touch hormone signaling and protein secretion prevailing. At the same time, a massive induction of general defense responses is accompanied by the repression of cell death–related genes/processes. We hypothesize that the carnivory syndrome of Dionaea evolved by exaptation of ancient defense pathways, replacing cell death with nutrient acquisition. PMID:27197216

  1. Carnivore-caused livestock mortality in Trans-Himalaya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Namgail, T.; Fox, J.L.; Bhatnagar, Y.V.

    2007-01-01

    The loss of livestock to wild predators is an important livelihood concern among Trans-Himalayan pastoralists. Because of the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, few studies have been carried out to quantify livestock depredation by wild predators. In the present study, we assessed the int

  2. Sabretoothed carnivores and the killing of large prey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki Andersson

    Full Text Available Sabre-like canines clearly have the potential to inflict grievous wounds leading to massive blood loss and rapid death. Hypotheses concerning sabretooth killing modes include attack to soft parts such as the belly or throat, where biting deep is essential to generate strikes reaching major blood vessels. Sabretoothed carnivorans are widely interpreted as hunters of larger and more powerful prey than that of their present-day nonsabretoothed relatives. However, the precise functional advantage of the sabretooth bite, particularly in relation to prey size, is unknown. Here, we present a new point-to-point bite model and show that, for sabretooths, depth of the killing bite decreases dramatically with increasing prey size. The extended gape of sabretooths only results in considerable increase in bite depth when biting into prey with a radius of less than ∼10 cm. For sabretooths, this size-reversed functional advantage suggests predation on species within a similar size range to those attacked by present-day carnivorans, rather than "megaherbivores" as previously believed. The development of the sabretooth condition appears to represent a shift in function and killing behaviour, rather than one in predator-prey relations. Furthermore, our results demonstrate how sabretoothed carnivorans are likely to have evolved along a functionally continuous trajectory: beginning as an extension of a jaw-powered killing bite, as adopted by present-day pantherine cats, followed by neck-powered biting and thereafter shifting to neck-powered shear-biting. We anticipate this new insight to be a starting point for detailed study of the evolution of pathways that encompass extreme specialisation, for example, understanding how neck-powered biting shifts into shear-biting and its significance for predator-prey interactions. We also expect that our model for point-to-point biting and bite depth estimations will yield new insights into the behaviours of a broad range of extinct predators including therocephalians (gorgonopsian + cynodont, sabretoothed mammal-like reptiles, sauropterygians (marine reptiles and theropod dinosaurs.

  3. Venus flytrap carnivorous lifestyle builds on herbivore defense strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bemm, Felix; Becker, Dirk; Larisch, Christina; Kreuzer, Ines; Escalante-Perez, Maria; Schulze, Waltraud X; Ankenbrand, Markus; Van de Weyer, Anna-Lena; Krol, Elzbieta; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A; Mithöfer, Axel; Weber, Andreas P; Schultz, Jörg; Hedrich, Rainer

    2016-06-01

    Although the concept of botanical carnivory has been known since Darwin's time, the molecular mechanisms that allow animal feeding remain unknown, primarily due to a complete lack of genomic information. Here, we show that the transcriptomic landscape of the Dionaea trap is dramatically shifted toward signal transduction and nutrient transport upon insect feeding, with touch hormone signaling and protein secretion prevailing. At the same time, a massive induction of general defense responses is accompanied by the repression of cell death-related genes/processes. We hypothesize that the carnivory syndrome of Dionaea evolved by exaptation of ancient defense pathways, replacing cell death with nutrient acquisition. PMID:27197216

  4. 'Nasty neighbours' rather than 'dear enemies' in a social carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Corsin A; Manser, Marta B

    2007-04-01

    Territorial animals typically respond less aggressively to neighbours than to strangers. This 'dear enemy effect' has been explained by differing familiarity or by different threat levels posed by neighbours and strangers. In most species, both the familiarity and the threat-level hypotheses predict a stronger response to strangers than to neighbours. In contrast, the threat-level hypothesis predicts a stronger response to neighbours than to strangers in species with intense competition between neighbours and with residents outnumbering strangers, as commonly found in social mammals such as the banded mongoose (Mungos mungo). The familiarity hypothesis predicts reduced aggression towards neighbours also in these species. We exposed free-living banded mongoose groups to translocated scent marks of neighbouring groups and strangers. Groups vocalized more and inspected more samples in response to olfactory cues of the neighbours than to the strangers. Our results support the threat-level hypothesis and contradict the familiarity hypothesis. We suggest that increased aggression towards neighbours is more common in social species with intense competition between neighbours, as opposed to reduced aggression towards neighbours typical for most solitary species.

  5. Attitudes towards large carnivores and acceptance of illegal hunting : the importance of social attitudes and scales in large carnivore management

    OpenAIRE

    Gangås, Kristin Evensen

    2014-01-01

    Human population growth is escalating, threatening the conservation of wildlife and natural wildlife habitats as we face a growing demand for natural resources and areas for human land use. Wildlife managers cannot focus solely on ecological issues when managing wild species, but have to include humans in their decision making. Moreover, they have to deal with social perspectives such as local cultural traditions, people’s acceptance of wildlife species and historical experience with wildlife...

  6. Hábito alimentar e interferência antrópica na atividade de marcação territorial do Puma concolor e Leopardus pardalis (Carnivora: Felidae e outros carnívoros na Estação Ecológica de Juréia-Itatins, São Paulo, Brasil Food habits and anthropic interference on the territorial marking activity of Puma concolor and Leopardus pardalis (Carnivora: Felidae and other carnivores in the Juréia-Itatins Ecological Station, São Paulo, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rogério Martins

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Os hábitos alimentares da onça-parda, jaguatirica e outros carnívoros foram estudados na Juréia (80.000 ha, um dos maiores remanescentes de Mata Atlântica do estado de São Paulo. O estudo foi baseado na análise de fezes encontradas durante um período de amostragem de 15 meses e 415 km percorridos. A diversidade de presas encontradas nas fezes foi alta para ambos os felinos, tendo como presas mais importantes da onça-parda em freqüência de ocorrência e biomassa, o cateto e o tatu-de-rabo-mole, e marsupiais na dieta da jaguatirica. Maior freqüência de fezes de carnívoros foi encontrada distante das casas de moradores tradicionais, sugerindo um comportamento territorial evitando a proximidade da presença humana.Food habits of puma, ocelot and other carnivores were studied in Juréia (80.000 ha, one of the largest remnants of Atlantic forest of the state of São Paulo. The study was based on the analysis of scats found during a sampling period of 15 months and 415 km traversed. The diversity of prey found was high for both felines, with higher frequency and estimated biomass of collared peccary and the greater naked-tailed armadillo in the diet of the puma, and marsupials in the diet of the ocelot. The highest frequency of carnivore scats was found distant from traditional households, suggesting avoidance behavior towards human presence.

