WorldWideScience

Sample records for cetacean brain evolution

  1. Cortical complexity in cetacean brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hof, Patrick R; Chanis, Rebecca; Marino, Lori

    2005-11-01

    Cetaceans (dolphins, whales, and porpoises) have a long, dramatically divergent evolutionary history compared with terrestrial mammals. Throughout their 55-60 million years of evolution, cetaceans acquired a compelling set of characteristics that include echolocation ability (in odontocetes), complex auditory and communicative capacities, and complex social organization. Moreover, although cetaceans have not shared a common ancestor with primates for over 90 million years, they possess a set of cognitive attributes that are strikingly convergent with those of many primates, including great apes and humans. In contrast, cetaceans have evolved a highly unusual combination of neurobiological features different from that of primates. As such, cetacean brains offer a critical opportunity to address questions about how complex behavior can be based on very different neuroanatomical and neurobiological evolutionary products. Cetacean brains and primate brains are arguably most meaningfully conceived as alternative evolutionary routes to neurobiological and cognitive complexity. In this article, we summarize data on brain size and hemisphere surface configuration in several cetacean species and present an overview of the cytoarchitectural complexity of the cerebral cortex of the bottlenose dolphin. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Cetacean brains: how aquatic are they?

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    Marino, Lori

    2007-06-01

    The adaptation of cetaceans to a fully aquatic lifestyle represents one of the most dramatic transformations in mammalian evolutionary history. Two of the most salient features of modern cetaceans are their fully aquatic lifestyle and their large brains. This review article will offer an overview of comparative neuroanatomical research on aquatic mammals, including analyses of odontocete cetacean, sirenian, pinniped, and fossil archaeocete brains. In particular, the question of whether a relationship exists between being fully aquatic and having a large brain is addressed. It has been hypothesized that the large, well-developed cetacean brain is a direct product of adaptation to a fully aquatic lifestyle. The current consensus is that the paleontological evidence on brain size evolution in cetaceans is not consistent with this hypothesis. Cetacean brain enlargement took place millions of years after adaptation to a fully aquatic existence. Neuroanatomical comparisons with sirenians and pinnipeds provide no evidence for the idea that the odontocete's large brain, high encephalization level, and extreme neocortical gyrification is an adaptation to a fully aquatic lifestyle. Although echolocation has been suggested as a reason for the high encephalization level in odontocetes, it should be noted that not all aquatic mammals echolocate and echolocating terrestrial mammals (e.g., bats) are not particularly highly encephalized. Echolocation is not a requirement of a fully aquatic lifestyle and, thus, cannot be considered a sole effect of aquaticism on brain enlargement. These results indicate that the high encephalization level of odontocetes is likely related to their socially complex lifestyle patterns that transcend the influence of an aquatic environment. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. A claim in search of evidence: reply to Manger's thermogenesis hypothesis of cetacean brain structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Lori; Butti, Camilla; Connor, Richard C; Fordyce, R Ewan; Herman, Louis M; Hof, Patrick R; Lefebvre, Louis; Lusseau, David; McCowan, Brenda; Nimchinsky, Esther A; Pack, Adam A; Reidenberg, Joy S; Reiss, Diana; Rendell, Luke; Uhen, Mark D; Van der Gucht, Estelle; Whitehead, Hal

    2008-11-01

    In a recent publication in Biological Reviews, Manger (2006) made the controversial claim that the large brains of cetaceans evolved to generate heat during oceanic cooling in the Oligocene epoch and not, as is the currently accepted view, as a basis for an increase in cognitive or information-processing capabilities in response to ecological or social pressures. Manger further argued that dolphins and other cetaceans are considerably less intelligent than generally thought. In this review we challenge Manger's arguments and provide abundant evidence that modern cetacean brains are large in order to support complex cognitive abilities driven by social and ecological forces.

  4. Cetacean brain evolution: Dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) and common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) - An investigation with high-resolution 3D MRI.

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    Oelschläger, H H A; Ridgway, S H; Knauth, M

    2010-01-01

    This study compares a whole brain of the dwarf sperm whale (Kogia sima) with that of a common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The Kogia brain was scanned with a Siemens Trio Magnetic Resonance scanner in the three main planes. As in the common dolphin and other marine odontocetes, the brain of the dwarf sperm whale is large, with the telencephalic hemispheres remarkably dominating the brain stem. The neocortex is voluminous and the cortical grey matter thin but expansive and densely convoluted. The corpus callosum is thin and the anterior commissure hard to detect whereas the posterior commissure is well-developed. There is consistency as to the lack of telencephalic structures (olfactory bulb and peduncle, olfactory ventricular recess) and neither an occipital lobe of the telencephalic hemisphere nor the posterior horn of the lateral ventricle are present. A pineal organ could not be detected in Kogia. Both species show a tiny hippocampus and thin fornix and the mammillary body is very small whereas other structures of the limbic system are well-developed. The brain stem is thick and underlies a large cerebellum, both of which, however, are smaller in Kogia. The vestibular system is markedly reduced with the exception of the lateral (Deiters') nucleus. The visual system, although well-developed in both species, is exceeded by the impressive absolute and relative size of the auditory system. The brainstem and cerebellum comprise a series of structures (elliptic nucleus, medial accessory inferior olive, paraflocculus and posterior interpositus nucleus) showing characteristic odontocete dimensions and size correlations. All these structures seem to serve the auditory system with respect to echolocation, communication, and navigation. 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  5. Comparison of Dolphins' Body and Brain Measurements with Four Other Groups of Cetaceans Reveals Great Diversity.

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    Ridgway, Sam H; Carlin, Kevin P; Van Alstyne, Kaitlin R; Hanson, Alicia C; Tarpley, Raymond J

    2016-01-01

    We compared mature dolphins with 4 other groupings of mature cetaceans. With a large data set, we found great brain diversity among 5 different taxonomic groupings. The dolphins in our data set ranged in body mass from about 40 to 6,750 kg and in brain mass from 0.4 to 9.3 kg. Dolphin body length ranged from 1.3 to 7.6 m. In our combined data set from the 4 other groups of cetaceans, body mass ranged from about 20 to 120,000 kg and brain mass from about 0.2 to 9.2 kg, while body length varied from 1.21 to 26.8 m. Not all cetaceans have large brains relative to their body size. A few dolphins near human body size have human-sized brains. On the other hand, the absolute brain mass of some other cetaceans is only one-sixth as large. We found that brain volume relative to body mass decreases from Delphinidae to a group of Phocoenidae and Monodontidae, to a group of other odontocetes, to Balaenopteroidea, and finally to Balaenidae. We also found the same general trend when we compared brain volume relative to body length, except that the Delphinidae and Phocoenidae-Monodontidae groups do not differ significantly. The Balaenidae have the smallest relative brain mass and the lowest cerebral cortex surface area. Brain parts also vary. Relative to body mass and to body length, dolphins also have the largest cerebellums. Cortex surface area is isometric with brain size when we exclude the Balaenidae. Our data show that the brains of Balaenidae are less convoluted than those of the other cetaceans measured. Large vascular networks inside the cranial vault may help to maintain brain temperature, and these nonbrain tissues increase in volume with body mass and with body length ranging from 8 to 65% of the endocranial volume. Because endocranial vascular networks and other adnexa, such as the tentorium cerebelli, vary so much in different species, brain size measures from endocasts of some extinct cetaceans may be overestimates. Our regression of body length on endocranial

  6. Evolution of toll-like receptors in the context of terrestrial ungulates and cetaceans diversification.

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    Ishengoma, Edson; Agaba, Morris

    2017-02-16

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the frontline actors in the innate immune response to various pathogens and are expected to be targets of natural selection in species adapted to habitats with contrasting pathogen burdens. The recent publication of genome sequences of giraffe and okapi together afforded the opportunity to examine the evolution of selected TLRs in broad range of terrestrial ungulates and cetaceans during their complex habitat diversification. Through direct sequence comparisons and standard evolutionary approaches, the extent of nucleotide and protein sequence diversity in seven Toll-like receptors (TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, TLR5, TLR7, TLR9 and TLR10) between giraffe and closely related species was determined. In addition, comparison of the patterning of key TLR motifs and domains between giraffe and related species was performed. The quantification of selection pressure and divergence on TLRs among terrestrial ungulates and cetaceans was also performed. Sequence analysis shows that giraffe has 94-99% nucleotide identity with okapi and cattle for all TLRs analyzed. Variations in the number of Leucine-rich repeats were observed in some of TLRs between giraffe, okapi and cattle. Patterning of key TLR domains did not reveal any significant differences in the domain architecture among giraffe, okapi and cattle. Molecular evolutionary analysis for selection pressure identifies positive selection on key sites for all TLRs examined suggesting that pervasive evolutionary pressure has taken place during the evolution of terrestrial ungulates and cetaceans. Analysis of positively selected sites showed some site to be part of Leucine-rich motifs suggesting functional relevance in species-specific recognition of pathogen associated molecular patterns. Notably, clade analysis reveals significant selection divergence between terrestrial ungulates and cetaceans in viral sensing TLR3. Mapping of giraffe TLR3 key substitutions to the structure of the receptor indicates that

  7. Evolution of toll-like receptors in the context of terrestrial ungulates and cetaceans diversification

    OpenAIRE

    Ishengoma, Edson; Agaba, Morris

    2017-01-01

    Background Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are the frontline actors in the innate immune response to various pathogens and are expected to be targets of natural selection in species adapted to habitats with contrasting pathogen burdens. The recent publication of genome sequences of giraffe and okapi together afforded the opportunity to examine the evolution of selected TLRs in broad range of terrestrial ungulates and cetaceans during their complex habitat diversification. Through direct sequence c...

  8. Adaptive evolution and functional constraint at TLR4 during the secondary aquatic adaptation and diversification of cetaceans

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    Shen Tong

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises are a group of adapted marine mammals with an enigmatic history of transition from terrestrial to full aquatic habitat and rapid radiation in waters around the world. Throughout this evolution, the pathogen stress-response proteins must have faced challenges from the dramatic change of environmental pathogens in the completely different ecological niches cetaceans occupied. For this reason, cetaceans could be one of the most ideal candidate taxa for studying evolutionary process and associated driving mechanism of vertebrate innate immune systems such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs, which are located at the direct interface between the host and the microbial environment, act at the first line in recognizing specific conserved components of microorganisms, and translate them rapidly into a defense reaction. Results We used TLR4 as an example to test whether this traditionally regarded pattern recognition receptor molecule was driven by positive selection across cetacean evolutionary history. Overall, the lineage-specific selection test showed that the dN/dS (ω values along most (30 out of 33 examined cetartiodactylan lineages were less than 1, suggesting a common effect of functional constraint. However, some specific codons made radical changes, fell adjacent to the residues interacting with lipopolysaccharides (LPS, and showed parallel evolution between independent lineages, suggesting that TLR4 was under positive selection. Especially, strong signatures of adaptive evolution on TLR4 were identified in two periods, one corresponding to the early evolutionary transition of the terrestrial ancestors of cetaceans from land to semi-aquatic (represented by the branch leading to whale + hippo and from semi-aquatic to full aquatic (represented by the ancestral branch leading to cetaceans habitat, and the other to the rapid diversification and radiation of oceanic dolphins. Conclusions This

  9. Tracking evolution of myoglobin stability in cetaceans using experimentally calibrated computational methods that account for generic protein relaxation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holm, Jeppe; Dasmeh, Pouria; Kepp, Kasper Planeta

    2016-01-01

    that predicts multi-site ΔΔG as accurately as standard methods do for single-site mutations and reproduces trends in contemporary myoglobin stabilities. We then apply this new method to the study of the evolution of Mb stability in cetaceans: With both methods the main change in stability (about 1 kcal...

  10. Understanding primate brain evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Dunbar, R.I.M; Shultz, Susanne

    2007-01-01

    We present a detailed reanalysis of the comparative brain data for primates, and develop a model using path analysis that seeks to present the coevolution of primate brain (neocortex) and sociality within a broader ecological and life-history framework. We show that body size, basal metabolic rate and life history act as constraints on brain evolution and through this influence the coevolution of neocortex size and group size. However, they do not determine either of these variables, which ap...

  11. Epigenetics and brain evolution.

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    Keverne, Eric B

    2011-04-01

    Fundamental aspects of mammalian brain evolution occurred in the context of viviparity and placentation brought about by the epigenetic regulation of imprinted genes. Since the fetal placenta hormonally primes the maternal brain, two genomes in one individual are transgenerationally co-adapted to ensure maternal care and nurturing. Advanced aspects of neocortical brain evolution has shown very few genetic changes between monkeys and humans. Although these lineages diverged at approximately the same time as the rat and mouse (20 million years ago), synonymous sequence divergence between the rat and mouse is double that when comparing monkey with human sequences. Paradoxically, encephalization of rat and mouse are remarkably similar, while comparison of the human and monkey shows the human cortex to be three times the size of the monkey. This suggests an element of genetic stability between the brains of monkey and man with a greater emphasis on epigenetics providing adaptable variability.

  12. Brain evolution by brain pathway duplication.

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    Chakraborty, Mukta; Jarvis, Erich D

    2015-12-19

    Understanding the mechanisms of evolution of brain pathways for complex behaviours is still in its infancy. Making further advances requires a deeper understanding of brain homologies, novelties and analogies. It also requires an understanding of how adaptive genetic modifications lead to restructuring of the brain. Recent advances in genomic and molecular biology techniques applied to brain research have provided exciting insights into how complex behaviours are shaped by selection of novel brain pathways and functions of the nervous system. Here, we review and further develop some insights to a new hypothesis on one mechanism that may contribute to nervous system evolution, in particular by brain pathway duplication. Like gene duplication, we propose that whole brain pathways can duplicate and the duplicated pathway diverge to take on new functions. We suggest that one mechanism of brain pathway duplication could be through gene duplication, although other mechanisms are possible. We focus on brain pathways for vocal learning and spoken language in song-learning birds and humans as example systems. This view presents a new framework for future research in our understanding of brain evolution and novel behavioural traits. © 2015 The Authors.

  13. The Cetaceans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwey, J.

    1975-01-01

    In this paper observations are summarized, dealing with the occurrence, movements and part of the life-history of the Cetaceans Tursiops truncatus (the bottlenosed dolphin) and Phocoena phocoena (the harbour porpoise or common porpoise). The observations were made in the neighbourhood

  14. Evolution of Brain and Language

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    Schoenemann, P. Thomas

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of language and the evolution of the brain are tightly interlinked. Language evolution represents a special kind of adaptation, in part because language is a complex behavior (as opposed to a physical feature) but also because changes are adaptive only to the extent that they increase either one's understanding of others, or one's…

  15. Early development and orientation of the acoustic funnel provides insight into the evolution of sound reception pathways in cetaceans.

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    Maya Yamato

    Full Text Available Whales receive underwater sounds through a fundamentally different mechanism than their close terrestrial relatives. Instead of hearing through the ear canal, cetaceans hear through specialized fatty tissues leading to an evolutionarily novel feature: an acoustic funnel located anterior to the tympanic aperture. We traced the ontogenetic development of this feature in 56 fetal specimens from 10 different families of toothed (odontocete and baleen (mysticete whales, using X-ray computed tomography. We also charted ear ossification patterns through ontogeny to understand the impact of heterochronic developmental processes. We determined that the acoustic funnel arises from a prominent V-shaped structure established early in ontogeny, formed by the malleus and the goniale. In odontocetes, this V-formation develops into a cone-shaped funnel facing anteriorly, directly into intramandibular acoustic fats, which is likely functionally linked to the anterior orientation of sound reception in echolocation. In contrast, the acoustic funnel in balaenopterids rotates laterally, later in fetal development, consistent with a lateral sound reception pathway. Balaenids and several fossil mysticetes retain a somewhat anteriorly oriented acoustic funnel in the mature condition, indicating that a lateral sound reception pathway in balaenopterids may be a recent evolutionary innovation linked to specialized feeding modes, such as lunge-feeding.

  16. Early development and orientation of the acoustic funnel provides insight into the evolution of sound reception pathways in cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamato, Maya; Pyenson, Nicholas D

    2015-01-01

    Whales receive underwater sounds through a fundamentally different mechanism than their close terrestrial relatives. Instead of hearing through the ear canal, cetaceans hear through specialized fatty tissues leading to an evolutionarily novel feature: an acoustic funnel located anterior to the tympanic aperture. We traced the ontogenetic development of this feature in 56 fetal specimens from 10 different families of toothed (odontocete) and baleen (mysticete) whales, using X-ray computed tomography. We also charted ear ossification patterns through ontogeny to understand the impact of heterochronic developmental processes. We determined that the acoustic funnel arises from a prominent V-shaped structure established early in ontogeny, formed by the malleus and the goniale. In odontocetes, this V-formation develops into a cone-shaped funnel facing anteriorly, directly into intramandibular acoustic fats, which is likely functionally linked to the anterior orientation of sound reception in echolocation. In contrast, the acoustic funnel in balaenopterids rotates laterally, later in fetal development, consistent with a lateral sound reception pathway. Balaenids and several fossil mysticetes retain a somewhat anteriorly oriented acoustic funnel in the mature condition, indicating that a lateral sound reception pathway in balaenopterids may be a recent evolutionary innovation linked to specialized feeding modes, such as lunge-feeding.

  17. Brain Evolution and Human Neuropsychology: The Inferential Brain Hypothesis

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    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the theoretical perspectives from which we approach human neuropsychology could lead to novel hypotheses and testable predictions. In the spirit of these objectives, we present here a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. PMID:22459075

  18. Evolutionary Genetics of Hypoxia Tolerance in Cetaceans during Diving

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    Tian, Ran; Wang, Zhengfei; Niu, Xu; Zhou, Kaiya; Xu, Shixia; Yang, Guang

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxia was a major challenge faced by cetaceans during the course of secondary aquatic adaptation. Although physiological traits of hypoxia tolerance in cetaceans have been well characterized, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. We investigated the sequences of 17 hypoxia-tolerance-related genes in representative cetaceans to provide a comprehensive insight into the genetic basis of hypoxia tolerance in these animals. Genes involved in carrying and transporting oxygen in the blood and muscle (hemoglobin-α and β, myoglobin), and genes involved in the regulation of vasoconstriction (endothelin-1, -2, and -3; endothelin receptor type A and B; adrenergic receptor α-1D; and arginine vasopressin) appear to have undergone adaptive evolution, evidence for positive selection on their particular sites, and radical physiochemical property changes of selected condons. Interestingly, “long-diving” cetaceans had relatively higher ω (dN/dS) values than “short-diving” cetaceans for the hemoglobin β gene, indicating divergent selective pressure presented in cetacean lineages with different diving abilities. Additionally, parallel positive selection or amino acid changes (ADRA1D: P50A, A53G, AVPR1B: I/V270T) among animals exposed to different hypoxia habitats reflect functional convergence or similar genetic mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance. In summary, positive selection, divergent selective pressures, and parallel evolution at the molecular level provided some new insights into the genetic adaptation of hypoxia tolerance. PMID:26912402

  19. On the evolution of the mammalian brain

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    John Steven Torday

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Hobson and Friston have hypothesized that the brain must actively dissipate heat in order to process information (Virtual reality and consciousness inference in dreaming. Front Psychol. 2014 Oct 9;5:1133.. This physiologic trait is functionally homologous with the first instantation of life formed by lipids suspended in water forming micelles- allowing the reduction in entropy (heat dissipation, circumventing the Second Law of Thermodynamics permitting the transfer of information between living entities, enabling them to perpetually glean information from the environment (= evolution. The next evolutionary milestone was the advent of cholesterol, embedded in the cell membranes of primordial eukaryotes, facilitating metabolism, oxygenation and locomotion, the triadic basis for vertebrate evolution. Lipids were key to homeostatic regulation of calcium, forming calcium channels. Cell membrane cholesterol also fostered metazoan evolution by forming lipid rafts for receptor-mediated cell-cell signaling, the origin of the endocrine system. The eukaryotic cell membrane exapted to all complex physiologic traits, including the lung and brain, which are molecularly homologous through the function of neuregulin, mediating both lung development and myelinization of neurons. That cooption later exapted as endothermy during the water-land transition (Torday JS. A Central Theory of Biology. Med Hypotheses. 2015 Jul;85(1:49-57, perhaps being the functional homolog for brain heat dissipation and consciousness/mind. The skin and brain similarly share molecular homologies through the ‘skin-brain’ hypothesis, giving insight to the cellular-molecular ‘arc’ of consciousness from its unicellular origins to integrated physiology. This perspective on the evolution of the central nervous system clarifies self-organization, reconciling thermodynamic and informational definitions of the underlying biophysical mechanisms, thereby elucidating relations between the

  20. Human brain evolution writ large and small.

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    Sherwood, Chet C; Bauernfeind, Amy L; Bianchi, Serena; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R

    2012-01-01

    Human evolution was marked by an extraordinary increase in total brain size relative to body size. While it is certain that increased encephalization is an important factor contributing to the origin of our species-specific cognitive abilities, it is difficult to disentangle which aspects of human neural structure and function are correlated by-products of brain size expansion from those that are specifically related to particular psychological specializations, such as language and enhanced "mentalizing" abilities. In this chapter, we review evidence from allometric scaling studies demonstrating that much of human neocortical organization can be understood as a product of brain enlargement. Defining extra-allometric specializations in humans is often hampered by a severe lack of comparative data from the same neuroanatomical variables across a broad range of primates. When possible, we highlight evidence for features of human neocortical architecture and function that cannot be easily explained as correlates of brain size and, hence, might be more directly associated with the evolution of uniquely human cognitive capacities. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. [Evolution of human brain and intelligence].

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    Lakatos, László; Janka, Zoltán

    2008-07-30

    The biological evolution, including human evolution is mainly driven by environmental changes. Accidental genetic modifications and their innovative results make the successful adaptation possible. As we know the human evolution started 7-8 million years ago in the African savannah, where upright position and bipedalism were significantly advantageous. The main drive of improving manual actions and tool making could be to obtain more food. Our ancestor got more meat due to more successful hunting, resulting in more caloric intake, more protein and essential fatty acid in the meal. The nervous system uses disproportionally high level of energy, so better quality of food was a basic condition for the evolution of huge human brain. The size of human brain was tripled during 3.5 million years, it increased from the average of 450 cm3 of Australopithecinae to the average of 1350 cm3 of Homo sapiens. A genetic change in the system controlling gene expression could happen about 200 000 years ago, which influenced the development of nervous system, the sensorimotor function and learning ability for motor processes. The appearance and stabilisation of FOXP2 gene structure as feature of modern man coincided with the first presence and quick spread of Homo sapiens on the whole Earth. This genetic modification made opportunity for human language, as the basis of abrupt evolution of human intelligence. The brain region being responsible for human language is the left planum temporale, which is much larger in left hemisphere. This shows the most typical human brain asymmetry. In this case the anatomical asymmetry means a clearly defined functional asymmetry as well, where the brain hemispheres act differently. The preference in using hands, the lateralised using of tools resulted in the brain asymmetry, which is the precondition of human language and intelligence. However, it cannot be held anymore, that only humans make tools, because our closest relatives, the chimpanzees are

  2. Mathematical Model of Evolution of Brain Parcellation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrante, Daniel D; Wei, Yi; Koulakov, Alexei A

    2016-01-01

    We study the distribution of brain and cortical area sizes [parcellation units (PUs)] obtained for three species: mouse, macaque, and human. We find that the distribution of PU sizes is close to lognormal. We propose the mathematical model of evolution of brain parcellation based on iterative fragmentation and specialization. In this model, each existing PU has a probability to be split that depends on PU size only. This model suggests that the same evolutionary process may have led to brain parcellation in these three species. Within our model, region-to-region (macro) connectivity is given by the outer product form. We show that most experimental data on non-zero macaque cortex macroscopic-level connections can be explained by the outer product power-law form suggested by our model (62% for area V1). We propose a multiplicative Hebbian learning rule for the macroconnectome that could yield the correct scaling of connection strengths between areas. We thus propose an evolutionary model that may have contributed to both brain parcellation and mesoscopic level connectivity in mammals.

  3. The digital revolution and adolescent brain evolution.

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    Giedd, Jay N

    2012-08-01

    Remarkable advances in technologies that enable the distribution and use of information encoded as digital sequences of 1s or 0s have dramatically changed our way of life. Adolescents, old enough to master the technologies and young enough to welcome their novelty, are at the forefront of this "digital revolution." Underlying the adolescent's eager embracement of these sweeping changes is a neurobiology forged by the fires of evolution to be extremely adept at adaptation. The consequences of the brain's adaptation to the demands and opportunities of the digital age have enormous implications for adolescent health professionals. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Evolution, brain, and the nature of language.

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    Berwick, Robert C; Friederici, Angela D; Chomsky, Noam; Bolhuis, Johan J

    2013-02-01

    Language serves as a cornerstone for human cognition, yet much about its evolution remains puzzling. Recent research on this question parallels Darwin's attempt to explain both the unity of all species and their diversity. What has emerged from this research is that the unified nature of human language arises from a shared, species-specific computational ability. This ability has identifiable correlates in the brain and has remained fixed since the origin of language approximately 100 thousand years ago. Although songbirds share with humans a vocal imitation learning ability, with a similar underlying neural organization, language is uniquely human. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The evolution of the brain in Canidae (Mammalia: Carnivora)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lyras, G.A.

    2009-01-01

    Canid brain evolution followed three independent, yet convergent paths. Each of the three canid subfamilies (Hesperocyoninae, Borophaginae and Caninae) started with a simple brain, which gradually became more complicated as the cerebral cortex became larger and more fissured, the cerebellar

  6. Sexual selection targets cetacean pelvic bones.

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    Dines, James P; Otárola-Castillo, Erik; Ralph, Peter; Alas, Jesse; Daley, Timothy; Smith, Andrew D; Dean, Matthew D

    2014-11-01

    Male genitalia evolve rapidly, probably as a result of sexual selection. Whether this pattern extends to the internal infrastructure that influences genital movements remains unknown. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) offer a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis: since evolving from land-dwelling ancestors, they lost external hind limbs and evolved a highly reduced pelvis that seems to serve no other function except to anchor muscles that maneuver the penis. Here, we create a novel morphometric pipeline to analyze the size and shape evolution of pelvic bones from 130 individuals (29 species) in the context of inferred mating system. We present two main findings: (1) males from species with relatively intense sexual selection (inferred by relative testes size) tend to evolve larger penises and pelvic bones compared to their body length, and (2) pelvic bone shape has diverged more in species pairs that have diverged in inferred mating system. Neither pattern was observed in the anterior-most pair of vertebral ribs, which served as a negative control. This study provides evidence that sexual selection can affect internal anatomy that controls male genitalia. These important functions may explain why cetacean pelvic bones have not been lost through evolutionary time. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  7. Avian brains: Insights from development, behaviors and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Tadashi; Izawa, Ei-Ichi

    2017-05-01

    Birds are an extensively specialized animal group with unique anatomical, physiological and ecological characteristics. Sophisticated social behaviors and remarkable cognitive abilities are present in several avian lineages, driven by their enlarged brains and intricate neural networks. These unique traits could be a result of adaptive evolution under the wide range of environmental constraints; however, the intrinsic mechanisms of avian brain development and evolution remain unclear. Here, we introduce recent findings regarding developmental aspects of avian brain organization and neuronal networks for specific avian behaviors, which provide an insight into the link between the evolution of brain development and complex cognitive functions. © 2017 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  8. Diversity versus disparity and the radiation of modern cetaceans.

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    Slater, Graham J; Price, Samantha A; Santini, Francesco; Alfaro, Michael E

    2010-10-22

    Modern whales are frequently described as an adaptive radiation spurred by either the evolution of various key innovations (such as baleen or echolocation) or ecological opportunity following the demise of archaic whales. Recent analyses of diversification rate shifts on molecular phylogenies raise doubts about this interpretation since they find no evidence of increased speciation rates during the early evolution of modern taxa. However, one of the central predictions of ecological adaptive radiation is rapid phenotypic diversification, and the tempo of phenotypic evolution has yet to be quantified in cetaceans. Using a time-calibrated molecular phylogeny of extant cetaceans and a morphological dataset on size, we find evidence that cetacean lineages partitioned size niches early in the evolutionary history of neocetes and that changes in cetacean size are consistent with shifts in dietary strategy. We conclude that the signature of adaptive radiations may be retained within morphological traits even after equilibrium diversity has been reached and high extinction or fluctuations in net diversification have erased any signature of an early burst of diversification in the structure of the phylogeny.

  9. Positively selected sites in cetacean myoglobins contribute to protein stability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pouria Dasmeh

    Full Text Available Since divergence ∼50 Ma ago from their terrestrial ancestors, cetaceans underwent a series of adaptations such as a ∼10-20 fold increase in myoglobin (Mb concentration in skeletal muscle, critical for increasing oxygen storage capacity and prolonging dive time. Whereas the O2-binding affinity of Mbs is not significantly different among mammals (with typical oxygenation constants of ∼0.8-1.2 µM(-1, folding stabilities of cetacean Mbs are ∼2-4 kcal/mol higher than for terrestrial Mbs. Using ancestral sequence reconstruction, maximum likelihood and bayesian tests to describe the evolution of cetacean Mbs, and experimentally calibrated computation of stability effects of mutations, we observe accelerated evolution in cetaceans and identify seven positively selected sites in Mb. Overall, these sites contribute to Mb stabilization with a conditional probability of 0.8. We observe a correlation between Mb folding stability and protein abundance, suggesting that a selection pressure for stability acts proportionally to higher expression. We also identify a major divergence event leading to the common ancestor of whales, during which major stabilization occurred. Most of the positively selected sites that occur later act against other destabilizing mutations to maintain stability across the clade, except for the shallow divers, where late stability relaxation occurs, probably due to the shorter aerobic dive limits of these species. The three main positively selected sites 66, 5, and 35 undergo changes that favor hydrophobic folding, structural integrity, and intra-helical hydrogen bonds.

  10. Sexual selection targets cetacean pelvic bones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dines, J. P.; Otárola-Castillo, E.; Ralph, P.; Alas, J.; Daley, T.; Smith, A. D.; Dean, M. D.

    2014-01-01

    Male genitalia evolve rapidly, probably as a result of sexual selection. Whether this pattern extends to the internal infrastructure that influences genital movements remains unknown. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) offer a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis: since evolving from land-dwelling ancestors, they lost external hind limbs and evolved a highly reduced pelvis which seems to serve no other function except to anchor muscles that maneuver the penis. Here we create a novel morphometric pipeline to analyze the size and shape evolution of pelvic bones from 130 individuals (29 species) in the context of inferred mating system. We present two main findings: 1) males from species with relatively intense sexual selection (inferred by relative testes size) have evolved relatively large penises and pelvic bones compared to their body size, and 2) pelvic bone shape diverges more quickly in species pairs that have diverged in inferred mating system. Neither pattern was observed in the anterior-most pair of vertebral ribs, which served as a negative control. This study provides evidence that sexual selection can affect internal anatomy that controls male genitalia. These important functions may explain why cetacean pelvic bones have not been lost through evolutionary time. PMID:25186496

  11. Mind, Brain and Education: A Decade of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Marc

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the evolution of Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE), the field, alongside that of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES). The reflections stem mostly from my observations while serving as vice president, president-elect, and president of IMBES during the past 10 years. The article highlights the evolution…

  12. Evolution of the brain and phylogenetic development of Mrican ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evolution of the brain and phylogenetic development of Mrican Bovidae. Henriette Oboussier. Zoological Institute and Museum, University of Hamburg. Evidence drawn from the study of 270 brains of 54 species and subspecies of African Bovidae makes it possible to base phylogenetic relationships on the similarities in the ...

  13. Evolution of the human brain: design without a designer.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, M.A.; Kaas, John

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary expansion of the brain is among the most distinctive morphological features of mammals. During the past decades, considerable progress has been made in explaining brain evolution in terms of physical and adaptive principles. The objective of this chapter is to present current

  14. Comparative primate neuroimaging: insights into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K

    2014-01-01

    Comparative neuroimaging can identify unique features of the human brain and teach us about human brain evolution. Comparisons with chimpanzees, our closest living primate relative, are critical in this endeavor. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to compare brain size development, brain structure proportions and brain aging. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has been used to compare resting brain glucose metabolism. Functional MRI (fMRI) has been used to compare auditory and visual system pathways, as well as resting-state networks of connectivity. Finally, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has been used to compare structural connectivity. Collectively, these methods have revealed human brain specializations with respect to development, cortical organization, connectivity, and aging. These findings inform our knowledge of the evolutionary changes responsible for the special features of the modern human mind.

  15. Ruminant brain ribonucleases: expression and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, W; Confalone, E; Breukelman, H J; Sasso, M P; Jekel, P A; Hodge, E; Furia, A; Beintema, J J

    2001-05-05

    Molecular evolutionary analyses of mammalian ribonucleases have shown that gene duplication events giving rise to three paralogous genes occurred in ruminant ancestors. One of these genes encodes a ribonuclease identified in bovine brain. A peculiar feature of this enzyme and orthologous sequences in other ruminants are C-terminal extensions consisting of 17-27 amino acid residues. Evidence was obtained by Western blot analysis for the presence of brain-type ribonucleases in brain tissue not only of ox, but also of sheep, roe deer and chevrotain (Tragulus javanicus), a member of the earliest diverged taxon of the ruminants. The C-terminal extension of brain-type ribonuclease from giraffe deviates much in sequence from orthologues in other ruminants, due to a change of reading frame. However, the gene encodes a functional enzyme, which could be expressed in heterologous systems. The messenger RNA of bovine brain ribonuclease is not only expressed at a high level in brain tissue but also in lactating mammary gland. The enzyme was isolated and identified from this latter tissue, but was not present in bovine milk, although pancreatic ribonucleases A and B could be isolated from both sources. This suggests different ways of secretion of the two enzyme types, possibly related to structural differences. The sequence of the brain-type RNase from chevrotain suggests that the C-terminal extensions of ruminant brain-type ribonucleases originate from deletions in the ancestral DNA (including a region with stop codons), followed by insertion of a 5-8-fold repeated hexanucleotide sequence, coding for a proline-rich polypeptide.

  16. Energetic and nutritional constraints on infant brain development: implications for brain expansion during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Crawford, Michael A

    2014-12-01

    The human brain confronts two major challenges during its development: (i) meeting a very high energy requirement, and (ii) reliably accessing an adequate dietary source of specific brain selective nutrients needed for its structure and function. Implicitly, these energetic and nutritional constraints to normal brain development today would also have been constraints on human brain evolution. The energetic constraint was solved in large measure by the evolution in hominins of a unique and significant layer of body fat on the fetus starting during the third trimester of gestation. By providing fatty acids for ketone production that are needed as brain fuel, this fat layer supports the brain's high energy needs well into childhood. This fat layer also contains an important reserve of the brain selective omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), not available in other primates. Foremost amongst the brain selective minerals are iodine and iron, with zinc, copper and selenium also being important. A shore-based diet, i.e., fish, molluscs, crustaceans, frogs, bird's eggs and aquatic plants, provides the richest known dietary sources of brain selective nutrients. Regular access to these foods by the early hominin lineage that evolved into humans would therefore have helped free the nutritional constraint on primate brain development and function. Inadequate dietary supply of brain selective nutrients still has a deleterious impact on human brain development on a global scale today, demonstrating the brain's ongoing vulnerability. The core of the shore-based paradigm of human brain evolution proposes that sustained access by certain groups of early Homo to freshwater and marine food resources would have helped surmount both the nutritional as well as the energetic constraints on mammalian brain development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Evolution of brain-body allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Kotrschal, Alexander; Hayward, Alexander; Buechel, Severine Denise; Zidar, Josefina; Løvlie, Hanne; Kolm, Niclas

    2016-07-01

    Brain size is strongly associated with body size in all vertebrates. This relationship has been hypothesized to be an important constraint on adaptive brain size evolution. The essential assumption behind this idea is that static (i.e., within species) brain-body allometry has low ability to evolve. However, recent studies have reported mixed support for this view. Here, we examine brain-body static allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We found considerable variation in the static allometric intercept, which explained the majority of variation in absolute and relative brain size. In contrast, the slope of the brain-body static allometry had relatively low variation, which explained less variation in absolute and relative brain size compared to the intercept and body size. Further examination of the tempo and mode of evolution of static allometric parameters confirmed these observations. Moreover, the estimated evolutionary parameters indicate that the limited observed variation in the static allometric slope could be a result of strong stabilizing selection. Overall, our findings suggest that the brain-body static allometric slope may represent an evolutionary constraint in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. © 2016 The Author(s).

  18. Ruminant brain ribonucleases : expression and evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhao, W; Confalone, E; Breukelman, HJ; Sasso, MP; Jekel, PA; Hodge, E; Furia, A; Beintema, JJ

    2001-01-01

    Molecular evolutionary analyses of mammalian ribonucleases have shown that gene duplication events giving rise to three paralogous genes occurred in ruminant ancestors. One of these genes encodes a ribonuclease identified in bovine brain. A peculiar feature of this enzyme and orthologous sequences

  19. [Survival of the fattest: the key to human brain evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C

    2006-01-01

    The circumstances of human brain evolution are of central importance to accounting for human origins, yet are still poorly understood. Human evolution is usually portrayed as having occurred in a hot, dry climate in East Africa where the earliest human ancestors became bipedal and evolved tool-making skills and language while struggling to survive in a wooded or savannah environment. At least three points need to be recognised when constructing concepts of human brain evolution : (1) The human brain cannot develop normally without a reliable supply of several nutrients, notably docosahexaenoic acid, iodine and iron. (2) At term, the human fetus has about 13 % of body weight as fat, a key form of energy insurance supporting brain development that is not found in other primates. (3) The genome of humans and chimpanzees is human brain become so much larger, and how was its present-day nutritional vulnerability circumvented during 5-6 million years of hominid evolution ? The abundant presence of fish bones and shellfish remains in many African hominid fossil sites dating to 2 million years ago implies human ancestors commonly inhabited the shores, but this point is usually overlooked in conceptualizing how the human brain evolved. Shellfish, fish and shore-based animals and plants are the richest dietary sources of the key nutrients needed by the brain. Whether on the shores of lakes, marshes, rivers or the sea, the consumption of most shore-based foods requires no specialized skills or tools. The presence of key brain nutrients and a rich energy supply in shore-based foods would have provided the essential metabolic and nutritional support needed to gradually expand the hominid brain. Abundant availability of these foods also provided the time needed to develop and refine proto-human attributes that subsequently formed the basis of language, culture, tool making and hunting. The presence of body fat in human babies appears to be the product of a long period of

  20. Functional variants of the melanocortin-4 receptor associated with the Odontoceti and Mysticeti suborders of cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Liyuan; Zhou, Xiaofan; Rokas, Antonis; Cone, Roger D

    2017-07-18

    Cetaceans, a group of mammals adapted to the aquatic environment that descended from terrestrial artiodactyls, exhibit tremendous interspecific differences in a number of phenotypes, including feeding behavior, such as filter feeding in the Mysticeti vs prey-hunting Odontoceti, and size, with the smallest cetacean, the vaquita, at 1.4 meters and the largest, the blue whale, reaching 33 meters. The Melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) regulates food intake, energy balance, and somatic growth in both mammals and teleosts. In this study, we examined allelic variants of the MC4R in cetaceans. We sequenced the MC4R from 20 cetaceans, and pharmacologically characterized 17 of these protein products. Results identified a single variation at amino acid 156 in the MC4R from representative species of major cetacean lineages uniquely associated with the toothed whales or Odontoceti (arginine at 156) and baleen whales or Mysticeti (glutamine at 156). The Q156 receptor variant found in the larger baleen whales was functionally less responsive to its endogenous anorexigenic ligand, α-MSH. Furthermore, the R156 receptor variant showed greater constitutive activity and a higher affinity for ligand. These data suggest that the MC4R may be one gene involved in the evolution of feeding ecology, energy balance, and body size in cetaceans.

  1. 'Obesity' is healthy for cetaceans? Evidence from pervasive positive selection in genes related to triacylglycerol metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengfei; Chen, Zhuo; Xu, Shixia; Ren, Wenhua; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2015-09-18

    Cetaceans are a group of secondarily adapted marine mammals with an enigmatic history of transition from terrestrial to fully aquatic habitat and subsequent adaptive radiation in waters around the world. Numerous physiological and morphological cetacean characteristics have been acquired in response to this drastic habitat transition; for example, the thickened blubber is one of the most striking changes that increases their buoyancy, supports locomotion, and provides thermal insulation. However, the genetic basis underlying the blubber thickening in cetaceans remains poorly explored. Here, 88 candidate genes associated with triacylglycerol metabolism were investigated in representative cetaceans and other mammals to test whether the thickened blubber matched adaptive evolution of triacylglycerol metabolism-related genes. Positive selection was detected in 41 of the 88 candidate genes, and functional characterization of these genes indicated that these are involved mainly in triacylglycerol synthesis and lipolysis processes. In addition, some essential regulatory genes underwent significant positive selection in cetacean-specific lineages, whereas no selection signal was detected in the counterpart terrestrial mammals. The extensive occurrence of positive selection in triacylglycerol metabolism-related genes is suggestive of their essential role in secondary adaptation to an aquatic life, and further implying that 'obesity' might be an indicator of good health for cetaceans.

  2. Evolution of the human brain : when bigger is better

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, Michel A

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies of the brain in mammals suggest that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development. We are beginning to understand the geometric, biophysical and energy constraints that have governed the evolution and functional organization of the

  3. MCPH1: a window into brain development and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeannette eNardelli

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The development of the mammalian cerebral cortex involves a series of mechanisms: from patterning, progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation, to neuronal migration. Many factors influence the development of the cerebral cortex to its normal size and neuronal composition. Of these, the mechanisms that influence the proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitor cells are of particular interest, as they may have the greatest consequence on brain size, not only during development but also in evolution. In this context, causative genes of human autosomal recessive primary microcephaly, such as ASPM and MCPH1, are attractive candidates, as many of them show positive selection during primate evolution. MCPH1 causes microcephaly in mice and humans and is involved in a diverse array of molecular functions beyond brain development, including DNA repair and chromosome condensation. Positive selection of MCPH1 in the primate lineage has led to much insight and discussion of its role in brain size evolution. In this review, we will present an overview of MCPH1 from these multiple angles, and whilst its specific role in brain size regulation during development and evolution remain elusive, the pieces of the puzzle will be discussed with the aim of putting together the full picture of this fascinating gene.

  4. Human brain evolution, theories of innovation, and lessons from the ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 29; Issue 3. Human brain evolution, theories of innovation, and lessons from the history of technology. Alfred Gierer. Perspectives Volume 29 Issue 3 September 2004 pp 235-244. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  5. Myoglobin in pelagic small cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolar, M L; Suarez, P; Ponganis, P J; Kooyman, G L

    1999-02-01

    Although myoglobin (Mb) is considered to contribute significantly to the oxygen and diving capacity of marine mammals, few data are available for cetaceans. Cetacean by-catch in the tuna driftnet fisheries in the Sulu Sea, Philippines, afforded the opportunity to examine Mb content and distribution, and to determine muscle mass composition, in Fraser's (Lagenodelphis hosei) and spinner (Stenella longirostris) dolphins and a pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata). Age was estimated by body length determination. Stomach contents were analyzed for the presence or absence of milk and solid foods. It was hypothesized (a) that Mb concentration ([Mb]) would be higher in Fraser's and spinner dolphins than in other small cetaceans because of the known mesopelagic distribution of their prey, (b) that [Mb] would vary among different muscles according to function during diving, and (c) that [Mb] would increase with age during development. The results were as follows. (1) Myoglobin concentrations of the longissimus muscle in adult Fraser's (6.8-7.2 g 100 g-1 muscle) and spinner (5-6 g 100 g-1 muscle) dolphins and in an immature pygmy killer whale (5.7 g 100 g-1 muscle) were higher than those reported previously for small cetaceans. (2) [Mb] varied significantly among the different muscle types in adult dolphins but not in calves; in adults, swimming muscles had significantly higher [Mb] than did non-swimming muscles, contained 82-86 % of total Mb, and constituted 75-80 % of total muscle mass. (3) Myoglobin concentrations in Fraser's and spinner dolphins increased with size and age and were 3-4 times greater in adults than in calves. The high Mb concentrations measured in the primary locomotory muscles of these pelagic dolphins are consistent with the known mesopelagic foraging behaviour of Fraser's and spinner dolphins and suggest that the pygmy killer whale is also a deep-diving species. The high Mb concentrations in epaxial, hypaxial and abdominal muscle groups also support

  6. Inferring Functional Brain States Using Temporal Evolution of Regularized Classifiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey Zhdanov

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available We present a framework for inferring functional brain state from electrophysiological (MEG or EEG brain signals. Our approach is adapted to the needs of functional brain imaging rather than EEG-based brain-computer interface (BCI. This choice leads to a different set of requirements, in particular to the demand for more robust inference methods and more sophisticated model validation techniques. We approach the problem from a machine learning perspective, by constructing a classifier from a set of labeled signal examples. We propose a framework that focuses on temporal evolution of regularized classifiers, with cross-validation for optimal regularization parameter at each time frame. We demonstrate the inference obtained by this method on MEG data recorded from 10 subjects in a simple visual classification experiment, and provide comparison to the classical nonregularized approach.

  7. Origin and evolution of deep brain stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vittorio Alessandro eSironi

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper briefly describes how the electrical stimulation, used since antiquity to modulate the nervous system, has been a fundamental tool of neurophysiologic investigation in the second half of the 18th century and was subsequently used by the early 20th century, even for therapeutic purposes. In mid-20th century the advent of stereotactic procedures has allowed the drift from lesional to stimulating technique of deep nuclei of the brain for therapeutic purposes. In this way, DBS was born, that, over the last two decades, has led to positive results for the treatment of medically refractory Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia. In recent years, the indications for therapeutic use of DBS have been extended to epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome, psychiatric diseases (depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, some kinds of headache, eating disorders and the minimally conscious state. The potentials of the DBS for therapeutic use are fascinating, but there are still many unresolved technical and ethical problems, concerning the identification of the targets for each disease, the selection of the patients and the evaluation of the results.

  8. Evolution of Brain Tumor and Stability of Geometric Invariants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Tawbe

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a method to reconstruct and to calculate geometric invariants on brain tumors. The geometric invariants considered in the paper are the volume, the area, the discrete Gauss curvature, and the discrete mean curvature. The volume of a tumor is an important aspect that helps doctors to make a medical diagnosis. And as doctors seek a stable calculation, we propose to prove the stability of some invariants. Finally, we study the evolution of brain tumor as a function of time in two or three years depending on patients with MR images every three or six months.

  9. Evolution of Nova-dependent splicing regulation in the brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nejc Jelen

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available A large number of alternative exons are spliced with tissue-specific patterns, but little is known about how such patterns have evolved. Here, we study the conservation of the neuron-specific splicing factors Nova1 and Nova2 and of the alternatively spliced exons they regulate in mouse brain. Whereas Nova RNA binding domains are 94% identical across vertebrate species, Nova-dependent splicing silencer and enhancer elements (YCAY clusters show much greater divergence, as less than 50% of mouse YCAY clusters are conserved at orthologous positions in the zebrafish genome. To study the relation between the evolution of tissue-specific splicing and YCAY clusters, we compared the brain-specific splicing of Nova-regulated exons in zebrafish, chicken, and mouse. The presence of YCAY clusters in lower vertebrates invariably predicted conservation of brain-specific splicing across species, whereas their absence in lower vertebrates correlated with a loss of alternative splicing. We hypothesize that evolution of Nova-regulated splicing in higher vertebrates proceeds mainly through changes in cis-acting elements, that tissue-specific splicing might in some cases evolve in a single step corresponding to evolution of a YCAY cluster, and that the conservation level of YCAY clusters relates to the functions encoded by the regulated RNAs.

  10. Fossils and the Evolution of the Arthropod Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Ma, Xiaoya; Edgecombe, Gregory D

    2016-10-24

    The discovery of fossilized brains and ventral nerve cords in lower and mid-Cambrian arthropods has led to crucial insights about the evolution of their central nervous system, the segmental identity of head appendages and the early evolution of eyes and their underlying visual systems. Fundamental ground patterns of lower Cambrian arthropod brains and nervous systems correspond to the ground patterns of brains and nervous systems belonging to three of four major extant panarthropod lineages. These findings demonstrate the evolutionary stability of early neural arrangements over an immense time span. Here, we put these fossil discoveries in the context of evidence from cladistics, as well as developmental and comparative neuroanatomy, which together suggest that despite many evolved modifications of neuropil centers within arthropod brains and ganglia, highly conserved arrangements have been retained. Recent phylogenies of the arthropods, based on fossil and molecular evidence, and estimates of divergence dates, suggest that neural ground patterns characterizing onychophorans, chelicerates and mandibulates are likely to have diverged between the terminal Ediacaran and earliest Cambrian, heralding the exuberant diversification of body forms that account for the Cambrian Explosion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Brain evolution and development: adaptation, allometry and constraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Mundy, Nicholas I; Barton, Robert A

    2016-09-14

    Phenotypic traits are products of two processes: evolution and development. But how do these processes combine to produce integrated phenotypes? Comparative studies identify consistent patterns of covariation, or allometries, between brain and body size, and between brain components, indicating the presence of significant constraints limiting independent evolution of separate parts. These constraints are poorly understood, but in principle could be either developmental or functional. The developmental constraints hypothesis suggests that individual components (brain and body size, or individual brain components) tend to evolve together because natural selection operates on relatively simple developmental mechanisms that affect the growth of all parts in a concerted manner. The functional constraints hypothesis suggests that correlated change reflects the action of selection on distributed functional systems connecting the different sub-components, predicting more complex patterns of mosaic change at the level of the functional systems and more complex genetic and developmental mechanisms. These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive but make different predictions. We review recent genetic and neurodevelopmental evidence, concluding that functional rather than developmental constraints are the main cause of the observed patterns. © 2016 The Author(s).

  12. Brain evolution and development: adaptation, allometry and constraint

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    Phenotypic traits are products of two processes: evolution and development. But how do these processes combine to produce integrated phenotypes? Comparative studies identify consistent patterns of covariation, or allometries, between brain and body size, and between brain components, indicating the presence of significant constraints limiting independent evolution of separate parts. These constraints are poorly understood, but in principle could be either developmental or functional. The developmental constraints hypothesis suggests that individual components (brain and body size, or individual brain components) tend to evolve together because natural selection operates on relatively simple developmental mechanisms that affect the growth of all parts in a concerted manner. The functional constraints hypothesis suggests that correlated change reflects the action of selection on distributed functional systems connecting the different sub-components, predicting more complex patterns of mosaic change at the level of the functional systems and more complex genetic and developmental mechanisms. These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive but make different predictions. We review recent genetic and neurodevelopmental evidence, concluding that functional rather than developmental constraints are the main cause of the observed patterns. PMID:27629025

  13. Cetacean Abundance Survey (DE0410, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  14. Evolution of the base of the brain in highly encephalized human species

    OpenAIRE

    Bastir, Markus; Rosas, Antonio; Gunz, Philipp; Peña-Melián, Ángel; Manzi, Giorgio; Harvati, Katerina; Kruszynski, Robert; Stringer, Chris; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2011-01-01

    The increase of brain size relative to body size-encephalization-is intimately linked with human evolution. However, two genetically different evolutionary lineages, Neanderthals and modern humans, have produced similarly large-brained human species. Thus, understanding human brain evolution should include research into specific cerebral reorganization, possibly reflected by brain shape changes. Here we exploit developmental integration between the brain and its underlying skeletal base to te...

  15. In contrast to many other mammals, cetaceans have relatively small hippocampi that appear to lack adult neurogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patzke, Nina; Spocter, Muhammad A; Karlsson, Karl Æ; Bertelsen, Mads F; Haagensen, Mark; Chawana, Richard; Streicher, Sonja; Kaswera, Consolate; Gilissen, Emmanuel; Alagaili, Abdulaziz N; Mohammed, Osama B; Reep, Roger L; Bennett, Nigel C; Siegel, Jerry M; Ihunwo, Amadi O; Manger, Paul R

    2015-01-01

    The hippocampus is essential for the formation and retrieval of memories and is a crucial neural structure sub-serving complex cognition. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis, the birth, migration and integration of new neurons, is thought to contribute to hippocampal circuit plasticity to augment function. We evaluated hippocampal volume in relation to brain volume in 375 mammal species and examined 71 mammal species for the presence of adult hippocampal neurogenesis using immunohistochemistry for doublecortin, an endogenous marker of immature neurons that can be used as a proxy marker for the presence of adult neurogenesis. We identified that the hippocampus in cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) is both absolutely and relatively small for their overall brain size, and found that the mammalian hippocampus scaled as an exponential function in relation to brain volume. In contrast, the amygdala was found to scale as a linear function of brain volume, but again, the relative size of the amygdala in cetaceans was small. The cetacean hippocampus lacks staining for doublecortin in the dentate gyrus and thus shows no clear signs of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. This lack of evidence of adult hippocampal neurogenesis, along with the small hippocampus, questions current assumptions regarding cognitive abilities associated with hippocampal function in the cetaceans. These anatomical features of the cetacean hippocampus may be related to the lack of postnatal sleep, causing a postnatal cessation of hippocampal neurogenesis.

  16. ‘Obesity’ is healthy for cetaceans? Evidence from pervasive positive selection in genes related to triacylglycerol metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengfei; Chen, Zhuo; Xu, Shixia; Ren, Wenhua; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2015-01-01

    Cetaceans are a group of secondarily adapted marine mammals with an enigmatic history of transition from terrestrial to fully aquatic habitat and subsequent adaptive radiation in waters around the world. Numerous physiological and morphological cetacean characteristics have been acquired in response to this drastic habitat transition; for example, the thickened blubber is one of the most striking changes that increases their buoyancy, supports locomotion, and provides thermal insulation. However, the genetic basis underlying the blubber thickening in cetaceans remains poorly explored. Here, 88 candidate genes associated with triacylglycerol metabolism were investigated in representative cetaceans and other mammals to test whether the thickened blubber matched adaptive evolution of triacylglycerol metabolism-related genes. Positive selection was detected in 41 of the 88 candidate genes, and functional characterization of these genes indicated that these are involved mainly in triacylglycerol synthesis and lipolysis processes. In addition, some essential regulatory genes underwent significant positive selection in cetacean-specific lineages, whereas no selection signal was detected in the counterpart terrestrial mammals. The extensive occurrence of positive selection in triacylglycerol metabolism-related genes is suggestive of their essential role in secondary adaptation to an aquatic life, and further implying that ‘obesity’ might be an indicator of good health for cetaceans. PMID:26381091

  17. Biologically Important Areas for Cetaceans within U.S. Waters

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Cetacean Density and Distribution Mapping Working Group identified Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) for 24 cetacean species, stocks, or populations in seven...

  18. Evidence of Positive Selection of Aquaporins Genes from Pontoporia blainvillei during the Evolutionary Process of Cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    São Pedro, Simone Lima; Alves, João Marcelo Pereira; Barreto, André Silva; Lima, André Oliveira de Souza

    2015-01-01

    Marine mammals are well adapted to their hyperosmotic environment. Several morphological and physiological adaptations for water conservation and salt excretion are known to be present in cetaceans, being responsible for regulating salt balance. However, most previous studies have focused on the unique renal physiology of marine mammals, but the molecular bases of these mechanisms remain poorly explored. Many genes have been identified to be involved in osmotic regulation, including the aquaporins. Considering that aquaporin genes were potentially subject to strong selective pressure, the aim of this study was to analyze the molecular evolution of seven aquaporin genes (AQP1, AQP2, AQP3, AQP4, AQP6, AQP7, and AQP9) comparing the lineages of cetaceans and terrestrial mammals. Our results demonstrated strong positive selection in cetacean-specific lineages acting only in the gene for AQP2 (amino acids 23, 83, 107,179, 180, 181, 182), whereas no selection was observed in terrestrial mammalian lineages. We also analyzed the changes in the 3D structure of the aquaporin 2 protein. Signs of strong positive selection in AQP2 sites 179, 180, 181, and 182 were unexpectedly identified only in the baiji lineage, which was the only river dolphin examined in this study. Positive selection in aquaporins AQP1 (45), AQP4 (74), AQP7 (342, 343, 356) was detected in cetaceans and artiodactyls, suggesting that these events are not related to maintaining water and electrolyte homeostasis in seawater. Our results suggest that the AQP2 gene might reflect different selective pressures in maintaining water balance in cetaceans, contributing to the passage from the terrestrial environment to the aquatic. Further studies are necessary, especially those including other freshwater dolphins, who exhibit osmoregulatory mechanisms different from those of marine cetaceans for the same essential task of maintaining serum electrolyte balance.

  19. Quantitative genetic analysis of brain size variation in sticklebacks: support for the mosaic model of brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreikiene, Kristina; Herczeg, Gábor; Gonda, Abigél; Balázs, Gergely; Husby, Arild; Merilä, Juha

    2015-07-07

    The mosaic model of brain evolution postulates that different brain regions are relatively free to evolve independently from each other. Such independent evolution is possible only if genetic correlations among the different brain regions are less than unity. We estimated heritabilities, evolvabilities and genetic correlations of relative size of the brain, and its different regions in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We found that heritabilities were low (average h(2) = 0.24), suggesting a large plastic component to brain architecture. However, evolvabilities of different brain parts were moderate, suggesting the presence of additive genetic variance to sustain a response to selection in the long term. Genetic correlations among different brain regions were low (average rG = 0.40) and significantly less than unity. These results, along with those from analyses of phenotypic and genetic integration, indicate a high degree of independence between different brain regions, suggesting that responses to selection are unlikely to be severely constrained by genetic and phenotypic correlations. Hence, the results give strong support for the mosaic model of brain evolution. However, the genetic correlation between brain and body size was high (rG = 0.89), suggesting a constraint for independent evolution of brain and body size in sticklebacks. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  20. Identification of Novel Cetacean Poxviruses in Cetaceans Stranded in South West England.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Barnett

    Full Text Available Poxvirus infections in marine mammals have been mainly reported through their clinical lesions and electron microscopy (EM. Poxvirus particles in association with such lesions have been demonstrated by EM and were previously classified as two new viruses, cetacean poxvirus 1 (CePV-1 and cetacean poxvirus 2 (CePV-2. In this study, epidermal pox lesions in cetaceans stranded in South West England (Cornwall between 2008 and 2012 were investigated by electron microscopy and molecular analysis. PCR and sequencing of a highly conserved region within the viral DNA polymerase gene ruled out both parapox- and orthopoxviruses. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis of the PCR product clustered the sequences with those previously described as cetacean poxviruses. However, taking the close genetic distance of this gene fragment across the family of poxviridae into account, it is reasonable to postulate further, novel cetacean poxvirus species. The nucleotide similarity within each cluster (tentative species detected ranged from 98.6% to 100%, whilst the similarity between the clusters was no more than 95%. The detection of several species of poxvirus in different cetacean species confirms the likelihood of a heterogeneous cetacean poxvirus genus, comparable to the heterogeneity observed in other poxvirus genera.

  1. Surgical procedures in pinniped and cetacean species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Jennifer L; Hendrickson, Dean A

    2013-12-01

    Significant advances in veterinary diagnostic and surgical techniques have been made over the past several decades. Many of these advances, however, have not reached the field of marine mammal medicine. A number of limitations exist: risks of anesthesia, anatomical challenges, difficulties with wound closure, environmental constraints, equipment limitations, and perceived risks. Despite these limitations, surgical treatments have been successfully utilized in marine mammals. While surgery is performed in pinnipeds more frequently than in cetaceans, studies conducted in the 1960s and 1970s on dolphin sleep and hearing demonstrated that general anesthesia can be successfully induced in cetaceans. Since this pioneering work, a small number of successful surgeries have been performed in dolphins under both general anesthesia and heavy sedation. While these surgical procedures in pinnipeds and cetaceans have typically been limited to wound management, dentistry, ophthalmic procedures, fracture repair, and superficial biopsy, a number of abdominal surgeries have also been performed. Recently there have been pioneering successes in the application of minimally invasive surgery in marine mammals. Many of the anatomical challenges that almost prohibit traditional laparotomies in cetacean species and present challenges in pinnipeds can be overcome through the use of laparoscopic techniques. Due to the limited number of pinnipeds and cetaceans in captivity and, thus, the limited case load for veterinarians serving marine mammal species, it is vital for knowledge of surgical procedures to be shared among those in the field. This paper reviews case reports of surgical procedures, both traditional and laparoscopic, in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Limitations to performing surgical procedures in marine mammals are discussed and surgical case reports analyzed in an effort to determine challenges that must be overcome in order to make surgery a more feasible diagnostic and treatment

  2. Accelerated evolution of the ASPM gene controlling brain size begins prior to human brain expansion.

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    Natalay Kouprina

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Primary microcephaly (MCPH is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global reduction in cerebral cortical volume. The microcephalic brain has a volume comparable to that of early hominids, raising the possibility that some MCPH genes may have been evolutionary targets in the expansion of the cerebral cortex in mammals and especially primates. Mutations in ASPM, which encodes the human homologue of a fly protein essential for spindle function, are the most common known cause of MCPH. Here we have isolated large genomic clones containing the complete ASPM gene, including promoter regions and introns, from chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and rhesus macaque by transformation-associated recombination cloning in yeast. We have sequenced these clones and show that whereas much of the sequence of ASPM is substantially conserved among primates, specific segments are subject to high Ka/Ks ratios (nonsynonymous/synonymous DNA changes consistent with strong positive selection for evolutionary change. The ASPM gene sequence shows accelerated evolution in the African hominoid clade, and this precedes hominid brain expansion by several million years. Gorilla and human lineages show particularly accelerated evolution in the IQ domain of ASPM. Moreover, ASPM regions under positive selection in primates are also the most highly diverged regions between primates and nonprimate mammals. We report the first direct application of TAR cloning technology to the study of human evolution. Our data suggest that evolutionary selection of specific segments of the ASPM sequence strongly relates to differences in cerebral cortical size.

  3. Dolphin genome provides evidence for adaptive evolution of nervous system genes and a molecular rate slowdown

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowen, Michael R.; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Wildman, Derek E.

    2012-01-01

    Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) have undergone a radical transformation from the original mammalian bodyplan. In addition, some cetaceans have evolved large brains and complex cognitive capacities. We compared approximately 10 000 protein-coding genes culled from the bottlenose dolphin genome with nine other genomes to reveal molecular correlates of the remarkable phenotypic features of these aquatic mammals. Evolutionary analyses demonstrated that the overall synonymous substitution rate in dolphins has slowed compared with other studied mammals, and is within the range of primates and elephants. We also discovered 228 genes potentially under positive selection (dN/dS > 1) in the dolphin lineage. Twenty-seven of these genes are associated with the nervous system, including those related to human intellectual disabilities, synaptic plasticity and sleep. In addition, genes expressed in the mitochondrion have a significantly higher mean dN/dS ratio in the dolphin lineage than others examined, indicating evolution in energy metabolism. We encountered selection in other genes potentially related to cetacean adaptations such as glucose and lipid metabolism, dermal and lung development, and the cardiovascular system. This study underlines the parallel molecular trajectory of cetaceans with other mammalian groups possessing large brains. PMID:22740643

  4. Dolphin genome provides evidence for adaptive evolution of nervous system genes and a molecular rate slowdown.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowen, Michael R; Grossman, Lawrence I; Wildman, Derek E

    2012-09-22

    Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) have undergone a radical transformation from the original mammalian bodyplan. In addition, some cetaceans have evolved large brains and complex cognitive capacities. We compared approximately 10,000 protein-coding genes culled from the bottlenose dolphin genome with nine other genomes to reveal molecular correlates of the remarkable phenotypic features of these aquatic mammals. Evolutionary analyses demonstrated that the overall synonymous substitution rate in dolphins has slowed compared with other studied mammals, and is within the range of primates and elephants. We also discovered 228 genes potentially under positive selection (dN/dS > 1) in the dolphin lineage. Twenty-seven of these genes are associated with the nervous system, including those related to human intellectual disabilities, synaptic plasticity and sleep. In addition, genes expressed in the mitochondrion have a significantly higher mean dN/dS ratio in the dolphin lineage than others examined, indicating evolution in energy metabolism. We encountered selection in other genes potentially related to cetacean adaptations such as glucose and lipid metabolism, dermal and lung development, and the cardiovascular system. This study underlines the parallel molecular trajectory of cetaceans with other mammalian groups possessing large brains.

  5. Modeling the Impacts of Cetacean-Focused Tourism in Taiwan: Observations from Cetacean Watching Boats: 2002-2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Yung-Ping; Huang, Yu-Chin; Kyle, Gerard T.; Yang, Ming-Ching

    2011-01-01

    Cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan has grown rapidly since 1997. This development, measured in terms of both number of tour boats and visitors, has resulted in many resource management challenges stemming from the absence of regulation and scientific data. To fill this void in empirical evidence, we used 464 sighting records from 2002 to 2005 to model the impact of cetacean-focused tourism. Cox proportional hazard analysis indicated cetacean avoidance responses to cetacean watching boats were strongly associated with pod size, mother-calf pairs, and cetacean-vessel distances. Mother-calf pairs abandoned their avoidance tactic by 55% compared to noncalf groups when tour boats approached. Second, the hazard ratio of abundance was 0.996, suggesting that the odds of encountering avoidance responses by the cetaceans decreased by 42% for every 100-member increase in the cetacean pod size. Last, distances maintained by boats from the cetaceans was positively related to avoidance responses (i.e., less avoidance behavior with closer interaction). Based on our findings, we have the following recommendations: (a) limit vessels from approaching mothers with calves, (b) limit vessels from approaching small groups of cetaceans, (c) reduced avoidance behavior to boat traffic may be a red flag for potential long-term disturbance, and (d) apply the "precautionary principle" based on the best scientific information available in cetacean-based tourism in Taiwan. These recommendations will help contribute to the sustainable development of cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan.

  6. Modeling the impacts of cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan: observations from cetacean watching boats: 2002-2005.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Yung-Ping; Huang, Yu-Chin; Kyle, Gerard T; Yang, Ming-Ching

    2011-01-01

    Cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan has grown rapidly since 1997. This development, measured in terms of both number of tour boats and visitors, has resulted in many resource management challenges stemming from the absence of regulation and scientific data. To fill this void in empirical evidence, we used 464 sighting records from 2002 to 2005 to model the impact of cetacean-focused tourism. Cox proportional hazard analysis indicated cetacean avoidance responses to cetacean watching boats were strongly associated with pod size, mother-calf pairs, and cetacean-vessel distances. Mother-calf pairs abandoned their avoidance tactic by 55% compared to noncalf groups when tour boats approached. Second, the hazard ratio of abundance was 0.996, suggesting that the odds of encountering avoidance responses by the cetaceans decreased by 42% for every 100-member increase in the cetacean pod size. Last, distances maintained by boats from the cetaceans was positively related to avoidance responses (i.e., less avoidance behavior with closer interaction). Based on our findings, we have the following recommendations: (a) limit vessels from approaching mothers with calves, (b) limit vessels from approaching small groups of cetaceans, (c) reduced avoidance behavior to boat traffic may be a red flag for potential long-term disturbance, and (d) apply the "precautionary principle" based on the best scientific information available in cetacean-based tourism in Taiwan. These recommendations will help contribute to the sustainable development of cetacean-focused tourism in Taiwan.

  7. Modular organizations of novel cetacean papillomaviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gottschling, Marc; Bravo, Ignacio G; Schulz, Eric; Bracho, Maria A; Deaville, Rob; Jepson, Paul D; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Stockfleth, Eggert; Nindl, Ingo

    2011-04-01

    The phylogenetic position of cetacean papillomaviruses (PVs: Omikron-PVs and Upsilon-PVs) varies depending on the region of the genome analysed. They cluster together with Alpha-PVs when analysing early genes and with Xi-PVs and Phi-PVs when analysing late genes. We cloned and sequenced the complete genomes of five novel PVs, sampled from genital and oesophageal lesions of free-ranging cetaceans: Delphinus delphis (DdPV1), Lagenorhynchus acutus (TtPV3 variant), and Phocoena phocoena (PphPV1, PphPV2, and PphPV3). Using Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian approaches, all cetacean PVs constituted a monophyletic group with Alpha-, Omega-, and Dyodelta-PVs as inferred from E1-E2 early genes analyses, thus matching the shared phenotype of mucosal tropism. However, cetacean PVs, with the exception of PphPV3, were the closest relatives of Xi-PVs and Phi-PVs in L2-L1 late genes analyses, isolated from cow and goat, thus reflecting the close relationship between Cetacea and Artiodactyla. Our results are compatible with a recombination between ancestral PVs infecting the Cetartiodactyla lineage. Our study supports a complex evolutionary scenario with multiple driving forces for PV diversification, possibly including recombination and also interspecies transmission. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Cetacean Morbillivirus: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Françoise Van Bressem

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available We review the molecular and epidemiological characteristics of cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV and the diagnosis and pathogenesis of associated disease, with six different strains detected in cetaceans worldwide. CeMV has caused epidemics with high mortality in odontocetes in Europe, the USA and Australia. It represents a distinct species within the Morbillivirus genus. Although most CeMV strains are phylogenetically closely related, recent data indicate that morbilliviruses recovered from Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus, from Western Australia, and a Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis, from Brazil, are divergent. The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM cell receptor for CeMV has been characterized in cetaceans. It shares higher amino acid identity with the ruminant SLAM than with the receptors of carnivores or humans, reflecting the evolutionary history of these mammalian taxa. In Delphinidae, three amino acid substitutions may result in a higher affinity for the virus. Infection is diagnosed by histology, immunohistochemistry, virus isolation, RT-PCR, and serology. Classical CeMV-associated lesions include bronchointerstitial pneumonia, encephalitis, syncytia, and lymphoid depletion associated with immunosuppression. Cetaceans that survive the acute disease may develop fatal secondary infections and chronic encephalitis. Endemically infected, gregarious odontocetes probably serve as reservoirs and vectors. Transmission likely occurs through the inhalation of aerosolized virus but mother to fetus transmission was also reported.

  9. Cetacean morbillivirus: current knowledge and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Duignan, Pádraig J; Banyard, Ashley; Barbieri, Michelle; Colegrove, Kathleen M; De Guise, Sylvain; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Dobson, Andrew; Domingo, Mariano; Fauquier, Deborah; Fernandez, Antonio; Goldstein, Tracey; Grenfell, Bryan; Groch, Kátia R; Gulland, Frances; Jensen, Brenda A; Jepson, Paul D; Hall, Ailsa; Kuiken, Thijs; Mazzariol, Sandro; Morris, Sinead E; Nielsen, Ole; Raga, Juan A; Rowles, Teresa K; Saliki, Jeremy; Sierra, Eva; Stephens, Nahiid; Stone, Brett; Tomo, Ikuko; Wang, Jianning; Waltzek, Thomas; Wellehan, James F X

    2014-12-22

    We review the molecular and epidemiological characteristics of cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) and the diagnosis and pathogenesis of associated disease, with six different strains detected in cetaceans worldwide. CeMV has caused epidemics with high mortality in odontocetes in Europe, the USA and Australia. It represents a distinct species within the Morbillivirus genus. Although most CeMV strains are phylogenetically closely related, recent data indicate that morbilliviruses recovered from Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus), from Western Australia, and a Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), from Brazil, are divergent. The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) cell receptor for CeMV has been characterized in cetaceans. It shares higher amino acid identity with the ruminant SLAM than with the receptors of carnivores or humans, reflecting the evolutionary history of these mammalian taxa. In Delphinidae, three amino acid substitutions may result in a higher affinity for the virus. Infection is diagnosed by histology, immunohistochemistry, virus isolation, RT-PCR, and serology. Classical CeMV-associated lesions include bronchointerstitial pneumonia, encephalitis, syncytia, and lymphoid depletion associated with immunosuppression. Cetaceans that survive the acute disease may develop fatal secondary infections and chronic encephalitis. Endemically infected, gregarious odontocetes probably serve as reservoirs and vectors. Transmission likely occurs through the inhalation of aerosolized virus but mother to fetus transmission was also reported.

  10. Rate of evolution in brain-expressed genes in humans and other primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurng-Yi Wang

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Brain-expressed genes are known to evolve slowly in mammals. Nevertheless, since brains of higher primates have evolved rapidly, one might expect acceleration in DNA sequence evolution in their brain-expressed genes. In this study, we carried out full-length cDNA sequencing on the brain transcriptome of an Old World monkey (OWM and then conducted three-way comparisons among (i mouse, OWM, and human, and (ii OWM, chimpanzee, and human. Although brain-expressed genes indeed appear to evolve more rapidly in species with more advanced brains (apes > OWM > mouse, a similar lineage effect is observable for most other genes. The broad inclusion of genes in the reference set to represent the genomic average is therefore critical to this type of analysis. Calibrated against the genomic average, the rate of evolution among brain-expressed genes is probably lower (or at most equal in humans than in chimpanzee and OWM. Interestingly, the trend of slow evolution in coding sequence is no less pronounced among brain-specific genes, vis-à-vis brain-expressed genes in general. The human brain may thus differ from those of our close relatives in two opposite directions: (i faster evolution in gene expression, and (ii a likely slowdown in the evolution of protein sequences. Possible explanations and hypotheses are discussed.

  11. Convergence of complex cognitive abilities in cetaceans and primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marino, Lori

    2002-01-01

    What examples of convergence in higher-level complex cognitive characteristics exist in the animal kingdom? In this paper I will provide evidence that convergent intelligence has occurred in two distantly related mammalian taxa. One of these is the order Cetacea (dolphins, whales and porpoises) and the other is our own order Primates, and in particular the suborder anthropoid primates (monkeys, apes, and humans). Despite a deep evolutionary divergence, adaptation to physically dissimilar environments, and very different neuroanatomical organization, some primates and cetaceans show striking convergence in social behavior, artificial 'language' comprehension, and self-recognition ability. Taken together, these findings have important implications for understanding the generality and specificity of those processes that underlie cognition in different species and the nature of the evolution of intelligence. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

  12. The Environmental History of Cetaceans in Portugal: Ten Centuries of Whale and Dolphin Records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Cristina; Sousa, Andreia

    2011-01-01

    The history between cetaceans and humans is documented throughout time not only in reports, descriptions, and tales but also in legal documents, laws and regulations, and tithes. This wealth of information comes from the easy spotting and identification of individuals due to their large size, surface breathing, and conspicuous above water behaviour. This work is based on historical sources and accounts accounting for cetacean presence for the period between the 12th and 17th centuries, as well as scientific articles, newspapers, illustrations, maps, non-published scientific reports, and other grey literature from the 18th century onwards. Information on whale use in Portugal's mainland has been found since as early as the 12th century and has continued to be created throughout time. No certainty can be given for medieval and earlier events, but both scavenging of stranded whales or use of captured ones may have happened. There is an increasing number of accounts of sighted, stranded, used, or captured cetaceans throughout centuries which is clearly associated with a growing effort towards the study of these animals. Scientific Latin species denominations only started to be registered from the 18th century onwards, as a consequence of the evolution of natural sciences in Portugal and increasing interest from zoologists. After the 19th century, a larger number of observations were recorded, and from the 20th century to the present day, regular scientific records have been collected. Research on the environmental history of cetaceans in Portugal shows a several-centuries-old exploitation of whales and dolphins, as resources mainly for human consumption, followed in later centuries by descriptions of natural history documenting strandings and at sea encounters. Most cetaceans species currently thought to be present in Portuguese mainland waters were at some point historically recorded. PMID:21931627

  13. The environmental history of cetaceans in Portugal: ten centuries of whale and dolphin records.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Brito

    Full Text Available The history between cetaceans and humans is documented throughout time not only in reports, descriptions, and tales but also in legal documents, laws and regulations, and tithes. This wealth of information comes from the easy spotting and identification of individuals due to their large size, surface breathing, and conspicuous above water behaviour. This work is based on historical sources and accounts accounting for cetacean presence for the period between the 12th and 17th centuries, as well as scientific articles, newspapers, illustrations, maps, non-published scientific reports, and other grey literature from the 18th century onwards. Information on whale use in Portugal's mainland has been found since as early as the 12th century and has continued to be created throughout time. No certainty can be given for medieval and earlier events, but both scavenging of stranded whales or use of captured ones may have happened. There is an increasing number of accounts of sighted, stranded, used, or captured cetaceans throughout centuries which is clearly associated with a growing effort towards the study of these animals. Scientific Latin species denominations only started to be registered from the 18th century onwards, as a consequence of the evolution of natural sciences in Portugal and increasing interest from zoologists. After the 19th century, a larger number of observations were recorded, and from the 20th century to the present day, regular scientific records have been collected. Research on the environmental history of cetaceans in Portugal shows a several-centuries-old exploitation of whales and dolphins, as resources mainly for human consumption, followed in later centuries by descriptions of natural history documenting strandings and at sea encounters. Most cetaceans species currently thought to be present in Portuguese mainland waters were at some point historically recorded.

  14. The environmental history of cetaceans in Portugal: ten centuries of whale and dolphin records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito, Cristina; Sousa, Andreia

    2011-01-01

    The history between cetaceans and humans is documented throughout time not only in reports, descriptions, and tales but also in legal documents, laws and regulations, and tithes. This wealth of information comes from the easy spotting and identification of individuals due to their large size, surface breathing, and conspicuous above water behaviour. This work is based on historical sources and accounts accounting for cetacean presence for the period between the 12th and 17th centuries, as well as scientific articles, newspapers, illustrations, maps, non-published scientific reports, and other grey literature from the 18th century onwards. Information on whale use in Portugal's mainland has been found since as early as the 12th century and has continued to be created throughout time. No certainty can be given for medieval and earlier events, but both scavenging of stranded whales or use of captured ones may have happened. There is an increasing number of accounts of sighted, stranded, used, or captured cetaceans throughout centuries which is clearly associated with a growing effort towards the study of these animals. Scientific Latin species denominations only started to be registered from the 18th century onwards, as a consequence of the evolution of natural sciences in Portugal and increasing interest from zoologists. After the 19th century, a larger number of observations were recorded, and from the 20th century to the present day, regular scientific records have been collected. Research on the environmental history of cetaceans in Portugal shows a several-centuries-old exploitation of whales and dolphins, as resources mainly for human consumption, followed in later centuries by descriptions of natural history documenting strandings and at sea encounters. Most cetaceans species currently thought to be present in Portuguese mainland waters were at some point historically recorded.

  15. Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones

    OpenAIRE

    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Bienvenu, Thibault; Stefanacci, Lisa; Muotri, Alysson R.; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemisphe...

  16. Enamel ultrastructure in fossil cetaceans (Cetacea: Archaeoceti and Odontoceti.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolina Loch

    Full Text Available The transition from terrestrial ancestry to a fully pelagic life profoundly altered the body systems of cetaceans, with extreme morphological changes in the skull and feeding apparatus. The Oligocene Epoch was a crucial time in the evolution of cetaceans when the ancestors of modern whales and dolphins (Neoceti underwent major diversification, but details of dental structure and evolution are poorly known for the archaeocete-neocete transition. We report the morphology of teeth and ultrastructure of enamel in archaeocetes, and fossil platanistoids and delphinoids, ranging from late Oligocene (Waitaki Valley, New Zealand to Pliocene (Caldera, Chile. Teeth were embedded in epoxy resin, sectioned in cross and longitudinal planes, polished, etched, and coated with gold palladium for scanning electron microscopy (SEM observation. SEM images showed that in archaeocetes, squalodontids and Prosqualodon (taxa with heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont teeth, the inner enamel was organized in Hunter-Schreger bands (HSB with an outer layer of radial enamel. This is a common pattern in most large-bodied mammals and it is regarded as a biomechanical adaptation related to food processing and crack resistance. Fossil Otekaikea sp. and delphinoids, which were polydont and homodont, showed a simpler structure, with inner radial and outer prismless enamel. Radial enamel is regarded as more wear-resistant and has been retained in several mammalian taxa in which opposing tooth surfaces slide over each other. These observations suggest that the transition from a heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont dentition in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to homodont and polydont teeth in crownward odontocetes, was also linked to a marked simplification in the enamel Schmelzmuster. These patterns probably reflect functional shifts in food processing from shear-and-mastication in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to pierce-and-grasp occlusion in crownward

  17. Enamel ultrastructure in fossil cetaceans (Cetacea: Archaeoceti and Odontoceti).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loch, Carolina; Kieser, Jules A; Fordyce, R Ewan

    2015-01-01

    The transition from terrestrial ancestry to a fully pelagic life profoundly altered the body systems of cetaceans, with extreme morphological changes in the skull and feeding apparatus. The Oligocene Epoch was a crucial time in the evolution of cetaceans when the ancestors of modern whales and dolphins (Neoceti) underwent major diversification, but details of dental structure and evolution are poorly known for the archaeocete-neocete transition. We report the morphology of teeth and ultrastructure of enamel in archaeocetes, and fossil platanistoids and delphinoids, ranging from late Oligocene (Waitaki Valley, New Zealand) to Pliocene (Caldera, Chile). Teeth were embedded in epoxy resin, sectioned in cross and longitudinal planes, polished, etched, and coated with gold palladium for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation. SEM images showed that in archaeocetes, squalodontids and Prosqualodon (taxa with heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont teeth), the inner enamel was organized in Hunter-Schreger bands (HSB) with an outer layer of radial enamel. This is a common pattern in most large-bodied mammals and it is regarded as a biomechanical adaptation related to food processing and crack resistance. Fossil Otekaikea sp. and delphinoids, which were polydont and homodont, showed a simpler structure, with inner radial and outer prismless enamel. Radial enamel is regarded as more wear-resistant and has been retained in several mammalian taxa in which opposing tooth surfaces slide over each other. These observations suggest that the transition from a heterodont and nonpolydont/limited polydont dentition in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to homodont and polydont teeth in crownward odontocetes, was also linked to a marked simplification in the enamel Schmelzmuster. These patterns probably reflect functional shifts in food processing from shear-and-mastication in archaeocetes and early odontocetes, to pierce-and-grasp occlusion in crownward odontocetes, with

  18. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Sophie Knobloch

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians, magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing oxytocin, vasopressin and their homologs reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds and mammals into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots.

  19. Molecular identification of small cetacean samples from Peruvian fish markets

    OpenAIRE

    Tzika, A.C.; D’Amico, E.; Mangel, J.C.; Van Waerebeek, K.; Milinkovitch, M.C.

    2010-01-01

    In the last 60 years, incidental entanglement in fishing gears (so called by-catch) became the main cause of mortality worldwide for small cetaceans and is pushing several populations and species to the verge of extinction. Thus, monitoring and quantifying by-catches is an important step towards proper and sustainable management of cetacean populations. Continuous studies indicated that by-catches and directed takes of small cetaceans in Peru greatly increased since 1985. Legal measures banni...

  20. Cetacean Social Behavioral Response to Sonar Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Discrimination of fast click series produced by Risso’s dolphins for echolocation or communication . Wensveen P. et al (in review). The effectiveness of ramp...severity of sonar responses; 2) the social behavior of Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) in two separate populations, to investigate the function...Risso’s dolphin in a habitat with limited anthropogenic noise disturbance. APPROACH Social, group-level cetacean behavioral responses to sonar

  1. Cetacean studies using platforms of opportunity

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Rob

    2003-01-01

    Chapters 1-5 of this thesis have been updated and subsequently published in multi-authored articles in peer-reviewed journals. If required, citations should be made to these updated articles listed in the full item record below As human impact on marine ecosystems continues to grow, so too does the need for sound conservation and management strategies that are informed by science. Cetaceans, the whales, dolphins and porpoises, epitomise this challenge, because they are hard to stu...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Cetaceans and Marine Debris: The Great Unknown

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Peter Simmonds

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Plastics and other marine debris have been found in the gastrointestinal tracts of cetaceans, including instances where large quantities of material have been found that are likely to cause impairment to digestive processes and other examples, where other morbidity and even death have resulted. In some instances, debris may have been ingested as a result of the stranding process and, in others, it may have been ingested when feeding. Those species that are suction or “ram” feeders may be most at risk. There is also evidence of entanglement of cetaceans in marine debris. However, it is usually difficult to distinguish entanglement in active fishing gear from that in lost or discarded gear. The overall significance of the threat from ingested plastics and other debris remains unclear for any population or species of cetaceans, although there are concerns for some taxa, including at the population level, and marine debris in the oceans continues to grow. Further research including the compilation of unpublished material and the investigation of important habitat areas is strongly recommended.

  4. What factors shape genetic diversity in cetaceans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vachon, Felicia; Whitehead, Hal; Frasier, Timothy R

    2018-02-01

    Understanding what factors drive patterns of genetic diversity is a central aspect of many biological questions, ranging from the inference of historical demography to assessing the evolutionary potential of a species. However, as a larger number of datasets have become available, it is becoming clear that the relationship between the characteristics of a species and its genetic diversity is more complex than previously assumed. This may be particularly true for cetaceans, due to their relatively long lifespans, long generation times, complex social structures, and extensive ranges. In this study, we used microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA data from a systematic literature review to produce estimates of diversity for both markers across 42 cetacean species. Factors relating to demography, distribution, classification, biology, and behavior were then tested using phylogenetic methods and linear models to assess their relative influence on the genetic diversity of both marker types. The results show that while relative nuclear diversity is correlated with population size, mitochondrial diversity is not. This is particularly relevant given the widespread use of mitochondrial DNA to infer historical demography. Instead, mitochondrial diversity was mostly influenced by the range and social structure of the species. In addition to population size, habitat type (neritic vs. oceanic) had a significant correlation with relative nuclear diversity. Combined, these results show that many often-unconsidered factors are likely influencing patterns of genetic diversity in cetaceans, with implications regarding how to interpret, and what can be inferred from, existing patterns of diversity.

  5. Significance of epigenetics for understanding brain development, brain evolution and behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keverne, E B

    2014-04-04

    Two major environmental developments have occurred in mammalian evolution which have impacted on the genetic and epigenetic regulation of brain development. The first of these was viviparity and development of the placenta which placed a considerable burden of time and energy investment on the matriline, and which resulted in essential hypothalamic modifications. Maternal feeding, maternal care, parturition, milk letdown and the suspension of fertility and sexual behaviour are all determined by the maternal hypothalamus and have evolved to meet foetal needs under the influence of placental hormones. Viviparity itself provided a new environmental variable for selection pressures to operate via the co-existence over three generations of matrilineal genomes (mother, developing offspring and developing oocytes) in one individual. Also of importance for the matriline has been the evolution of epigenetic marks (imprint control regions) which are heritable and undergo reprogramming primarily in the oocyte to regulate imprinted gene expression according to parent of origin. Imprinting of autosomal genes has played a significant role in mammalian evolutionary development, particularly that of the hypothalamus and placenta. Indeed, many imprinted genes that are co-expressed in the placenta and hypothalamus play an important role in the co-adapted functioning of these organs. Thus the action and interaction of two genomes (maternal and foetal) have provided a template for transgenerational selection pressures to operate in shaping the mothering capabilities of each subsequent generation. The advanced aspects of neocortical brain evolution in primates have emancipated much of behaviour from the determining effects of hormonal action. Thus in large brain primates, most of the sexual behaviour is not reproductive hormone dependent and maternal care can and does occur outside the context of pregnancy and parturition. The neocortex has evolved to be adaptable and while the adapted

  6. The Evolution of Human Intelligence and the Coefficient of Additive Genetic Variance in Human Brain Size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Geoffrey F.; Penke, Lars

    2007-01-01

    Most theories of human mental evolution assume that selection favored higher intelligence and larger brains, which should have reduced genetic variance in both. However, adult human intelligence remains highly heritable, and is genetically correlated with brain size. This conflict might be resolved by estimating the coefficient of additive genetic…

  7. Cetacean strandings along the coast of Izmir Bay, Turkey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guclusoy, H.; Veryeri, N.; Cirik, S.

    2004-01-01

    The present paper provides information on the stranding of cetaceans in Izmir Bay, Aegean Sea, between 1992 and 2004. The data were collected opportunistically during sightings and stranding data collection for Monk Seals. A total of 12 cetaceans, namely Bottle-nosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus

  8. Cetacean research in the southern African subregion: a review of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Data are presented separately for large whales (those subject to commercial whaling) and smaller cetaceans, and are separated by era and ocean basin. Over 550 peer-reviewed papers and books were identified relating to research on cetaceans within the subregion. More than half (284) have been produced since 1990 ...

  9. The evolution of the brain, the human nature of cortical circuits and intellectual creativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier eDeFelipe

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The tremendous expansion and the differentiation of the neocortex constitute two major events in the evolution of the mammalian brain. The increase in size and complexity of our brains opened the way to a spectacular development of cognitive and mental skills. This expansion during evolution facilitated the addition of archetypical microcircuits, which increased the complexity of the human brain and contributed to its uniqueness. However, fundamental differences even exist between distinct mammalian species. Here, we shall discuss the issue of our humanity from a neurobiological and historical perspective.

  10. Brain size and thermoregulation during the evolution of the genus Homo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naya, Daniel E; Naya, Hugo; Lessa, Enrique P

    2016-01-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of an energetically costly brain in the genus Homo. Some of these hypotheses are based on the correlation between climatic factors and brain size recorded for this genus during the last millions of years. In this study, we propose a complementary climatic hypothesis that is based on the mechanistic connection between temperature, thermoregulation, and size of internal organs in endothermic species. We hypothesized that global cooling during the last 3.2 my may have imposed an increased energy expenditure for thermoregulation, which in the case of hominids could represent a driver for the evolution of an expanded brain, or at least, it could imply the relaxation of a negative selection pressure acting upon this costly organ. To test this idea, here we (1) assess variation in the energetic costs of thermoregulation and brain maintenance for the last 3.2 my, and (2) evaluate the relationship between Earth temperature and brain maintenance cost for the same period, taking into account the effects of body mass and fossil age. We found that: (1) the energetic cost associated with brain enlargement represents an important fraction (between 47.5% and 82.5%) of the increase in energy needed for thermoregulation; (2) fossil age is a better predictor of brain maintenance cost than Earth temperature, suggesting that (at least) another factor correlated with time was more relevant than ambient temperature in brain size evolution; and (3) there is a significant negative correlation between the energetic cost of brain and Earth temperature, even after accounting for the effect of body mass and fossil age. Thus, our results expand the current energetic framework for the study of brain size evolution in our lineage by suggesting that a fall in Earth temperature during the last millions of years may have facilitated brain enlargement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Brown adipose tissue in cetacean blubber.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osamu Hashimoto

    Full Text Available Brown adipose tissue (BAT plays an important role in thermoregulation in species living in cold environments, given heat can be generated from its chemical energy reserves. Here we investigate the existence of BAT in blubber in four species of delphinoid cetacean, the Pacific white-sided and bottlenose dolphins, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens and Tursiops truncates, and Dall's and harbour porpoises, Phocoenoides dalli and Phocoena phocoena. Histology revealed adipocytes with small unilocular fat droplets and a large eosinophilic cytoplasm intermingled with connective tissue in the innermost layers of blubber. Chemistry revealed a brown adipocyte-specific mitochondrial protein, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1, within these same adipocytes, but not those distributed elsewhere throughout the blubber. Western blot analysis of extracts from the inner blubber layer confirmed that the immunohistochemical positive reaction was specific to UCP1 and that this adipose tissue was BAT. To better understand the distribution of BAT throughout the entire cetacean body, cadavers were subjected to computed tomography (CT scanning. Resulting imagery, coupled with histological corroboration of fine tissue structure, revealed adipocytes intermingled with connective tissue in the lowest layer of blubber were distributed within a thin, highly dense layer that extended the length of the body, with the exception of the rostrum, fin and fluke regions. As such, we describe BAT effectively enveloping the cetacean body. Our results suggest that delphinoid blubber could serve a role additional to those frequently attributed to it: simple insulation blanket, energy storage, hydrodynamic streamlining or contributor to positive buoyancy. We believe delphinoid BAT might also function like an electric blanket, enabling animals to frequent waters cooler than blubber as an insulator alone might otherwise allow an animal to withstand, or allow animals to maintain body temperature in cool

  12. Brown adipose tissue in cetacean blubber.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Osamu; Ohtsuki, Hirofumi; Kakizaki, Takehiko; Amou, Kento; Sato, Ryo; Doi, Satoru; Kobayashi, Sara; Matsuda, Ayaka; Sugiyama, Makoto; Funaba, Masayuki; Matsuishi, Takashi; Terasawa, Fumio; Shindo, Junji; Endo, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays an important role in thermoregulation in species living in cold environments, given heat can be generated from its chemical energy reserves. Here we investigate the existence of BAT in blubber in four species of delphinoid cetacean, the Pacific white-sided and bottlenose dolphins, Lagenorhynchus obliquidens and Tursiops truncates, and Dall's and harbour porpoises, Phocoenoides dalli and Phocoena phocoena. Histology revealed adipocytes with small unilocular fat droplets and a large eosinophilic cytoplasm intermingled with connective tissue in the innermost layers of blubber. Chemistry revealed a brown adipocyte-specific mitochondrial protein, uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1), within these same adipocytes, but not those distributed elsewhere throughout the blubber. Western blot analysis of extracts from the inner blubber layer confirmed that the immunohistochemical positive reaction was specific to UCP1 and that this adipose tissue was BAT. To better understand the distribution of BAT throughout the entire cetacean body, cadavers were subjected to computed tomography (CT) scanning. Resulting imagery, coupled with histological corroboration of fine tissue structure, revealed adipocytes intermingled with connective tissue in the lowest layer of blubber were distributed within a thin, highly dense layer that extended the length of the body, with the exception of the rostrum, fin and fluke regions. As such, we describe BAT effectively enveloping the cetacean body. Our results suggest that delphinoid blubber could serve a role additional to those frequently attributed to it: simple insulation blanket, energy storage, hydrodynamic streamlining or contributor to positive buoyancy. We believe delphinoid BAT might also function like an electric blanket, enabling animals to frequent waters cooler than blubber as an insulator alone might otherwise allow an animal to withstand, or allow animals to maintain body temperature in cool waters during

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain eWillemet

    2013-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willemet, Romain

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Predator-driven brain size evolution in natural populations of Trinidadian killifish (Rivulus hartii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Matthew R.; Broyles, Whitnee; Beston, Shannon M.; Munch, Stephan B.

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrates exhibit extensive variation in relative brain size. It has long been assumed that this variation is the product of ecologically driven natural selection. Yet, despite more than 100 years of research, the ecological conditions that select for changes in brain size are unclear. Recent laboratory selection experiments showed that selection for larger brains is associated with increased survival in risky environments. Such results lead to the prediction that increased predation should favour increased brain size. Work on natural populations, however, foreshadows the opposite trajectory of evolution; increased predation favours increased boldness, slower learning, and may thereby select for a smaller brain. We tested the influence of predator-induced mortality on brain size evolution by quantifying brain size variation in a Trinidadian killifish, Rivulus hartii, from communities that differ in predation intensity. We observed strong genetic differences in male (but not female) brain size between fish communities; second generation laboratory-reared males from sites with predators exhibited smaller brains than Rivulus from sites in which they are the only fish present. Such trends oppose the results of recent laboratory selection experiments and are not explained by trade-offs with other components of fitness. Our results suggest that increased male brain size is favoured in less risky environments because of the fitness benefits associated with faster rates of learning and problem-solving behaviour. PMID:27412278

  16. Computational acoustic modeling of cetacean vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurevich, Michael Dixon

    A framework for computational acoustic modeling of hypothetical vocal production mechanisms in cetaceans is presented. As a specific example, a model of a proposed source in the larynx of odontocetes is developed. Whales and dolphins generate a broad range of vocal sounds, but the exact mechanisms they use are not conclusively understood. In the fifty years since it has become widely accepted that whales can and do make sound, how they do so has remained particularly confounding. Cetaceans' highly divergent respiratory anatomy, along with the difficulty of internal observation during vocalization have contributed to this uncertainty. A variety of acoustical, morphological, ethological and physiological evidence has led to conflicting and often disputed theories of the locations and mechanisms of cetaceans' sound sources. Computational acoustic modeling has been used to create real-time parametric models of musical instruments and the human voice. These techniques can be applied to cetacean vocalizations to help better understand the nature and function of these sounds. Extensive studies of odontocete laryngeal morphology have revealed vocal folds that are consistently similar to a known but poorly understood acoustic source, the ribbon reed. A parametric computational model of the ribbon reed is developed, based on simplified geometrical, mechanical and fluid models drawn from the human voice literature. The physical parameters of the ribbon reed model are then adapted to those of the odontocete larynx. With reasonable estimates of real physical parameters, both the ribbon reed and odontocete larynx models produce sounds that are perceptually similar to their real-world counterparts, and both respond realistically under varying control conditions. Comparisons of acoustic features of the real-world and synthetic systems show a number of consistencies. While this does not on its own prove that either model is conclusively an accurate description of the source, it

  17. A hierarchical model of the evolution of human brain specializations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, H. Clark

    2012-01-01

    The study of information-processing adaptations in the brain is controversial, in part because of disputes about the form such adaptations might take. Many psychologists assume that adaptations come in two kinds, specialized and general-purpose. Specialized mechanisms are typically thought of as innate, domain-specific, and isolated from other brain systems, whereas generalized mechanisms are developmentally plastic, domain-general, and interactive. However, if brain mechanisms evolve through processes of descent with modification, they are likely to be heterogeneous, rather than coming in just two kinds. They are likely to be hierarchically organized, with some design features widely shared across brain systems and others specific to particular processes. Also, they are likely to be largely developmentally plastic and interactive with other brain systems, rather than canalized and isolated. This article presents a hierarchical model of brain specialization, reviewing evidence for the model from evolutionary developmental biology, genetics, brain mapping, and comparative studies. Implications for the search for uniquely human traits are discussed, along with ways in which conventional views of modularity in psychology may need to be revised. PMID:22723350

  18. Brain structure evolution in a basal vertebrate clade: evidence from phylogenetic comparative analysis of cichlid fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Winberg, Svante; Kolm, Niclas

    2009-09-21

    The vertebrate brain is composed of several interconnected, functionally distinct structures and much debate has surrounded the basic question of how these structures evolve. On the one hand, according to the 'mosaic evolution hypothesis', because of the elevated metabolic cost of brain tissue, selection is expected to target specific structures mediating the cognitive abilities which are being favored. On the other hand, the 'concerted evolution hypothesis' argues that developmental constraints limit such mosaic evolution and instead the size of the entire brain varies in response to selection on any of its constituent parts. To date, analyses of these hypotheses of brain evolution have been limited to mammals and birds; excluding Actinopterygii, the basal and most diverse class of vertebrates. Using a combination of recently developed phylogenetic multivariate allometry analyses and comparative methods that can identify distinct rates of evolution, even in highly correlated traits, we studied brain structure evolution in a highly variable clade of ray-finned fishes; the Tanganyikan cichlids. Total brain size explained 86% of the variance in brain structure volume in cichlids, a lower proportion than what has previously been reported for mammals. Brain structures showed variation in pair-wise allometry suggesting some degree of independence in evolutionary changes in size. This result is supported by variation among structures on the strength of their loadings on the principal size axis of the allometric analysis. The rate of evolution analyses generally supported the results of the multivariate allometry analyses, showing variation among several structures in their evolutionary patterns. The olfactory bulbs and hypothalamus were found to evolve faster than other structures while the dorsal medulla presented the slowest evolutionary rate. Our results favor a mosaic model of brain evolution, as certain structures are evolving in a modular fashion, with a small but

  19. Brain structure evolution in a basal vertebrate clade: evidence from phylogenetic comparative analysis of cichlid fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolm Niclas

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The vertebrate brain is composed of several interconnected, functionally distinct structures and much debate has surrounded the basic question of how these structures evolve. On the one hand, according to the 'mosaic evolution hypothesis', because of the elevated metabolic cost of brain tissue, selection is expected to target specific structures mediating the cognitive abilities which are being favored. On the other hand, the 'concerted evolution hypothesis' argues that developmental constraints limit such mosaic evolution and instead the size of the entire brain varies in response to selection on any of its constituent parts. To date, analyses of these hypotheses of brain evolution have been limited to mammals and birds; excluding Actinopterygii, the basal and most diverse class of vertebrates. Using a combination of recently developed phylogenetic multivariate allometry analyses and comparative methods that can identify distinct rates of evolution, even in highly correlated traits, we studied brain structure evolution in a highly variable clade of ray-finned fishes; the Tanganyikan cichlids. Results Total brain size explained 86% of the variance in brain structure volume in cichlids, a lower proportion than what has previously been reported for mammals. Brain structures showed variation in pair-wise allometry suggesting some degree of independence in evolutionary changes in size. This result is supported by variation among structures on the strength of their loadings on the principal size axis of the allometric analysis. The rate of evolution analyses generally supported the results of the multivariate allometry analyses, showing variation among several structures in their evolutionary patterns. The olfactory bulbs and hypothalamus were found to evolve faster than other structures while the dorsal medulla presented the slowest evolutionary rate. Conclusion Our results favor a mosaic model of brain evolution, as certain

  20. Toward the Language-Ready Brain: Biological Evolution and Primate Comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A

    2017-02-01

    The approach to language evolution suggested here focuses on three questions: How did the human brain evolve so that humans can develop, use, and acquire languages? How can the evolutionary quest be informed by studying brain, behavior, and social interaction in monkeys, apes, and humans? How can computational modeling advance these studies? I hypothesize that the brain is language ready in that the earliest humans had protolanguages but not languages (i.e., communication systems endowed with rich and open-ended lexicons and grammars supporting a compositional semantics), and that it took cultural evolution to yield societies (a cultural constructed niche) in which language-ready brains could become language-using brains. The mirror system hypothesis is a well-developed example of this approach, but I offer it here not as a closed theory but as an evolving framework for the development and analysis of conflicting subhypotheses in the hope of their eventual integration. I also stress that computational modeling helps us understand the evolving role of mirror neurons, not in and of themselves, but only in their interaction with systems "beyond the mirror." Because a theory of evolution needs a clear characterization of what it is that evolved, I also outline ideas for research in neurolinguistics to complement studies of the evolution of the language-ready brain. A clear challenge is to go beyond models of speech comprehension to include sign language and models of production, and to link language to visuomotor interaction with the physical and social world.

  1. A Mind of Three Minds: Evolution of the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Paul D.

    1978-01-01

    The author examines the evolutionary and neural roots of a triune intelligence comprised of a primal mind, an emotional mind, and a rational mind. A simple brain model and some definitions of unfamiliar behavioral terms are included. (Author/MA)

  2. Brucella ceti and Brucellosis in Cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Verri, Caterina; González-Barrientos, Rocío; Hernández-Mora, Gabriela; Morales, Juan-Alberto; Baquero-Calvo, Elías; Chaves-Olarte, Esteban; Moreno, Edgardo

    2012-01-01

    Since the first case of brucellosis detected in a dolphin aborted fetus, an increasing number of Brucella ceti isolates has been reported in members of the two suborders of cetaceans: Mysticeti and Odontoceti. Serological surveys have shown that cetacean brucellosis may be distributed worldwide in the oceans. Although all B. ceti isolates have been included within the same species, three different groups have been recognized according to their preferred host, bacteriological properties, and distinct genetic traits: B. ceti dolphin type, B. ceti porpoise type, and B. ceti human type. It seems that B. ceti porpoise type is more closely related to B. ceti human isolates and B. pinnipedialis group, while B. ceti dolphin type seems ancestral to them. Based on comparative phylogenetic analysis, it is feasible that the B. ceti ancestor radiated in a terrestrial artiodactyl host close to the Raoellidae family about 58 million years ago. The more likely mode of transmission of B. ceti seems to be through sexual intercourse, maternal feeding, aborted fetuses, placental tissues, vertical transmission from mother to the fetus or through fish or helminth reservoirs. The B. ceti dolphin and porpoise types seem to display variable virulence in land animal models and low infectivity for humans. However, brucellosis in some dolphins and porpoises has been demonstrated to be a severe chronic disease, displaying significant clinical and pathological signs related to abortions, male infertility, neurobrucellosis, cardiopathies, bone and skin lesions, strandings, and death. PMID:22919595

  3. Our Brains are Wired for Morality: Evolution, Development, and Neuroscience

    OpenAIRE

    Decety, Jean; Cowell, Jason M.

    2016-01-01

    Psychological and neuroscience research both tell us that morality, our mental ability to tell right from wrong in our behaviors and the behaviors of others, is a product of evolution. Morality has been passed on through the course of evolution because it helps us to live in large social groups by enhancing our ability to get along and interact with others. “Building blocks” of morality, such as sensing fairness, experiencing empathy, and judging others’ harmful and helpful actions, can be ob...

  4. Gorilla and Orangutan Brains Conform to the Primate Cellular Scaling Rules: Implications for Human Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Kaas, Jon H.