  7. 内蒙古赛罕乌拉自然保护区4种小型食肉目动物的食性构成的初步分析%Preliminary comparison of diet composition of four small sized carnivores at Saihanwula Nature Reserve,Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张逦嘉; 王安梦; 袁梨; 鲍伟东; 杨永昕; 巴特尔

    2011-01-01

    为了解同域分布动物的食物竞争关系,采用样线法收集粪便样品,依据残遗物鉴别物种的方法,于2007年8~12月对赛罕乌拉国家级自然保护区的赤狐、狗獾、香鼬和豹猫的食物构成进行比较.结果表明:赤狐取食所有15类食物,并捕食小型鼬类;在赤狐粪样(n=70)中出现率较大的植物(32.6%)以重量比率计算时其贡献极大下降(0.02%),而出现率较低的草兔和鸟类重量比率较高(草兔65.4%,鸟类22.9%),相对重要值的计算表示,赤狐的食物构成均一.狗獾(n=64)以取食昆虫和植物果实为主(出现率29.3%和57.8%).香鼬(n=14)集中取食鼠类(出现率73.7%,相对重量99.8%),豹猫(n=11)则以鸟类居多(出现率27.8%,相对重量69.0%).食物生态位的宽度以赤狐最大(0.2),其次为豹猫(0.07).根据食物生态位的重叠度分析,赤狐与狗獾(O=0.99)和豹猫(O=0.7)以及狗獾与豹猫(O=0.6)的种间竞争较强,但在主要食物上出现分离,实现捕食者之间的共存.赤狐对香鼬的捕食可能限制了其种群的发展.%Food habits and competition of sympatric carnivores at Saihanwula Nature Reserve, Inner Mongolia were compared from August to December 2007 by examining fecal content Food items were evaluated by rate of occurrence in the diet and in weight percentage of total diet. Our study included red fox ( Vulpes vulpes ), badger ( Meles meles ), mountain weasel (Mustela altaica) and leopard cat (Felis bengalensis). The data indicate red fox ingested 15 kinds of food with the following composition: plants (32.6% ), rodents (31.3% ) and birds ( 18. 6% ); weasels were occasionally preyed upon (0. 7% ). Although plant occurrence was high percentage, the role of vegetation decreased when calculated in relative weight percentage. Badger consumed more insects (29. 3% ) and fruit (57. 8% ) in terms of frequency, while mountain weasel preyed upon rodents at a very high rate of occurrence ( 73. 7% ) and weight

  8. Feed based on vegetable materials changes the muscle proteome of the carnivore rainbow trout

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jessen, Flemming; Wulff, Tune; Bach Mikkelsen, J.;

    2011-01-01

    for a sustainable production of fish from aquaculture. However, such a change in feed will have an effect on the fish composition and metabolism and may also affect eating quality as well as different health and nutritional properties. A proteomic approach was taken to compare the muscle protein profile of rainbow...... trout fed two different diets identical in protein and oil content, but with diet C based on fish meal and oil and diet V based on rapeseed oil and vegetable proteins. In addition to the proteomic investigation the textural properties of the fish were analysed by sensory profiling. Protein expression...

  9. Tracking Cats: Problems with Placing Feline Carnivores on δ18O, δD Isoscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Pietsch, Stephanie J.; Hobson, Keith A.; Wassenaar, Leonard I; Tütken, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Background Several felids are endangered and threatened by the illegal wildlife trade. Establishing geographic origin of tissues of endangered species is thus crucial for wildlife crime investigations and effective conservation strategies. As shown in other species, stable isotope analysis of hydrogen and oxygen in hair (δDh, δ18Oh) can be used as a tool for provenance determination. However, reliably predicting the spatial distribution of δDh and δ18Oh requires confirmation from animal tissu...

  10. Genetic structure of the carnivorous plant Pinguicula moranensis (Lentibulariaceae) on the transvolcanic Mexican belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcalá, Raúl E; Domínguez, César A

    2012-06-01

    Most species of Pinguicula present a montane distribution with populations located at high altitudes. In this context, we proposed that populations of Pinguicula species could be genetically differentiated even at a local scale. This study supported that prediction, as a RAPD-based analysis of molecular variance revealed a high degree of genetic structure (Φ (st) = 0.157, P = 0.001) and low gene flow (Nm = 1.0) among four central populations of Pinguicula moranensis in Mexico, with a maximum geographic separation of about 140 km. The four populations also exhibited high levels of genetic diversity (mean Nei's genetic diversity = 0.3716; % polymorphism = 95.45%). The evolutionary implications of the genetic structure found in P. moranensis for other species in the genus are discussed in the context of the naturally fragmented distribution and a set of life history traits shared by most Pinguicula species that could promote geographic isolation and limited gene flow.

  11. Developing Predictive Occurrence Models for Carnivores in Vermont Using Data Collected with Multiple Noninvasive Methods

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The overarching objectives of this study are to 1 identify factors relating to the presence of black bears, fishers, and bobcats in Vermont, 2 to use this...

  12. Detection of Bartonella spp. in wild carnivores, hyraxes, hedgehog and rodents from Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciano, Odelya; Gutiérrez, Ricardo; Morick, Danny; King, Roni; Nachum-Biala, Yaarit; Baneth, Gad; Harrus, Shimon

    2016-09-01

    Bartonella infection was explored in wild animals from Israel. Golden jackals (Canis aureus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis), southern white-breasted hedgehogs (Erinaceus concolor), social voles (Microtus socialis), Tristram's jirds (Meriones tristrami), Cairo spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus), house mice (Mus musculus) and Indian crested porcupines (Hystrix indica) were sampled and screened by molecular and isolation methods. Bartonella-DNA was detected in 46 animals: 9/70 (13%) golden jackals, 2/11 (18%) red foxes, 3/35 (9%) rock hyraxes, 1/3 (33%) southern white-breasted hedgehogs, 5/57 (9%) Cairo spiny mice, 25/43 (58%) Tristram's jirds and 1/6 (16%) house mice. Bartonella rochalimae and B. rochalimae-like were widespread among jackals, foxes, hyraxes and jirds. This report represents the first detection of this zoonotic Bartonella sp. in rock hyraxes and golden jackals. Moreover, DNA of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, Bartonella acomydis, Candidatus Bartonella merieuxii and other uncharacterized genotypes were identified. Three different Bartonella strains were isolated from Tristram's jirds, and several genotypes were molecularly detected from these animals. Furthermore, this study reports the first detection of Bartonella infection in a southern hedgehog. Our study indicates that infection with zoonotic and other Bartonella species is widespread among wild animals and stresses their potential threat to public health. PMID:27210612

  13. DIVERSITY AND MORPHOMETRIC DATA OF BLOOD FILARIAL lARVAE IN CARNIVOROUS FROM BULGARIA

    OpenAIRE

    Panayotova–Pencheva M.; Trifonova A.; Mirchev R.; Movsesyan S.

    2014-01-01

    During the period 2012-2013 investigations of blood samples from domestic dogs ( Canis familiaris ), goldon jackals ( Canis aureus ) and red foxes ( Vulpes vulpes ) originated from different regions of Bulgaria were performed aiming to document diversity and morphometric characteristics of established filarial larvae. Following features of microfilariae were analyzed: peculiarities in the shape, body length and maximum body width. According to the morphological characteristics three types of ...