    2011-01-01

    Gorillas and orangutans are primates at least as large as humans, but their brains amount to about one third of the size of the human brain. This discrepancy has been used as evidence that the human brain is about 3 times larger than it should be for a primate species of its body size. In contrast to the view that the human brain is special in its size, we have suggested that it is the great apes that might have evolved bodies that are unusually large, on the basis of our recent finding that the cellular composition of the human brain matches that expected for a primate brain of its size, making the human brain a linearly scaled-up primate brain in its number of cells. To investigate whether the brain of great apes also conforms to the primate cellular scaling rules identified previously, we determine the numbers of neuronal and other cells that compose the orangutan and gorilla cerebella, use these numbers to calculate the size of the brain and of the cerebral cortex expected for these species, and show that these match the sizes described in the literature. Our results suggest that the brains of great apes also scale linearly in their numbers of neurons like other primate brains, including humans. The conformity of great apes and humans to the linear cellular scaling rules that apply to other primates that diverged earlier in primate evolution indicates that prehistoric Homo species as well as other hominins must have had brains that conformed to the same scaling rules, irrespective of their body size. We then used those scaling rules and published estimated brain volumes for various hominin species to predict the numbers of neurons that composed their brains. We predict that Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis had brains with approximately 80 billion neurons, within the range of variation found in modern Homo sapiens. We propose that while the cellular scaling rules that apply to the primate brain have remained stable in hominin evolution (since they

  5. Comparative context of Plio-Pleistocene hominin brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elton, S; Bishop, L C; Wood, B

    2001-07-01

    One of the distinguishing features of Homo sapiens is its absolutely and relatively large brain. This feature is also seen in less extreme form in some fossil Homo species. However, are increases in brain size during the Plio-Pleistocene only seen in Homo, and is brain enlargement among Plio-Pleistocene primates confined to hominins? This study examines evidence for changes in brain size for species and lineage samples of three synchronic East African fossil primate groups, the two hominin genera Homo and Paranthropus, and the cercopithecoid genus Theropithecus. Hominin endocranial capacity data were taken from the literature, but it was necessary to develop an indirect method for estimating the endocranial volume of Theropithecus. Bivariate and multivariate regression equations relating measured endocranial volume to three external cranial dimensions were developed from a large (ca. 340) sample of modern African cercopithecoids. These equations were used to estimate the endocranial volumes of 20 Theropithecus specimens from the African Plio-Pleistocene. Spearman's rho and the Hubert nonparametric test were used to search for evidence of temporal trends in both the hominin and Theropithecus data. Endocranial volume apparently increased over time in both Homo and Paranthropus boisei, but there was no evidence for temporal trends in the endocranial volume of Theropithecus. Thus, hypotheses which suggest a mix of environmental, social, dietary, or other factors as catalysts for increasing brain in Plio-Pleistocene primates must accommodate evidence of brain enlargement in both Homo and Paranthropus, and explain why this phenomenon appears to be restricted to hominins. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  6. Reconstructing the ups and downs of primate brain evolution: implications for adaptive hypotheses and Homo floresiensis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barton Robert A

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain size is a key adaptive trait. It is often assumed that increasing brain size was a general evolutionary trend in primates, yet recent fossil discoveries have documented brain size decreases in some lineages, raising the question of how general a trend there was for brains to increase in mass over evolutionary time. We present the first systematic phylogenetic analysis designed to answer this question. Results We performed ancestral state reconstructions of three traits (absolute brain mass, absolute body mass, relative brain mass using 37 extant and 23 extinct primate species and three approaches to ancestral state reconstruction: parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian Markov-chain Monte Carlo. Both absolute and relative brain mass generally increased over evolutionary time, but body mass did not. Nevertheless both absolute and relative brain mass decreased along several branches. Applying these results to the contentious case of Homo floresiensis, we find a number of scenarios under which the proposed evolution of Homo floresiensis' small brain appears to be consistent with patterns observed along other lineages, dependent on body mass and phylogenetic position. Conclusions Our results confirm that brain expansion began early in primate evolution and show that increases occurred in all major clades. Only in terms of an increase in absolute mass does the human lineage appear particularly striking, with both the rate of proportional change in mass and relative brain size having episodes of greater expansion elsewhere on the primate phylogeny. However, decreases in brain mass also occurred along branches in all major clades, and we conclude that, while selection has acted to enlarge primate brains, in some lineages this trend has been reversed. Further analyses of the phylogenetic position of Homo floresiensis and better body mass estimates are required to confirm the plausibility of the evolution of its small brain

  7. Evidence of recombination and positive selection in cetacean papillomaviruses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robles-Sikisaka, Refugio; Rivera, Rebecca; Nollens, Hendrik H.; St Leger, Judy; Durden, Wendy N.; Stolen, Megan; Burchell, Jennifer; Wellehan, James F.X.

    2012-01-01

    Papillomaviruses (PVs) are small DNA viruses that have been associated with increased epithelial proliferation. Over one hundred PV types have been identified in humans; however, only three have been identified in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to date. Using rolling circle amplification and degenerate PCR, we identified four novel PV genomes of bottlenose dolphins. TtPV4, TtPV5 and TtPV6 were identified in genital lesions while TtPV7 was identified in normal genital mucosa. Bayesian analysis of the full-length L1 genes found that TtPV4 and TtPV7 group within the Upsilonpapillomavirus genus while TtPV5 and TtPV6 group with Omikronpapillomavirus. However, analysis of the E1 gene did not distinguish these genera, implying that these genes may not share a common history, consistent with recombination. Recombination analyses identified several probable events. Signals of positive selection were found mostly in the E1 and E2 genes. Recombination and diversifying selection pressures constitute important driving forces of cetacean PV evolution.

  8. Evidence of recombination and positive selection in cetacean papillomaviruses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robles-Sikisaka, Refugio, E-mail: refugio.robles1@gmail.com [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); Rivera, Rebecca, E-mail: RRivera@hswri.org [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); Nollens, Hendrik H., E-mail: Hendrik.Nollens@SeaWorld.com [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, PO Box 110885, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States); SeaWorld San Diego, 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); St Leger, Judy, E-mail: Judy.St.Leger@SeaWorld.com [SeaWorld San Diego, 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); Durden, Wendy N., E-mail: WNoke@hswri.org [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, 3830 South Highway A1A 4-181, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951 (United States); Stolen, Megan, E-mail: MStolen@hswri.org [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, 3830 South Highway A1A 4-181, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951 (United States); Burchell, Jennifer, E-mail: JBurchell@hswri.org [Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Center for Marine Veterinary Virology, 2595 Ingraham Street, San Diego, CA 92109 (United States); Wellehan, James F.X., E-mail: WellehanJ@ufl.edu [College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, PO Box 110885, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)

    2012-06-05

    Papillomaviruses (PVs) are small DNA viruses that have been associated with increased epithelial proliferation. Over one hundred PV types have been identified in humans; however, only three have been identified in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) to date. Using rolling circle amplification and degenerate PCR, we identified four novel PV genomes of bottlenose dolphins. TtPV4, TtPV5 and TtPV6 were identified in genital lesions while TtPV7 was identified in normal genital mucosa. Bayesian analysis of the full-length L1 genes found that TtPV4 and TtPV7 group within the Upsilonpapillomavirus genus while TtPV5 and TtPV6 group with Omikronpapillomavirus. However, analysis of the E1 gene did not distinguish these genera, implying that these genes may not share a common history, consistent with recombination. Recombination analyses identified several probable events. Signals of positive selection were found mostly in the E1 and E2 genes. Recombination and diversifying selection pressures constitute important driving forces of cetacean PV evolution.

  9. Evaluating the impacts of marine debris on cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baulch, Sarah; Perry, Clare

    2014-03-15

    Global in its distribution and pervading all levels of the water column, marine debris poses a serious threat to marine habitats and wildlife. For cetaceans, ingestion or entanglement in debris can cause chronic and acute injuries and increase pollutant loads, resulting in morbidity and mortality. However, knowledge of the severity of effects lags behind that for other species groups. This literature review examines the impacts of marine debris on cetaceans reported to date. It finds that ingestion of debris has been documented in 48 (56% of) cetacean species, with rates of ingestion as high as 31% in some populations. Debris-induced mortality rates of 0-22% of stranded animals were documented, suggesting that debris could be a significant conservation threat to some populations. We identify key data that need to be collected and published to improve understanding of the threat that marine debris poses to cetaceans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Key research questions of global importance for cetacean conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, E. C. M.

    2016-02-01

    Limited resources and increasing environmental concerns have prompted calls to identify the critical questions that most need to be answered to advance conservation, thereby providing an agenda for scientific research priorities. Cetaceans are often keystone indicator species but also high profile, charismatic flagship taxa that capture public and media attention as well as political interest. A dedicated workshop was held at the conference of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (December 2013, New Zealand) to identify where lack of data was hindering cetacean conservation and which questions need to be addressed most urgently. This paper summarizes 15 themes and component questions prioritized during the workshop. We hope this list will encourage cetacean conservation-orientated research and help agencies and policy makers to prioritize funding and future activities. This will ultimately remove some of the current obstacles to science-based cetacean conservation.

  11. Northern Right Whale and Cetacean Survey (DE0108, EK500)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The right whale and cetacean survey primarily focuses on right whales in the coastal and continental shelf areas, with the following objectives: 1) Develop a better...

  12. Biologically Important Areas for Cetaceans within U.S. Waters

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Biologically important areas (BIAs) for cetaceans were defined by compiling the best available information from scientific literature (including books, peer-reviewed...

  13. Development of the cetacean nasal skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klima, M

    1999-01-01

    The adaptation of cetaceans to aquatic life habits is reflected, in their nasal region, in three marked changes from the original relations found in land mammals. These changes include (1) the loss of the sense of smell, (2) translocation of the nostrils from the tip of the rostrum to the vertex of the head, and (3) elongation of the anterior head to form a rostrum protruding far towards anterior. The morphogenetic processes taking place during embryogenesis of the nasal skull play a decisive part in the development of all these changes. The lateral parts of the embryonic nasal capsule, encompassing the nasal passages, change their position from horizontal to vertical. At the same time, the structures of the original nasal floor (the solum nasi) are shifted in front of the nasal passages towards the rostrum. The structures of the original nasal roof (the tectum nasi) and of the nasal side wall (the paries nasi) are translocated behind the nasal passages towards the neurocranium. The medial nasal septum (the septum nasi) mostly loses its connection to the nasal passages and is produced into a point protruding far towards anterior. The transformed embryonic nasal skull of the Cetacea can be divided into three sections: 1. The median structures. These include the cartilaginous structures, viz., the rostrum nasi, the septum interorbitale and the spina mesethmoidalis, which are accompanied by the dermal bones, the vomer and the praemaxillare. In adult cetaceans the rostrum nasi is mostly preserved as a robust cartilage of the skull, which may possibly serve as a sound transmitting structure of the sonar system, or it may be responsible for the sensing of water streams and vibrations. 2. The posterior side wall structures. These include the following cartilaginous structures that are mostly heavily reduced or mutually fused: the cupula nasi anterior, the tectum nasi, the lamina cribrosa, the paries nasi, the commissura orbitonasalis, the cupula nasi posterior, the

  14. Human Brain Expansion during Evolution Is Independent of Fire Control and Cooking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornélio, Alianda M; de Bittencourt-Navarrete, Ruben E; de Bittencourt Brum, Ricardo; Queiroz, Claudio M; Costa, Marcos R

    2016-01-01

    What makes humans unique? This question has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries and it is still a matter of intense debate. Nowadays, human brain expansion during evolution has been acknowledged to explain our empowered cognitive capabilities. The drivers for such accelerated expansion remain, however, largely unknown. In this sense, studies have suggested that the cooking of food could be a pre-requisite for the expansion of brain size in early hominins. However, this appealing hypothesis is only supported by a mathematical model suggesting that the increasing number of neurons in the brain would constrain body size among primates due to a limited amount of calories obtained from diets. Here, we show, by using a similar mathematical model, that a tradeoff between body mass and the number of brain neurons imposed by dietary constraints during hominin evolution is unlikely. Instead, the predictable number of neurons in the hominin brain varies much more in function of foraging efficiency than body mass. We also review archeological data to show that the expansion of the brain volume in the hominin lineage is described by a linear function independent of evidence of fire control, and therefore, thermal processing of food does not account for this phenomenon. Finally, we report experiments in mice showing that thermal processing of meat does not increase its caloric availability in mice. Altogether, our data indicate that cooking is neither sufficient nor necessary to explain hominin brain expansion.

  15. Human brain expansion during evolution is independent of fire control and cooking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alianda Maira Cornélio

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available What makes humans unique? This question has fascinated scientists and philosophers for centuries and it is still a matter of intense debate. Nowadays, human brain expansion during evolution has been acknowledged to explain our empowered cognitive capabilities. The drivers for such accelerated expansion remain, however, largely unknown. In this sense, studies have suggested that the cooking of food could be a pre-requisite for the expansion of brain size in early hominins. However, this appealing hypothesis is only supported by a mathematical model suggesting that the increasing number of neurons in the brain would constrain body size among primates due to a limited amount of calories obtained from diets. Here, we show, by using a similar mathematical model, that a tradeoff between body mass and the number of brain neurons imposed by dietary constraints during hominin evolution is unlikely. Instead, the predictable number of neurons in the hominin brain varies much more in function of foraging efficiency than body mass. We also review archeological data to show that the expansion of the brain volume in the hominin lineage is described by a linear function independent of evidences of fire control, and therefore, thermal processing of food does not account for this phenomenon. Finally, we report experiments in mice showing that thermal processing of meat does not increase its caloric availability in mice. Altogether, our data indicate that cooking is neither sufficient nor necessary to explain hominin brain expansion.

  16. History and evolution of brain tumor imaging: insights through radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Mauricio

    2014-11-01

    This review recounts the history of brain tumor diagnosis from antiquity to the present and, indirectly, the history of neuroradiology. Imaging of the brain has from the beginning held an enormous interest because of the inherent difficulty of this endeavor due to the presence of the skull. Because of this, most techniques when newly developed have always been used in neuroradiology and, although some have proved to be inappropriate for this purpose, many were easily incorporated into the specialty. The first major advance in modern neuroimaging was contrast agent-enhanced computed tomography, which permitted accurate anatomic localization of brain tumors and, by virtue of contrast enhancement, malignant ones. The most important advances in neuroimaging occurred with the development of magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted sequences that allowed an indirect estimation of tumor cellularity; this was further refined by the development of perfusion and permeability mapping. From its beginnings with indirect and purely anatomic imaging techniques, neuroradiology now uses a combination of anatomic and physiologic techniques that will play a critical role in biologic tumor imaging and radiologic genomics.

  17. Evolution of brain and culture: the neurological and cognitive journey from Australopithecus to Albert Einstein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Dean

    2016-06-20

    Fossil and comparative primatological evidence suggest that alterations in the development of prehistoric hominin infants kindled three consecutive evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) trends that, ultimately, paved the way for the evolution of the human brain and cognition. In the earliest trend, infants' development of posture and locomotion became delayed because of anatomical changes that accompanied the prolonged evolution of bipedalism. Because modern humans have inherited these changes, our babies are much slower than other primates to reach developmental milestones such as standing, crawling, and walking. The delay in ancestral babies' physical development eventually precipitated an evolutionary reversal in which they became increasing unable to cling independently to their mothers. For the first time in prehistory, babies were, thus, periodically deprived of direct physical contact with their mothers. This prompted the emergence of a second evo-devo trend in which infants sought contact comfort from caregivers using evolved signals, including new ways of crying that are conserved in modern babies. Such signaling stimulated intense reciprocal interactions between prehistoric mothers and infants that seeded the eventual emergence of motherese and, subsequently, protolanguage. The third trend was for an extreme acceleration in brain growth that began prior to the last trimester of gestation and continued through infants' first postnatal year (early "brain spurt"). Conservation of this trend in modern babies explains why human brains reach adult sizes that are over three times those of chimpanzees. The fossil record of hominin cranial capacities together with comparative neuroanatomical data suggest that, around 3 million years ago, early brain spurts began to facilitate an evolutionary trajectory for increasingly large adult brains in association with neurological reorganization. The prehistoric increase in brain size eventually caused parturition to become

  18. Epigenomic annotation of gene regulatory alterations during evolution of the primate brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermunt, Marit W; Tan, Sander C; Castelijns, Bas; Geeven, Geert; Reinink, Peter; de Bruijn, Ewart; Kondova, Ivanela; Persengiev, Stephan; Bontrop, Ronald; Cuppen, Edwin; de Laat, Wouter; Creyghton, Menno P

    Although genome sequencing has identified numerous noncoding alterations between primate species, which of those are regulatory and potentially relevant to the evolution of the human brain is unclear. Here we annotated cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in the human, rhesus macaque and chimpanzee

  19. A Video Game for Learning Brain Evolution: A Resource or a Strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa Gomez, Luisa Fernanda; Bohorquez Sotelo, Maria Cristina; Roja Higuera, Naydu Shirley; Rodriguez Mendoza, Brigitte Julieth

    2016-01-01

    Learning resources are part of the educational process of students. However, how video games act as learning resources in a population that has not selected the virtual formation as their main methodology? The aim of this study was to identify the influence of a video game in the learning process of brain evolution. For this purpose, the opinions…

  20. Plausible mechanisms for brain structural and size changes in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blazek, Vladimir; Brùzek, Jaroslav; Casanova, Manuel F

    2011-09-01

    Encephalization has many contexts and implications. On one hand, it is concerned with the transformation of eating habits, social relationships and communication, cognitive skills and the mind. Along with the increase in brain size on the other hand, encephalization is connected with the creation of more complex brain structures, namely in the cerebral cortex. It is imperative to inquire into the mechanisms which are linked with brain growth and to find out which of these mechanisms allow it and determine it. There exist a number of theories for understanding human brain evolution which originate from neurological sciences. These theories are the concept of radial units, minicolumns, mirror neurons, and neurocognitive networks. Over the course of evolution, it is evident that a whole range of changes have taken place in regards to heredity. These changes include new mutations of genes in the microcephalin complex, gene duplications, gene co-expression, and genomic imprinting. This complex study of the growth and reorganization of the brain and the functioning of hereditary factors and their external influences creates an opportunity to consider the implications of cultural evolution and cognitive faculties.

  1. Epigenomic annotation of gene regulatory alterations during evolution of the primate brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermunt, Marit W; Tan, Sander C; Castelijns, Bas; Geeven, Geert; Reinink, Peter; de Bruijn, Ewart; Kondova, Ivanela; Persengiev, Stephan; Bontrop, Ronald; Cuppen, Edwin; de Laat, Wouter; Creyghton, Menno P

    2016-03-01

    Although genome sequencing has identified numerous noncoding alterations between primate species, which of those are regulatory and potentially relevant to the evolution of the human brain is unclear. Here we annotated cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in the human, rhesus macaque and chimpanzee genomes using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) in different anatomical regions of the adult brain. We found high similarity in the genomic positioning of rhesus macaque and human CREs, suggesting that the majority of these elements were already present in a common ancestor 25 million years ago. Most of the observed regulatory changes between humans and rhesus macaques occurred before the ancestral separation of humans and chimpanzees, leaving a modest set of regulatory elements with predicted human specificity. Our data refine previous predictions and hypotheses on the consequences of genomic changes between primate species and allow the identification of regulatory alterations relevant to the evolution of the brain.

  2. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M Loerch

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4. However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

  3. Of mice and genes: evolution of vertebrate brain development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritzsch, B.

    1998-01-01

    In this review the current understanding of genetic and molecular evolution of development, in particular the formation of the major axis of bilateral animals, is critically evaluated, and the early pattern formation in the hindbrain is related as much as possible to these processes. On the genetic level it is proposed that the exuberant multiplication of regulatory genes compared to that of structural genes relates to the increased flexibility of early vertebrate development. In comparisons to fruit flies, many conserved genes are found to be expressed very differently, while many others seem to reflect a comparable pattern and thus suggest a conservation of function. Even genes with a largely conserved pattern of expression may change the level at which they are expressed and the mechanisms by which they are regulated in their expression. Evolution and development of hindbrain motoneurons is reviewed, and it is concluded that both comparative data as well as more recent experimental data suggest a limited importance for the rhombomeres. Clearly, many cell fate-specifying processes work below the level of rhombomeres or in the absence of rhombomeres. It is suggested that more comparative developmental data are needed to establish firmly the relationship between homeobox genes and rhombomere specification in vertebrates other than a few model species.

  4. Rod monochromacy and the coevolution of cetacean retinal opsins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert W Meredith

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Cetaceans have a long history of commitment to a fully aquatic lifestyle that extends back to the Eocene. Extant species have evolved a spectacular array of adaptations in conjunction with their deployment into a diverse array of aquatic habitats. Sensory systems are among those that have experienced radical transformations in the evolutionary history of this clade. In the case of vision, previous studies have demonstrated important changes in the genes encoding rod opsin (RH1, short-wavelength sensitive opsin 1 (SWS1, and long-wavelength sensitive opsin (LWS in selected cetaceans, but have not examined the full complement of opsin genes across the complete range of cetacean families. Here, we report protein-coding sequences for RH1 and both color opsin genes (SWS1, LWS from representatives of all extant cetacean families. We examine competing hypotheses pertaining to the timing of blue shifts in RH1 relative to SWS1 inactivation in the early history of Cetacea, and we test the hypothesis that some cetaceans are rod monochomats. Molecular evolutionary analyses contradict the "coastal" hypothesis, wherein SWS1 was pseudogenized in the common ancestor of Cetacea, and instead suggest that RH1 was blue-shifted in the common ancestor of Cetacea before SWS1 was independently knocked out in baleen whales (Mysticeti and in toothed whales (Odontoceti. Further, molecular evidence implies that LWS was inactivated convergently on at least five occasions in Cetacea: (1 Balaenidae (bowhead and right whales, (2 Balaenopteroidea (rorquals plus gray whale, (3 Mesoplodon bidens (Sowerby's beaked whale, (4 Physeter macrocephalus (giant sperm whale, and (5 Kogia breviceps (pygmy sperm whale. All of these cetaceans are known to dive to depths of at least 100 m where the underwater light field is dim and dominated by blue light. The knockout of both SWS1 and LWS in multiple cetacean lineages renders these taxa rod monochromats, a condition previously unknown among

  5. Friends with Social Benefits: Host-Microbe Interactions as a Driver of Brain Evolution and Development?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman M Stilling

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The tight association of the human body with trillions of colonizing microbes that we observe today is the result of a long evolutionary history. Only very recently have we started to understand how this symbiosis also affects brain function and behaviour. Here in this hypothesis and theory article, we propose how host-microbe associations potentially influenced mammalian brain evolution and development. In particular, we explore the integration of human brain development with evolution, symbiosis, and RNA biology, which together represent a ‘social triangle’ that drives human social behaviour and cognition. We argue that, in order to understand how inter-kingdom communication can affect brain adaptation and plasticity, it is inevitable to consider epigenetic mechanisms as important mediators of genome-microbiome interactions on an individual as well as a transgenerational time scale. Finally, we unite these interpretations with the hologenome theory of evolution. Taken together, we propose a tighter integration of neuroscience fields with host-associated microbiology by taking an evolutionary perspective.

  6. Friends with social benefits: host-microbe interactions as a driver of brain evolution and development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stilling, Roman M.; Bordenstein, Seth R.; Dinan, Timothy G.; Cryan, John F.

    2014-01-01

    The tight association of the human body with trillions of colonizing microbes that we observe today is the result of a long evolutionary history. Only very recently have we started to understand how this symbiosis also affects brain function and behavior. In this hypothesis and theory article, we propose how host-microbe associations potentially influenced mammalian brain evolution and development. In particular, we explore the integration of human brain development with evolution, symbiosis, and RNA biology, which together represent a “social triangle” that drives human social behavior and cognition. We argue that, in order to understand how inter-kingdom communication can affect brain adaptation and plasticity, it is inevitable to consider epigenetic mechanisms as important mediators of genome-microbiome interactions on an individual as well as a transgenerational time scale. Finally, we unite these interpretations with the hologenome theory of evolution. Taken together, we propose a tighter integration of neuroscience fields with host-associated microbiology by taking an evolutionary perspective. PMID:25401092

  7. The Bilingual Brain: Human Evolution and Second Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kirk Hagen

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available For the past half-century, psycholinguistic research has concerned itself with two mysteries of human cognition: (1 that children universally acquire a highly abstract, computationally complex set of linguistic rules rapidly and effortlessly, and (2 that second language acquisition (SLA among adults is, conversely, slow, laborious, highly variable, and virtually never results in native fluency. We now have a decent, if approximate, understanding of the biological foundations of first language acquisition, thanks in large part to Lenneberg's (1964, 1984 seminal work on the critical period hypothesis. More recently, the elements of a promising theory of language and evolution have emerged as well (see e.g. Bickerton, 1981, 1990; Leiberman, 1984, 1987. I argue here that the empirical foundations of an evolutionary theory of language are now solid enough to support an account of bilingualism and adult SLA as well. Specifically, I will show that evidence from the environment of evolutionary adaptation of paleolithic humans suggests that for our nomadic ancestors, the ability to master a language early in life was an eminently useful adaptation. However, the ability to acquire another language in adulthood was not, and consequently was not selected for propagation.

  8. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUBPLATE FOR EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENTAL PLASTICITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILOS eJUDAS

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The human life-history is characterized by long development and introduction of new developmental stages, such as childhood and adolescence. The developing brain had important role in these life-history changes because it is expensive tissue which uses up to 80% of resting metabolic rate in the newborn and continues to use almost 50% of it during the first 5 postnatal years. Our hominid ancestors managed to lift-up metabolic constraints to increase in brain size by several interrelated ecological, behavioral and social adaptations, such as dietary change, invention of cooking, creation of family-bonded reproductive units, and life-history changes. This opened new vistas for the developing brain, because it became possible to metabolically support transient patterns of brain organization as well as developmental brain plasticity for much longer period and with much greater number of neurons and connectivity combinations in comparison to apes. This included the shaping of cortical connections through the interaction with infant's social environment, which probably enhanced typically human evolution of language, cognition and self-awareness. In this review, we propose that the transient subplate zone and its postnatal remnant (interstitial neurons of the gyral white matter probably served as the main playground for evolution of these developmental shifts, and describe various features that makes human subplate uniquely positioned to have such a role in comparison with other primates.

  9. Stable isotopes of captive cetaceans (killer whales and bottlenose dolphins).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caut, Stéphane; Laran, Sophie; Garcia-Hartmann, Emmanuel; Das, Krishna

    2011-02-15

    There is currently a great deal of interest in using stable isotope methods to investigate diet, trophic level and migration in wild cetaceans. In order to correctly interpret the results stemming from these methods, it is crucial to understand how diet isotopic values are reflected in consumer tissues. In this study, we investigated patterns of isotopic discrimination between diet and blood constituents of two species of cetaceans (killer whale, Orcinus orca, and bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus) fed controlled diets over 308 and 312 days, respectively. Diet discrimination factors (Δ; mean ± s.d.) for plasma were estimated to Δ(13)C=2.3±0.6‰ and Δ(15)N=1.8±0.3‰, respectively, for both species and to Δ(13)C=2.7±0.3‰ and Δ(15)N=0.5±0.1‰ for red blood cells. Delipidation did not have a significant effect on carbon and nitrogen isotopic values of blood constituents, confirming that cetacean blood does not serve as a reservoir of lipids. In contrast, carbon isotopic values were higher in delipidated samples of blubber, liver and muscle from killer whales. The potential for conflict between fisheries and cetaceans has heightened the need for trophic information about these taxa. These results provide the first published stable isotope incorporation data for cetaceans, which are essential if conclusions are to be drawn on issues concerning trophic structures, carbon sources and diet reconstruction.

  10. Mechanisms of brain evolution: regulation of neural progenitor cell diversity and cell cycle length.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrell, Victor; Calegari, Federico

    2014-09-01

    In the last few years, several studies have revisited long-held assumptions in the field of brain development and evolution providing us with a fundamentally new vision on the mechanisms controlling its size and shape, hence function. Among these studies, some described hitherto unforeseeable subtypes of neural progenitors while others reinterpreted long-known observations about their cell cycle in alternative new ways. Most remarkably, this knowledge combined has allowed the generation of mammalian model organisms in which brain size and folding has been selectively increased giving us the means to understand the mechanisms underlying the evolution of the most complex and sophisticated organ. Here we review the key findings made in this area and make a few conjectures about their evolutionary meaning including the likelihood of Martians conquering our planet. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Relationship of squamosal suture to asterion in pongids (Pan): relevance to early hominid brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, R L; Shapiro, J S

    1992-11-01

    Based on 244 measurements of the relationship of the squamosal suture to the landmark asterion in 49 chimpanzee skulls, it is shown that in the normal lateral view the squamosal suture is very rarely inferior to asterion. In hominid crania, the squamosal suture is always well superior to asterion. Even in Pan, that part of the squamosal suture most homologous with the remnant found on the Hadar AL 162-28 Australopithecus afarensis hominid cranial fragment is very rarely inferior to asterion. Such variability suggests that Falk's (Nature 313:45-47, 1985) orientation of the Hadar specimen is incorrect; she places asterion superior to the position of the squamosal suture if projected endocranially. The implication for the brain endocast is that, however the fragment is oriented, the posterior aspect of the intraparietal (IP) sulcus is in a very posterior position relative to any chimpanzee brain. The distance from the posterior aspect of IP to occipital pole is twice as great in chimpanzee brain casts than on the Hadar AL 162-28 endocast, even though the chimpanzee brain casts are smaller in overall size. This suggests that brain reorganization, at least as exemplified as a reduction in primary visual striate cortex (area 17 of Brodmann), occurred early in hominid evolution, prior to any major brain expansion.

  12. Development and evolution of brain allometry in wasps (Vespidae): size, ecology and sociality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Sean; Bulova, Susan

    2017-08-01

    We review research on brain development and brain evolution in the wasp family Vespidae. Basic vespid neuroanatomy and some aspects of functional neural circuitry are well-characterized, and genomic tools for exploring brain plasticity are being developed. Although relatively modest in terms of species richness, the Vespidae include species spanning much of the known range of animal social complexity, from solitary nesters to highly eusocial species with some of the largest known colonies and multiple reproductives. Eusocial species differ in behavior and ecology including variation in queen/worker caste differentiation and in diurnal/nocturnal activity. Species differences in overall brain size are strongly associated with brain allometry; relative sizes of visual processing tissues increase at faster rates than antennal processing tissues. The lower relative size of the central-processing mushroom bodies (MB) in eusocial species compared to solitary relatives suggests sociality may relax demands on individual cognitive abilities. However, queens have greater relative MB volumes than their workers, and MB development is positively associated with social dominance status in some species. Fruitful areas for future investigations of adaptive brain investment in the clade include sampling of key overlooked taxa with diverse social structures, and the analysis of neural correlations with ecological divergence in foraging resources and diel activity patterns. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Alveoli, teeth, and tooth loss: Understanding the homology of internal mandibular structures in mysticete cetaceans.

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    Carlos Mauricio Peredo

    Full Text Available The evolution of filter feeding in baleen whales (Mysticeti facilitated a wide range of ecological diversity and extreme gigantism. The innovation of filter feeding evolved in a shift from a mineralized upper and lower dentition in stem mysticetes to keratinous baleen plates that hang only from the roof of the mouth in extant species, which are all edentulous as adults. While all extant mysticetes are born with a mandible lacking a specialized feeding structure (i.e., baleen, the bony surface retains small foramina with elongated sulci that often merge together in what has been termed the alveolar gutter. Because mysticete embryos develop tooth buds that resorb in utero, these foramina have been interpreted as homologous to tooth alveoli in other mammals. Here, we test this homology by creating 3D models of the internal mandibular morphology from terrestrial artiodactyls and fossil and extant cetaceans, including stem cetaceans, odontocetes and mysticetes. We demonstrate that dorsal foramina on the mandible communicate with the mandibular canal via smaller canals, which we explain within the context of known mechanical models of bone resorption. We suggest that these dorsal foramina represent distinct branches of the inferior alveolar nerve (or artery, rather than alveoli homologous with those of other mammals. As a functional explanation, we propose that these branches provide sensation to the dorsal margin of the mandible to facilitate placement and occlusion of the baleen plates during filer feeding.

  14. Brain size evolution in pipefishes and seahorses: the role of feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboi, M; Lim, A C O; Ooi, B L; Yip, M Y; Chong, V C; Ahnesjö, I; Kolm, N

    2017-01-01

    Brain size varies greatly at all taxonomic levels. Feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection have been proposed as key components in generating contemporary diversity in brain size across vertebrates. Analyses of brain size evolution have, however, been limited to lineages where males predominantly compete for mating and females choose mates. Here, we present the first original data set of brain sizes in pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae) a group in which intense female mating competition occurs in many species. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and overall body size, brain size was positively correlated with relative snout length. Moreover, we found that females, on average, had 4.3% heavier brains than males and that polyandrous species demonstrated more pronounced (11.7%) female-biased brain size dimorphism. Our results suggest that adaptations for feeding on mobile prey items and sexual selection in females are important factors in brain size evolution of pipefishes and seahorses. Most importantly, our study supports the idea that sexual selection plays a major role in brain size evolution, regardless of on which sex sexual selection acts stronger. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  15. Multi-stakeholder collaboration yields valuable data for cetacean ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Multi-stakeholder collaboration yields valuable data for cetacean conservation in Gamba, Gabon. ... African Journal of Marine Science ... and monitoring, the documentation of the distribution of and threats to the marine megafauna, and capacity-building among government agents and local early-career scientists. During 22 ...

  16. Estimates of cetacean abundance in European Atlantic waters in summer

    OpenAIRE

    Hammond, P.S. (Phil) et al. (incl. Santos, M.B. (Maria Begoña)

    2017-01-01

    This report summarises design-based estimates of abundance for those cetacean species for which sufficient data were obtained during SCANS-III: harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, white-beaked dolphin, white-sided dolphin, common dolphin, striped dolphin, pilot whale, all beaked whale species combined, sperm whale, minke whale and fin whale.

  17. Preliminary Assessment of Cetacean Incidental Mortality in Artisanal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cetacean by-catch in artisanal fisheries in the southwestern region of Madagascar was previously documented through surveys conducted in this region. To build on initial findings, a research project was conducted to further evaluate by-catch in this region. Interview surveys were conducted between October 2005 and ...

  18. Distribution and seasonality of cetaceans in tropical waters between ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The species richness, spatial distribution, seasonality and interspecific associations of cetaceans in tropical oceanic waters between the Gulf of Guinea and Angola were examined using 5 905.3 h of dedicated survey effort collected from 13 platforms of opportunity (geophysical vessels) between 2004 and 2009, and from ...

  19. Evolution of brain-computer interfaces: going beyond classic motor physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuthardt, Eric C.; Schalk, Gerwin; Roland, Jarod; Rouse, Adam; Moran, Daniel W.

    2010-01-01

    The notion that a computer can decode brain signals to infer the intentions of a human and then enact those intentions directly through a machine is becoming a realistic technical possibility. These types of devices are known as brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). The evolution of these neuroprosthetic technologies could have significant implications for patients with motor disabilities by enhancing their ability to interact and communicate with their environment. The cortical physiology most investigated and used for device control has been brain signals from the primary motor cortex. To date, this classic motor physiology has been an effective substrate for demonstrating the potential efficacy of BCI-based control. However, emerging research now stands to further enhance our understanding of the cortical physiology underpinning human intent and provide further signals for more complex brain-derived control. In this review, the authors report the current status of BCIs and detail the emerging research trends that stand to augment clinical applications in the future. PMID:19569892

  20. Psychosis: a costly by-product of social brain evolution in Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Jonathan Kenneth

    2006-07-01

    The plethora of varied and often conflictual research evidence on the functional psychoses calls for a unifying explanatory framework. An evolutionary framework is appropriate in view of the paradoxical epidemiology of the disorders. Evolutionary models that rely on balanced polymorphism or group selection models are not supported by the evidence. Rather, a hypothesis is presented arguing that the spectrum of psychoses should be regarded as a costly by-product of social brain evolution in Homo sapiens. Under social selective pressures, hominid ancestors evolved a sophisticated neural network supporting social cognition and adaptive interpersonal behaviour--this is termed the 'social brain'. The functional psychoses (and schizophrenia in particular) are characterised by functional and structural deficits in these fronto-temporal and fronto-parietal circuits; hence the epithet 'social brain disorders' is fitting. I argue that accumulating evidence for an evolved social brain calls for a new philosophy of mind; a philosophy focussed on the social and interpersonal nature of human experience and derived from the philosophies of Fromm, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty. Such a paradigm shift would aid modern neuroscience in finally abandoning Cartesian dualism and would guide psychiatry towards an integrated and 'socio-neurologically' embedded understanding of mental disorders.

  1. Differential Temporal Evolution Patterns in Brain Temperature in Different Ischemic Tissues in a Monkey Model of Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion

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    Zhihua Sun

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain temperature is elevated in acute ischemic stroke, especially in the ischemic penumbra (IP. We attempted to investigate the dynamic evolution of brain temperature in different ischemic regions in a monkey model of middle cerebral artery occlusion. The brain temperature of different ischemic regions was measured with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS, and the evolution processes of brain temperature were compared among different ischemic regions. We found that the normal (baseline brain temperature of the monkey brain was 37.16°C. In the artery occlusion stage, the mean brain temperature of ischemic tissue was 1.16°C higher than the baseline; however, this increase was region dependent, with 1.72°C in the IP, 1.08°C in the infarct core, and 0.62°C in the oligemic region. After recanalization, the brain temperature of the infarct core showed a pattern of an initial decrease accompanied by a subsequent increase. However, the brain temperature of the IP and oligemic region showed a monotonously and slowly decreased pattern. Our study suggests that in vivo measurement of brain temperature could help to identify whether ischemic tissue survives.

  2. Decreasing sleep requirement with increasing numbers of neurons as a driver for bigger brains and bodies in mammalian evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2015-10-07

    Mammals sleep between 3 and 20 h d(-1), but what regulates daily sleep requirement is unknown. While mammalian evolution has been characterized by a tendency towards larger bodies and brains, sustaining larger bodies and brains requires increasing hours of feeding per day, which is incompatible with a large sleep requirement. Mammalian evolution, therefore, must involve mechanisms that tie increasing body and brain size to decreasing sleep requirements. Here I show that daily sleep requirement decreases across mammalian species and in rat postnatal development with a decreasing ratio between cortical neuronal density and surface area, which presumably causes sleep-inducing metabolites to accumulate more slowly in the parenchyma. Because addition of neurons to the non-primate cortex in mammalian evolution decreases this ratio, I propose that increasing numbers of cortical neurons led to decreased sleep requirement in evolution that allowed for more hours of feeding and increased body mass, which would then facilitate further increases in numbers of brain neurons through a larger caloric intake per hour. Coupling of increasing numbers of neurons to decreasing sleep requirement and increasing hours of feeding thus may have not only allowed but also driven the trend of increasing brain and body mass in mammalian evolution. © 2015 The Author(s).

  3. Inactivation of the olfactory marker protein (OMP) gene in river dolphins and other odontocete cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Mark S; Gatesy, John

    2017-04-01

    Various toothed whales (Odontoceti) are unique among mammals in lacking olfactory bulbs as adults and are thought to be anosmic (lacking the olfactory sense). At the molecular level, toothed whales have high percentages of pseudogenic olfactory receptor genes, but species that have been investigated to date retain an intact copy of the olfactory marker protein gene (OMP), which is highly expressed in olfactory receptor neurons and may regulate the temporal resolution of olfactory responses. One hypothesis for the retention of intact OMP in diverse odontocete lineages is that this gene is pleiotropic with additional functions that are unrelated to olfaction. Recent expression studies provide some support for this hypothesis. Here, we report OMP sequences for representatives of all extant cetacean families and provide the first molecular evidence for inactivation of this gene in vertebrates. Specifically, OMP exhibits independent inactivating mutations in six different odontocete lineages: four river dolphin genera (Platanista, Lipotes, Pontoporia, Inia), sperm whale (Physeter), and harbor porpoise (Phocoena). These results suggest that the only essential role of OMP that is maintained by natural selection is in olfaction, although a non-olfactory role for OMP cannot be ruled out for lineages that retain an intact copy of this gene. Available genome sequences from cetaceans and close outgroups provide evidence of inactivating mutations in two additional genes (CNGA2, CNGA4), which imply further pseudogenization events in the olfactory cascade of odontocetes. Selection analyses demonstrate that evolutionary constraints on all three genes (OMP, CNGA2, CNGA4) have been greatly reduced in Odontoceti, but retain a signature of purifying selection on the stem Cetacea branch and in Mysticeti (baleen whales). This pattern is compatible with the 'echolocation-priority' hypothesis for the evolution of OMP, which posits that negative selection was maintained in the common

  4. Cetacean diversity on the Parnaiba Delta, Maranhão state, northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FA. Magalhães

    Full Text Available The increase in the research of cetacean surveys on the Brazilian coast has brought new data on the distribution of species never reported before. The present work reviews the current knowledge on cetaceans species and extends this knowledge with an analysis of cetaceans stranded in the Parnaiba Delta, on the coast of Maranhão State, Brazil. The studies on cetacean diversity on the coast of the Parnaíba Delta were made from August 2004 to August 2006. Fourteen strandings were reported, representing six distinct species, such as the estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis, humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera edeni, dwarf minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata, pigmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata, sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus and two specimens which have not yet been identified. The significant degree of cetacean diversity in the region shows that the Parnaíba Delta is, possibly, of an important area for cetacean studies in Brasil.

  5. Cetacean diversity on the Parnaiba Delta, Maranhão state, northeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magalhães, F A; Tosi, C H; Garri, R G; Chellappa, S; Silva, F L

    2008-08-01

    The increase in the research of cetacean surveys on the Brazilian coast has brought new data on the distribution of species never reported before. The present work reviews the current knowledge on cetaceans species and extends this knowledge with an analysis of cetaceans stranded in the Parnaiba Delta, on the coast of Maranhão State, Brazil. The studies on cetacean diversity on the coast of the Parnaíba Delta were made from August 2004 to August 2006. Fourteen strandings were reported, representing six distinct species, such as the estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), Bryde's whales (Balaenoptera edeni), dwarf minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), pigmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata), sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and two specimens which have not yet been identified. The significant degree of cetacean diversity in the region shows that the Parnaíba Delta is, possibly, of an important area for cetacean studies in Brasil.

  6. PIXE analysis of trace elements in cetacean teeth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitani, Yoko; Arai, Nobuaki; Sakamoto, Wataru; Yoshida, Koji

    1997-01-01

    PIXE was adopted for analysis of trace elements in teeth of two species of cetaceans, sperm whale (Physeter microcephalus) and pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata). The analyses were performed along with the growth layer of the teeth, which is formed annually, suitable for age determination. Mn, Fe, Cu, Zu and Sr were detected in the teeth of sperm whale and pantropical spotted dolphin. Among these trace elements, gradual increase was observed for Zn/Ca ratio in the sperm whale's teeth. (author)

  7. Assessment of body surface temperature in cetaceans: an iterative approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. G. Silva

    Full Text Available Heat transfer from skin surface to ambient water is probably the most important aspect of thermal balance in marine mammals, but the respective calculations depend on knowing the surface temperature (T S, the direct measurement of which in free animals is very difficult. An indirect iterative method is proposed for T S prediction in free cetaceans from deep body temperature, swimming speed, and temperature and thermodynamic properties of the water.

  8. Observations of shifts in cetacean distribution in the Norwegian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leif eNøttestad

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to assess possible shifts in distributional patterns of cetaceans residing in the Norwegian Sea, and if possible relate the distribution to their feeding ecology during the summer seasons of 2009, 2010 and 2012. During this same period, historically large abundances in the order of 15 million tonnes pelagic planktivorous fish such as Norwegian spring-spawning herring (Clupea harengus, northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus and blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou, have been reported feeding in the Norwegian Sea during the summer. There is also observed elevated average surface temperatures and a reduction in zooplankton biomasses. Such changes might influence species composition, distribution patterns and feeding preferences of cetaceans residing the region. Our results show higher densities of toothed whales, killer whales (Orcinus orca and pilot whales (Globicephala melas, than the previous norm for these waters. Baleen whales, such as minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus, which is often associated with zooplankton, displayed a distribution overlap with pelagic fish abundances. Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae were observed in low numbers, indicating shift in habitat preference, compared to sighting data collected only few years earlier. Our study illustrate that both small and large cetaceans that reside in the Norwegian Sea have the capability to rapidly perform shifts in distribution and abundance patterns dependent of the access to different types and behaviour of prey species.

  9. Radiation of extant cetaceans driven by restructuring of the oceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steeman, Mette E; Hebsgaard, Martin B; Fordyce, R Ewan; Ho, Simon Y W; Rabosky, Daniel L; Nielsen, Rasmus; Rahbek, Carsten; Glenner, Henrik; Sørensen, Martin V; Willerslev, Eske

    2009-12-01

    The remarkable fossil record of whales and dolphins (Cetacea) has made them an exemplar of macroevolution. Although their overall adaptive transition from terrestrial to fully aquatic organisms is well known, this is not true for the radiation of modern whales. Here, we explore the diversification of extant cetaceans by constructing a robust molecular phylogeny that includes 87 of 89 extant species. The phylogeny and divergence times are derived from nuclear and mitochondrial markers, calibrated with fossils. We find that the toothed whales are monophyletic, suggesting that echolocation evolved only once early in that lineage some 36-34 Ma. The rorqual family (Balaenopteridae) is restored with the exclusion of the gray whale, suggesting that gulp feeding evolved 18-16 Ma. Delphinida, comprising all living dolphins and porpoises other than the Ganges/Indus dolphins, originated about 26 Ma; it contains the taxonomically rich delphinids, which began diversifying less than 11 Ma. We tested 2 hypothesized drivers of the extant cetacean radiation by assessing the tempo of lineage accumulation through time. We find no support for a rapid burst of speciation early in the history of extant whales, contrasting with expectations of an adaptive radiation model. However, we do find support for increased diversification rates during periods of pronounced physical restructuring of the oceans. The results imply that paleogeographic and paleoceanographic changes, such as closure of major seaways, have influenced the dynamics of radiation in extant cetaceans.

  10. Metazoan parasites of cetaceans off the northeastern coast of Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Vitor Luz; Bevilaqua, Claudia Maria Leal; Iñiguez, Alena Mayo; Mathews-Cascon, Helena; Ribeiro, Felipe Bezerra; Pessoa, Lourdes Marina Bezerra; de Meirelles, Ana Carolina Oliveira; Borges, João Carlos Gomes; Marigo, Juliana; Soares, Laiza; de Lima Silva, Flávio José

    2010-10-11

    This study represents the first survey of the parasitic fauna of cetaceans off the northeastern coast of Brazil. Parasites were collected from 82 animals rescued from the states of Ceará to Bahia, including the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha. A total of 14 species of cetaceans were evaluated: Sotalia guianensis, Stenella sp., Stenella clymene, Stenella longirostris, Stenella coeruleoalba, Stenella frontalis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Peponocephala electra, Steno bredanensis, Kogia breviceps, Kogia sima, Globicephala macrorhynchus, Tursiops truncatus, Physeter macrocephalus and Lagenodelphis hosei. The parasites were fixed and preserved in 70% ethanol or alcohol-formalin-acetic acid solution (AFA), clarified in phenol and mounted on slides for morphological identification. In total, 11 species and 8 genera of endo- and ectoparasites were identified: Halocercus brasiliensis, Halocercus kleinenbergi, Stenurus globicephalae, Halocercus sp., Anisakis sp., Crassicauda sp. (Nematoda), Phyllobothrium delphini, Monorygma grimaldii, Scolex pleuronectis, Strobicephalus triangularis, Tetrabothrius forsteri, Tetrabothrius sp., Trigonocotyle sp., Diphyllobothrium sp. (Cestoda), Campula sp. (Trematoda), Bolbosoma sp. (Acanthocephala), Cyamus boopis, Syncyamus pseudorcae and Xenobalanus globicipitis (Crustacea). The identification of some species represented novel records for the country and increased the occurrence of some parasites to new hosts. The use of standardized methodologies for collecting and evaluating a larger number of animals is essential for a better understanding of host-parasite relationships in cetaceans and their use as biological indicators in the region. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincze, Orsolya

    2016-09-01

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

  12. Metopic suture of Taung (Australopithecus africanus) and its implications for hominin brain evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Dean; Zollikofer, Christoph P. E.; Morimoto, Naoki; Ponce de León, Marcia S.

    2012-01-01

    The type specimen for Australopithecus africanus (Taung) includes a natural endocast that reproduces most of the external morphology of the right cerebral hemisphere and a fragment of fossilized face that articulates with the endocast. Despite the fact that Taung died between 3 and 4 y of age, the endocast reproduces a small triangular-shaped remnant of the anterior fontanelle, from which a clear metopic suture (MS) courses rostrally along the midline [Hrdlička A (1925) Am J Phys Anthropol 8:379–392]. Here we describe and interpret this feature of Taung in light of comparative fossil and actualistic data on the timing of MS closure. In great apes, the MS normally fuses shortly after birth, such that unfused MS similar to Taung’s are rare. In humans, however, MS fuses well after birth, and partially or unfused MS are frequent. In gracile fossil adult hominins that lived between ∼3.0 and 1.5 million y ago, MS are also relatively frequent, indicating that the modern human-like pattern of late MS fusion may have become adaptive during early hominin evolution. Selective pressures favoring delayed fusion might have resulted from three aspects of perinatal ontogeny: (i) the difficulty of giving birth to large-headed neonates through birth canals that were reconfigured for bipedalism (the “obstetric dilemma”), (ii) high early postnatal brain growth rates, and (iii) reorganization and expansion of the frontal neocortex. Overall, our data indicate that hominin brain evolution occurred within a complex network of fetopelvic constraints, which required modification of frontal neurocranial ossification patterns. PMID:22566620

  13. Evolution, immunity and the emergence of brain superautoantigens [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Nataf

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available While some autoimmune disorders remain extremely rare, others largely predominate the epidemiology of human autoimmunity. Notably, these include psoriasis, diabetes, vitiligo, thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Thus, despite the quasi-infinite number of "self" antigens that could theoretically trigger autoimmune responses, only a limited set of antigens, referred here as superautoantigens, induce pathogenic adaptive responses. Several lines of evidence reviewed in this paper indicate that, irrespective of the targeted organ (e.g. thyroid, pancreas, joints, brain or skin, a significant proportion of superautoantigens are highly expressed in the synaptic compartment of the central nervous system (CNS. Such an observation applies notably for GAD65, AchR, ribonucleoproteins, heat shock proteins, collagen IV, laminin, tyrosine hydroxylase and the acetylcholinesterase domain of thyroglobulin. It is also argued that cognitive alterations have been described in a number of autoimmune disorders, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn's disease and autoimmune thyroiditis. Finally, the present paper points out that a great majority of the "incidental" autoimmune conditions notably triggered by neoplasms, vaccinations or microbial infections are targeting the synaptic or myelin compartments. On this basis, the concept of an immunological homunculus, proposed by Irun Cohen more than 25 years ago, is extended here in a model where physiological autoimmunity against brain superautoantigens confers both: i a crucial evolutionary-determined advantage via cognition-promoting autoimmunity; and ii a major evolutionary-determined vulnerability, leading to the emergence of autoimmune disorders in Homo sapiens. Moreover, in this theoretical framework, the so called co-development/co-evolution model, both the development (at the scale of an individual and evolution (at the scale of species of the antibody and T-cell repertoires

  14. The social and cultural roots of whale and dolphin brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Kieran C R; Muthukrishna, Michael; Shultz, Susanne

    2017-11-01

    Encephalization, or brain expansion, underpins humans' sophisticated social cognition, including language, joint attention, shared goals, teaching, consensus decision-making and empathy. These abilities promote and stabilize cooperative social interactions, and have allowed us to create a 'cognitive' or 'cultural' niche and colonize almost every terrestrial ecosystem. Cetaceans (whales and dolphins) also have exceptionally large and anatomically sophisticated brains. Here, by evaluating a comprehensive database of brain size, social structures and cultural behaviours across cetacean species, we ask whether cetacean brains are similarly associated with a marine cultural niche. We show that cetacean encephalization is predicted by both social structure and by a quadratic relationship with group size. Moreover, brain size predicts the breadth of social and cultural behaviours, as well as ecological factors (diversity of prey types and to a lesser extent latitudinal range). The apparent coevolution of brains, social structure and behavioural richness of marine mammals provides a unique and striking parallel to the large brains and hyper-sociality of humans and other primates. Our results suggest that cetacean social cognition might similarly have arisen to provide the capacity to learn and use a diverse set of behavioural strategies in response to the challenges of social living.

  15. Analysis of Cookiecutter shark Isistius spp. (Squaliformes; Dalatiidae) bites in cetaceans (Mammalia; Cetacea) on the Bahia coast, northeastern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Cláudio L. S. Sampaio; Rodrigo Maia-Nogueira; José de Anchieta Cintra da Costa Nunes; Janete Gomes Abrão Oliveira; Luciano Raimundo Alardo Souto

    2007-01-01

    Few studies have registered signs of mutilation on cetaceans in Brazil, especially from shark attacks. This work describes interactions between cookiecutter sharks Isistius spp. and cetaceans through the analysis of bite records for cetacean carcasses washed ashore on the Bahia coast between 1996 and 2005. Twenty bite records were analyzed in 13 cetacean species, of which the Delphinidae family was the most frequent. After the analysis, Isistius plutodus was identified as the aggressor specie...

  16. Analyzing the evolution of young people's brain cancer mortality in Spanish provinces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugarte, M D; Adin, A; Goicoa, T; López-Abente, G

    2015-06-01

    To analyze the spatio-temporal evolution of brain cancer relative mortality risks in young population (under 20 years of age) in Spanish provinces during the period 1986-2010. A new and flexible conditional autoregressive spatio-temporal model with two levels of spatial aggregation was used. Brain cancer relative mortality risks in young population in Spanish provinces decreased during the last years, although a clear increase was observed during the 1990s. The global geographical pattern emphasized a high relative mortality risk in Navarre and a low relative mortality risk in Madrid. Although there is a specific Autonomous Region-time interaction effect on the relative mortality risks this effect is weak in the final estimates when compared to the global spatial and temporal effects. Differences in mortality between regions and over time may be caused by the increase in survival rates, the differences in treatment or the availability of diagnostic tools. The increase in relative risks observed in the 1990s was probably due to improved diagnostics with computerized axial tomography and magnetic resonance imaging techniques. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Evolution of the neurochemical profile after transient focal cerebral ischemia in the mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Hongxia; Berthet, Carole; Hirt, Lorenz; Gruetter, Rolf

    2009-04-01

    Evolution of the neurochemical profile consisting of 19 metabolites after 30 mins of middle cerebral artery occlusion was longitudinally assessed at 3, 8 and 24 h in 6 to 8 microL volumes in the striatum using localized 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 14.1 T. Profound changes were detected as early as 3 h after ischemia, which include elevated lactate levels in the presence of significant glucose concentrations, decreases in glutamate and a transient twofold glutamine increase, likely to be linked to the excitotoxic release of glutamate and conversion into glial glutamine. Interestingly, decreases in N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), as well as in taurine, exceeded those in neuronal glutamate, suggesting that the putative neuronal marker NAA is rather a sensitive marker of neuronal viability. With further ischemia evolution, additional, more profound concentration decreases were detected, reflecting a disruption of cellular functions. We conclude that early changes in markers of energy metabolism, glutamate excitotoxicity and neuronal viability can be detected with high precision non-invasively in mice after stroke. Such investigations should lead to a better understanding and insight into the sequential early changes in the brain parenchyma after ischemia, which could be used for identifying new targets for neuroprotection.

  18. Morphological and pathological evolution of the brain microcirculation in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse M Hunter

    Full Text Available Key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD, including amyloid plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA and neurofibrillary tangles do not completely account for cognitive impairment, therefore other factors such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular pathologies, may contribute to AD. In order to elucidate the microvascular changes that contribute to aging and disease, direct neuropathological staining and immunohistochemistry, were used to quantify the structural integrity of the microvasculature and its innervation in three oldest-old cohorts: 1 nonagenarians with AD and a high amyloid plaque load; 2 nonagenarians with no dementia and a high amyloid plaque load; 3 nonagenarians without dementia or amyloid plaques. In addition, a non-demented (ND group (average age 71 years with no amyloid plaques was included for comparison. While gray matter thickness and overall brain mass were reduced in AD compared to ND control groups, overall capillary density was not different. However, degenerated string capillaries were elevated in AD, potentially suggesting greater microvascular "dysfunction" compared to ND groups. Intriguingly, apolipoprotein ε4 carriers had significantly higher string vessel counts relative to non-ε4 carriers. Taken together, these data suggest a concomitant loss of functional capillaries and brain volume in AD subjects. We also demonstrated a trend of decreasing vesicular acetylcholine transporter staining, a marker of cortical cholinergic afferents that contribute to arteriolar vasoregulation, in AD compared to ND control groups, suggesting impaired control of vasodilation in AD subjects. In addition, tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker of noradrenergic vascular innervation, was reduced which may also contribute to a loss of control of vasoconstriction. The data highlight the importance of the brain microcirculation in the pathogenesis and evolution of AD.

  19. Novel insights into early neuroanatomical evolution in penguins from the oldest described penguin brain endocast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proffitt, J V; Clarke, J A; Scofield, R P

    2016-08-01

    Digital methodologies for rendering the gross morphology of the brain from X-ray computed tomography data have expanded our current understanding of the origin and evolution of avian neuroanatomy and provided new perspectives on the cognition and behavior of birds in deep time. However, fossil skulls germane to extracting digital endocasts from early stem members of extant avian lineages remain exceptionally rare. Data from early-diverging species of major avian subclades provide key information on ancestral morphologies in Aves and shifts in gross neuroanatomical structure that have occurred within those groups. Here we describe data on the gross morphology of the brain from a mid-to-late Paleocene penguin fossil from New Zealand. This most basal and geochronologically earliest-described endocast from the penguin clade indicates that described neuroanatomical features of early stem penguins, such as lower telencephalic lateral expansion, a relatively wider cerebellum, and lack of cerebellar folding, were present far earlier in penguin history than previously inferred. Limited dorsal expansion of the wulst in the new fossil is a feature seen in outgroup waterbird taxa such as Gaviidae (Loons) and diving Procellariiformes (Shearwaters, Diving Petrels, and allies), indicating that loss of flight may not drastically affect neuroanatomy in diving taxa. Wulst enlargement in the penguin lineage is first seen in the late Eocene, at least 25 million years after loss of flight and cooption of the flight stroke for aquatic diving. Similar to the origin of avian flight, major shifts in gross brain morphology follow, but do not appear to evolve quickly after, acquisition of a novel locomotor mode. Enlargement of the wulst shows a complex pattern across waterbirds, and may be linked to sensory modifications related to prey choice and foraging strategy. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  20. Return to drive after non-evolutive brain damage: French recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'apolito, Anne-Claire; Leguiet, Jean-Luc; Enjalbert, Michel; Lemoine, Francis; Mazaux, Jean-Michel

    2017-07-01

    Return to drive after brain damage is a crucial question either for patients than health professionals. The Société française de medicine physique et de réadaptation (SOFMER) and Comète France association developed recommandations for patient's identification, evaluation and accompaniment as part of their project to resume to drive. The place of rehabilitation process and patient's focus has been also discussed. Using a literature review, the aim was to define clinical pathways to determine people who need a fitness to drive evaluation after a non-evolutive brain damage as well as the assessment process. Following the method for Clinical practice guidelines, 1388 abstracts were identified, among which 379 were analysed and confronted with the working group's experience. The draft propositions were submitted to a review group before being validated by the High French Health Autority. No article enabled the development of recommendations above the "expert opinion". The detection of sensory (visual), sensitive, motor and/or cognitive sequelaes is needed before return to drive. It is not recommended to return to drive in case of unilateral spatial neglect. Different assessment strategies, function of sequeale's gravity, are proposed after stroke or brain injury. In case of sequeale, the assessment process (clinical, cognitive, on road evaluation) has to be pluriprofessional. The results are the subject of a pluriprofessional synthesis, shared with the patient and, if possible, in the presence of a close. An accompaniment to maintain the best mobility of the person is needed, whatever the assessment result. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  1. Cetacean surveys in the Southern Ocean using icebreaker-supported helicopters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scheidat, M.; Friedlaender, A.; Kock, K.H.; Lehnert, L.; Boebel, O.; Roberts, J.; Williams, R.

    2011-01-01

    Cetaceans in the Southern Ocean are potentially impacted by anthropogenic activities, such as direct hunting or through indirect effects of a reduced sea ice due to climate change. Knowledge on the distribution of cetacean species in this area is important for conservation, but the remoteness of the

  2. Positively selected sites in cetacean myoglobins contribute to protein stability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dasmeh, Pouria; Serohijos, Adrian W R; Kepp, Kasper P

    2013-01-01

    Since divergence ∼50 Ma ago from their terrestrial ancestors, cetaceans underwent a series of adaptations such as a ∼10-20 fold increase in myoglobin (Mb) concentration in skeletal muscle, critical for increasing oxygen storage capacity and prolonging dive time. Whereas the O2-binding affinity...... between Mb folding stability and protein abundance, suggesting that a selection pressure for stability acts proportionally to higher expression. We also identify a major divergence event leading to the common ancestor of whales, during which major stabilization occurred. Most of the positively selected...

  3. Scaling of brain metabolism with a fixed energy budget per neuron: implications for neuronal activity, plasticity and evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana Herculano-Houzel

    Full Text Available It is usually considered that larger brains have larger neurons, which consume more energy individually, and are therefore accompanied by a larger number of glial cells per neuron. These notions, however, have never been tested. Based on glucose and oxygen metabolic rates in awake animals and their recently determined numbers of neurons, here I show that, contrary to the expected, the estimated glucose use per neuron is remarkably constant, varying only by 40% across the six species of rodents and primates (including humans. The estimated average glucose use per neuron does not correlate with neuronal density in any structure. This suggests that the energy budget of the whole brain per neuron is fixed across species and brain sizes, such that total glucose use by the brain as a whole, by the cerebral cortex and also by the cerebellum alone are linear functions of the number of neurons in the structures across the species (although the average glucose consumption per neuron is at least 10× higher in the cerebral cortex than in the cerebellum. These results indicate that the apparently remarkable use in humans of 20% of the whole body energy budget by a brain that represents only 2% of body mass is explained simply by its large number of neurons. Because synaptic activity is considered the major determinant of metabolic cost, a conserved energy budget per neuron has several profound implications for synaptic homeostasis and the regulation of firing rates, synaptic plasticity, brain imaging, pathologies, and for brain scaling in evolution.

  4. Brain evolution, the determinates of food choice, and the omnivore's dilemma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armelagos, George J

    2014-01-01

    A coevolutionary paradigm using a biocultural perspective can help to unravel the complex interactions that led to the contemporary pattern of eating. Evolutionary history helps to understand the adaptation of diet and its nutritional implications. Anatomical and behavioral changes linked to changing dietary patterns in the Paleolithic resulted in an adaptive framework that affects modern diet. The evolution of an expanding brain, a shrinking large intestine, and lengthening small intestine necessitated a demand for nutritionally dense foods. The key to these changes is an understanding of the response to the omnivore's dilemma. Omnivores in their search for new items to feed their varied diet (neophilia) have a challenge when they fear (neophobia) novel items that may be poisonous and can cause death. The inborn mechanism initiates palate fatigue (sensory-specific satiety) ensuring a variety of foods will be eaten. Variety will limit the impact of toxins ingested and provide a more balanced diet. The development of cuisine, a momentous event in history, mediated the conflict, and changed the course of human evolution. The cuisine, a biocultural construct, defines which items found in nature are edible, how these products are transformed into food, the flavors used to add a sensory dimension to foods, and rules of eating or etiquette. Etiquette defines how, when, and with whom we eat. Patterns of eating in the modern setting are the end product of the way that Homo sapiens evolved and resolved the omnivore's dilemma. Control of fire and cooking expanded the range of available foods by creating a class of foods that are "predigested." An essential element to the evolution of the human diet was the transition to agriculture as the primary mode of subsistence. The Neolithic revolution dramatically narrowed the dietary niche by decreasing the variety of available foods, with the shift to intensive agriculture creating a dramatic decline in human nutrition. The recent

  5. First human-caused extinction of a cetacean species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turvey, Samuel T; Pitman, Robert L; Taylor, Barbara L; Barlow, Jay; Akamatsu, Tomonari; Barrett, Leigh A; Zhao, Xiujiang; Reeves, Randall R; Stewart, Brent S; Wang, Kexiong; Wei, Zhuo; Zhang, Xianfeng; Pusser, L T; Richlen, Michael; Brandon, John R; Wang, Ding

    2007-10-22

    The Yangtze River dolphin or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer), an obligate freshwater odontocete known only from the middle-lower Yangtze River system and neighbouring Qiantang River in eastern China, has long been recognized as one of the world's rarest and most threatened mammal species. The status of the baiji has not been investigated since the late 1990s, when the surviving population was estimated to be as low as 13 individuals. An intensive six-week multi-vessel visual and acoustic survey carried out in November-December 2006, covering the entire historical range of the baiji in the main Yangtze channel, failed to find any evidence that the species survives. We are forced to conclude that the baiji is now likely to be extinct, probably due to unsustainable by-catch in local fisheries. This represents the first global extinction of a large vertebrate for over 50 years, only the fourth disappearance of an entire mammal family since AD 1500, and the first cetacean species to be driven to extinction by human activity. Immediate and extreme measures may be necessary to prevent the extinction of other endangered cetaceans, including the sympatric Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis).

  6. Dolphin genome provides evidence for adaptive evolution of nervous system genes and a molecular rate slowdown

    OpenAIRE

    McGowen, Michael R.; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Wildman, Derek E.

    2012-01-01

    Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) have undergone a radical transformation from the original mammalian bodyplan. In addition, some cetaceans have evolved large brains and complex cognitive capacities. We compared approximately 10 000 protein-coding genes culled from the bottlenose dolphin genome with nine other genomes to reveal molecular correlates of the remarkable phenotypic features of these aquatic mammals. Evolutionary analyses demonstrated that the overall synonymous substitution rate in ...

  7. Biodiversity and Status of Cetaceans in Benin, West Africa: an Initial ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    User

    2001-09-17

    . A first insight in the cetacean biodiversity based on stranding, capture and sighting records, as well as a preliminary assessment of status, is provided. Seven species were authenticated: humpback whale Megaptera ...

  8. GLOBEC NEP Northern California Current Cetacean Survey Data, NH0005, 2000-2000, 0007

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — GLOBEC (GLOBal Ocean ECosystems Dynamics) NEP (Northeast Pacific) Northern California Current Cetacean Survey Data from R/V New Horizon cruises NH0005 and 0007....

  9. SWFSC/MMTD/PI: Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey (HICEAS) 2002, 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Hawaiian Islands Cetacean and Ecosystem Assessment Survey, called HICEAS, is a marine mammal assessment survey of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Hawaiian...

  10. SWFSC/MMTD/PI: Pacific Islands Cetacean Ecosystem Assessment Survey (PICEAS) 2005

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — PICEAS (Pacific Islands Cetacean Ecosystem Assessment Survey) 2005 was an ecosystem survey in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters of Palmyra and Johnston...

  11. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean line-transect survey in the Gulf of Alaska, 2003

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Three marine mammal observers participated on a cetacean survey from 26 June to 15 July 2003, aboard the NOAA ship Miller Freeman as a piggyback project during a...

  12. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program Humpback Whale Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Since 1980, the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program of the National Marine Mammal Laboratory has been collecting photos of humpback whales (Megaptera...

  13. Evaluation of cetacean exposure to organotin compounds in Brazilian waters through hepatic total tin concentrations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dorneles, Paulo R. [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: dornelespr@gmail.com; Lailson-Brito, Jose [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: lailson@uerj.br; Fernandez, Marcos A.S. [Laboratorio de Oceanografia Quimica, Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: hallfz@uerj.br; Vidal, Lara G. [Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: vidallara@yahoo.com.br; Barbosa, Lupercio A. [Instituto ORCA, Vila Velha, ES (Brazil)], E-mail: lupercio@orca.org.br; Azevedo, Alexandre F. [Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: alexandre.maqua@gmail.com; Fragoso, Ana B.L. [Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (MAQUA), Faculdade de Oceanografia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: abfragoso@gmail.com; Torres, Joao P.M. [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: jptorres@biof.ufrj.br; Malm, Olaf [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, CCS, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)], E-mail: olaf@biof.ufrj.br

    2008-12-15

    In Brazil, there is no restriction to the use of organotins (OTs). Previous investigations have shown that hepatic {sigma}Sn in cetaceans is predominantly organic. Hepatic {sigma}Sn concentrations were determined by GFAAS in 67 cetaceans (13 species) that stranded on Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and Espirito Santo (ES) states. Concentrations (in ng/g wet wt.) of marine tucuxis (n = 20) from the highly contaminated Guanabara Bay (in RJ) varied from 1703 to 9638. Concentrations of three marine tucuxi foetuses and one newborn calf (all from Guanabara Bay) varied between 431 and 2107. Contrastingly, the maximum level among 19 oceanic dolphins was 346, and 15 out of these 19 specimens presented concentrations below detection limit. The levels of Sn in six marine tucuxis from a less contaminated area (ES) varied from below detection limit to 744. Comparing to the literature, coastal cetaceans from Brazil appear to be highly exposed to OTs. - Cetaceans from Brazil are highly exposed to organotin compounds.

  14. Effect of seismic operations on cetaceans sightings off-shore Akwa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    66.78%) sightings of whales and 94 (33.22%) sightings of dolphins. Four species of cetaceans were identified, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were the most abundant followed by pantropical spotted dolphins (Stenella attenuata).

  15. Evaluation of cetacean exposure to organotin compounds in Brazilian waters through hepatic total tin concentrations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dorneles, Paulo R.; Lailson-Brito, Jose; Fernandez, Marcos A.S.; Vidal, Lara G.; Barbosa, Lupercio A.; Azevedo, Alexandre F.; Fragoso, Ana B.L.; Torres, Joao P.M.; Malm, Olaf

    2008-01-01

    In Brazil, there is no restriction to the use of organotins (OTs). Previous investigations have shown that hepatic ΣSn in cetaceans is predominantly organic. Hepatic ΣSn concentrations were determined by GFAAS in 67 cetaceans (13 species) that stranded on Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and Espirito Santo (ES) states. Concentrations (in ng/g wet wt.) of marine tucuxis (n = 20) from the highly contaminated Guanabara Bay (in RJ) varied from 1703 to 9638. Concentrations of three marine tucuxi foetuses and one newborn calf (all from Guanabara Bay) varied between 431 and 2107. Contrastingly, the maximum level among 19 oceanic dolphins was 346, and 15 out of these 19 specimens presented concentrations below detection limit. The levels of Sn in six marine tucuxis from a less contaminated area (ES) varied from below detection limit to 744. Comparing to the literature, coastal cetaceans from Brazil appear to be highly exposed to OTs. - Cetaceans from Brazil are highly exposed to organotin compounds

  16. Cetacean Ecology Survey at North Western Hawaiian Islands (SE1303, EK60)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The goal of the cruise was to collect data on the abundance, distribution, stock structure, and habitat of cetaceans in the Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National...

  17. Assessing the responses of coastal cetaceans to the construction of offshore wind turbines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Paul M; Lusseau, David; Barton, Tim; Simmons, Dave; Rusin, Jan; Bailey, Helen

    2010-08-01

    The expansion of offshore renewables has raised concerns over potential disturbance to coastal cetaceans. In this study, we used passive acoustic monitoring to assess whether cetaceans responded to pile-driving noise during the installation of two 5MW offshore wind turbines off NE Scotland in 2006. Monitoring was carried out at both the turbine site and a control site in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Harbour porpoises occurred regularly around the turbine site in all years, but there was some evidence that porpoises did respond to disturbance from installation activities. We use these findings to highlight how uncertainty over cetacean distribution and the scale of disturbance effects constrains opportunities for B-A-C-I studies. We explore alternative approaches to assessing the impact of offshore wind farm upon cetaceans, and make recommendations for the research and monitoring that will be required to underpin future developments. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Animal behaviour: continuous activity in cetaceans after birth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyamin, Oleg; Pryaslova, Julia; Lance, Valentine; Siegel, Jerome

    2005-06-30

    All mammals previously studied take maximal rest or sleep after birth, with the amount gradually decreasing as they grow to adulthood, and adult fruitflies and rats die if they are forcibly deprived of sleep. It has therefore been assumed that sleep is necessary for development and serves a vital function in adults. But we show here that, unlike terrestrial mammals, killer-whale and bottlenose-dolphin neonates and their mothers show little or no typical sleep behaviour for the first postpartum month, avoiding obstacles and remaining mobile for 24 hours a day. We find that neonates and their mothers gradually increase the amount of time they spend resting to normal adult levels over a period of several months, but never exceed these levels. Our findings indicate either that sleep behaviour may not have the developmental and life-sustaining functions attributed to it, or that alternative mechanisms may have evolved in cetaceans.

  19. The immune system of cetaceans and their interaction with dolphin morbillivirus

    OpenAIRE

    Centelleghe, Cinzia

    2016-01-01

    Immunology of marine mammals is a relatively new field of scientific studies and its monitoring plays an important role on the individual and group management of these animals, as well as an increasing value of environmental health indicator: cetaceans are viewed as environmental sentinels. The current knowledge about the immune system of cetaceans and its function is recognized as incomplete. Therefore this study aims to implement the knowledge on the immune response in normal conditions ...

  20. Adaptations of the cetacean hyolingual apparatus for aquatic feeding and thermoregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werth, Alexander J

    2007-06-01

    Foraging methods vary considerably among semiaquatic and fully aquatic mammals. Semiaquatic animals often find food in water yet consume it on land, but as truly obligate aquatic mammals, cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) must acquire and ingest food underwater. It is hypothesized that differences in foraging methods are reflected in cetacean hyolingual apparatus anatomy. This study compares the musculoskeletal anatomy of the hyolingual apparatus in 91 cetacean specimens, including 8 mysticetes (baleen whales) in two species and 91 odontocetes (toothed whales) in 11 species. Results reveal specific adaptations for aquatic life. Intrinsic fibers are sparser and extrinsic musculature comprises a significantly greater proportion of the cetacean tongue relative to terrestrial mammals and other aquatic mammals such as pinnipeds and sirenians. Relative sizes and connections of cetacean tongue muscles to the hyoid apparatus relate to differences in feeding methods used by cetaceans, specifically filtering, suction, and raptorial prehension. In odontocetes and eschrichtiids (gray whales), increased tongue musculature and enlarged hyoids allow grasping and/or lingual depression to generate intraoral suction for prey ingestion. In balaenopterids (rorqual whales), loose and flaccid tongues enable great distention of the oral cavity for prey engulfing. In balaenids (right and bowhead whales), large but stiffer tongues direct intraoral water flow for continuous filtration feeding. Balaenid and eschrichtiid (and possibly balaenopterid) mysticete tongues possess vascular retial adaptations for thermoregulation and large amounts of submucosal adipose tissue for nutritional storage. All cetacean tongues also function in prey transport and swallowing. These hyolingual musculoskeletal differences are unique cetacean anatomical adaptations for foraging entirely in an aquatic environment. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Small cetacean captures in Peruvian artisanal fisheries: High despite protective legislation

    OpenAIRE

    Mangel, J.C.; Alfaro-Shigueto, J.; Van Waerebeek, K.; Cáceres, C.; Bearhop, S.; Witt, M.J.; Godley, B.J.

    2010-01-01

    We detail the first direct, at sea monitoring of small cetacean interactions with Peruvian artisanal drift gillnet and longline fisheries. A total of 253 small cetaceans were captured during 66 monitored fishing trips (Gillnet: 46 trips; Longline: 20 trips) from the port of Salaverry, northern Peru (8o14'S, 78o59'W) from March 2005 to July 2007. The most commonly captured species were common dolphins (Delphinus spp.) (47%), dusky dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) (29%), common bottlenose dol...

  2. Cetacean Community Ecology in the Waters of Sri Lanka and the Bay of Bengal

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Cetacean Community Ecology in the Waters of Sri Lanka...novaeangliae in the Arabian Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 149:13-21. Smith, B. D., B. Ahmed, R. M. Mowgli and S. Strindberg. 2008. Species occurrence...and distributional ecology of nearshore cetaceans in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, with abundance estimates for Irrawaddy dolphins Orcaella

  3. Male and female brain evolution is subject to contrasting selection pressures in primates

    OpenAIRE

    Dunbar, Robin IM

    2007-01-01

    Abstract The claim that differences in brain size across primate species has mainly been driven by the demands of sociality (the "social brain" hypothesis) is now widely accepted. Some of the evidence to support this comes from the fact that species that live in large social groups have larger brains, and in particular larger neocortices. Lindenfors and colleagues (BMC Biology 5:20) add significantly to our appreciation of this process by showing that there are striking differences between th...

  4. Cetacean records along a coastal-offshore gradient in the Vitória-Trindade Chain, western South Atlantic Ocean

    OpenAIRE

    Wedekin, LL; Rossi-Santos, MR; Baracho, C; Cypriano-Souza, AL; Simões-Lopes, PC

    2014-01-01

    Oceanic waters are difficult to assess, and there are many gaps in knowledge regarding cetacean occurrence. To fill some of these gaps, this article provides important cetacean records obtained in the winter of 2010 during a dedicated expedition to collect visual and acoustic information in the Vitória-Trindade seamounts. We observed 19 groups of cetaceans along a 1300-km search trajectory, with six species being identified: the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, N = 9 groups), the fin w...

  5. Metabolic constraint imposes tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons in human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2012-01-01

    Despite a general trend for larger mammals to have larger brains, humans are the primates with the largest brain and number of neurons, but not the largest body mass. Why are great apes, the largest primates, not also those endowed with the largest brains? Recently, we showed that the energetic cost of the brain is a linear function of its numbers of neurons. Here we show that metabolic limitations that result from the number of hours available for feeding and the low caloric yield of raw foo...

  6. Neuroglobin of seals and whales: evidence for a divergent role in the diving brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneuer, M; Flachsbarth, S; Czech-Damal, N U; Folkow, L P; Siebert, U; Burmester, T

    2012-10-25

    Although many physiological adaptations of diving mammals have been reported, little is known about how their brains sustain the high demands for metabolic energy and thus O(2) when submerged. A recent study revealed in the deep-diving hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) a unique shift of the oxidative energy metabolism and neuroglobin, a respiratory protein that is involved in neuronal hypoxia tolerance, from neurons to astrocytes. Here we have investigated neuroglobin in another pinniped species, the harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus), and in two cetaceans, the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Neuroglobin sequences, expression levels and patterns were compared with those of terrestrial relatives, the ferret (Mustela putorius furo) and the cattle (Bos taurus), respectively. Neuroglobin sequences of whales and seals only differ in two or three amino acids from those of cattle and ferret, and are unlikely to confer functional differences, e.g. in O(2) affinity. Neuroglobin is expressed in the astrocytes also of P. groenlandicus, suggesting that the shift of neuroglobin and oxidative metabolism is a common adaptation in the brains of deep-diving phocid seals. In the cetacean brain neuroglobin resides in neurons, like in terrestrial mammals. However, neuroglobin mRNA expression levels were 4-15 times higher in the brains of harbor porpoises and minke whales than in terrestrial mammals or in seals. Thus neuroglobin appears to play a specific role in diving mammals, but seals and whales have evolved divergent strategies to cope with cerebral hypoxia. The specific function of neuroglobin that conveys hypoxia tolerance may either relate to oxygen supply or protection from reactive oxygen species. The different strategies in seals and whales resulted from a divergent evolution and an independent adaptation to diving. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Survival of the fattest: fat babies were the key to evolution of the large human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C; Crawford, Michael A

    2003-09-01

    In the past 2 million years, the hominid lineage leading to modern humans evolved significantly larger and more sophisticated brains than other primates. We propose that the modern human brain was a product of having first evolved fat babies. Hence, the fattest (infants) became, mentally, the fittest adults. Human babies have brains and body fat each contributing to 11-14% of body weight, a situation which appears to be unique amongst terrestrial animals. Body fat in human babies provides three forms of insurance for brain development that are not available to other land-based species: (1) a large fuel store in the form of fatty acids in triglycerides; (2) the fatty acid precursors to ketone bodies which are key substrates for brain lipid synthesis; and (3) a store of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid, needed for normal brain development. The triple combination of high fuel demands, inability to import cholesterol or saturated fatty acids, and dependence on docosahexaenoic acid puts the mammalian brain in a uniquely difficult situation compared with other organs and makes its expansion in early humans all the more remarkable. We believe that fresh- and salt-water shorelines provided a uniquely rich, abundant and accessible food supply, and the only viable environment for evolving both body fat and larger brains in human infants.

  8. Detecting lineage-specific adaptive evolution of brain-expressed genes in human using rhesus macaque as outgroup

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yu, Xiao-Jing; Zheng, Hong-Kun; Wang, Jun

    2006-01-01

    Comparative genetic analysis between human and chimpanzee may detect genetic divergences responsible for human-specific characteristics. Previous studies have identified a series of genes that potentially underwent Darwinian positive selection during human evolution. However, without a closely...... related species as outgroup, it is difficult to identify human-lineage-specific changes, which is critical in delineating the biological uniqueness of humans. In this study, we conducted phylogeny-based analyses of 2633 human brain-expressed genes using rhesus macaque as the outgroup. We identified 47...... candidate genes showing strong evidence of positive selection in the human lineage. Genes with maximal expression in the brain showed a higher evolutionary rate in human than in chimpanzee. We observed that many immune-defense-related genes were under strong positive selection, and this trend was more...

  9. Male and female brain evolution is subject to contrasting selection pressures in primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunbar Robin IM

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The claim that differences in brain size across primate species has mainly been driven by the demands of sociality (the "social brain" hypothesis is now widely accepted. Some of the evidence to support this comes from the fact that species that live in large social groups have larger brains, and in particular larger neocortices. Lindenfors and colleagues (BMC Biology 5:20 add significantly to our appreciation of this process by showing that there are striking differences between the two sexes in the social mechanisms and brain units involved. Female sociality (which is more affiliative is related most closely to neocortex volume, but male sociality (which is more competitive and combative is more closely related to subcortical units (notably those associated with emotional responses. Thus different brain units have responded to different selection pressures.

  10. The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain: A Review of Two Contrastive Views (Pinker & Deacon)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Ken Ramshøj

    2001-01-01

    This article is a review of two contrastive views on the co-evolution of language and the brain – The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker (1994) and The Symbolic Species by Terrence Deacon (1997). As language is a trait unique to mankind it can not be equated with nonlinguistic communication – hum...... on the evolutionary advantage of the ability to establish and maintain social alliances and contracts and to outsmart social cheaters but they disagree on what this cheating involves. Pinker defines cheaters as social parasites, while Deacon defines them adulterers....

  11. River Cetaceans and Habitat Change: Generalist Resilience or Specialist Vulnerability?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian D. Smith

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available River dolphins are among the world’s most threatened mammals, and indeed the baiji (Lipotes vexillifer, a species endemic to China's Yangtze River, is likely extinct. Exploitation for products such as meat, oil, and skins has been a lesser feature in the population histories of river dolphins compared to most large mammals. Habitat factors are therefore of particular interest and concern. In this paper we attempt to describe the population-level responses of river dolphins to habitat transformation. We find circumstantial but compelling evidence supporting the view that, at a local scale, river dolphins are opportunists (generalists capable of adapting to a wide range of habitat conditions while, at a river basin scale, they are more appropriately viewed as vulnerable specialists. The same evidence implies that the distributional responses of river dolphins to basinwide ecological change can be informative about their extinction risk, while their local behaviour patterns may provide important insights about critical ecological attributes. Empirical studies are needed on the ecology of river cetaceans, both to inform conservation efforts on behalf of these threatened animals and to help address broader concerns related to biodiversity conservation and the sustainability of human use in several of the world's largest river systems.

  12. MODELLING THE POTENTIAL DISTRIBUTION AND RICHNESS OF CETACEANS IN THE AZORES FROM FISHERIES OBSERVER PROGRAM DATA

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    Marta Tobeña

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Marine spatial planning and ecological research call for high-resolution species distribution data. However, those data are still not available for most marine large vertebrates. The dynamic nature of oceanographic processes and the wide-ranging behavior of many marine vertebrates create further difficulties, as distribution data must incorporate both the spatial and temporal dimensions. Cetaceans play an essential role in structuring and maintaining marine ecosystems and face increasing threats from human activities. The Azores holds a high diversity of cetaceans but the information about spatial and temporal patterns of distribution for this marine megafauna group in the region is still very limited. To tackle this issue, we created monthly predictive cetacean distribution maps for spring and summer months, using data collected by the Azores Fisheries Observer Programme between 2004 and 2009. We then combined the individual predictive maps to obtain species richness maps for the same period. Our results reflect a great heterogeneity in distribution among species and within species among different months. This heterogeneity reflects a contrasting influence of oceanographic processes on the distribution of cetacean species. However, some persistent areas of increased species richness could also be identified from our results. We argue that policies aimed at effectively protecting cetaceans and their habitats must include the principle of dynamic ocean management coupled with other area-based management such as marine spatial planning.

  13. Pilot whales attracted to killer whale sounds: acoustically-mediated interspecific interactions in cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curé, Charlotte; Antunes, Ricardo; Samarra, Filipa; Alves, Ana Catarina; Visser, Fleur; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Miller, Patrick J O

    2012-01-01

    In cetaceans' communities, interactions between individuals of different species are often observed in the wild. Yet, due to methodological and technical challenges very little is known about the mediation of these interactions and their effect on cetaceans' behavior. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are a highly vocal species and can be both food competitors and potential predators of many other cetaceans. Thus, the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may be particularly important in mediating interspecific interactions. To address this hypothesis, we conducted playbacks of killer whale vocalizations recorded during herring-feeding activity to free-ranging long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas). Using a multi-sensor tag, we were able to track the whales and to monitor changes of their movements and social behavior in response to the playbacks. We demonstrated that the playback of killer whale sounds to pilot whales induced a clear increase in group size and a strong attraction of the animals towards the sound source. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that the interception of heterospecific vocalizations can mediate interactions between different cetacean species in previously unrecognized ways.

  14. Pilot whales attracted to killer whale sounds: acoustically-mediated interspecific interactions in cetaceans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charlotte Curé

    Full Text Available In cetaceans' communities, interactions between individuals of different species are often observed in the wild. Yet, due to methodological and technical challenges very little is known about the mediation of these interactions and their effect on cetaceans' behavior. Killer whales (Orcinus orca are a highly vocal species and can be both food competitors and potential predators of many other cetaceans. Thus, the interception of their vocalizations by unintended cetacean receivers may be particularly important in mediating interspecific interactions. To address this hypothesis, we conducted playbacks of killer whale vocalizations recorded during herring-feeding activity to free-ranging long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas. Using a multi-sensor tag, we were able to track the whales and to monitor changes of their movements and social behavior in response to the playbacks. We demonstrated that the playback of killer whale sounds to pilot whales induced a clear increase in group size and a strong attraction of the animals towards the sound source. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that the interception of heterospecific vocalizations can mediate interactions between different cetacean species in previously unrecognized ways.

  15. Approaches for Assessing the Presence and Impact of Thyroid Hormone Disrupting Chemicals in Delphinid Cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-09-01

    Biomarker of Susceptibility for THDCs During vertebrate evolution , the capacity of the plasma to hold onto T4 increased in two ways (reviewed in Schreiber and... vertebrate evolution may have been driven by the increase in relative sizes of lipid pools and the massive explosion of brain size (Chang et al., 1999...images. Figures 4-11. Anterior-to-posterior, post-mortem MRI sequence of a 218 subadult male brain (CCSN05-084-La) intact within the skull . Figures 12-19

  16. Evolution of the Brain Computing Interface (BCI and Proposed Electroencephalography (EEG Signals Based Authentication Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramzan Qaseem

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available With current advancements in the field of Brain Computer interface it is required to study how it will affect the other technologies currently in use. In this paper, the authors motivate the need of Brain Computing Interface in the era of IoT (Internet of Things, and analyze how BCI in the presence of IoT could have serious privacy breach if not protected by new kind of more secure protocols. Security breach and hacking has been around for a long time but now we are sensitive towards data as our lives depend on it. When everything is interconnected through IoT and considering that we control all interconnected things by means of our brain using BCI (Brain Computer Interface, the meaning of security breach becomes much more sensitive than in the past. This paper describes the old security methods being used for authentication and how they can be compromised. Considering the sensitivity of data in the era of IoT, a new form of authentication is required, which should incorporate BCI rather than usual authentication techniques.

  17. Characteristic metabolism of free amino acids in cetacean plasma: cluster analysis and comparison with mice.

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    Kazuki Miyaji

    Full Text Available From an evolutionary perspective, the ancestors of cetaceans first lived in terrestrial environments prior to adapting to aquatic environments. Whereas anatomical and morphological adaptations to aquatic environments have been well studied, few studies have focused on physiological changes. We focused on plasma amino acid concentrations (aminograms since they show distinct patterns under various physiological conditions. Plasma and urine aminograms were obtained from bottlenose dolphins, pacific white-sided dolphins, Risso's dolphins, false-killer whales and C57BL/6J and ICR mice. Hierarchical cluster analyses were employed to uncover a multitude of amino acid relationships among different species, which can help us understand the complex interrelations comprising metabolic adaptations. The cetacean aminograms formed a cluster that was markedly distinguishable from the mouse cluster, indicating that cetaceans and terrestrial mammals have quite different metabolic machinery for amino acids. Levels of carnosine and 3-methylhistidine, both of which are antioxidants, were substantially higher in cetaceans. Urea was markedly elevated in cetaceans, whereas the level of urea cycle-related amino acids was lower. Because diving mammals must cope with high rates of reactive oxygen species generation due to alterations in apnea/reoxygenation and ischemia-reperfusion processes, high concentrations of antioxidative amino acids are advantageous. Moreover, shifting the set point of urea cycle may be an adaptation used for body water conservation in the hyperosmotic sea water environment, because urea functions as a major blood osmolyte. Furthermore, since dolphins are kept in many aquariums for observation, the evaluation of these aminograms may provide useful diagnostic indices for the assessment of cetacean health in artificial environments in the future.

  18. Assessing Disease and Mortality among Small Cetaceans Stranded at a World Heritage Site in Southern Brazil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabela G Domiciano

    Full Text Available Cetaceans are considered environmental sentinels and their health often reflects either anthropogenic or natural spatio-temporal disturbances. This study investigated the pathological findings and mortality of small cetaceans with the aim of detecting hazards and monitoring health trends in a high-biodiversity area. Between 2007 and 2012, 218 stranded cetaceans were recorded on the Paraná coast, southern Brazil. Fifty-seven (26.1% of these animals, including 50 Sotalia guianensis, 2 Pontoporia blainvillei, 2 Stenella frontalis, 1 Stenella longirostris, 1 Tursiops truncatus and 1 Globicephala melas were necropsied and samples were collected for histopathology. Causes of death were determined in 46 of the 57 (80.7% animals and most (30 or 65.2% were ascribed to anthropogenic activities, including fisheries bycatch (28/30 and trauma (2/30. The remaining 16 fatalities were considered natural, and attributed to pneumonia (10/16, emaciation (3/16, septicemia (1/16, neonatal pathology (1/16 and choking via food obstruction (1/16. Irrespective of the cause, bronchointerstitial pneumonia, associated with parasitism, lymphadenitis and membranous glomerulonephritis were common findings among all fatalities. These results suggest, that while anthropogenic activities are a leading cause of cetacean strandings in Paraná, underlying pre-existing diseases may contribute towards deaths. Although the studied area is considered a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, complex anthropogenic and natural interactions might be occurring, increasing cetacean susceptibility to hazards. This study may help facilitate developing an effective conservation plan for coastal cetaceans focusing on reducing fisheries interactions, habitat degradation and pollution as mechanisms for ultimately increasing species resilience.

  19. Assessing Disease and Mortality among Small Cetaceans Stranded at a World Heritage Site in Southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domiciano, Isabela G; Domit, Camila; Broadhurst, Matt K; Koch, Mariana S; Bracarense, Ana Paula F R L

    2016-01-01

    Cetaceans are considered environmental sentinels and their health often reflects either anthropogenic or natural spatio-temporal disturbances. This study investigated the pathological findings and mortality of small cetaceans with the aim of detecting hazards and monitoring health trends in a high-biodiversity area. Between 2007 and 2012, 218 stranded cetaceans were recorded on the Paraná coast, southern Brazil. Fifty-seven (26.1%) of these animals, including 50 Sotalia guianensis, 2 Pontoporia blainvillei, 2 Stenella frontalis, 1 Stenella longirostris, 1 Tursiops truncatus and 1 Globicephala melas were necropsied and samples were collected for histopathology. Causes of death were determined in 46 of the 57 (80.7%) animals and most (30 or 65.2%) were ascribed to anthropogenic activities, including fisheries bycatch (28/30) and trauma (2/30). The remaining 16 fatalities were considered natural, and attributed to pneumonia (10/16), emaciation (3/16), septicemia (1/16), neonatal pathology (1/16) and choking via food obstruction (1/16). Irrespective of the cause, bronchointerstitial pneumonia, associated with parasitism, lymphadenitis and membranous glomerulonephritis were common findings among all fatalities. These results suggest, that while anthropogenic activities are a leading cause of cetacean strandings in Paraná, underlying pre-existing diseases may contribute towards deaths. Although the studied area is considered a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, complex anthropogenic and natural interactions might be occurring, increasing cetacean susceptibility to hazards. This study may help facilitate developing an effective conservation plan for coastal cetaceans focusing on reducing fisheries interactions, habitat degradation and pollution as mechanisms for ultimately increasing species resilience.

  20. Allometry in primates, with emphasis on scaling and the evolution of the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, S J

    1975-01-01

    Allometry should be defined broadly as the study of size and its consequences, not narrowly as the application of power functions to the data of growth. Variation in size may be ontogenetic, static or phyletic. Errors of omission and treatment have plagued the study of allometry in primates. Standard texts often treat brain size as an independent measure, ignoring its allometric relation with body size - on this basis, gracile australopithecines have been accorded the mental status of gorillas. Intrinsic allometries of the brain/body are likewise neglected: many authors cite cerebral folding as evidence of man's mental superiority, but folding is a mechanical correlate of brain size itself. Confusion among types of scaling heads errors of treatment in both historical primacy [Dubois' ontogenetic inferences from interspecific curves] and current frequency. The predicted parameters of brain-body plots differ greatly for ontogenetic, intrapopulational, interspecific and phyletic allometries. I then discuss basic trends in bivariate allometry at the ordinal level for internal organ weights, skeletal dimensions, lifespan and fetal weight. In considering the causes of basic bivariate allometries, I examine the reason for differences among types of scaling in brain-body relationships. The interspecific exponent of 0.66 strongly suggests a relationship to body surfaces, but we have no satisfactory explanation for why this should be so. The tripartite ontogenetic plot is a consequence of patterns in neuronal differentiation. We do not know why intraspecific exponents fall between 0.2 and 0.4; several partial explanations have been offered. Multivariate techniques have transcended the pictorial representation of transformed coordinates and offer new, powerful approaches to total allometric patterns. Allometry is most often used as a 'criterion for subtraction'. In order to assess the nature and purpose of an adaptation, we must be able to identify and isolate the aspect of

  1. Brain scaling in mammalian evolution as a consequence of concerted and mosaic changes in numbers of neurons and average neuronal cell size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Manger, Paul R.; Kaas, Jon H.

    2014-01-01

    Enough species have now been subject to systematic quantitative analysis of the relationship between the morphology and cellular composition of their brain that patterns begin to emerge and shed light on the evolutionary path that led to mammalian brain diversity. Based on an analysis of the shared and clade-specific characteristics of 41 modern mammalian species in 6 clades, and in light of the phylogenetic relationships among them, here we propose that ancestral mammal brains were composed and scaled in their cellular composition like modern afrotherian and glire brains: with an addition of neurons that is accompanied by a decrease in neuronal density and very little modification in glial cell density, implying a significant increase in average neuronal cell size in larger brains, and the allocation of approximately 2 neurons in the cerebral cortex and 8 neurons in the cerebellum for every neuron allocated to the rest of brain. We also propose that in some clades the scaling of different brain structures has diverged away from the common ancestral layout through clade-specific (or clade-defining) changes in how average neuronal cell mass relates to numbers of neurons in each structure, and how numbers of neurons are differentially allocated to each structure relative to the number of neurons in the rest of brain. Thus, the evolutionary expansion of mammalian brains has involved both concerted and mosaic patterns of scaling across structures. This is, to our knowledge, the first mechanistic model that explains the generation of brains large and small in mammalian evolution, and it opens up new horizons for seeking the cellular pathways and genes involved in brain evolution. PMID:25157220

  2. Brain scaling in mammalian evolution as a consequence of concerted and mosaic changes in numbers of neurons and average neuronal cell size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana eHerculano-Houzel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Enough species have now been subject to systematic quantitative analysis of the relationship between the morphology and cellular composition of their brain that patterns begin to emerge and shed light on the evolutionary path that led to mammalian brain diversity. Based on an analysis of the shared and clade-specific characteristics of 41 modern mammalian species in 6 clades, and in light of the phylogenetic relationships among them, here we propose that ancestral mammal brains were composed and scaled in their cellular composition like modern afrotherian and glire brains: with an addition of neurons that is accompanied by a decrease in neuronal density and very little modification in glial cell density, implying a significant increase in average neuronal cell size in larger brains, and the allocation of approximately 2 neurons in the cerebral cortex and 8 neurons in the cerebellum for every neuron allocated to the rest of brain. We also propose that in some clades the scaling of different brain structures has diverged away from the common ancestral layout through clade-specific (or clade-defining changes in how average neuronal cell mass relates to numbers of neurons in each structure, and how numbers of neurons are differentially allocated to each structure relative to the number of neurons in the rest of brain. Thus, the evolutionary expansion of mammalian brains has involved both concerted and mosaic patterns of scaling across structures. This is, to our knowledge, the first mechanistic model that explains the generation of brains large and small in mammalian evolution, and it opens up new horizons for seeking the cellular pathways and genes involved in brain evolution.

  3. A neurological comparative study of the harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) and harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Walløe, Solveig; Eriksen, Nina; Dabelsteen, Torben

    2010-01-01

    The cetacean brain is well studied. However, few comparisons have been done with other marine mammals. In this study, we compared the harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus) and the harbor porpoise brain (Phocoena phocoena). Stereological methods were applied to compare three areas of interest: the ...

  4. Brain and cognitive evolution: forms of modularity and functions of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geary, David C; Huffman, Kelly J

    2002-09-01

    Genetic and neurobiological research is reviewed as related to controversy over the extent to which neocortical organization and associated cognitive functions are genetically constrained or emerge through patterns of developmental experience. An evolutionary framework that accommodates genetic constraint and experiential modification of brain organization and cognitive function is then proposed. The authors argue that 4 forms of modularity and 3 forms of neural and cognitive plasticity define the relation between genetic constraint and the influence of developmental experience. For humans, the result is the ontogenetic emergence of functional modules in the domains of folk psychology, folk biology, and folk physics. The authors present a taxonomy of these modules and review associated research relating to brain and cognitive plasticity in these domains.

  5. The rationale driving the evolution of deep brain stimulation to constant-current devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronstein, Jeff M; Tagliati, Michele; McIntyre, Cameron; Chen, Robert; Cheung, Tyler; Hargreaves, Eric L; Israel, Zvi; Moffitt, Michael; Montgomery, Erwin B; Stypulkowski, Paul; Shils, Jay; Denison, Timothy; Vitek, Jerrold; Volkman, Jens; Wertheimer, Jeffrey; Okun, Michael S

    2015-02-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective therapy for the treatment of a number of movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. The effectiveness of DBS is dependent on the density and location of stimulation in a given brain area. Adjustments are made to optimize clinical benefits and minimize side effects. Until recently, clinicians would adjust DBS settings using a voltage mode, where the delivered voltage remained constant. More recently, a constant-current mode has become available where the programmer sets the current and the stimulator automatically adjusts the voltage as impedance changes. We held an expert consensus meeting to evaluate the current state of the literature and field on constant-current mode versus voltage mode in clinical brain-related applications. There has been little reporting of the use of constant-current DBS devices in movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. However, as impedance varies considerably between patients and over time, it makes sense that all new devices will likely use constant current. © 2014 International Neuromodulation Society.

  6. Big brains, small worlds: material culture and the evolution of the mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coward, Fiona; Gamble, Clive

    2008-06-12

    New developments in neuroimaging have demonstrated that the basic capacities underpinning human social skills are shared by our closest extant primate relatives. The challenge for archaeologists is to explain how complex human societies evolved from this shared pattern of face-to-face social interaction. We argue that a key process was the gradual incorporation of material culture into social networks over the course of hominin evolution. Here we use three long-term processes in hominin evolution-encephalization, the global human diaspora and sedentism/agriculture-to illustrate how the cultural transmission of material culture allowed the 'scaling up' of face-to-face social interactions to the global societies known today. We conclude that future research by neuroimagers and archaeologists will need to investigate the cognitive mechanisms behind human engagement with material culture as well as other persons.

  7. Mammalian skull heterochrony reveals modular evolution and a link between cranial development and brain size

    OpenAIRE

    Koyabu, Daisuke; Werneburg, Ingmar; Morimoto, Naoki; Zollikofer, Christoph P. E.; Forasiepi, Analia M.; Endo, Hideki; Kimura, Junpei; Ohdachi, Satoshi D.; Truong Son, Nguyen; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R.

    2014-01-01

    The multiple skeletal components of the skull originate asynchronously and their developmental schedule varies across amniotes. Here we present the embryonic ossification sequence of 134 species, covering all major groups of mammals and their close relatives. This comprehensive data set allows reconstruction of the heterochronic and modular evolution of the skull and the condition of the last common ancestor of mammals. We show that the mode of ossification (dermal or endochondral) unites bon...

  8. On the Relationships of Postcanine Tooth Size with Dietary Quality and Brain Volume in Primates: Implications for Hominin Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Manuel Jiménez-Arenas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates.

  9. Species-Specific 5 mC and 5 hmC Genomic Landscapes Indicate Epigenetic Contribution to Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madrid, Andy; Chopra, Pankaj; Alisch, Reid S

    2018-01-01

    Human evolution from non-human primates has seen substantial change in the central nervous system, with the molecular mechanisms underlying human brain evolution remaining largely unknown. Methylation of cytosine at the fifth carbon (5-methylcytosine; 5 mC) is an essential epigenetic mark linked to neurodevelopment, as well as neurological disease. The emergence of another modified form of cytosine (5-hydroxymethylcytosine; 5 hmC) that is enriched in the brain further substantiates a role for these epigenetic marks in neurodevelopment, yet little is known about the evolutionary importance of these marks in brain development. Here, human and monkey brain tissue were profiled, identifying 5,516 and 4,070 loci that were differentially methylated and hydroxymethylated, respectively, between the species. Annotation of these loci to the human genome revealed genes critical for the development of the nervous system and that are associated with intelligence and higher cognitive functioning, such as RELN and GNAS . Moreover, ontological analyses of these differentially methylated and hydroxymethylated genes revealed a significant enrichment of neuronal/immunological-related processes, including neurogenesis and axon development. Finally, the sequences flanking the differentially methylated/hydroxymethylated loci contained a significant enrichment of binding sites for neurodevelopmentally important transcription factors (e.g., OTX1 and PITX1 ), suggesting that DNA methylation may regulate gene expression by mediating transcription factor binding on these transcripts. Together, these data support dynamic species-specific epigenetic contributions in the evolution and development of the human brain from non-human primates.

  10. Stranding survey as a framework to investigate rare cetacean records of the north and north-eastern Brazilian coasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Fernandes Costa

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Marine mammal stranding events are used as an important tool for understanding cetacean biology worldwide. Nonetheless, there are vast gaps of knowledge to be filled in for a wide range of species. Reputable information is required regarding species from large baleen whales to sperm and beaked whales, as well as pelagic dolphins. This paper describes new cetacean records from north and north-eastern Brazil, which are both the least surveyed areas regarding aquatic mammals. Regular beach surveys were conducted to recover cetacean carcasses along the coast of Pará beginning November 2005. At the coasts of the Maranhão and Piauí states, the surveys were conducted between 2003 and 2013. From 2003 to 2014, 34 strandings of cetaceans were registered. The study provides four additional species records’ in the area based on strandings (Balaenoptera borealis, Balaenoptera physalus, Peponocephala electra, and Pseudorca crassidens. A mass stranding of Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis, N = 12, the most common species for the region, was reported for the first time. The records presented herein are of special concern, since they expand the knowledge on cetaceans from the Brazilian coast. In addition, this study conducted an analysis to verify the similarity between cetacean compositions described for north and north-eastern Brazil and the southern Caribbean region. The results showed a high similarity between these regions, proving the connection with the Caribbean cetacean fauna.

  11. Stranding survey as a framework to investigate rare cetacean records of the north and north-eastern Brazilian coasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Alexandra Fernandes; Siciliano, Salvatore; Emin-Lima, Renata; Martins, Bruna Maria Lima; Sousa, Maura Elisabeth Moraes; Giarrizzo, Tommaso; Júnior, José de Sousa E Silva

    2017-01-01

    Marine mammal stranding events are used as an important tool for understanding cetacean biology worldwide. Nonetheless, there are vast gaps of knowledge to be filled in for a wide range of species. Reputable information is required regarding species from large baleen whales to sperm and beaked whales, as well as pelagic dolphins. This paper describes new cetacean records from north and north-eastern Brazil, which are both the least surveyed areas regarding aquatic mammals. Regular beach surveys were conducted to recover cetacean carcasses along the coast of Pará beginning November 2005. At the coasts of the Maranhão and Piauí states, the surveys were conducted between 2003 and 2013. From 2003 to 2014, 34 strandings of cetaceans were registered. The study provides four additional species records' in the area based on strandings ( Balaenoptera borealis , Balaenoptera physalus , Peponocephala electra , and Pseudorca crassidens ). A mass stranding of Guiana dolphins ( Sotalia guianensis , N = 12), the most common species for the region, was reported for the first time. The records presented herein are of special concern, since they expand the knowledge on cetaceans from the Brazilian coast. In addition, this study conducted an analysis to verify the similarity between cetacean compositions described for north and north-eastern Brazil and the southern Caribbean region. The results showed a high similarity between these regions, proving the connection with the Caribbean cetacean fauna.