  14. Molecular evidence of Ehrlichia canis and Rickettsia massiliae in ixodid ticks of carnivores from South Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hornok, Sándor; Fuente, José; Horváth, Gábor; Fernández de Mera, Isabel G; Wijnveld, Michiel; Tánczos, Balázs; Farkas, Róbert; Jongejan, Frans

    2013-03-01

    To monitor the emergence of thermophilic, Mediterranean ixodid tick species and tick-borne pathogens in southern Hungary, 348 ticks were collected from shepherd dogs, red foxes and golden jackals during the summer of 2011. Golden jackals shared tick species with both the dog and the red fox in the region. Dermacentor nymphs were collected exclusively from dogs, and the sequence identification of these ticks indicated that dogs are preferred hosts of both D. reticulatus and D. marginatus nymphs, unlike previously reported. Subadults of three ixodid species were selected for reverse line blot hybridisation (RLB) analysis to screen their vector potential for 40 pathogens/groups. Results were negative for Anaplasma, Babesia and Theileria spp. Investigation of D. marginatus nymphs revealed the presence of Ehrlichia canis, Rickettsia massiliae and Borrelia afzelii for the first time in this tick species. These findings broaden the range of those tick-borne agents, which are typically transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus, but may also have Dermacentor spp. as potential or alternative vectors. Ehrlichiacanis was also newly detected in Ixodes canisuga larvae from red foxes. In absence of transovarial transmission in ticks this implies that Eurasian red foxes may play a reservoir role in the epidemiology of canine ehrlichiosis. PMID:23439290

  15. Parasite species of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and a sympatric widespread carnivore

    OpenAIRE

    Figueiredo, Ana; Oliveira, Lucia; Madeira de Carvalho, Luís; Fonseca, Carlos; Torres, Rita Tinoco

    2016-01-01

    Parasites have a profound impact on wildlife population dynamics. However, until some years ago, studies on the occurrence and prevalence of wildlife parasites were neglected comparatively with the studies on humans and domestic animals. In this study, we determined the parasite prevalence of two sympatric wild canids: the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) and the widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes), in central Portugal. From November 2014 to July 2015, fresh fecal samples from bo...

  16. High Trypanosoma cruzi infection prevalence associated with minimal cardiac pathology among wild carnivores in central Texas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis-Robles, Rachel; Lewis, Barbara C; Hamer, Sarah A

    2016-08-01

    Infection with the zoonotic vector-borne protozoal parasite Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease in humans and dogs throughout the Americas. Despite the recognized importance of various wildlife species for perpetuating Trypanosoma cruzi in nature, relatively little is known about the development of cardiac disease in infected wildlife. Using a cross-sectional study design, we collected cardiac tissue and blood from hunter-donated wildlife carcasses- including raccoon (Procyon lotor), coyote (Canis latrans), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and bobcat (Lynx rufus) - from central Texas, a region with established populations of infected triatomine vectors and increasing diagnoses of Chagas disease in domestic dogs. Based on PCR analysis, we found that 2 bobcats (14.3%), 12 coyotes (14.3%), 8 foxes (13.8%), and 49 raccoons (70.0%) were positive for T. cruzi in at least one sample (right ventricle, apex, and/or blood clot). Although a histologic survey of right ventricles showed that 21.1% of 19 PCR-positive hearts were characterized by mild lymphoplasmocytic infiltration, no other lesions and no amastigotes were observed in any histologic section. DNA sequencing of the TcSC5D gene revealed that raccoons were infected with T. cruzi strain TcIV, and a single racoon harbored a TcI/TcIV mixed infection. Relative to other wildlife species tested here, our data suggest that raccoons may be important reservoirs of TcIV in Texas and a source of infection for indigenous triatomine bugs. The overall high level of infection in this wildlife community likely reflects high levels of vector contact, including ingestion of bugs. Although the relationship between the sylvatic cycle of T. cruzi transmission and human disease risk in the United States has yet to be defined, our data suggest that hunters and wildlife professionals should take precautions to avoid direct contact with potentially infected wildlife tissues. PMID:27330982

  17. Carnivorous Heterotopias: Gender, Nostalgia and Hipsterness in the Copenhagen Meat Scene

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lapina, Linda; Leer, Jonatan

    2016-01-01

    The past years have seen an upsurge of burger- and barbecue restaurants in a Copenhagen gastronomic scene otherwise dominated by trends towards sustainability, ‘wholesome’, local and organic food. In these new spaces, meat is glorified and consumed materially and symbolically (through design and ...

  18. Basal metabolic rate in carnivores is associated with diet after controlling for phylogeny.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Garcia, Agusti; Williams, Joseph B

    2005-01-01

    Studies of basal metabolic rate (BMR), the minimum metabolic rate of postabsorptive, inactive endotherms while in their rest phase and thermal neutral zone, have contributed significantly to our understanding of animal energetics. Besides body mass, the main determinant of BMR, researchers have invoked diet and phylogenetic history as important factors that influence BMR, although their relative importance has been controversial. For 58 species within the Carnivora, we tested the hypothesis that BMR is correlated with home range size, a proxy for level of activity, and diet, using conventional least squares regression (CLSR) and regression based on phylogenetic independent contrasts (PIC). Results showed that BMR of Carnivora was positively correlated with home range size after controlling for body mass, regardless of the statistical method employed. We also found that diet and mass-adjusted home range size were correlated. When we simultaneously tested the effect of diet and mass-adjusted home range on mass-adjusted BMR, home range size was insignificant because of its colinearity with diet. Then we eliminated home range size from our model, and diet proved to be significant with both CLSR and PIC. We concluded that species that eat meat have larger home ranges and higher BMR than species that eat vegetable matter. To advance our understanding of the potential mechanisms that might explain our results, we propose the "muscle performance hypothesis," which suggests that selection for different muscle fiber types can account for the differences in BMR observed between meat eaters and vegetarian species within the Carnivora.

  19. Catastrophic decline of a top carnivore in the gulf of california rocky intertidal zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dungan, M L; Miller, T E; Thomson, D A

    1982-05-28

    The predatory sun star, Heliaster kubiniji, once the commonest rocky intertidal asteroid of the Gulf of California, has been rare throughout this region since summer 1978 when a devastating disease outbreak occurred. This unprecedented phenomenon and several other exceptional ecological events in marine communities of the northeastern Pacific appear to be linked to large-scale climatic changes that occurred during 1977 and 1978. Implications of the decline in Heliaster kubiniji are discussed.

  20. High Trypanosoma cruzi infection prevalence associated with minimal cardiac pathology among wild carnivores in central Texas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Curtis-Robles

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Infection with the zoonotic vector-borne protozoal parasite Trypanosoma cruzi causes Chagas disease in humans and dogs throughout the Americas. Despite the recognized importance of various wildlife species for perpetuating Trypanosoma cruzi in nature, relatively little is known about the development of cardiac disease in infected wildlife. Using a cross-sectional study design, we collected cardiac tissue and blood from hunter-donated wildlife carcasses- including raccoon (Procyon lotor, coyote (Canis latrans, gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus, and bobcat (Lynx rufus – from central Texas, a region with established populations of infected triatomine vectors and increasing diagnoses of Chagas disease in domestic dogs. Based on PCR analysis, we found that 2 bobcats (14.3%, 12 coyotes (14.3%, 8 foxes (13.8%, and 49 raccoons (70.0% were positive for T. cruzi in at least one sample (right ventricle, apex, and/or blood clot. Although a histologic survey of right ventricles showed that 21.1% of 19 PCR-positive hearts were characterized by mild lymphoplasmocytic infiltration, no other lesions and no amastigotes were observed in any histologic section. DNA sequencing of the TcSC5D gene revealed that raccoons were infected with T. cruzi strain TcIV, and a single racoon harbored a TcI/TcIV mixed infection. Relative to other wildlife species tested here, our data suggest that raccoons may be important reservoirs of TcIV in Texas and a source of infection for indigenous triatomine bugs. The overall high level of infection in this wildlife community likely reflects high levels of vector contact, including ingestion of bugs. Although the relationship between the sylvatic cycle of T. cruzi transmission and human disease risk in the United States has yet to be defined, our data suggest that hunters and wildlife professionals should take precautions to avoid direct contact with potentially infected wildlife tissues.

  1. Carnivore rabies: ecological and evolutionary aspects / La rabbia nei Carnivori: aspetti ecologici ed evolutivi

    OpenAIRE

    Alexander Wandeler

    1991-01-01

    Abstract Populations of a number of species of the order Carnivora sustain independent rabies epidemics in different parts of the world. These main hosts are all small to medium size (0.4 - 20 kg) omnivores, scavenging, and foraging on small vertebrates, invertebrates, fruit, and refuse produced by humans. They reach highest population densities in and near human settlements. High intrinsic population growth rates allow rapid recoveries of populations decimated b...