  12. Molecular evolution of the human SRPX2 gene that causes brain disorders of the Rolandic and Sylvian speech areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levasseur Anthony

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The X-linked SRPX2 gene encodes a Sushi Repeat-containing Protein of unknown function and is mutated in two disorders of the Rolandic/Sylvian speech areas. Since it is linked to defects in the functioning and the development of brain areas for speech production, SRPX2 may thus have participated in the adaptive organization of such brain regions. To address this issue, we have examined the recent molecular evolution of the SRPX2 gene. Results The complete coding region was sequenced in 24 human X chromosomes from worldwide populations and in six representative nonhuman primate species. One single, fixed amino acid change (R75K has been specifically incorporated in human SRPX2 since the human-chimpanzee split. The R75K substitution occurred in the first sushi domain of SRPX2, only three amino acid residues away from a previously reported disease-causing mutation (Y72S. Three-dimensional structural modeling of the first sushi domain revealed that Y72 and K75 are both situated in the hypervariable loop that is usually implicated in protein-protein interactions. The side-chain of residue 75 is exposed, and is located within an unusual and SRPX-specific protruding extension to the hypervariable loop. The analysis of non-synonymous/synonymous substitution rate (Ka/Ks ratio in primates was performed in order to test for positive selection during recent evolution. Using the branch models, the Ka/Ks ratio for the human branch was significantly different (p = 0.027 from that of the other branches. In contrast, the branch-site tests did not reach significance. Genetic analysis was also performed by sequencing 9,908 kilobases (kb of intronic SRPX2 sequences. Despite low nucleotide diversity, neither the HKA (Hudson-Kreitman-Aguadé test nor the Tajima's D test reached significance. Conclusion The R75K human-specific variation occurred in an important functional loop of the first sushi domain of SRPX2, indicating that this evolutionary

  13. Adaptations to vision-for-action in primate brain evolution: Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Erin

    2016-03-01

    As Arbib [1] notes, the two-streams hypothesis [5] has provided a powerful explanatory framework for understanding visual processing. The inferotemporal ventral stream recognizes objects and agents - ;what; one is seeing. The dorsal ;how; or ;where; stream through parietal cortex processes motion, spatial location, and visuo-proprioceptive relationships - ;vision for action.; Hickock and Poeppel's [3] extension of this model to the auditory system raises the question of deeper, multi- or supra-sensory themes in dorsal vs. ventral processing. Petrides and Pandya [10] postulate that the evolution of language may have been influenced by the fact that the dorsal stream terminates in posterior Broca's area (BA44) while the ventral stream terminates in anterior Broca's area (BA45). In an intriguing potential parallel, a recent ALE metanalysis of 54 fMRI studies found that semantic processing is located more anteriorly and superiorly than syntactic processing in Broca's area [13]. But clearly, macaques do not have language, nor other likely pre- or co-adaptations to language, such as complex imitation and tool use. What changed in the brain that enabled these functions to evolve?

  14. Neocortical neuron types in Xenarthra and Afrotheria: implications for brain evolution in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Chet C; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Butti, Camilla; Bonar, Christopher J; Newton, Alisa L; Allman, John M; Hof, Patrick R

    2009-02-01

    Interpreting the evolution of neuronal types in the cerebral cortex of mammals requires information from a diversity of species. However, there is currently a paucity of data from the Xenarthra and Afrotheria, two major phylogenetic groups that diverged close to the base of the eutherian mammal adaptive radiation. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry to examine the distribution and morphology of neocortical neurons stained for nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein, calbindin, calretinin, parvalbumin, and neuropeptide Y in three xenarthran species-the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the lesser anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla), and the two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)-and two afrotherian species-the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) and the black and rufous giant elephant shrew (Rhynchocyon petersi). We also studied the distribution and morphology of astrocytes using glial fibrillary acidic protein as a marker. In all of these species, nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive neurons predominated in layer V. These neurons exhibited diverse morphologies with regional variation. Specifically, high proportions of atypical neurofilament-enriched neuron classes were observed, including extraverted neurons, inverted pyramidal neurons, fusiform neurons, and other multipolar types. In addition, many projection neurons in layers II-III were found to contain calbindin. Among interneurons, parvalbumin- and calbindin-expressing cells were generally denser compared to calretinin-immunoreactive cells. We traced the evolution of certain cortical architectural traits using phylogenetic analysis. Based on our reconstruction of character evolution, we found that the living xenarthrans and afrotherians show many similarities to the stem eutherian mammal, whereas other eutherian lineages display a greater number of derived traits.

  15. The utilization of aquatic bushmeat from small cetaceans and manatees in South America and West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mel Cosentino

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Aquatic bushmeat can be defined as the products derived from wild aquatic megafauna (e.g. marine mammals that are used for human consumption and non-food purposes, including traditional medicine. It is obtained through illegal or unregulated hunts as well as from stranded (dead or alive and bycaught animals. In most South American and West African countries aquatic mammals are or have been taken for bushmeat, including 33 small cetaceans and all three manatee species. Of these, two cetacean species are listed in the IUCN red list as near threatened, and one as vulnerable, as are all manatee species. Additionally, 22 cetacean species are listed as data deficient, hence some of these species may also be at risk. No reports (recent or otherwise were found for some countries, however caution is needed in concluding that aquatic bushmeat is not utilized in these nations. Moreover, although aquatic bushmeat is mostly obtained opportunistically and was likely originally taken only for local consumption, directed catches occur in most countries and may have reached unsustainable levels in some areas. For example, in Peru and Nigeria, thousands of small cetaceans are illegally hunted annually. Reliable, recent data and a better overall understanding of the drivers of aquatic bushmeat will be essential in the development of effective mitigation measures.

  16. Improving Attachments of Non-Invasive (Type III) Electronic Data Loggers to Cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Electronic Data Loggers to Cetaceans Michael Moore, Alex Shorter, Tom Hurst, and Alessandro Bocconcelli Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Woods Hole ...experimental work was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Michigan (HUM00091795). Future work will be conducted

  17. Long-term tag retention on two species of small cetaceans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Nielsen, Nynne H.; Teilmann, Jonas

    2017-01-01

    The effects of tagging on small cetaceans are difficult to assess due to logistical difficulties in recapturing the whales. In this study two narwhals, Monodon monoceros, and five harbor porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, were recaptured between 297 and 767 days after instrumentation with satellite...

  18. Biodiversity and Status of Cetaceans in Benin, West Africa: an Initial ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    No published literature is available on the whales and dolphins of Benin. A first insight in the cetacean biodiversity based on stranding, capture and sighting records, as well as a preliminary assessment of status, is provided. Seven species were authenticated: humpback whale Megaptera novaeangliae, common bottlenose ...

  19. Candidate gene molecular markers as tools for analyzing genetic susceptibility to morbillivirus infection in stranded Cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stejskalova, K; Bayerova, Z; Futas, J; Hrazdilova, K; Klumplerova, M; Oppelt, J; Splichalova, P; Di Guardo, G; Mazzariol, S; Di Francesco, C E; Di Francesco, G; Terracciano, G; Paiu, R-M; Ursache, T D; Modry, D; Horin, P

    2017-12-01

    Morbilliviruses, such as Cetacean morbillivirus (CeMV) or Phocine distemper virus (PDV), represent a growing threat for marine mammals on both hemispheres. Because free-ranging animal populations strongly rely on natural resistance mechanisms, innate immunity-related genes and virus cell entry receptor genes may represent key factors involved in susceptibility to CeMV in Cetaceans. Using the next generation sequencing technology, we have sequenced 11 candidate genes in two model species, Stenella coeruleoalba and Phocoena phocoena. Suitable single nucleotide polymorphism markers of potential functional importance, located in genes coding for basigin (BSG, CD147), the signaling lymphocyte activating molecule (SLAMF1), the poliovirus-related receptor-4 (NECTIN4, PVRL4), toll-like receptors 3, 7, 8 (TLR3, TLR7, TLR8), natural resistance-associated macrophage protein (SLC11A1) and natural cytotoxicity triggering receptor 1 (NCR1), were identified in each model species, along with MHC-DQB haplotypes unique for each species. This set of molecular markers represents a potentially useful tool for studying host genetic variation and susceptibility to morbillivirus infection in Cetaceans as well as for studying functionally important genetic diversity of selected Cetacean populations. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Biogeography of top predators - seabirds and cetaceans - along four latitudinal transects in the Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungblut, Simon; Nachtsheim, Dominik A.; Boos, Karin; Joiris, Claude R.

    2017-07-01

    The distribution, abundance, and species assemblage of top predators - seabirds and cetaceans - can be correlated to water masses as defined by hydrological parameters. In comparison to other oceans, information about the structuring effects of water masses on top predators in the Atlantic Ocean is limited. The present study aims 1) to provide baseline distributional data of top predators for future comparisons, for instance in the course of climate change, and 2) to test how water masses and seasons affect distributional patterns of seabirds and cetaceans in the temperate and tropical Atlantic. During four trans-equatorial expeditions of the RV Polarstern between 2011 and 2014, at-sea observation data of seabirds, cetaceans and other megafauna were collected. Counts of top predators were generally low in the surveyed regions. Statistical analyses for the eight most abundant seabird species and the pooled number of cetaceans revealed water masses and seasons to account for differences in counts and thus also distribution. In most cases, borders between water masses were not very distinct due to gradual changes in surface water properties. Thus, top predator counts were correlated to water masses but, in contrast to polar waters, not strongly linked to borders between water masses. Additional factors, e.g. distance to locally productive areas (upwelling), competition effects, and seabird associations to prey-accumulating subsurface predators may be similarly important in shaping distributional patterns of top predators in the tropical and temperate Atlantic, but could not be specifically tested for here.

  1. Aquatic Habits of Cetacean Ancestors: Integrating Bone Microanatomy and Stable Isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Clementz, Mark T; Usip, Sharon; Bajpai, Sunil; Hussain, S Taseer; Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2016-12-01

    The earliest cetaceans were interpreted as semi-aquatic based on the presence of thickened bones and stable oxygen isotopes in tooth enamel. However, the origin of aquatic behaviors in cetacean relatives (e.g., raoellids, anthracotheres) remains unclear. This study reconstructs the origins of aquatic behaviors based on long bone microanatomy and stable oxygen isotopes of tooth enamel in modern and extinct cetartiodactylans. Our findings are congruent with published accounts that microanatomy can be a reliable indicator of aquatic behaviors in taxa that are obligatorily aquatic, and also highlight that some "semi-aquatic" behaviors (fleeing into the water to escape predation) may have a stronger relationship to bone microanatomy than others (herbivory in near-shore aquatic settings). Bone microanatomy is best considered with other lines of information in the land-to-sea transition of cetaceans, such as stable isotopes. This study extends our understanding of the progression of skeletal phenotypes associated with habitat shifts in the relatives of cetaceans. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. The evolution of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis miRNA targeting genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunbin, Konstantin V; Afonnikov, Dmitry A; Kolchanov, Nikolay A; Derevianko, Anatoly P; Rogaev, Eugeny I

    2015-01-01

    As the evolution of miRNA genes has been found to be one of the important factors in formation of the modern type of man, we performed a comparative analysis of the evolution of miRNA genes in two archaic hominines, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova, and elucidated the expression of their target mRNAs in bain. A comparative analysis of the genomes of primates, including species in the genus Homo, identified a group of miRNA genes having fixed substitutions with important implications for the evolution of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova. The mRNAs targeted by miRNAs with mutations specific for Homo sapiens denisova exhibited enhanced expression during postnatal brain development in modern humans. By contrast, the expression of mRNAs targeted by miRNAs bearing variations specific for Homo sapiens neanderthalensis was shown to be enhanced in prenatal brain development. Our results highlight the importance of changes in miRNA gene sequences in the course of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis evolution. The genetic alterations of miRNAs regulating the spatiotemporal expression of multiple genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain may contribute to the progressive evolution of brain function, which is consistent with the observations of fine technical and typological properties of tools and decorative items reported from archaeological Denisovan sites. The data also suggest that differential spatial-temporal regulation of gene products promoted by the subspecies-specific mutations in the miRNA genes might have occurred in the brains of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, potentially contributing to the cultural differences between these two archaic hominines.

  3. The evolution of the meningeal vascular system in the human genus: From brain shape to thermoregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruner, Emiliano; Mantini, Simone; Musso, Fabio; De La Cuétara, José Manuel; Ripani, Maurizio; Sherkat, Shahram

    2011-01-01

    The imprints of the middle meningeal vessels make it possible to analyze vascularization in fossil specimens. The association between changes in the cortical anatomy and vascular organization raises questions about the actual physiological meaning of these features, most of all when dealing with the origin of the modern human brain. Metabolism and thermoregulation may be relevant factors in influencing morphological adaptations between brain and vessels. This study is aimed at investigating the relationships between endocranial morphology and endocranial vessels in modern humans and to analyze the pattern of heat dissipation through the endocranial surface in fossil specimens. Through angiotomography, it is possible to make an anatomical reconstruction of the meningeal and cerebral vessels, providing information on the morphology of the endocranial vascular system. At the same time, digital modeling can be performed to investigate the relationships between the endocranial geometry and physical properties such as heat dissipation patterns in extinct hominids. The middle meningeal network is largely independent from the cerebral vascular system. Furthermore, in adults, the medium and upper tracts of the middle meningeal artery shows scarce or absent blood flow. Parietal bossing in modern humans involves relative cooling of the cortical surface at the supramarginal gyrus. The evidence does not support a thermoregulatory role for the meningeal vascular network, at least in adult normal blood flow conditions. On the other hand, biomechanical protective functions (hydraulic skeleton for shock adsorption) cannot be ruled out. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. The correlated evolution of antipredator defences and brain size in mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Ashly N.

    2017-01-01

    Mammals that possess elaborate antipredator defences such as body armour, spines and quills are usually well protected, intermediate in size, primarily insectivorous and live in simple open environments. The benefits of such defences seem clear and may relax selection on maintaining cognitive abilities that aid in vigilance and predator recognition, and their bearers may accrue extensive production and maintenance costs. Here, in this comparative phylogenetic analysis of measurements of encephalization quotient and morphological defence scores of 647 mammal species representing nearly every order, we found that as lineages evolve stronger defences, they suffer a correlated reduction in encephalization. The only exceptions were those that live in trees—a complex three-dimensional world probably requiring greater cognitive abilities. At the proximate level, because brain tissue is extremely energetically expensive to build, mammals may be trading off spending more on elaborate defences and saving by building less powerful brains. At the ultimate level, having greater defences may also reduce the need for advanced cognitive abilities for constant assessment of environmental predation risk, especially in simple open environments. PMID:28077771

  5. Hunter syndrome in an 11-year old girl on enzyme replacement therapy with idursulfase: brain magnetic resonance imaging features and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manara, Renzo; Rampazzo, Angelica; Cananzi, Mara; Salviati, Leonardo; Mardari, Rodica; Drigo, Paola; Tomanin, Rosella; Gasparotto, Nicoletta; Priante, Elena; Scarpa, Maurizio

    2010-12-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS-II, Hunter disease) is a X-linked recessive disorder. Affected females are extremely rare, mostly due to skewed X chromosome inactivation. A few papers outline MPS-II brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) "gestalt" in males, but neuroradiological reports on females are still lacking. We present an 11-year-old girl affected by the severe form of MPS-II who was followed up over a time span of 8 years, focusing on clinical and brain MRI evolution. In the last 2.5 years, the patient has been treated with enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with idursulfase (Elaprase™, Shire Human Genetic Therapies AB, Sweden). On brain and cervical MRI examination, abnormalities in our patient did not differ from those detected in male patients: J-shaped pituitary sella, enlargement of perivascular spaces, brain atrophy, mild T2-hyperintensity in the paratrigonal white matter, diffuse platyspondylia, and mild odontoid dysplasia with odontoid cup. Brain atrophy progressed despite ERT introduction, whereas perivascular space enlargement did not change significantly before and after ERT. Cognitive impairment worsened independently from the course of white matter abnormality. Despite a profound knowledge of genetic and biochemical aspects in MPS-II, neuroradiology is still poorly characterized, especially in female patients. Spinal and brain involvement and its natural course and evolution after ERT introduction still need to be clarified.

  6. Extrapolating cetacean densities to quantitatively assess human impacts on populations in the high seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannocci, Laura; Roberts, Jason J; Miller, David L; Halpin, Patrick N

    2017-06-01

    As human activities expand beyond national jurisdictions to the high seas, there is an increasing need to consider anthropogenic impacts to species inhabiting these waters. The current scarcity of scientific observations of cetaceans in the high seas impedes the assessment of population-level impacts of these activities. We developed plausible density estimates to facilitate a quantitative assessment of anthropogenic impacts on cetacean populations in these waters. Our study region extended from a well-surveyed region within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone into a large region of the western North Atlantic sparsely surveyed for cetaceans. We modeled densities of 15 cetacean taxa with available line transect survey data and habitat covariates and extrapolated predictions to sparsely surveyed regions. We formulated models to reduce the extent of extrapolation beyond covariate ranges, and constrained them to model simple and generalizable relationships. To evaluate confidence in the predictions, we mapped where predictions were made outside sampled covariate ranges, examined alternate models, and compared predicted densities with maps of sightings from sources that could not be integrated into our models. Confidence levels in model results depended on the taxon and geographic area and highlighted the need for additional surveying in environmentally distinct areas. With application of necessary caution, our density estimates can inform management needs in the high seas, such as the quantification of potential cetacean interactions with military training exercises, shipping, fisheries, and deep-sea mining and be used to delineate areas of special biological significance in international waters. Our approach is generally applicable to other marine taxa and geographic regions for which management will be implemented but data are sparse. © 2016 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Evolution of growth hormone neurosecretory disturbance after cranial irradiation for childhood brain tumours: a prospective study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spoudeas, H.A.; Hindmarsh, P.C.; Brook, C.G.D.; Matthews, D.R.

    1996-01-01

    To determine the aetiopathology of post-irradiation growth hormone (GH) deficiency, we performed a mixed longitudinal analysis of 56 24 h serum GH concentration profiles and 45 paired insulin-induced hypoglycaemia tests (ITT) in 35 prepubertal children, aged 1.5-11.8 years, with brain tumours in the posterior foss (n = 25) or cerebral hemispheres (n 10). Assessments were made before (n = 16), 1 year (n = 25) and 2 to 5 years (n = 15) after a cranial irradiation (DXR) dose of at least 30 Gy. Fourier transforms, occupancy percentage, first-order derivatives (FOD) and mean concentrations were determined from the GH profiles taken after neurosurgery but before radiotherapy (n = 16) and in three treatment groups: Group 1: neurosurgery only without DXR 9n 9); Group 2: ≥ 30 Gy DXR only (n = 22); Group 3: ≥ 30 Gy DXR with additional chemotherapy (n = 9). Results were compared with those from 26 short normally growing (SN) children. (author)

  8. A theory of marks and mind: the effect of notational systems on hominid brain evolution and child development with an emphasis on exchanges between mothers and children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Susan Rich

    2005-01-01

    A model of human language requires a theory of meaningful marks. Humans are the only species who use marks to think. A theory of marks identifies children's scribbles as significant behavior, while hypothesizing the importance of rotational systems to hominid brain evolution. By recognizing the importance of children's scribbles and drawings in developmental terms as well as in evolutionary terms, a marks-based rather than a predominantly speech-based theory of the human brain, language, and consciousness emerges. Combined research in anthropology, primatology, art history, neurology, child development (including research with deaf and blind children), gender studies and literacy suggests the importance of notational systems to human language, revealing the importance of mother/child interactions around marks and sounds to the development of an expressive, communicative, symbolic human brain. An understanding of human language is enriched by identifying marks carved on bone 1.9 million years ago as observational lunar calendar-keeping, pushing proto-literacy back dramatically. Neurologically, children recapitulate the meaningful marks of early hominins when they scribble and draw, reminding us that literacy belongs to humankind's earliest history. Even more than speech, such meaningful marks played - and continue to play - decisive roles in human brain evolution. The hominid brain required a model for integrative, transformative neural transfer. The research strongly suggests that humankind's multiple literacies (art, literature, scientific writing, mathematics and music) depended upon dyadic exchanges between hominid mothers and children, and that this exchange and sharing of visuo-spatial information drove the elaboration of human speech in terms of syntax, grammar and vocabulary. The human brain was spatial before it was linguistic. The child scribbles and draws before it speaks or writes. Children babble and scribble within the first two years of life. Hands

  9. AFSC/NMML: Cetacean line-transect survey in the eastern Bering Sea shelf; 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Visual surveys for cetaceans were conducted on the eastern Bering Sea shelf along transect lines, in association with the AFSC.s echo integration trawl surveys for...

  10. The Auditory System of the Minke Whale (Balaenoptera Acutorostrata): A Potential Fatty Sound Reception Pathway in a Mysticete Cetacean

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-01

    whales, have acquired the ability to echolocate (McBride, 1947, in Scheville, 1956; Kellogg, 1958; Norris et al., 1961). Such sophisticated, specialized...whales. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 279:2363-2368. Schevill WE, McBride AF. 1956. Evidence for echolocation by cetaceans...sound reception pathway in cetaceans and his work pre-dated Norris’s theory on odontocete sound reception. Thus, ours is the first study to describe

  11. The Evolution of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following Moderate-to-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alway, Yvette; Gould, Kate Rachel; McKay, Adam; Johnston, Lisa; Ponsford, Jennie

    2016-05-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop following traumatic brain injury (TBI), despite most patients having no conscious memory of their accident. This prospective study examined the frequency, timing of onset, symptom profile, and trajectory of PTSD and its psychiatric comorbidities during the first 4 years following moderate-to-severe TBI. Participants were 85 individuals (78.8% male) with moderate or severe TBI recruited following admission to acute rehabilitation between 2005 and 2010. Using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Disorders (SCID-I), participants were evaluated for pre- and post-injury PTSD soon after injury and reassessed at 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years post-injury. Over the first 4 years post-injury, 17.6% developed injury-related PTSD, none of whom had PTSD prior to injury. PTSD onset peaked between 6 and 12 months post-injury. The majority of PTSD cases (66.7%) had a delayed-onset, which for a third was preceded by subsyndromal symptoms in the first 6 months post-injury. PTSD frequency increased over the first year post-injury, remained stable during the second year, and gradually declined thereafter. The majority of subjects with PTSD experienced a chronic symptom course and all developed one or more than one comorbid psychiatric disorder, with mood, other anxiety, and substance-use disorders being the most common. Despite event-related amnesia, post-traumatic stress symptoms, including vivid re-experiencing phenomena, may develop following moderate-to-severe TBI. Onset is typically delayed and symptoms may persist for several years post-injury.

  12. Evolution of posterior fossa and brain morphology after in utero repair of open neural tube defects assessed by MRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rethmann, Christin; Scheer, Ianina; Kellenberger, Christian Johannes [University Children' s Hospital Zurich, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Zurich (Switzerland); University of Zurich, The Zurich Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Zurich (Switzerland); Children' s Research Center (CRC), Zurich (Switzerland); Meuli, Martin; Mazzone, Luca; Moehrlen, Ueli [University of Zurich, The Zurich Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Zurich (Switzerland); Children' s Research Center (CRC), Zurich (Switzerland); University Children' s Hospital Zurich, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2017-11-15

    To describe characteristics of foetuses undergoing in utero repair of open neural tube defects (ONTD) and assess postoperative evolution of posterior fossa and brain morphology. Analysis of pre- and postoperative foetal as well as neonatal MRI of 27 foetuses who underwent in utero repair of ONTD. Type and level of ONTD, hindbrain configuration, posterior fossa and liquor space dimensions, and detection of associated findings were compared between MRI studies and to age-matched controls. Level of bony spinal defect was defined with exactness of ± one vertebral body. Of surgically confirmed 18 myelomeningoceles (MMC) and 9 myeloschisis (MS), 3 MMC were misdiagnosed as MS due to non-visualisation of a flat membrane on MRI. Hindbrain herniation was more severe in MS than MMC (p < 0.001). After repair, hindbrain herniation resolved in 25/27 cases at 4 weeks and liquor spaces increased. While posterior fossa remained small (p < 0.001), its configuration normalised. Lateral ventricle diameter indexed to cerebral width decreased in 48% and increased in 12% of cases, implying a low rate of progressive obstructive hydrocephalus. Neonatally evident subependymal heterotopias were detected in 33% at preoperative and 50% at postoperative foetal MRI. MRI demonstrates change of Chiari malformation type II (CM-II) features. (orig.)

  13. Evolution of posterior fossa and brain morphology after in utero repair of open neural tube defects assessed by MRI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rethmann, Christin; Scheer, Ianina; Kellenberger, Christian Johannes; Meuli, Martin; Mazzone, Luca; Moehrlen, Ueli

    2017-01-01

    To describe characteristics of foetuses undergoing in utero repair of open neural tube defects (ONTD) and assess postoperative evolution of posterior fossa and brain morphology. Analysis of pre- and postoperative foetal as well as neonatal MRI of 27 foetuses who underwent in utero repair of ONTD. Type and level of ONTD, hindbrain configuration, posterior fossa and liquor space dimensions, and detection of associated findings were compared between MRI studies and to age-matched controls. Level of bony spinal defect was defined with exactness of ± one vertebral body. Of surgically confirmed 18 myelomeningoceles (MMC) and 9 myeloschisis (MS), 3 MMC were misdiagnosed as MS due to non-visualisation of a flat membrane on MRI. Hindbrain herniation was more severe in MS than MMC (p < 0.001). After repair, hindbrain herniation resolved in 25/27 cases at 4 weeks and liquor spaces increased. While posterior fossa remained small (p < 0.001), its configuration normalised. Lateral ventricle diameter indexed to cerebral width decreased in 48% and increased in 12% of cases, implying a low rate of progressive obstructive hydrocephalus. Neonatally evident subependymal heterotopias were detected in 33% at preoperative and 50% at postoperative foetal MRI. MRI demonstrates change of Chiari malformation type II (CM-II) features. (orig.)

  14. Analysis of Cookiecutter shark Isistius spp. (Squaliformes; Dalatiidae bites in cetaceans (Mammalia; Cetacea on the Bahia coast, northeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cláudio L. S. Sampaio

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have registered signs of mutilation on cetaceans in Brazil, especially from shark attacks. This work describes interactions between cookiecutter sharks Isistius spp. and cetaceans through the analysis of bite records for cetacean carcasses washed ashore on the Bahia coast between 1996 and 2005. Twenty bite records were analyzed in 13 cetacean species, of which the Delphinidae family was the most frequent. After the analysis, Isistius plutodus was identified as the aggressor species on 80% of the records, followed by I. brasiliensis (20%, based on the characteristic shape of the mutilations. The areas most subject to attack in cetaceans were: flanks 40%; head and abdomen 20% each; dorsal 15%; and genital with 5%. The relatively high number of bites on the flanks was probably due to its larger area, which offered greater opportunities to the cookiecutter shark. At least three bite records were related to the possible causes of strandings in delphinids. We recommend further studies on interactions between sharks and cetaceans along the Brazilian coast.

  15. Patterns of cetacean sighting distribution in the Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone of Costa Rica based on data collected from 1979-2001

    OpenAIRE

    May-Collado, Laura; Gerrodette, Tim; Calambokidis, John; Rasmussen, Kristin; Sereg, Irena

    2014-01-01

    Nineteen species of cetaceans (families Balaenopteridae, Kogiidae, Physeteridae, Ziphiidae and Delphinidae) occur in the Costa Rican Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Based on data recorded from the EEZ by the Southwest Fisheries Service Center, Cascadia Research Collective, and CIMAR between 1979- 2001, we mapped the distribution of 18 cetacean species. Our results suggest that the majority of the cetacean species use primarily oceanic waters, particularly those species within the famil...

  16. Adaptive evolution of the Hox gene family for development in bats and dolphins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Liang

    Full Text Available Bats and cetaceans (i.e., whales, dolphins, porpoises are two kinds of mammals with unique locomotive styles and occupy novel niches. Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight in the sky, while cetaceans have returned to the aquatic environment and are specialized for swimming. Associated with these novel adaptations to their environment, various development changes have occurred to their body plans and associated structures. Given the importance of Hox genes in many aspects of embryonic development, we conducted an analysis of the coding regions of all Hox gene family members from bats (represented by Pteropus vampyrus, Pteropus alecto, Myotis lucifugus and Myotis davidii and cetaceans (represented by Tursiops truncatus for adaptive evolution using the available draft genome sequences. Differences in the selective pressures acting on many Hox genes in bats and cetaceans were found compared to other mammals. Positive selection, however, was not found to act on any of the Hox genes in the common ancestor of bats and only upon Hoxb9 in cetaceans. PCR amplification data from additional bat and cetacean species, and application of the branch-site test 2, showed that the Hoxb2 gene within bats had significant evidence of positive selection. Thus, our study, with genomic and newly sequenced Hox genes, identifies two candidate Hox genes that may be closely linked with developmental changes in bats and cetaceans, such as those associated with the pancreatic, neuronal, thymus shape and forelimb. In addition, the difference in our results from the genome-wide scan and newly sequenced data reveals that great care must be taken in interpreting results from draft genome data from a limited number of species, and deep genetic sampling of a particular clade is a powerful tool for generating complementary data to address this limitation.

  17. Statistical Assessment of Cetacean Stranding Events in Cape Cod (Massachusetts, USA) area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellar, R.; Pulkkinen, A. A.; Moore, K.; Reeb, D.; Karakoylu, E.; Uritskaya, O.

    2017-12-01

    Cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) mass strandings are a longstanding mystery in the field of marine biology that continue to be recorded in coastal environments around the world. For each of these events, anywhere from a few to several hundred otherwise healthy animals strand in onshore environments, often for no apparent reason. While the causes of these events remain unclear, anthropogenic and naturogenic mechanisms have been suggested. We present results of an inter-disciplinary study that draws expertise from space weather, marine mammal biology and ecology, and marine mammal stranding response. This study assessed 16 years of cetacean stranding events in the Cape Cod (Massachusetts, USA) area concurrently with a large dataset of meteorological, geophysical, biological, oceanographic and space weather data to produce inferences about possible causes for these unexplained events.

  18. Seasonal and diel patterns in cetacean use and foraging at a potential marine renewable energy site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuuttila, Hanna K; Bertelli, Chiara M; Mendzil, Anouska; Dearle, Nessa

    2017-11-03

    Marine renewable energy (MRE) developments often coincide with sites frequented by small cetaceans. To understand habitat use and assess potential impact from development, echolocation clicks were recorded with acoustic click loggers (C-PODs) in Swansea Bay, Wales (UK). General Additive Models (GAMs) were applied to assess the effects of covariates including month, hour, tidal range and temperature. Analysis of inter-click intervals allowed the identification of potential foraging events as well as patterns of presence and absence. Data revealed year-round presence of porpoise, with distinct seasonal and diel patterns. Occasional acoustic encounters of dolphins were also recorded. This study provides further evidence of the need for assessing temporal trends in cetacean presence and habitat use in areas considered for development. These findings could assist MRE companies to monitor and mitigate against disturbance from construction, operation and decommissioning activities by avoiding times when porpoise presence and foraging activity is highest in the area. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Cephalopods and cetaceans as indicators of offshore bioavailability of cadmium off Central South Brazil Bight

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dorneles, Paulo Renato; Lailson-Brito, Jose; Aguiar dos Santos, Roberta; Silva da Costa, Paulo Alberto; Malm, Olaf; Azevedo, Alexandre Freitas; Machado Torres, Joao Paulo

    2007-01-01

    Regarding Brazilian coast, industrial and urban developments are concentrated along Central South Brazil Bight. Samples from inshore and offshore species from the concerned area were analyzed, comprising 24 cetaceans (9 species) and 32 squids (2 species). Cadmium was determined by GFAAS and our results were in agreement with certified values (DOLT-2, NRCC). Mean cadmium concentration (in μg/g, wet weight) observed in the digestive gland of sexually mature Argentine short-finned squids (Illex argentinus) was 1002.9. To our knowledge this is the highest cadmium level ever reported for a cephalopod. Concerning cetaceans, our results include one of the highest renal cadmium concentrations described for striped dolphins (71.29 μg/g, wet weight). Anthropogenic action, upwelling and cannibalism of Argentine short-finned squid on the studied area are possible reasons for such remarkable cadmium concentrations. - Cd levels in ommastrephid squids from Brazil are the highest ever reported for cephalopods

  20. Cephalopods and cetaceans as indicators of offshore bioavailability of cadmium off Central South Brazil Bight

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dorneles, Paulo Renato [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil) and Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos, Dept. Oceanografia, UERJ, 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: dorneles@biof.ufrj.br; Lailson-Brito, Jose [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil) and Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos, Dept. Oceanografia, UERJ, 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: lailson@uerj.br; Aguiar dos Santos, Roberta [Centro de Pesquisa e Gestao de Recursos Pesqueiros do Litoral Sudeste e Sul, IBAMA, 88301-700 Itajai, SC (Brazil)]. E-mail: gibteuthis@yahoo.com.br; Silva da Costa, Paulo Alberto [Laboratorio de Dinamica de Populacoes Marinhas, UNIRIO, 22290-240 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: pauloascosta@uol.com.br; Malm, Olaf [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: olaf@biof.ufrj.br; Azevedo, Alexandre Freitas [Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos, Dept. Oceanografia, UERJ, 20550-013 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: azevedo.alex@uol.com.br; Machado Torres, Joao Paulo [Laboratorio de Radioisotopos Eduardo Penna Franca, Instituto de Biofisica Carlos Chagas Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 21941-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)]. E-mail: jptorres@biof.ufrj.br

    2007-07-15

    Regarding Brazilian coast, industrial and urban developments are concentrated along Central South Brazil Bight. Samples from inshore and offshore species from the concerned area were analyzed, comprising 24 cetaceans (9 species) and 32 squids (2 species). Cadmium was determined by GFAAS and our results were in agreement with certified values (DOLT-2, NRCC). Mean cadmium concentration (in {mu}g/g, wet weight) observed in the digestive gland of sexually mature Argentine short-finned squids (Illex argentinus) was 1002.9. To our knowledge this is the highest cadmium level ever reported for a cephalopod. Concerning cetaceans, our results include one of the highest renal cadmium concentrations described for striped dolphins (71.29 {mu}g/g, wet weight). Anthropogenic action, upwelling and cannibalism of Argentine short-finned squid on the studied area are possible reasons for such remarkable cadmium concentrations. - Cd levels in ommastrephid squids from Brazil are the highest ever reported for cephalopods.

  1. Methodology for in situ gas sampling, transport and laboratory analysis of gases from stranded cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernaldo de Quirós, Yara; González-Díaz, Oscar; Saavedra, Pedro; Arbelo, Manuel; Sierra, Eva; Sacchini, Simona; Jepson, Paul D; Mazzariol, Sandro; Di Guardo, Giovanni; Fernández, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    Gas-bubble lesions were described in cetaceans stranded in spatio-temporal concordance with naval exercises using high-powered sonars. A behaviourally induced decompression sickness-like disease was proposed as a plausible causal mechanism, although these findings remain scientifically controversial. Investigations into the constituents of the gas bubbles in suspected gas embolism cases are highly desirable. We have found that vacuum tubes, insulin syringes and an aspirometer are reliable tools for in situ gas sampling, storage and transportation without appreciable loss of gas and without compromising the accuracy of the analysis. Gas analysis is conducted by gas chromatography in the laboratory. This methodology was successfully applied to a mass stranding of sperm whales, to a beaked whale stranded in spatial and temporal association with military exercises and to a cetacean chronic gas embolism case. Results from the freshest animals confirmed that bubbles were relatively free of gases associated with putrefaction and consisted predominantly of nitrogen.

  2. Evolution of changes in the computed tomography scans of the brain of a patient with left middle cerebral artery infarction: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, Kurien; Singhal, Parag; Cook, Chris

    2008-05-08

    Stroke is a common and important condition in medicine. Effective early management of acute stroke can reduce morbidity and mortality. A 63-year-old man presented to the Accident and Emergency department with a history of collapse and progressive right-sided weakness. Clinically this was a cerebrovascular accident affecting the left hemisphere of the brain causing right hemiplegia. Computed tomography scans, performed 3 days apart, showed the evolution of infarction in the brain caused by the thrombus in the left middle cerebral artery. This is one of the early signs for stroke seen on computed tomography imaging and it is called the hyperdense middle cerebral artery sign. Patients admitted with a stroke, undergo CT brain within 24 hours. The scan usually takes place at admission into the hospital and is done to rule out a bleed or a space occupying lesion within the brain. A normal CT brain does not confirm a stroke has not taken place. When scanned early, the changes seen on the CT due to an infarction from a thrombus may not have taken place yet. This paper highlights the early changes that can be seen on the CT brain following a stroke caused by infarction due to a thrombus in the middle cerebral artery.

  3. Thar she blows! A novel method for DNA collection from cetacean blow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frère, Céline H; Krzyszczyk, Ewa; Patterson, Eric M; Hunter, Sue; Ginsburg, Alison; Mann, Janet

    2010-08-25

    Molecular tools are now widely used to address crucial management and conservation questions. To date, dart biopsying has been the most commonly used method for collecting genetic data from cetaceans; however, this method has some drawbacks. Dart biopsying is considered inappropriate for young animals and has recently come under scrutiny from ethical boards, conservationists, and the general public. Thus, identifying alternative genetic collection techniques for cetaceans remains a priority, especially for internationally protected species. In this study, we investigated whether blow-sampling, which involves collecting exhalations from the blowholes of cetaceans, could be developed as a new less invasive method for DNA collection. Our current methodology was developed using six bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, housed at the National Aquarium, Baltimore (USA), from which we were able to collect both blow and blood samples. For all six individuals, we found that their mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA profile taken from blow, matched their corresponding mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA profile collected from blood. This indicates that blow-sampling is a viable alternative method for DNA collection. In this study, we show that blow-sampling provides a viable and less invasive method for collection of genetic data, even for small cetaceans. In contrast to dart biopsying, the advantage of this method is that it capitalizes on the natural breathing behaviour of dolphins and can be applied to even very young dolphins. Both biopsy and blow-sampling require close proximity of the boat, but blow-sampling can be achieved when dolphins voluntarily bow-ride and involves no harmful contact.

  4. Thar she blows! A novel method for DNA collection from cetacean blow.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline H Frère

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Molecular tools are now widely used to address crucial management and conservation questions. To date, dart biopsying has been the most commonly used method for collecting genetic data from cetaceans; however, this method has some drawbacks. Dart biopsying is considered inappropriate for young animals and has recently come under scrutiny from ethical boards, conservationists, and the general public. Thus, identifying alternative genetic collection techniques for cetaceans remains a priority, especially for internationally protected species. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, we investigated whether blow-sampling, which involves collecting exhalations from the blowholes of cetaceans, could be developed as a new less invasive method for DNA collection. Our current methodology was developed using six bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, housed at the National Aquarium, Baltimore (USA, from which we were able to collect both blow and blood samples. For all six individuals, we found that their mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA profile taken from blow, matched their corresponding mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA profile collected from blood. This indicates that blow-sampling is a viable alternative method for DNA collection. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: In this study, we show that blow-sampling provides a viable and less invasive method for collection of genetic data, even for small cetaceans. In contrast to dart biopsying, the advantage of this method is that it capitalizes on the natural breathing behaviour of dolphins and can be applied to even very young dolphins. Both biopsy and blow-sampling require close proximity of the boat, but blow-sampling can be achieved when dolphins voluntarily bow-ride and involves no harmful contact.

  5. Habitat modeling for cetacean management: Spatial distribution in the southern Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennino, Maria Grazia; Mérigot, Bastien; Fonseca, Vinícius Prado; Monni, Virginia; Rotta, Andrea

    2017-07-01

    Effective management and conservation of wild populations requires knowledge of their habitats, especially by mean of quantitative analyses of their spatial distributions. The Pelagos Sanctuary is a dedicated marine protected area for Mediterranean marine mammals covering an area of 90,000 km2 in the north-western Mediterranean Sea between Italy, France and the Principate of Monaco. In the south of the Sanctuary, i.e. along the Sardinian coast, a range of diverse human activities (cities, industry, fishery, tourism) exerts several current ad potential threats to cetacean populations. In addition, marine mammals are recognized by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive as essential components of sustainable ecosystems. Yet, knowledge on the spatial distribution and ecology of cetaceans in this area is quite scarce. Here we modeled occurrence of the three most abundant species known in the Sanctuary, i.e. the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), using sighting data from scientific surveys collected from 2012 to 2014 during summer time. Bayesian site-occupancy models were used to model their spatial distribution in relation to habitat taking into account oceanographic (sea surface temperature, primary production, photosynthetically active radiation, chlorophyll-a concentration) and topographic (depth, slope, distance of the land) variables. Cetaceans responded differently to the habitat features, with higher occurrence predicted in the more productive areas on submarine canyons. These results provide ecological information useful to enhance management plans and establish baseline for future population trend studies.

  6. Shark-Cetacean trophic interaction, Duinefontein, Koeberg, (5 Ma, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romala Govender

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study forms part of a larger project to reconstruct the Mio-Pliocene marine palaeoenvironment along South Africa’s west coast. It documents the shark–cetacean trophic interaction during the Zanclean (5 Ma at Duinefontein (Koeberg. The damage described on the fragmentary cetacean bones was compared with similar damage observed on fossils from Langebaanweg, a Mio-Pliocene site on the west coast of South Africa, and data present in the literature. This comparison showed that the damage was the result of shark bites. The state of preservation makes it difficult to determine if the shark bite marks were the cause of death or as a result of scavenging. The presence of the bite marks on the bone would, however, indicate some degree of skeletonisation. Bite marks on some cranial fragments would suggest that the cetacean’s body was in an inverted position typical of a floating carcass. The preservation of the material suggests that the bones were exposed to wave action resulting in their fragmentation as well as abrasion, polishing and rolling. It also suggests that the cetacean skeletons were exposed for a long time prior to burial. The morphology of the bites suggests that the damage was inflicted by sharks with serrated and unserrated teeth. Shark teeth collected from the deposit include megalodon (Carcharodon megalodon, white (Carcharodon carcharias as well as mako (Isurus sp. and Cosmopolitodus hastalis sharks, making these sharks the most likely predators/scavengers.

  7. Assessing cetacean surveys throughout the Mediterranean Sea: a gap analysis in environmental space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannocci, Laura; Roberts, Jason J; Halpin, Patrick N; Authier, Matthieu; Boisseau, Oliver; Bradai, Mohamed Nejmeddine; Cañadas, Ana; Chicote, Carla; David, Léa; Di-Méglio, Nathalie; Fortuna, Caterina M; Frantzis, Alexandros; Gazo, Manel; Genov, Tilen; Hammond, Philip S; Holcer, Draško; Kaschner, Kristin; Kerem, Dani; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Lewis, Tim; Notarbartolo di Sciara, Giuseppe; Panigada, Simone; Raga, Juan Antonio; Scheinin, Aviad; Ridoux, Vincent; Vella, Adriana; Vella, Joseph

    2018-02-15

    Heterogeneous data collection in the marine environment has led to large gaps in our knowledge of marine species distributions. To fill these gaps, models calibrated on existing data may be used to predict species distributions in unsampled areas, given that available data are sufficiently representative. Our objective was to evaluate the feasibility of mapping cetacean densities across the entire Mediterranean Sea using models calibrated on available survey data and various environmental covariates. We aggregated 302,481 km of line transect survey effort conducted in the Mediterranean Sea within the past 20 years by many organisations. Survey coverage was highly heterogeneous geographically and seasonally: large data gaps were present in the eastern and southern Mediterranean and in non-summer months. We mapped the extent of interpolation versus extrapolation and the proportion of data nearby in environmental space when models calibrated on existing survey data were used for prediction across the entire Mediterranean Sea. Using model predictions to map cetacean densities in the eastern and southern Mediterranean, characterised by warmer, less productive waters, and more intense eddy activity, would lead to potentially unreliable extrapolations. We stress the need for systematic surveys of cetaceans in these environmentally unique Mediterranean waters, particularly in non-summer months.

  8. Genetic Evidence Highlights Potential Impacts of By-Catch to Cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Martin; Rosenbaum, Howard C.; Wells, Randall S.; Stamper, Andrew; Bordino, Pablo

    2010-01-01

    Incidental entanglement in fishing gear is arguably the most serious threat to many populations of small cetaceans, judging by the alarming number of captured animals. However, other aspects of this threat, such as the potential capture of mother-offspring pairs or reproductive pairs, could be equally or even more significant but have rarely been evaluated. Using a combination of demographic and genetic data we provide evidence that i) Franciscana dolphin pairs that are potentially reproductive and mother-offspring pairs form temporal bonds, and ii) are entangled simultaneously. Our results highlight potential demographic and genetic impacts of by-catch to cetacean populations: the joint entanglement of mother-offspring or reproductive pairs, compared to random individuals, might exacerbate the demographic consequences of by-catch, and the loss of groups of relatives means that significant components of genetic diversity could be lost together. Given the social nature of many odontocetes (toothed cetaceans), we suggest that these potential impacts could be rather general to the group and therefore by-catch could be more detrimental than previously considered. PMID:21179542

  9. Interspecific introgression in cetaceans: DNA markers reveal post-F1 status of a pilot whale.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Miralles

    Full Text Available Visual species identification of cetacean strandings is difficult, especially when dead specimens are degraded and/or species are morphologically similar. The two recognised pilot whale species (Globicephala melas and Globicephala macrorhynchus are sympatric in the North Atlantic Ocean. These species are very similar in external appearance and their morphometric characteristics partially overlap; thus visual identification is not always reliable. Genetic species identification ensures correct identification of specimens. Here we have employed one mitochondrial (D-Loop region and eight nuclear loci (microsatellites as genetic markers to identify six stranded pilot whales found in Galicia (Northwest Spain, one of them of ambiguous phenotype. DNA analyses yielded positive amplification of all loci and enabled species identification. Nuclear microsatellite DNA genotypes revealed mixed ancestry for one individual, identified as a post-F1 interspecific hybrid employing two different Bayesian methods. From the mitochondrial sequence the maternal species was Globicephala melas. This is the first hybrid documented between Globicephala melas and G. macrorhynchus, and the first post-F1 hybrid genetically identified between cetaceans, revealing interspecific genetic introgression in marine mammals. We propose to add nuclear loci to genetic databases for cetacean species identification in order to detect hybrid individuals.

  10. Implementation of a method to visualize noise-induced hearing loss in mass stranded cetaceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morell, Maria; Brownlow, Andrew; McGovern, Barry; Raverty, Stephen A.; Shadwick, Robert E.; André, Michel

    2017-02-01

    Assessment of the impact of noise over-exposure in stranded cetaceans is challenging, as the lesions that lead to hearing loss occur at the cellular level and inner ear cells are very sensitive to autolysis. Distinguishing ante-mortem pathology from post-mortem change has been a major constraint in diagnosing potential impact. Here, we outline a methodology applicable to the detection of noise-induced hearing loss in stranded cetaceans. Inner ears from two mass strandings of long-finned pilot whales in Scotland were processed for scanning electron microscopy observation. In one case, a juvenile animal, whose ears were fixed within 4 hours of death, revealed that many sensory cells at the apex of the cochlear spiral were missing. In this case, the absence of outer hair cells would be compatible with overexposure to underwater noise, affecting the region which transduces the lowest frequencies of the pilot whales hearing spectrum. Perfusion of cochlea with fixative greatly improved preservation and enabled diagnostic imaging of the organ of Corti, even 30 hours after death. This finding supports adopting a routine protocol to detect the pathological legacy of noise overexposure in mass stranded cetaceans as a key to understanding the complex processes and implications that lie behind such stranding events.

  11. Distribution, abundance and habitat use of deep diving cetaceans in the North-East Atlantic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogan, Emer; Cañadas, Ana; Macleod, Kelly; Santos, M. Begoña; Mikkelsen, Bjarni; Uriarte, Ainhize; Van Canneyt, Olivier; Vázquez, José Antonio; Hammond, Philip S.

    2017-07-01

    In spite of their oceanic habitat, deep diving cetacean species have been found to be affected by anthropogenic activities, with potential population impacts of high intensity sounds generated by naval research and oil prospecting receiving the most attention. Improving the knowledge of the distribution and abundance of this poorly known group is an essential prerequisite to inform mitigation strategies seeking to minimize their spatial and temporal overlap with human activities. We provide for the first time abundance estimates for five deep diving cetacean species (sperm whale, long-finned pilot whale, northern bottlenose whale, Cuvier's beaked whale and Sowerby's beaked whale) using data from three dedicated cetacean sighting surveys that covered the oceanic and shelf waters of the North-East Atlantic. Density surface modelling was used to obtain model-based estimates of abundance and to explore the physical and biological characteristics of the habitat used by these species. Distribution of all species was found to be significantly related to depth, distance from the 2000m depth contour, the contour index (a measure of variability in the seabed) and sea surface temperature. Predicted distribution maps also suggest that there is little spatial overlap between these species. Our results represent the best abundance estimates for deep-diving whales in the North-East Atlantic, predict areas of high density during summer and constitute important baseline information to guide future risk assessments of human activities on these species, evaluate potential spatial and temporal trends and inform EU Directives and future conservation efforts.

  12. Temporal evolution of brain reorganization under cross-modal training: insights into the functional architecture of encoding and retrieval networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Likova, Lora T.

    2015-03-01

    This study is based on the recent discovery of massive and well-structured cross-modal memory activation generated in the primary visual cortex (V1) of totally blind people as a result of novel training in drawing without any vision (Likova, 2012). This unexpected functional reorganization of primary visual cortex was obtained after undergoing only a week of training by the novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic Method, and was consistent across pilot groups of different categories of visual deprivation: congenitally blind, late-onset blind and blindfolded (Likova, 2014). These findings led us to implicate V1 as the implementation of the theoretical visuo-spatial 'sketchpad' for working memory in the human brain. Since neither the source nor the subsequent 'recipient' of this non-visual memory information in V1 is known, these results raise a number of important questions about the underlying functional organization of the respective encoding and retrieval networks in the brain. To address these questions, an individual totally blind from birth was given a week of Cognitive-Kinesthetic training, accompanied by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) both before and just after training, and again after a two-month consolidation period. The results revealed a remarkable temporal sequence of training-based response reorganization in both the hippocampal complex and the temporal-lobe object processing hierarchy over the prolonged consolidation period. In particular, a pattern of profound learning-based transformations in the hippocampus was strongly reflected in V1, with the retrieval function showing massive growth as result of the Cognitive-Kinesthetic memory training and consolidation, while the initially strong hippocampal response during tactile exploration and encoding became non-existent. Furthermore, after training, an alternating patch structure in the form of a cascade of discrete ventral regions underwent radical transformations to reach complete functional

  13. The cultural evolution of language and brain: Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colagè, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Michael A. Arbib's Mirror System Hypothesis (MSH) [1,2] is among the most elaborate attempts at disentangling the issue of language origin. I will focus on the role that cultural evolution, as distinct from biological (genetic) evolution, may have played in the emergence of ;modern; human language (as contrasted with forms of proto-languages).