  2. Carnivore rabies: ecological and evolutionary aspects / La rabbia nei Carnivori: aspetti ecologici ed evolutivi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Wandeler

    1991-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Populations of a number of species of the order Carnivora sustain independent rabies epidemics in different parts of the world. These main hosts are all small to medium size (0.4 - 20 kg omnivores, scavenging, and foraging on small vertebrates, invertebrates, fruit, and refuse produced by humans. They reach highest population densities in and near human settlements. High intrinsic population growth rates allow rapid recoveries of populations decimated by persecution or disease. The rabies virus is very uniform, so strains circulating in different host populations can be distinguished by the use of monoclonal antibodies. Rabies virus strains and their hosts have to be coadapted in order to allow their prolonged coexistence. The coadapted (or coevolved? traits are pathogenicity, cell specificity (including species specificity, length of incubation period, duration and magnitude of virus excretion, duration and symptoms of clinical illness, per capita population growth rate of the host, its use of resources (habitat use, social organization and behaviour, and mortality factors other than rabies. These virus and host properties determine rates of infectious contacts and all other epidemiological parameters such as incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and mortality rates. Riassunto Diverse specie di Carnivori mantengono indipendentemente epidemie di rabbia in varie parti del mondo. Questi Carnivori sono tutti di piccola o media taglia (0,4 - 20 kg; sono onnivori, spazzini, e si alimentano di piccoli vertebrati, invertebrati, frutti e di vari rifiuti antropici. Essi raggiungono le densità più elevate nelle aree ubane e suburbane. I1 loro elevato tasso di crescita consente una rapida ripresa delle popolazioni decimate dagli abbattimenti o dalle malattie. Il virus della rabbia è molto uniforme, così che i diversi ceppi presenti nelle popolazioni ospite, possono essere distinti con l'impiego degli anticorpi monoclonali. I diversi ceppi di virus della rabbia ed i rispettivi ospiti si sono coadattati, al fine di consentire la loro prolungata coesistenza. I caratteri che hanno subito un coadattamento (o una coevoluzione? sono la patogenità, la specificità cellulare (compresa la specificità specifica, la durata del periodo di incubazione, la durata e l'intensità della escrezione virale, la durata e i sintomi delle manifestazioni cliniche, il tasso di crescita pro capite dell'ospite, il suo utilizzo delle risorse (uso dell'habitat, l'organizzazione sociale e il comportamento, e i fattori di mortalità diversi da quelli riconducibili alla rabbia. Tutte queste proprietà dei virus e dell'ospite determinano l'andamento dei contatti infettanti e di tutti gli altri parametri epidemiologici quali l'incidenza, la prevalenza, la morbosità e la mortalità.

  3. Fermentation of animal components in strict carnivores: a comparative study with cheetah fecal inoculum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Depauw, S.; Bosch, G.; Hesta, M.; Whitehouse-Tedd, K.; Hendriks, W.H.; Kaandorp, J.; Janssens, G.P.J.

    2012-01-01

    The natural diet of felids contains highly digestible animal tissues but also fractions resistant to small intestinal digestion, which enter the large intestine where they may be fermented by the resident microbial population. Little information exists on the microbial degradability of animal tissue

  4. Evolution of separate predation- and defence-evoked venoms in carnivorous cone snails

    OpenAIRE

    Dutertre, Sébastien; Jin, Ai-Hua; Vetter, Irina; Hamilton, Brett; Sunagar, Kartik; Lavergne, Vincent; Dutertre, Valentin; Fry, Bryan G.; Antunes, Agostinho; Venter, Deon J.; Alewood, Paul F.; Lewis, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Venomous animals are thought to inject the same combination of toxins for both predation and defence, presumably exploiting conserved target pharmacology across prey and predators. Remarkably, cone snails can rapidly switch between distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli. Here, we show that the defence-evoked venom of Conus geographus contains high levels of paralytic toxins that potently block neuromuscular receptors, consistent with its lethal effects on humans. In con...

  5. Early sexing techniques in Lophiosilurus alexandri (Steindachner, 1876), a freshwater carnivorous catfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melillo Filho, Reinaldo; Gheller, Valentim Arabicano; Chaves, Glauco Vinício; de Souza E Silva, Walisson; Costa, Deliane Cristina; Figueiredo, Luis Gustavo; da Costa Julio, Gustavo Soares; Luz, Ronald Kennedy

    2016-10-01

    This study aimed to evaluate sexing techniques for juvenile Lophiosilurus alexandri. With this aim, we evaluated three techniques: coelioscopy, performed with the use of video surgery equipment; coeliotomy, a surgical procedure for direct visualization of the gonads; and sex determination using a urethral probe to compare the genital papillae. For coelioscopy, the survival rate was 100% 30 days after the procedure, and the fish restarted eating 10 days after surgery. This technique resulted in a 100% correct identification of individuals identified as females, whereas for males, it was 66.6%. There was no significant difference between males and females for anesthesia induction and recovery times. However, the procedure took longer for males because of the difficulty in observing the gonads, which can be attributed to the large amount of visceral fat in males. Coeliotomy also resulted in a 100% survival rate 30 days after surgery, and the efficiency of this technique was 96.3% for males and 93.9% for females. The fish restarted eating between 10 and 14 days after surgery, and there were no significant differences between males and females for anesthesia induction and recovery times for the surgical procedure to visualize the gonads (P > 0.05). The urethral probe technique was less efficient with an accuracy rate of 67.8% and 81.8% for males and females, respectively. We conclude that coeliotomy was more efficient for sexing both sexes of juvenile L. alexandri.

  6. Hominid and carnivore activity at Middle and Upper Paleolithic cave sites in eastern Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Lindly

    1988-01-01

    Full Text Available Recientes investigaciones zooarqueológicas han desarrollado métodos para distinguir entre residuos óseos producidos por depredadores carnívoros y animales de carroña, y residuos semejantes producidos por homínidos. Estas metodologías han sido aplicadas a yacimientos Pleistocénicos en Africa, mientras que sólo se han comenzado a utilizar para yacimientos paleolíticos de Europa Occidental. Un análisis preliminar del papel jugado por los carnívoros en la deposición del material faunístico en el norte de España (Straus, 1982 sugiere un alta implicación de carnívoros en la formación de depósitos musterienses con una disminución de su papel en el Paleolítico Superior. En este estudio, las relaciones entre carnívoros y ungulados de los yacimientos del Paleolítico Medio (Los Casares, Cova Negra y tres del Superior (Parpalló, Les Mallaetes, Volcán del Faro de la España levantina confirman la validez de este modelo. Sin embargo, métodos más precisos como el análisis de frecuencias de las partes del cuerpo y medidas de la atrición de los conjuntos faunísticos sugieren una implicación constante o mayor de carnívoros en la formación de estos conjuntos a lo largo del   tiempo, indicando que anteriores interpretaciones sobre estrategias de subsistencias en estos yacimientos pueden ser sospechosas e incluso completamente equivocadas.

  7. Social living mitigates the costs of a chronic illness in a cooperative carnivore

    OpenAIRE

    Almberg, E S; Cross, P C; Dobson, A.P.; Smith, D. W.; Metz, M C; Stahler, D R; Hudson, P J; Festa-Bianchet, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Infection risk is assumed to increase with social group size, and thus be a cost of group living. We assess infection risk and costs with respect to group size using data from an epidemic of sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei) among grey wolves (Canis lupus). We demonstrate that group size does not predict infection risk and that individual costs of infection, in terms of reduced survival, can be entirely offset by having sufficient numbers of pack-mates. Infected individuals experience incre...

  8. Niche dynamics in the European ranges of two African carnivores reflect their dispersal and demographic histories

    OpenAIRE

    Papes, M.; Cuzin, F; Gaubert, Philippe

    2015-01-01

    According to recent phylogeographical evidence, the common genet (Genetta genetta) and the Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) have dissimilar dispersal histories from Maghreb to south-western Europe. Through comparative ecological niche modelling based on >1100 occurrences, we assessed whether the niche dynamics (i.e. niche shift versus conservatism) of the two species in their European ranges reflected DNA-based demographic scenarios. Sensitivity analyses and projections of climatic nic...

  9. Timing of translocation influences birth rate and population dynamics in a forest carnivore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Facka, Aaron N; Lewis, Jeffrey C.; Happe, Patricia; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Callas, Richard; Powell, Roger A.

    2016-01-01

    Timing can be critical for many life history events of organisms. Consequently, the timing of management activities may affect individuals and populations in numerous and unforeseen ways. Translocations of organisms are used to restore or expand populations but the timing of translocations is largely unexplored as a factor influencing population success. We hypothesized that the process of translocation negatively influences reproductive rates of individuals that are moved just before their birthing season and, therefore, the timing of releases could influence translocation success. Prior to reintroducing fishers (Pekania pennanti) into northern California and onto the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, we predicted that female fishers released in November and December (early) would have a higher probability of giving birth to kits the following March or April than females released in January, February, and March (late), just prior to or during the period of blastocyst implantation and gestation. Over four winters (2008–2011), we translocated 56 adult female fishers that could have given birth in the spring immediately after release. Denning rates, an index of birth rate, for females released early were 92% in California and 38% in Washington. In contrast, denning rates for females released late were 40% and 11%, in California and Washington, a net reduction in denning rate of 66% across both sites. To understand how releasing females nearer to parturition could influence population establishment and persistence, we used stochastic population simulations using three-stage Lefkovitch matrices. These simulations showed that translocating female fishers early had long-term positive influences on the mean population size and on quasi-extinction thresholds compared to populations where females were released late. The results from both empirical data and simulations show that the timing of translocation, with respect to life history events, should be considered during planning of translocations and implemented before the capture, movement, and release of organisms for translocation.

  10. Poor health is associated with use of anthropogenic resources in an urban carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Maureen; Edwards, Mark A; Abercrombie, Bill; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2015-05-01

    Rates of encounters between humans and wildlife are increasing in cities around the world, especially when wildlife overlap with people in time, space and resources. Coyotes (Canis latrans) can make use of anthropogenic resources and reported rates of conflict have increased in cities across North America. This increase may be linked to individual differences in the use of human food and developed areas. We compared the relationships between coyote age, sex or health and the use of anthropogenic resources, which we defined as using developed areas over large home ranges, being active during the day, and consuming anthropogenic food. To do so, we applied GPS collars to 19 coyotes and sampled hair for stable isotope analysis. Eleven coyotes appeared to be healthy and eight were visibly infested with sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei), a mite that causes hair loss. Diseased coyotes used more developed areas, had larger monthly home ranges, were more active during the day, and assimilated less protein than coyotes that appeared to be healthy. We speculate that anthropogenic food provides a low-quality but easily accessible food source for diseased coyotes, which in turn may increase reliance on it and other anthropogenic resources to promote encounters with people.

  11. Trophic niche partitioning between two native and two exotic carnivores in SW Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Santos

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The introduction of exotic species is one of the most pervasive consequences of the increased human mobility. The most known negative effects are the decrease or extinction of natives. The common-genet, Genetta genetta, and the Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, were introduced in the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th and 19th centuries, respectively. The competitive exclusion principle defines that two ecologically similar species cannot coexist. Thus, some degree of partitioning has to occur in species realized niche, which can occur at the trophic level. To test this hypothesis of partitioning we compared the diet of these two exotic species with that of two native species (stone marten, Martes foina, and red fox, Vulpes vulpes. The results show a high degree of overlap (>45% between the diets of species similar in their feeding strategies (arboreal and ground feeding. Nonetheless, at the finer scale of prey consumed at the species level some differences are found between the native and exotic species. These results suggest that if coexistence is due to trophic niche partitioning it only occurs at the level of the consumed species. However, coexistence may also be due to a combination of different strategies (home-range size, time and space use that structured the different realized niches of each species.

  12. Cotton Fabric Coated with Conducting Polymers and its Application in Monitoring of Carnivorous Plant Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajgar, Václav; Penhaker, Marek; Martinková, Lenka; Pavlovič, Andrej; Bober, Patrycja; Trchová, Miroslava; Stejskal, Jaroslav

    2016-01-01

    The paper describes the electrical plant response to mechanical stimulation monitored with the help of conducting polymers deposited on cotton fabric. Cotton fabric was coated with conducting polymers, polyaniline or polypyrrole, in situ during the oxidation of respective monomers in aqueous medium. Thus, modified fabrics were again coated with polypyrrole or polyaniline, respectively, in order to investigate any synergetic effect between both polymers with respect to conductivity and its stability during repeated dry cleaning. The coating was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. The resulting fabrics have been used as electrodes to collect the electrical response to the stimulation of a Venus flytrap plant. This is a paradigm of the use of conducting polymers in monitoring of plant neurobiology. PMID:27070612

  13. Technical Note: Silica stable isotopes and silicification in a carnivorous sponge \\textit{Asbestopluma} sp.

    OpenAIRE

    Hendry, K. R.; Swann, G.E.A.; M. J. Leng; H. J. Sloane; Goodwin, C.; Berman, J; Maldonado, M.

    2014-01-01

    The stable isotope composition of benthic sponge spicule silica is a potential source of palaeoceanographic information about past deep seawater chemistry. The silicon isotopic composition of spicules has been shown to relate to the silicic acid concentration of ambient water, although existing calibrations do exhibit a degree of scatter in the relationship. Less is known about how the oxygen isotope composition of sponge spicule silica relates to environmental ...

  14. Technical Note: Silica stable isotopes and silicification in a carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma sp.

    OpenAIRE

    Hendry, K. R.; Swann, G.E.A.; M. J. Leng; H. J. Sloane; Goodwin, C.; Berman, J; Maldonado, M.

    2015-01-01

    The stable isotope composition of benthic sponge spicule silica is a potential source of palaeoceanographic information about past deep seawater chemistry. The silicon isotope composition of spicules has been shown to relate to the silicic acid concentration of ambient water, although existing calibrations do exhibit a degree of scatter in the relationship. Less is known about how the oxygen isotope composition of sponge spicule silica relates to environmental conditions dur...

  15. Silica stable isotopes and silicification in a carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma sp.

    OpenAIRE

    Hendry, K. R.; Swann, George E.A.; Leng, Melanie J.; Sloane, Hilary J.; Goodwin, C.; Berman, J; Maldonado, M.

    2015-01-01

    The stable isotope composition of benthic sponge spicule silica is a potential source of palaeoceanographic information about past deep seawater chemistry. The silicon isotope composition of spicules has been shown to relate to the silicic acid concentration of ambient water, although existing calibrations do exhibit a degree of scatter in the relationship. Less is known about how the oxygen isotope composition of sponge spicule silica relates to environmental conditions during growth. Here, ...