  14. Whales, dolphins or fishes? The ethnotaxonomy of cetaceans in São Sebastião, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Souza Shirley P

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The local knowledge of human populations about the natural world has been addressed through ethnobiological studies, especially concerning resources uses and their management. Several criteria, such as morphology, ecology, behavior, utility and salience, have been used by local communities to classify plants and animals. Studies regarding fishers' knowledge on cetaceans in the world, especially in Brazil, began in the last decade. Our objective is to investigate the folk classification by fishers concerning cetaceans, and the contribution of fishers' local knowledge to the conservation of that group. In particular, we aim to record fishers' knowledge in relation to cetaceans, with emphasis on folk taxonomy. The studied area is São Sebastião, located in the southeastern coast of Brazil, where 70 fishers from 14 communities were selected according to their fishing experience and interviewed through questionnaires about classification, nomenclature and ecological aspects of local cetaceans' species. Our results indicated that most fishers classified cetaceans as belonging to the life-form 'fish'. Fishers' citations for the nomenclature of the 11 biological species (10 biological genera, resulted in 14 folk species (3 generic names. Fishers' taxonomy was influenced mostly by the phenotypic and cultural salience of the studied cetaceans. Cultural transmission, vertical and horizontal, was intimately linked to fishers' classification process. The most salient species, therefore well recognized and named, were those most often caught by gillnets, in addition to the biggest ones and those most exposed by media, through TV programs, which were watched and mentioned by fishers. Our results showed that fishers' ecological knowledge could be a valuable contribution to cetaceans' conservation, helping to determine areas and periods for their protection, indicating priority topics for research and participating in alternative management related to

  15. Quantifying the risk that marine debris poses to cetaceans in coastal waters of the 4-island region of Maui.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, Jens J; Stack, Stephanie H; McCordic, Jessica A; Kaufman, Gregory D

    2017-08-15

    Marine debris poses considerable threat to biodiversity and ecosystems and has been identified as a stressor for a variety of marine life. Here we present results from the first study quantifying the amount and type of debris accumulation in Maui leeward waters and relate this to cetacean distribution to identify areas where marine debris may present a higher threat. Transect surveys were conducted within the 4-island region of Maui, Hawai'i from April 1, 2013 to April 15, 2016. Debris was found in all areas of the study region with higher concentrations observed where the Au'au, Kealaikahiki, and Alalakeiki channels converge. The degree of overlap between debris and cetaceans varied among species but was largest for humpback whales, which account for the largest portion of reported entanglements in the 4-island region of Maui. Identifying areas of high debris-cetacean density overlap can facilitate species management and debris removal efforts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. New-tools to assess the toxicological hazard of endocrine disruptor organoclorine contaminants in Mediterranean cetaceans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M. Cristina Fossi; Marsili, L.; Casini, S. [Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Siena (Italy)

    2004-09-15

    The Mediterranean top predators, and particularly cetacean odontocetes, accumulate high concentrations of organochlorine contaminants (OCs), incurring high toxicological risk. Some organochlorine compounds, now with worldwide distribution, are known as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Four types of organochlorine endocrine disruptors are commonly found in Mediterranean cetaceans: (1) environmental estrogens, (2) environmental androgens, (3) anti-estrogens and (4) anti-androgens. Endocrine disruptors act by mimicking sex steroid hormones, both estrogens and androgens, by binding to hormone receptors or influencing cell pathways (environmental estrogens and androgens), or by blocking and altering hormone receptor binding (anti-estrogens, antiandrogens). Environmental estrogens are the most common and most widely studied EDCs. The relative estrogenic power of these chemicals, identified by in vitro and in vivo screening methods is rather weak (10{sup -3} or less) compared with the reference power of 17-estradiol or DES. However, the high levels of organochlorine compounds detected in marine mammals, particularly in pinnipeds and odontocetes, and consequently, the high levels of organochlorines with ED capacity, cannot be ignored. Here the hypothesis that some Mediterranean cetaceans (Stenella coeruleoalba, Delphinus delphis, Tursiops truncatus and Balaenoptera physalus) are ''potentially at risk'' due to organochlorines with endocrine disrupting capacity is investigated using new non-lethal tools. As ''diagnostic'' tool we use benzo(a)pyrene monooxygenase (CYP1A1) activity in skin biopsies (non-lethal biomarker) as a potential indicator of exposure to organochlorines, with special reference to the compounds with endocrine disrupting capacity. As ''prognostic'' tool we propose the immunofluorescence technique in fibroblast cell cultures, for a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the target

  17. Molecular characterization of poxviruses associated with tattoo skin lesions in UK cetaceans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Blacklaws

    Full Text Available There is increasing concern for the well-being of cetacean populations around the UK. Tattoo skin disease (characterised by irregular, grey, black or yellowish, stippled cutaneous lesions caused by poxvirus infection is a potential health indicatora potential health indicator for cetaceans. Limited sequence data indicates that cetacean poxviruses (CPVs belong to an unassigned genus of the Chordopoxvirinae. To obtain further insight into the phylogenetic relationships between CPV and other Chordopoxvirinae members we partially characterized viral DNA originating from tattoo lesions collected in Delphinidae and Phocoenidae stranded along the UK coastline in 1998-2008. We also evaluated the presence of CPV in skin lesions other than tattoos to examine specificity and sensitivity of visual diagnosis. After DNA extraction, regions of the DNA polymerase and DNA topoisomerase I genes were amplified by PCR, sequenced and compared with other isolates. The presence of CPV DNA was demonstrated in tattoos from one striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba, eight harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena and one short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis and in one 'dubious tattoo' lesion detected in one other porpoise. Seventeen of the 18 PCR positive skin lesions had been visually identified as tattoos and one as a dubious tattoo. None of the other skin lesions were PCR positive. Thus, visual identification had a 94.4% sensitivity and 100% specificity. The DNA polymerase PCR was most effective in detecting CPV DNA. Limited sequence phylogeny grouped the UK samples within the odontocete poxviruses (CPV group 1 and indicated that two different poxvirus lineages infect the Phocoenidae and the Delphinidae. The phylogenetic tree had three major branches: one with the UK Phocoenidae viruses, one with the Delphinidae isolates and one for the mysticete poxvirus (CPV group 2. This implies a radiation of poxviruses according to the host suborder and the families within

  18. Diversity and Distribution Patterns of Cetaceans in the Subtropical Southwestern Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf and Slope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Tullio, Juliana Couto; Gandra, Tiago B. R.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Secchi, Eduardo R.

    2016-01-01

    Temporal and spatial patterns of cetacean diversity and distribution were investigated through eight ship-based surveys carried out during spring and autumn between 2009 and 2014 on the outer continental shelf (~150m) and slope (1500m) off southeastern and southern Brazil (~23°S to ~34°S). The survey area was divided into southeast and south areas according to their oceanographic characteristics. Twenty-one species were observed in 503 sightings. The overall number of species was similar between the two areas, though it was higher in the spring in the south area. Five species were dominant and diversity varied more seasonally than spatially. ANOVA and kernel analyses showed that overall cetacean densities were higher in spring compared to autumn. Physeter macrocephalus, the most frequent species, concentrated throughout the south area at depths over 1000m in both seasons. Despite the overlapped occurrence at a broader scale, small delphinids presented latitudinal and in-offshore gradients as well as seasonal variation in distribution patterns, which could indicate habitat partitioning between some species. Delphinus delphis was only recorded in the south and its density decreased in areas where the presence of Stenella frontalis increased, mainly beyond the 250m isobath. Densities of S. longirostris and S. attenuata increased in lower latitudes and beyond the shelf break. The large delphinids Tursiops truncatus and Globicephala melas formed mixed groups in many occasions and were observed along the study area around depths of 500m. Grampus griseus was twice as frequent in the south area and densities increased in waters deeper than 600m. As expected, densities of both small and large migratory whales were higher during spring, over the continental slope, in the southeast area. The results presented here provided strong evidence on the importance of the outer continental shelf and slope to a diverse community of cetaceans occurring in the subtropical Southwestern

  19. Fishing activity in Northern Rio de Janeiro State (Brazil and its relation with small cetaceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Madeira Di Beneditto

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Research on fishing activity at Atafona village, in Northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (21°35'S, was carried out between 1987-96 for the purpose of relating it to the accidental capture of small cetaceans and of estimating the relationship between fishing activity and the diet of small cetaceans. Data on fishing operations were obtained at the cold storage plants management, from interviews with fishermen and personal observations. The most representative fishing resources were Xyphopenaeus kroyeri, Micropogonias furnieri, Carcharhinus plumbeus, C. acronotus,and Rhizoprionodon porosus. Gillnets are responsible for the accidental capture of small cetaceans in the region, mainly Pontoporia blainvillei and Sotalia fluviatilis (marine form. Four types of gillnets that are used on the region ("minjuada", "sarda", "caçoá" and "pescadinha" were dangerous to these species because they are placed in their preferred habitat. There is no competition between fishermen and small cetaceans due to the selection in the capture of commercialized fishesInvestigação sobre a atividade pesqueira na localidade de Atafona, Norte do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (21º25`S, foi conduzida entre 1987-96 com o objetivo de relacioná-la com a captura acidental e a dieta dos pequenos cetáceos. Dados sobre as operações pesqueiras foram obtidos na administração dos entrepostos de pesca, através de entrevistas com pescadores e observações pessoais. Os recursos pesqueiros mais representativos foram Xyphopenaeus kroyeri, Micropogonias furnieri, Carcharhinus plumbeus, C. acronotus, and Rhizoprionodon porosus. As redes de espera são responsáveis pela captura acidental de pequenos cetáceos na região, principalmente de Pontoporia blainvillei e Sotalia fluviatilis (forma marinha. Quatro tipos de redes de espera que são usadas na região ("minjuada", "sarda", "caçoá" and "pescadinha" foram mais perigosas para essas espécies pois são colocadas no seu hábitat preferencial

  20. The role of docosahexaenoic and the marine food web as determinants of evolution and hominid brain development: the challenge for human sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Michael A; Broadhurst, C Leigh

    2012-01-01

    Life originated on this planet about 3 billion years ago. For the first 2.5 billion years of life there was ample opportunity for DNA modification. Yet there is no evidence of significant change in life forms during that time. It was not until about 600 million years ago, when the oxygen tension rose to a point where air-breathing life forms became thermodynamically possible, that a major change can be abruptly seen in the fossil record. The sudden appearance of the 32 phyla in the Cambrian fossil record was also associated with the appearance of intracellular detail not seen in previous life forms. That detail was provided by cell membranes made with lipids (membrane fats) as structural essentials. Lipids thus played a major, as yet unrecognised, role as determinants in evolution. The compartmentalisation of intracellular, specialist functions as in the nucleus, mitochondria, reticulo-endothelial system and plasma membrane led to cellular specialisation and then speciation. Thus, not only oxygen but also the marine lipids were drivers in the Cambrian explosion. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (all-cis-docosa-4,7,10,13,16,19-hexaenoic acid, C22:6ω3 or C22:6, n-3, DHA) is a major feature of marine lipids. It requires six oxygen atoms to insert its six double bonds, so it would not have been abundant before oxidative metabolism became plentiful. DHA provided the membrane backbone for the emergence of new photoreceptors that converted photons into electricity, laying the foundation for the evolution of other signalling systems, the nervous system and the brain. Hence, the ω3 DHA from the marine food web must have played a critical role in human evolution. There is also clear evidence from molecular biology that DHA is a determinant of neuronal migration, neurogenesis and the expression of several genes involved in brain growth and function. That same process was essential to the ultimate cerebral expansion in human evolution. There is now incontrovertible support of this

  1. The evolution of a brain abscess the complementary roles of radionuclide (RN) and computed tomography (CT) scans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masucci, E.F.; Sauerbrunn, B.J.

    1982-01-01

    Serial /sup 99m/Tc glucoheptonate brain scans demonstrated a brain abscess in a patient from the earliest phase of acute focal encephalitis (cerebritis) through the capsule formation and the recovery phase. The role of the RN and CT scans in the diagnosis of the early stage of cerebritis and the complementary nature of RN and CT scans in intracranial infections, particularly abscesses, are discussed. Guidelines for the use of RN and CT scans are suggested

  2. The use of diagnostic imaging for identifying abnormal gas accumulations in cetaceans and pinnipeds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eDennison

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent dogma suggested that marine mammals are not at risk of decompression sickness (DCS due to a number of evolutionary adaptations. Several proposed adaptations exist. Lung compression and alveolar collapse that terminate gas exchange before a depth is reached where supersaturation is significant and bradycardia with peripheral vasoconstriction affecting the distribution, and dynamics of blood and tissue nitrogen levels. Published accounts of gas and fat emboli and dysbaric osteonecrosis in marine mammals and theoretical modeling have challenged this view-point, suggesting that decompression-like symptoms may occur under certain circumstances, contrary to common belief. Diagnostic imaging modalities are invaluable tools for the non-invasive examination of animals for evidence of gas and have been used to demonstrate the presence of incidental decompression-related renal gas accumulations in some stranded cetaceans. Diagnostic imaging has also contributed to the recognition of clinically significant gas accumulations in live and dead cetaceans and pinnipeds. Understanding the appropriate application and limitations of the available imaging modalities is important for accurate interpretation of results. The presence of gas may be incidental and must be interpreted cautiously alongside all other available data including clinical examination, clinical laboratory testing, gas analysis, necropsy examination and histology results.

  3. Species-specific accumulation of dioxin related compounds in cetaceans collected from Japanese coastal waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kajiwara, N.; Watanabe, M.; Tanabe, S. [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime Univ. (Japan); Amano, M. [Ocean Research Inst., Univ. of Tokyo, Iwate (Japan); Yamada, T. [National Science Museum, Tokyo (Japan)

    2004-09-15

    Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are extremely hazardous and persistent chemicals identified as contaminants in chlorophenols, herbicides, fly ash and other incineration products. Dioxin-like PCBs including non- and mono-ortho coplanar PCBs are referred to as dioxin related compounds and are evaluated on par with PCDD/Fs in environmental risks since they have a high toxicity, similar to that of PCDD/Fs. These congeners have a range of physicochemical characteristics, which profoundly affect their persistence, environmental distribution, and bioaccumulation in aquatic food chains. Fish-eating wildlife such as marine mammals are particularly vulnerable to such contamination given their long lives, high trophic level, relative inability to metabolize many persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and the biomagnification of these contaminants in aquatic food chains. However, most studies dealing with PCDDs and PCDFs in marine mammals have been carried out on pinnipeds, and data on PCDD/Fs levels in cetaceans are scarce. The present study is aimed at understanding the recent pattern of contamination by dioxin related compounds including non- and mono-ortho coplanar PCBs and PCDD/Fs in three cetacean species collected from Japanese coastal waters during 1998-2001, and also to discuss the factors determining the accumulation.

  4. Inter-specific and seasonal comparison of the niches occupied by small cetaceans off north-west Iberia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez Garcia, Rut; MacLeod, C. D.; Pierce, G. J.

    2013-01-01

    Knowledge of species' ecological niches can be used to assess ecological interactions between different taxa. Sixteen species of cetaceans have been recorded in Galician waters and niche partitioning is expected to occur among these species in order to allow them to co-exist. In this study, the n...

  5. Lost Polarization of Aquaporin4 and Dystroglycan in the Core Lesion after Traumatic Brain Injury Suggests Functional Divergence in Evolution

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    Hui Liu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To understand how aquaporin4 (AQP4 and dystroglycan (DG polarized distribution change and their roles in brain edema formation after traumatic brain injury (TBI. Methods. Brain water content, Evans blue detection, real-time PCR, western blot, and immunofluorescence were used. Results. At an early stage of TBI, AQP4 and DG maintained vessel-like pattern in perivascular endfeet; M1, M23, and M1/M23 were increased in the core lesion. At a later stage of TBI, DG expression was lost in perivascular area, accompanied with similar but delayed change of AQP4 expression; expression of M1, M23, and DG and the ratio of M1/M2 were increased. Conclusion. At an early stage, AQP4 and DG maintained the polarized distribution. Upregulated M1 and M23 could retard the cytotoxic edema formation. At a later stage AQP4 and DG polarized expression were lost from perivascular endfeet and induced the worst cytotoxic brain edema. The alteration of DG expression could regulate that of AQP4 expression after TBI.

  6. Rapid evolution and copy number variation of primate RHOXF2, an X-linked homeobox gene involved in male reproduction and possibly brain function

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    Zhang Rui

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Homeobox genes are the key regulators during development, and they are in general highly conserved with only a few reported cases of rapid evolution. RHOXF2 is an X-linked homeobox gene in primates. It is highly expressed in the testicle and may play an important role in spermatogenesis. As male reproductive system is often the target of natural and/or sexual selection during evolution, in this study, we aim to dissect the pattern of molecular evolution of RHOXF2 in primates and its potential functional consequence. Results We studied sequences and copy number variation of RHOXF2 in humans and 16 nonhuman primate species as well as the expression patterns in human, chimpanzee, white-browed gibbon and rhesus macaque. The gene copy number analysis showed that there had been parallel gene duplications/losses in multiple primate lineages. Our evidence suggests that 11 nonhuman primate species have one RHOXF2 copy, and two copies are present in humans and four Old World monkey species, and at least 6 copies in chimpanzees. Further analysis indicated that the gene duplications in primates had likely been mediated by endogenous retrovirus (ERV sequences flanking the gene regions. In striking contrast to non-human primates, humans appear to have homogenized their two RHOXF2 copies by the ERV-mediated non-allelic recombination mechanism. Coding sequence and phylogenetic analysis suggested multi-lineage strong positive selection on RHOXF2 during primate evolution, especially during the origins of humans and chimpanzees. All the 8 coding region polymorphic sites in human populations are non-synonymous, implying on-going selection. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that besides the preferential expression in the reproductive system, RHOXF2 is also expressed in the brain. The quantitative data suggests expression pattern divergence among primate species. Conclusions RHOXF2 is a fast-evolving homeobox gene in primates. The rapid

  7. Habitat-Based Density Models for Three Cetacean Species off Southern California Illustrate Pronounced Seasonal Differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Becker

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Managing marine species effectively requires spatially and temporally explicit knowledge of their density and distribution. Habitat-based density models, a type of species distribution model (SDM that uses habitat covariates to estimate species density and distribution patterns, are increasingly used for marine management and conservation because they provide a tool for assessing potential impacts (e.g., from fishery bycatch, ship strikes, anthropogenic sound over a variety of spatial and temporal scales. The abundance and distribution of many pelagic species exhibit substantial seasonal variability, highlighting the importance of predicting density specific to the season of interest. This is particularly true in dynamic regions like the California Current, where significant seasonal shifts in cetacean distribution have been documented at coarse scales. Finer scale (10 km habitat-based density models were previously developed for many cetacean species occurring in this region, but most models were limited to summer/fall. The objectives of our study were two-fold: (1 develop spatially-explicit density estimates for winter/spring to support management applications, and (2 compare model-predicted density and distribution patterns to previously developed summer/fall model results in the context of species ecology. We used a well-established Generalized Additive Modeling framework to develop cetacean SDMs based on 20 California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI shipboard surveys conducted during winter and spring between 2005 and 2015. Models were fit for short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis delphis, Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli, and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae. Model performance was evaluated based on a variety of established metrics, including the percentage of explained deviance, ratios of observed to predicted density, and visual inspection of predicted and observed distributions. Final models were

  8. Two possible driving forces supporting the evolution of animal communication. Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulin-Frier, Clément; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2016-03-01

    In the target paper [1], M.A. Arbib proposes a quite exhaustive review of the (often computational) models developed during the last decades that support his detailed scenario on language evolution (the Mirror System Hypothesis, MSH). The approach considers that language evolved from a mirror system for grasping already present in LCA-m (the last common ancestor of macaques and humans), to a simple imitation system for grasping present in LCA-c (the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans), to a complex imitation system for grasping that developed in the hominid line since that ancestor. MSH considers that this complex imitation system is a key evolutionary step for a language-ready brain, providing all the required elements for an open-ended gestural communication system. The transition from the gestural (bracchio-manual and visual) to the vocal (articulatory and auditory) domain is supposed to be a less important evolutionary step.

  9. NCCOS Assessment: Predictive Mapping of Seabirds, Pinnipeds and Cetaceans off the Pacific Coast of Washington from 1995-07-21 to 2015-12-08 (NCEI Accession 0148762)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data collection comprises seasonal distribution maps and model outputs of selected seabird, pinniped and cetacean species off the Pacific coast of Washington....

  10. Brief Communication: Cetaceans and tsunamis - whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goff, J. R.; Chagué-Goff, C.

    2009-06-01

    The composition of tsunami deposits is variable and governed by source material. Many unusual items have been recorded from tsunami deposits. For example, during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, a dolphin was reported to have been transported 1400 m inland, a shark was found in a hotel swimming pool, and sea turtles were stranded kilometers inland. Reports and papers from early settlers and explorers have often highlighted similar unusual finds. We briefly discuss an example from New Zealand where intact cetacean skeletons were found elevated on land adjacent to the coast. The validity of this find as evidence for tsunami emplacement is considered. It is also noted that such old reports should be treated with respect and re-evaluated in the light of more recent findings.

  11. Brief Communication: Cetaceans and tsunamis – whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. R. Goff

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The composition of tsunami deposits is variable and governed by source material. Many unusual items have been recorded from tsunami deposits. For example, during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, a dolphin was reported to have been transported 1400 m inland, a shark was found in a hotel swimming pool, and sea turtles were stranded kilometers inland. Reports and papers from early settlers and explorers have often highlighted similar unusual finds. We briefly discuss an example from New Zealand where intact cetacean skeletons were found elevated on land adjacent to the coast. The validity of this find as evidence for tsunami emplacement is considered. It is also noted that such old reports should be treated with respect and re-evaluated in the light of more recent findings.

  12. Controlled Sonar Exposure Experiments on Cetaceans in Norwegian Waters: Overview of the 3S-Project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Frans-Peter A; Kvadsheim, Petter H; Miller, Patrick J O; Tyack, Peter L; Ainslie, Michael A; Curé, Charlotte; Kleivane, Lars; Sivle, Lise Doksæter; van Ijsselmuide, Sander P; Visser, Fleur; von Benda-Beckmann, Alexander M; Wensveen, Paul J; Dekeling, René P A

    2016-01-01

    In mitigating the risk of sonar operations, the behavioral response of cetaceans is one of the major knowledge gaps that needs to be addressed. The 3S-Project has conducted a number of controlled exposure experiments with a realistic sonar source in Norwegian waters from 2006 to 2013. In total, the following six target species have been studied: killer, long-finned pilot, sperm, humpback, minke, and northern bottlenose whales. A total of 38 controlled sonar exposures have been conducted on these species. Responses from controlled and repeated exposure runs have been recorded using acoustic and visual observations as well as with electronic tags on the target animal. So far, the first dose-response curves as well as an overview of the scored severity of responses have been revealed. In this paper, an overview is presented of the approach for the study, including the results so far as well as the current status of the ongoing analysis.

  13. Cetacean acoustic detections from free-floating vertical hydrophone arrays in the southern California Current.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Emily T; Barlow, Jay

    2016-11-01

    Drifting acoustic recorders were deployed in the southern California Current during Fall 2014. Two hydrophones configured as a 2-m vertical array at 100 m depth recorded using a 192 kHz sample rate on a 10% duty cycle (2 min/20 min). Beaked whales were detected in 33 of 8618 two-minute recordings. Sperm whales were detected in 185 recordings, and dolphins in 2291 recordings. Many beaked whales detected were over an abyssal plain and not associated with slope or seamount features. Results show the feasibility of using free-floating recording systems to detect a variety of cetacean species over periods of several months.

  14. FIRST CETACEAN FOSSIL RECORDS FROM ECUADOR, COLLECTED FROM THE MIOCENE OF ESMERALDAS PROVINCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GIOVANNI BIANUCCI

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Cetacean fossils from Ecuador are reported for the first time on the basis of fragmentary remains referred to odontocetes, collected during our investigations of Neogene stratigraphic sequences outcropping along the northern coast (Esmeraldas Province. One specimen was collected near Las Peñas village in the Lower-Middle Miocene sediments of the Viche Formation and consists of ear bones and mandibular fragments surely belonging to Ziphiidae. It represents the oldest record of this family in the southeastern Pacific and one of the few records of this family in South America. The other fossil was collected near Rio Verde village in the Upper Miocene sediments of the Angostura Formation and consists of an isolated tooth exhibiting some ziphiid affinities. Pdf

  15. Contamination by persistent organochlorines in cetaceans incidentally caught along Brazilian coastal waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajiwara, N; Matsuoka, S; Iwata, H; Tanabe, S; Rosas, F C W; Fillmann, G; Readman, J W

    2004-01-01

    Wide ranges of organochlorine residues were determined in the blubber of franciscana (Pontoporia blainvillei), estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis), and long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis) incidentally caught along Brazilian coastal waters. Concentrations of DDTs and PCBs were the highest, followed by CHLs, TCPMOH, dieldrin, TCPMe, heptachlor epoxide, HCB, and HCHs. Unexpectedly, significant pollution of PCBs, DDTs, TCPMe, and TCPMOH were observed in cetaceans from Brazil, implying the occurrence of local sources in the Southern Hemisphere comparable to those in the Northern Hemisphere, probably by high industrialization in Brazil. On the other hand, CHLs, HCB, HCHs, heptachlor epoxide, and dieldrin residue levels in Brazilian dolphins were much lower than those in other species from the Northern Hemisphere. Significant correlations of TCPMe and TCPMOH were found along with PCBs and DDTs, indicating the highly bioaccumulative nature of all these compounds and/or possible similar pollution sources.

  16. Detection of pesticides unregistered in Japan, toxaphene and mirex, in the cetaceans from Japanese coastal waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Imanishi, K.; Kawakami, M.; Shimada, A.; Chikaishi, K. [Sumika Chemical Analysis Service, LTD., Niihama (Japan); Kimura, Y. [Sumika Chemical Analysis Service, LTD., Chiba (Japan); Kajiwara, N.; Tanabe, S. [Center for Marine Environmental Studies, Ehime Univ., Matsuyama (Japan); Yamada, T. [National Science Museum, Tokyo (Japan)

    2004-09-15

    Toxaphene and mirex are the members of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) included in the International Treaty, the Stockholm Convention. POPs are characteristically transferred across borders and are accumulated in wildlife. Consequently, their global distribution and biological impacts are of great concern. However, there is very little information on contamination by toxaphene and mirex in the Asia-Pacific region. In Japan, scientific research focused on these two pesticides has not been conducted so far since they have never been registered there. In this study, toxaphene and mirex were determined in the blubber of cetaceans collected from various regions with a focus on Asian countries to evaluate the effects of their long-range atmospheric transport from regions where they were extensively used.

  17. Prevalence of external injuries in small cetaceans in Aruban waters, southern Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luksenburg, Jolanda A

    2014-01-01

    Aruba, located close to the coasts of Colombia and Venezuela, is one of the most densely populated islands in the Caribbean and supports a wide range of marine-related socio-economic activities. However, little is known about the impacts of human activities on the marine environment. Injuries in marine mammals can be used to examine interactions with human activities and identify potential threats to the survival of populations. The prevalence of external injuries and tooth rake marks were examined in Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) (n = 179), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) (n = 76) and false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) (n = 71) in Aruban waters using photo identification techniques. Eleven injury categories were defined and linked to either human-related activities or natural causes. All injury categories were observed. In total, 18.7% of all individuals had at least one injury. Almost half (41.7%) of the injuries could be attributed to human interactions, of which fishing gear was the most common cause (53.3%) followed by propeller hits (13.3%). Major disfigurements were observed in all three species and could be attributed to interactions with fishing gear. The results of this study indicate that fishing gear and propeller hits may pose threats to small and medium-sized cetaceans in Aruban waters. Thus, long-term monitoring of population trends is warranted. Shark-inflicted bite wounds were observed in Atlantic spotted dolphin and bottlenose dolphin. Bite wounds of cookie cutter sharks (Isistius sp.) were recorded in all three species, and include the first documented record of a cookie cutter shark bite in Atlantic spotted dolphin. This is one of the few studies which investigates the prevalence of injuries in cetaceans in the Caribbean. Further study is necessary to determine to which extent the injuries observed in Aruba affect the health and survival of local populations.

  18. Prevalence of external injuries in small cetaceans in Aruban waters, southern Caribbean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolanda A Luksenburg

    Full Text Available Aruba, located close to the coasts of Colombia and Venezuela, is one of the most densely populated islands in the Caribbean and supports a wide range of marine-related socio-economic activities. However, little is known about the impacts of human activities on the marine environment. Injuries in marine mammals can be used to examine interactions with human activities and identify potential threats to the survival of populations. The prevalence of external injuries and tooth rake marks were examined in Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis (n = 179, bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus (n = 76 and false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens (n = 71 in Aruban waters using photo identification techniques. Eleven injury categories were defined and linked to either human-related activities or natural causes. All injury categories were observed. In total, 18.7% of all individuals had at least one injury. Almost half (41.7% of the injuries could be attributed to human interactions, of which fishing gear was the most common cause (53.3% followed by propeller hits (13.3%. Major disfigurements were observed in all three species and could be attributed to interactions with fishing gear. The results of this study indicate that fishing gear and propeller hits may pose threats to small and medium-sized cetaceans in Aruban waters. Thus, long-term monitoring of population trends is warranted. Shark-inflicted bite wounds were observed in Atlantic spotted dolphin and bottlenose dolphin. Bite wounds of cookie cutter sharks (Isistius sp. were recorded in all three species, and include the first documented record of a cookie cutter shark bite in Atlantic spotted dolphin. This is one of the few studies which investigates the prevalence of injuries in cetaceans in the Caribbean. Further study is necessary to determine to which extent the injuries observed in Aruba affect the health and survival of local populations.

  19. The Royal Road to Time: How Understanding of the Evolution of Time in the Brain Addresses Memory, Dreaming, Flow, and Other Psychological Phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, Peter A

    2015-01-01

    It has been claimed that dreams are the royal road to the unconscious mind. The present work argues that dreams and associated brain states such as memory, attention, flow, and perhaps even consciousness itself arise from diverse conflicts over control of time in the brain. Dreams are the brain's offline efforts to distill projections of the future, while memory represents the vestiges of the past successes and survived failures of those and other conscious projections. Memory thus acts to inform and improve the prediction of possible future states through the use of conscious prospects (planning) and unconscious prospective memory (dreams). When successful, these prospects result in states of flow for conscious planning and déjà vu for its unconscious comparator. In consequence, and contrary to normal expectation, memory is overwhelmingly oriented to deal with the future. Consciousness is the comparable process operating in the present moment. Thus past, present, and future are homeomorphic with the parts of memory (episodic and autobiographical) that recall a personal past, consciousness, and the differing dimensions of prospective memory to plan for future circumstances, respectively. Dreaming (i.e., unconscious prospective memory), has the luxury to run multiple "what if" simulations of many possible futures, essentially offline. I explicate these propositions and their relations to allied constructs such as déjà vu and flow. More generally, I propose that what appear to us as a range of normal psychological experiences are actually manifestations of an ongoing pathological battle for control within the brain. The landscape of this conflict is time. I suggest that there are at least 3 general systems bidding for this control, and in the process of evolution, each system has individually conferred a sequentially increasing survival advantage, but only at the expense of a still incomplete functional integration. Through juxtaposition of these respective brain

  20. We Recognize Ourselves as Being Similar to Others: Implications of the “Social Brain Hypothesis” for the Biological Evolution of the Intuition of Freedom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eckart Voland

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Consistent with and in extension of the “social brain hypothesis,” I discuss the idea that the intuition of free will emerged during the course of primate social evolution. If, as the “social brain hypothesis” alleges, the main selective pressure among primates is on generating social knowledge about one's cooperators and competitors, then it is the knowledge about others and not the knowledge about oneself that is the scarce cognitive resource. It is beneficial to make the others predictable and to form hypotheses about their probable behavioral tendencies. This is done by behavior reading and mind reading and by classifying the recurring stochastic patterns in everyday language as the “will.” Thus, the idea of free will emerged first as a social attribution and not as an introspectively gained insight. The fact that ego applies the idea of freedom also to itself and considers itself to be as free as it considers the social partners to be free, i.e. unpredictable, is in this view a non-selected by-product of social intelligence.

  1. New high-resolution computed tomography data of the Taung partial cranium and endocast and their bearing on metopism and hominin brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, Ralph L; Broadfield, Douglas C; Carlson, Kristian J

    2014-09-09

    Falk and colleagues [Falk D, Zollikofer CP, Morimoto N, Ponce de León MS (2012) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(22):8467-8470] hypothesized that selective pressures favored late persistence of a metopic suture and open anterior fontanelle early in hominin evolution, and they put an emphasis on the Taung Child (Australopithecus africanus) as evidence for the antiquity of these adaptive features. They suggested three mutually nonexclusive pressures: an "obstetric dilemma," high early postnatal brain growth rates, and neural reorganization in the frontal cortex. To test this hypothesis, we obtained the first high-resolution computed tomography (CT) data from the Taung hominin. These high-resolution image data and an examination of the hominin fossil record do not support the metopic and fontanelle features proposed by Falk and colleagues. Although a possible remnant of the metopic suture is observed in the nasion-glabella region of the Taung partial cranium (but not along the frontal crest), this character state is incongruent with the zipper model of metopic closure described by Falk and colleagues. Nor do chimpanzee and bonobo endocast data support the assertion that delayed metopic closure in Taung is necessary because of widening (reorganization) of the prefrontal or frontal cortex. These results call into question the adaptive value of delaying metopic closure, and particularly its antiquity in hominin evolution. Further data from hominoids and hominins are required to support the proposed adaptive arguments, particularly an obstetric dilemma placing constraints on neural and cranial development in Australopithecus.

  2. Incidence of marine debris in cetaceans stranded and bycaught in Ireland: Recent findings and a review of historical knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusher, Amy L; Hernandez-Milian, Gema; Berrow, Simon; Rogan, Emer; O'Connor, Ian

    2018-01-01

    Interactions between marine mammals and plastic debris have been the focus of studies for many years. Examples of interactions include entanglement in discarded fishing items or the presence of ingested debris in digestive tracts. Plastics, including microplastics, are a form of marine debris globally distributed in coastal areas, oceanic waters and deep seas. Cetaceans which strand along the coast present a unique opportunity to study interactions between animals with macro- and microplastics. A combination of novel techniques and a review of historical data was used to complete an extensive study of cetaceans interacting with marine debris within Irish waters. Of the 25 species of marine mammals reported in Irish waters, at least 19 species were reported stranded between 1990 and 2015 (n = 2934). Two hundred and forty-one of the stranded cetaceans presented signs of possible entanglement or interactions with fisheries. Of this number, 52.7% were positively identified as bycatch or as entangled in fisheries items, 26.6% were classified as mutilated and 20.7% could not be related to fisheries but showed signs of entanglement. In addition, 274 cetaceans were recorded as by-catch during observer programmes targeting albacore tuna. Post-mortem examinations were carried out on a total of 528 stranded and bycaught individuals and 45 (8.5%) had marine debris in their digestive tracts: 21 contained macrodebris, 21 contained microdebris and three had both macro- and microdebris. Forty percent of the ingested debris were fisheries related items. All 21 individuals investigated with the novel method for microplastics contained microplastics, composed of fibres (83.6%) and fragments (16.4%). Deep diving species presented more incidences of macrodebris ingestion but it was not possible to investigate this relationship to ecological habitat. More research on the plastic implications to higher trophic level organisms is required to understand the effects of these pollutants

  3. Cetacean records along a coastal-offshore gradient in the Vitória-Trindade Chain, western South Atlantic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LL Wedekin

    Full Text Available Oceanic waters are difficult to assess, and there are many gaps in knowledge regarding cetacean occurrence. To fill some of these gaps, this article provides important cetacean records obtained in the winter of 2010 during a dedicated expedition to collect visual and acoustic information in the Vitória-Trindade seamounts. We observed 19 groups of cetaceans along a 1300-km search trajectory, with six species being identified: the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, N = 9 groups, the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus, N = 1, the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis, N = 1, the rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis, N = 1, the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus, N = 2, and the killer whale (Orcinus orca, N = 1. Most humpback whale groups (N = 7; 78% were observed in the Vitória-Trindade seamounts, especially the mounts close to the Abrolhos Bank. Only one lone humpback whale was observed near Trindade Island after a search effort encompassing more than 520 km. From a total of 28 acoustic stations, humpback whale songs were only detected near the seamounts close to the Abrolhos Bank, where most groups of this species were visually detected (including a competitive group and groups with calves. The presence of humpback whales at the Trindade Island and surroundings is most likely occasional, with few sightings and low density. Finally, we observed a significant number of humpback whales along the seamounts close to the Abrolhos Bank, which may function as a breeding habitat for this species. We also added important records regarding the occurrence of cetaceans in these mounts and in the Western South Atlantic, including the endangered fin whale.

  4. Barcoding the largest animals on Earth: ongoing challenges and molecular solutions in the taxonomic identification of ancient cetaceans

    OpenAIRE

    Speller, Camilla; van den Hurk, Youri; Charpentier, Anne; Rodrigues, Ana; Gardeisen, Armelle; Wilkens, Barbara; McGrath, Krista; Rowsell, Keri; Spindler, Luke; Collins, Matthew; Hofreiter, Michael

    2016-01-01

    International audience; One contribution of 16 to a theme issue 'From DNA barcodes to biomes'. Over the last few centuries, many cetacean species have witnessed dramatic global declines due to industrial overharvesting and other anthropogenic influences, and thus are key targets for conservation. Whale bones recovered from archaeological and palaeontological contexts can provide essential baseline information on the past geographical distribution and abundance of species required for developi...

  5. Validating the Novel Method of Measuring Cortisol Levels in Cetacean Skin by use of an ACTH Challenge in Bottlenose Dolphins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    in Cetacean Skin by use of an ACTH Challenge in Bottlenose Dolphins Thea Bechshoft Aarhus University Bioscience Roskilde Frederiksborgvej...using skin samples collected from bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphins will be sampled as part of an ongoing out-of water stress test...N000141110436. The stress test in brief: Each dolphin is asked to perform a routine, voluntary beach into a padded beaching tray. Immediately following

  6. Cellular scaling rules for the brain of Artiodactyla include a highly folded cortex with few neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazu, Rodrigo S.; Maldonado, José; Mota, Bruno; Manger, Paul R.; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative analysis of the cellular composition of rodent, primate, insectivore, and afrotherian brains has shown that non-neuronal scaling rules are similar across these mammalian orders that diverged about 95 million years ago, and therefore appear to be conserved in evolution, while neuronal scaling rules appear to be free to vary in a clade-specific manner. Here we analyze the cellular scaling rules that apply to the brain of artiodactyls, a group within the order Cetartiodactyla, believed to be a relatively recent radiation from the common Eutherian ancestor. We find that artiodactyls share non-neuronal scaling rules with all groups analyzed previously. Artiodactyls share with afrotherians and rodents, but not with primates, the neuronal scaling rules that apply to the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. The neuronal scaling rules that apply to the remaining brain areas are, however, distinct in artiodactyls. Importantly, we show that the folding index of the cerebral cortex scales with the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex in distinct fashions across artiodactyls, afrotherians, rodents, and primates, such that the artiodactyl cerebral cortex is more convoluted than primate cortices of similar numbers of neurons. Our findings suggest that the scaling rules found to be shared across modern afrotherians, glires, and artiodactyls applied to the common Eutherian ancestor, such as the relationship between the mass of the cerebral cortex as a whole and its number of neurons. In turn, the distribution of neurons along the surface of the cerebral cortex, which is related to its degree of gyrification, appears to be a clade-specific characteristic. If the neuronal scaling rules for artiodactyls extend to all cetartiodactyls, we predict that the large cerebral cortex of cetaceans will still have fewer neurons than the human cerebral cortex. PMID:25429261

  7. Cellular scaling rules for the brain of Artiodactyla include a highly folded cortex with few neurons

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    Rodrigo eSiqueira Kazu

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Quantitative analysis of the cellular composition of rodent, primate, insectivore and afrotherian brains has shown that nonneuronal scaling rules are similar across these mammalian orders that diverged about 95 million years ago, and therefore appear to be conserved in evolution, while neuronal scaling rules appear to be free to vary in a clade-specific manner. Here we analyze the cellular scaling rules that apply to the brain of artiodactyls, a group within the order Cetartiodactyla, believed to be a relatively recent radiation from the common Eutherian ancestor. We find that artiodactyls share nonneuronal scaling rules with all groups analyzed previously. Artiodactyls share with afrotherians and rodents, but not with primates, the neuronal scaling rules that apply to the cerebral cortex and cerebellum. The neuronal scaling rules that apply to the remaining brain areas are however distinct in artiodactyls. Importantly, we show that the folding index of the cerebral cortex scales with the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex in distinct fashions across artiodactyls, afrotherians, rodents, and primates, such that the artiodactyl cerebral cortex is more convoluted than primate cortices of similar numbers of neurons. Our findings suggest that the scaling rules found to be shared across modern afrotherians, glires and artiodactyls applied to the common Eutherian ancestor, such as the relationship between the mass of the cerebral cortex as a whole and its number of neurons. In turn, the distribution of neurons along the surface of the cerebral cortex, which is related to its degree of gyrification, appears to be a clade-specific characteristic. If the neuronal scaling rules for artiodactyls extend to all cetartiodactyls, we predict that the large cerebral cortex of cetaceans will still have fewer neurons than the human cerebral cortex.

  8. Floating macro-litter along the Mediterranean French coast: Composition, density, distribution and overlap with cetacean range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di-Méglio, Nathalie; Campana, Ilaria

    2017-05-15

    This study investigated the composition, density and distribution of floating macro-litter along the Liguro-Provençal basin with respect to cetaceans presence. Survey transects were performed in summer between 2006 and 2015 from sailing vessels with simultaneous cetaceans observations. During 5171km travelled, 1993 floating items were recorded, widespread in the whole study area. Plastics was the predominant category, with bags/packaging always representing >45% of total items. Overall mean density (14.98 items/km 2 ) was stable with significant increase reported only in 2010-2011; monthly analysis showed lower litter densities in July-September, suggesting possible seasonal patterns. Kernel density estimation for plastics revealed ubiquitous distribution rather than high accumulation areas, mainly due to the circulation dynamics of this area. The presence range of cetaceans (259 sightings, 6 species) corresponded by ~50% with plastic distribution, indicating high potential of interaction, especially in the eastern part of the area, but effective risks for marine species might be underrepresented. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Molecular identification of cetaceans from the West Atlantic using the E3-I5 region of COI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falcão, L H O; Campos, A S; Freitas, J E P; Furtado-Neto, M A A; Faria, V V

    2017-04-20

    Molecular identification is very useful in cases where morphology-based species identification is not possible. Examples for its application in cetaceans include the identification of carcasses of stranded animals in advanced state of decomposition and body parts that are illegally traded. One DNA region that is often used for molecular identification is the Folmer region of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) (locus 48 to 705 bp). This locus has been used for the identification of several animal species, including whales and dolphins. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the usefulness of another region of COI, the E3-I5 (locus 685 to locus 1179; 495 bp) as a marker for identification of cetaceans from northeastern Canada and northeastern Brazil. The identification markers were successfully obtained for seven cetacean species after performing percent identity and Basic Local Alignment Search Tool analyses. The obtained markers are now publicly available and are useful for the identification of the endangered blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), common minke whale (B. acutorostrata), vulnerable sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis), and melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra).

  10. Contamination by mercury and cadmium in the cetacean products from Japanese market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endo, T; Haraguchi, K; Cipriano, F; Simmonds, M P; Hotta, Y; Sakata, M

    2004-03-01

    Cetaceans hunted coastally in Japan include several species of odontocete (dolphins, porpoises and beaked whales), and fresh and frozen red meat and blubber, as well as boiled internal organs, such as liver, lung, kidney and small intestine, are still sold for human consumption. Furthermore, red meat and blubber products originating from mysticete minke whales caught in the Antarctic and Northern Pacific are also sold for human consumption. We surveyed mercury and cadmium contamination levels in boiled liver, lung, kidney and red meat products being marketed in Japanese retail outlets. We also analyzed the DNA of these products to obtain information concerning gender and species. Total mercury (T-Hg) and methyl mercury (M-Hg) contamination levels in all the cetacean products were markedly higher in odontocete species than in mysticete species, and slightly higher in females than in males. T-Hg contamination in the organs was seen in the following order: boiled liver>boiled kidney=boiled lung>red meat. In particular, T-Hg concentrations in the boiled liver were high enough to cause acute intoxication even from a single ingestion: the mean +/-SD (range) of T-Hg was 388+/-543 (0.12-1980) microg/wetg. In contrast, although M-Hg contamination in the liver was not markedly higher than that in other organs, M-Hg contamination was in the following order: boiled liver>odontocete red meat>boiled kidney>boiled lung. The contamination levels of T-Hg and M-Hg in odontocete red meat, the most popular whale product, were 8.94+/-13.3 and 5.44+/-5.72 microg/wetg, respectively. These averages exceeded the provisional permitted levels of T-Hg (0.4 microg/wetg) and M-Hg (0.3 microg/wetg) in marine foods set by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare by 22 and 18 times, respectively, suggesting the possibility of chronic intoxication by T-Hg and M-Hg with frequent consumption of odontocete red meat. Cadmium contamination levels in boiled liver, kidney and lung were 8

  11. The Songbird Neurogenomics (SoNG) Initiative: community-based tools and strategies for study of brain gene function and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Replogle, Kirstin; Arnold, Arthur P; Ball, Gregory F; Band, Mark; Bensch, Staffan; Brenowitz, Eliot A; Dong, Shu; Drnevich, Jenny; Ferris, Margaret; George, Julia M; Gong, George; Hasselquist, Dennis; Hernandez, Alvaro G; Kim, Ryan; Lewin, Harris A; Liu, Lei; Lovell, Peter V; Mello, Claudio V; Naurin, Sara; Rodriguez-Zas, Sandra; Thimmapuram, Jyothi; Wade, Juli; Clayton, David F

    2008-03-18

    research groups probing fundamental links between genome, brain, evolution and behavior in songbirds. Energetic application of genomic resources to research using songbirds should help illuminate how complex neural and behavioral traits emerge and evolve.

  12. The Songbird Neurogenomics (SoNG Initiative: Community-based tools and strategies for study of brain gene function and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lewin Harris A

    2008-03-01

    coordinated set of 25 planned experiments by 16 research groups probing fundamental links between genome, brain, evolution and behavior in songbirds. Energetic application of genomic resources to research using songbirds should help illuminate how complex neural and behavioral traits emerge and evolve.

  13. Functional mastery of percussive technology in nut-cracking and stone-flaking actions: experimental comparison and implications for the evolution of the human brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bril, Blandine; Smaers, Jeroen; Steele, James; Rein, Robert; Nonaka, Tetsushi; Dietrich, Gilles; Biryukova, Elena; Hirata, Satoshi; Roux, Valentine

    2012-01-01

    Various authors have suggested behavioural similarities between tool use in early hominins and chimpanzee nut cracking, where nut cracking might be interpreted as a precursor of more complex stone flaking. In this paper, we bring together and review two separate strands of research on chimpanzee and human tool use and cognitive abilities. Firstly, and in the greatest detail, we review our recent experimental work on behavioural organization and skill acquisition in nut-cracking and stone-knapping tasks, highlighting similarities and differences between the two tasks that may be informative for the interpretation of stone tools in the early archaeological record. Secondly, and more briefly, we outline a model of the comparative neuropsychology of primate tool use and discuss recent descriptive anatomical and statistical analyses of anthropoid primate brain evolution, focusing on cortico-cerebellar systems. By juxtaposing these two strands of research, we are able to identify unsolved problems that can usefully be addressed by future research in each of these two research areas. PMID:22106427

  14. Under pressure: cetaceans and fisheries co-occurrence off the coasts of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire (Gulf of Guinea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marijke Nita De Boer

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Within the Gulf of Guinea high levels of fisheries-related cetacean mortality (bycatch and direct-capture has been documented. For locally rare species such removals could potentially lead to significant population level effects. However, information on the cetacean abundance and distribution is scarce. Similarly, it remains largely unreported where fishing fleets operate offshore. A cetacean survey took place during geophysical surveys (2013-2014 along the coasts of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. This provided a unique opportunity to study both offshore cetacean and fishing communities.Due to large group-sizes, melon-headed whales were the most abundant (0.34 animals km-1 followed by Fraser’s dolphins and short-finned pilot whales. Range state records were confirmed for melon-headed whale and Fraser’s dolphin in Ivoirian waters and ten further species represented first at-sea sightings. The artisanal fishing canoe was most abundant (92% of all vessels and recorded up to 99.5 km from the Ghanaian coast. Asian trawlers operated over shelf areas and tuna purse-seine vessels in deep oceanic and slope waters. Fraser’s dolphins, melon-headed whales, pantropical spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and pilot whales were recorded in areas with the highest fishing densities. Melon-headed whales, pilot whales and rough-toothed dolphins were observed in vicinity of trawlers; bottlenose dolphins, pantropical spotted dolphins and pilot whales in vicinity of canoes. Some notable differences were found in the species composition between the present surveys and port-based surveys of landed cetaceans (bycatch/direct-captures. These may be explained by (1 feeding strategies (nocturnal vs. diurnal; surface vs. deep water; (2 different attractions to vessels/fishing gear; (3 variable body sizes; and (4 difficulty to positively identify species. Despite these differences, both cetaceans and fishing vessels predominantly occurred in shelf and slope waters (< 1

  15. Estimating cetacean population density using fixed passive acoustic sensors: an example with Blainville's beaked whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Tiago A; Thomas, Len; Ward, Jessica; DiMarzio, Nancy; Tyack, Peter L

    2009-04-01

    Methods are developed for estimating the size/density of cetacean populations using data from a set of fixed passive acoustic sensors. The methods convert the number of detected acoustic cues into animal density by accounting for (i) the probability of detecting cues, (ii) the rate at which animals produce cues, and (iii) the proportion of false positive detections. Additional information is often required for estimation of these quantities, for example, from an acoustic tag applied to a sample of animals. Methods are illustrated with a case study: estimation of Blainville's beaked whale density over a 6 day period in spring 2005, using an 82 hydrophone wide-baseline array located in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahamas. To estimate the required quantities, additional data are used from digital acoustic tags, attached to five whales over 21 deep dives, where cues recorded on some of the dives are associated with those received on the fixed hydrophones. Estimated density was 25.3 or 22.5 animals/1000 km(2), depending on assumptions about false positive detections, with 95% confidence intervals 17.3-36.9 and 15.4-32.9. These methods are potentially applicable to a wide variety of marine and terrestrial species that are hard to survey using conventional visual methods.

  16. An image processing based paradigm for the extraction of tonal sounds in cetacean communications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershenbaum, Arik; Roch, Marie A

    2013-12-01

    Dolphins and whales use tonal whistles for communication, and it is known that frequency modulation encodes contextual information. An automated mathematical algorithm could characterize the frequency modulation of tonal calls for use with clustering and classification. Most automatic cetacean whistle processing techniques are based on peak or edge detection or require analyst assistance in verifying detections. An alternative paradigm is introduced using techniques of image processing. Frequency information is extracted as ridges in whistle spectrograms. Spectral ridges are the fundamental structure of tonal vocalizations, and ridge detection is a well-established image processing technique, easily applied to vocalization spectrograms. This paradigm is implemented as freely available matlab scripts, coined IPRiT (image processing ridge tracker). Its fidelity in the reconstruction of synthesized whistles is compared to another published whistle detection software package, silbido. Both algorithms are also applied to real-world recordings of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops trunactus) signature whistles and tested for the ability to identify whistles belonging to different individuals. IPRiT gave higher fidelity and lower false detection than silbido with synthesized whistles, and reconstructed dolphin identity groups from signature whistles, whereas silbido could not. IPRiT appears to be superior to silbido for the extraction of the precise frequency variation of the whistle.

  17. Competition among penguins and cetaceans reveals trophic cascades in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainley, David G; Ballard, Grant; Dugger, Katie M

    2006-08-01

    An apparent trophic cascade that appears during summer in the western Ross Sea, Antarctica, explains why the Antarctic silverfish (Pleuragramma antarcticum) there becomes cannibalistic; its principal prey, crystal krill (Euphausia crystallorophias) becomes scarce; and the diatom community is minimally grazed compared to adjacent areas. The krill is the major grazer of diatoms. On the basis of fieldwork at Ross Island, we suggest that the cascade results from foraging by unusually numerous Adélie Penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae), minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), and fish-eating killer whales (Orcinus orca). These species and other top predators apparently deplete the krill and silverfish. In drawing our conclusions, we were aided by two "natural experiments." In one "experiment," large, grounded icebergs altered the seasonal pattern of change in regional sea-ice cover, but not the seasonal change in penguin diet and foraging behavior that was also detected during the pre-iceberg era. In the other "experiment," a short-term polynya (opening in the ice) brought penguins and whales together in a confined area, this time altering both penguin diet and foraging behavior. We conclude that the foraging of penguins and whales, and not a formerly hypothesized seasonal decrease in sea-ice cover, explains (1) the annual switch in the penguins' prey from krill to silverfish, (2) the subsequent lengthening of penguin foraging trips, and (3) a marked decline of cetaceans in the area later in the season. Reduction in the middle-trophic-level prey is expressed in the relaxed grazing pressure on phytoplankton.

  18. Patterns of cetacean sighting distribution in the Pacific exclusive economic zone of Costa Rica based on data collected from 1979-2001.

    Science.gov (United States)

    May-Collado, Laura; Gerrodette, Tim; Calambokidis, John; Rasmussen, Kristin; Sereg, Irena

    2005-01-01

    Nineteen species of cetaceans (families Balaenopteridae, Kogiidae, Physeteridae, Ziphiidae and Delphinidae) occur in the Costa Rican Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Based on data recorded from the EEZ by the Southwest Fisheries Service Center, Cascadia Research Collective, and CIMAR between 1979-2001, we mapped the distribution of 18 cetacean species. Our results suggest that the majority of the cetacean species use primarily oceanic waters, particularly those species within the families Balaenopteridae, Kogiidae. Physeteridae and Ziphiidae. Members of the family Delphinidae showed a wide variety of distribution patterns: seven species are widespread throughout the EEZ, four appear to be exclusively pelagic, and two are primarily coastal. Overall, three cetacean species appear to have populations concentrated in coastal waters: Stenella attenuata graffmani. Tursiops truncatus, and Megaptera novaeangliae. These three may be more susceptible to human activities due to the overlap of their ranges with fishery areas (tuna and artisanal fisheries), and an uncontrolled increase of touristic whale watching activities in several parts of their range. The distribution maps represent the first comprehensive representation of cetacean species that inhabit Costa Rican Pacific waters. They provide essential base-line information that may be used to initiate conservation and management efforts of the habitats where these animals reproduce and forage.

  19. Cooperation and the evolution of intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNally, Luke; Brown, Sam P; Jackson, Andrew L

    2012-08-07

    The high levels of intelligence seen in humans, other primates, certain cetaceans and birds remain a major puzzle for evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists. It has long been held that social interactions provide the selection pressures necessary for the evolution of advanced cognitive abilities (the 'social intelligence hypothesis'), and in recent years decision-making in the context of cooperative social interactions has been conjectured to be of particular importance. Here we use an artificial neural network model to show that selection for efficient decision-making in cooperative dilemmas can give rise to selection pressures for greater cognitive abilities, and that intelligent strategies can themselves select for greater intelligence, leading to a Machiavellian arms race. Our results provide mechanistic support for the social intelligence hypothesis, highlight the potential importance of cooperative behaviour in the evolution of intelligence and may help us to explain the distribution of cooperation with intelligence across taxa.