  16. Cotton Fabric Coated with Conducting Polymers and its Application in Monitoring of Carnivorous Plant Response

    OpenAIRE

    Václav Bajgar; Marek Penhaker; Lenka Martinková; Andrej Pavlovič; Patrycja Bober; Miroslava Trchová; Jaroslav Stejskal

    2016-01-01

    The paper describes the electrical plant response to mechanical stimulation monitored with the help of conducting polymers deposited on cotton fabric. Cotton fabric was coated with conducting polymers, polyaniline or polypyrrole, in situ during the oxidation of respective monomers in aqueous medium. Thus, modified fabrics were again coated with polypyrrole or polyaniline, respectively, in order to investigate any synergetic effect between both polymers with respect to conductivity and its sta...

  17. Protecting fat mammals or carnivorous humans? : towards an environmental history of whales

    OpenAIRE

    Oslund, Karen

    2004-01-01

    Bisher wurde die Geschichte der Beziehung zwischen Walen und Menschen entweder als Geschichte des Schutzes wildlebender Tiere oder als Geschichte der symbolischen Beziehungen zwischen Menschen und Tieren geschrieben. Beide Aspekte, so die These dieses Beitrags, gehören jedoch zusammen. Werden sie getrennt, besteht die Gefahr, der Perspektive einiger Walschutzaktivisten zu verfallen, dass nämlich ein moralischer Gegensatz zwischen dem 'modernen' und dem 'traditionellen' Walfang bestünde. Der B...

  18. High exposure rates of anticoagulant rodenticides in carnivorous birds and mammals in Danish landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Elmeros, M.; Christensen, T. K.; Lassen, P.

    2011-01-01

    We analyzed anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) in birds of prey, owls and small mustelids to assess exposure rates and levels in Denmark. ARs were detected in 84-97% of individuals in all species. High AR prevalences and concentrations were recorded in all seasons in both birds and mammals. Prevalence of ARs was considerably higher than reported elsewhere with similar exposure scenarios. Further research on the potential effects of these high AR exposure levels on population levels of non-targe...

  19. Potential of carnivorous mammals for seed dispersal and their contribution to ecosystem management

    OpenAIRE

    Pereira, Lúcia Jacinta Matos

    2014-01-01

    Os mamíferos carnívoros são potenciais dispersores de sementes, uma vez que espécies como a fuinha (Martes foina) e a raposa (Vulpes vulpes) ingerem frutos carnudos e são capazes de transportar sementes viáveis a longas distâncias, depositando-as em locais propícios à sua germinação, resultando este processo numa das principais interações entre a fauna e a flora. Com este estudo pretendeu avaliar-se o papel dispersor dos carnívoros na Mata Nacional do Buçaco, verificando se estes promovem a d...

  20. Biting through constraints: cranial morphology, disparity and convergence across living and fossil carnivorous mammals

    OpenAIRE

    Goswami, Anjali; Milne, Nick; Wroe, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    Carnivory has evolved independently several times in eutherian (including placental) and metatherian (including marsupial) mammals. We used geometric morphometrics to assess convergences associated with the evolution of carnivory across a broad suite of mammals, including the eutherian clades Carnivora and Creodonta and the metatherian clades Thylacoleonidae, Dasyuromorphia, Didelphidae and Borhyaenoidea. We further quantified cranial disparity across eutherians and metatherians to test the h...

  1. Cotton Fabric Coated with Conducting Polymers and its Application in Monitoring of Carnivorous Plant Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajgar, Václav; Penhaker, Marek; Martinková, Lenka; Pavlovič, Andrej; Bober, Patrycja; Trchová, Miroslava; Stejskal, Jaroslav

    2016-01-01

    The paper describes the electrical plant response to mechanical stimulation monitored with the help of conducting polymers deposited on cotton fabric. Cotton fabric was coated with conducting polymers, polyaniline or polypyrrole, in situ during the oxidation of respective monomers in aqueous medium. Thus, modified fabrics were again coated with polypyrrole or polyaniline, respectively, in order to investigate any synergetic effect between both polymers with respect to conductivity and its stability during repeated dry cleaning. The coating was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. The resulting fabrics have been used as electrodes to collect the electrical response to the stimulation of a Venus flytrap plant. This is a paradigm of the use of conducting polymers in monitoring of plant neurobiology. PMID:27070612

  2. Strange carnivorous plants%神奇的肉食植物

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宫兆美

    2009-01-01

    肉食植物又称食虫植物。这种植物能借助特殊的结构捕捉昆虫或其他小动物,靠消化酶、细菌或两者的作用将猎物分解、吸收。许多肉食植物不仅能进行光合作用,还能消化动物蛋白质,因此能适应一些极端环境。其诱捕工具多为叶的变态。半数以上的食肉植物,其特点是花两侧对称。食肉植物的捕虫机制有的是利用产生的黏性液体粘住猎物,有的是用像瓶子似的叶子引诱猎物进入后再封口等。大部分食肉植物都生长在潮湿荒地、酸沼、树沼、泥岸等水分丰富而士壤酸性缺乏氮素的环境。

  3. The carnivorous plant nepenthes%浅谈食虫植物猪笼草

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郑君; 吴云勇; 粟姗姗; 周胜群; 周梨凤; 罗世家

    2015-01-01

    对著名热带植物猪笼草的形态学特征和生物学特性进行研究,并对猪笼草的捕虫机制和发展前景做进一步探讨,因其具有特殊的结构——捕虫袋可以捕获并利用动物性食物,具有良好的发展前景。%This thesis aims to do researches on certain morphological features and biological features of nepenthes. In addition, the thesis has done some further study on the insect-catching mechanism and the development prospect of this plant. Since this plant owns insect-catching baskets-a particular structure which enables the plant to make full use of some food for animals, it holds a favorable development prospect.

  4. Early sexing techniques in Lophiosilurus alexandri (Steindachner, 1876), a freshwater carnivorous catfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melillo Filho, Reinaldo; Gheller, Valentim Arabicano; Chaves, Glauco Vinício; de Souza E Silva, Walisson; Costa, Deliane Cristina; Figueiredo, Luis Gustavo; da Costa Julio, Gustavo Soares; Luz, Ronald Kennedy

    2016-10-01

    This study aimed to evaluate sexing techniques for juvenile Lophiosilurus alexandri. With this aim, we evaluated three techniques: coelioscopy, performed with the use of video surgery equipment; coeliotomy, a surgical procedure for direct visualization of the gonads; and sex determination using a urethral probe to compare the genital papillae. For coelioscopy, the survival rate was 100% 30 days after the procedure, and the fish restarted eating 10 days after surgery. This technique resulted in a 100% correct identification of individuals identified as females, whereas for males, it was 66.6%. There was no significant difference between males and females for anesthesia induction and recovery times. However, the procedure took longer for males because of the difficulty in observing the gonads, which can be attributed to the large amount of visceral fat in males. Coeliotomy also resulted in a 100% survival rate 30 days after surgery, and the efficiency of this technique was 96.3% for males and 93.9% for females. The fish restarted eating between 10 and 14 days after surgery, and there were no significant differences between males and females for anesthesia induction and recovery times for the surgical procedure to visualize the gonads (P > 0.05). The urethral probe technique was less efficient with an accuracy rate of 67.8% and 81.8% for males and females, respectively. We conclude that coeliotomy was more efficient for sexing both sexes of juvenile L. alexandri. PMID:27341771

  5. A framework for inference about carnivore density from unstructured spatial sampling of scat using detector dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Craig M.; Royle, J. Andrew; Garner, James D.

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife management often hinges upon an accurate assessment of population density. Although undeniably useful, many of the traditional approaches to density estimation such as visual counts, livetrapping, or mark–recapture suffer from a suite of methodological and analytical weaknesses. Rare, secretive, or highly mobile species exacerbate these problems through the reality of small sample sizes and movement on and off study sites. In response to these difficulties, there is growing interest in the use of non-invasive survey techniques, which provide the opportunity to collect larger samples with minimal increases in effort, as well as the application of analytical frameworks that are not reliant on large sample size arguments. One promising survey technique, the use of scat detecting dogs, offers a greatly enhanced probability of detection while at the same time generating new difficulties with respect to non-standard survey routes, variable search intensity, and the lack of a fixed survey point for characterizing non-detection. In order to account for these issues, we modified an existing spatially explicit, capture–recapture model for camera trap data to account for variable search intensity and the lack of fixed, georeferenced trap locations. We applied this modified model to a fisher (Martes pennanti) dataset from the Sierra National Forest, California, and compared the results (12.3 fishers/100 km2) to more traditional density estimates. We then evaluated model performance using simulations at 3 levels of population density. Simulation results indicated that estimates based on the posterior mode were relatively unbiased. We believe that this approach provides a flexible analytical framework for reconciling the inconsistencies between detector dog survey data and density estimation procedures.

  6. Cotton Fabric Coated with Conducting Polymers and its Application in Monitoring of Carnivorous Plant Response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Václav Bajgar

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes the electrical plant response to mechanical stimulation monitored with the help of conducting polymers deposited on cotton fabric. Cotton fabric was coated with conducting polymers, polyaniline or polypyrrole, in situ during the oxidation of respective monomers in aqueous medium. Thus, modified fabrics were again coated with polypyrrole or polyaniline, respectively, in order to investigate any synergetic effect between both polymers with respect to conductivity and its stability during repeated dry cleaning. The coating was confirmed by infrared spectroscopy. The resulting fabrics have been used as electrodes to collect the electrical response to the stimulation of a Venus flytrap plant. This is a paradigm of the use of conducting polymers in monitoring of plant neurobiology.

  7. Territoriality and inter-pack aggression in gray wolves: shaping a social carnivore's life history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassidy, Kira A.; Smith, Douglas W.; Mech, L. David; MacNulty, Daniel R.; Stahler, Daniel R.; Metz, Matthew C.

    2016-01-01

    When Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book in 1894 and included the famous line "For the strength of the Wolf is the Pack, and the strength of the Pack is the Wolf," he would have had no idea that over a century later, scientific research would back up his poetic phrase. Recent studies in Yellowstone have found that both the individual wolf and the collective pack rely on each other and play important roles in territoriality. At a time when most fairy tales and fables were portraying wolves as demonic killers or, at best, slapstick gluttons, Kipling seemed to have a respect or even reverence for the wolf. Wolves in The Jungle Book raise and mentor the main character Mowgli, with the pack's leader eventually dying to save the "man-cub" from a pack of wolves. Kipling may have extended intra- pack benevolence to a human boy for literary sake, but he was clearly enthralled with how pack members treat each other. As wolf packs are almost always family units, most commonly comprised of a breeding pair and their offspring from several years, amiable behavior within the pack is unsurprising. By contrast, wolf packs are fiercely intolerant of their neighbors, their rivals. And this competition is proving to be an important facet in the life of a wolf and its pack.

  8. Life on wood - the carnivorous deep-sea mussel Idas argenteus (Bathymodiolinae, Mytilidae, Bivalvia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ockelmann, Kurt W.; Dinesen, Grete E.

    2011-01-01

    Deep-sea mussels associated with sunken wood are less well known in terms of anatomy, biology and evolution than their bathymodioline allies from cold seeps and hydrothermal vents. During the Danish 'Ingolf Expedition' (1895-96) to the Northeast Atlantic, two pieces of pinewood were collected fro...... to its shell development, alimentary system, gill anatomy and life habits provide important clues to the evolution of the Bathymodiolinae....

  9. Phylogenetic analysis of Austrian canine distemper virus strains from clinical samples from dogs and wild carnivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benetka, V; Leschnik, M; Affenzeller, N; Möstl, K

    2011-04-01

    Austrian field cases of canine distemper (14 dogs, one badger [Meles meles] and one stone marten [Martes foina]) from 2002 to 2007 were investigated and the case histories were summarised briefly. Phylogenetic analysis of fusion (F) and haemagglutinin (H) gene sequences revealed different canine distemper virus (CDV) lineages circulating in Austria. The majority of CDV strains detected from 2002 to 2004 were well embedded in the European lineage. One Austrian canine sample detected in 2003, with a high similarity to Hungarian sequences from 2005 to 2006, could be assigned to the Arctic group (phocine distemper virus type 2-like). The two canine sequences from 2007 formed a clearly distinct group flanked by sequences detected previously in China and the USA on an intermediate position between the European wildlife and the Asia-1 cluster. The Austrian wildlife strains (2006 and 2007) could be assigned to the European wildlife group and were most closely related to, yet clearly different from, the 2007 canine samples. To elucidate the epidemiological role of Austrian wildlife in the transmission of the disease to dogs and vice versa, H protein residues related to receptor and host specificity (residues 530 and 549) were analysed. All samples showed the amino acids expected for their host of origin, with the exception of a canine sequence from 2007, which had an intermediate position between wildlife and canine viral strains. In the period investigated, canine strains circulating in Austria could be assigned to four different lineages reflecting both a high diversity and probably different origins of virus introduction to Austria in different years.

  10. Behavior Data - The effect of dietary taurine on feed attraction and physiology of carnivorous marine fish

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As the global population continues to rise, so does the demand for sustainable sources of protein. The worldwide harvest of wild fish has remained flat for three...

  11. Fast carnivores and slow herbivores: differential foraging strategies among grizzly bears in the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Mark A; Derocher, Andrew E; Hobson, Keith A; Branigan, Marsha; Nagy, John A

    2011-04-01

    Categorizing animal populations by diet can mask important intrapopulation variation, which is crucial to understanding a species' trophic niche width. To test hypotheses related to intrapopulation variation in foraging or the presence of diet specialization, we conducted stable isotope analysis (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) on hair and claw samples from 51 grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) collected from 2003 to 2006 in the Mackenzie Delta region of the Canadian Arctic. We examined within-population differences in the foraging patterns of males and females and the relationship between trophic position (derived from δ(15)N measurements) and individual movement. The range of δ(15)N values in hair and claw (2.0-11.0‰) suggested a wide niche width and cluster analyses indicated the presence of three foraging groups within the population, ranging from near-complete herbivory to near-complete carnivory. We found no linear relationship between home range size and trophic position when the data were continuous or when grouped by foraging behavior. However, the movement rate of females increased linearly with trophic position. We used multisource dual-isotope mixing models to determine the relative contributions of seven prey sources within each foraging group for both males and females. The mean bear dietary endpoint across all foraging groups for each sex fell toward the center of the mixing polygon, which suggested relatively well-mixed diets. The primary dietary difference across foraging groups was the proportional contribution of herbaceous foods, which decreased for both males and females from 42-76 to 0-27% and 62-81 to 0-44%, respectively. Grizzlies of the Mackenzie Delta live in extremely harsh conditions and identifying within-population diet specialization has improved our understanding of varying habitat requirements within the population.