  20. Aerial surveys of endangered cetaceans and other marine mammals in the northwestern Gulf of Alaska and southeastern Bering Sea. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brueggeman, J.J.; Green, G.A.; Grotefendt, R.A.; Chapman, D.G.

    1987-09-01

    Aerial surveys were conducted in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska and southeastern Bering Sea to determine the abundance, distribution, and habitat use patterns of endangered cetaceans and other marine mammals. Four species of cetaceans listed by the Federal Government as endangered were observed: gray, humpback, finback, and sperm whales. Sightings were also made to seven nonendangered species of cetaceans: minke, Cuvier's beaked, Baird's beaked, belukha, and killer whales, and Dall and harbor porpoises. Results show that the project area is an important feeding ground for relatively large numbers of humpback and finback whales and lower numbers of gray whale migration route between seasonal ranges. The project area also supports a variety of other marine mammals both seasonally and annually.

  1. Cetacean distribution and abundance in relation to oceanographic domains on the eastern Bering Sea shelf: 1999-2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friday, Nancy A.; Waite, Janice M.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Moore, Sue E.

    2012-06-01

    Visual line transect surveys for cetaceans were conducted on the eastern Bering Sea shelf in association with pollock stock assessment surveys aboard the NOAA ship Miller Freeman in June and July of 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004. Transect survey effort ranged from 1188 km in 1999 to 3761 km in 2002. Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) were the most common large whale in all years except 2004 when humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) were more abundant. Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) were the most common small cetacean in all years. Abundance estimates were calculated by year for each oceanographic domain: coastal, middle, and outer/slope. The middle and outer/slope domains were divided into two strata ("north" and "south") because of variable survey effort. The distribution and abundance of baleen whales changed between the earlier (colder) and later (warmer) survey years. Fin whales consistently occupied the outer shelf and secondarily the middle shelf, and their abundance was an order of magnitude greater in cold compared to warm years. Humpback whales "lived on the margin" of the northern Alaska Peninsula, eastern Aleutian Islands and Bristol Bay; their preferred habitat is possibly associated with areas of high prey availability due to nutrient upwelling and aggregation mechanisms. Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) occur shoreward of fin whales in the outer and middle shelf and in coastal habitats along the Alaska Peninsula. The highest abundance for this species was observed in a cold (1999) year. No clear relationship emerged for odontocetes with regard to warm and cold years. Dall's porpoise occupied both outer and middle domains and harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) were more common in middle and coastal domains. This study provided a unique, broad-scale assessment of cetacean distribution and abundance on the eastern Bering Sea shelf and a baseline for future comparisons.

  2. Cetacean records along São Paulo state coast, Southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos César de Oliveira Santos

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The São Paulo state (SP coast (23º18'S, 44º42'W; 25º14'S, 48º01'W is of approximately 600 km in length, bordering the Western Atlantic Ocean, in southeastern Brazil. Cetacean sightings and strandings have long been observed throughout this area. Scattered data from scientific publications, skeletal remains in museums, photographs and articles from newspaper files, universities and aquaria have been organised and updated since 1993. Field investigations on strandings and sightings have also been conducted. A total of 29 cetacean species have been recorded, including 7 baleen whales (Mysticeti and 22 toothed whales (Odontoceti, as follows: Balaenoptera physalus, B. borealis, B. edeni, B. acutorostrata, B. bonaerensis, Megaptera novaeangliae, Eubalaena australis, Physeter macrocephalus, Kogia breviceps, K. sima, Berardius arnuxii, Mesoplodon europaeus, M. mirus, Ziphius cavirostris, Orcinus orca, Feresa attenuata, Globicephala melas, G. macrorhynchus, Pseudorca crassidens, Delphinus capensis, Lagenodelphis hosei, Steno bredanensis, Tursiops truncatus, Stenella frontalis, S. longirostris, S. coeruleoalba, Lissodelphis peronii, Sotalia guianensis and Pontoporia blainvillei. Several species have been observed only once and include strays from their areas of common distribution, as well as species with known preferences for offshore distribution. Others, such as P. blainvillei and S. guianensis, are common coastal dwellers year-round. Z. cavirostris, P. crassidens and L. hosei are reported for the first time on the SP coast.A costa do Estado de São Paulo (SP (23º18'S, 44º42'O; 25º14'S, 48º01'O apresenta aproximadamente 600 km de extensão voltada para o Oceano Atlântico Ocidental no sudeste do Brasil. Registros de encalhes e de avistamentos de cetáceos vêm sendo realizados ao longo desse litoral. Desde 1993, dados obtidos em literatura científica, material osteológico encontrado em museus, fotografias e artigos de arquivos de jornais

  3. Estimating energetics in cetaceans from respiratory frequency: why we need to understand physiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Fahlman

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The accurate estimation of field metabolic rates (FMR in wild animals is a key component of bioenergetic models, and is important for understanding the routine limitations for survival as well as individual responses to disturbances or environmental changes. Several methods have been used to estimate FMR, including accelerometer-derived activity budgets, isotope dilution techniques, and proxies from heart rate. Counting the number of breaths is another method used to assess FMR in cetaceans, which is attractive in its simplicity and the ability to measure respiration frequency from visual cues or data loggers. This method hinges on the assumption that over time a constant tidal volume (VT and O2 exchange fraction (ΔO2 can be used to predict FMR. To test whether this method of estimating FMR is valid, we measured breath-by-breath tidal volumes and expired O2 levels of bottlenose dolphins, and computed the O2 consumption rate (V̇O2 before and after a pre-determined duration of exercise. The measured V̇O2 was compared with three methods to estimate FMR. Each method to estimate V̇O2 included variable VT and/or ΔO2. Two assumption-based methods overestimated V̇O2 by 216-501%. Once the temporal changes in cardio-respiratory physiology, such as variation in VT and ΔO2, were taken into account, pre-exercise resting V̇O2 was predicted to within 2%, and post-exercise V̇O2 was overestimated by 12%. Our data show that a better understanding of cardiorespiratory physiology significantly improves the ability to estimate metabolic rate from respiratory frequency, and further emphasizes the importance of eco-physiology for conservation management efforts.

  4. Extensively remodeled, fractured cetacean tympanic bullae show that whales can survive traumatic injury to the ears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamato, Maya; Khidas, Kamal; Pyenson, Nicholas D; Fordyce, R Ewan; Mead, James G

    2016-01-01

    Underwater human activities and anthropogenic noise in our oceans may be a major source of habitat degradation for marine life. This issue was highlighted by the opening of the United States Eastern Seaboard for seismic oil and gas exploration in 2014, which generated massive media coverage and widespread concern that seismic surveys could kill or deafen whales. We discovered 11 new specimens of fractured and healed cetacean ear bones, out of a survey of 2127 specimens housed in museum collections. This rare condition has been previously reported only in two specimens of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) from the early 1900s, summarized by Fraser & Purves (1953). All of our new specimens are represented by species for which this condition had never been reported previously, including both baleen and toothed whales. The baleen whale specimens (Balaenoptera physalus, Balaenoptera borealis, Balaenoptera acutorostrata) were collected during Canadian commercial whaling operations in the Atlantic Ocean in the 1970s; the specimens include ear bones with well-healed fractures, demonstrating that baleen whales are capable of overcoming traumatic injury to the ears. The toothed whale specimens (Delphinus sp., Berardius bairdii) were found dead on beaches in 1972 and 2001, respectively, with less remodeled fractures. Thus, ear injuries may be more lethal to the echolocating toothed whales, which rely on hearing for navigation and foraging. We explore several hypotheses regarding how these injuries could have occurred, and conclude that the most parsimonious explanations appear to be both direct and indirect effects of lytic processes from disease or calcium depletion, or damage from external pressure waves. Although further research is required to confirm whether the fractures resulted from natural or human-induced events, this study underscores the importance of museum collections and the work of stranding networks in understanding the potential effects of modern human

  5. Brains matter, bodies maybe not: the case for examining neuron numbers irrespective of body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2011-04-01

    It is usually considered a paradox that the human brain, although smaller than elephant and cetacean brains, is the most cognitively able. The concept that humans are more encephalized than all other mammals appeared in the 1970s as a solution to that paradox: humans have a brain that is much larger than expected from their body mass. Such an "excess brain mass" would provide increased cognitive abilities across species, thus explaining our cognitive superiority. However, behind the paradox lies the assumption that large mammalian brains are scaled-up versions of smaller brains, always containing more neurons than smaller ones--an assumption that we have recently shown to be invalid. Here, it is proposed that the absolute number of neurons, irrespective of brain or body size, is a better predictor of cognitive ability--in which case, the cognitive superiority of humans would come as no paradox, surprise, or exception to evolutionary rules. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  6. Barcoding the largest animals on Earth: ongoing challenges and molecular solutions in the taxonomic identification of ancient cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speller, Camilla; van den Hurk, Youri; Charpentier, Anne; Rodrigues, Ana; Gardeisen, Armelle; Wilkens, Barbara; McGrath, Krista; Rowsell, Keri; Spindler, Luke; Collins, Matthew; Hofreiter, Michael

    2016-09-05

    Over the last few centuries, many cetacean species have witnessed dramatic global declines due to industrial overharvesting and other anthropogenic influences, and thus are key targets for conservation. Whale bones recovered from archaeological and palaeontological contexts can provide essential baseline information on the past geographical distribution and abundance of species required for developing informed conservation policies. Here we review the challenges with identifying whale bones through traditional anatomical methods, as well as the opportunities provided by new molecular analyses. Through a case study focused on the North Sea, we demonstrate how the utility of this (pre)historic data is currently limited by a lack of accurate taxonomic information for the majority of ancient cetacean remains. We then discuss current opportunities presented by molecular identification methods such as DNA barcoding and collagen peptide mass fingerprinting (zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry), and highlight the importance of molecular identifications in assessing ancient species' distributions through a case study focused on the Mediterranean. We conclude by considering high-throughput molecular approaches such as hybridization capture followed by next-generation sequencing as cost-effective approaches for enhancing the ecological informativeness of these ancient sample sets.This article is part of the themed issue 'From DNA barcodes to biomes'. © 2016 The Authors.

  7. Ethnoecology of small cetaceans: interactions between an artisanal fishery and dolphins in northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Madeira Di Beneditto

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Studies in northern Rio de Janeiro indicate there are interactions between fisheries and cetaceans, but there are no studies that focus on the knowledge fishermen have about these animals. This study describes the interactions between cetaceans and a fishery through the perception of fishermen from Atafona (RJ. Between February and March 2010, 20 fishermen were selected using the “snowball” technique. An ethnographic questionnaire was given to each fisherman. Each participant described more than one species of dolphin, which explains why the sample size of the responses (N=34 is greater than the number of respondents (N=20. Based on the reports, three species and one genus were identified: Sotalia guianensis (N=15; 75%, Pontoporia blainvillei (N=9; 45%, Steno bredanensis (N=6; 30% and Stenella (N=4; 20%. The answer “collision with artifacts” was the only one given for the question about the occurrence of accidents between the fishery and dolphins (N=24; 71%; gillnets are responsible for the entanglement of the animals. The carcasses of dolphins killed by accidental capture are discarded into the sea and/or the muscle and blubber is used as bait to fish for elasmobranchs. The dolphin species identified by the fishermen corresponded to the four main species reported in the literature for the area. All interviewees said that bycatch is caused by dolphins and affects fishing.

  8. Cetacean mother-calf behavior observed from a small aircraft off Southern California. Animal Behavior and Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari A. Smultea

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available During early developmental stages, cetacean calves are dependent on their mothers for survival. Protection of young whales engaged in behaviors that are biologically important is critical for population recovery, so that appropriate management actions can be taken to minimize human disturbance. However, the occurrence and frequency of whale nursing and calves back-riding their mothers (both considered important to calf survival have rarely been observed nor adequately quantified or defined. Therefore, it may not always be clear when disruption is occurring. We used extended behavioral observations, still photography, and video camera footage obtained during aircraft surveys in the Southern California Bight in 2008 – 2013 to characterize cetacean mother-calf interactions. Based on observations of four mother/calf pairs (two gray whale, Eschrichtius robustus, one fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus, and one blue whale, B. musculus and one killer whale presumed mother/yearling pair (Orcinus orca, we describe bouts of nursing and calves riding on the backs of their presumed mothers, including activity duration, frequency, and relative body positioning. We conclude with specific definitions useful to wildlife conservation agencies authorizing and establishing restrictions to certain human activities when they might constitute behavioral disruptions.

  9. Identification and characterization of a tandem repeat in exon III of the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene in cetaceans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mogensen, Line; Kinze, Carl Christian; Werge, Thomas

    2006-01-01

    in exon III of their DRD4 gene. Consequently, the 18-bp tandem repeat appears to have originated prior to the differentiation of hoofed mammals into odd-toed and even-toed ungulates. The composition of the tandem repeat in cetaceans differed markedly from that in primates, which is composed of 48-bp...

  10. Shortlist masterplan wind. Ship-based monitoring of seabirds and cetaceans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Bemmelen, R.; Geelhoed, S.; Leopold, M. [Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies IMARES, Wageningen UR, IJmuiden (Netherlands)

    2011-02-15

    offshore winds. These surveys have identified several issues that should be taken into account in future planning of wind farms. Divers, which are the highest ranked species in terms of sensitivity to wind farms, can be encountered migrating anywhere in offshore waters and sightings of White-billed Divers at the Dogger Bank suggest the existence of a small wintering population of this near-threatened species. In relation to this, potential effects of wind farms on offshore species, such as Northern Fulmars, Atlantic Puffins, Little Auks and cetaceans, are unknown as current wind farms are located near shore where these species do not occur in large numbers.

  11. A Bayesian uncertainty analysis of cetacean demography and bycatch mortality using age-at-death data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey E; Read, Andrew J

    2008-12-01

    fisheries mortality, prior to management to reduce bycatch, was 0.690. Our approach takes into account multiple sources of uncertainty in data and process, and it provides posterior distributions for a rich set of demographic rate parameters that are unknown for most cetaceans. This method should be easily adaptable to other taxa for which fertility and age-at-death data are available.

  12. New insight into dolphin morbillivirus phylogeny and epidemiology in the northeast Atlantic: opportunistic study in cetaceans stranded along the Portuguese and Galician coasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bento, Maria Carolina Rocha de Medeiros; Eira, Catarina Isabel Costa Simões; Vingada, José Vitor; Marçalo, Ana Luisa; Ferreira, Marisa Cláudia Teixeira; Fernandez, Alfredo Lopez; Tavares, Luís Manuel Morgado; Duarte, Ana Isabel Simões Pereira

    2016-08-26

    Screening Atlantic cetacean populations for Cetacean Morbillivirus (CeMV) is essential to understand the epidemiology of the disease. In Europe, Portugal and Spain have the highest cetacean stranding rates, mostly due to the vast extension of coastline. Morbillivirus infection has been associated with high morbidity and mortality in cetaceans, especially in outbreaks reported in the Mediterranean Sea. However, scarce information is available regarding this disease in cetaceans from the North-East Atlantic populations. The presence of CeMV genomic RNA was investigated by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR in samples from 279 specimens stranded along the Portuguese and Galician coastlines collected between 2004 and 2015. A total of sixteen animals (n = 16/279, 5.7 %) were positive. The highest prevalence of DMV was registered in striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) (n = 14/69; 20.3 %), slightly higher in those collected in Galicia (n = 8/33; 24.2 %) than in Portugal (n = 6/36; 16.7 %). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that, despite the low genetic distances between samples, the high posterior probability (PP) values obtained strongly support the separation of the Portuguese and Galician sequences in an independent branch, separately from samples from the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. Furthermore, evidence suggests an endemic rather than an epidemic situation in the striped dolphin populations from Portugal and Galicia, since no outbreaks have been detected and positive samples have been detected annually since 2007, indicating that this virus is actively circulating in these populations and reaching prevalence values as high as 24 % among the Galician samples tested.

  13. A developmental approach to homology and brain evolution Un enfoque embriológico a la homología y la evolución cerebral

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FRANCISCO ABOITIZ

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Although homology is central to evolutionary interpretations, establishing it has become a highly disputed issue in some instances. Here I argüe for a developmental understanding of evolution, where modifications of the developmental programs are a key source of evolutionary novelty. Although this perspective is not new, in comparative neurobiology it has remained controversial. Specifically, the evolutionary origin of the mammalian neocortex has been a particularly debated point. I propose a perspective that could help reconcile a long standing controversy: either the mammalian neocortex corresponds as a whole to the dorsal hemisphere of reptiles and birds, or alternatively its lateral aspect corresponds to the lateral cerebral hemisphere and is partly homologous to the dorsal ventricular ridge (DVR, a brain mass that receives the bulk of sensory input in reptiles and birds. Genetic and embryonic evidence strongly favor a dorsal origin for the whole neocortex, while the DVR derives from the lateral hemisphere. Nevertheless, the phylogenetically new elements of both the neocortex and the avian DVR derive largely from intermediate progenitor cells located in the embryonic subventricular zone (SVZ, a zone of late proliferating activity located deep to the ventral, the lateral and the dorsal hemisphere. I suggest that, despite originating in different embryonic regions (lateral vs. dorsal hemisphere, the evolutionary new cellular elements in both the avian brain and in the mammalian neocortex derive from the activation of a similar genetic pathway, possibly activated by the gene Pax-6, that induces the late proliferation of embryonic neural progenitors. This pathway can be ancestral to amniotes, reflecting genetic homology. In mammals and birds independently, this precursor proliferative activity differentiated into an SVZ, recruiting neuronal precursors from different parts of the cerebral hemisphere in each group, to contribute to brain

  14. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... About Us Home > Health & Education > Educational Resources Brain Basics Introduction The Growing Brain The Working Brain Brain ... called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Brain Basics in Real Life Brain Basics in Real Life— ...

  15. Cetacean line-transect survey conducted in the eastern Bering Sea shelf by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from NOAA Ship Miller Freeman from 1999-07-07 to 2004-06-30 (NCEI Accession 0131862)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Visual surveys for cetaceans were conducted on the eastern Bering Sea shelf along transect lines, in association with the AFSC’s echo integration trawl surveys for...

  16. Making Marine Noise Pollution Impacts Heard: The Case of Cetaceans in the North Sea within Life Cycle Impact Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heleen Middel

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Oceans represent more than 95% of the world’s biosphere and are among the richest sources of biodiversity on Earth. However, human activities such as shipping and construction of marine infrastructure pose a threat to the quality of marine ecosystems. Due to the dependence of most marine animals on sound for their communication, foraging, protection, and ultimately their survival, the effects of noise pollution from human activities are of growing concern. Life cycle assessment (LCA can play a role in the understanding of how potential environmental impacts are related to industrial processes. However, noise pollution impacts on marine ecosystems have not yet been taken into account. This paper presents a first approach for the integration of noise impacts on marine ecosystems into the LCA framework by developing characterization factors (CF for the North Sea. Noise pollution triggers a large variety of impact pathways, but as a starting point and proof-of-concept we assessed impacts on the avoidance behaviour of cetaceans due to pile-driving during the construction of offshore windfarms in the North Sea. Our approach regards the impact of avoidance behaviour as a temporary loss of habitat, and assumes a temporary loss of all individuals within that habitat from the total regional population. This was verified with an existing model that assessed the population-level effect of noise pollution on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena in the North Sea. We expanded our CF to also include other cetacean species and tested it in a case study of the construction of an offshore windfarm (Prinses Amalia wind park. The total impact of noise pollution was in the same order of magnitude as impacts on other ecosystems from freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial acidification, and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Although there are still many improvements to be made to this approach, it provides a basis for the implementation of noise

  17. The Use of Carcasses for the Analysis of Cetacean Population Genetic Structure: A Comparative Study in Two Dolphin Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgmann, Kerstin; Möller, Luciana M.; Harcourt, Robert G.; Kemper, Catherine M.; Beheregaray, Luciano B.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in molecular techniques have enabled the study of genetic diversity and population structure in many different contexts. Studies that assess the genetic structure of cetacean populations often use biopsy samples from free-ranging individuals and tissue samples from stranded animals or individuals that became entangled in fishery or aquaculture equipment. This leads to the question of how representative the location of a stranded or entangled animal is with respect to its natural range, and whether similar results would be obtained when comparing carcass samples with samples from free-ranging individuals in studies of population structure. Here we use tissue samples from carcasses of dolphins that stranded or died as a result of bycatch in South Australia to investigate spatial population structure in two species: coastal bottlenose (Tursiops sp.) and short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). We compare these results with those previously obtained from biopsy sampled free-ranging dolphins in the same area to test whether carcass samples yield similar patterns of genetic variability and population structure. Data from dolphin carcasses were gathered using seven microsatellite markers and a fragment of the mitochondrial DNA control region. Analyses based on carcass samples alone failed to detect genetic structure in Tursiops sp., a species previously shown to exhibit restricted dispersal and moderate genetic differentiation across a small spatial scale in this region. However, genetic structure was correctly inferred in D. delphis, a species previously shown to have reduced genetic structure over a similar geographic area. We propose that in the absence of corroborating data, and when population structure is assessed over relatively small spatial scales, the sole use of carcasses may lead to an underestimate of genetic differentiation. This can lead to a failure in identifying management units for conservation. Therefore, this risk should be carefully

  18. Fronts and Fine-Scale Distribution of Three Cetacean Species within the Dynamic Mid-Atlantic Bight Shelf Break System

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaBrecque, E.; Lawson, G. L.; Halpin, P. N.

    2016-02-01

    The Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) shelf break region is a highly dynamic and productive area that provides a wide range of habitat to many marine species over every trophic level. At least 23 cetacean species occur in the MAB shelf break region and their distributions are thought to be influenced by the MAB shelf break front. This research characterizes the spatial distribution of common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus), and sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) through multi-dimensional scaling (MDS), classification tree analysis and random forest analysis of marine mammal line-transect survey data, multi-frequency active acoustic data and fine-scale in situ hydrographic data. Multi-frequency active acoustic data were broadly classified into proxies of middle trophic level groups through frequency response methods. Surface temperature fronts were observed in all sections of the shelf break region. The strongest surface fronts were within 15 km of the shelf break ( 150 meter isobath) on 10 of the 19 cross shelf transects. MDS presented clear environmental distinction between common dolphins and Risso's dolphins and sperm whales. Environmental separation between Risso's dolphins and sperm whales was evident but less distinct. In both the classification tree and random forest analyzes, the common dolphin models had the least error (0.33 and 0.28 respectively). Depths less than 145 meters and area within 10 km shelf-side of the shelf break were the primary variables that described common dolphin habitat. Risso's dolphin habitat was selected as the area between 20 km shelf-side to 20 km offshore of the strongest surface thermal gradient. Offshore salinity and distances greater than 26 km to density fronts were the primary variables selected to describe sperm whale habitat. When mapped back into geographic space, these three cetacean species occupy different fine-scale habitats within the dynamic Mid-Atlantic Bight shelf break system.

  19. Mercury, selenium and stable isotopes in four small cetaceans from the Southeastern Brazilian coast: Influence of feeding strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baptista, Gilberto; Kehrig, Helena A; Di Beneditto, Ana Paula M; Hauser-Davis, Rachel A; Almeida, Marcelo G; Rezende, Carlos E; Siciliano, Salvatore; de Moura, Jailson F; Moreira, Isabel

    2016-11-01

    Dolphins are good bioindicators of the contamination status of marine ecosystems, since their dietary and habitat plasticity in both coastal and offshore ecotypes provide information on the trace elements levels originated from natural and anthropogenic sources. In this context, this study aimed to investigate provides mercury (Hg), selenium (Se) levels, trophic ecology and feeding environments of four small cetaceans (Tursiops truncatus, Steno bredanensis, Sotalia guianensis and Pontoporia blainvillei) inhabiting the central-northern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, southeastern Brazil. For the latter, δ 15 N and δ 13 C stable isotopes were used as indicators in this regard. Stable isotope values indicate that the four studied species have distinctive foraging habitats, coastal and least coastal, and occupy different trophic positions. The significant relationship found between muscle Hg and δ 15 N suggests that individual foraging preference remains relatively constant for the studied dolphin species over extended periods. The individual prey size and species are probably responsible for the differences found in Hg and Se concentrations in muscle tissue among all dolphin species. The vulnerable small coastal cetacean, P. blainvillei, which feeds on small teleost fish and squid, presented the lowest muscular Hg concentrations (less than 3.5 μg g -1  dry wt.). Meanwhile, S. bredanensis is more likely to uptake large amounts of trace elements among the four dolphin species, due to its feeding habits mainly being large offshore fish that accumulate high amounts of trace elements in organs and tissues. Differences found between Hg concentrations in fetus-mother pairs were much higher in S. guianensis than in P. blainvillei, suggesting that maternal contribution of Hg via placenta was more significant for the former. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Seasonal distribution and abundance of cetaceans within French waters- Part II: The Bay of Biscay and the English Channel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laran, Sophie; Authier, Matthieu; Blanck, Aurélie; Doremus, Ghislain; Falchetto, Hélène; Monestiez, Pascal; Pettex, Emeline; Stephan, Eric; Van Canneyt, Olivier; Ridoux, Vincent

    2017-07-01

    From the Habitat Directive to the recent Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the conservation status of cetaceans in European water has been of concern for over two decades. In this study, a seasonal comparison of the abundance and distribution of cetaceans was carried out in two contrasted regions of the Eastern North Atlantic, the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. Estimates were obtained in the two sub-regions (375,000 km²) from large aerial surveys conducted in the winter (November 2011 to February 2012) and in the summer (May to August 2012). The most abundant species encountered in the Channel, the harbour porpoise, displayed strong seasonal variations in its distribution but a stable abundance (18,000 individuals, CV=30%). In the Bay of Biscay, abundance and distribution patterns of common / striped dolphins varied from 285,000 individuals (95% CI: 174,000-481,000) in the winter, preferentially distributed close to the shelf break, to 494,000 individuals (95% CI: 342,000-719,000) distributed beyond the shelf break in summer. Baleen whales also exhibited an increase of their density in summer. Seasonal abundances of bottlenose dolphins were quite stable, with a large number of 'pelagic' encounters offshore in winter. No significant seasonal difference was estimated for pilot whales and sperm whale. These surveys provided baseline estimates to inform policies to be developed, or for existing conservation instruments such as the Habitats Directive. In addition, our results supported the hypothesis of a shift in the summer distributions of some species such as harbour porpoise and minke whale in European waters.

  1. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Events About Us Home > Health & Education > Educational Resources Brain Basics Introduction The Growing Brain The Working Brain ... to mental disorders, such as depression. The Growing Brain Inside the Brain: Neurons & Neural Circuits Neurons are ...

  2. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Brain Basics provides information on how the brain works, how mental illnesses are disorders of the brain, ... learning more about how the brain grows and works in healthy people, and how normal brain development ...

  3. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Brain Research Glossary Brain Basics (PDF, 10 pages) Introduction Watch the Brain Basics video Welcome. Brain Basics provides information on how the brain works, how mental illnesses ...

  4. Understanding the Patterns and Causes of Variability in Distribution, Habitat use, Abundance, Survival and Reproductive Rates of Three Species of Cetacean in the Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-30

    cetaceans can serve as indicators of environmental change in the marine environment and of “ocean health ” generally. APPROACH To achieve the...the summer months, an increase of proportion of groups with calves was observed coinciding with the first inmigration event between 1997 and 2001...There is also an increase in 2005- 2006 coinciding with the second inmigration event (according to field observations, this second event started in

  5. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... at NIMH News & Events About Us Home > Health & Education > Educational Resources Brain Basics Introduction The Growing Brain The Working Brain Brain Basics in Real Life Brain Research Glossary Brain Basics (PDF, 10 pages) Introduction Watch the Brain Basics video ...

  6. Estimating cetacean density and abundance in the Central and Western Mediterranean Sea through aerial surveys: Implications for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panigada, Simone; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Donovan, Greg; Pierantonio, Nino; Cañadas, Ana; Vázquez, José Antonio; Burt, Louise

    2017-07-01

    Systematic, effective monitoring of animal population parameters underpins successful conservation strategy and wildlife management, but it is often neglected in many regions, including much of the Mediterranean Sea. Nonetheless, a series of systematic multispecies aerial surveys was carried out in the seas around Italy to gather important baseline information on cetacean occurrence, distribution and abundance. The monitored areas included the Pelagos Sanctuary, the Tyrrhenian Sea, portions of the Seas of Corsica and Sardinia, the Ionian Seas as well as the Gulf of Taranto. Overall, approximately 48,000 km were flown in either spring, summer and winter between 2009-2014, covering an area of 444,621 km2. The most commonly observed species were the striped dolphin and the fin whale, with 975 and 83 recorded sightings, respectively. Other sighted cetacean species were the common bottlenose dolphin, the Risso's dolphin, the sperm whale, the pilot whale and the Cuvier's beaked whale. Uncorrected model- and design-based estimates of density and abundance for striped dolphins and fin whales were produced, resulting in a best estimate (model-based) of around 95,000 striped dolphins (CV=11.6%; 95% CI=92,900-120,300) occurring in the Pelagos Sanctuary, Central Tyrrhenian and Western Seas of Corsica and Sardinia combined area in summer 2010. Estimates were also obtained for each individual study region and year. An initial attempt to estimate perception bias for striped dolphins is also provided. The preferred summer 2010 uncorrected best estimate (design-based) for the same areas for fin whales was around 665 (CV=33.1%; 95% CI=350-1260). Estimates are also provided for the individual study regions and years. The results represent baseline data to develop efficient, long-term, systematic monitoring programmes, essential to evaluate trends, as required by a number of national and international frameworks, and stress the need to ensure that surveys are undertaken regularly and

  7. Including cetaceans in multi-species assessment models using strandings data: why, how and what can we do about it?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camilo Saavedra

    2014-07-01

    questions. Most multispecies models include interactions between commercially exploited species, since those data are more readily available. However, information is needed on at least both the main preys and predators of a selected stock. In the case of European Hake, the species we have focus our research on, cetaceans are their main predator, particularly common and bottlenose dolphins, which have been estimated to remove annually in the Atlantic shelf waters of the Iberian Peninsula, an amount similar to that caught by Spanish and Portuguese fleets (Santos et al., 2013. The European hake is one of the main fishing species of the Spanish and Portuguese fleets operating in the area, and one where more research activity has been concentrated, hence there is plenty of available biological information on growth, reproduction and trophic interactions. As a result, a population model has been built which uses trophic interactions to investigate the relationships between hake and other species. The European hake population is currently divided into two stocks, north and south. The southern hake stock, distributed along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula, is annually assessed by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO. For the assessment of this stock, “Gadget” a multi-specific modeling framework is used. Gadget allows the building of minimum realistic models that integrating the main trophic relationships among selected species considered to reflect the main processes in the system. Modeling cetacean populations can allow us to include complex trophic relationships in multispecies models. Furthermore, it will also be a tool to help cetaceans conservation by guiding possible management measures that ensure their viability or recovery. All cetacean species are protected by national and international legislation (e.g. Habitats Directive. However, modeling cetaceans dynamics has a number of problems

  8. Brain herniation

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... herniation; Uncal herniation; Subfalcine herniation; Tonsillar herniation; Herniation - brain ... Brain herniation occurs when something inside the skull produces pressure that moves brain tissues. This is most ...

  9. The modern era of research on language evolution: Moving forward. Comment on "Towards a computational comparative neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Dietrich

    2016-03-01

    Twenty-five years ago, Pinker and Bloom [1] helped reinvigorate research on language evolution by arguing that language ;shows signs of complex design for the communication of propositional structures, and the only explanation for the origin of organs with complex design is the process of natural selection.; Since then, empirical research has tested the assertions of (cross-cultural) universality, (cross-species) uniqueness, and (cross-domain) specificity underpinning this argument from design. Appearances aside, points of consensus have emerged. The existence of a core computational and neural substrate unique to language and/or humans is still debated, but it is widely agreed that: 1) human language performance overlaps with behaviors in other domains and species, and 2) such general, pre-existing capacities provided the context for language-specific evolution (e.g. [2]).

  10. A developmental approach to homology and brain evolution Un enfoque embriológico a la homología y la evolución cerebral

    OpenAIRE

    FRANCISCO ABOITIZ

    2010-01-01

    Although homology is central to evolutionary interpretations, establishing it has become a highly disputed issue in some instances. Here I argüe for a developmental understanding of evolution, where modifications of the developmental programs are a key source of evolutionary novelty. Although this perspective is not new, in comparative neurobiology it has remained controversial. Specifically, the evolutionary origin of the mammalian neocortex has been a particularly debated point. I propose a...

  11. On the role of emerging voluntary control of vocalization in language evolution. Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coudé, Gino

    2016-03-01

    This comment will be focused on the role of monkey vocal control in the evolution of language. I will essentially reiterate the observations expressed in a commentary [1] about the book ;How the brain got language: the mirror system hypothesis;, written by Arbib [2]. I will hopefully clarify our suggestion that non-human primates vocal communication, in conjunction with gestures, could have had an active role in the emergence of the first voluntary forms of utterances that will later shape protospeech. This suggestion is mainly rooted in neurophysiological data about vocal control in monkey. I will very briefly summarize how neurophysiological data allowed us to suggest a possible role for monkey vocalization in language evolution. We conducted a study [3] in which we recorded from ventral premotor cortex (PMv) of macaques trained to emit vocalizations (i.e. coo-calls). The results showed that the rostro-lateral part of PMv contains neurons that fire during conditioned vocalization. The involvement of PMv in vocalization production was further supported by electrical microstimulation of the cortical sector where some of the vocalization neurons were found. Microstimulation elicited in some cases a combination of jaw, tongue and larynx movements. To us, the evolutionary implications of those results were obvious: a partial voluntary vocal control was already taking place in the primate PMv cortex some 25 million years ago.

  12. An "ex vivo" model to evaluate toxicological responses to mixtures of contaminants in cetaceans: integumentum biopsy slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Casini, Silvia; Maltese, Silvia; Panti, Cristina; Spinsanti, Giacomo; Marsili, Letizia

    2014-10-01

    The need for powerful new tools to detect the effects of chemical pollution, in particular of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on Mediterranean cetaceans led us to develop and apply a suite of sensitive biomarkers for integument biopsies of stranded and free-ranging animals. This multi-response ex vivo method has the aim to detect toxicological effects of contaminant mixtures. In the present study, we applied an ex vivo assay using skin biopsy and liver slices, combining molecular biomarkers [Western blot of Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) and Cytochrome P450 2B (CYP2B)] and gene expression biomarkers (Quantitative real-time PCR of CYP1A1, heat shock protein 70, estrogen receptor alpha and E2F transcription factor) in response to chemical exposure [organochlorines compounds (OCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and PAHs] for stranded Mediterranean Stenella coeruleoalba. The main goal of this experiment was to identify the biomarker and/or a suite of biomarkers that could best detect the presence of a specific class of pollutants (OCs, PBDEs, and PAHs) or a mixture of them. This multi-response biomarker methodology revealed an high sensitivity and selectivity of responses (such as CYP1A and ER α mRNA variations after OCs and PAHs exposure) and could represent a valid future approach for the study of inter- and intra-species sensitivities to various classes of environmental contaminants. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., a Wiley company.

  13. From the track to the ocean: Using flow control to improve marine bio-logging tags for cetaceans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovani Fiore

    Full Text Available Bio-logging tags are an important tool for the study of cetaceans, but superficial tags inevitably increase hydrodynamic loading. Substantial forces can be generated by tags on fast-swimming animals, potentially affecting behavior and energetics or promoting early tag removal. Streamlined forms have been used to reduce loading, but these designs can accelerate flow over the top of the tag. This non-axisymmetric flow results in large lift forces (normal to the animal that become the dominant force component at high speeds. In order to reduce lift and minimize total hydrodynamic loading this work presents a new tag design (Model A that incorporates a hydrodynamic body, a channel to reduce fluid speed differences above and below the housing and wing to redirect flow to counter lift. Additionally, three derivatives of the Model A design were used to examine the contribution of individual flow control features to overall performance. Hydrodynamic loadings of four models were compared using computational fluid dynamics (CFD. The Model A design eliminated all lift force and generated up to ~30 N of downward force in simulated 6 m/s aligned flow. The simulations were validated using particle image velocimetry (PIV to experimentally characterize the flow around the tag design. The results of these experiments confirm the trends predicted by the simulations and demonstrate the potential benefit of flow control elements for the reduction of tag induced forces on the animal.

  14. Brain Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Brain Health Brain Health Home 10 Ways to Love Your Brain Stay Physically Active Adopt a Healthy Diet Stay ... risk factors slowed cognitive decline. 10 Ways to Love Your Brain > 10 tips to help reduce your risk of ...

  15. On the role of context in language evolution. Comment on "Towards a computational comparative neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by M.A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heine, Bernd

    2016-03-01

    Work on the evolution of human languages is associated mainly with two kinds of approaches. On the one hand, there are discipline-based approaches, which exploit the methodology of a particular scientific discipline to gain methodologically coherent access to at least part of language evolution (e.g., [11]). On the other hand, there are what may be called integrating approaches, which combine observations made in different scientific disciplines within one general analytic framework (e.g., [2,5,13]). Each of these approaches has its advantages and disadvantages (see [11]). In discipline-based approaches using linguistics as a tool of reconstruction, one salient goal is to search for elements in modern languages that can be interpreted as fossils of earlier forms of human language or languages [13,14]. An alternative goal is to extrapolate from findings on more recent linguistic changes to reconstruct earlier phases of language development, that is, phases that are not within the scope of the established methodology of historical linguistics.

  16. Sperm whales and killer whales with the largest brains of all toothed whales show extreme differences in cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Sam H; Hanson, Alicia C

    2014-01-01

    Among cetaceans, killer whales and sperm whales have the widest distribution in the world's oceans. Both species use echolocation, are long-lived, and have the longest periods of gestation among whales. Sperm whales dive much deeper and much longer than killer whales. It has long been thought that sperm whales have the largest brains of all living things, but our brain mass evidence, from published sources and our own specimens, shows that big males of these two species share this distinction. Despite this, we also find that cerebellum size is very different between killer whales and sperm whales. The sperm whale cerebellum is only about 7% of the total brain mass, while the killer whale cerebellum is almost 14%. These results are significant because they contradict claims that the cerebellum scales proportionally with the rest of the brain in all mammals. They also correct the generalization that all cetaceans have enlarged cerebella. We suggest possible reasons for the existence of such a large cerebellar size difference between these two species. Cerebellar function is not fully understood, and comparing the abilities of animals with differently sized cerebella can help uncover functional roles of the cerebellum in humans and animals. Here we show that the large cerebellar difference likely relates to evolutionary history, diving, sensory capability, and ecology. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Brain atrophy and lesion load predict long term disability in multiple sclerosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Popescu, Veronica; Agosta, Federica; Hulst, Hanneke E

    2013-01-01

    To determine whether brain atrophy and lesion volumes predict subsequent 10 year clinical evolution in multiple sclerosis (MS).......To determine whether brain atrophy and lesion volumes predict subsequent 10 year clinical evolution in multiple sclerosis (MS)....

  18. Could feeding habit and migratory behaviour be the causes of different toxicological hazard to cetaceans of Gulf of California (Mexico)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, M C; Panti, C; Marsili, L; Maltese, S; Coppola, D; Jimenez, B; Muñoz-Arnanz, J; Finoia, M G; Rojas-Bracho, L; Urban, R J

    2014-12-01

    In this work, a suite of diagnostic biomarkers was applied to seven cetacean species to evaluate the role of the feeding habits and migratory behavior in the toxicological status of these species from the Gulf of California, Mexico. We investigate the interspecific differences in cytochrome P450 1A1 and 2B (CYP1A1 and CYP2B, respectively), aryl hydrocarbon receptor and E2F transcription factor 1 and the contaminants levels [organochlorine compounds, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)] in four odontocete species (common bottlenose dolphin, long-beaked common dolphin, sperm whale and killer whale) and three mysticete species (blue whale, fin whale, and Bryde's whale) using skin biopsy. Differences in contaminant levels and molecular biomarker responses between the odontocete and mysticete species have been pointed out. The canonical discriminant analysis on principal component analysis factors, performed to reveal clustering variables, shows that odontocete are characterised by the highest levels of lipophilic contaminants compared to the mysticete, with the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes and PBDEs detected in killer whale and the lowest levels in Bryde's whale. The biomarker data show interspecific differences amongst the seven species, revealing highest CYP1A and CYP2B protein levels in the mysticete fish-eating species (Bryde's whale). In conclusion, three main factors seem to regulate the biomarker responses in these species: (a) the inductive ability of persistent organic pollutants and PAHs; (b) the different evolutionary process of the two CYPs related to the different feeding habits of the species; (c) the migratory/resident behaviour of the mysticete species in this area.

  19. Inferring cetacean population densities from the absolute dynamic topography of the ocean in a hierarchical Bayesian framework.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario A Pardo

    Full Text Available We inferred the population densities of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus and short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis in the Northeast Pacific Ocean as functions of the water-column's physical structure by implementing hierarchical models in a Bayesian framework. This approach allowed us to propagate the uncertainty of the field observations into the inference of species-habitat relationships and to generate spatially explicit population density predictions with reduced effects of sampling heterogeneity. Our hypothesis was that the large-scale spatial distributions of these two cetacean species respond primarily to ecological processes resulting from shoaling and outcropping of the pycnocline in regions of wind-forced upwelling and eddy-like circulation. Physically, these processes affect the thermodynamic balance of the water column, decreasing its volume and thus the height of the absolute dynamic topography (ADT. Biologically, they lead to elevated primary productivity and persistent aggregation of low-trophic-level prey. Unlike other remotely sensed variables, ADT provides information about the structure of the entire water column and it is also routinely measured at high spatial-temporal resolution by satellite altimeters with uniform global coverage. Our models provide spatially explicit population density predictions for both species, even in areas where the pycnocline shoals but does not outcrop (e.g. the Costa Rica Dome and the North Equatorial Countercurrent thermocline ridge. Interannual variations in distribution during El Niño anomalies suggest that the population density of both species decreases dramatically in the Equatorial Cold Tongue and the Costa Rica Dome, and that their distributions retract to particular areas that remain productive, such as the more oceanic waters in the central California Current System, the northern Gulf of California, the North Equatorial Countercurrent thermocline ridge, and the more

  20. Brain Tumors

    Science.gov (United States)

    A brain tumor is a growth of abnormal cells in the tissues of the brain. Brain tumors can be benign, with no cancer cells, ... cancer cells that grow quickly. Some are primary brain tumors, which start in the brain. Others are ...

  1. Functional imaging of dolphin brain metabolism and blood flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Sam; Houser, Dorian; Finneran, James; Carder, Don; Keogh, Mandy; Van Bonn, William; Smith, Cynthia; Scadeng, Miriam; Dubowitz, David; Mattrey, Robert; Hoh, Carl

    2006-08-01

    This report documents the first use of magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of living dolphins to register functional brain scans, allowing for the exploration of potential mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep. Diazepam has been shown to induce unihemispheric slow waves (USW), therefore we used functional imaging of dolphins with and without diazepam to observe hemispheric differences in brain metabolism and blood flow. MRIs were used to register functional brain scans with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) in trained dolphins. Scans using SPECT revealed unihemispheric blood flow reduction following diazepam doses greater than 0.55 mg kg(-1) for these 180-200 kg animals. Scans using PET revealed hemispheric differences in brain glucose consumption when scans with and without diazepam were compared. The findings suggest that unihemispheric reduction in blood flow and glucose metabolism in the hemisphere showing USW are important features of unihemispheric sleep. Functional scans may also help to elucidate the degree of hemispheric laterality of sensory and motor systems as well as in neurotransmitter or molecular mechanisms of unihemispheric sleep in delphinoid cetaceans. The findings also demonstrate the potential value of functional scans to explore other aspects of dolphin brain physiology as well as pathology.

  2. Synchrotron Infrared Microspectroscopy Detecting the Evolution of Huntingtons Disease Neuropathology and Suggesting Unique Correlates of Dysfunction in White versus Gray Brain Matter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonda M.; Miller L.; Perrin V.; Vileno B.; Runne H.; Kretlow A.; Forro L.; Luthi-Carter R. and Jeney S.

    2011-09-02

    Huntington's disease (HD), caused by a mutation of the corresponding gene encoding the protein huntingtin (htt), is characterized by progressive deterioration of cognitive and motor functions, paralleled by extensive loss of striatal neurons. At the cellular level, pathogenesis involves an early and prolonged period of neuronal dysfunction followed by neuronal death. Understanding the molecular events driving these deleterious processes is critical to the successful development of therapies to slow down or halt the progression of the disease. Here, we examined biochemical processes in a HD ex vivo rat model, as well as in a HD model for cultured neurons using synchrotron-assisted Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (S-FTIRM). The model, based on lentiviral-mediated delivery of a fragment of the HD gene, expresses a mutant htt fragment in one brain hemisphere and a wild-type htt fragment in the control hemisphere. S-FTIRM allowed for high spatial resolution and distinction between spectral features occurring in gray and white matter. We measured a higher content of {beta}-sheet protein in the striatal gray matter exposed to mutant htt as early as 4 weeks following the initiation of mutant htt exposure. In contrast, white matter tracts did not exhibit any changes in protein structure but surprisingly showed reduced content of unsaturated lipids and a significant increase in spectral features associated with phosphorylation. The former is reminiscent of changes consistent with a myelination deficiency, while the latter is characteristic of early pro-apoptotic events. These findings point to the utility of the label-free FTIRM method to follow mutant htt's {beta}-sheet-rich transformation in striatal neurons ex vivo, provide further evidence for mutant htt amyloidogenesis in vivo, and demonstrate novel chemical features indicative of white matter changes in HD. Parallel studies in cultured neurons expressing the same htt fragments showed similar

  3. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... brain's structure, studies show that brain growth in children with autism appears to peak early. And as ... grow there are differences in brain development in children who develop bipolar disorder than children who do ...

  4. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the Brain Meet Sarah Sarah is a middle-aged woman who seemed to have it all. She ... than ever before. Brain Imaging Using brain imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses ...

  5. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... grows and works in healthy people, and how normal brain development and function can go awry, leading ... how the brain is wired and how the normal brain's structure develops and matures helps scientists understand ...

  6. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Real Life Brain Basics in Real Life—How Depression affects the Brain Meet Sarah Sarah is a ... brain. DNA —The "recipe of life," containing inherited genetic information that helps to define physical and some ...

  7. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... science, such as: How the brain develops How genes and the environment affect the brain The basic ... that with brain development in people mental disorders. Genes and environmental cues both help to direct this ...

  8. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... as depression. The Growing Brain Inside the Brain: Neurons & Neural Circuits Neurons are the basic working unit of the brain ... specialized for the function of conducting messages. A neuron has three basic parts: Cell body which includes ...

  9. Brain Malformations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Most brain malformations begin long before a baby is born. Something damages the developing nervous system or causes it ... medicines, infections, or radiation during pregnancy interferes with brain development. Parts of the brain may be missing, ...

  10. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Using MEG, some scientists have found a specific pattern of brain activity that may help predict who ... early brain development, and may also assist in learning and memory. hippocampus —A portion of the brain ...

  11. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... in Real Life Brain Research Glossary Brain Basics (PDF, 10 pages) Introduction Watch the Brain Basics video ... and epigenetic changes can be passed on to future generations. Further understanding of genes and epigenetics may ...

  12. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... can lead to mental disorders, such as depression. The Growing Brain Inside the Brain: Neurons & Neural Circuits ... tailored treatments, and possibly prevention of such illnesses. The Working Brain Neurotransmitters Everything we do relies on ...

  13. Investigation of trophic level and niche partitioning of 7 cetacean species by stable isotopes, and cadmium and arsenic tissue concentrations in the western Pacific Ocean

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, J.-Y.; Chou, L.-S.; Chen, M.-H.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Muscular δ 13 C and δ 15 N data of cetaceans were used to identify their ecological niche • Inshore–offshore distribution pattern was found for four sympatric neritic odontocetes. • Horizontal and vertical movements found in sympatric odontocetes as they grow. • Taiwan’s Chinese white dolphins is an exclusive fish eater. • Prey-derived As- and Cd-induced health threats were found for some dolphins. - Abstract: A total of 24 stranded or bycatch cetaceans, including Balaenoptera omurai, Lagenodelphis hosei, Kogia sima, Stenella attenuata, Grampus griseus, Neophocaena phocaenoides, and Sousa chinensis, were collected from 2001 to 2011 in Taiwan. Using the muscular δ 13 C and δ 15 N data, three ecological groups were identified as the oceanic baleen whale, the neritic, and the coastal toothed whale groups, coinciding with their taxonomy, feeding habits and geographical distribution. A horizontal inshore to offshore distribution was found for the sympatric neritic toothed dolphins, G. griseus, K. sima, S. attenuata, and L. hosei in the outermost offshore waters, accompanying their growth. For the first time we identify Taiwan’s Chinese white dolphin, S. chinensis, as an exclusive fish eater. Cd and As bioaccumulated in the G. griseus, L. hosei and S. attenuata increase as they grow. Prey-derived As- and Cd-induced health threats were found in L. hosei, and G. griseus

  14. Lutein and Brain Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John W. Erdman

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Lutein is one of the most prevalent carotenoids in nature and in the human diet. Together with zeaxanthin, it is highly concentrated as macular pigment in the foveal retina of primates, attenuating blue light exposure, providing protection from photo-oxidation and enhancing visual performance. Recently, interest in lutein has expanded beyond the retina to its possible contributions to brain development and function. Only primates accumulate lutein within the brain, but little is known about its distribution or physiological role. Our team has begun to utilize the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta model to study the uptake and bio-localization of lutein in the brain. Our overall goal has been to assess the association of lutein localization with brain function. In this review, we will first cover the evolution of the non-human primate model for lutein and brain studies, discuss prior association studies of lutein with retina and brain function, and review approaches that can be used to localize brain lutein. We also describe our approach to the biosynthesis of 13C-lutein, which will allow investigation of lutein flux, localization, metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Lastly, we describe potential future research opportunities.

  15. Patterns of cetacean sighting distribution in the Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone of Costa Rica based on data collected from 1979-2001

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura May-Collado

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Nineteen species of cetaceans (families Balaenopteridae, Kogiidae, Physeteridae, Ziphiidae and Delphinidae occur in the Costa Rican Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ. Based on data recorded from the EEZ by the Southwest Fisheries Service Center, Cascadia Research Collective, and CIMAR between 1979- 2001, we mapped the distribution of 18 cetacean species. Our results suggest that the majority of the cetacean species use primarily oceanic waters, particularly those species within the families Balaenopteridae, Kogiidae, Physeteridae and Ziphiidae. Members of the family Delphinidae showed a wide variety of distribution patterns: seven species are widespread throughout the EEZ, four appear to be exclusively pelagic, and two are primarily coastal. Overall, three cetacean species appear to have populations concentrated in coastal waters: Stenella attenuata graffmani, Tursiops truncatus, and Megaptera novaeangliae. These three may be more susceptible to human activities due to the overlap of their ranges with fishery areas (tuna and artisanal fisheries, and an uncontrolled increase of touristic whale watching activities in several parts of their range. The distribution maps represent the first comprehensive representation of cetacean species that inhabit Costa Rican Pacific waters. They provide essential base-line information that may be used to initiate conservation and management efforts of the habitats where these animals reproduce and forage. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53(1-2:249-263.Epub 2005 Jun 24Diecinueve especies de cetáceos distribuídos en cinco familias (Balaenopteridae, Kogiidae, Physeteridae, Ziphiidae and Delphinidae habitan en la Zona Económica Exclusiva del Pacífico de Costa Rica (ZEEP. Con base a datos tomados en esta zona por el Southwest Fisheries Service Center, Cascadia Research Collective y CIMAR entre 1979 y 2001 construímos mapas de distribución de avistamientos para 18 especies. Nuestros resultados sugieren que la mayoría de

  16. Concentration and subcellular distribution of trace elements in liver of small cetaceans incidentally caught along the Brazilian coast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kunito, Takashi; Nakamura, Shinji; Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Anan, Yasumi; Kubota, Reiji; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Rosas, Fernando C.W.; Fillmann, Gilberto; Readman, James W.