  12. Non-adaptive phenotypic evolution of the endangered carnivore Lycaon pictus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Charles T T; Rasmussen, Gregory S A; Riordan, Philip; Courchamp, Franck; Macdonald, David W

    2013-01-01

    Decline in wild populations as a result of anthropogenic impact is widely considered to have evolutionary consequences for the species concerned. Here we examine changes in developmental stability in the painted hunting dog (Lycaon pictus), which once occupied most of sub-Saharan Africa but has undergone a dramatic population decline in the last century. Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) was used as an indicator of developmental stability and measured in museum skull specimens spanning a hundred year period. A comparison with the more ubiquitous black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) revealed FA in L. pictus to be high. Furthermore, the data indicate a temporal increase in FA over time in L. pictus, corresponding to the period of its population decline. The high rate of change is compatible with genetic drift although environmental factors are also likely to be important. Lowering developmental stability over time may have direct fitness consequences and as such represents an unacknowledged threat to future resilience of the population. PMID:24086298

  13. Non-adaptive phenotypic evolution of the endangered carnivore Lycaon pictus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles T T Edwards

    Full Text Available Decline in wild populations as a result of anthropogenic impact is widely considered to have evolutionary consequences for the species concerned. Here we examine changes in developmental stability in the painted hunting dog (Lycaon pictus, which once occupied most of sub-Saharan Africa but has undergone a dramatic population decline in the last century. Fluctuating asymmetry (FA was used as an indicator of developmental stability and measured in museum skull specimens spanning a hundred year period. A comparison with the more ubiquitous black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas revealed FA in L. pictus to be high. Furthermore, the data indicate a temporal increase in FA over time in L. pictus, corresponding to the period of its population decline. The high rate of change is compatible with genetic drift although environmental factors are also likely to be important. Lowering developmental stability over time may have direct fitness consequences and as such represents an unacknowledged threat to future resilience of the population.

  14. Individual and temporal variation in habitat association of an alien carnivore at its invasion front.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Melis

    Full Text Available Gathering information on how invasive species utilize the habitat is important, in order to better aim actions to reduce their negative impact. We studied habitat use and selection of 55 GPS-marked raccoon dogs (30 males, 25 females at their invasion front in Northern Sweden, with particular focus on differences between males and females, between movement states, and between seasons and times of the day. Daily movement pattern was used to classify GPS-locations into dispersing and settled. We focused on both anthropogenic and natural landscape characteristics. Since we did not have any a priori knowledge about the spatial scale of raccoon dog habitat selection, we first assessed how landscape characteristics of random points changed with distance from the GPS-location they were paired to. Because changes in habitat use became less pronounced at approximately 5 km for all variables, we focused on habitat use at two spatial scales: fine (500 m and coarse (5 km. Habitat selection was strongest at the coarse scale, and reflected the results found for habitat use. Raccoon dogs selected agricultural areas and wetlands, lower altitudes, and shallow slopes, and avoided forests, open natural areas, and areas close to water and roads. There were no differences in habitat selection between males and females, or between movement states. This lack of sexual segregation increases the probability of encountering potential mates during dispersal, and therefore the likelihood for reproduction in new areas. The seasonal and diurnal pattern of habitat use may provide guidance for where and when to aim management efforts.

  15. Carnivore Use of Avocado Orchards across an Agricultural-Wildland Gradient

    OpenAIRE

    Nogeire, TM; Davis, FW; Duggan, JM; Crooks, KR; Boydston, EE

    2013-01-01

    Wide-ranging species cannot persist in reserves alone. Consequently, there is growing interest in the conservation value of agricultural lands that separate or buffer natural areas. The value of agricultural lands for wildlife habitat and connectivity varies as a function of the crop type and landscape context, and quantifying these differences will improve our ability to manage these lands more effectively for animals. In southern California, many species are present in avocado orchards, inc...

  16. The impact of land reform in Zimbabwe on the conservation of cheetahs and other large carnivores

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Samual Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Prior to 2000 Zimbabwe was hailed as a conservation success story, with large areas of commercial (private) land outside of national parks being used to support wildlife. In 2000, however, a Fast-Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) was initiated, resulting in the resettlement of most commercial land. This had well known socio-economic impacts, but to date little research has been conducted on the effects on wildlife and human-wildlife conflict. This study aimed to determine the impact of the ...

  17. ‘Nasty neighbours’ rather than ‘dear enemies’ in a social carnivore

    OpenAIRE

    Müller, C A; Manser, M. B.

    2007-01-01

    Territorial animals typically respond less aggressively to neighbours than to strangers. This ‘dear enemy effect’ has been explained by differing familiarity or by different threat levels posed by neighbours and strangers. In most species, both the familiarity and the threat-level hypotheses predict a stronger response to strangers than to neighbours. In contrast, the threat-level hypothesis predicts a stronger response to neighbours than to strangers in species with intense competition betwe...

  18. Insights into the management of large carnivores for profitable wildlife-based land uses in African savannas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funston, Paul J; Groom, Rosemary J; Lindsey, Peter A

    2013-01-01

    Large African predators, especially lions (Panthera leo) and leopards (Panthera pardus), are financially valuable for ecotourism and trophy hunting operations on land also utilized for the production of other wildlife species for the same purpose. Predation of ungulates used for trophy hunting can create conflict with landholders and trade off thus exists between the value of lions and leopards and their impact on ungulate populations. Therefore productionist and conservation trade-offs are complexly graded and difficult to resolve. We investigated this with a risk-benefit analysis on a large private wildlife production area in Zimbabwe. Our model showed that lions result in substantial financial costs through predation on wild ungulates that may not be offset by profits from hunting them, whereas the returns from trophy hunting of leopards are projected to exceed the costs due to leopard predation. In the absence of additional income derived from photo-tourism the number of lions may need to be managed to minimize their impact. Lions drive important ecological processes, but there is a need to balance ecological and financial imperatives on wildlife ranches, community wildlife lands and other categories of multiple use land used for wildlife production. This will ensure the competitiveness of wildlife based land uses relative to alternatives. Our findings may thus be limited to conservancies, community land-use areas and commercial game ranches, which are expansive in Africa, and should not necessarily applied to areas where biodiversity conservation is the primary objective, even if hunting is allowed there.

  19. Insights into the management of large carnivores for profitable wildlife-based land uses in African savannas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul J Funston

    Full Text Available Large African predators, especially lions (Panthera leo and leopards (Panthera pardus, are financially valuable for ecotourism and trophy hunting operations on land also utilized for the production of other wildlife species for the same purpose. Predation of ungulates used for trophy hunting can create conflict with landholders and trade off thus exists between the value of lions and leopards and their impact on ungulate populations. Therefore productionist and conservation trade-offs are complexly graded and difficult to resolve. We investigated this with a risk-benefit analysis on a large private wildlife production area in Zimbabwe. Our model showed that lions result in substantial financial costs through predation on wild ungulates that may not be offset by profits from hunting them, whereas the returns from trophy hunting of leopards are projected to exceed the costs due to leopard predation. In the absence of additional income derived from photo-tourism the number of lions may need to be managed to minimize their impact. Lions drive important ecological processes, but there is a need to balance ecological and financial imperatives on wildlife ranches, community wildlife lands and other categories of multiple use land used for wildlife production. This will ensure the competitiveness of wildlife based land uses relative to alternatives. Our findings may thus be limited to conservancies, community land-use areas and commercial game ranches, which are expansive in Africa, and should not necessarily applied to areas where biodiversity conservation is the primary objective, even if hunting is allowed there.

  20. Legal implications of range expansions in a terrestrial carnivore : The case of the golden jackal (Canis aureus) in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trouwborst, Arie; Krofel, Miha; Linnell, John

    2015-01-01

    Due to global environmental changes, species are appearing more frequently in places where they have not previously occurred, and this trend is expected to continue. Such range expansions can create considerable challenges and confusion for management and policy, especially for species associated wi