    2004-01-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, T-Hg, Org-Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in liver samples of estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis; n=20), Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei; n=23), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis; n=2), common dolphin (Delphinus capensis; n=1) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba; n=1) incidentally caught along the coast of Sao Paulo State and Parana State, Brazil, from 1997 to 1999. The hepatic concentrations of trace elements in the Brazilian cetaceans were comparable to the data available in literature on marine mammals from Northern Hemisphere. Concentrations of V, Se, Mo, Cd, T-Hg and Org-Hg increased with increasing age in liver of both estuarine and Franciscana dolphins. Very high concentrations of Cu (range, 262-1970 μg/g dry wt.) and Zn (range, 242-369 μg/g dry wt.) were observed in liver of sucklings of estuarine dolphin. Hepatic concentrations of V, Se, T-Hg, Org-Hg and Pb were significantly higher in estuarine dolphin, whereas Franciscana dolphin showed higher concentrations of Mn, Co, As and Rb. Ratio of Org-Hg to T-Hg in liver was significantly higher in Franciscana dolphin than estuarine dolphin, suggesting that demethylation ability of methyl Hg might be lower in liver of Franciscana than estuarine dolphins. High hepatic concentrations of Ag were found in some specimens of Franciscana dolphin (maximum, 20 μg/g dry wt.), and 17% of Franciscana showed higher concentrations of Ag than Hg. These samples with high Ag concentration also exhibited elevated hepatic Se concentration, implying that Ag might be detoxified by Se in the liver. Higher correlation coefficient between (Hg + 0.5 Ag) and Se than between Hg and Se and the large distribution of Ag in non-soluble fraction in nuclear and mitochondrial fraction of the liver also suggests that Ag might be detoxified by Se via formation of Ag 2 Se in the liver of Franciscana dolphin

  17. Concentration and subcellular distribution of trace elements in liver of small cetaceans incidentally caught along the Brazilian coast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunito, Takashi; Nakamura, Shinji; Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Anan, Yasumi; Kubota, Reiji; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Rosas, Fernando C.W.; Fillmann, Gilberto; Readman, James W

    2004-10-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, T-Hg, Org-Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in liver samples of estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis; n=20), Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei; n=23), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis; n=2), common dolphin (Delphinus capensis; n=1) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba; n=1) incidentally caught along the coast of Sao Paulo State and Parana State, Brazil, from 1997 to 1999. The hepatic concentrations of trace elements in the Brazilian cetaceans were comparable to the data available in literature on marine mammals from Northern Hemisphere. Concentrations of V, Se, Mo, Cd, T-Hg and Org-Hg increased with increasing age in liver of both estuarine and Franciscana dolphins. Very high concentrations of Cu (range, 262-1970 {mu}g/g dry wt.) and Zn (range, 242-369 {mu}g/g dry wt.) were observed in liver of sucklings of estuarine dolphin. Hepatic concentrations of V, Se, T-Hg, Org-Hg and Pb were significantly higher in estuarine dolphin, whereas Franciscana dolphin showed higher concentrations of Mn, Co, As and Rb. Ratio of Org-Hg to T-Hg in liver was significantly higher in Franciscana dolphin than estuarine dolphin, suggesting that demethylation ability of methyl Hg might be lower in liver of Franciscana than estuarine dolphins. High hepatic concentrations of Ag were found in some specimens of Franciscana dolphin (maximum, 20 {mu}g/g dry wt.), and 17% of Franciscana showed higher concentrations of Ag than Hg. These samples with high Ag concentration also exhibited elevated hepatic Se concentration, implying that Ag might be detoxified by Se in the liver. Higher correlation coefficient between (Hg + 0.5 Ag) and Se than between Hg and Se and the large distribution of Ag in non-soluble fraction in nuclear and mitochondrial fraction of the liver also suggests that Ag might be detoxified by Se via formation of Ag{sub 2}Se in the liver of Franciscana

  18. Concentration and subcellular distribution of trace elements in liver of small cetaceans incidentally caught along the Brazilian coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunito, Takashi; Nakamura, Shinji; Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Anan, Yasumi; Kubota, Reiji; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Rosas, Fernando C W; Fillmann, Gilberto; Readman, James W

    2004-10-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, T-Hg, Org-Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in liver samples of estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis; n = 20), Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei; n = 23), Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis; n = 2), common dolphin (Delphinus capensis; n = 1) and striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba; n = 1) incidentally caught along the coast of Sao Paulo State and Parana State, Brazil, from 1997 to 1999. The hepatic concentrations of trace elements in the Brazilian cetaceans were comparable to the data available in literature on marine mammals from Northern Hemisphere. Concentrations of V, Se, Mo, Cd, T-Hg and Org-Hg increased with increasing age in liver of both estuarine and Franciscana dolphins. Very high concentrations of Cu (range, 262-1970 microg/g dry wt.) and Zn (range, 242-369 microg/g dry wt.) were observed in liver of sucklings of estuarine dolphin. Hepatic concentrations of V, Se, T-Hg, Org-Hg and Pb were significantly higher in estuarine dolphin, whereas Franciscana dolphin showed higher concentrations of Mn, Co, As and Rb. Ratio of Org-Hg to T-Hg in liver was significantly higher in Franciscana dolphin than estuarine dolphin, suggesting that demethylation ability of methyl Hg might be lower in liver of Franciscana than estuarine dolphins. High hepatic concentrations of Ag were found in some specimens of Franciscana dolphin (maximum, 20 microg/g dry wt.), and 17% of Franciscana showed higher concentrations of Ag than Hg. These samples with high Ag concentration also exhibited elevated hepatic Se concentration, implying that Ag might be detoxified by Se in the liver. Higher correlation coefficient between (Hg+0.5 Ag) and Se than between Hg and Se and the large distribution of Ag in non-soluble fraction in nuclear and mitochondrial fraction of the liver also suggests that Ag might be detoxified by Se via formation of Ag2Se in the liver of

  19. Capture-recapture abundance and survival estimates of three cetacean species in Icelandic coastal waters using trained scientist-volunteers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertulli, Chiara G.; Guéry, Loreleï; McGinty, Niall; Suzuki, Ailie; Brannan, Naomi; Marques, Tania; Rasmussen, Marianne H.; Gimenez, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    Knowledge of abundance and survival of humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and minke whales are essential to manage and conserve these species in Icelandic coastal shelf waters. Our main goal was to test the feasibility of employing inexpensive research methods (data collected by trained-scientist volunteers onboard opportunistic vessels) to assess abundance and apparent survival. No previous studies in Iceland have investigated these two demographic parameters in these three cetacean species using open capture-recapture models accounting for imperfect and possibly heterogeneous detection. A transient effect was accounted for whenever required to estimate the population of resident individuals. Identification photographs were collected by scientist-trained volunteers for 7 years (2006-2013) from onboard commercial whale-watching vessels in the coastal waters of Faxaflói (southwest coast, 4400 km2) and Skjálfandi (northeast coast, 1100 km2), Iceland. We estimated an average abundance of 83 humpback whales (Mn; 95% confidence interval: 54-130) in Skjálfandi; 238 white-beaked dolphins (La; [163-321]) in Faxaflói; and 67 minke whales (Ba; [53-82]) in Faxaflói and 24 (14-31) in Skjálfandi. We also found that apparent survival was constant for all three species (Mn: 0.52 [0.41-0.63], La: 0.79 [0.64-0.88], Ba-Faxaflói: 0.80 [0.67-0.88], Ba-Skjálfandi: 0.96 [0.60-0.99]). Our results showed inter-annual variation in abundance estimates which were small for all species, and the presence of transience for minke whales. A significant increase in abundance during the study period was solely found in minke whale data from Skjálfandi. Humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins showed lower apparent survival rates compared to similar baleen whale and dolphin populations. Our results show data collected by trained-scientist volunteers can produce viable estimates of abundance and survival although bias in the methods we employed exist and need to be addressed. With the

  20. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... time in healthy people and are working to compare that with brain development in people mental disorders. Genes and environmental ... the brain than ever before. Brain Imaging Using brain imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields to take pictures ...

  1. The Evolution of Learning Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, John; Garcia y Robertson, Rodrigo

    This paper introduces seven principles of learning, enduring over the last five centuries of psychological thought, to discuss the evolution of the "Biophyche" (the brain in action) in the development of humans and other large organisms. It describes the conditioning theories of Darwin, Pavlov, and Thorndike and critically reviews the…

  2. Artificial Intelligence and brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapshak, Paul

    2018-01-01

    From the start, Kurt Godel observed that computer and brain paradigms were considered on a par by researchers and that researchers had misunderstood his theorems. He hailed with displeasure that the brain transcends computers. In this brief article, we point out that Artificial Intelligence (AI) comprises multitudes of human-made methodologies, systems, and languages, and implemented with computer technology. These advances enhance development in the electron and quantum realms. In the biological realm, animal neurons function, also utilizing electron flow, and are products of evolution. Mirror neurons are an important paradigm in neuroscience research. Moreover, the paradigm shift proposed here - 'hall of mirror neurons' - is a potentially further productive research tactic. These concepts further expand AI and brain research.

  3. Arresting Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bull, James J; Barrick, Jeffrey E

    2017-12-01

    Evolution in the form of selective breeding has long been harnessed as a useful tool by humans. However, rapid evolution can also be a danger to our health and a stumbling block for biotechnology. Unwanted evolution can underlie the emergence of drug and pesticide resistance, cancer, and weeds. It makes live vaccines and engineered cells inherently unreliable and unpredictable, and therefore potentially unsafe. Yet, there are strategies that have been and can possibly be used to stop or slow many types of evolution. We review and classify existing population genetics-inspired methods for arresting evolution. Then, we discuss how genome editing techniques enable a radically new set of approaches to limit evolution. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Echolocation in small cetaceans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ladegaard, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Many animals exploit sound for navigational purposes, but only some produce signals dedicated to probe their environment actively through echolocation. Only in bats and toothed whales has echolocation evolved to serve as a primary sense informing not only navigation, but also foraging on highly a...... of echolocation in toothed whales, the adaptations to biosonar operation in various contexts, and the biosonar adjustments that toothed whales employ when closing in on their echolocation targets.......Many animals exploit sound for navigational purposes, but only some produce signals dedicated to probe their environment actively through echolocation. Only in bats and toothed whales has echolocation evolved to serve as a primary sense informing not only navigation, but also foraging on highly...... identifying, tracking, and capturing prey. I have sought to expand on this knowledge by studying poorly understood aspects of toothed whale echolocation. This has taken me to the Amazon rain forest, where I have studied the use of echolocation in Amazon river dolphins to show that this species uses...

  5. Cetacean response to environmental and anthropogenic drivers of change: Results of a 25-year distribution study in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azzellino, Arianna; Airoldi, Sabina; Lanfredi, Caterina; Podestà, Michela; Zanardelli, Margherita

    2017-12-01

    Marine mammals are in many situations one of the most studied component of marine ecosystems. Their habitat requirements may be used to detect and describe the impacts of changes in the environmental conditions or in the human-induced pressures affecting the area where they live. The aim of this study is to investigate the distribution patterns of the most frequent cetacean species occurring in the area of the Pelagos Sanctuary (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea) and their potential correlations with both environmental and anthropogenic drivers of changes. Two different types of data were used: sighting data from ship-board surveys and strandings data collected along the Ligurian coast by the Italian Stranding Network, spanning from 1986 to 2014. Sighting data were collected during summer surveys conducted from June to September, between 1990 and 2014 in an area of approximately 29,000 km2, within the Pelagos Sanctuary for over 115,000 km surveyed under favorable conditions. A total of 4,683 sightings of the five most common cetacean species were collected: 3,305 (70.5%) striped dolphins, 814 (17.3%) fin whales, 169 (3.6%) Risso's dolphins, 347 (7.4%) sperm whales and 48 (1.02%) Cuvier's beaked whales. The species time series of both encounter and stranding rates have been investigated in the light of potential drivers of changes. The results suggest that the area may be suffering from some ecosystem change which is causing the observed changes in the distribution pattern of the five species. Potential disturbance from human activities, namely fishery and maritime traffic, could not be excluded.

  6. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... normal brain development and function can go awry, leading to mental illnesses. Brain Basics will introduce you ... of DNA. Sometimes this copying process is imperfect, leading to a gene mutation that causes the gene ...

  7. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... The brain continues maturing well into a person's early 20s. Knowing how the brain is wired and ... for mental disorders. This could greatly help in early detection, more tailored treatments, and possibly prevention of ...

  8. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... problems using dopamine in the thinking and feeling regions of the brain may play a role in ... obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) , schizophrenia , and depression . Brain Regions Just as many neurons working together form a ...

  9. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Real Life Brain Basics in Real Life—How Depression affects the Brain Meet Sarah Sarah is a ... in controlling movement, managing the release of various hormones, and aiding the flow of information to the ...

  10. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... front of the brain, which is linked to thought and emotion. It is also linked to reward ... little dopamine or problems using dopamine in the thinking and feeling regions of the brain may play ...

  11. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the brain How different parts of the brain communicate and work with each other How changes in ... communication signal sent between neurons by which neurons communicate with each other. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) mdash; ...

  12. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... brain may play a role in disorders like schizophrenia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) . Glutamate —the ... mental disorders, including autism , obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) , schizophrenia , and depression . Brain Regions Just as many neurons ...

  13. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... in mental illnesses. Scientists have already begun to chart how the brain develops over time in healthy ... Using MEG, some scientists have found a specific pattern of brain activity that may help predict who ...

  14. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... than ever before. Brain Imaging Using brain imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses ... depression experience when starting treatment. Gene Studies Advanced technologies are also making it faster, easier, and more ...

  15. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... and works in healthy people, and how normal brain development and function can go awry, leading to mental ... people and are working to compare that with brain development in people mental disorders. Genes and environmental cues ...

  16. Brain Aneurysm

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... thin tissues covering the brain. This type of hemorrhagic stroke is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. A ruptured aneurysm quickly becomes life-threatening and requires prompt medical treatment. Most brain aneurysms, however, don't rupture, create ...

  17. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the brain cannot ... their final destination. Chemical signals from other cells guide neurons in forming various brain structures. Neighboring neurons ...

  18. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... have been linked to many mental disorders, including autism , obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) , schizophrenia , and depression . Brain ... studies show that brain growth in children with autism appears to peak early. And as they grow ...

  19. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields to take pictures of the brain's ... resonance imaging (MRI) mdash;An imaging technique that uses magnetic fields to take pictures of the brain's ...

  20. Brain Power.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albrecht, Karl

    2002-01-01

    Reviews significant findings of recent brain research, including the concept of five minds: automatic, subconscious, practical, creative, and spiritual. Suggests approaches to training the brain that are related to this hierarchy of thinking. (JOW)

  1. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) , and many others. Some people who develop a mental illness may recover completely; ... how the brain grows and works in healthy people, and how normal brain development and function can ...

  2. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the brain cannot ... These circuits control specific body functions such as sleep and speech. The brain continues maturing well into ...

  3. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Evidence shows that they can be related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the ... brain communicate and work with each other How changes in the brain can lead to mental disorders, ...

  4. Brain surgery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craniotomy; Surgery - brain; Neurosurgery; Craniectomy; Stereotactic craniotomy; Stereotactic brain biopsy; Endoscopic craniotomy ... Barnett J, Mohanty A, Desai SK, Patterson JT. Neurosurgery. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, ...

  5. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Real Life Brain Basics in Real Life—How Depression affects the Brain Meet Sarah Sarah is a ... blues" from time to time. In contrast, major depression is a serious disorder that lasts for weeks. ...

  6. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the brain How different parts of the brain communicate and work with each other How changes in ... occur when this process does not work correctly. Communication between neurons can also be electrical, such as ...

  7. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... works in healthy people, and how normal brain development and function can go awry, leading to mental ... and are working to compare that with brain development in people mental disorders. Genes and environmental cues ...

  8. Brain Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    The brain is the control center of the body. It controls thoughts, memory, speech, and movement. It regulates the function of many organs. When the brain is healthy, it works quickly and automatically. However, ...

  9. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... affect many aspects of life. Scientists are continually learning more about how the brain grows and works ... early brain development. It may also assist in learning and memory. Problems in making or using glutamate ...

  10. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... mainly involved in controlling movement and aiding the flow of information to the front of the brain, ... the neuron will fire. This enhances the electrical flow among brain cells required for normal function and ...

  11. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the brain cannot effectively coordinate the billions of cells in the body, the results can affect many ... unit of the brain and nervous system. These cells are highly specialized for the function of conducting ...

  12. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... How the brain develops How genes and the environment affect the brain The basic structure of the ... inside contents of the cell from its surrounding environment and controls what enters and leaves the cell, ...

  13. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... depression. The Growing Brain Inside the Brain: Neurons & Neural Circuits Neurons are the basic working unit of ... but sometimes give rise to disabilities or diseases. neural circuit —A network of neurons and their interconnections. ...

  14. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the results can affect many aspects of life. Scientists are continually learning more about how the brain ... the normal brain's structure develops and matures helps scientists understand what goes wrong in mental illnesses. Scientists ...

  15. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the brain cannot effectively coordinate the billions ... the basic working unit of the brain and nervous system. These cells are highly specialized for the function ...

  16. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the brain cannot effectively coordinate the billions ... basic working unit of the brain and nervous system. These cells are highly specialized for the function ...

  17. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... doctor that she had experienced long periods of deep sadness throughout her teenage years, but had never ... early brain development, and may also assist in learning and memory. hippocampus —A portion of the brain ...

  18. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Brain Basics in Real Life Brain Basics in Real Life—How Depression affects the Brain Meet Sarah Sarah ... having trouble coping with the stresses in her life. She began to think of suicide because she ...

  19. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... about how the brain grows and works in healthy people, and how normal brain development and function can go awry, leading to ... Scientists have already begun to chart how the brain develops over time in healthy people and are working to compare that with ...

  20. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... another important research tool in understanding how the brain functions. Another type of brain scan called magnetoencephalography, or ... highly developed area at the front of the brain that, in humans, plays a role in executive functions such as judgment, decision making and problem solving, ...

  1. Brain Aneurysm

    Science.gov (United States)

    A brain aneurysm is an abnormal bulge or "ballooning" in the wall of an artery in the brain. They are sometimes called berry aneurysms because they ... often the size of a small berry. Most brain aneurysms produce no symptoms until they become large, ...

  2. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Through research, we know that mental disorders are brain disorders. Evidence shows that they can be related to ... work with each other How changes in the brain can lead to mental disorders, such as depression. The Growing Brain Inside the ...

  3. Evolution of brains, cognition, and consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Ann B

    2008-03-18

    Most current hypotheses about the neural basis for consciousness, including higher-level consciousness, are based on mammalian neural features, particularly focusing on thalamocortical circuitry. It is postulated here that since higher-level consciousness is correlated with higher-level cognitive abilities in humans and other mammals, this correlation also holds for nonmammalian taxa; that the level of cognitive ability may be proportional to the level of consciousness; and that the neural basis for both is either the same or highly overlapping. Recent studies, ingeniously designed to be species-sensitive, have revealed a host of highly cognitive abilities in birds, including manifestations of working memory (delayed match-to-sample, episodic memory, transitive inference, and multistability) and category formation, language and numerical comprehension, tool manufacture and cultural transmission of tool design, theory of mind, and Piagetian object permanence to a high level. Comparisons of the neural circuitry reveal extensive similarity in thalamic nuclei and ascending systems to the pallium. However, the avian pallium lacks the laminar architecture and therefore cortical columns of mammals, and avian pallial projection neurons are multipolar rather than specifically pyramidal as in mammals. Neural features common to both mammals and birds, which thus may be crucially involved in the generation of both higher-level cognitive abilities and higher-level consciousness, include large, multipolar, glutamatergic neurons with extensive and densely spiny dendrites, with extensive interconnectedness as well as inter-regional connections, GABAergic inputs from local interneurons, and connections with thalamic nuclei that are regulated by the thalamic reticular nucleus as well as basal ganglia loops.

  4. When and Why Did Brains Break Symmetry?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley J. Rogers

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Asymmetry of brain function is known to be widespread amongst vertebrates, and it seems to have appeared very early in their evolution. In fact, recent evidence of functional asymmetry in invertebrates suggests that even small brains benefit from the allocation of different functions to the left and right sides. This paper discusses the differing functions of the left and right sides of the brain, including the roles of the left and right antennae of bees (several species in both short- and long-term recall of olfactory memories and in social behaviour. It considers the likely advantages of functional asymmetry in small and large brains and whether functional asymmetry in vertebrates and invertebrates is analogous or homologous. Neural or cognitive capacity can be enhanced both by the evolution of a larger brain and by lateralization of brain function: a possible reason why both processes occur side-by-side is offered.

  5. Evolutionary Perspectives on Language and Brain Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deacon, Terrence W.

    2000-01-01

    This review discusses how general principles of brain development have contributed to both human brain plasticity and the acquisition of the human capacity for speech. Specifically, the role played by plastic developmental processes in the evolution and development of articulate control over vocalization in speech is examined. (Contains…

  6. Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryner, Jeanna

    2005-01-01

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

  7. The Brains Behind the Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Arcangelo, Marcia

    1998-01-01

    Interviews with five neuroscientists--Martin Diamond, Pat Wolfe, Robert Sylwester, Geoffrey Caine, and Eric Jensen--disclose brain-research findings of practical interest to educators. Topics include brain physiology, environmental enrichment, memorization, windows of learning opportunity, brain learning capacity, attention span, student interest,…

  8. Cetaceans trading monitoring during seismic survey in North Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro) and South Capixaba (Espirito Santo) coasts; Monitoramento de encalhe de cetaceos durante levantamento de dados sismicos na costa norte fluminense (Rio de Janeiro) e sul capixaba (Espirito Santo)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amaro, Thays P.C.; Carloni, Giuliano G.; Erber, Claudia; Sabino, Carla M. [Ecologus Engenharia Consultiva, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Uller, George A. [CGGVeritas, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    The objective of this research is to present the results of the cetaceans stranding monitoring developed during and after the seismic survey in the north area of Rio de Janeiro and south of Espirito Santo. The monitoring lasted six months, reaching 200 km of beaches, from the Rio de Janeiro North up to the Espirito Santo South coasts. It was conducted by 34 monitors, who covered predefined beach sections daily, registering the stranded animals. At the end of the project, 15 cetaceans stranded were registered. The species Sotalia guianensis was prevailing in number and distribution. Megaptera novaeangliae was the second specie in geographic distribution and number of registers. The other species identified were Tursiops truncatus and Peponocephala electra. (author)

  9. Cetaceans and chelonians stranding coastal monitoring: fundamental tool to mitigate impacts of seismic survey activities; Projeto de monitoramento costeiro de encalhes de cetacoes e quelonios: ferramenta fundamental para mitigacao de impactos em atividades de pesquisa sismica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Amaro, Thays P.C.; Carloni, Giuliano G.; Erber, Claudia; Sabino, Carla M. [Ecologus Engenharia Consultiva, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Uller, George A. [CGGVeritas, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    The objective of this research is to highlight PMVE implementation as a basic tool to conservation of marine cetaceans and turtles. These organisms are threaten to extinction and are pointed out as the organisms potentially affected by the seismic survey. The monitoring of the seismic survey activity realized in blocks BM-C-26 e BM-C-27 lasted six months embracing 200 km of beaches, from Rio de Janeiro North up to the Espirito Santo South coasts. It was realized by thirty four monitors, who covered a beach section daily registering the founded animal. 159 chelonians occurrence registers were realized and fifteen registers of cetaceans. The results gotten in PMVE give additional information for the evaluation of possible impacts of seismic survey's activities in registered species. Besides, these information contribute to increase technical scientific knowledge related to effect of seismic survey activity in marine biot at Campos Basin. (author)

  10. Cetaceans occurrence visual monitoring during seismic survey in the North of Campos Basin; Monitoramento visual de ocorrencia de cetaceos durante o levantamento de dados sismicos no norte da Bacia de Campos

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flor, Karina C.A.; Amaro, Thays P.C.; Carloni, Giuliano G. [Ecologus Engenharia Consultiva, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Uller, George A. [CGGVeritas, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    The objective of this research is to present the results of the marine biota visual monitoring developed during the seismic survey in the north area of Campos Basin. The monitoring lasted five months, between 14 February and 14 July 2007, reaching, on average, eleven hours and fifty one minutes of sign effort per day. It was conducted by fourteen marine biota catch sign, three for each period of boarding, that took over during all period of the activity. Sixty two cetaceans were registered, eight belonging to suborder Odontoceti and four belonging to suborder Mysticeti. Tursiops truncatus was the predominant species in number of registers, followed by Megaptera novaeangliae. It's important to report that during all seismic activity period there wasn't any cetacean register presenting any behavior disturbance. (author)

  11. Stellar evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Meadows, A J

    2013-01-01

    Stellar Evolution, Second Edition covers the significant advances in the understanding of birth, life, and death of stars.This book is divided into nine chapters and begins with a description of the characteristics of stars according to their brightness, distance, size, mass, age, and chemical composition. The next chapters deal with the families, structure, and birth of stars. These topics are followed by discussions of the chemical composition and the evolution of main-sequence stars. A chapter focuses on the unique features of the sun as a star, including its evolution, magnetic fields, act

  12. Schumpeter's Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Esben Sloth

    This draft of a book on Schumpeter is distributed for commenting. It is a stylised intellectual biography that focus on the emergence and extension of the Schumpeterian vision and analysis of economic and social evolution. The draft provides novel interpretations of Schumpeter's six major books. He...... originally developed his evolutionary research programme in Wesen from 1908 by studying the inherent limitations of Neoclassical Economics. He presented core results on economic evolution and sketched an extension evolutionary analysis to all social sciences in Entwicklung from 1912. He made a partial...... reworking of his basic theory of economic evolution in Development from 1934, and this reworking was continued in Cycles from 1939. Here Schumpeter also tried to handle the statistical and historical evidence on the waveform evolution of the capitalist economy. Capitalism from 1942 modified the model...

  13. Brain glycogen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Obel, Linea Lykke Frimodt; Müller, Margit S; Walls, Anne B

    2012-01-01

    Glycogen is a complex glucose polymer found in a variety of tissues, including brain, where it is localized primarily in astrocytes. The small quantity found in brain compared to e.g., liver has led to the understanding that brain glycogen is merely used during hypoglycemia or ischemia....... In this review evidence is brought forward highlighting what has been an emerging understanding in brain energy metabolism: that glycogen is more than just a convenient way to store energy for use in emergencies-it is a highly dynamic molecule with versatile implications in brain function, i.e., synaptic...... activity and memory formation. In line with the great spatiotemporal complexity of the brain and thereof derived focus on the basis for ensuring the availability of the right amount of energy at the right time and place, we here encourage a closer look into the molecular and subcellular mechanisms...

  14. Human brain evolution and the "Neuroevolutionary Time-depth Principle:" Implications for the Reclassification of fear-circuitry-related traits in DSM-V and for studying resilience to warzone-related posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracha, H Stefan

    2006-07-01

    The DSM-III, DSM-IV, DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10 have judiciously minimized discussion of etiologies to distance clinical psychiatry from Freudian psychoanalysis. With this goal mostly achieved, discussion of etiological factors should be reintroduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). A research agenda for the DSM-V advocated the "development of a pathophysiologically based classification system". The author critically reviews the neuroevolutionary literature on stress-induced and fear circuitry disorders and related amygdala-driven, species-atypical fear behaviors of clinical severity in adult humans. Over 30 empirically testable/falsifiable predictions are presented. It is noted that in DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10, the classification of stress and fear circuitry disorders is neither mode-of-acquisition-based nor brain-evolution-based. For example, snake phobia (innate) and dog phobia (overconsolidational) are clustered together. Similarly, research on blood-injection-injury-type-specific phobia clusters two fears different in their innateness: 1) an arguably ontogenetic memory-trace-overconsolidation-based fear (hospital phobia) and 2) a hardwired (innate) fear of the sight of one's blood or a sharp object penetrating one's skin. Genetic architecture-charting of fear-circuitry-related traits has been challenging. Various, non-phenotype-based architectures can serve as targets for research. In this article, the author will propose one such alternative genetic architecture. This article was inspired by the following: A) Nesse's "Smoke-Detector Principle", B) the increasing suspicion that the "smooth" rather than "lumpy" distribution of complex psychiatric phenotypes (including fear-circuitry disorders) may in some cases be accounted for by oligogenic (and not necessarily polygenic) transmission, and C) insights from the initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome by the Chimpanzee Sequencing

  15. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... like schizophrenia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) . Glutamate —the most common neurotransmitter, glutamate has many roles throughout the brain and nervous ...

  16. Rethinking: What is an emotion? : Hierarchial Hypothesis of Emotions based on Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Fukuda, Masaji

    2015-01-01

    This paper proposes an evolutionary hierarchical hypothesis that feelings/emotions in humans consist of four sub-systems of emotion based on brain structure, brain functions, brain evolution and emotional evolution. Feelings/emotions in humans are composed of primitive emotions, core emotions, social emotions/feelings and intellectual feelings, with respect to evolution. Primitive emotions are composed of two emotions, well and unwell states, that are elicited by positive and negative reinfor...

  17. Physiological and Biochemical Neuroprotection in Cetaceans: Are Some Marine Mammal Species Safeguarded From Emboli Formation and Barotrauma?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-09-30

    carrying globin proteins (hemoglobin, cytoglobin and neuroglobin) in the brain (both sensory and cognitive areas) of a wide variety of terrestrial...trained bottlenose dolphins during sedentary and active periods underwater. Together these studies will enable us to determine if some marine mammal...tests. Tests with bottlenose dolphins trained to dive at varying depths and during different exercise states are assessing the variability in

  18. Posible impacto en la salud pública del encallamiento de cetáceos en Costa Rica Potential public health impact of the stranding of cetaceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Rivas-Solano

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available El encallamiento de cetáceos se presenta cuando estos mamíferos llegan a la playa sin poder regresar al mar por sus propios medios. En Costa Rica, la mayoría de los casos se han registrado en las costas del Pacífico. Entre las posibles causas de este fenómeno, están las enfermedades infecciosas como la brucelosis marina. Dicha enfermedad es provocada por bacterias del género Brucella, y se puede transmitir a los humanos. El contacto entre humanos y cetáceos ha venido en aumento debido a actividades recreativas y ocupacionales. Además, el varamiento usualmente llama la atención de turistas y locales, quienes tienden mantener un acercamiento estrecho con el animal encallado para tratar de regresarlo al mar. Lo anterior potencia el riesgo de transmisión de cepas patogénicas desde los mamíferos marinos hacia los humanos y otros animales. En Costa Rica se desarrolló, durante los años 2009 y 2011, un proyecto de investigación en cual participaron expertos de universidades estatales, de instituciones gubernamentales y de la Fundación Keto. Como parte del mismo, se organizaron talleres de capacitación a profesionales en salud, líderes comunales y autoridades locales de la costa pacífica, con el fin de concientizarlos sobre los protocolos a seguir para la atención integral de la problemática de los encallamientos de cetáceos, con miras a prevenir posibles situaciones de riesgo a la salud pública.Cetacean stranding occurs when those animals arrive to the beach without having the possibility to come back to the sea. In Costa Rica, most of the cases have been registered along the pacific coast.  Between the possible causes of the stranding, there are infectious diseases like marine brucellosis. This disease is caused by bacteria from the genus Brucella and it can be transmitted to humans. Contact between humans and cetaceans, has been increased because of touristic and working activities. Besides, stranding phenomenon usually calls

  19. Temporal patterns in habitat use by small cetaceans at an oceanographically dynamic marine renewable energy test site in the Celtic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, S. L.; Witt, M. J.; Embling, C. B.; Godley, B. J.; Hosegood, P. J.; Miller, P. I.; Votier, S. C.; Ingram, S. N.

    2017-07-01

    Shelf-seas are highly dynamic and oceanographically complex environments, which likely influences the spatio-temporal distributions of marine megafauna such as marine mammals. As such, understanding natural patterns in habitat use by these animals is essential when attempting to ascertain and assess the impacts of anthropogenically induced disturbances, such as those associated with marine renewable energy installations (MREIs). This study uses a five year (2009-2013) passive acoustics (C-POD) dataset to examine the use of an oceanographically dynamic marine renewable energy test site by small cetaceans, dolphins (unspecified delphinids) and harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena, in the southern Celtic Sea. To examine how temporal patterns in habitat use across the site related to oceanographic changes occurring over broad seasonal scales as well as those driven by fine scale (bi-weekly) localised processes (that may be masked by seasonal trends), separate analyses were conducted using (1) all daily animal detection rates spanning the entire five year dataset and (2) daily animal detection rates taken only during the summer months (defined as mid-June to mid-October) of 2010 (when continuous monitoring was carried out at multiple discrete locations across the site). In both instances, generalised additive mixed effects models (GAMMs) were used to link detection rates to a suite of environmental variables representative of the oceanography of the region. We show that increased harbour porpoise detection rates in the late winter/early spring (January-March) are associated with low sea surface temperatures (SST), whilst peaks in dolphin detection rates in the summer (July-September) coincide with increased SSTs and the presence of a tidal-mixing front. Moreover, across the summer months of 2010, dolphin detection rates were found to respond to small scale changes in SST and position in the spring-neap cycle, possibly reflective of a preference for the stratified waters

  20. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields to take pictures of the brain's structure, studies ... imaging (MRI) mdash;An imaging technique that uses magnetic fields to take pictures of the brain's structure. mutation — ...

  1. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Brain Imaging Using brain imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields to take pictures of ... to slow or stop them from progressing. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is another important research tool in understanding ...

  2. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Brain Imaging Using brain imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields to take pictures ... to slow or stop them from progressing. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is another important research tool in understanding ...

  3. Brain Basics

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... research are listed below. Amygdala —The brain's "fear hub," which activates our natural "fight-or-flight" response ... neurotransmitters) or electrical signals. amygdala —The brain's "fear hub," which helps activate the fight-or-flight response ...

  4. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... mental illnesses. Search the NIMH Website: Home Health & Education Mental Health Information Statistics Consumer Health Publications Help for Mental Illnesses Clinical Trials Outreach Research Priorities Funding Labs at ... Health & Education > Educational Resources Brain Basics Introduction The Growing Brain ...

  5. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the Brain Meet Sarah Sarah is a middle-aged woman who seemed to have it all. She ... containing inherited genetic information that helps to define physical and some ... increases neuronal activity, is involved in early brain development, and may ...

  6. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Real Life Brain Basics in Real Life—How Depression affects the Brain Meet Sarah Sarah is a ... MSC 9663 Bethesda, MD 20892-9663 Follow Us Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus NIMH Newsletter NIMH RSS ...

  7. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... PTSD) . Prefrontal cortex (PFC) —Seat of the brain's executive functions, such as judgment, decision making, and problem solving. ... brain that, in humans, plays a role in executive functions such as judgment, decision making and problem solving, ...

  8. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... of the brain involved in creating and filing new memories. hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis —A brain-body circuit which plays a critical role in the body's response to stress. impulse —An ...

  9. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... how the brain functions. Another type of brain scan called magnetoencephalography, or MEG, can capture split-second ... Contact Us U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health USA.gov The National ...

  10. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... as they grow there are differences in brain development in children who develop bipolar disorder than children who do not. Studies comparing such children to those with normal brain development may help scientists to pinpoint when and where ...

  11. Animal evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Claus

    This book provides a comprehensive analysis of evolution in the animal kingdom. It reviews the classical, morphological information from structure and embryology, as well as the new data gained from studies using immune stainings of nerves and muscles and blastomere markings, which makes it possi......This book provides a comprehensive analysis of evolution in the animal kingdom. It reviews the classical, morphological information from structure and embryology, as well as the new data gained from studies using immune stainings of nerves and muscles and blastomere markings, which makes...

  12. Sex, ecology and the brain: evolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes in Tanganyikan cichlids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Gonzalez-Voyer

    Full Text Available Analyses of the macroevolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes allow pinpointing of selective pressures influencing specific structures. Here we use a multiple regression framework, including phylogenetic information, to analyze brain structure evolution in 43 Tanganyikan cichlid species. We analyzed the effect of ecological and sexually selected traits for species averages, the effect of ecological traits for each sex separately and the influence of sexual selection on structure dimorphism. Our results indicate that both ecological and sexually selected traits have influenced brain structure evolution. The patterns observed in males and females generally followed those observed at the species level. Interestingly, our results suggest that strong sexual selection is associated with reduced structure volumes, since all correlations between sexually selected traits and structure volumes were negative and the only statistically significant association between sexual selection and structure dimorphism was also negative. Finally, we previously found that monoparental female care was associated with increased brain size. However, here cerebellum and hypothalamus volumes, after controlling for brain size, associated negatively with female-only care. Thus, in accord with the mosaic model of brain evolution, brain structure volumes may not respond proportionately to changes in brain size. Indeed selection favoring larger brains can simultaneously lead to a reduction in relative structure volumes.

  13. Long-term trends in the use of a protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in population status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Cheney

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The requirement to monitor listed species in European designated sites is challenging for long-lived mobile species that only temporarily occupy protected areas. We use a 21 year time series of bottlenose dolphin photo-identification data to assess trends in abundance and conservation status within a Special Area of Conservation (SAC in Scotland. Mark–recapture methods were used to estimate annual abundance within the SAC from 1990 to 2010. A Bayesian mark–recapture model with a state-space approach was used to estimate overall population trends using data collected across the populations’ range. Despite inter-annual variability in the number of dolphins within the SAC, there was a >99% probability that the wider population was stable or increasing. Results indicate that use of the SAC by the wider population has declined. This is the first evidence of long-term trends in the use of an EU protected area by small cetaceans in relation to changes in overall population status. Our results highlight the importance of adapting the survey protocols used in long-term photo-identification studies to maintain high capture probabilities and minimise sampling heterogeneity. Crucially, these data demonstrate the value of collecting data from the wider population to assess the success of protected areas designated for mobile predators.

  14. Levels of persistent organic pollutants and residual pattern of DDTs in small cetaceans from the coast of São Paulo, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yogui, G T; Santos, M C O; Bertozzi, C P; Montone, R C

    2010-10-01

    The State of São Paulo is the most developed area in Brazil and was impacted by persistent organic pollutants for several decades. This study investigated organochlorines in five species of small cetaceans (Pontoporia blainvillei, Stenella frontalis, Sotalia guianensis, Tursiops truncatus and Steno bredanensis) found dead along the coast of São Paulo between 1997 and 2003. DDTs (15.9 μg g(-1) lipid; mean for all pooled individuals) and PCBs (8.08 μg g(-1)) exhibited the highest concentrations in the animals, reflecting large amounts formerly used in Brazil. Lower levels of mirex (0.149 μg g(-1)), HCB (0.051 μg g(-1)), CHLs (0.008 μg g(-1)) and HCHs (0.007 μg g(-1)) were detected in all species. Residual pattern of DDTs in dolphins suggests that o,p'-DDT is more recalcitrant than p,p'-DDT in the body of the animals and/or the environment. In contrast to p,p'-DDT, residues of o,p'-DDT seem to be preferentially converted into o,p'-DDD rather than o,p'-DDE. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. An Evaluation of Ad Hoc Presence-Only Data in Explaining Patterns of Distribution: Cetacean Sightings from Whale-Watching Vessels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louisa K. Higby

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of presence-only data is a problem in determining species distributions and accurately determining population sizes. The collection of such data is common from unequal or nonrandomised effort surveys, such as those surveys conducted by citizen scientists. However, causative regression-based methods have been less well examined using presence-only data. In this study, we examine a range of predictive factors which might influence Cetacean sightings (specifically minke whale sightings from whale-watching vessels in Faxaflói Bay in Iceland. In this case, environmental variables were collected regularly regardless of whether sightings were recorded. Including absences as well as presence in the analysis resulted in a multiple-generalised linear regression model with significantly more explanatory power than when data were presence only. However, by including extra information on the sightings of the whales, in this case, their observed behaviour when the sighting occurred resulted in a significantly improved model over the presence-only data model. While there are limitations of conducting nonrandomised surveys for the use of predictive models such as regression, presence-only data should not be considered as worthless, and the scope of collection of these data by citizen scientists using modern technology should not be underestimated.

  16. Positive genetic correlation between brain size and sexual traits in male guppies artificially selected for brain size

    OpenAIRE

    Kotrschal, Alexander; Corral-Lopez, A.; Zajitschek, Susanne; Immler, Simone; Maklakov, Alexei A.; Kolm, Niclas

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Brain size is an energetically costly trait to develop and maintain. Investments into other costly aspects of an organism's biology may therefore place important constraints on brain size evolution. Sexual traits are often costly and could therefore be traded off against neural investment. However, brain size may itself be under sexual selection through mate choice on cognitive ability. Here, we use guppy ( Poecilia reticulata) lines selected for large and small brain size relative t...

  17. Venom Evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 18; Issue 3. Venom Evolution - Genetic and External Factors. Ema Fatima. Research News Volume 18 Issue 3 March 2013 pp 287-288. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/018/03/0287-0288 ...

  18. Representing Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hedin, Gry

    2012-01-01

    . This article discusses Willumsen's etching in the context of evolutionary theory, arguing that Willumsen is a rare example of an artist who not only let the theory of evolution fuel his artistic imagination, but also concerned himself with a core issue of the theory, namely to what extent it could be applied...

  19. Art & Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry, Mark

    2005-01-01

    In this article, the author presents a two-week evolution unit for his biology class. He uses Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) as an example of an Enlightenment mind at work--in this case a woman recognized as one of the great artists and natural scientists of her time. Her representations of butterflies, caterpillars and their pupae, and the…

  20. Venom Evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Venom Evolution. Genetic and External Factors. Ema Fatima. The term venom is used for a variety of toxins that are injected by certain animals into a victim through a specialized ... known to be an important evolutionary force. Gene duplication is the ... On the other hand, in species such as cone snails and snakes, where ...

  1. Brain Stimulation Therapies

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Magnetic Seizure Therapy Deep Brain Stimulation Additional Resources Brain Stimulation Therapies Overview Brain stimulation therapies can play ... for a shorter recovery time than ECT Deep Brain Stimulation Deep brain stimulation (DBS) was first developed ...

  2. Brain radiation - discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radiation - brain - discharge; Cancer-brain radiation; Lymphoma - brain radiation; Leukemia - brain radiation ... Decadron) while you are getting radiation to the brain. It may make you hungrier, cause leg swelling ...

  3. The social brain hypothesis of schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    BURNS, JONATHAN

    2006-01-01

    The social brain hypothesis is a useful heuristic for understanding schizophrenia. It focuses attention on the core Bleulerian concept of autistic alienation and is consistent with well-replicated findings of social brain dysfunction in schizophrenia as well as contemporary theories of human cognitive and brain evolution. The contributions of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Wittgenstein allow us to arrive at a new "philosophy of interpersonal relatedness", which better reflects the "embodied mind" and signifies the end of Cartesian dualistic thinking. In this paper I review the evolution, development and neurobiology of the social brain - the anatomical and functional substrate for adaptive social behaviour and cognition. Functional imaging identifies fronto-temporal and fronto-parietal cortical networks as comprising the social brain, while the discovery of "mirror neurons" provides an understanding of social cognition at a cellular level. Patients with schizophrenia display abnormalities in a wide range of social cognition tasks such as emotion recognition, theory of mind and affective responsiveness. Furthermore, recent research indicates that schizophrenia is a disorder of functional and structural connectivity of social brain networks. These findings lend support to the claim that schizophrenia represents a costly by-product of social brain evolution in Homo sapiens. Individuals with this disorder find themselves seriously disadvantaged in the social arena and vulnerable to the stresses of their complex social environments. This state of "disembodiment" and interpersonal alienation is the core phenomenon of schizophrenia and the root cause of intolerable suffering in the lives of those affected. PMID:16946939

  4. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... of the brain's executive functions, such as judgment, decision making, and problem solving. Different parts of the ... a role in executive functions such as judgment, decision making and problem solving, as well as emotional ...

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    Full Text Available ... to produce a specific protein. Scientists believe epigenetics play a major role in mental disorders and the ... thinking and feeling regions of the brain may play a role in disorders like schizophrenia or attention ...

  6. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... another as chemical or electrical signals. The brain begins as a small group of cells in the ... how she's responding to the treatment. She also begins regular talk therapy sessions with her psychiatrist. In ...

  7. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) . Glutamate —the most common neurotransmitter, glutamate has many roles throughout the brain and nervous system. Glutamate is an excitatory transmitter: when it is ...

  8. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... studied in mental health research are listed below. Amygdala —The brain's "fear hub," which activates our natural " ... confront or escape from a dangerous situation. The amygdala also appears to be involved in learning to ...

  9. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the brain cannot ... husband questions about Sarah's symptoms and family medical history. Epigenetic changes from stress or early-life experiences ...

  10. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... at some point. Such disorders include depression , anxiety disorders , bipolar disorder , attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) , and many others. ... differences in brain development in children who develop bipolar disorder than children who do not. Studies comparing such ...

  11. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... environment; this all helps the cell maintain its balance with the environment. Synapses are tiny gaps between ... the brain, which is linked to thought and emotion. It is also linked to reward systems in ...

  12. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Using MEG, some scientists have found a specific pattern of brain activity that may help predict who ... that regulates many functions, including mood, appetite, and sleep. synapse —The tiny gap between neurons, where nerve ...

  13. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... specific protein. Scientists believe epigenetics play a major role in mental disorders and the effects of medications. ... feeling regions of the brain may play a role in disorders like schizophrenia or attention deficit hyperactivity ...

  14. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... her feelings. Brain Research Modern research tools and techniques are giving scientists a more detailed understanding of ... other. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) mdash;An imaging technique that uses magnetic fields to take pictures of ...

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    Full Text Available ... know that mental disorders are brain disorders. Evidence shows that they can be related to changes in ... functions, such as mood, appetite, and sleep. Research shows that people with depression often have lower than ...

  16. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Imaging Using brain imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields to take ... slow or stop them from progressing. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is another important research tool in ...

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    Full Text Available ... begun to chart how the brain develops over time in healthy people and are working to compare ... listless, and had no appetite most of the time. Weeks later, Sarah realized she was having trouble ...

  18. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... and information that the cell needs for growth, metabolism, and repair. Cytoplasm is the substance that fills ... at the front of the brain that, in humans, plays a role in executive functions such as ...

  19. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... and epigenetic changes can be passed on to future generations. Further understanding of genes and epigenetics may ... brain, which is linked to thought and emotion. It is also linked to reward systems in the ...

  20. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... or "working" memory and in retrieving long-term memories. This area of the brain also helps to control the amygdala during stressful events. Some research shows that people who have PTSD or ADHD ...

  1. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the brain cannot ... Ann Wagner Named as National Autism Coordinator More General Health Information from NIH MEDLINEPlus : Authoritative information from ...

  2. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the brain cannot ... Coordinator Twitter Chat on Seasonal Affective Disorder More General Health Information from NIH MEDLINEPlus : Authoritative information from ...

  3. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Funding Home Opportunities & Announcements Funding Strategy for Grants Application Process Managing Grants Clinical Research Training Small Business ... works in healthy people, and how normal brain development and function can go awry, leading to mental ...

  4. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the cell from its surrounding environment and controls what enters and leaves the cell, and responds to ... brain's structure develops and matures helps scientists understand what goes wrong in mental illnesses. Scientists have already ...

  5. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the brain cannot ... volunteers PubMed Central: An archive of life sciences journals NIH Research Fact Sheets NIH Office of Science ...

  6. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... affects the Brain Meet Sarah Sarah is a middle-aged woman who seemed to have it all. ... and works and the effects of genes and environment on mental health. This knowledge is allowing scientists ...

  7. Brain Basics

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    ... it increases the chance that the neuron will fire. This enhances the electrical flow among brain cells ... for anxiety disorders like phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . Prefrontal cortex (PFC) —Seat of the ...

  8. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... it increases the chance that the neuron will fire. This enhances the electrical flow among brain cells ... for anxiety disorders like phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . Prefrontal cortex (PFC) —Seat of the ...

  9. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... each other How changes in the brain can lead to mental disorders, such as depression. The Growing ... understanding of genes and epigenetics may one day lead to genetic testing for people at risk for ...

  10. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... and information that the cell needs for growth, metabolism, and repair. Cytoplasm is the substance that fills ... possibly prevention of such illnesses. The Working Brain Neurotransmitters Everything we do relies on neurons communicating with ...

  11. Brain Lesions

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... contents/search. Accessed Aug. 14, 2017. Sports-related concussion. Merck Manual Professional Version http://www.merckmanuals.com/ ... injuries-poisoning/traumatic-brain-injury-tbi/sports-related-concussion. Accessed Aug. 14, 2017. Jan. 11, 2018 Original ...

  12. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... Us Home About the Director Advisory Boards and Groups Strategic Plan Offices and Divisions Budget Careers at ... electrical signals. The brain begins as a small group of cells in the outer layer of a ...

  13. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... may help improve treatments for anxiety disorders like phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) . Prefrontal cortex ( ... brain. DNA —The "recipe of life," containing inherited genetic information that helps to define physical and some ...

  14. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the brain, which is linked to thought and emotion. It is also linked to reward systems in ... or-flight response and is also involved in emotions and memory. anterior cingulate cortex —Is involved in ...

  15. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... dopamine in the thinking and feeling regions of the brain may play a role in disorders like schizophrenia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) . Glutamate —the most common ...

  16. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... and information that the cell needs for growth, metabolism, and repair. Cytoplasm is the substance that fills ... functions such as sleep and speech. The brain continues maturing well into a person's early 20s. Knowing ...

  17. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... can be related to changes in the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the nervous system. When the ... at the front of the brain that, in humans, plays a role in executive functions such as ...

  18. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... begun to chart how the brain develops over time in healthy people and are working to compare that ... that everyone gets "the blues" from time to time. In contrast, major depression is a serious disorder that ...

  19. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... early brain development. It may also assist in learning and memory. Problems in making or using ... as many neurons working together form a circuit, many circuits working together ...

  20. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... of the cell from its surrounding environment and controls what enters and leaves the cell, and responds ... via axons) to form brain circuits. These circuits control specific body functions such as sleep and speech. ...

  1. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... of the brain's executive functions, such as judgment, decision making, and problem solving. Different parts of the PFC ... a role in executive functions such as judgment, decision making and problem solving, as well as emotional control ...

  2. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... fear, such as overcoming a fear of spiders. Studying how the amygdala helps create memories of fear ... her feelings. Brain Research Modern research tools and techniques are giving scientists a more detailed understanding of ...

  3. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... control specific body functions such as sleep and speech. The brain continues maturing well into a person's ... as sleep, diet, or stress. These factors may act alone or together in complex ways, to change ...

  4. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... possibly prevention of such illnesses. The Working Brain Neurotransmitters Everything we do relies on neurons communicating with ... axon, most neurons release a chemical message (a neurotransmitter) which crosses the synapse and binds to receptors ...

  5. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... depression experience when starting treatment. Gene Studies Advanced technologies are also making it faster, easier, and more ... how the brain grows and works and the effects of genes and environment on mental health. This ...

  6. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... deciding her symptoms were not caused by a stroke, brain tumor, or similar conditions, Sarah's doctor referred ... helpful, but sometimes give rise to disabilities or diseases. neural circuit —A network of neurons and their ...

  7. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... embryo. As the cells grow and differentiate, neurons travel from a central "birthplace" to their final destination. ... begun to chart how the brain develops over time in healthy people and are working to compare ...

  8. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... amount of serotonin in the brain and help reduce symptoms of depression. Sarah also has several follow- ... Knowing who might respond to such medications could reduce the amount of trial and error and frustration ...

  9. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... the brain, which is linked to thought and emotion. It is also linked to reward systems in ... stay focused on a task, and managing proper emotional reactions. Reduced ACC activity or damage to this ...

  10. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... bind onto, leading to more normal mood functioning. Dopamine —mainly involved in controlling movement and aiding the ... reward systems in the brain. Problems in producing dopamine can result in Parkinson's disease, a disorder that ...

  11. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... doctor that she had experienced long periods of deep sadness throughout her teenage years, but had never ... the understanding of how the brain grows and works and the effects of genes and environment on ...

  12. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... some point. Such disorders include depression , anxiety disorders , bipolar disorder , attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) , and many others. ... differences in brain development in children who develop bipolar disorder than children who do not. Studies comparing such ...

  13. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... heart rate to responding when we sense a mistake, helping us feel motivated and stay focused on ... peak early. And as they grow there are differences in brain development in children who develop bipolar ...

  14. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... genes and epigenetics may one day lead to genetic testing for people at risk for mental disorders. ... brain. DNA —The "recipe of life," containing inherited genetic information that helps to define physical and some ...

  15. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... cell. Axons can range in length from a fraction of an inch to several feet. Each neuron ... early brain development. It may also assist in learning and memory. Problems in making or using glutamate ...

  16. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... health research are listed below. Amygdala —The brain's "fear hub," which activates our natural "fight-or-flight" ... also appears to be involved in learning to fear an event, such as touching a hot stove, ...

  17. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... some point. Such disorders include depression , anxiety disorders , bipolar disorder , attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) , and many ... differences in brain development in children who develop bipolar disorder than children who do not. Studies comparing ...

  18. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... occur when this process does not work correctly. Communication between neurons can also be electrical, such as ... medication used to treat depression. SSRIs boost the amount of serotonin in the brain and help reduce ...

  19. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... as sleep and speech. The brain continues maturing well into a person's early 20s. Knowing how the ... as judgment, decision making and problem solving, as well as emotional control and memory. serotonin —A neurotransmitter ...

  20. Brain Basics

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    Full Text Available ... they can cause tremors or symptoms found in Parkinson's disease. Serotonin —helps control many functions, such as ... brain. Problems in producing dopamine can result in Parkinson's disease, a disorder that affects a person's ability ...